I love lenses. Having a background in optical engineering before I went into filmmaking helped me understand and appreciate how much work goes into the design of a lens to make it perform the way it does.
But aside from the technical aspects: If you ever have been on a movie set, looking around might have been disappointing. As soon as you look through a lens, the same set transforms into something real. It starts to look “like a movie”. I’m convinced there is a bit of magic in lenses — in some more than in others.
Hard to tell how much magic is in DZOFILMs new series of Full Frame prime lenses without using them, but on paper, they don’t look bad at all.
A Closer Look
The Vespids come in six focal lengths: 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, 75mm, 90mm (macro), 100mm and 125mm. Except for the 90mm macro, which has a maximum aperture of T2.8, all the lenses feature a T2.1 maximum aperture.
NOTE: If the lens aperture is given in f-stops it is purely a calculated value based on its geometry. T-stops or “Transmission”-stops also account for light-loss through refraction, diffraction, and absorption inside the lens. So the T-stop of a given lens will always be a bit lower than it’s f-stop. Most cine lenses are marked in T-stops.
While 24mm is a good wide-angle focal length on full-frame, it’s a bit tight with Super35mm sensors. Luckily DZOFILM is working on a 16mm wide-angle lens that is due to arrive in the Spring of 2021.
The Vespid Full Frame primes have a unified front diameter of 80mm and consistently placed lens gears (0.8mm pitcher)which is a good thing. Because that makes swapping lenses a lot easier. DZOFILM claims that the housings are solidly built with all-metal mechanics and smooth rotation. A focus-throw of 270° makes focus-pulling much more precise and manageable than with stills lenses.
Currently, the lenses are only available in EF and PL mount versions, but additional PL or EF mounts will be available later. Unfortunately, we have no information on wether the mounts will be user-exchangeable or not.
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: All the lenses cover an image circle of 45.5mm which should cover all Full Frame sensors out there.
What’s most important with lenses is how they look. All the lenses have a 16 blade diaphragm that should provide a smooth round bokeh. DZOFILM also states that they are balanced between modern lenses with a slightly vintage look to them. Something that sounds very appealing to me.
I don’t like uber sharp lenses that are “coated to death” and look sterile. But judging that from promotional material is not possible.
Pricing and Availability
The 25/35/50/75/100/125mm T2.1 (PL or EF) lenses can be pre-ordered on BH from November 6th and will be shipped by the end of November and cost $1249. The 90mm (PL or EF) will be shipped later in December for $1499.
DZOFILM offers a special discount if purchasing a whole set (seven lenses PL or EF) for only $7799 (packed in a hard case) and $6499 for 25/35/50/75/100/125mm T2.1 (PL or EF) if you don’t need macro.
I’ll definitely keep an eye out for those lenses and hope to get the chance of testing them, as I am looking for an affordable set of primes for ages.
Are you in the market for Full Frame prime lenses? What do you think of the DZOFILM Vespid primes? Have you used their Pictor or Linglung zooms? Let us know in the comments!