Skip to main content

2016 NAB Product Review: Lenses

With the rollout of full 4K 2/3-inch three sensor cameras, new, long focal length 4K and beyond lenses made their appearance at NAB Show. Along with that, anamorphic zoom lenses from a number of lens makers were unveiled.

Ellie Brito (center, in white shirt) listens to Thales-Angenieux’s Jean Le Poulain (R) explain the Angenieux Optimo 44-440 zoom lens, as Benoit Percheon of Thales-Angenieux listens.

Freelance Cinematographer Forest Johnson examines the Canon Compact Servo 18-80 lens.Angenieux introduced its Optimo 44-440 A25 anamorphic zoom lens, which provides an aperture of T4.5 throughout the zoom range without loss of quality. It features built-in encoders that provide metadata for focus, zoom and T-stop. The lens can be converted to a 25-250mm T3.5 spherical lens by exchanging the rear optical element and the Focus, Zoom and T-stop markings.

ARRI has added a pair of lenses on each end of the Master Anamorphic series, expanding the range to nine. The 28mm is T1.9, and the 180mm is T2.8. All lenses in the series feature low distortion for uncompromised anamorphic capture, cinematic bokeh with high contrast and nice focus fall-off, anamorphic characteristic oval out-of-focus highlights, and a large image field for full freedom in composition.

Canon introduced the CN-E 18-80mm T4.4L IS KAS S compact cine zoom lens, designed to deliver high quality at an affordable price-point. It features three image stabilization modes to enhance handheld work and comes only with an EF mount. Also shown was the 4K UHD DIGISUPER 90 (UJ90x9B) for 2/3-inch sensors and providing extreme telephoto of 810mm. With its 2x extender engaged, it provides a top end of 1620mm.

Cooke Optics showed its new anamorphic PL mount zoom lens, the 35-140mm Anamorphic/i wide angle zoom, and announced they are working on a “big brother,” the 45-405mm T4.5-22, front Anamorphic/i zoom lens. Preliminary specifications are for a 9x zoom front anamorphic, 5-foot 10-inch MOD from image plane and 3 foot 11-inch close focus from the front of the lens. The company has also finished the 300mm, the final member of its 10 Anamorphic/i lens prime lenses lineup.

Jorge Rafael Hernandez takes a test drive on Fujinon’s 107x8.4 4K lens.Fujifilm/Fujinon introduced its 4K 2/3-inch UA80x9, which utilizes large diameter aspherical elements designed by the latest optical simulation system. The lens features a wide field of view when fully zoomed out, and has a 1.2x as well as a 2x extender (they cannot be deployed together). Also featured is the UA Fijinon UA107x8.4, touted as a 4K-compatible broadcast zoom lens that provides the world’s highest zoom ratio. And on the cine side of the business, Fujifilm showcased its XK6x20 single sensor zoom lens, which delivers T3.5 brightness for the entire zoom range from 20mm to 120mm.

Schneider Optics introduced new prime lenses at each end of its Schneider- Kreuznach 4K Xenon FF-Prime high-resolution digital cinematography lenses, an 18mm and 135mm, for a total of seven lenses in the series. The identical-sized primes cover a full-frame sensor and offer 300-degree barrel rotation, uniform size and weight for quick lens changes, and a 14-blade iris that delivers outstanding bokeh.

Lee Camera Filters
showcased its Zircon range of filters, designed for use with LED- based lighting fixtures. Because they are twice the thickness of standard lighting filters and made of a180-micronsubstrate, they are durable and less likely to suffer damage from bright LED light sources. Lee also showcased its range of filters matched for Cool White LED illumination. The filters are designed to give a visual color match to the existing colors on Tungsten CT.

Schneider Optics debuted a lineup of new front-of-the-lens filters starting with the first 1-Stop Circular Polarizer designed for professional cinematography. The filter features single-stop exposure loss, a solution for today’s popular low-light shooting. Glare and reflections are minimized while full-color saturation remains, minus any of the inconsistencies of linear polarizers. It is available in popular sizes including 4 x 4, 4 x 5.65, 6.6 x 6.6 and custom.

Tiffen showcased its 138mm Multi Rotor Tray, a lightweight geared rotating variable ND tray, designed for use with matte boxes without a rotating filter stage, or for those instances where a secondary rotating filter stage is required in a non-rotating stage. The company also debuted a pair of diffusion filters, the Antique Pearlescent and Warm Pearlescent.