Cine Lenses

The following are cine lenses that I have begun to use since I started filmmaking.  You should note that all of the lenses below are available in both PL mount and EF mount as many people have started using cine lenses on their DSLR’s, and many digital cinema cameras have begun to come stocked with EF mounts (such as the EPIC, Scarlet, and C300) due to the popularity over the quality and price point of EF glass.  However, cine style lenses, regardless of type of mount, remain a class of their own due to the way they are machined – with filmmaking in mind.

  

CP.2 Distagon 18mm T/3.6 B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: The CP.2 lenses give you all of the advantages of cinema glass (T stops measurements, a geared focus ring with hard stops, and sharp optics) for a fraction of the price.  Were I forced to start off with a set of only four of these – this would be one of the 4 that I would choose.  The 18mm is one of the sharpest wide angle lenses you’ll find anywhere – keep in mind that it does not cover a full frame sensor though but will cover the C300 and 7D series sensors.

Description (from Zeiss): The Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2 18mm/T3.6 Cine Lens (EF Mount) is part of the second generation of CP cinema lenses that were the first to offer full-frame 35mm coverage of large sensor DSLRs (such as the Canon 5D Mark II).  

CP.2 Distagon 21mm T/2.9 B&H Mfr. Site
Description (from Zeiss): The Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2 21mm/T2.9 Cine Lens (EF Mount) is part of the second generation of CP cinema lenses that were the first to offer full-frame 35mm coverage of large sensor DSLRs (such as the Canon 5D Mark II).   
CP.2 Distagon 25mm T/2.9 B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: This is the wideangle lens I use the most by far.  It’s excellent for medium wide shots and absolutely sings when it comes to doing tight portraits.

Description (from Zeiss): The Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2 25mm/T2.9 Cine Lens (EF Mount) is part of the second generation of CP cinema lenses that were the first to offer full-frame 35mm coverage of large sensor DSLRs (such as the Canon 5D Mark II).  

CP.2 Distagon 28mm T/2.1 B&H Mfr. Site
Description: The Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2 28mm/T2.1 Cine Lens (EF Mount) is part of the second generation of CP cinema lenses that were the first to offer full-frame 35mm coverage of large sensor DSLRs (such as the Canon 5D Mark II).
CP.2 Distagon 35mm T/2.1 B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: Were I forced to start with a set of four CP.2 lenses – this would be one of the 4 that I would choose.   Still photographers should think of this as their 50mm lens (on a full frame camera) and it’s one of the single most popular focal lengths for all of the medium shots in cinema.

Description: The Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2 35mm/T2.1 Cine Lens (EF Mount) is part of the second generation of CP cinema lenses that were the first to offer full-frame 35mm coverage of large sensor DSLRs (such as the Canon 5D Mark II).

CP.2 Distagon 50mm T/2.1 B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: Were I forced to start with a set of four CP.2 lenses – this would be one of the 4 that I would choose.    This is a fantastic lens for MCU (Medium closeup) and CU  (Closeup) shots.

Description (from Zeiss): The Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2 50mm/T2.1 Cine Lens (EF Mount) is part of the second generation of CP cinema lenses that were the first to offer full-frame 35mm coverage of large sensor DSLRs (such as the Canon 5D Mark II).

CP.2 Distagon 85mm T/2.1 B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: Were I forced to start with a set of four CP.2 lenses – this would be one of the 4 that I would choose.  Gorgeous portrait lens for stars.

Description (from Zeiss): The Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2 85mm/T2.1 Cine Lens (EF Mount) is part of the second generation of CP cinema lenses that were the first to offer full-frame 35mm coverage of large sensor DSLRs (such as the Canon 5D Mark II).

CP.2 Distagon 100mm T/2.1 B&H Mfr. Site
Description (from Zeiss): The Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2 100mm/T2.1 Cine Lens (EF Mount) is part of the second generation of CP cinema lenses that were the first to offer full-frame 35mm coverage of large sensor DSLRs (such as the Canon 5D Mark II).   This is a jewel of a lens – a little tight for some for closeups – a dream for others.  I consider this my 135mm (full frame still) equivalent and dream lens to shoot female stars closeup shots.
CP.2 Distagon 50mm Macro Cine Lens T/2.1 B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: This is no small lens but wow – it performs stunningly in the macro range.

Description (from Zeiss): With the CP.2 50mm Makro you can go closer to the object you want to capture while still having a sharp image. The closest distance to the object with a CP.2 50mm Makro is 10" (24cm).

24mm T/1.5 L F B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: This would we one of the most common focal lengths I use for cine and at 1.5 – we’re entering the Arri Master Prime range….  I haven’t had a chance to do head to head vs Zeiss yet but will update once I have done some lens tests.

Description (from Canon):  The EF Cinema prime CN-E24mm T1.5 L F (EF mount) lens offers a compact, consistent lens design and proven Canon lens elements for performance and reliability in professional shooting environments. Intended for the working professional, the EF Cinema prime CN-E24mm T1.5 L F lens has markings on angled surfaces on both sides of the barrel, making it easy to read focus and aperture settings from behind or from either side of the camera. Focus markings can even be switched from standard labeling to metric. The control rings are engineered to maintain the proper amount of resistance with consistent operating torque.

50mm T/1.3 L F B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: I haven’t had a chance to do head to head vs Zeiss yet but will update once I have done some lens tests.

Description (from Canon):  he EF Cinema prime CN-E50mm T1.3 L F (EF mount) lens offers a compact, consistent lens design and proven Canon lens elements for performance and reliability in professional shooting environments. Intended for the working professional, the EF Cinema Prime CN-E50mm T1.3 L F lens has markings on angled surfaces on both sides of the barrel, making it easy to read focus and aperture settings from behind or from either side of the camera. Focus markings can even be switched from standard labeling to metric. The control rings are engineered to maintain the proper amount of resistance with consistent operating torque.

85mm T/1.3 L F B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: I haven’t had a chance to do head to head vs Zeiss yet but will update once I have done some lens tests.

Description (from Canon):  The EF Cinema prime CN-E85mm T1.3 L F (EF mount) lens offers a compact, consistent lens design and proven Canon lens elements for performance and reliability in professional shooting environments. Intended for the working professional, the EF Cinema Prime CN-E85mm T1.3 L F lens has markings on angled surfaces on both sides of the barrel, making it easy to read focus and aperture settings from behind or from either side of the camera. Focus markings can even be switched from standard labeling to metric. The control rings are engineered to maintain the proper amount of resistance with consistent operating torque.

LWZ.2 15.5-45mm T/2.6 B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: While this lens will only work on a Canon 7D (it will vignette on the 1D MKIV and not cover the 5DMKII’s full sensor) I have come to love it for documentary / run and gun shooting where you don’t have the time to change lenses.   I shot an entire television pilot over a 2 week period and never changed this lens a single time off of my 7D – and that says it all.  Unlike a Canon EF Zoom lens – this lens is clearly marked on the focusing ring and accurate.  Make sure to check your flange distance with your camera to make sure the focus stays constant as you zoom in and out. While most won’t be able to afford this lens as part of their standard kit – it’s a wonderful rental item for almost any production.  This is one of the few EF lens mount zooms out there today (08/2010) and the optical quality if of course superb.

Description (from Zeiss): The new Lightweight Zoom LWZ.2 is the first on the market to combine outstanding optical image quality with an interchangeable mount. The LWZ.2 is a cine lens designed for use with HDSLR as well as traditional cine cameras. The interchangeable mount guarantees high flexibility for present and future use in any situation and for a wide range of camera platforms. You can see me talk about the the CP.2 lenses in the video below and specifically about this zoom at the 4:12 mark:   

 

14.5 – 60mm T/2.6 L S Zoom Lens B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: This is a fantastic all around focal length for drama and incredibly sharp and versatile – I would put this lens up against any other cine zoom lens out there.

Description (from Canon):  The EF Cinema Zoom lens CN-E14.5-60mm T2.6 L S (EF mount) provides industry-leading wide angle coverage in a 4.1x zoom lens for the Super 35mm format, and is engineered to offer unrivaled optical performance for demanding high-end productions, meeting and exceeding industry standards.

30 – 300mm T/2.95-3.7 L S Zoom Lens B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: This is my dream zoom lens – you could literally travel the world with this one lens and 2-3 primes and be set to cover just about anything:  drama, nature, sports – you name it.   It’s also significantly lighter and smaller than its main competition:  The Angenieux 24~290 Optimo and I’d love to do a side by side test of the two.

Description (from Canon):  Cinema Zoom Lens CN-E30-300mm T2.95-3.7 L S (EF mount) rivals best-in-class zoom magnification and telephoto focal length for the Super 35mm format, and is engineered to offer unrivaled optical performance for demanding high-end productions, meeting and exceeding industry standards.You can see the 30-300mm attached to the C300 throughout the video below.