Cinema lenses: ZEISS – From the flagship Supreme Prime Radiance to the lightweight LWZ.3 zoom – YMCinema
Here are the key points and highlights from ZEISS’s presentation, as part of the Digital Cinema Society (DCS) discussion, on “Focus On Cine Lenses From the Buyer’s POV”. ZEISS presents its line of cinema lenses, from the flagship Supreme Prime Radiance to the Lightweight Zoom LWZ.3. Find out below.
The DCS (Digital Cinema Society) has once again hosted one of the most fascinating discussions about cinema lenses. As DCS stated: “As is our tradition, the main objective of the event is to explore the market for available cinema lenses from the buyer’s perspective.” We at YMCinema Magazine have meticulously viewed the presentations in order to serve you the key points and highlights which you can find below. However, all of the credit belongs to DCS.
About DCS: the Digital cinema company, which was founded by cinematographer Jim Mathers, is a non-profit educational cooperative dedicated to the enlightened integration of new technologies by industry. Oscar winners to aspiring filmmakers, educators and students are joined by artists from all production and post-production disciplines, including dozens of ASC cinematographers, ACE editors, leading technologists and senior executives from manufacturers, studios, exhibitors and networks. The Company’s goal is not to champion digital technology, but to objectively examine all media, solutions, services and technologies without prioritizing one brand, service or format over another.
In this presentation, Snehal Patel from Zeiss gives a little history of cinema formats and shares updates on their latest lenses. Here are the main lenses presented by Zeiss.
The description: The set of 11 ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance lenses provides constant and controlled flare. Instead of uncoated elements, the Supreme Prime Radiance series uses a blue T coating to reduce transmission loss and maintain contrast. These versatile, high-quality primers provide a slightly crisp look with a soft focus and can be alternately lit to produce reproducible highlights or a non-flare look. The 18, 21, 25, 29, 35, 40, 50, 65, 85, 100 and 135mm premiums in this set are slightly warmer versions than their Supreme Prime counterparts but close enough to be used together. Each lens produces a 46.3mm image circle, covering the full frame sensors, and it has a focus scale marked in feet. The PL lens mount transmits ZEISS eXtended lens data and is interchangeable with a separately available ARRI LPL mount.
ZEISS Special Notes: 11 focal lengths. This is our flagship. It’s like a Supreme Prime lens with a new look with blue flair features. The lens comes natively with a PL mount and has the option for LPL. It provides a very consistent fair characteristic that matches all 11 goals in the set. The upholstery has been meticulously designed to precisely match the style of the series. You can use it on the RED Monstro sensor and anything smaller than that. The best cameras for these lenses are the RED Monstro, the ALEXA LF, and the Sony VENICE.
Supreme Prime Radiance glasses offer a very consistent fair feature that matches all 11 glasses in the set. The upholstery has been meticulously designed to precisely match the style of the series.
The description: The ZEISS Supreme Prime has an interchangeable PL mount and produces a 46.3mm image circle covering full frame sensors. The internal focus design provides minimal focus breathing and a non-rotating front.
ZEISS Special Notes: 13 focal lengths. Very popular lenses. They are a must-have choice for many rentals. Lenses are widely used in commercials, music videos, streaming services, and also feature films. This is a great series of versatile lenses and a solid choice to start with. Many DPs make changes to the Supreme Primes. This means that most filmmakers will use them as “clean” lenses and add filtration and LUTs, in order to “dial in” the look you want.
Supreme Primes are the go-to choice for many rentals. Lenses are widely used in commercials, music videos, streaming services, and also feature films.
The description: Building on the success of the popular CP.2 lenses, the ZEISS CP.3 Compact Prime lenses offer the same full-frame sensor coverage and classic ZEISS look in an updated form factor and with mechanics and improved lens coatings. All CP.3 lenses share the same 95mm front diameter.
ZEISS Special Notes: 10 focal lengths. CP.1 and CP.2 were the most popular cinema lenses in the world. Compact Primes are widely used on drones and gimbals. They give the “classic ZEISS look”. In addition, they are very versatile in terms of mounts, due to their interchangeable lens mount. They are also all color matched.
Compact Prime CP.3 lenses give the “classic ZEISS look”.
The description: ZEISS CZ.2 compact zoom lenses are compatible with a variety of shooting formats, from Micro Four Thirds sensors to full frame sensors. CZ.2 zooms are optimized for digital cinematography and support 4K resolution. The full range is matched to the available ZEISS premium colors for a seamless intersection between zoom and premiums.
ZEISS Special Notes: The Cinema Zoom CZ.2 covers full frame but not full frame plus. This means that on a Monstro RED you will need to go down to 7.5K to get a sharp image. You might get dark corners in ALEXA LF Open Gate mode. However, on the Sony VENICE, you are good to go. They are a great choice for a neutral look. You won’t get a perfect picture as a primary lens, but as for the Zoom glass, it produces a very nice and clean picture.
Cinema Zoom CZ.2 lenses are a great choice for a neutral look. You won’t get a perfect picture as a primary lens, but as for the Zoom glass, it produces a very nice and clean picture.
The description: The ZEISS Lightweight Zoom LWZ.3 lens is a “one size fits all” alternative for budget productions. The lens is optimized for digital cinematography, whether it’s a DSLR or cinema camera, and will cover image sensor sizes up to Super 35mm.
ZEISS Special Notes: Lightweight Zoom LWZ.3 lenses are limited to smaller sensors. You can use them on sensors slightly larger than the Super 35mm, but certainly not on full frame sensors. As the name suggests, they are lightweight. Very good price, affordable and usable.
As the name suggests, the Lightweight Zoom LWZ.3 are lightweight. Very good price, affordable and usable.
Have you had the chance to photograph with ZEISS lenses? Which one do you prefer? Enlighten us!
Here are the products mentioned in the article and the links to buy them from authorized resellers.
- ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance
- ZEISS Supreme Prime
- ZEISS Compact Prime lens
- ZEISS CZ.2 compact zoom
- ZEISS LWZ.3 lightweight zoom