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Fuji Delivers for ENG Users: a PL Zoom Lens for Large Sensor Cameras - but There's a Catch

04.10.12 @ 3:45PM Tags : , ,

It’s about time a great PL zoom has been announced from a company that is more or less the standard in ENG lenses. You can’t walk 10 feet into a TV station or broadcast studio and not see a camera with a Fujinon lens attached. From Fuji’s optical division comes this fantastic 19-90mm T2.9 zoom lens, which can be used easily with a standard follow focus by pulling off the zoom rocker. There is one pretty big catch for all you FS100 owners or other PL users.

Here’s a quote from AbelCine, who will be showing off this lens, the Fujinon Cabrio 19-90mm T2.9, at NAB:


The 19-90 Cabrio projects a 31.5mm image circle to cover all Super-35 type sensors, including the RED EPIC in 5K full frame, the ALEXA Studio in 4:3 mode and the Phantom Flex in 2560p. The servo can be powered via an external cable or via a “Hot Shoe” connection in the lens mount, which will also transfer appropriate data to enabled cameras, such as the Sony PMW-F3.

That this lens will cover basically everything under full frame 35mm is great news. But I think you can already see based on those cameras where this is going to be priced. This lens is not going to be cheap. It’s not even going to be affordable – this is Angenieux Zoom territory that Fujinon is getting into. Estimated price at the moment is $38,000. That’s quite a few pennies – but it’s about as much as a lens like this should cost, considering it’s a T-stop lens and it covers the entire wide to telephoto range of Super 35mm.

So the price is going to make this a rental only for most people, but on the bright side, we should start seeing more zoom lens options for DSLRs and similar cameras at affordable prices. When I’m doing live shooting, I like having a steady zoom lens – so it will be great when we can starting having them on DSLRs or cheaper large sensor cameras at an affordable price. We could even see some new affordable zooms being announced at NAB. Only time will tell.

[via AbelCine & DSLR News Shooter]

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  • I hope the Chinese have a crack at making affordable ones for DSLRs. They’d sell big time if they could get the price right

  • I’m very interested in this lens as a rental. As much as I love the Angenieux Optimo and Cooke zooms, this certainly looks like a lighter and smaller lens in comparison to it’s big brothers, and a more useful zoom range than Red’s 18-50.

  • John Jeffreys on 04.10.12 @ 7:46PM

    lol zoom rockers are so 90′s, reminds me of cheesy corporate videos

    • I agree with you there… I can’t see this being at all worth it unless you wanted to control the zoom from a crane or something else where the camera would be out of reach?

    • For a documentary shooting style a zoom rocker is a godsend. I had to run and gun shoot up a mountain last year and in situations like that with little time to pick your framing, it’s exactly what you want. Horses for courses. Can’t see this being much good on a DSLR, but certainly gives an interesting aspect to the FS100/F3 et al.

      • john jeffreys on 04.12.12 @ 3:13AM

        its too slow! i can zoom in/out almost instantaneously by flicking the ring with one of my fingers, even faster if i had a follow focus on it. and rockers make that noise **bbbbrrrrzzz** while it slowly crawls to its focal length

        • A good ENG lens is not slow at all! A modern 2/3″ 20x zoom lens will go from wide to telephoto in like half a second, and when it’ssupposed to be good quality it better make no sound.
          With a high quality zoom rocker nowadays you can zoom in and out really smoothly from very slow to super fast.
          Don’t think small handheld camera zoom rockers. These are all shit. Try a good broadcast 2/3″ lens, and you’ll never want to zoom manually again!

    • What planet are you living on? Every high-end broadcast camera has a superzoom lens with a motorized zoom rocker for a reason! You can’t shoot most tv or documentary stuff without it. I shoot a lot of documentary-style tv stuff, and I need to shoot in a way that enables me to let shots run unedited for a while, or edit in and out of shots in every possible manner.
      To achieve this kind of footage, you shoot something like this: Wide shot showing two guys talking to each other, zoom in on one guy, pan to the other guy, zoom out to half-wide, walk left to over-shoulder, zoom in on face again… and all that needs to be one perfect shot, so the editor can use it as a whole, or in parts.

      When the action is real-time, you need to get your shots in real-time. And without a good zoom rocker, you’re pretty lost on these kind of shoots.

    • or every major live broadcast today.

  • this site doesn’t have a home button? after i visit a blog post when i want to be back to the home page, specially when i navigate here from facebook link, i can’t use the browsers back button , the only way to go to the home page is to write the whole URL again, this is a little bit irritating . am i missing something,. or am i being lazy ;-)

  • Russell Steen on 04.20.12 @ 12:53PM

    This lens has zoom, Iris and focus motors that can be accessed by 3rd party controllers. I’ll let those of you who are rigging three motors up to your zoom lenses contemplate this. You can wish for a cheap 35mm zoom lens all you want, but the physics of light are the same in China and Korea as the rest of the planet. It isn’t like you can just use more cheap laborers to make lenses. The raw materials are not a factor in the cost at all. We are already at the point where the lenses are the going to make more difference in the quality of the image than the cameras.

  • The Cabrio is a revolution. Do you fully comprehend the engineering marvel of this lens? It is a watermark in lens technology and in video production itself. NO lens can do what this lens can do in such a relatively light weight and size.

    For the skeptics above, this lens has quickly become a phenomena in high-end video production. Nearly ALL of my clients request the Cabrio. That’s how quickly clients have realized the marvel of this glass. There are clients now who will not hire you if your camera package does not include a Cabrio. The reality-tv shows are rapidly going Cabrio. Corporate clients are demanding it as well. “Still photo” glass is rapidly becoming unacceptable ( and it was always highly problematic from the start what with all it’s handicaps and shortcomings for professional video).

    You would be hard pressed to find a Lighting Cameraman / tv shooter who does not desire a Cabrio more than any other lens in existence, $100k cinema zooms included.

    The Cabrio has excellent sharpness, a lovely bokeh, and both the focus / iris are silky smooth. The zoom is silent and infinitely variable allowing for everything from creeping zooms so slow they are barely perceptible to lighting fast slams that look like manual zooms.

    The Cabrio is a video shooter’s wet dream. Unfortunately, the price is still out of range for most owner / operators. If the Cabrio was more in the $25k range it would be the perfect lens for the industry. But as someone noted, a lens of this technological marvel just can’t be produced and sold for that price…yet.

    Note: I do not work for Fujinon or for a Cabrio delear. I am a DP / owner-operator who has experienced the joys of the Cabrio first hand after having suffered through using Canon EF zooms, Nikon zooms, Zeiss ZF zooms, and massive cine zooms such as Optimos and Hawks.

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