Duclos Lenses sub-$5K Cine Prime Shootout

January 26th, 2017
Duclos Lenses sub-$5K Cine Prime Shootout
Duclos Lenses

Photo Credit: Duclos Lenses

Interested in taking the next step in your lens collection? Matthew Duclos from Duclos Lenses has released an enlightening video comparing some popular lines of “budget”, sub-$5000 cine primes.

With a running time of over an hour, this 2-part Facebook Live session offers Matthew’s experienced insight into the subtle aspects that differentiate 6 lines of relatively affordable cine primes. Punctuated by regular sips of his Starbucks coffee, Matthew’s video puts the following lines of cine primes head to head:

  • Canon CN-E
  • Rokinon Xeen
  • Schneider Xenon FF
  • Sigma FF High Speed
  • Tokina Cinema Vista
  • Zeiss CP.2

Duclos Lenses – The Sub-$5K Cine Prime Shootout

Budget Cine Primes Reviewed

Posted by Duclos Lenses on Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Budget Cine Primes Reviewed

Posted by Duclos Lenses on Tuesday, January 24, 2017

What Matthew states from the get-go is that even after the folks over at Duclos Lenses ran the different optics through a series of tests, it is impossible to declare one line of lenses as “the best”. Lens choice depends a lot on the kind of shooting you do and your particular needs for a project, so even though a particular focal length model in one line may be better than the competition, the advantages and disadvantages of each series as a whole make the different brands even out overall. It’s not all just about image quality.

Matthew from Duclos Lenses comparing 6 lines of budget cine primes.

What works best for one cinematographer and one scenario, is not necessarily what will work best for another.” – Matthew Duclos.

On the fence between the Rokinon Xeen and the Schneider Xenon? Then aspects such as the speed of the former vs. the smaller size and weight of the latter will probably come into consideration. Not sure if to wait for the new Sigma FF High Speed primes or go with the tried-and-tested Zeiss CP.2? Then maybe the ease of use of the exchangeable mount is a deciding factor. “Horses for courses” and all that…

Cine Primes head to head.

Another interesting point to take away from Matthew’s comparison is just how many of these lenses have an optical design simply based on previous photo lenses (hint: most of them). In addition, it is truly fascinating to see all these competing products literally laid out on the table, and especially how Sigma and Tokina, the two newcomers, bookend the competition in terms of size and weight.

Matthew and the folks at Duclos Lenses really are talented and knowledgable, so make sure you visit them over at Duclos Lenses. Also, do your inner geek a favour and check out The Cine Lens, Duclos Lenses’ sister blog packed full of lens-related content.

Has this comparison video helped you make a decision about which cine prime line to choose for your next project or investment? If you’ve compared the lenses yourself, do you agree with Matthew? Let us know in the comments below!

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MICHAEL lHarry LimePalmer Woodrow Recent comment authors
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Palmer Woodrow
Palmer Woodrow
MemberFebruary 1st, 2017

This is absolute BS. What a WASTE OF TIME.

This “shootout” is an hour of essentially unstructured rambling with no actual comparison done. No results, no metrics, not even any SAMPLE IMAGES!

DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME.

David Peterson - "Sound Speeds!"
MemberJanuary 28th, 2017

Very sad that the Sony CineAlta PL primes are not included! :-( As I think they’re one of the more interesting “affordable” PL sets to consider.

Also SLR Magic is not there? :-/

The Dude
MemberJanuary 31st, 2017

Not sure if you mentioned the Sony’s on another site, but since being brought to my attention I’ll be looking to buy a set.

Beebee Lestr
MemberJanuary 28th, 2017

One of the more bizarre trends happening is that many DPs are moving away from overly sharp lenses in preference for softer ones.

It kind of defeats the purpose of having high resolution image formats like 4K and 8K.

David Peterson - "Sound Speeds!"
MemberJanuary 28th, 2017

Shooting with a softer vintage lens at 4K (or 8K!) does have a different look to shooting with a sharp lens at FHD.

 Harry Lime
Harry Lime
MemberJanuary 31st, 2017

Most cinematographers shoot people, not test charts.

Palmer Woodrow
Palmer Woodrow
MemberJanuary 31st, 2017

Yep. Soften in post if you really want to.

 Harry Lime
Harry Lime
MemberFebruary 1st, 2017

Softening in post is not the same thing as capturing in camera and does not look the same. Older lenses emphasize different MTF curves than modern glass and that is something difficult or impossible to replicate with a 2D operation in post. Cinematographers also choose vintage glass for reasons other than sharpness. These lenses are less corrected which results in aberrations that can be artistically pleasing. The bokeh is different and the transition from in to out of focus is another factor.

Each lens from a Zeiss Master prime to a vintage Cooke Speed Pancro imparts a different look on the image. The DoP and director choose the one appropriate for the subject they are shooting.

Different tools for different jobs.

 MICHAEL l
MICHAEL l
MemberJune 24th, 2017

I would caution doing business with Duclos Lenses.
I had a bad experience with a sales rep who provided 2 quotes the company wasn’t able to honor during checkout. While most likely an honest mistake, one easily avoided with proper knowledge of what is being sold to a customer, I still had a bad experience with Duclos and provided a 1 star review based on that experience and moved on to another retailer and product.

Instead of taking the time to reflect on what the company may be able to do to prevent future negative reviews (training and informing sales staff) the owner decided to accuse me of slander and trying to blackmail them.

I wouldn’t say attacking a customer for providing feedback service friendly. Review sites are around for customers as well as management to learn from and gain insight.

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