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Canon rolls out new cinema EF lens range

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If there was any doubt that Canon is an optical company, the announcement that it has introduced a range of lenses for the movie-making industry should finally silence the detractors. After similar announcements from Leica, Carl Zeiss, and even Schneider Kreuznach, with the introduction of the new Cinema EF lenses (as well as the introduction of the EOS C300/ C300PL camera), Canon has finally declared their intention to market a range of products dedicated to the specialist (and very high-end) movie industry.

Available in full-frame EF mount, the new Cinema EF lenses are not based on the EOS EF equivalents, unlike the CZ compact primes which adopt the same optical construction of CZ DSLR lenses. The Cinema EF lenses are more like the German made CZ Ultra and Master Primes but can be used on standard Canon EOS DSLRs (note, the cine PL mount versions can not but they can be used on any camera using a PL mount).

The popularity of the Canon 5D Mk II was a happy accident, but it shook up Sony enough to retaliate with the NEX-7 and SLT-A77. This is a very carefully considered move by Canon, one that looks to safeguard the EOS stills line, while offering movie capabilities to rival Sony, Red and Arri.

While none of this bodes well for Nikon right now, they could have and maintain a sizable presence by producing cinema Nikkors, for want of a better name. Based on the Nikon F mount and featuring the prerequisite gearing for manual focusing and manual aperture rings, I'm convinced there are movie makers out there that would want modern Nikon optical designs rather than using old Ai-S lenses (no matter how good they are). The Nikkor outstanding 300mm f/2, for instance, and later 300mm T2.2 with a PL mount (produced by Tochigi Nikon, and a favorite of Hollywood Director Ron Howard) achieved cult status in its day - it's no longer made.

 

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EMBARGO: 4th November 2011, 00:30 (GMT)

Canon casts EF cinema lenses in starring role for new Cinema EOS System
New lens series debuts with seven models and more in the wings

United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, November 4th Canon Inc. and Canon UK today announced the introduction of seven new 4K EF Cinema Lenses, an all-new series of video cinematography lenses that, in addition to the company’s current line-up of interchangeable EF lenses for EOS single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras, form the core of Canon’s new Cinema EOS System.

The launch of the Cinema EOS System marks Canon’s full-fledged entry into the digital high-resolution production industry. The new professional digital cinematography system spans the lens, digital video camcorder and digital SLR camera product categories.

Canon’s new EF Cinema Lens line-up includes four top-end zoom lenses covering a zoom range from 14.5 mm to 300 mm —two models each for EF and PL lens mounts — and three single-focal-length lenses for EF mounts. All seven new lenses are capable of delivering exceptional 4K optical performance and offer compatibility with the Super 35mm equivalent image format. The three single-focal-length EF lenses can be used with cameras equipped with 35 mm full-frame sensors.

The seven new lenses represent the starting cast of Canon’s new EF Cinema Lens series, a star-studded line-up that will continue to grow in the future with the introduction of new A-list zoom and fixed-focal-length lenses.

Wide-Angle and Telephoto Cinema Zoom Lenses for EF and PL Mounts
CN-E14.5–60mm T2.6 L S / CN-E14.5–60mm T2.6 L SP
CN-E30–300mm T2.95–3.7 L S / CN-E30–300mm T2.95–3.7 L SP

The four new Canon zoom cinema lenses comprise the CN-E14.5–60mm T2.6 L S (for EF mounts) and CN-E14.5–60mm T2.6 L SP (for PL mounts) wide-angle cinema zoom lenses, and the CN-E30–300mm T2.95–3.7 L S (for EF mounts) and CN-E30–300mm T2.95–3.7 L SP (for PL mounts) telephoto cinema zoom lenses. Each lens supports 4K (4096 x 2160 pixels) resolution, which delivers a pixel count four times that of Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), and offers compatibility with industry-standard Super 35 mm-equivalent cameras as well as APS-C cameras (Not compatible with 35mm full-frame or APS-H camera sensors).

Employing anomalous dispersion glass, effective in eliminating chromatic aberration, and large-diameter aspherical lenses, the zoom lenses achieve high-resolution imaging from the centre of the frame to the outer edges. Each lens is equipped with a newly designed 11-blade aperture diaphragm for soft, attractive blur characteristics, making them ideally suited for cinematographic applications.

The focal length range of 14.5–300 mm covered by the new zoom lenses represents the most frequently used focal lengths in theatrical motion picture production, a range that often requires a combination of three or more separate zoom lenses. Canon’s new wide-angle and telephoto cinema zoom lenses, however, offer a wider angle and powerful zooming to provide complete coverage across this range with just two lenses. The new wide-angle cinema zoom lenses will offer the industry’s widest angle of view among 35 mm digital cinema lenses with a wide-angle-end focal length of 14.5 mm (as of November 3rd 2011, according to published competitive data).

Zoom, focus and iris markings are all engraved on angled surfaces for improved readability from behind the camera. With a focus rotation angle of approximately 300 degrees and a zoom rotation angle of approximately 160 degrees, the lenses facilitate precise focusing performance while making possible smooth and subtle zoom operation.

The new top-end cinema zoom lens line-up can be used with standard manual and electronic movie industry accessories, as well as matte boxes. Featuring a unified front lens diameter and uniform gear positions, the lenses do away with the need to adjust or reposition accessory gear when switching between other lenses in the series.

Single-Focal-Length Cinema Lenses for EF Mounts
CN-E24mm T1.5 L F / CN-E50mm T1.3 L F / CN-E85mm T1.3 L F

Like their wide-angle and telephoto cinema zoom lens co-stars, Canon’s new CN-E24mm T1.5 L F, CN-E50mm T1.3 L F and CN-E85mm T1.3 L F cinema lenses deliver 4K optical performance. The three lenses, designed for use with EF mounts, are compatible with not only industry-standard Super 35 mm-equivalent cameras, but also 35 mm full-frame, APS-H and APS-C sensor sizes. The trio incorporates anomalous dispersion glass and large-diameter aspherical lenses for high resolution imaging throughout the frame, and features a newly designed 11-blade aperture diaphragm for gentle, attractive blurring.

With focus and iris markings that are easily visible from behind the camera, Canon’s three new fixed-focal-length lenses support convenient film-style operation and, offering a focus rotation angle of approximately 300 degrees, facilitate precise focusing performance.

The CN-E24mm T1.5 L F, CN-E50mm T1.3 L F and CN-E85mm T1.3 L F support standard manual and electronic industry accessories and matte boxes, and have a unified front lens diameter and uniform gear positions, eliminating the need for adjustments when switching lenses.

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