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Hands On: Zeiss 85mm Compact Prime CP.2 /T2.1

by Chris Gampat on 10/30/2010

Winning one of the longest name awards, the Zeiss 85mm Cine lens for Canon EF mount is a gorgeous and heavy hunk of glass designed for cinematographers. I got some time to try it out on the Canon 7D today and a video sample will be coming soon. However, my experience with the lens was much different than it has been with DSLR lenses.

The Zeiss 85mm cinema lens is big; very big actually. The front thread is larger than anything I’ve seen in the DSLR world but smaller than most cinema lenses I’ve seen for cameras like the RED One. Perhaps this helps to explain the name, “Compact Prime.” As you’ll see in the photo below, the lens is much larger than the 85mm lens designed for photographers.

In case you’re wondering what the difference is between a T stop and an F stop, you can see an explanation here from my good friends at the Photoletariat. Similar to F stops, the exposure does get darker and more becomes in focus.

Both rings on the lens are very smooth and take a very long time to turn. This was designed for cinematographers that require follow focusing mechanisms. As you’ll see in a short video I shot, the depth of field is ideal for many cinematographers. I’ll post the video later on once I upload it from YouTube. The file is very large.

If you’re interested, take a look at my hands on with the 35mm F/1.4 by Zeiss and the rest of our Photo Plus Expo 2010 coverage so far.

Sample Video

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