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The new DJI DL PZ 17-28mm T3.0 is an ultra-wide power zoom lens for the full-frame Zenmuse X9 camera. It offers a lightweight and compact design with a constant aperture as well as internal zooming and focusing mechanism. The lens is available starting today for $1,339.
The Chinese tech giant DJI announced a few new products today. The new tether system for the Ronin 4D, called 4D Flex, as well as the new ProRes RAW paid license for the Ronin 4D were covered in a separate article. In this piece, I will only focus (pun intended) on the newly announced DL PZ 17-28mm T3.0 lens. Let’s take a look at the details.
The name of the new DL PZ 17-28mm T3.0 lens already lets us know quite a lot about it. It is an ultra-wide power zoom lens that covers the full-frame sensors of the Zenmuse X9 camera from DJI. It has a constant maximum aperture of T3.0 (roughly f/2.8) throughout the zoom range. The minimum aperture is T22.
The minimum focus distance of the lens is 0.19m (7.5”) at the 17mm wide end, and 0.26m (10.24”) at 28mm. Optically, the lens consists of 13 elements in 11 groups. The internal servo zoom motor eliminates the need for an external focus motor or lens calibration. Additionally, the DL PZ 17-28mm lens adjusts the zoom internally without requiring re-balancing.
Like existing DJI prime lenses, this new zoom also uses the DL lens mount. The lens is constructed of an aluminum-magnesium alloy and weighs approximately 520g, which is well suited for the Zenmuse X9 head to retain the full gimbal function. The diameter of the lens is 78mm and it is 100.1mm long (117.2mm with the lens hood attached). The front filter diameter is 67mm.
When I take a look at the existing DJI lenses with DL mount, there have only been four lightweight prime lenses until today:
These were designed to work with the Zenmuse X7 gimbal camera, which has a Super35 image sensor. Only the 16mm, however, is a Super35 lens (DL-S). The other three lenses cover full-frame sensors and can therefore be used with the new Zenmuse X9 in full-sensor mode.
The new power zoom lens naturally brings more flexibility on the ultra-wide end as the zoom can be controlled remotely. I think DJI is also preparing the ground for a new Inspire drone announcement which will be able to fully utilize the new zoom lens. I would personally like to see other new power zoom lenses with longer focal lengths added to DJI’s portfolio. With the weight and size limitation of the Zenmuse X9, this will certainly be an engineering challenge, but I would still like to see it done.
Furthermore, I would like to see DJI bring longer focal-length lightweight prime lenses such as 85mm or perhaps even 135mm. This would be interesting, especially for drone use as the Mavic 3’s secondary lens gave us a glimpse of how cool a long focal length on a drone can be.
The DL PZ 17-28mm T3.0 lens will be available for purchase today, and the price has been set to $1,339 (€1,759 in Europe).
Do you use Ronin 4D for your productions? What do you think about the new 17-28mm power zoom lens? Would you like to see longer focal length power zoom lenses from DJI? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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Jakub Han is a freelance filmmaker based in Vienna. He is interested in new tech and trends in filmmaking and passionate about action sports and short documentaries. Jakub has over 10 years of experience with camera work and post-production.