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Zeiss Brings Back the Super Speed Name with CP.2 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm T/1.5 Lenses

05.1.12 @ 10:19PM Tags : , , , , , , ,

Zeiss recently added a 15mm T/2.9 and a 135mm T/2.1 to their CP.2 line. Now they’ve decided to bring back the Super Speed name and are coming out with 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm T/1.5 lenses. It seems that the 50mm and the 85mm are the same design as the old CP.1 lenses, except they’ve opened them up to be faster – but the 35mm is supposedly a new design. Zeiss is also introducing a new line of zooms that will accompany their CP.2 line, and the first of these is the CP.Z 70-200mm T/2.9. I talked with Richard Schleuning of Zeiss at this year’s NAB about all of their new products.

The new Super Speeds should compare very favorably to the old ones, since they’re an entirely new lens design. The CP.2 Super Speeds are the same optical design as the ZF/ZE lenses of the same focal length, but the physical design is very different from those lenses, since they have a larger diameter front, internal focusing, de-clicked aperture, long focus throw, and a 14-blade iris. Zeiss decided to give back that extra light gathering ability instead of limiting the lenses for sharpness. These CP.2s should still be great at 1.5, but they are certainly not going to be as good wide open as Master Primes or Ultra Primes – and really, they shouldn’t be, since they are aimed at filmmakers on a budget.

At $4,500 for the 50mm and 85mm, and $4,900 for the 35mm, they certainly aren’t cheap compared to still lenses – but they are an absolute bargain for the speed and the performance compared to PL lenses – especially considering they can be adapted to practically any lens mount that exists and cover full frame 35mm. The 70-200mm, on the other hand, is going to be a rent-only for most people, as it’s going to retail for $19,900.


35mm T/1.5 in PL-mount, F-mount, EF-mount, MFT-mount, E-mount
50mm T/1.5 in PL-mount, F-mount, EF-mount, MFT-mount, E-mount
85mm T/1.5 in PL-mount, F-mount, EF-mount, MFT-mount, E-mount

70-200mm T/2.9 in PL-mount, F-mount, EF-mount, MFT-mount, E-mount


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Description image 19 COMMENTS

  • Josh Waldroup on 05.1.12 @ 10:26PM

    T/0.95 or nothing!

    • I think a full frame 35mm T/0.95 lens from Zeiss would cost $50,000 or more, unless they didn’t care about sharpness.

  • Drooooooooooooooool.

    That said in side by side comparisons I tend to favor the look of the Schneider Planar Xenars (or whatever they’re called exactly). Hard to argue with the fact that your $20,000-30,000 investment is useful no matter what lens mount you end up using. Actually, that’s REALLY hard to argue with. Mmm……. Zeiss……..

    • Forgot to add that the price of the 70-200 makes the (current vaporware) Duclos rehoused and cine-modded Nikon 80-200 seem like a total bargain at several grand verses $20k.

      • Yeah it’s too bad they have such a small staff for the kind of work they are doing. Matthew Duclos is a pretty smart guy, but building lenses is time-consuming and expensive.

    • Jordan Carr on 05.2.12 @ 1:24PM

      Agree about the Schneiders – their bokeh is unmatched and destroys Zeiss CP lenses. While I prefer Cooke skin tones (see Midnight in Paris), the Schneider lenses are very under-rated in the industry. The set I rented from was slightly soft at F2.0 but they were fantastic at F2.8 and produced wonderful images.

  • Just get Leica. Why settle for 2nd best :)

  • This little short here, by Sebastian Wiegärtner, was shot with the super speeds. I was the the gaffer for 2 of the 3 shooting days. Maybe some of you know it, because it was also shown at NAB.

    Lovely Lenses, creamy dreamy look, when shot wide open.

  • Not that I’ll ever be able to afford them but, that’s very cool! Maybe they can, eventually, be rented at a commensurate price point.
    I have a question though… I come from a still photography background and I’ve mentioned this on another post somewhere…
    In the world of digital stills, lens makers recently touted new lenses designed specifically for digital sensors. As I understood it, the new lenses focused all the light wavelengths on the same plane (i.e. flat sensor) as opposed to the lenses of yesteryear (the days of film) which focused the wavelengths of light at different depths (planes) corresponding to the emulsion layers in the film. Supposedly, the new design(s) enhanced sharpness and mitigated aberations to some degree on (flat) digital sensors. Has this practice been adopted by motion picture lens makers or, is it a moot point and just not something worth worrying about? Not that I’m worried… just wondering.

  • john jeffreys on 05.2.12 @ 11:24AM

    OH GOD

    using these for my feature film for sure

  • Antoine Quirion on 05.2.12 @ 12:03PM

    Hum, no gear on the the zoom ring ?