Tagged: Review

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!

The post Duclos Lenses sub-$5K Cine Prime Shootout appeared first on cinema5D.

All credit is given to author News – cinema5DFabian Chaundy

12mm is the kind of focal length you usually see stamped on fisheye lenses, or wide rectilinear Micro Four-Thirds optics that due to their 2x crop factor are equivalent to 24mm in Full Frame. But to see a rectilinear lens of this focal length for full frame? Now, that’s interesting. Today we take a look at the Laowa 12mm f/2.8 ZERO-D.

Laowa 12mm f/2.8

Laowa by Venus Optics is a range of very peculiar photo lenses, so much so that to call them niche would be almost an understatement. Just check out Nino’s post about the adorable Laowa 24mm Macro “Snorkel” Relay Lens here, for example.

Today we’re taking a closer look at the Laowa 12mm f/2.8. Having achieved its Kickstarter campaign goal many times over, the lens is currently available for pre-order for $949. Fortunately, we were lucky enough to get our hands on a pre-production model, with the video above being a result of some of our playing around with it.

The Laowa 12mm is a completely manual lens with clicked aperture and, in terms of build, it feels very solid, mostly due to its compact nature and strong metal casing. It also features a small removable petal-shaped lens hood, but do be aware that — as is the case with most ultra-wides — the Laowa 12mm f/2.8 needs an optional filter tray as it doesn’t have a filter thread.

post 5

One very nice detail for video shooters is the long throw of the focus ring, offering around 300° of rotation and thus allowing for more precise focusing. The focus ring also seems like it would play well with third-party lens gears for use with follow focus systems. However, note that the focus ring on our particular unit had a bit of a grind to it which we attribute solely to it being a pre-production model. Do let us know if you come across newer models and how the focus ring feels!

One last word about focus: the minimum focal distance of 18cm is just great. It really allows you to get up close to create a large interesting foreground and exaggerate the distance to the background  – often a very desirable effect in wide angle photography.

12mm is certainly a very wide focal length indeed, allowing you to achieve magnificent vistas and exaggerate the sense of depth between foreground and background. Lenses with such an extreme focal length, however, often tend to distort straight lines around the edges of the image as if the picture was bulging outwards. This is called barrel distortion, an extreme version of this being the look of a fisheye lens.

But has Laowa delivered on its promise of close-to-zero-distortion wideness? Let’s compare the Laowa 12mm f/2.8 to some popular wide-angle alternatives, all of which approximate but not quite match the wideness of the Laowa.

post 2

Laowa 12mm f/2.8 ZERO-D – Barrel Distortion

As a first comparison, we chose the very popular Rokinon 14mm f/2.8. You can see the severe barrel distortion that the Rokinon exhibits. 

Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 vs Laowa 12mm f/2.8 ZERO-D

The Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 zoom is another budget wide angle favourite. Despite it being designed for APS-C cameras, some full frame shooters find acceptable results with little vignetting at 16mm. I have included both options in this comparison shot. As you can see, there is still some distortion.

TokinaFFVSlaowa TokinaCropVSlaowa

Higher up the price range we find the ZEISS CP.2 15mm. A proper cine lens costing upwards of $5,000, we can certainly expect the optical quality to outperform the previous contenders. However, the image still reveals some slight barrel distortion despite still not being quite as wide as the Laowa 12mm f/2.8.

ZeissVSlaowa

With edges straight as a ruler, the Laowa 12mm f/2.8 ZERO-D certainly delivers what it promises. But what about the other aspects of its optical qualities?

Laowa 12mm f/2.8 ZERO-D – Vignetting

The left half of the image below shows the lens wide open, which does exhibit slight vignetting. However, this is a phenomenon common to most if not all lenses, and is greatly reduced by stopping down one click to f/4: notice the right side of the image and how the shade of background gray is much more even from the centre to the edges.

Vignetting

Laowa 12mm f/2.8 ZERO-D – Sharpness

In terms of centre sharpness, the lens performs great from the get go: even wide open the centre of the image is tack sharp. 

center-sharpness

Next, corner sharpness. In the extract from the top right corner of the chart, the image is just a little bit softer in the corner when wide open, but step down to f/5.6 or f/8 and the results are much better. In fact, even f/4 is very usable! Of course, APS-C and Super35 users would be working exclusively with the sweet spot of the lens, which would still prove to be very wide even after a 1.5x or 1.6x sensor crop.

Conclusion

All in all, the Laowa 12mm f/2.8 really delivers what it promises. 12mm is incredibly wide — perhaps even too wide for some uses! — and the unique selling point of this no-distortion lens makes it ideal for architectural and real estate shooters. Also, the wideness can help make the shake in handheld shots a little less noticeable, and help make gimbal shots even more glidey and floaty. Sharp, solid, compact, fast and optically outstanding – it’s difficult to find negative aspects about the lens!

Sure, it would be nice to be able to use threaded filters and keep the footprint of this lens compact, and in terms of price, some may consider it a little steep for a fully manual photo lens. Of course, other wide-angle favourites such as the Canon 11-24 f/4 go for a lot more money, so a good alternative in this price range is perhaps the Tamron SP 15 – 30mm / 2,8 Di VC USD. Offering full frame coverage and image stabilisation, this fast ultra-wide zoom does offer all the bells and whistles, but weighs a hefty 1100g, almost twice as much as the Laowa.

So there you have it! Does this lens sound like something you’d like to have in your kit bag? Let us know in the comments below!

      

The post Laowa 12mm f/2.8 ZERO-D Full-Frame Lens – Hands-on Review and Comparison appeared first on cinema5D.

All credit is given to author News – cinema5DFabian Chaundy

12mm is the kind of focal length you usually see stamped on fisheye lenses, or wide rectilinear Micro Four-Thirds optics that due to their 2x crop factor are equivalent to 24mm in Full Frame. But to see a rectilinear lens of this focal length for full frame? Now, that’s interesting. Today we take a look at the Laowa 12mm f/2.8 ZERO-D.

Laowa 12mm f/2.8

Laowa by Venus Optics is a range of very peculiar photo lenses, so much so that to call them niche would be almost an understatement. Just check out Nino’s post about the adorable Laowa 24mm Macro “Snorkel” Relay Lens here, for example.

Today we’re taking a closer look at the Laowa 12mm f/2.8. Having achieved its Kickstarter campaign goal many times over, the lens is currently available for pre-order for $949. Fortunately, we were lucky enough to get our hands on a pre-production model, with the video above being a result of some of our playing around with it.

The Laowa 12mm is a completely manual lens with clicked aperture and, in terms of build, it feels very solid, mostly due to its compact nature and strong metal casing. It also features a small removable petal-shaped lens hood, but do be aware that — as is the case with most ultra-wides — the Laowa 12mm f/2.8 needs an optional filter tray as it doesn’t have a filter thread.

post 5

One very nice detail for video shooters is the long throw of the focus ring, offering around 300° of rotation and thus allowing for more precise focusing. The focus ring also seems like it would play well with third-party lens gears for use with follow focus systems. However, note that the focus ring on our particular unit had a bit of a grind to it which we attribute solely to it being a pre-production model. Do let us know if you come across newer models and how the focus ring feels!

One last word about focus: the minimum focal distance of 18cm is just great. It really allows you to get up close to create a large interesting foreground and exaggerate the distance to the background  – often a very desirable effect in wide angle photography.

12mm is certainly a very wide focal length indeed, allowing you to achieve magnificent vistas and exaggerate the sense of depth between foreground and background. Lenses with such an extreme focal length, however, often tend to distort straight lines around the edges of the image as if the picture was bulging outwards. This is called barrel distortion, an extreme version of this being the look of a fisheye lens.

But has Laowa delivered on its promise of close-to-zero-distortion wideness? Let’s compare the Laowa 12mm f/2.8 to some popular wide-angle alternatives, all of which approximate but not quite match the wideness of the Laowa.

post 2

Laowa 12mm f/2.8 ZERO-D – Barrel Distortion

As a first comparison, we chose the very popular Rokinon 14mm f/2.8. You can see the severe barrel distortion that the Rokinon exhibits. 

Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 vs Laowa 12mm f/2.8 ZERO-D

The Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 zoom is another budget wide angle favourite. Despite it being designed for APS-C cameras, some full frame shooters find acceptable results with little vignetting at 16mm. I have included both options in this comparison shot. As you can see, there is still some distortion.

TokinaFFVSlaowa TokinaCropVSlaowa

Higher up the price range we find the ZEISS CP.2 15mm. A proper cine lens costing upwards of $5,000, we can certainly expect the optical quality to outperform the previous contenders. However, the image still reveals some slight barrel distortion despite still not being quite as wide as the Laowa 12mm f/2.8.

ZeissVSlaowa

With edges straight as a ruler, the Laowa 12mm f/2.8 ZERO-D certainly delivers what it promises. But what about the other aspects of its optical qualities?

Laowa 12mm f/2.8 ZERO-D – Vignetting

The left half of the image below shows the lens wide open, which does exhibit slight vignetting. However, this is a phenomenon common to most if not all lenses, and is greatly reduced by stopping down one click to f/4: notice the right side of the image and how the shade of background gray is much more even from the centre to the edges.

Vignetting

Laowa 12mm f/2.8 ZERO-D – Sharpness

In terms of centre sharpness, the lens performs great from the get go: even wide open the centre of the image is tack sharp. 

center-sharpness

Next, corner sharpness. In the extract from the top right corner of the chart, the image is just a little bit softer in the corner when wide open, but step down to f/5.6 or f/8 and the results are much better. In fact, even f/4 is very usable! Of course, APS-C and Super35 users would be working exclusively with the sweet spot of the lens, which would still prove to be very wide even after a 1.5x or 1.6x sensor crop.

Conclusion

All in all, the Laowa 12mm f/2.8 really delivers what it promises. 12mm is incredibly wide — perhaps even too wide for some uses! — and the unique selling point of this no-distortion lens makes it ideal for architectural and real estate shooters. Also, the wideness can help make the shake in handheld shots a little less noticeable, and help make gimbal shots even more glidey and floaty. Sharp, solid, compact, fast and optically outstanding – it’s difficult to find negative aspects about the lens!

Sure, it would be nice to be able to use threaded filters and keep the footprint of this lens compact, and in terms of price, some may consider it a little steep for a fully manual photo lens. Of course, other wide-angle favourites such as the Canon 11-24 f/4 go for a lot more money, so a good alternative in this price range is perhaps the Tamron SP 15 – 30mm / 2,8 Di VC USD. Offering full frame coverage and image stabilisation, this fast ultra-wide zoom does offer all the bells and whistles, but weighs a hefty 1100g, almost twice as much as the Laowa.

So there you have it! Does this lens sound like something you’d like to have in your kit bag? Let us know in the comments below!

      

The post Laowa 12mm f/2.8 ZERO-D Full-Frame Lens – Hands-on Review and Comparison appeared first on cinema5D.

All credit is given to author News – cinema5DFabian Chaundy

Comment on this article at the EOSHD Forum

Micro Four Thirds is increasingly going up-market and into pro territory, and unfortunately new Panasonic and Olympus cameras are getting more and more expensive by the day. Thankfully the G85 is a pro camera without a pro price – it represents a genuine advance over the Panasonic GH4 with cleaner low light performance, better automatic white balance and of course 5 [...]

The post Panasonic G85 review – is there any need to get an Olympus E-M1 Mark II for video? appeared first on EOSHD.

All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)

Comment on this article at the EOSHD Forum

Micro Four Thirds is increasingly going up-market and into pro territory, and unfortunately new Panasonic and Olympus cameras are getting more and more expensive by the day. Thankfully the G85 is a pro camera without a pro price – it represents a genuine advance over the Panasonic GH4 with cleaner low light performance, better automatic white balance and of course 5 [...]

The post Panasonic G85 review – is there any need to get an Olympus E-M1 Mark II for video? appeared first on EOSHD.

All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)

Comment on this article at the EOSHD Forum

Micro Four Thirds is increasingly going up-market and into pro territory, and unfortunately new Panasonic and Olympus cameras are getting more and more expensive by the day. Thankfully the G85 is a pro camera without a pro price – it represents a genuine advance over the Panasonic GH4 with cleaner low light performance, better automatic white balance and of course 5 [...]

The post Panasonic G85 review – is there any need to get an Olympus E-M1 Mark II for video? appeared first on EOSHD.

All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)

Comment on this article at the EOSHD Forum

Comment on the forum I’ve been considering the Panasonic FZ2500, and have also tried out the long awaited EOS M5 that nobody was particularly waiting for. As the consumer market exits the warm swimming pool into the cold air of winter, all that shrinkage has resulted in some changes. Camera manufacturers have decided to add value, which [...]

The post Embarrassing threesome – Mini reviews of the Panasonic FZ2500, Sony RX100 V and Canon EOS M5 appeared first on EOSHD.

All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)

Comment on this article at the EOSHD Forum

Comment on the forum I’ve been considering the Panasonic FZ2500, and have also tried out the long awaited EOS M5 that nobody was particularly waiting for. As the consumer market exits the warm swimming pool into the cold air of winter, all that shrinkage has resulted in some changes. Camera manufacturers have decided to add value, which [...]

The post Embarrassing threesome – Mini reviews of the Panasonic FZ2500, Sony RX100 V and Canon EOS M5 appeared first on EOSHD.

All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)

Comment on this article at the EOSHD Forum

Comment on the forum I’ve been considering the Panasonic FZ2500, and have also tried out the long awaited EOS M5 that nobody was particularly waiting for. As the consumer market exits the warm swimming pool into the cold air of winter, all that shrinkage has resulted in some changes. Camera manufacturers have decided to add value, which [...]

The post Embarrassing threesome – Mini reviews of the Panasonic FZ2500, Sony RX100 V and Canon EOS M5 appeared first on EOSHD.

All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)

Comment on this article at the EOSHD Forum

Comment on the forum I got to play with the new Olympus E-M1 II today, a pro Micro Four Thirds camera they hope will sell for $2000. It certainly pulls out all the stops to imitate a miniature 1D X Mark II. This camera does NOT crop the sensor in 4K mode like the GH4. Instead, it [...]

The post Olympus E-M1 II mini-review – a sign of things to come with the Panasonic GH5? appeared first on EOSHD.

All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)