Canon S35 Flex Zoom Lenses with FF Relay Kits – First Look

Canon gave us a first look at the Flex Zoom lens family, which can cover S35 and FF sensors with the help of user-interchangeable relay kits. During NAB 2023 we met with Ryan Snyder, Senior Product Specialist at Canon USA, who explained, which lenses and relay combinations are available.

Two Canon Flex Zoom lenses were introduced in April 2022 as full-frame cine zoom lenses: the Canon CN-E20-50mm and CN-E45-135mm T2.4 L F/FP.

One year later, Canon introduced two more lenses, the CN-E14-35mm T1.7 L S/SP wide-angle zoom lens and the CN-E31.5-95mm T1.7 L S/SP lenses. In case you missed it, you can read up on them here. The new lenses turned out to be the same lenses, but with a different relay kit built-in, as we learned during NAB 2023.

The S35 version of the wide angle Flex Zoom
The S35 version of the wide-angle Flex Zoom. Image credit: CineD

The Flex Zoom Family features two base lenses that can be converted to either cover S35mm or full-frame sensors with a Relay Kit. For the first time, Canon users cannot only swap lens mounts (EF and PL available) but also lens relays by themselves without having to send the lenses to a service center.

Flex Zoom Lineup

There are four lenses available now: two wide-angle lenses and two telephoto lenses.

Canon Flex wide angle lenses
Canon Flex wide-angle lenses. Image credit: Canon

Wide-angle Flex Zooms:

  • CN-E14-35mm T1.7 L S/SP
  • CN-E20-50mm T2.4 L F/FP
Canon Flex telephoto lenses
Canon Flex telephoto lenses. Image credit: Canon

Telephoto Flex Zooms:

  • CN-E31.5-95mm T1.7 L S/SP
  • CN-E45-135mm T2.4 L F/FP

You can either buy all four lenses (2x S35 and 2x FF) or you can buy two lenses (1x wide angle and 1x telephoto) and buy the relay kits for both lenses and swap between FF and S35 coverage.

All lenses cost the same, so it’s really easy to buy either version of the zoom lenses and later on, buy the relay kit if you need different coverage. Canon clearly wants to offer more flexibility to the filmmakers (hence the name) when buying their cine lenses. Read more on pricing below.

Look and color matching

Canon Flex Zoom lenses are color matched throughout the cinema line. You can easily match the Flex Zooms with other Canon lenses like Cine-Servo Zooms, CN-E Zooms, CN-E Primes and even Canon Sumire Prime lenses.

Canon Flex zoom lens mount and rear element
Lens mount and lens data connector on Canon Flex Zoom. Image credit: Canon

The lenses are full manual lenses aimed at cinema filmmakers. Canon does not offer any servos for these lenses. The lenses feature lens data, with the PL-mount versions of the lenses incorporating a 4-pin Lemo connector to record Zeiss xD extended lens data for virtual productions. All lenses cover 8K resolutions edge-to-edge.

Price and availablility

Each of the four lenses are available for $21,999 USD and each relay kit for $4,999. Interchangeable EF and PL lens mounts cost $1,150.

The FF version of the zooms is already available and the S35 version of the wide-angle lens (14-35mm) will be available in June 2023. The S35 version of the telephoto lens (31.9-95mm) will be available in fall 2023.

You can find more information on the manufacturer’s website.

What do you think about Canon following Angenieux and other manufacturers in allowing you to convert your lenses from S35 to full-frame? Do you already own FF Canon Flex Zooms and are planning on buying relay kits for them? Has this added flexibility made you consider Canon Flex Zoom lenses? We’re curious to hear what you have to say! Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.


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