Zeiss recently opened up about upcoming projects, the impact of 4K and how compatible their lenses are for all of the new cameras that have just been released. Find out what they're blogging about (Lenspire) and what's on the horizon for 2016.
Q What’s new from the ZEISS lens family? First, for film and video production - and secondly, for any of our photographers as well?
A It has been a busy couple of months for us. First we announced the Milvus lens family for Canon and Nikon mount cameras. The interesting feature for film and video productions is the ZEISS patented DeClick feature for the Nikon version of these lenses. With a simple turn of one screw at the lens mount the aperture stops can be disabled. The result is a continuous aperture.
We also added a third Loxia lens to the manual focus lens family for Sony A7 cameras. The new Loxia offers outstanding image performance – across the entire image field of a full-frame sensor. And we did announce the latest wide angle addition to the Otus family.
Q With the adoption of 4K, is there anything that ZEISS has product-wise that is geared towards 4K / UHD?
A We have solutions for 4K image capture, whether this is via a large format sensor, or via a smaller sensor with a higher pixel density. The imaging requirements for both are different. The first requires lenses that cover a large image circle size, such as the ZEISS CP.2 or CZ.2 cine lenses. Alternatively, filmmakers on a budget or who are looking for a smaller lens can consider our Otus, Milvus or even the Loxia series – which all cover a 24x36 format and are well suited for 4K capture. For the 4K cameras using APS-C / Super 35 sensors, the smaller pixel sizes puts higher demands on the optics. In these cases, the filmmaker needs high resolution lenses that will resolve the small pixel size. All of our lenses, including CP.2, Otus, Milvus and Loxia lenses ideally suited. Regardless of how 4K is defined, ZEISS has a lens solution for today’s filmmaker.
Q Tell us about your new blog, Lenspire.
A On our new blog LENSPIRE photographers and interested users can learn about photography, exchange ideas and, most importantly, educate themselves. The focus is on the theme "photography as a passion." With LENSPIRE, we are pursuing an educational approach by emphasizing a professional dialogue and direct contact between ZEISS-experts and the users. It's important to us to not only explain different applications, but also to present our ambassadors as mentors and to help users take advantage of their expertise.
Q Any developments in shooting and workflow that are impacting your business?
A There are several trends we are watching closely. One of them is the adoption of the Sony FE and E cameras for video capture, especially the A7SII and A7RII cameras. These cameras now offer internal 4K capture in a small, light-weight package. They’re well suited as a second camera, or as a primary for the right types of jobs. Another is the slow, but steady move towards large sensor formats. The RED Weapon 8K and the Sony A7 series are another indication this is a trend we can expect to continue into 2016. While we don’t expect the FF format to become dominant in the beginning, the important point is filmmakers have a wider range of options available to them. As they consider these new tools, the importance of investing in lenses that are future proof to these technology changes is critical.
Q What shows can we find ZEISS at in the coming months?
A We are going to attend many local dealer events in the next months to come We want to give people the chance to shoot our lenses in a smaller setting as it a big trade show.
Q So many new cameras launched in recent months — from Sony, Canon, Blackmagic, Red, etc - is your glass compatible with all? Any recommendations for certain lenses with certain camera systems?
A Our approach is to offer lens solutions for all of the popular camera mounts on the market. Today, this is primarily the PL, E/FE and EF mount. The choice of lens is dependent on the sensor size and the corresponding horizontal angle of view. Since most of our lenses are designed for full-frame sensors, the 50mm is considered the standard lens and produces a HOV of around 40 degrees. However, when that same focal length is used on a camera with a Super 35 or APS-C, the crop factor results in an angle of view equivalent to that of a short telephoto. Instead, the ‘normal’ focal length for these cameras is a 35mm. So when considering a set of lenses to rent or purchase, we tell the filmmaker to create it around the normal lens for the sensor size of the camera. For example, on a Super-35 format camera, a small 3 lens set would consist of a 25mm / 35mm / 50mm lens – which would correspond to a wide-angle, normal and short-tele lens. For cameras using a full-frame sensor, they would need to use a 35mm / 50mm / 85mm to get the same horizontal angle of view. So the choice of lens has more to do than just choosing a compatible lens mount.
Q Any of your favorite end users, or Ambassadors, that you’d like to point people to see their websites, blog etc.)?
A All photographer and cinematographers we work with are very talented in their field and very passionate about the gear they use. If you want to get to know them just visit our website: lenspire.zeiss.com.
Q Any current special programs (financing, discounts, etc) going on our readers should know about?
A We have currently two programs in place for our Classic SLR lenses for Canon and Nikon. The first program is our 125th Anniversary Promotion. We offer savings up to $300 on our Classic SLR lenses to celebrate 125 years of Carl Zeiss lenses. The second program is design especially for students and educators. We offer an education discount for students enrolled full-time in an accredited photography/cinematography program in the United States. You can find additional details here: www.zeiss.com.
Q What’s on the horizon for 2016?
A The camera market remains highly competitive, with more high-end features being introduced at even more attractive price points. Filmmakers will need to educate themselves on the changes and then choose the tools which are right for them and the job at hand. As a company that designs and manufacturers lenses, our job is to try to stay ahead of the curve and to make sure we have the right solutions available. So I expect to see more higher resolution lenses from ZEISS, together with an assortment of AF solutions for the Sony E/FE cameras for the event and broadcast markets.
Q And where can we follow Zeiss on social media?