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Rokinon is giving its Cine lenses an upgrade with the Cine DS lineup. Starting with a brand new manual focus 50mm T1.5 AS UMC Cine DS Lens, video shooters are now provided with a standard cinema lens option compatible with full-frame cameras. This second generation of cine lenses offers a few notable benefits for video shooters, in addition to the use of de-clicked aperture rings and gears. First, the focus and aperture gears are unified, meaning that swapping out lenses will not require adjustments to your rig. Second, for convenience to the user there are dual focusing scales, one on each side. Third, all of the Cine DS lenses are tested to be color matched, ensuring that your footage will feature the same color and contrast throughout your production.
Having had the opportunity to take an EF-mount version out for some test shooting, the first thing I noticed was its solid construction. Not that I would recommend dropping it, but it feels dense and it has a metal lens mount. Also, it is quite fast at T1.5 maximum aperture. The T-stop provides an accurate measurement of light transmission, as opposed to an f-stop's mathematical ratio, which may not be exactly telling of the lens's true brightness.
When used on a C100 Cinema EOS Camera, the lens proved to be quite sharp, showing only slight softening at T1.5 with the cropped Super35 sensor size. It does increase in sharpness when stopped down and, during my time with the lens, I noticed it was best between T4 and T8. The click-less aperture was also very smooth and when compared to Canon's standard EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens, it was a welcomed improvement (the Canon doesn't even have an aperture ring on the lens). The lens also has 77mm threads to attach filters, such as a Vari-ND filter, as well as a bayonet-style hood.
I set the lens up on a rig with a follow focus and it worked just as one would hope. There was slight breathing, but nothing dramatic or immediately noticeable. The lens is designed with bright distance and aperture markings printed sideways on the barrel so that the 1st AC or focus puller can easily see what they are doing.
The lens performed admirably for shooting stills, as well. It is bright when wide open and provided sharp, color-accurate images with the 20-megapixel Canon 6D on which it was placed. The full-frame camera showed very slight vignetting and some distortion, but nothing extreme. This is benefitted by the use of aspherical and hybrid aspherical glass elements in a 9-element / 6-group design. It does not, however, have any electronic communication, meaning that there is no focus confirm or transfer of metadata to the camera.
The smooth focusing is nice for stills as well as video, and there are white and orange distance markings for pre-focusing. The click-less aperture may take some getting used to if you are accustomed to click-stops for denoting aperture settings, but this is easily realized. The diaphragm features 8 blades, which enable pleasing out-of-focus areas.
In general, the lens performed well on the C100 and 6D and provided sharp imagery in a variety of shooting situations. Filmmakers and videographers, whether working with Cine cameras or DSLRs should definitely consider it, especially if you already shoot with Rokinon’s other Cine lenses.
The 50mm T1.5 Cine Lens is available in the following lens mounts: Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony A, Sony E, and Micro Four Thirds. The 85mm, 35mm, 24mm, and 14mm lenses will also receive the Cine DS treatment and each will be available in Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony A, Sony E, and Micro Four Thirds options.
Still Image Samples
|Click imarge to enlarge|
|Lens Mount||Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony A, Sony E, Micro Four Thirds|
|Focal Length (35mm Equivalent)||Full Frame: 50mm
APS-C, Canon: 80mm
Four Thirds/Micro Four Thirds: 100mm
|Angle of View||Full Frame: 46.2°
APS-C, Canon: 29.0°
Four Thirds/Micro Four Thirds: 23.6°
|Minimum Focusing Distance||1.5' / 0.45 m|
|Lens Construction||9 elements / 6 groups (1 aspherical & 1 hybrid aspherical)|
|Filter Ring Diameter||77mm|
|Dimensions (D x L)||3.2 x 2.8-4.0" (81.6 x 72.2-101.0mm) depending on mount|
|Weight||1.2-1.4 lb (545-640 g) depending on mount|