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(FT3) Will Zeiss make the 15.5-45mm f/2.6 Zoom for the AG-AF100 Micro Four Thirds camera?


Two sources told us that Zeiss is taking into consideration to make a Micro Four Thirds “version” of the current 15.5-45mm f/2.6 Zoom lens. The sources told us the lens could be available by mid 2011.
That would be a very nice lens to use on the new AG-AF100 (Click here to preorder the camera at BHphoto). Anyway the price is really far too high and the the focal length not so optimal. Only a professional filmmaker will consider to buy it. I guess for us “poor” IndieFilmmaker’s the Olympus Zuiko 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 is a far more affordable choice. It covers a much more interesting focal lenght, it has autofocus and it’s damn cheap (check out current auctions on eBay). If you need a faster zoom you can get the Olympus Zuiko 14-35mm f/2.0 Lens. And finally Panasonic itself promised us to make a bright zoom lens (to be announced in February-March 2011?).

Note: The fastest Zeiss zoom lenses are the 6-24mm f/1.9 ($47,460.00 at BHphoto!) and the 17-112mm f/1.9 lens ($48,860.00 at Bhphoto!).

  • Dummy00001

    Admin: (aka Amazon Deutschland) finally lists the E-5 too –

    • admin

      Thanks Dummy!!!!

  • Jonathan

    The lens is T2.6… the difference between T and f being that T represents the actual light that the lens lets through (empirically measured), and f the theoretical maximum based on geometric calculation.

  • Jonathan

    Otherwise, the 12-60 is not the best suited lens for video because it’s not a fixed aperture / continually variable aperture: zooming in and out will cause the aperture to change in full/ half f stops, rendering the footage useless. The 14-35 is more appropriate, in this sense because it’s f/2 all the way.

    Both lenses do not support CDAF hence will not allow for continuous focus, and will visibly hunt causing objects to move in and out of focus during the shot (again rendering the footage useless).

    I’m not saying you can not produce brilliant video with both as long as you don’t try zooming in (12-60) or auto-focusing while recording (both).

  • misu

    well, the difference is not only in numbers. the difference between zeiss cine lenses and any photo lens is huge. it is as big as the price difference.
    there is nothing like a cine lens.

  • Mistral75

    Actually this piece of information isn’t new, see (in English) and German), both dated September 21st, 2010.

    • admin

      Thanks Mistral for sharing. Didn’t read that!

      • Mistral75

        I suggest you give a second look at the messages you received on 21 September, in particular the one quoting the German forum with excerpts translated in English ;)

    • Mistral75 is the right link for the original post in German.

  • Michael
  • Reverse Stream Swimmer

    I suppose this is a Parfocal lens

  • Les

    “I guess for us “poor” IndieFilmmaker’s the Olympus Zuiko 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 is a far more affordable choice. It covers a much more interesting focal lenght, it has autofocus and it’s damn cheap”

    Autofocus isn’t something you want for cine. If you leave the AF on, you will ruin every take as the lens tries to decide where you want to focus. If you leave it off, you won’t be able to consistently track focus manually (there’s no accurate focus scale).

    Likewise, extreme focal lengths don’t work very well for moving images, especially if you move the camera.

    As far as “cheap” is concerned, cine lenses are typically rented. It’s an expense, but so is food, transportation, etc. There’s no need to buy a cine lens unless you are going to use it every day. Most low budget shows spend a few weeks shooting (at most), and months planning, writing, editing, promoting, etc.

    • Jonathan

      An interesting thing about this lens and the compact primes is that they have exchangeable mounts. They come with a set of adapters and shims for Arri PL, Canon EF and Nikon.

      I would assume Zeiss is considering adding a m4/3 mount instead of coming out with a new product. I don’t see what they should, as the lens can already be adapted to m4/3 as it is.

  • canard

    Actually, the 12-60 could be a half-decent lens for video. It’s got mechanically coupled focus so you could rehearse and use camera tape to mark it off much more effectively than with a focus-by-wire lens, although the puller would have to go without levers. And if you ensure that you stop down to an aperture that’s no larger than the maximum for your most zoomed in section, you could do a shot with zoom as well.

    Not ideal compared to a dedicated cine-lens, but assuming you’ve already got the 12-60 it could definitely be used for the kind of carefully planned shots in most fiction film-making.

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