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Posts Tagged ‘CINE’

SLR Magic announces CINE 18mm F2.8 lens for Sony E-Mount

14 Sep

SLR Magic has released a new model in its series of manual-focus lenses for full-frame Sony E-Mount cameras: the SLR Magic CINE 18mm F2.8 wide angle. The optical design of the lens incorporates 10 elements in 8 groups and allows for a minimum focus distance of just 20cm (~7.9 inches).

The new lens features a black anodized body, a low weight of only 445 grams and compact dimensions, making it an interesting option for use on gimbals and other video-centric camera supports. It also comes with a 62mm filter thread. The aperture features a manually controlled diaphragm and 9 blades, and allows you to stop down from F2.8 to F16.

The SLR Magic line-up now covers a range from 18 to 75mm, with the latest addition looking like a good option for landscape and architectural photographers, in addition to video-shooters.

The SLR Magic CINE 18mm F2.8 will be available through authorized retailers starting in October, and will set you back $ 500.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Sigma announces pricing and availability of 14mm and 135mm T2 Cine Prime lenses

14 Jul
The 14mm T2.0 will cost $ 4999 when it starts shipping later this month. The 135mm T2.0 will also ship in late July, for the same price.

Sigma has announced pricing and availability for its new Cine Prime lenses. The 14mm and 135mm T2 primes will be available later this month for $ 4999 each, or as part of two and seven-lens kits for $ 10,499 and $ 24,799 respectively.

Press Release:

Sigma Announces Pricing and Availability for the 14mm and 135mm T2 Cine Prime Lenses, Shipping This July

Full-frame sensor compatible, high-speed prime lenses bring Sigma’s esteemed Art lens technology to cinema cameras; the 14mm T2 FF and 135mm T2 FF begin shipping late July for a retail price of $ 4,999.00 USD each

Ronkonkoma, NY – July 13, 2017 – Sigma Corporation of America, a leading still photo and cinema lens, camera, flash and accessory manufacturer, today announced the availability of two brand new cine lenses: the Sigma 14mm T2 FF and 135mm T2 FF, which will both begin shipping late July 2017. Compatible with full-frame image sensors, these high-speed cine prime lenses are available for EF, E and PL mounts. They are available as individual lenses for a retail price of $ 4,999.00 USD each, or as part of two and seven lens sets for retail prices of $ 10,499.00 USD and $ 24,799.00 USD respectively.

Go fast and wide with the Sigma 14mm T2 Cine Prime
The Sigma 14mm T2 FF Cine Prime lens is the world’s first and only to offer an incredibly fast T2 at this ultra-wide angle focal length for full frame sensors. Bringing remarkable optical performance to the art of capturing moving images, the Sigma 14mm T2 offers cinematographers the opportunity for robust cinematic expression.

Resolving power like nothing ever seen before with the Sigma 135mm T2 Cine Prime
The Sigma 135mm T2 FF Cine Prime offers astonishing rendering performance unmatched by almost any lens on the market. Retaining the optical performance of Sigma’s original Art lens for the still photographer, this exceptional lens enables cinematographers to enjoy the highest image quality for shooting movies.

Both lenses offer the following benefits and capabilities:

  • Bright, T2 full frame maximum aperture
  • Capable of resolving up to 8K
  • Available in Canon EF, Sony E & PL Mounts
  • 180-degree focus rotation

The Sigma 14mm and 135mm lenses are fully compatible with full frame sensors. The addition of these lenses to the Sigma cine lineup expands the FF High Speed Prime Line to a total of seven lenses, from a super-wide 14mm to a brilliantly sharp telephoto 135mm.

Pricing for individual lenses and lens sets
The newest cine lens offerings from Sigma will be available individually as well as in sets for the following retail prices.

Individual lenses:
Sigma 14mm T2 FF – $ 4,999.00 USD
Sigma 135mm T2 FF – $ 4,999.00 USD

Two lens set with case:
Sigma 14mm T2 FF, 135mm T2 FF and a protective lens carrying case – $ 10,499.00 USD

Seven lens set with two cases:
Sigma 14mm T2 FF, 20mm T1.5 FF, 24mm T1.5 FF, 35mm T1.5 FF, 50mm T1.5 FF, 85mm T1.5 FF, 135mm T2 FF, and two protective lens carrying cases – $ 24,799.00 USD

The Sigma 14mm T2 FF and 135mm T2 FF Shipping Late July
The Cine 14mm and 135mm lenses and sets will begin shipping late July 2017 for EF, E and PL mounts.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Hands-on with the Fujinon MK50-135mm T2.9 cine lens

22 Jun

Hands-on: Fujinon MK50-135mm T2.9 cine lens

The Fujinon MK50-135mm T2.9 cinema lens is the second in Fujifilm’s new line of MK lenses designed for Super 35 and APS-C cameras. MK lenses are designed to appeal to the emerging production market, offering features and quality typically associated with more expensive cinema lenses at a price point that’s attractive to budget-conscious cinematographers. The MK lenses are based on Fujifilm’s excellent Cabrio line of cinema lenses (which cost $ 15K and up), and share the same coatings as well as a similar mechanical build, but at a cost just under $ 4,000 they’re more accessible to a lot of users.

I reviewed the first MK lens, the MK18-55mm T2.9, a few months ago and really liked it. Since the two lenses are designed to work as a set, they’re basically indistinguishable except for focal length, so if you want to read my detailed thoughts on how the MK lenses perform I recommend reading my earlier review, which for all practical purposes applies to both lenses.

Hands-on: Fujinon MK50-135mm T2.9 cine lens

If you’re not yet familiar with the MK cine lenses, you may be surprised to learn that they use Sony E-mount. Why? Fujifilm wants to address the growing market of independent filmmakers, small production houses, and other professionals who use the Super 35 and APS-C formats. Sony has a huge presence in this market thanks to cameras like the FS7, FS5, and even a-series mirrorless, and many users of these cameras adapt other lenses, such as Canon EF-mount, to their cameras.

What about Fujifilm’s own mirrorless cameras? The company has announced plans to release MK lenses in X-mount later this year so that Fujifilm shooters can take advantage of them as well.

Hands-on: Fujinon MK50-135mm T2.9 cine lens

When I tested the MK18-55mm lens earlier this year, I did so with a Sony FS7, a Super 35mm camera mounted on a shoulder rig with rails, a follow focus, and an accessory EVF. However, Fujifilm emphasizes that the MK lenses are also designed for use on similarly sized APS-C sensors, so this time I decided to go that route. Unfortunately, during our short window of time with the lens I didn’t have access to a rig for a full setup, so I was limited to basic tripod and handheld use.

When mounted the Sony a6500, it’s easy to see how large the MK50-135mm is compared to the diminutive camera. While it’s technically possible to shoot this combination handheld, it’s not terribly practical thanks to its large size and all mechanical controls.

The great news is that the video I captured looked beautiful, and the lens appears to deliver the same quality that we saw on the MK18-55mm.

Hands-on: Fujinon MK50-135mm T2.9 cine lens

I also tried using the MK50-135mm with the full frame Sony a7R II in Super 35mm mode. The size mismatch is a bit less obvious than with the a6500, however it’s no more practical for shooting handheld. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – chances are good that if you’re considering this type of lens, you’re planning to rig it in some way.

In fact, this lens works very well with both the a6500 and a7R II (in Super 35 mode), and would be a great lens to pair with either of them. With a basic set of rails and a follow focus, the setup would work just as effectively as with a dedicated video camera.

Hands-on: Fujinon MK50-135mm T2.9 cine lens

One of the reasons for using cinema lenses is that they often come in matched sets, and this is the case with the MK lenses. The MK18-55mm and MK50-135mm are physically identical, including T2.9 iris, gearing, dimensions, and even weight (right down to the gram). They’re also matched optically, meaning they can be interchanged seamlessly without changing the look of the resulting footage.

Why are matched lenses important? In a cine setup the lens is often mounted on rails, and likely has attachments such as a follow focus or matte box. Ideally, you don’t want to have to readjust every accessory each time you change lenses, and having physically matched lenses means you can swap them in and out very quickly without needing to readjust everything. The MK lenses are so similar that I would have a difficult time telling them apart without seeing the zoom range printed on the lens barrel.

Hands-on: Fujinon MK50-135mm T2.9 cine lens

When it comes to build quality, the MK50-135mm is very solid thanks to its all metal construction. As with most cinema lenses, it’s completely mechanical, and every movement feels well damped. It’s a pleasure to use and gives one the sense of using a high quality piece of precision equipment.

Hands-on: Fujinon MK50-135mm T2.9 cine lens

One thing that sets the MK50-135mm apart from most still photo lenses is the large 200 degree focus rotation angle. This offers a lot more precision than you’ll get with the shorter focus throw of a DSLR lens, or the unpredictability of focus-by-wire, so it’s easy to make very fine adjustments as your subject moves. The lens includes very precise distance marks, in both English and metric units. This is particularly helpful if you have a separate focus puller who is following the action in a blocked scene.

Hands-on: Fujinon MK50-135mm T2.9 cine lens

The MK50-135mm also has a parfocal design, meaning it can maintain precise focus while adjusting the focal length. As still photographers, we don’t usually worry about this capability since it’s easy to refocus after zooming. In contrast, when shooting video you may actually intend to zoom while recording, and you want to maintain focus on your subject through the entire transition. Losing focus during a zoom can ruin the shot.

I was really impressed with the parfocal performance on the first MK lens, and the MK50-135mm performed to the same standard.

Hands-on: Fujinon MK50-135mm T2.9 cine lens

Another common property of cinema lenses is that they resist breathing, a phenomena that causes the lens’s field of view to change slightly when focus is adjusted. This becomes particularly important when you’re doing something like racking focus between two subjects; you don’t want the field of view of the scene to change when you do this as it can be very distracting. The MK50-135mm suppresses lens breathing very effectively, which is not surprising given that the MK18-55mm did so as well.

Hands-on: Fujinon MK50-135mm T2.9 cine lens

Based on a couple days of use, I really like the Fujinon MK50-135mm lens, which – not surprisingly – is the same conclusion I came to after testing the MK18-55mm version. They’re both beautiful pieces of equipment that are a joy to use, and which deliver excellent results. The fact that there are now two of them spanning the entire 18-135mm range makes me want the set even more. If you’re a videographer using an E-mount camera, it’s really tough to go wrong with these lenses.

The MK lenses should also appeal to Fujifilm X-mount users. In particular, we found the Fujifilm X-T2 to be a credible 4K video camera, especially since it’s capable of outputting F-Log gamma over its HDMI port. We don’t yet know the exact release date for the X-mount versions, but Fujifilm tells us it will be later this year, and we saw prototypes at NAB in April.

The MK50-135mm T2.9 will be available in E-mount in mid-July for a price of $ 3,999, which is just slightly higher than the $ 3,799 MK18-55mm.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Fujifilm’s MK 50-135mm cine lens will arrive in July for $4000

03 Jun

Fujifilm has officially launched the MK 50-135mm T2.9 cinema lens aimed at emerging filmmakers, giving it a mid-July release and $ 4000/£3300 price tag. It will be available initially in the Sony E-mount, but the company says it is working on a version for its own X-mount cameras that will go on sale before the end of the year. It was first announced back in February alongside an 18-55mm T2.9.

The DSLR and CSC stills lenses that many videographers use suffer from shifting focus and centring during zooming, according to Fujifilm, and ‘breathing’ often alters the magnification of the view as focus distances change. If the background changes size in the frame as focus is being pulled, or the subject goes out of focus during a zoom, the fluidity of the sequence can be destroyed. This new lens is intended to replace these still lenses, with their unsuitable characteristics, so that photographers using small cameras can make professional-looking films.

The Fujinon 18-55mm T2.9

The new lens matches the three-ring layout and 82mm filter thread size of the existing Fujinon 18-55mm T2.9 so it should be easy to switch between the two, and with both lenses videographers will have most popular focal lengths covered. The lenses are designed to work with APS-C and Super 35mm sized sensors, so will provide similar angles of view to a 75-200mm on a full frame system.

For more information see the Fujifilm website.

Sample footage

Press release

Fujifilm launches the FUJINON MK50-135mm T2.9 telephoto zoom cinema lens with advanced optical performance, ultra-compact and lightweight design, and excellent affordability

FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) will release the FUJINON MK50-135mm T2.9 (MK50-135mm) telephoto zoom cinema lens in July 2017. The MK50-135mm has a focal length of 50-135mm and can be combined with the FUJINON MK18-55mm T2.9 (MK18-55mm) standard zoom lens, that was released in March 2017, to form a kit that covers the most frequently-used focal lengths of 18mm to 135mm, accommodating a broader variety of conditions.

The rapid growth in popularity of movies made by emerging cinematographers in recent years, including corporate and commercial movies on the internet and other venues, has increased the opportunities for shooting movies using cinema and regular digital cameras, and it boosts demand for high-performance cinema lenses that deliver high resolution and advanced scene-depicting capability. For filming such materials, interchangeable lenses for digital cameras are often used instead of cinema camera lenses as they are more affordable and mobile. However, these lenses are designed primarily for shooting still images, and therefore prone to problems such as focus shift and optical axis shift while zooming, and so on.

In response, Fujifilm has developed the MK series of cinema lenses that resolve these issues while still offering advanced optical performance and an ultra-compact and lightweight design – all at an affordable price. The MK18-55mm that was launched in March this year has been popular among emerging cinematographers who praise it for its edge-to-edge sharpness and ease of handling thanks to its compact and lightweight design.

The new MK50-135mm is a telephoto zoom lens that covers the focal length from 50mm to 135mm. It has the maximum T-stop value of 2.9*1 across the entire zoom range, enabling to shoot with a shallow depth-of-field with beautiful bokeh. The lens is compatible with E-mount*2 cameras with the Super 35mm*3 / APS-C sensor. It incorporates the benefits of short flange focal distance*4 into optical design to the maximum extent to achieve advanced optical performance while maintaining a compact and lightweight design. The lens design is optimized for shooting movies, minimizing focal and optical axis shift while zooming and lens breathing (change of angle of view during focusing) – negative traits that are typically observed in still lenses for digital cameras. The lens also features three rings to enable manual and independent adjustment of focus, zoom and iris (aperture), all with the gear pitch*5 of 0.8M (module). The focus ring can rotate fully up to 200 degrees to facilitate precise one-handed focusing. These features make the lenses comfortable to operate.

The MK50-135mm can be combined with the MK18-55mm to form a compact and light weight kit that covers the most frequently-used focal lengths between 18mm and 135mm, accommodating a variety of subject matters including landscape, architecture and portraiture. They share the common front element diameter, filter thread and three-ring gear positions, allowing users to share the use of the same accessories such as matte box and filters. This eliminates the need to re-adjust accessory positions when changing between lenses, streamlining operations in frontline video production.

The X Mount versions of MK lenses (with the focal lengths of 18-55mm and 50-135mm) for Fujifilm’s X Series of digital cameras (APS-C sensor) are currently under development, and due to be released by the end of this year.

FUJINON lenses offered by Fujifilm have been used at movie / CM / TV production sites around the world for their advanced scene-depicting capability. Tapping into its optical design, high-precision processing and assembly technologies that have been nurtured over the years in the cutting-edge field of video production, Fujifilm will continue to expand its lens line-up to meet the diverse needs at the video production industry.

*1 T-stop value is an index that indicates brightness of a lens based on its F-stop value and transmission rate. The smaller the value, the greater amount of light the lens transmits.
*2 Lens mount format developed by SONY Corporation
*3 Super 35mm is a standard format for motion film cameras using 35mm film stock, and refers to a sensor size used in many cinema cameras.
*4 Distance from lens mounting reference plane to sensor
*5 Distance between gear teeth

1. Product name, release date, pricing
Product name: FUJINON MK50-135mm T2.9
Release date: Mid July 2017
Expected user price: GBP £3,300* (ex VAT)
*At today’s GBP/EURO exchange rate

2. Main product features
Advanced optical performance, packed into a compact and lightweight lens barrel
The MK50-135mm covers the focal length of 50mm to 135mm and when combined with the MK18-55mm standard zoom lens, they form a kit that covers 18mm to 135mm, the most frequently-used focal length in video production.

The MK50-135mm supports E-mount cameras with Super 35mm / APS-C sensor. It achieves advanced optical performance despite its compact and lightweight body, weighing just 980g, by incorporating the benefits of short flange focal distance into optical design.

The MK50-135mm has T2.9 speed across the entire zoom range which allows shooting with a shallow depth-of-field and eliminates the need to re-adjust lighting.

The MK50-135mm offers advanced edge-to-edge optical performance and low distortion*6 and is designed to match the color temperature of FUJINON HK Premier, ZK Cabrio and XK Cabrio lenses to simplify color grading*7 when using a combination of lenses.

*6 Distortion refers to a phenomenon in which an image formed through a lens becomes partially contracted or extended at the edges.
*7 Processes of correcting colors during video editing

Resolving issues associated with using interchangeable lenses for still digital cameras in video production

The front focusing group of lens elements and the zooming group of lens elements are driven independently from one another to suppress focus shift while zooming, eliminating the need to re-focus after zooming in or out. The optical and mechanical approach means there is no time lag as seen in an electrical control system.

The use of the front inner-focusing system controls lens breathing (change of angle of view during focusing) to achieve smooth focusing.

By using design and manufacturing technologies developed for FUJINON HK, ZK and XK Cine lenses, optical axis shift is minimized while zooming, eliminating the need to re-compose the shot when the angle of view is changed.

Comfortable operation as expected of a dedicated video lens
The focus ring features a rotation of a full 200 degrees to allow precise focusing even when shooting with a shallow depth-of-field.

The lens features three rings to enable independent adjustment of focus, zoom and iris. The fully manual mechanism of all three rings enable intuitive operation that often cannot be attained with electrical mechanism which typically causes time lag.

All the operation rings have a gear pitch of 0.8M, the same as all other FUJINON cine lenses, which allows the use of any standard third party accessories for video production such as Follow Focus.

The iris operation ring has a click-free seamless adjustment which enables smooth, precise exposure adjustment while also preventing noise and camera shake caused by clicking.

Standardized MK series design

The MK50-135mm shares the same front diameter of 85mm and filter thread of 82mm with the MK18-55mm,allowing users to use the same matte boxes and filters on both lenses.

The two lenses also share the same dimensions and three-ring gear positions, eliminating the need to re-adjust accessory positions when changing between them.

The MK50-135mm offers a macro mechanism with the minimum object distance*8 of 0.85m (wide angle-end), broadening the types of scenes that can be covered with a single lens.

The MK50-135mm features a Flange Focal Distance adjustment function*9 to achieve optimum camera and lens matching, bringing out the full optical performance of the lens.

*8 Distance from the image-forming plane to a subject
*9 The position of lens’s image-forming plane can be adjusted according to each camera’s flange focal distance (distance from lens mounting reference plane to sensor).

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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SLR Magic introduces E-mount Cine 25mm F1.4

25 Apr

SLR Magic will be showing off a new prime for videographers at NAB: the Cine 25mm F1.4. Costing $ 400 and available at the end of May, the 25mm F1.4 will be available in E-mount and will be compatible with both APS-C and full-frame Sony cameras. The lens is a quite compact 78.4mm / 3.05in and weighs 520g / 18.34oz. A manually controlled aperture uses 13 blades. NAB attendees can take a look at the lens in person at SLR Magic’s booth.

Press Release:

Hong Kong, China (April 24, 2017) – SLR Magic extends it’s full frame lens lineup with the SLR Magic CINE 25mm F1.4 wide angle lens. This product will be officially introduced during the upcoming 2017 NAB Show in the Las Vegas Convention Center. There will be a demo at the SLR Magic booth (Central Hall, C2663) during the NAB Show from 24 – 27th April 2017.

The field of view of the SLR Magic CINE 25mm F1.4 opens up many new creative composition opportunities, particularly in the fields of interior, architectural and landscape cinematography and photography. The compact size of the SLR Magic CINE 25mm F1.4 wide angle lens also makes it a good choice of lens to be used with gimbals.

We place our highest priority in the development on our lenses to fulfill the demands of professional cinematographers and photographers. The design and build of the SLR Magic CINE 25mm F1.4 is solid and reliable.

SLR Magic is currently looking for volunteers to test the SLR MAGIC CINE 25mm F1.4 E mount lens at a special price. If interested:

1 ) Send an email to support@slrmagic.com with the subject ” SLR MAGIC CINE 25mm F1.4 lens volunteer + (your name)”.

2 ) Include sample videos/photos or link to photo/video reviews you have done in the past.

THE SLR Magic CINE 25mm F1.4 (MSRP: $ 399 US) will be available from authorized SLR Magic dealers by the end of May, 2017.

Technical Data

SLR Magic CINE 25mm F1.4

Lens Type: Fast standard lens

Compatible Cameras: FE-mount and E-mount cameras

Optical Design: 11 elements in 9 groups

Distance Settings:

Distance range: 0.25m to ?, combined scale meter/feet

Aperture: Manually controlled diaphragm, 13 aperture blades, Lowest value 16.

Filter Mount: Internal thread for 52mm filter; filter mount does not rotate.

Surface Finish: Black anodised

Dimensions:

Length to bayonet mount: approx. 78.40mm (approx. 3.05in)

Largest diameter: approx. 64.64mm (approx. 2.54in)

Weight: approx. 520g (approx. 18.34oz)

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Samyang announces VDSLR 16MM T2.6 cine lens

21 Apr

Lens maker Samyang has launched the new VDSLR 16mm T2.6 cine lens, which is designed for video shooting with uncoupled gear rings with T numbers. This latest launch takes the South Korean manufacturer’s  number of cine lenses up to 19. 13 of those are designed for use with DSLRs, varying from an 8mm fisheye up to a 135mm telephoto, and six for mirrorless system cameras, ranging from 8 to 50mm in focal length.

The new 16mm T2.6 will be available globally from June at a price of 599 Euros in Europe (USD 640). No information on US pricing has been released yet. 

Press Release:

Samyang Introduces VDSLR 16mm T2.6

April 21st, 2017, Seoul, South Korea – Global optics brand, Samyang Optics (http://www.samyanglensglobal.com) announce a new 16mm T2.6 cine lens, designed specifically for video shooting with uncoupled gear rings with T numbers. This launch adds one more lens to the existing 18 cine lenses for DSLR and mirrorless cameras. 

Since 2012, Samyang Optics has released its cine lenses based on the needs of professional videographers. Satisfied with the image quality of Samyang lenses, videographers continuously requested for cine lenses and as an answer, Samyang launched cine lens line up. 

This new launch expands the cine lens line up to a total of 19 lenses: 13 for DSLR cameras varying from 8mm fisheye to 135mm telephoto and 6 for mirrorless cameras varying from 8mm to 50mm. 

Inheriting the renowned image quality of Samyang’s wide-angle lenses, the 16mm angle of view is commonly used by directors of photography around the globe for its versatile usage for wide-angled emotional scenes in film and videos. Along with the existing 14mm, 20mm and 24mm, this new lens will realise the delicate changes in the scenes. 

As a ‘Total Imaging Solution’ optics brand, Samyang Optics now offers 51 lenses: 2 premium XP photo lenses, 2 autofocus lenses, 19 manual focus photo lenses, 19 cine lenses and 9 professional cinema lenses specifically under XEEN brand. 

Launched to complete the Samyang cine lens line up, this new 16mm T2.6 will be available globally from June and will carry a suggested retail price of EUR 599. For more information, visit the Samyang social media channels.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Sigma announces 14mm T2 and 135mm T2 Cine Prime lenses

21 Apr
Sigma Cine FF High Speed 14mm T2

Just in time for NAB, Sigma has announced an expansion to its Cine Prime line of lenses, adding the Cine High Speed 14mm T2 and Cine FF High Speed 135mm T2.

The Cine FF High Speed 14mm T2 and Cine FF High Speed 135mm T2 lenses are designed for use with full frame cameras, and join five existing prime lenses in Sigma’s Cine Prime product line. With the addition of these lenses, Sigma now offers cine prime lenses covering a very useful focal length range of 14mm to 135mm.

As with the other lenses in the set, both new lenses are available PL-mount, EF-mount, and E-mount.

Sigma Cine FF High Speed 135mm T2

In addition to the lenses, Sigma is now offering customers the option to order their cine lenses in metric or imperial measurements, as well as standard or full luminous paint markings. Sigma says that existing customers can swap from one measurement system to another for a fee.

Finally, Sigma is now offering its mount conversion services for owners of its cine lenses, allowing users to switch lenses between EF- and E-mounts.

We’re planning to get some hands-on time with these lenses next week at NAB next week and will share our experience with you.

Press release:

NAB 2017: Sigma Unveils Two New Cine Prime Lenses; Adds New Product Options?

Sigma introduces brand new Sigma Cine FF High Speed 14mm T2 and 135mm T2 Prime Lenses

April 20, 2017 – Sigma Corporation of America, a leading DSLR lens, camera, flash and accessory manufacturer, today announced its brand new Cine FF High Speed 14mm T2 and 135mm T2 prime lenses and new Cine Prime and Zoom product options.

Sigma is expanding its Cine Prime line to include two brand new lenses: the Sigma Cine FF High Speed 14mm T2 and the Sigma Cine FF High Speed 135mm T2. The high-performance Sigma Cine Prime product line, which now includes the following focal lengths and apertures – 14mm T2, 20mm T1.5, 24mm T1.5, 35mm T1.5, 50mm T1.5, 85mm T1.5 and 135mm T2 – is compatible with the latest full-frame camera sensor technology. Compact in design, the Cine Prime line offers outstanding optical performance and is ready for higher resolution shooting (up to 6K-8K). Both the 14mm T2 and 135mm T2, along with the previously announced Sigma Cine Prime and Zoom lenses, will be available for test-shooting at the Sigma NAB booth C11525.

In addition to this expansion of its Cine Lens Prime line, Sigma is now offering customers the option to order Cine lenses in metric or imperial measurements as well as standard or full luminous paint on markings. Existing customers who wish to swap from one measurement system to the other can do so for a paid fee.

Also, Sigma is now offering its sought-after Mount Conversion Services for the Cine lens customers. The highly successful program ensures continued return on investment for customers, allowing them to convert their lenses to and from EF and E mounts.

You can read the full Sigma announcement including tech specs here as well as download the new Sigma Cine 14mm T2 and 135mm T2 product images here.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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First Look: Fujinon MK18-55mm T2.9 cine lens

23 Feb

First look: Fujinon MK18-55mm T2.9 cine lens

The new Fujinon MK18-55mm T2.9 cine lens is the first of the company’s new line of ‘MK’ series Fujinon lenses aimed at the ’emerging production’ market. These lenses are designed to meet the needs of cinematographers who require features generally found on cinema lenses, who often work in the Super 35 format, and can’t justify the cost of lenses costing tens of thousands of dollars more than their cameras.

According to Fujifilm, the MK lenses are basically a smaller version of its Cabrio series of cinema lenses, which typically cost $ 20,000 or more. The two lens lines share the same coatings and general mechanical design for moving lenses and groups. Between the 18-55mm and the already-announced MK50-135mm lens, the MK line covers the very useful 18-135mm range for Super 35 shooters.

Perhaps the most interesting feature, however, is Fujifilm’s use of Sony’s E-mount standard, which we’ll look at next.

First look: Fujinon MK18-55mm T2.9 cine lens

So why Sony E-mount? Fujifilm already builds high-end lenses for the PL mount favored by film and broadcast studios. But the company wants to address the burgeoning market of independent filmmakers, small production houses, and other professionals using the Super 35 and APS-C formats. Sony has a huge presence in this market, with many professionals using the Sony FS7, FS5, and even a-series cameras. However, there are few dedicated cinema lenses for E-mount, with many shooters using EF-mount lenses via adapters.

This means there’s a huge potential market of professional videographers who can be targeted. Also, since these lenses are built to mount so close to the sensor, they can’t be adapted to mount on PL mount cameras, meaning that Fujifilm doesn’t risk cannibalizing sales of their HK, ZK, and XK range of cine lenses.

First look: Fujinon MK18-55mm T2.9 cine lens

One difference between cinema lenses and most modern photography lenses is that cinema lenses use an all mechanical design. There’s no ambiguity of movement, such as focus mechanisms that keep turning when they reach the end of their range.

Additionally, gearing on lens elements allows the use of accessories such as a follow focus (a geared control that allows fine-grained, smooth control over focus, often relocated to a more convenient position). The gearing also allows motorized control of any of theses rings, if the lens itself is buried too deeply in a rig or placed on a shoulder mount or Steadicam, where direct access is not practical.

The Fujinons both use the industry-standard 0.8 gear pitch, which allows them to be used with the broadest range of existing accessories.

First look: Fujinon MK18-55mm T2.9 cine lens

An important aspect of cinema lenses is that lens sets are often matched so that lenses are the same (or very similar) size and weight, which facilitates easy switching and doesn’t require the entire camera rig to be modified or rebalanced when a lens change occurs. This way, it’s easy to switch lenses while keeping things such as matte boxes, follow focus, or stabilization systems in place. 

Lenses in a set typically have the same T-stop to insure perfectly consistent exposure when switching lenses, as well as producing the same color and contrast.

The MK lenses appear to achieve this. The MK18-55mm and MK 50-135mm lenses have the exact same weight, dimensions, front diameter, and filter size, which should make it easy to switch between them without issue.

First look: Fujinon MK18-55mm T2.9 cine lens

The MK18-55mm lens, as well as the upcoming MK50-135mm version, are both T2.9 lenses. Unlike F-stops, which are based on the physical aperture size of a lens, T-stops indicate the actual amount of light transmission for the lens. This makes it possible to switch lenses with the confidence that all lighting and exposure settings will be consistent when a lens change occurs, and that all footage can be matched very closely.

First look: Fujinon MK18-55mm T2.9 cine lens

The focus system of this lens is designed to meet the needs of cinematographers. It has 200 degrees of focus rotation, allowing for very precise focus adjustments using a follow focus system. Additionally, the focus mechanism has hard stops at the end of its range, making it possible to do things like mark positions for a focus pull with no ambiguity about where focus will occur. In contrast, most DSLR or mirrorless lenses continue rotating even after reaching the end of their focus range, making this extremely difficult.

The lens also includes precise distance marks. This may not be a big deal to still photographers, who typically focus through the lens or on an LCD screen, but it’s important if you have a separate focus puller who’s trying to follow the action in a ‘blocked’ scene, where all the action takes place at prearranged distances.

First look: Fujinon MK18-55mm T2.9 cine lens

Another feature that is hugely valuable for video work, yet not generally important for stills, is a parfocal design.

Parfocal zooms maintain focus at the same distance, even when you change the focal length. This is of little value in the autofocus world of stills shooting: it’s trivial to get the lens to refocus after a zoom and before you fire the shutter. But in the realm of video shooting, where the process of zooming the lens may be part of the final product, you can’t afford for the footage to drop out of focus, mid shot.

The parfocal design means, for instance, you can frame a wide-shot of a two-person interview and then zoom-in on one of the subjects, without them dropping out of focus. Both of the Fujinon lenses exhibit parfocal behavior. Zoom can be adjusted using the included lever or via the lens gearing.

First look: Fujinon MK18-55mm T2.9 cine lens

In addition to parfocal design, another desirable property of cinema lenses is that they don’t exhibit lens breathing, a phenomena in which adjusting the focus of a lens slightly changes the field of view at the same time.

As with parfocal design, this isn’t a big issue for most still photographers as only the ‘decisive moment’ is being captured. For cinematographers, however, adjusting focus during a shot is very common (racking between two subjects, for example), and it’s distracting to the audience when this also causes the field of view to shift. As such, the MK18-55mm is designed to suppress lens breathing during focus operations.

First look: Fujinon MK18-55mm T2.9 cine lens

In addition to regular shooting, the MK18-55mm also includes a macro function that makes it possible to focus within a few inches of the front lens element. It’s probably not something most people will use all the time, but if you need a macro shot in your production it allows you to capture the footage without bringing in a non-standard lens.

Additionally, and consistent with being developed alongside studio-quality lenses, the MK lenses feature an adjustment flange to correct back focus. In video circles, ‘back focus’ refers to the distance at which the lens is attempting to focus its image: and perfect performance can require very slight adjustment to correct for any manufacturing tolerances. Studio cameras often allow tiny movements of their mount to ensure the correct lens to sensor distance. Since the MK lenses are likely to be used on cameras without this correction, it’s included in the lens, instead.

First look: Fujinon MK18-55mm T2.9 cine lens

One of the most exciting aspects about the Fujinon MK lenses requires taking another look at why these are going to be E-mount lenses.

In addition to a potential market of E-mount videographers, and Sony’s willingness to share its E-mount specification, there’s another reason we suspect Fujifilm has gone with E rather than EF or PL: the similarity to its own X mount. While the details differ, the flange-back distances of the two mounts vary by only 0.3mm, meaning that any optical design that works for the E-mount should work similarly well for Fujifilm’s X-mount.

In fact, Fujifilm has already announced that X-mount versions of these lenses are being developed for launch later this year, which raises the question: is Fujifilm really expecting owners of current X-mount cameras to spend $ 4000 on video-specific lenses? Or does this lens, and all the work done on developing the X-T2’s 4K capabilities, herald a more substantial entry for Fujifilm into the semi-pro video space?

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Fujinon MK18-55 T2.9 cine lens: First impressions and shooting experience

22 Feb
Setting up the Fujinon MK18-55mm T2.9 cine lens with the Sony FS7 and Zacuto rig. (I accidentally left the matte box back at the office. Shh… don’t tell anyone.)

Fujifilm is a respected name in the photography world thanks in part to its highly regarded X-series cameras and lenses. However, Fujifilm is also a major player in the professional cinema market, producing cinema lenses with prices that reach upward of $ 90,000. The company is now extending its cinema expertise into what it calls the ‘emerging production’ market: users who need capabilities and features beyond what’s available in standard DSLR or mirrorless lenses, but who don’t have a budget to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a single lens.

The Fujinon MK18-55mm T2.9 cinema lens is the first in Fujifilm’s new MK line of Super 35 lenses designed specifically for this market. It will be joined later in the year by the matching MK50-135mm T2.9 lens, giving users complete coverage of the very useful 18-135mm range of focal lengths. The MK line is based on the company’s Cabrio line of cinema lenses, which have prices starting around $ 15,000, and both lens lines share the same coatings and basic mechanical build. At $ 3,799, the MK18-55 is still a bit pricey by photography standards, but a relative bargain for a high quality cinema lens.

Sony E-mount on a Fujinon lens? Read our First Look slide show to learn why.

Despite being a Fujifilm product, this lens uses Sony E-mount. (We discuss Fujifilm’s reasons for choosing E-mount in our First Look slide show.) As a result, I tested the lens attached to a Sony FS7, a Super 35 camera that’s very popular among this segment of users.

Shooting with the MK18-55mm T2.9

We only had a couple days to do our testing, so I threw together a quick shoot highlighting one of the Pacific Northwest’s favorite sports – climbing – and met up with local climber Jay Griffin at The Mountaineers climbing wall in Seattle. This scenario was perfect for shooting with focal lengths across the range of the lens, as well as for some good follow focus opportunities.

TL;DR – I really like this lens. In fact, I won’t even make you wait to get to the video, so here it is:

Video shot using the Fujinon MK18-55mm T2.9 cine lens and Sony FS7 camera. All footage was captured in DCI 4K/24p using Sony SLog3, edited in Final Cut Pro X, and graded using LUTs from Color Grading Central.

I chose to shoot the entire video shoulder-mounted, so I set up the FS7 on a Zacuto Recoil rig with rails, a Z-Drive follow focus, and a Gratical Eye viewfinder, along with the FS7’s remote grip. This is a fairly straightforward setup, but it takes a few minutes to arrange all the pieces so that everything works correctly and is ergonomically arranged for the camera operator

Setting up the rig highlighted one of the important features of the MK lenses: they’re matched. For this shoot I only had the MK18-55mm available, but later in the year Fujifilm will be adding the MK 50-135mm to the line as well; both lenses share the same weight and dimensions. In a two-lens shoot, it would be incredibly easy to switch between the two while leaving things like matte boxes and follow focus in place. Also, since both lenses have identical T-stops it would be easy to match exposure as well.

Using the lens was a joy. As with most cinema lenses, it’s completely mechanical, and build quality is outstanding. Every movement feels well damped, and one gets the immediate sense that it’s a high quality piece of precision equipment.

One place where this mechanical build is immediately noticeable is the focus ring. Unlike most modern DSLR or mirrorless lenses, which continue to spin after reaching the end of their focus range, the MK18-55mm has hard stops.

Working with a follow focus is a breeze thanks to the mechanical lens design and geared focus ring.

It was simple to set up the Z-Drive follow focus with the standard pitch gearing on the focus ring, and thanks to the 200 degree focus rotation angle it was easy to make precise focus adjustments, using peaking in the viewfinder as a guide. The large rotation angle made it easy to adjust for small movements or to follow Jay when he moved slowly. You don’t get this level of precision with the shorter focus throw of most DSLR lenses, and you certainly don’t get it with focus-by-wire!

I didn’t notice any obvious signs of lens breathing, a phenomena that causes a lens’s field of view to change slightly as a lens is focused. Breathing is fairly common on stills camera lenses, and it rears its ugly head when you’re trying to do something like rack focus between two subjects. Cine lenses are designed to suppress lens breathing, and as far as I could tell the MK18-55 did so extremely well.

Like other cine lenses, the MK18-55mm has a parfocal design, meaning it should maintain precise focus during zooming. Still photographers often don’t care much about this since it’s simple to zoom and then refocus before taking a shot. For video work, however, you sometimes want the zoom to be part of the shot. Loosing focus mid-zoom is a big deal.

Since I was using a shoulder mount rig without an assistant, it wasn’t very practical to test the parfocal performance of the lens with Jay. However, back in the studio I lined up the lens with our studio scene and confirmed that its performance is excellent in this regard; once focused, the subject remains in focus throughout the zoom range.

 Shooting with the Fujinon MK18-55mm T2.9 lens and Sony FS7.

It should be pretty obvious by now that I really enjoyed using the MK18-55mm. In addition to finding it well designed and delightful to work with, I was very pleased with the footage I captured. Optical performance appears to be outstanding. Based on my brief experience I would have no qualms about shooting a full project with this lens. It’s exciting to see Fujifilm entering this market, and I’m really looking forward to future lenses in the MK line.

Now, bring on the MK50-135mm so I can use the set!

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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