Zeiss 0% Financing Offer Is Alive Again

ZEISS-OFFERLast year, Zeiss introduced a 0% financing offer for their CP.2 Compact Primes and CZ.2 Compact Zooms which was only available for a short time. Rejoice – It’s available again and this it starts today, April 1st (no joke) and goes through December 31st, 2014. This offer allows business customers to purchase any CP.2 set or CZ.2 lens with no money down, 0% financing for 12 months. It’s really pretty simple, $83.33 per month per $1,000 financed. This means if you opt for a CZ.2 28-80mm, your payment would approximately $1,666/mo. Not too shabby for a working professional looking to up their lens game. Check out all the details over at Duclos Lenses.

Zeiss CP.2 & CZ.2 Video Showcase

A lot of folks want to see actual footage instead of just numbers when it comes to the practical look and feel of a particular lens. And as usual, Zeiss delivered. Here is a small collection of short videos that feature different primes and even a few zooms that Zeiss currently offers. The first video is a “Sizzle Reel” with a lot of quick takes from different scenes using different lenses. Zeiss used a range of focal lengths including the 15mm T2.1, 21mm T2.9, 25mm T2.1, 28mm T2.1, 35mm T2.1, 50mm T2.1, 85mm T2.1, 100mm T2.1 CF, 135mm T2.1, and lastly the 70-200mm T2.9 and shot a nice panning shot and a static rotating shot with each focal length. Take a look and gather all you can from this collection of results.

CP.2 Sizzle Reel – © 2012 Carl Zeiss AG

Continue reading Zeiss CP.2 & CZ.2 Video Showcase

Do Your Speeds Need to be Super?

I’ve touched on Zeiss’ success over the past decade, all based on their old Zeiss ZF and ZE line of lenses. The ZF lenses started to become extremely popular with the VDSLR revolution and low point of entry into the world of motion picture acquisition. The ZF lenses were updated and replaced with the ZF.2 line which made using them on modern Nikon cameras easier and more feature rich. Zeiss proceeded to take those same internals and implant them into bigger better housings in the form of Compact Primes, their first new cinema lens in quite a while. The compact primes were good but they had a few problems. The speed from one lens to another was inconsistent and the mounts were fixed. Zeiss addressed both of these issues by limiting the entire range to T2.1 with the exception of the already slower 18mm, 21, and 25mm and introducing their interchangeable mount system. This pleased most users that wanted a versatile set with consistent aperture throughout the set. But where did those faster primes go? Continue reading Do Your Speeds Need to be Super?

Zeiss Reveals New Lenses

The following from a Zeiss press release dated 08.30.12.

Carl Zeiss will display the new cine zoom lens Compact Zoom CZ.2 28-80/T2.9 at the IBC in Amsterdam, the leading international trade show for film, radio and television, from September 7 to 11, 2012 in hall 11 booth G64. The new Compact Zoom CZ.2 28-80/T2.9 by Carl Zeiss is a cine zoom lens ideally suited to a wide variety of shooting situations. It is easy to handle, compact and versatile. It takes pictures in 4K resolution — in full format. This is the second Compact Zoom CZ.2 lens from Carl Zeiss, complementing the Compact Zoom CZ.2 70-200/T2.9 presented in April at the NAB Show 2012 in Las Vegas for the longer focal length range. For color rendition, contrast and other parameters such as great flare suppression, calibrated focus scales, consistent aperture over the zoom range, round iris the new CZ.2 family is closely aligned to one another, making these lenses ideal for attaining a con- sistent optical performance when changing lenses.

Continue reading Zeiss Reveals New Lenses

Zeiss Teases New Lenses, IBC 2012

Zeiss has been on a roll over the past few years. Their ZF.2 lenses became an overdue success and with those came the Compact Primes CP.2 and the Light Weight Zoom LWZ. They’ve recently announced their short line of high speed CP.2 lenses deemed Super Speeds as well as their new 70-200mm Cine-Zoom and even a range of professional anamorphic primes at NAB this year. Their product line-up just gets better and better with no hint of stopping anytime soon. Continue reading Zeiss Teases New Lenses, IBC 2012

CineMatics “High Cost Customized Film Lens”

I first saw these lenses featured in an article over at Cinescopophilia.com who did a nice job reporting the facts. Basically, it looks like CineMatics is re-housing Zeiss ZE/ZF lenses for use on motion picture application. Similar to a Cine-Mod but larger and with more parts. The cost of these lenses really is pretty cheap, despite the title of the page over at CineMatics (“High Cost Customized Film Lens”). I could’t get a hold of anyone to provide some more accurate information regarding the details behind these new lenses. As far as I can tell, the lenses are not re-barreled, but just… Barreled. It looks like the original lens is left intact and the housings are added on top of the original lens. Not a bad thing, just curious. The CineMatics lenses look almost identical to Zeiss Compact Primes, but to the decreeing eye, are obviously very different. From what i can see on the photos provided on their site, the barrels are quite a bit larger than stock ZE/ZF lenses. This would help extend focus travel a little bit, but what puzzles me is that there are two follow focus gears in the photo. One larger gear toward the front of the lens and another small gear at the back that appears to be directly connected to the focus ring via set screws. At first glance, it appears to be the same construction as a CP.2 which would lead one to believe the smaller rear gear is an aperture ring but it doesn’t appear to be connected in any way. The site says they can add a aperture ring for an additional charge, I assume to ZF models only which already have an aperture control ring. It also notes that to remove the click-stops, there is another additional charge which tells me that the original aperture assembly is kept intact. I would love to see these lenses in person as they could be a good alternative to the much higher priced CP.2. The lenses do also come with the Zeiss warranty… Not sure how that works either. So these lenses are basically a more extensive, prettier Cine-Mod somewhere in-between ZF.2 and CP.2. If you want to have a set of professional looking lenses to impress your producer on set but don’t want to break the bank, these lenses might be a good choice for you.

Zeiss CP.2 vs. ZF.2

Zeiss released their CP.2 (Compact Primes) cinema lenses about a year ago, not long after they dropped their original Compact Primes on the market. There has been a lot of debate about the value of the Compact Primes. With an influx of new primes with a range of price tags, there is no shortage of choices for the budding cinematographer or even the veteran looking to invest in some glass. At $3,900 a piece, or a set of five lenses just shy of $20k, the Compact Primes are some of the cheapest options out there for what I would consider professional cinema lenses. However, a lot of cinematographers are opting for the ultra budget conscious still photo lenses with Cine-Mods to bring them up to cinema spec. But what makes the Compact Primes so much more expensive than, say, a Zeiss ZF.2? After all, they are in fact the exact same glass but in a different housing, right? Sort of… There are quite a few features that really separate the two lenses no matter how similar their heritage is. The ZF.2s are Zeiss’ latest all manual still photo lenses. They just happen to make very pretty images when mounted to a motion picture camera as well as a still photo camera. The Compact Primes take it a step beyond pretty images and provide a professional set of features that can be very valuable to a cinematographer and his/her crew. I’ll start with the optics. Zeiss says that the CP.2 lenses use hand-picked elements that really increase the consistency and accuracy of the lenses. I can’t attest to this as I haven’t seen any difference in the glass or the test results produced by the Compact Primes, but it looks good on a brochure.

It may not be obvious, but these two 85mm primes are share the exact same optical design.

Continue reading Zeiss CP.2 vs. ZF.2

New Zeiss CP.2 Macro Duo

Zeiss recently announced the addition of Nikon (official), Sony, and 4/3 mounts for their Compact Prime series. I expected this since it’s a simple mount and the interface was already interchangeable. I also expected new focal lengths which they announced just this morning. The adaptation of existing ZF/ZE 50mm f/2 macro and the 100mm f/2 macro. These are two of my favorite lenses in the series. The 50mm macro has far better image quality than the 50mm f/1,4 and focuses down to about 10 inches (1:2) but it does lose that little bit of speed over the 50mm f/1,4. Meh… And then there is the insane bokeh of the 100mm macro. With a close focus of 18 inches (1:2) the background is thrown so far out of focus, it’s gorgeous. I can’t wait to get my hands on this macro duo. Continue reading New Zeiss CP.2 Macro Duo