Category Archives: Lenses

Carl Zeiss Compact Zoom 70-200 T2.9 at 2012 NAB Show in Las Vegas

Helmut Lenhof shows us the new Carl Zeiss Compact Zoom T2.9 on the floor at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. The new lens covers a full stills frame at 24x36mm, which means Canon 5D Mark II, Mark III, Nikon D4, and Nikon D800 users will be able to make use of it as well. The lens will list for about $19,900. Save your pennies.

Watch this video on YouTube or on Easy Youtube.

Just One Reason Why I Love Zeiss Glass

I love lenses. I mean, I really love lenses. If I had not already invested twenty years in a professional photo and video career, and building a client base to support such a foolish endeavor, then I would love to have been a lens tech or an optical designer instead. The act of holding and using fine glass brings sincere joy to me. And this video from Carl Zeiss is a fantastic illustration of just one of the many reasons why Zeiss has been my Objektiv of choice for so many years. Such passion for quality of design means that I have more power to exercise my own passion for image excellence. I’m very-much looking forward to visiting the Zeiss booth at NAB in two weeks!

Watch this video on YouTube or on Easy Youtube.

A Frame Grab from Our Most Recent Shoot

Here is a frame grab from our latest shoot for the trailer of the feature film, “Piracy,” which is my current DP project. The difference between my Zeiss glass and all my other lenses is night and day. I never thought I would thumb my nose at Canon L glass until I got my Zeiss lenses. Just amazing. I can’t wait until I can afford a proper set of cine lenses. Although, the new Schneider Cine-Xenar primes may be the way I will go. Anything that is purported to exhibit “Leica-like” image characteristics is worth a look. An 18-blade aperture??? Yes, please. I’ll have some of that.

I’m noticing that the AF100 is giving me more noise in shadow detail than I would like, but I’m going to attribute that to the fact that I haven’t gotten my AJA Ki Pro Mini yet, and I’m having to shoot to the SD card in 4:2:0. Can’t wait to see how much better the picture looks recorded to the AJA box.

Panasonic AF100; Zeiss ZE 85mm f/1.4 Planar; ISO 200; f/2.8:

AF100 frame grab

An Inexpensive Cine Zoom for the AF100?

A few months before getting my AF100, I started testing various C-Mount lenses on my GF1, because I knew that [economical] modern cine-style zoom lens options on a Micro 4/3 video camera were going to be somewhat rare. An old TV-C lens can be had really cheap, and I thought that there might be one or two 1″ lenses that wouldn’t vignette too much on the 4/3″ sensor.

Canon TV-16 25-100mm f/1.8 Zoom Lens
Canon TV-16 25-100mm f/1.8 Zoom Lens

I started with a 16-160 f/1.6 Tokina CCTV zoom, which is a tank of a lens. I was really praying that it would work, because I would love to have a 10X f/1.6 lens to play with. I also picked up a Fujinon TV zoom and a Canon TV-16 zoom. As I suspected, the Tokina and Fujinon lenses vignetted very badly, but the Canon actually wasn’t too bad. It vignettes, but I can see how that in some shooting situations, it could be usable. In the mid zoom range, the black edge comes inside of the frame in the corners, but it isn’t as pronounced in the wide and tele positions. It’s there, but it doesn’t punch you in the face; it’s more of a gentle slap. Either way, it still stings a bit. I will post some real-world clips from it soon.

I think that if I could enlarge the image circle 1.4X, the problem would be corrected. I could handle losing the stop of light, but that would mean it would become a 70-280mm (FF 35 equiv). I don’t really want a zoom that long on the wide end. I may have to relegate the Canon to being a special occasion lens.

I’ve seen mods to mount a B4 2/3″ servo lens onto the AF100. That seems a sound option, especially if you get one of the lenses that has the built-in teleconverter because it solves your image circle problem right off the bat. 2/3″ lenses are wider, which allows more general use after magnification.

Another solution is Abel CineTech’s HDX2 adapter, which is an optical B4 to PL adapter that enlarges the lens image circle from 11mm to 22mm (soaking up two stops of light in the process), and also corrects the 3xCCD optics to project for a single sensor. But, at MSRP US$5500.00, it’s hardly the economical option for low-budget users. On the other hand, if it allows a $15,000.00 servo lens to become usable on larger format cameras, I can easily see how it can earn its keep in a production environment.

So, my search continues. If anyone knows of a C-Mount lens that will actually cover a 4/3″ sensor, please let me know!