Premium lens maker ZEISS enters the sub-$10K cine zoom market with their new LWZ.3 21-100mm T2.9-3.9 lightweight zoom designed for docu-shooters and fast turn-around productions such as episodic TV. The new Zeiss lightweight cine zoom offers Super 35 coverage and extra versatility thanks to the interchangeable mount system (IMS) with Canon EF, F, MFT, PL and Sony E mount compatibility eliminating the need for lens adapters. Camera professionals working in broadcast and documentaries are often faced with the choice of either using and adapting stills zoom lenses for video work or hiring dedicated cine zooms if their budget allows for that. The Canon CN7 17-120mm, which costs $26k to buy is usually the go-to lens for those looking for one-stop shop when it comes to Super 35 zoom lenses.
The CN7x17 is an amazing lens, but often beyond the reach even to hire; but Canon being Canon recently announced a new CN-E 18-80mm T4.4 compact servo lens, which at just over $5,200 is a steal, albeit available in only EF mount and designed to work best with Cinema EOS cameras like the C300 Mark II.
Zeiss has gone a bit of a different, predictably more “Zeissy”, route eschewing fancy AF features for a straightforward fully manual operation and a more solid, but lightweight cine construction, a slightly longer range and faster aperture. Even though it’s not a constant T2.9, the new LWZ.3 presents quite a few benefits to one-man band shooters. IMS being the obvious one, and of course legendary Zeiss optical quality and durability being another. At just 2 kilos, the LWZ.3 will come in handy when you go hand-held for longer periods of time.
Zeiss 21-100mm T2.9-3.9 Lightweight Zoom LWZ.3 Features
- Super 35mm sensor coverage
- Close to 5x Zoom Range
- Robust Cine-Style Housing
- 294° Focus Rotation
- Calibrated Focus Scale in Feet or Meters
- T* Coating and Internal Light Traps
- Lightweight – 2 kg / 4.4 lbs
- Interchangeable Lens Mount – EF, PL, E, MFT, F (each sold separately)
- Compatible with Red Raven, Scarlet-W, Sony FS7, ARRI AMIRA, Varicam LT, C300 II, etc.
CIRCLE was shot entirely on a Sony PXW FS7 in the space of three days and with a very small crew of four people using one single lens. Special thanks to Cinematographer Adi Geissegger who showed us what can be achieved with the ZEISS LWZ.3 21-100mm.
“With a focal length of 21 to 100 millimeters, the new ZEISS LWZ.3 covers a range for which cameramen had to use up to six fixed focal lengths until now. This flexibility delivers a clear price and time advantage as it is no longer necessary to change focal lengths,” said Christophe Casenave, product manager from ZEISS Camera Lenses, summarising the benefits.
The Zeiss LWZ.3 also features calibrated scales, consistent imaging quality across the entire image field, no vignetting and focus shift, the efficient reduction of reflections through the well-known ZEISS T* anti reflective coating and the colour matching with lenses of the Compact Prime CP.2 family complete the overall package.
The ZEISS LWZ.3 will be available from the end of January 2017 for around EUR 9,900 (incl. 19 % VAT), or USD 9,900 (excl. tax); UK – £8,484 inc. VAT.
ZEISS LWZ.3 21-100mm T2.9-3.9 Specs
||2.9 – 22
||22 elements/ 18 groups
|Focus ring rotation angle (inf-MOD)
|Zoom rotation angle
|Aperture rotation angle
||2.0kg/ 4.4 lbs
||ANSI Super 35mm
|Horizontal field of view
||Super 35: 61-14°
Normal 35: 55-12°