For the PRONEWS Award in Lenses, let’s look back at the lens industry in 2023.
Continuing from last year, anamorphic lenses from manufacturers such as Xelmus, Viltrox, Atlas, and DZOFILM are appearing one after another this year. In addition, it was also impressive that there were many updates related to anamorphic lenses released on the camera side this year.
Regarding lenses for mirrorless cameras, the second generation renewal of Sony’s large three-dimensional zoom lens became a hot topic. By being smaller, lighter, and with a shorter minimum shooting distance, it seems to stand out from competing manufacturers. In terms of cinema lenses, SAMYANG has introduced AF-compatible zooms, and LAOWA has introduced compact and lightweight zooms. Due to the democratization of new manufacturers, the number of affordable cinema lenses is increasing.
Regarding broadcast lenses, Fujifilm’s “FUJINON HZK24-300mm,” which combines cinema-like image expression and broadcast use, attracted attention. Unfortunately it was not nominated this year, because it will be released in spring 2024.
As a result of a rigorous selection process, the PRONEWS Award 2023 lens category finalists were selected as follows:
Among Sony’s many new products, we chose a full-frame zoom lens with a wide-angle start of 20mm, designed for action photography. It is possible to shoot while maintaining the maximum aperture of F4 in the entire range from 20mm to 70mm. The lens is compact and lightweight (total length 99mm, weight approximately 488g), making it ideal for Vlog shooting and selfies with multiple people. It also supports the vibration reduction functions of the Alpha series cameras across the entire zoom range.
Fujifilm FUJINON HZK25-1000mm
Release date: March 23, 2023
This is a broadcast zoom lens with a 40x zoom and maximum telephoto of 1000mm, which uses a dual format system that supports two large sensors. The shallow depth of field creates a cinema-like image expression that takes advantage of the bokeh effect, making it ideal for sports broadcasts and live concert broadcasts. The company plans to use the nickname “Duvo Box,” which means “Dual format live lens,” to expand product sales.
The Samyang Cine AF lineup is compatible with full-frame E-mount, making video shooting more convenient. Equipped with a 0.8M pitch gear on the focus ring, it has a compact size of 72.2 x 72.1mm and a uniform form factor of 280g from wide-angle to medium telephoto. These lenses are also equipped with tally lamps on the front and side of the lens that allows users to see the recording status from the side being photographed. The focus ring rotation angle is 300° linear MF, and the focus speed can be adjusted using the lens manager software.
The Ranger series is a compact cinema zoom lens compatible with full frame sensors. Although it has a lightweight body weighing only 1.4 kg, it covers a wide focal length of 28-75mm or 75-180mm, making it ideal for filmmakers and video production companies who have difficulty carrying a lot of equipment. realization. The perfocal design maintains focus while zooming, allowing for focus transitions with almost no focus breathing. The shortest shooting distances are 28-75mm: 49cm and 75-180mm: 89cm, respectively, allowing for attractive close-up shots.
Cooke SP3 series
Release date: September 2023
These lenses are new single focal length lens series based on the influential lens “Speed Panchro” in the film industry. The SP3 features an all-new design optically and mechanically optimized for full-frame mirrorless cameras. With the arrival of SP3, more filmmakers will be able to enhance the visual presentation of their stories. The SP3’s lens mount is user replaceable. E-mount is standard, and an interchangeable Canon RF mount is also included. L mount and M mount are available as accessories.
DZOFILM PAVO 2X
Release date: October 2023
The PAVO 2X Anamorphic lens series has a Super 35 image circle and 2x squeeze. The 2x compression rate makes it possible to provide a wider field of view. The blue and neutral coating design allows PAVO lenses to generate horizontal blue or other different flares under multiple light sources, creating mesmerizing, cinematic scenes while maintaining clarity. It not only controls the classic barrel distortion that characterizes anamorphic lenses, but also minimizes chromatic aberration even at maximum aperture, producing excellent reproduction of natural skin tones and vivid colors.
While covering focal lengths from 24mm to 105mm, it achieves high image quality with an aperture of F2.8 over the entire zoom range. This spec is achieved by taking advantage of the large aperture and short back focus that are the features of the RF mount, and placing a large aperture lens close to the imaging surface. Power zoom adapters “PZ-E2” and “PZ-E2B” are available that provide advanced zoom control and excellent operability. The zoom speed can be finely adjusted steplessly from low to high speed according to the photographer’s intention. The zoom drive uses a DC motor that has a proven track record in broadcast and cinema lenses, achieving both quick zoom operations and smooth low-speed zoom.
It’s amazing that it was able to achieve a focal length of 24-105mm with no drop at F2.8, but it also supports power zoom and video shooting. Although it is a large-diameter standard zoom lens for full-frame mirrorless cameras, it has a smooth aperture and supports click-less aperture control, making it perfectly suited for video shooting. The Gold Award was given to the company in recognition of the emergence of a high-quality still image and video hybrid lens.
With optional power zoom, users can operate the zoom with two different zoom speeds. In addition to being able to achieve highly accurate zooming during video shooting, which is difficult to do manually, the lens itself was also praised for its focus breathing reduction function.
PRONEWS AWARD 2023 Lens Category Silver Award
Cooke SP3 series
Cooke, has announced a new full-frame mirrorless lens that is completely different from its previous user base. The unexpected announcement caused a great deal of excitement in the cinema and commercial filming industries.
Although the casing is small, it has faithfully reproduced the company’s legendary Speed Panchro. All five focal lengths are unified at T2.4, and we also appreciated the fact that it has a user-interchangeable mount. With the arrival of SP3, it seems likely that new mirrorless compatible products will increase from cinema lens manufacturers.
Look forward to new and exciting lenses in 2024! Congrats are in order to all winners.