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