2011 NAB Show Product Review: Lenses

The big push in lenses at the NAB Show this year was in PL mount lenses for the 4K and beyond single-sensor digital cinema cameras, although there was an intriguing 3D lens from the Korean firm WASOL in the Tek Point booth.

Freelance cinematographer Thom Cox (R) takes a closer look at the Thales-Angenieux Optimo 45-120 PL-mount lens, as Eva Paryzka of Thales-Angenieux explains its features. Photo by Dawley/KovacsAngenieux introduced its new OPTIMO 45-120mm T2.8 zoom lens, featuring 320-degree focus rotation and available for PL, PV, Nikon and Canon mounts. Also new was the 14x 4.5 HD Video Wide Angle Lens, weighing only 4.6 pounds and designed for handhelds. The company has also upgraded the Optimo 24-290mm T2.8 12x 35mm film zoom lens with more than 20 additional calibrated focus markings engraved on the barrel in either U.S. or metric measurements.

Angenieux also showcased its Optimo 3D Ready Lens Package, consisting of optically matched 16-42 Optimo DP and/or 30-80 Optimo DP lenses with accessories in a customized carrying case.

Band Pro premiered its Leica Summilux-C primes lenses, designed to provide optical resolution beyond 4K with mechanical innovation. The set of T1.4 primes include 18, 21, 25, 35, 40, 50, 75, 100mm focal lengths.

Canon unveiled a pair of PL-mount zoom lenses: the FK14.5-60 wide-angle and FK30-300 telephoto cine zoom lens, designed for 35mm sensor 4K and beyond production standards. Also new from Canon was the KJ20x8.2B portable HD zoom lens for 2/3-inch imagers, featuring a built-in 2x extender, an 8.2mm wide-angle capability, and a 20x zoom range.

Carl Zeiss presented a pair of new mounts for its Compact Prime CP.2 lenses: the E mount for the new Sony cameras such as the Super 35 mm NXCAM camcorder and the MFT (Micro Four Thirds) mount.

Electrophysics showcased its AstroScope Night Vision products for use with HD, ENG video and DSLR cameras, providing bright green images in seemingly total darkness. The company also displayed its color thermal infrared cameras.

Fujifilm North America Corp. premiered its Fujinon ZS17x5.5 lens for half-inch format cameras, available in either BERM or BERD version with a 2x internal range extender. The company also showcased a new DigiPower servo control system and wireless lens control system.

Lensbaby debuted its SLR creative effects Composer Pro lens featuring a swivel ball and focus mechanism to provide smooth focus and tilt control.

Luma Tech Inc. presented its five T1.3 prime lens series by Optar Illumina. The PL mount super 35mm lenses are designed to cover the 5K format, with focal lengths of 18, 25, 35, 50 and 85mm.

Tekpoint introduced the WASOL 3D-Lensys, a dual optical path 3D zoom lens designed for mounting on an interchangeable lens camcorder. It provides a minimum convergence distance of 17 inches.

Jenna Browder of the University of Colorado-Boulder gets some hands-on experience with Canon's FK14.5-60 Cine-Zoom PL-mount lens. Photo by Dawley/KovacsUniqoptics unveiled its Signature Series of prime PL mount lenses, designed to cover ANSI super 35 format 5K sensors. The matched set of six focal length T1.9 lenses resolve down to a 5 micron pixel.

ZGC Inc. displayed the new Cooke 5/i Prime Lenses, designed to provide superb optical and mechanical performance. The T 1.4 lenses are in 18, 25, 32, 40, 50, 65, 75, 100, 135mm focal lengths.


16x9 premiered a PL-mount adapter for the Sony NEX-FS100, which sports an interchangeable back mount to enable it to work with the Panasonic AG-AF100 and future cameras.

cmotion showed its Evolution wireless lens control system with new capabilities, including integration with the ARRI Alexa Plus as well as Angenieux, Canon and Fujinon controllers.

Cineroid demonstrated its EVF4 and EVF Metal electronic viewfinders for DSLRs, including models with and without an HDMI signal loop out. It allows DSLRs to be operated in a form-factor similar to cinema cameras.

Hoodman Corp. presented its HoodLoupe 3.0 eyepiece providing glare-free LCD screen viewing for DSLR cameras. It provides a +/-3 diopter to adjust for individual eyesight, with a 1:1 ratio for true LCD screen viewing.

Innovision Optics demonstrated its Spintec Rain Deflector, which deflects rain and snow from the front element of a video or film camera instantly by spinning an optical flat glass filter at 3000 rpm, throwing off the moisture.

OConnor displayed its new Cine Follow Focus (CFF-1), with a multifunctional, modular design that eliminates juggling of separate bridge plates.

Schneider Optics debuted several new items to their Century Pro Series HD lens add-ons, including wide angle adapters for the Canon XF305/XF300, KT14-14.4, JVC GY-HM700 and Sony PMW-EX3/EX1.

Tiffen showcased its Variable ND filter, utilizing cross polarization to provide neutral density filtration from two to eight full stops. Also new from Tiffen was its Far Red Control Kit featuring T1 IR and T1/2 IR filters.

Zacuto demonstrated its Z-Finder EVF and EVF-Pro electronic eyepiece monitors for DSLRs, providing an 800×480 resolution, 3.2-inch display via the HDMI output of the camera.

Z Reiss unveiled a new fisheye lens adapter from Raynox, the HD-2800, for capturing an ultra-wide angle image with HD camcorders. It features two adapter rings of 37mm and 43mm.