April 7, 2012

Zeiss Rounds Out the CP.2 Primes and Adds a 15mm T/2.9 and 135mm T/2.1

Zeiss has officially updated it's CP.2 line of lenses, adding a cinema version of it's newly announced 15mm ZF and ZE still primes, as well as a very fast 135mm telephoto lens. Both lenses are incredible pieces of craftsmanship for the amount of money you're paying, and as always with the CP.2 lenses, they have interchangeable mounts which include PL, EF, F, MFT and E. Speaking of Swiss Army Knife lenses, if you can afford it, these are really the most compatible lenses out there, and the custom back mounts will do a much better job giving a solid hold than an adapter.

Here's the video partially introducing them for NAB 2012:

A little tidbit from their press release:

The Compact Prime CP.2 15/T2.9 incorporates two aspheric lenses and special types of glass material with abnormal partial dispersion to provide an extraordinary correction of chromatic aberration. Even on cameras with full-frame sensors, the image remains razor sharp out to the edges and details are recorded in the highest resolution. On cameras with smaller sensors the new Compact Prime CP.2 15/T2.9 lens also provides a super wide angle of view. The Compact Prime CP.2 15/T2.9 weighs only 900 grams (1.98lbs).

It's actually impressive how long their press release is for the introduction of these two lenses - and they have some amazingly high-quality photos for both of these lenses there (that figures since they are a lens company, right?). Compared to a full frame camera like the 5D Mark III, the 15mm will look like a 22.5mm lens on a camera like the Sony FS100 (1.5x Crop at 1080p) and 24mm on a camera like the RED Scarlet (1.6x Crop at 4K). It's hard to find many lenses out there with this build quality, this focal length, and this speed - and the same goes for the 135mm. The 135mm lens at T/2.1 and with a 14 blade iris should provide for some beautiful bokeh.

Both lenses are coming in at $5700, which is a hefty price tag, but if you've already bought into the CP.2s, these should be color matched with the others. It's also always a great rental option if money allows, as this is one of the cheaper complete PL prime sets out there, from 15mm all the way to 135mm.

Link: Carl Zeiss Press Release: CP.2 15/T2.9 and 135/T2.1

[via AbelCine and Stefan Gier]

Your Comment

22 Comments

That video was terrible.
Didn't give much information and had some really ugly soft focus shots, which were too short too so we didn't even get a good look at the lenses.
They sound awesome though, can't wait to see footage from them.

April 7, 2012

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I'd personally trade some of the border-line overkill build quality for an f2.0 across the range. I like these lenses the little bit I've used them, but they're also enormous and heavy. I wonder if finding a used set of Zeiss Std (or even Super) Speeds would be a better option.

April 7, 2012

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agent55

I've been eyeing the 50mm or 50mm Makro that's been out for a while. I like the idea of an iris as opposed to aperture clicks. Of course the alternative is to mod a Nikon or Canon prime. These compact primes are designed for a matte box. Is it possible to not use a matte box? To shoot it as is on a DSLR? Are there screw-on filters in that size?

April 7, 2012

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animal264

I believe all the CP.2's are standardized for 95mm screw in filters... not a common size for still photography, but it is for cinema. You can use them without a mattebox, but I would suggest at least using a french flag to reduce flare.

April 7, 2012

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Angelo

You don't need a matte box. Its a wanky add-on that at the most is only needed to show clients that your camera now is better than theirs. For video there will be ZERO difference than a DLSR lens. Remember DSLR lenses are designed for greater than 5K photos. My D800 takes 7.4K stills so 2K or 4K video it doesn't matter what lens you use but I do believe the quality will be better from a DSLR lens.

May 2, 2012

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That's a slightly absurd statement, there are many legitimate uses for matte boxes - especially when it gets to that filter size. It's much easier with cine-style lenses to have a matte box and use large 4x4 or larger ND filters rather than having to screw them on - and it's especially helpful to use more than one. Ever heard of a grad filter? They are quite a bit harder to find - in fact I'm not sure if they exist as screw-on filters, but in a matte box - you can use a grad filter when you need the sky to be exposed much lower in a shot but the rest of the scene needs to stay the same.

As for what you're saying about DSLR lenses, yes, pretty much all of the pro lenses and newer designs should do 4K and above, but only the most expensive lenses stopped down a bit can really do 7K resolution justice. Either way, it can be hit-or-miss with DSLR lenses in terms of actual resolved resolution, as they tend to be much worse as you get away from the center of the lens, and usually need to be stopped down a bit to get full resolution. That is the difference between DSLR and real cine lenses - like the Ultra Primes and Master Primes. Masters or Ultras are in a whole other league compared to DSLR lenses, granted they are more expensive, but they deliver more resolution than DSLRs, across the ENTIRE frame, not just in the center. The new Super Speeds will definitely do 4K - not as well wide open, but stopped down once they should definitely be giving you that kind of resolution, if not more.

Resolved resolution of lenses is a very complicated subject, and I would suggest that you learn how to read MTF charts and go seek out these numbers for yourself, as the situation becomes very clear when you start looking at the numbers for DSLRs vs. Cinema lenses. DxO Mark does MTF for many still lenses out there. Let's also not forget that breathing is a big deal in motion, and cine lens do NOT breathe compared to DSLR lenses.

May 2, 2012

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avatar
Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

CP.2’s are great lenses. They are the least expensive cinema lens you can buy but the quality and build are really nice. One big plus is they are light for a cine lens. I don’t need to use lens support for the AF-100. Looking forward to the rumored 70-200 next.

April 8, 2012

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Do these Cine lenses exhibit focus breathing, and if so, how much? What Cine lenses do and don't if you happen to know?

The elimination of focus breathing (a mild zooming effect when focusing which is somewhat nausea-inducing) is a good part of justifying the price hike over standard photography lenses, which these may be a repackaging of. Eliminating it requires the remaking of a prime into a zoom I understand. And buying big follow focus rings for all your lenses to enable quick swapping, plus peaking monitors for your focus puller, may be considerably less expensive than the price difference for these. Even throw in declicking manual aperture controls if you like that.

It's important we insist on value for money to keep manufacturers honest. Gear-competitive egomaniacs are counter-productive...even for their own advancement.

April 8, 2012

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Peter Jensen

I have yet to see a lens without any focus breathing. Do they exist at all? Isn't it a natural phenomenon that when you pull focus, glass shifts back-n-forth inside the barrel?

April 8, 2012

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And even if you have slight breathing, I guess you could counter this in post easily... It'll only change the FoV slightly, so a digital zoom could counter it.

April 8, 2012

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The canon 50mm 1.8 II (yes, I understand it is foolish to be mentioning a 100 dollar plastic bodied still lens in a Zeiss thread) breathes pretty heavily

April 8, 2012

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John Jeffreys

the breathing of the cp.2s are much less than the ze or zf glass, yes it is the same lens elements but the free room for elements to move while focusing is much less.

April 8, 2012

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Ryan

Peter I have rented other Zeiss CP lenses (the 50mm macro and 100mm) and I noticed very little breathing. If you really want to eliminate it, Cooke and Schneider (PL mount) lenses have none that I could notice - I loved the skin tones of the Cooke but the bokeh and lack of breathing on the Schneiders was awesome. Schneiders are very under-rated imo.

Both Lensrentals and borrowlenses have plenty of options at great prices.

Take care.

April 8, 2012

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Jordan Carr

Hey guys,

I was hoping to get your opinion on a discussion I had with a colleague about lenses. Anybody who knows me is aware that I use my Nikon AI lenses for EVERYTHING, and I had mentioned that I'd like to try them on the Scarlet (via nikon to eos adapter). He said these lenses wouldn't be able to resolve 4k levels of detail.

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but 35mm still film, which these lenses were designed for, is pretty detailed. I've heard negative film has anywhere from 6 to 14 megapixels equivalent resolution. HD is only 2 megapixels so I imagine that my nikons would resolve it just fine.

Am I crazy? I know the Red One could have a Nikon mount, so I'm fairly sure RED wouldn't bother to do that if the lenses couldn't resolve the detail.

What to y'all think?

April 8, 2012

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Kevin