Schneider Jumps Into the 'Mid-Range' Cinema Lens Market with the Xenon FF Primes
Various lens manufacturers are finally responding to the need for cinema-quality glass at an affordable price and in multiple lens mounts. Schneider already makes some Super 35mm primes, the Cine-Xenars, but they are coming out with a completely new product line called the Xenon FF Primes. As the name would suggest, these T2.1 lenses will cover a 36mm x 24mm full frame sensor -- that's right 5D users, that's you, but that also means that a S35 sensor would be utilizing the sweet spot of each lens. Get the skinny after the jump.
Here's what you need to know (thanks to Matthew Duclos for the heads-up):
- A 35mm, a 50mm, and a 75mm with plans to expand the set.
- T2.1 across all lenses.
- Both focus and iris gears with distance and witness marks.
- 14-bladed irises.
- Each lens weighs 2 pounds and has a support foot.
- The lenses have a 100mm front diameter and a 95mm filter thread.
- Coming in Canon EF, Nikon F, and PL mounts, these lenses look sexy and I want them.
Made to contend with other mid-range cine primes like the Canon CN-Es or the Zeiss Cp.2s, the Schneider Xenon FF lenses take their design from the Schneider Cine-Xenars. Matthew Duclos talks lens heritage:
Both Zeiss and Canon borrowed optical designs from their photography war chest whereas Schneider used their high-end Cine-Xenars as inspiration. The point here is that the technology and design trickled down from higher up with the new Xenon-FF lenses, instead of the other way around like other manufacturers. Don’t get me wrong… Anyone who has used Canon L Series lenses for photography knows that they are all great and sharp. Same goes for the Zeiss ZF.2s. They are awesome photo lenses and both can be modified and used for cinematography with great results. But it’s a compromise. Let’s hope that Schneider stands out from the crowd and offers fewer trade-offs with their new Xenon FF-Primes.
Pricing information is yet to be released, but it's likely that they will fall competitively in line with the Zeiss Cp.2s and the Canon CN-Es (Duclos speculates they will probably be $3,000-$5,000 per lens). They will certainly come in at a lower price than the new Leica mid-range primes, which are expected to be around $17,000 per lens.
These look great to me, though we'll have to wait for definitive testing to know. As always, share your thoughts in the comments below.