What do the best cine lenses have that regular lenses don’t? If you’ve been brought up using modern DSLR lenses, then cine lenses might seem like a step back in time. No autofocus or image stabilization and often no direct link to the camera so you have to set the desired aperture on the lens itself.
Although you can use modern AF lenses on many cinema cameras, and other cameras for filmmaking, a properly-designed cine lens offers major advantages for filmmakers who more often than not use manual focus.
The aperture ring – more often called the iris – is stepless for greater precision and so there is no vibration or noise as you alter settings. And instead of f-stops, cine lenses use the more accurate T-stops, which means the light transmission is constant as you zoom, focus or even change lenses.
When manual focusing DSLR lenses, there is usually a very short focus throw which makes critical focusing difficult. And to make it worse, these are electronically-controlled, fly-by-wire focusing systems. Cine lenses have a large focus rotation angle, more than double most DSLR lenses, for better control.
Cine lenses are made to work with follow focus rigs so most have a 0.8M standard-sized gear pitch on the focus, zoom, and iris rings. Manufacturers try to design their lenses so these rings are in the same position on all their optics, making swapping lenses much faster and easier. The front of the lenses is usually a consistent size to ensure they work with most standard matte boxes.
Many DSLR optics display lens breathing, so when you change focus you also get a change in angle of view almost like you are zooming. The best cine lenses are designed to avoid this by using a different inner focus lens system. And when zooming a conventional DSLR lens, the focal point shifts so you have to refocus, and often the image skews slightly off centre. This makes zooming during shooting impossible. Cine zooms are designed to suppress focus shifts and off-axis changes.
In conclusion, if its a run and gun shoot you might want to use some AF lenses and it becomes a challenge to focus during such shots but otherwise its better to use Cine Lenses.
We offer a wide Range of Cine Primes (Carl Zeiss CP3, Carl Zeiss CP2, Samyang cine lenses,etc) and Cine Zooms.