Focus on Zeiss' Compact Lens Family

Lemac embraced the exciting range of Zeiss CP.2s (Compact Primes) with the first set in 2010 - comprising 25mm, 35, 50 & 85mm T2.1 lenses. Since then the family has been growing and now includes 9 primes and 4 compact zooms. The ability to quickly exchange lens mounts is a key factor in their popularity. Users can customize from shoot to shoot with PL, EF, MFT and E and Nikon F mounts available. This flexibility compliments the changing face of digital cinema camera technology where various lens mounts and sensor sizes are the new norm.

Lemac’s experience with the Zeiss range is drawn from our close relationship with Zeiss, and evolves within our Rentals, Sales and Service departments. We have found the lens sets to be used and praised in all forms of production, from television series to commercials, corporate and web campaign to the educational sector.

CP.2 primes are currently available in the following focal lengths: 15mm, 18, 21, 25, 28, 35, 50, 85, 100 & 135mm plus 35, 50 & 85mm T1.5 Superspeeds and a 50mm T2.1 macro lens.

The T1.5 aperture of the Superspeeds provides great creative control with the shallow depth of field so many productions favour and make life that bit easier in low light as well as proving very handy when the lighting budget is smaller than you’d wish!

The Compacts underwent a design change during development, with the initial 9-leaf iris being revised to 14-leaf – delivering a more pleasing background blur at wide apertures and a nicer, more ‘round’ bokeh.

To compliment the prime lenses, the Zeiss range now includes the following zooms:

  • 15.5-45mm T2.6,
  • 28-80mm T2.9,
  • 70-200mm T2.9

and the brand new 15-30mm T2.9, which Michael Schielen from Zeiss discusses in this next video shot by Lemac at NAB:

The kit-building options granted by such a range of primes and zooms – with ample ‘overlap’ of focal length – is a major advantages of the Zeiss lenses. We can create a bespoke solution with a client, for example: two zoom lenses offering 28mm to 200mm and a 15mm prime, or three Superspeed primes at T1.5 along with the 15.5-45mm lightweight zoom.

Excellent value for money, the Zeiss lenses are available for rental or purchase - allowing low budget productions to enjoy the vast improvement of ‘cine-style’ design and characteristics compared with the ‘regular stills’ lenses commonly used when money is tight. The true cine-style design of the Compacts raises the bar for low budget productions – delivering smooth, acurate focus transitions, image stability and quick lens changes with all gear spacing common between lenses.

While the interchangeable mount design is a major advantage of the CP.2s, customers are reminded that the process is a technical operation and not one to be performed in the field. Lemac’s factory trained service and camera prep technicians can answer your questions about the process or organise to change mounts for you. Otherwise, we are happy to instruct and guide customers through the process so they can personally make the change with their purchased lenses.

Lemac lens technician Neil O'Donnell checks back focus and lens collimation using a lens projector

Whilst lens character is very much a subjective science (beauty is in the eye of the beholder) users will be pleased with the CP.2s’ fantastic colour rendition, high contrast and impressive resolution, all delivered in a lightweight, uniform and compact package.

With an image circle diameter of 43mm, the CP.2s are perfectly capable of covering the increasing range of non-standard sensor sizes (such as Canon 5D MK2, 1D, Red Epic 5k, and Dragon 6K).

Some of the productions that have used the Zeiss Compact Family - with equipment, service and support provided by Lemac - include Time Of Our Lives, Rake, Jack Irish, Dance Academy, Offspring, Underbelly: Squizzy , AFL - Gatorade TVC, Australia on Trial and Breaker Morant:The Retrial.

Zeiss' Michael Shielen discusses the other Compact Zooms, the 28-80m and the 70-200mm respectively in the following videos:

Rent or Buy from Lemac

The Zeiss Compact family is available from Lemac Rentals and Sales.