Friday, January 28, 2011

Zeiss Lens @ Rule Boston Camera

Rule Boston Camera continues to post video's from their LearningLab Series, and the latest features Richard Schleuning, National Sales Manager for the America's for Zeiss. He talks about the history of the company, their ZF SLR lenses, and their Compact Prime Cine CP.2 lenses.

The CP.2 lenses are expensive, but offer some notable improvements over the standard Zeiss SLR lenses:
  • 14-blade diaphragm (vs 9)
  • 300 degree plus focus rotation
  • Common outer dimensions (for the majority of the lenses) makes it quick and easy to interchange a lense during shooting
  • T-stops
  • Calibrated Lens Scales
  • Lightweight
  • Interchangeable mounts
There is no electronic communication between the lens and the body; this was done because they wanted to make the mounts interchangeable.

Switching mounts requires a torque wrench and a test chart or calibration device to set the back-focus for the lens correctly. The first time a new mount is put on a lens, it needs to be adjusted using shims (provided.) As long as you mark the shims and keep them with the mount, the swap after that is just a mechanical change; you don't need to recalibrate each time you switch mounts.

Currently they offer PL, Canon EF, Nikon F and Micro 4/3rds mounts. They had intended to offer Sony A mount (Alpha) but he said that they just don't see that as being a factor for video applications. He did say though, that they will "possibly" offer some more mounts later in 2011.

[Wild Speculation: with Sony's NEX-VG10, and the upcoming NXCAM 35mm camera sharing the Sony E-mount, perhaps Zeiss might be considering supporting that mount in place of the A mount?]

Vimeo: Learning Lab: Zeiss Quality Lenses on 1.26.11
Note: Jump to 47:15 for the segment on the CP.2 lenses.

Rule Boston Camera
Zeiss: Compact Prime CP.2
B & H: Compact Prime CP.2 25mm/T2.9 Cine Lens (EF Mount) [$3,900]
B & H: Compact Prime CP.2 85mm/T2.1 Cine Lens (PL Mount) [$3,900]
B & H: Compact Prime CP.2 18mm/T3.6 Cine Lens (F Mount) [$3,900]


FocusPulling (.com) said...

The lack of image stabilization and auto-focus/auto-aperture caused by failing to make any E-mount lens communicate with the body practically moots the value for most video shooting.

Michael Murie said...

It really depends on what you're doing. For run and gun, handheld, news, and documentary I wouldn't go near a lens like this.

For those doing dramatic/narrative shooting, that's a different story.