Best Lens Announcements of 2016

December 30th, 2016
Best Lens Announcements of 2016

2016 was the year that gorgeous cinema lenses became available for the mass market. Unless you previously worked on Game of Thrones, getting your hands on a lens from Angenieux was a distant dream, or relegated to very special shoots. Thanks to companies like SIGMA, ZEISS, Tokina and Angenieux themselves, we’ve seen new “budget” cinema-friendly primes and zooms pop up throughout the year.  Here are our picks for the best lens announcements of 2016:  

SIGMA High Speed Zoom

Zeiss LWZ.3 21-100mm T2.9-T3.9 (EF, PL, MFT): cinema5D’s very own Nino Leitner took the Zeiss LWZ.3 21-100 T2.9-T3.9 to South Africa earlier this year and loved it for field doc shooting, except for the lack of a servo control. My very favorite documentary shooting lens range falls right in line with the Canon 24-105 F4 w/IS, so 21-100 is an excellent range for doc coverage in my opinion. With a price tag of $9,900, this is also a rare sub-10K purchase option from Zeiss. With a weight of 4.4 lbs, this zoom also won’t break your back while filming in the field.

Pre-order HERE.

Director of Photography Nino Leitner using the ZEISS LWZ.3 on the shoot in South Africa

Director of Photography Nino Leitner using the ZEISS LWZ.3 on the shoot in South Africa

SIGMA Cinema Lenses (EF, Sony-E, PL): We announced SIGMA’s impressive lineup of new cinema zooms and primes after IBC earlier this year. The Sigma FF High Speed Cinema Prime lineup, shipping in 2017, will be available in focal lengths of 20mm, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm and 85mm, all at a speedy T1.5. The two new Super 35 SIGMA High Speed Cinema Zooms covering 18-35mm and 50-100mm at T2.0 are slowly making their way out into the wild, too. We are currently working on a review of the two High Speed Cinema Zooms, and they look great with no visible vignetting until you reach 6K at 18mm. Both of the high speed S35 zooms are priced at a fantastic $3,999 and carry the prestigious ART lens pedigree into their image.

The High-Speed Zooms are available for purchase and the primes are available for pre-order HERE.

sigma 35mm cinema lens

SIGMA 35mm T1.5 Cinema prime.

Tokina Cinema Primes (EF, PL): Announced at IBC 2016, the Tokina 35mm, 50mm, 85mm T1.5 cinema primes are being touted by cinematographers such as Phil Holland for their coverage of the 8K RED Helium sensor. As for their price, the Tokinas are competitive with the indie favorite Zeiss CP.2 lineup, priced at between $3,999.00 and $4,499.00. Tokina also introduced their “affordable” cinema zooms earlier in the year, such as the Tokina Cinema 11-16 T3.0, Tokina Cinema 16-28mm T3.0 and Tokina Cinema 50-135mm T3.0.

Angenieux EZ Line (PL): Angenieux’s “affordable” EZ line was also announced this year and is available for pre-order now, with an expected availability in Summer of 2017. Despite the long wait, the chance of getting an Angenieux cine zoom image for a cost of $10,185 makes this a B&H shipment worth waiting for. Available in both Full Frame/VistaVision and Super 35 versions, these new zooms cover 30-90mm T2.0 (EZ-1) and 15-40mm T2.0 (EZ-2) in their S35 configuration.

Available for pre-order HERE.

Angenieux EZ

Sony 18-110mm f/4 G OSS (E): Announced at IBC in Amsterdam, this S35 Sony zoom lens aimed at pro videographers covers a wide range of focal lengths with a consistent F4 aperture throughout. Sony has packed a new technology into this lens called Smooth Motion Optics, which promises to reduce breathing, and remove focus and axis shifting. Optical steady shot (OSS) is also built into this lens for improved handheld work and there are three separate rings for zoom, focus and aperture control.

Available for pre-order HERE. Expected to ship in January, 2017.

ZEISS Otus 28mm f/1.4 ZF.2 Lens (EF, Nikon):  The Otus line is quite simply gorgeous and we couldn’t do a list like this without mentioning the ZEISS Otus 28mm f/1.4 that shipped this year in EF and Nikon mounts. This is the kind of lens you want to take out for night-time star timelapses, and although it isn’t especially cheap at $4,990.00, you get what you pay for with this beast of a lens. If you were going to send in any lens in your kit to companies like Duclos Lenses for cine modification, this would be the one.

Available HERE.

Zeiss Otus 28mm F/1.4 Lens

Zeiss Otus 28mm F/1.4 Lens

Honorable Mentions:

  1. XEEN Line from Samyang: The Xeen line of cinema primes is slowly being fleshed out to be a complete set, with the 135mm T2.2 just released this year, albeit at a somewhat slower speed than its predecessors. You can now purchase the complete Xeen set of 14, 24 , 35, 50, 85 and the new 135mm HERE.
  2. Canon CN-E 18-80mm T4.4 SERVO Cinema Zoom Lens (EF): The Canon CN-E 18-80mm T4.4 features a great focal length range for documentary and includes servo control and image stabilization. The addition of the servo brings smooth zoom moves back as an option on cameras like the Canon C300 MK II. Its price of $5,225.00 makes it an attractive “budget” purchase, but the T4.4 speed is limiting and will mean high ISO shoot days for any interiors. The lens also lacks hard focus stops, which makes it less than ideal for follow focus use. Its auto focus and stabilization tech are also only designed to pair well with Canon Cinema EOS cameras at this time, so if you have a Canon C-line camera already, then this just might be the zoom for you. Purchase HERE.

All around, a great year for optics manufacturers looking to give owner/operators a chance at owning their very own cinema lens kit. Several of the lenses listed above have yet to ship or are just now making their way out into the hands of happy shooters worldwide.

Will you be picking up a new prime or zoom lens for the holidays? Comment below!

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Palmer WoodrowBEST CINEMA LENSES | Random El Nito Stuff Recent comment authors
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Beebee Lestr
MemberDecember 30th, 2016

My favourite lens development is that there are very few really bad lenses these days.

There was a time long ago when secondary lens manufacturers in Asia made lenses producing soft, foggy, subpar images.

But now manufacturers like Samyang and Sigma make really good lenses. You can get something pretty good without spending the earth.

Touqa F. AlAmir Sleiman
Touqa F. AlAmir Sleiman
GuestDecember 31st, 2016

Wassem Mohammad very interesting

Palmer Woodrow
Palmer Woodrow
MemberJanuary 3rd, 2017

(random name) quite fascinating

Palmer Woodrow
Palmer Woodrow
MemberJanuary 3rd, 2017

I disagree with the Sigma announcement being rated among the “best.” It should be ranked “most disappointing.”

If Sigma were offering these in the $1000-$2000 range, that would be exciting, since a lot of the sub-$1K “cinema” lenses are junk.

But at Sigma’s prices, you might as well just buy the Canons. What a blown opportunity.

Beebee Lestr
MemberJanuary 5th, 2017

O Oh. Here we go again.

Palmer Woodrow was just on the Xeen thread, also accusing them of being ‘junk’ (and promoting Canon), when it eventually became obvious he’d never used them.

This thread he’s accusing Sigma of being ‘junk’ while promoting Canon again.

I’m glad people are now asking for specifics to back up these allegations. I also want to ask Palmer: Specifically, which Sigma lens did you use?

Palmer Woodrow
Palmer Woodrow
MemberJanuary 6th, 2017

I invite you to you quote where I called Sigma lenses “junk,” or in fact made ANY quality-related statement about them. Oh right: You can’t, because I didn’t. In fact, I called for Sigma to enter the cine market years ago, since they had no high-end cine line to cannabalize with lower-priced lenses. And THAT is why their prices are disappointing. Is that spoon-fed enough for you?

What is your problem, anyway? In both threads, you have the text available to you for reference, and you can see that I TOLD YOU I hadn’t used the Xeen lenses. YOU, that’s right, YOU, talked about Samyang, which I HAVE used and posted links to incriminating samples from from multiple sources that everyone can see but YOU choose to ignore. Here is YOUR post:

“have found the picture quality of the Samyang lenses to be excellent”

And my post (and follow-ups) are RESPONSES TO THAT. Which I also pointed out in the other thread when you made your same dumb comment.

I also didn’t “promote Canon.”

So now this can’t be characterized as an error. You’re just a liar. And in the other thread, you revealed total ignorance of how lenses work, claiming that a lens that’s soft on every object from the camera to infinity is a “focusing error.”

Beebee Lestr
MemberJanuary 6th, 2017

Most readers will consider you were putting down Sigma lenses.

So we are still waiting to hear about which Sigma lenses you use.

Palmer Woodrow
Palmer Woodrow
MemberJanuary 6th, 2017

And once again you fail to quote the passage where I “put down” Sigma lenses.

And once again you ignore my just TELLING YOU OUTRIGHT that I was LOOKING FORWARD TO SIGMA’S LENSES. So if I didn’t like Sigma lenses, why would I be looking forward to them? Go ahead and scroll up, as everybody else can.

And finally, since you are too lazy to read the content on this site or any other, here’s some critical information: The Sigma primes AREN’T OUT YET. Here are some more spoon-fed facts for you (note the words “Release date: TBD” on every lens): http://www.sigma-global.com/en/cine-lenses/products/ff-high-speed-prime/#ffhsp-35mm-t1-5

Beebee Lestr
MemberJanuary 8th, 2017

Palmer Woodrow said:
“I disagree with the Sigma announcement being rated among the “best.” It should be ranked “most disappointing.” If Sigma were offering these in the $1000-$2000 range, that would be exciting, since a lot of the sub-$1K “cinema” lenses are junk.”

So, Palmer, you’re either claiming that Sigma lenses are all “junk”, or you’re claiming that they are only worthy of being marketed in the same category as other lower grade or “junk” equipment.

Either way it starts to get boring when you keep popping up on threads criticising Canon competitors when you haven’t used the product that is the subject of the article.

I like Canon gear too, but Sigma often ranks higher than your beloved Canon for lens resolution and image quality. Search for reviews and tests of the Sigma 85mm compared to Canon. Sigma is the better lens, and I’m an owner of a lot of Canon glass, including an 85mm f1.2.

Palmer Woodrow
Palmer Woodrow
MemberJanuary 9th, 2017

Again, you try to lie about what I said, when it’s right there for all to see.

“you’re either claiming that Sigma lenses are all “junk”, or you’re claiming that they are only worthy of being marketed in the same category as other lower grade or “junk” equipment.”

NO, I’m not. Again you fail to QUOTE where I said that. I said I WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO SIGMA’S CINE LENSES.

I WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO SIGMA’S CINE LENSES.
I WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO SIGMA’S CINE LENSES.

Get it? Why would I look forward to them if I thought they’d be junk?

Nor did I call for them to be sold at the same price as the junk lenses. In fact, I said I hoped they’d be sold for DOUBLE to FOUR TIMES the price of the junk lenses.

And your “beloved Canon” rambling must be referring to someone else.

Got any other lies?

Beebee Lestr
MemberJanuary 9th, 2017

After your initial post putting down Sigma lenses, you’ve since been busy posting your later comments higher up this thread, then quoting them to prove me wrong.

Let’s look at what you initially said:
“But at Sigma’s prices, you might as well just buy the Canons.”

But you actually have no idea about the Sigma prime lens prices because the only prices listed were for the zooms.

And you also have no idea about the quality of those unreleased lenses. They may have a clarity that surpasses Canon.

I’m mentioning this because you’ve been posting similar comments about Canon competitors elsewhere, such as on Samyang Xeen threads, and it’s non-productive. You’ve never used Samyang Xeens, you’ve never used Sigma, you don’t know what the price is, yet you post your criticism of it.

Palmer Woodrow
Palmer Woodrow
MemberJanuary 10th, 2017

“After your initial post putting down Sigma lenses”

And yet again, you fail to QUOTE where I “put down” Signa lenses.

If you’re on Windows, you can use Ctrl-C to copy, then Ctrl-V to paste.

On Mac, you can use Command-C and Command-V for the same purpose.

I’m sure we all await your copying and pasting of my “put-downs” of Sigma lenses. I’m so excited to read what I said!

Oh and by the way, YOU are the one who was touting the Samyang, which I HAVE used and have posted links to samples proving the poor quality of the 35mm. I also have said over and over that I was referring to the lens YOU were touting, and not the Xeen.

You seem to enjoy self-abuse and looking stupid.

Steven Bailey
MemberJanuary 11th, 2017

You can’t compare $5K primes to $4K zooms, and we don’t know what Sigma’s zooms will cost.

Beebee Lestr
MemberJanuary 11th, 2017

Exactly.

And at this point in time – as I write this – we don’t know what Sigma’s cine primes will cost – but Palmer Woodrow is busy criticising the cost before knowing what that cost is.

If Sigma produces a better lens than competitors it should be able to charge more. Some people have a perception that Sigma should forever be relegated to charging discount prices.

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