March 2, 2015 at 10:34AM


What budget cine prime lenses have you used and loved?

I will be investing in a cine lens kit (probably 24,35, and 85mm) soon for my GH4, with a budget of around $1k-1.3k. I haven't yet decided if I'm going to try to keep it in line with the MFT mount, or go with a speedbooster and EF mount.

Firstly, which focal lengths would you recommend as absolutely necessary? Second, should I stick with the MFT mount, or grab a speedbooster and EF mount (I'm probably going to get a speedbooster no matter what, so that doesn't factor into my budget)? Lastly, which affordable cine primes have you used that you like? I know that Voigtlanders are great, but are a little out of my price range. I've heard good things about SLR Magic and Rokinon, but have never used them.


I haven't personally used them, but one of my good friends used the Samyang/Rokinon/Bower cine lenses on a low budget feature shot with a C100, some other Canon dslrs, and a PhantomFlex last fall and the results looked really great.

If I were you, I'd go with EF mounts and adapt them with a speedbooster. It seems a little more future proof that way.

March 2, 2015 at 12:00PM

Brad Tennant
Director / Cinematographer

The Samyang's are actually amazing! You wouldn't think it for their price, but there is some decent glass built into these babies. They've just recently bought out a 50mm one, which completes the set. They are affordable, and well built. Back in when I used to use my cropped sensor 60D the 30mm Samyang cine never left it. The beauty of a manual iris ring knows no bounds!


March 3, 2015 at 11:04PM

I've used the 16mm Bower (Samyang/Rokinon, same thing), the SLR Magic (I think it was...14mm? One of the wide ones), and currently using the Sigma 18-35 1.8.

Sigma is worth every penny. Gives you essentially 3-4 lenses in one, great zoom. Really incredible; image beats out SLR Magic and Rokinon in my opinion. Also, if you do the EF with a speedbooster on a gh4, that puts you at like a ...f1.4 zoom or something...which is crazy haha.
Otherwise if 800 USD is too much, go with the SLR Magic. Really beautiful lens with some cool unique qualities, fun flare, they're fast...great lens.

March 4, 2015 at 5:09PM

Ben Meredith

What do you mean by cine lens? It sounds like you just mean a Prime focal lenght lens?

With that budget the only cine lenses you can get are Lomo's. You can find lenses for 300usd/each (from Ebay), and an adapter for 200usd.
Everything by Zeiss, Cooke, etc, is at least 1000usd per lens.

I wouldn't call the Rokinon's really Cine-lenses, altought they have built in focus gears, the focusing range is still quite short.

March 6, 2015 at 6:10AM

Mikko Suomalainen
DP/1st AC

I use Nikkor primes, but I think more important than your particular lens, is making any lens you have work for you. With control in post we have so much control to change parameters, that how we use the lenses we have to acquire images and the power in post generally pretty much negates the differences of lens choice. Another factor is the story. If the story isn't working, if your heart and soul is not engaged, you notice the technical shortcomings. Compare this with a film like "Nudist Colony of the Dead" which technically worse than anything else I have ever seen, shot on super 8 film and VHS camcorder poorly in every way, but is so God Damn entertaining. Love watching it over and over, show it to company over and over who then go out and buy it. It is unbelievable that such a poorly made film has great energy and comedy truly proves story trumps everything. bottom line, don't worry about lens choice, use what you have or get. One man's shitty lens is another DP's special effects lens.

May 1, 2016 at 9:40AM, Edited May 1, 9:40AM


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