Filmmakers use zoom lenses

Filming with SLR: Part 3 Which lens

Stepless aperture

As with manual lenses, the aperture can be set using a ring. The aperture ring is “declicked”. This means that the aperture ring does not click into place at the individual values ​​(2.0, 2.8, 5.6, etc.) but can be turned "smoothly". Thus, when changing from an indoor location to an outdoor location, the aperture can be adjusted without any visible jumps during the take.

Sprocket - Gears

The focus ring, the aperture ring and the zoom ring (if it is a cinezoom) are equipped with toothed rings so that FollowFocus and other control systems can be connected to the lenses. With photo lenses you have to retrofit the ring gears.

Uniform sizes

Cine lenses are usually significantly larger than their counterparts as photo lenses. With many manufacturers, the Cine lenses have the same housing within a certain focal length (e.g. 24mm lenses to 135mm lenses). The housing size is based on the largest lens (e.g. 135mm). The reason for this is that when you change the lens you don't have to readjust the FollowFocus, the matte box, etc., but attach the new lens to the camera and have all the accessories in the same place. That saves time on set.

Markings on the lens

The distance markings (focus distance) and the selected aperture are attached so that you can read the numbers from the side and not from above. The focus puller is usually on the right or left side and can read the numbers on the lens. With a photo lens, the photographer looks at the lens from above, so the markings are on top of the lens.

More cine lenses on the market

A few years ago there were only a few manufacturers who offered cinelens. With the advent of HDDslrs, manufacturers have realized that filmmakers prefer to film with cine lenses rather than photo lenses. Other manufacturers then added Cine lenses to their range of lenses. Often the photo lenses are simply packed in a new housing. It doesn't always have to be bad. Zeiss installs the same glasses in the CP2s and the ZF2s. The housing of the CP2 is, however, a professional cinelens housing and the consistency of the glasses is checked again more closely. Within a series, the lenses should have the same look.

We have put together a small selection of manufacturers for you:

Cine optics are available in every price range. Entry-level lenses from Walimex are available from around € 300. Here the lenses are not all the same size and of course show clear image errors (chromatic aberration, aliasing, etc.)

Update April 2019:

We tested the Meike Cine lens. The Meike 25mm cine lens is a good introduction to the world of cine optics. The Meike 25mm cinelens are available with MFT mount, Fuji mount and Sony mount.

Update May 2019

The Meike 16mm is now also on the market and we tested it directly.