NAB Show Product Review: Lenses

Once again, lens makers are faced with the challenge of building lenses that handle increased demands of higher resolution sensors, this time 4K units. Several companies were ready for this at the 2014 NAB Show.

ARRI unveiled its Ultra Wide Zoom UWZ 9.5-18/T2.9, covering an image circle of 34.5 mm. It is designed to match the optical performance of high-end wide-angle prime lenses. ARRI touts the wide-angle zoom as being ready for “4K, 6K and even 8K camera applications with no compromise in quality.”

To celebrate producing 100 million EF lenses worldwide, Canon had a display of lenses in mirrored cases that made it look like they brought all 100 million lenses to the NAB Show. BAND PRO showcased its PLx2 Extender, designed to double the focal length of 35mm sensor PL mount lenses. The extender’s design allows it to work with a wide variety of lenses with an exposure change of two stops.

CANON debuted its Cine-Servo 17 to 120 mm T2.95 zoom lens, which provides 4K optical performance. It’s designed to provide a shallow, creative depth of field, as well as high-resolution and optimal low-light shooting capabilities. With the detachable Cine-Servo hand-grip installed, it provides the familiar feel of a news or documentary style lens. With the servo hand-grip removed, the lens can be fitted for cine-style operation with assistants providing control. The new lens is available in PL- or EF-mount.

CHROSZIEL unveiled their Aladin MKII 4K live broadcast wireless lens control system, which is optimized for “Cine- Style” lenses and broadcast cameras. Also shown was the new Chrosziel Magnum wireless system, available in three models: single-axis focus only, an upgradeable system for two-axis operations and also for a complete focus/iris system.

COOKE OPTICS introduced the new line of Cooke Anamorphic/i Look lenses engineered for the current lines of digital cinema cameras. Primes in focal lengths of 32, 40, 50, 75 and 100 mm are now available, with 25 and 135 mm still to come. The Anamorphic/i Look includes a 2:1 oval bokeh for out-of-focus highlights and the new lenses are color matched with all other Cooke lenses. All Cooke Anamorphic/i primes have a T2.3 aperture and cover the Super 35mm format.

FIJUFILM debuted two lenses. The 35mm PL mount PL 25 to 300 mm model provides a high zoom ratio and supports an optional detachable drive unit for electric zooming, focusing and iris. Remote control of zoom, focus, and iris adjustment is provided. Fujifilm’s answer for a 2/3-inch zoom-capable of wide angle lens is the HA18x5.5, which offers 18x zoom range between 5.5 mm and 100 mm.

OCONNOR presented kits for its lens control accessories including all lens gears and friction drivers, standard serrated star driver gear coupling, backlash free module coupling system and the versatility to work with any lens.

SCHNEIDER OPTICS added 18, 25 and 100 mm lenses to its Schneider-Kreuznach Xenon FF-Prime family. These are built for digital cinematography and provide resolution for 4K and beyond. The company also featured their Cine Xenar III color-matched PL mount digital cinematography prime lens family and the Schneider Optics wide-angle adapter for Fujinon’s 19-90 mm Cabrio lens, expanding the wide angle end of that model by 30 percent.

THALES ANEGENIEUX debuted three new “normal” zoom lenses and two handheld Optimo Style lenses—a 16 to 40 mm and 30 to 76 mm models. Also premiered was a full-size Optimo Style zoom, the 25-250. The company also unveiled a new Optimo anamorphic 56 to 152 mm 2S (2x squeeze) zoom lens for cinemascope production.

TIFFEN featured its Pearlescent filter, designed to create a slight softening of contrast and a luxurious pearlescent halo around highlights. Tiffen also showcased its IR Variable ND filter series, which provides the convenience of using several neutral density filters at a time while filtering out unwanted infrared light.

ZEISS debuted two new compact lenses offering full frame coverage that are ready for 4K. These are available in 28 to 80 and 70 to 200 mm zoom ranges and feature an interchangeable mount system for PL, EF, F, MFT and E style cameras. The Master Anamorphic MA 135/T1.9 is the seventh focal length in that series, and completes the Master Anamorphic family.