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As the market for cine-style lenses has grown, users are faced with an ever-expanding choice of lenses. To make choosing a set easier, several manufacturers have put together kits of popular focal lengths, enabling you to purchase a pre-grouped set of primes. Cine-Style Prime Lens Sets are the focus here (pun intended); of course, you may also create your own set of lenses from individually available lenses at B&H Photo Video.
While the 35mm lens has traditionally been considered to produce a “normal” look, you may prefer a wider or tighter focal length for your go-to focal length. Several sets pair a normal lens with a wider and a telephoto lens for your basic three-lens kit. If your budget and space constraints permit, larger sets of five to ten lenses are available and you can also purchase whichever focal lengths suit your project’s specific demands. When used with the appropriate camera settings, shooting with cine-style lenses can produce a rich, film-like look. Optically speaking, these lenses tend to feature high-quality elements, have better color matching across sets than their still brethren, and produce attractive bokeh.
Cine-style lenses incorporate several ergonomic, pro-oriented features for easier shooting. Compared to most still lenses, construction is generally more durable, and usually made of metal. Focus breathing is reduced and the internal focus mechanism enables the front lens element to remain still while focusing—a boon when using a matte box. When the position of focus and iris gears are spaced consistently, the need to reposition a follow focus, lens control system, or rod-mounted matte box is eliminated when switching to a different focal length. Larger-diameter lens barrels with widely spaced marks make focus pulls easier and more precise for your A.C. Cine-style lenses feature click-less apertures, allowing for smooth adjustments while you’re shooting, such as when the sun breaks out unexpectedly from behind a cloud in the middle of a long take. Some lens brands are labeled in feet and metric measurements, while others are available with a choice of imperial or metric markings.
Some are purpose-built for the digital cinema market, while others are re-housed still lenses or based on existing still lens designs. Zeiss offers, and Rokinon plans to offer, interchangeable mounts on their primes, enabling you to use the lenses with different cameras, and “future-proofing” these primes for use with new cameras using yet-to-be-developed camera mounts. Cine-style lens choices include offerings from historic manufacturers such as Bower, Canon, Cooke, Leica, Rokinon, Schneider, Sony, and Zeiss, as well as newer purveyors such as GL Optics, LockCircle, SLR Magic, and Veydra. (Manufacturers are listed alphabetically within categories.)
These Cooke lenses come in PL mount in either feet or meter versions, and feature Super35mm format coverage; they all have an 87mm front diameter, except for the 18mm, which has a 110mm front.
Six-lens set: 18, 25, 32, 50, 75, 100mm T2.8
Nine-lens set: above set plus 40, 65, 135mm T2.8
Ten-lens set: above set plus 21mm T2.8
GL Optics takes existing still lenses and rehouses them for cinematic applications. These PL mount primes offer full-frame coverage, a 95mm front diameter, and focus barrels with 330° of rotation.
Leica R Super Speed six-lens set: 19 and 28mm T2.8; 35, 50, and 80mm T1.4; 135mm T2.8
Leica R Standard Speed six-set: 19 and 28mm T2.8; 35, 50 and 90mm T2; 135mm T2.8
Zeiss Contax Super Speed five-lens set: 25, 35mm T2.8; 50, 85mm T1.4; 135mm T2.8
All Summicron-C and Summilux-C lenses in these sets have a common 95mm front diameter and barrels with 300° of focus rotation. The Summicron-C lenses cover the RED Epic Dragon sensor in 6K mode and the Summilux-C offer Super35mm sensor coverage.
Summicron-C 6-Lens set: 18, 25, 35, 50, 75, 100mm T2.0
Summicron-C 9-Lens set: 18, 21, 25, 29, 35, 50, 75, 100, 135mm T2.0
Summicron-C Additional 3-Lens set: 21, 29, 135mm T2.0
Summilux-C 8-Lens set: 18, 21, 25, 35, 40, 50, 75, 100mm T1.4
Summilux-C 10-Lens set: 18, 21, 25, 29, 35, 40, 50, 65, 75, 100mm T1.4
Summilux-C Additional 2-Lens set: 29, 65mm T1.4
Xeen primes are available in PL, Canon EF, MFT, Nikon F and Sony E mounts.
All feature dual-sided focus marks, multi-coated elements, 200° of focus barrel rotation, and an 11-bladed iris, except for the 14mm, which has a 9-blade iris.
Rokinon Xeen 3-Lens set: 24, 50, 85mm T1.5
Rokinon Xeen 5-Lens set: 14mm T3.1; 24, 35, 50, 85mm T1.5
Rokinon Xeen 6-Lens set: above set plus 135mm T2.2
Rokinon Xeen 7-Lens set: above set plus 16mm T2.6
SLR Magic HyperPrime PL-mount 3-Lens set: 25, 50, 85mm T2.1
These PL-mount lenses offer full-frame sensor coverage, have a 95mm front diameter, and focus barrels with 300° of rotation; this set includes a hard-shell carrying case.
SLR Magic HyperPrime MFT-mount 2-Lens set: 10mm T2.1; 25mm T0.95
These MFT-mount lenses 10mm with a 77mm-threaded front, and 25mm with a 52mm-threaded front.
This set of PL-mount lenses features Super 35mm-sized sensors, a circular 9-blade iris, and includes one aspherical element.
Sony CineAlta 4K 6-Lens set: 20, 25, 35, 50, 85, 135mm T2
Sony CineAlta 4K 3-Lens set: 20, 25, 135mm T2
These primes come with feet or metric markings, 10-blade irises, focus barrels with 300° of rotation, and include a hard-shell case.
MFT mount: Veydra Mini Prime 6-Lens set: 12, 16, 25, 35, 50, 85mm T2.2
MFT mount: Veydra Mini Prime 5-Lens set: 12, 16, 25, 35, 50mm T2.2
MFT mount: Veydra Mini Prime 4-Lens set: 16, 25, 35, 50mm T2.2
MFT mount: Veydra Mini Prime 3-Lens Starter set: 12, 25, 50mm T2.2
Sony E mount: Veydra Mini Prime: 25, 35, 50, 85mm T2.2
Although not available as pre-packaged combinations at B&H Photo Video, Bower, LockCircle, Samyang, Schneider, and Zeiss all have a selection of cine-style primes from which you can select your own set.
The 14, 24, and 85mm provide full-frame coverage, while the 8 and 16mm are compatible with APS-C sensors. The 8, 14, and 24mm lenses are available in MFT-, Sony A- and Samsung NX-mount, the 16mm in Nikon F mount, and the 85mm in Sony A mount. Features include two aspherical elements, and multi-coated glass.
Focal lengths: 8mm T3.8; 14mm T3.1; 16mm T2.2; 24mm T1.5; 85mm T1.5
These Canon EF-mount lenses employ rehoused Zeiss primes, are available with feet or metric markings, and have 95mm front diameters.
Focal lengths: f/2.8 15, 21mm; f/2.0 25, 28mm; f/1.4 35, 50, 85mm; f/2.0 100, 135mm
These primes cover APS-C sensors, have low-dispersion glass and include two aspheric elements
Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony A, Sony E: 8mm T3.8; 10, 12, 14mm T3.1; 16mm T2.2; 24, 35, 50, 85mm T1.5; 100mm macro T3.1; and 135mm T2.2
MFT: 133mm T2.2
Pentax K: 12mm T3.1
Available in PL, Canon EF, Nikon F, and Sony E-mounts offering full-frame coverage, 4K resolution compatibility, color matching, and 300° of focus barrel rotation.
Focal lengths: 18, 25, 35, 50, 75, 100mm T2.1
Theses primes can be purchased in one mount with interchangeable lens mounts available separately in PL, Canon EF, Nikon F, Micro 4/3, and Sony E styles. They offer full-frame coverage, except for the 18mm, which has APS-H coverage, and a common 114mm front, except for the 50 Macro, which has a 135mm front diameter.
T1.5 Super Speed focal lengths: 35, 50, 85mm
T2.1 focal lengths: 25, 35, 50, 50 Macro, 85, 100CF, 135mm
T2.9 focal lengths: 15, 21, 25mm
T3.6 focal length: 18mm