New Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2 Lenses Announced at NAB

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Further aligning itself with the needs of independent filmmakers, Zeiss announced at NAB two interchangeable-mount additions to its Compact Prime CP.2 family of cine primes. Joining one end of the lineup is a super-wide Distagon 15/T2.9, and complementing the other end is a Sonnar 135/T2.1 telephoto. Both are compact and lightweight, with the 135mm weighing only 3.5 pounds. A sturdy build and calibrated lens scales promise long life in sharp resolution.

Two aspheric lens elements and two special types of glass with abnormal partial dispersion offer exceptional correction for chromatic aberration. A Zeiss’ T* anti-reflective coating along with internal light traps provide advanced flare suppression. Fourteen high-precision iris blades maintain a consistently round and symmetrical aperture across all T-stops, producing powerful out-of-focus highlights and smooth bokeh. Both lenses provide full coverage of full frame 24 x 36mm sensors and can be used with any 24 x 36 VistaVision chip camera, such as the 5D, the new 1DC and the Nikon D800.

The 15mm lens has a very flat field with minimal distortion. It accurately captures horizontal and vertical lines in tight architectural settings and maintains razor-sharp high resolution to the very edges of the frame, even when used on cameras with full frame sensors. The 135mm is ideal for portrait shots. The long focal length allows a working distance that avoids distortion and a narrow angle of view that can focus in on the foreground. A shallow depth of field—native to telephotos—further isolates the foreground from the background.

Compact Prime CP.2 15mm/T2.9 Compact Prime CP.2 135mm/T2.1

Consistent front diameter, standard focus and iris gear positions, and cine-style housing offer compatibility with all standardized follow focus systems. And a very smooth 300° of manual focus rotation allows for accurate follow focusing.

An interchangeable mount system, designed to support the progression of digital filmmaking, ensures compatibility with whichever camera will be the most rational investment a few years from now. The mounts the lenses are purchased with can be dismantled and interchanged per instructions provided on Zeiss’s websites. A choice between PL, EF, F, MFT and E mounts affords compatibility with standard DSLRs and with professional PL-mount cine cameras and HD cameras.

Although few mediums currently exist for viewing fine resolution 4K quality, more and more cameras are being released with capacity to shoot in 4K. For those who want to shoot in 4K to possibly use the footage when 4K is more widely viewable, the whole Compact Prime family is 4K compatible. All Compact Prime lenses, including the two new additions, are color-matched and can be swapped for one another without correcting for changes in post. The set consists of eleven lenses, with two different 50mm lenses. A range of available accessories includes lens cases, test charts, interchangeable mount sets, and adjustment shims. Availability is scheduled for October/November 2012.

  CP.2 Distagon 15/T2.9 CP.2 Sonnar 135/T2.1
Mounts PL, EF, F, MFT and E PL, EF, F, MFT and E
Focal Length 15mm 135mm
Close Focus Distance from Image Plane 12" (0.3 m) 3.3' (1.0 m)
Angle of View 79° 11°
Rotation Angle of Focusing Ring 300° 300°
Iris Blades 14 14
Housing Cine style Cine style
Weight 2 lb (.9 kg)

3.5 lb (1.6 kg)