Canon announced two new prime cinema lenses

Canon CN-E14mm T3.1 L F lens

Canon CN-E135mm T2.2 L F lens

Today Canon announced the CN-E14mm T3.1 L F ($5,500) and CN-E135mm T2.2 L F ($5,200) cinema lenses:

Canon U.S.A. Introduces Two New Cinema Prime Lenses, Expanding The Cinema EOS Prime Lens Product Line To Five Models

Designed for Film-Style Operation, Canon Cinema Prime Lenses Deliver Exceptional 4K Performance

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., January 10, 2013 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, announces the new CN-E14mm T3.1 L F and CN-E135mm T2.2 L F single-focal-length lenses for large-format single-sensor cameras employing Super 35mm or full frame 35mm imagers. These two new lenses join with Canon's CN-E24mm T1.5 L F, CN-E50mm T1.3 L F, and CN-E85mm T1.3 L F primes to provide a broad line of five precision-matched, competitively priced EF-mount Cinema prime lenses that provide high optical performance levels and a choice of versatile focal lengths for a wide range of creative shooting choices. All five Canon Cinema prime lenses are part of the Canon Cinema EOS System of professional digital cinematography products, which include the EOS C500 4K/2K Digital Cinema Camera, EOS C300 Digital Cinema Camera, EOS C100 Digital Video Camera and EOS-1D C 4K DSLR Cinema Camera, and four Canon Cinema zoom lenses.


"Since our introduction to the film and television production industry back in November 2011, we have brought to market five Cinema prime lenses, two top-end Cinema zoom lenses, two compact Cinema zoom lenses, and four professional digital cinematography cameras all within 18 months," stated Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A. "This is a testament to the Company's dedication to the needs of the growing and diverse universe of professionals creating 4K, 2K, and HD moving-image content for theatrical, television, and other high-resolution digital production markets. We look forward to continuing to serve these professionals with Canon Cinema EOS products designed to help them achieve their creative imperatives and commercial aspirations."

All Canon Cinema EOS lenses integrate advanced materials and coatings to meet high optical performance levels, including 4K (4096 x 2160) production standards. Each Canon Cinema lens is equipped with an odd-numbered 11-blade aperture diaphragm, which is ideally suited to achieve creative depth-of-field manipulation and pleasing "bokeh" effects of cinematographic quality. The Canon line of five Cinema prime lenses is precision-matched for consistent and solid optical performance that minimizes focus-induced changes in the angle of view. All feature a full-frame image circle in a lightweight, compact design, and they incorporate proven Canon lens elements designed to fulfill contemporary 4K production standards. All five primes also deliver color tone and balance that matches Canon's top-end Cinema zooms and compact Cinema zooms. Canon Cinema prime lenses are also water-resistant for severe shooting conditions and deliver the operation and reliability required in professional film-style shooting environments.

All five Canon Cinema primes feature mechanical attributes specifically designed for motion-picture production, as opposed to still photography. These strategically integrated film-style characteristics include 300 degree rotation on the focus ring for precision focus control as well as large, highly visible engraved focus scales for convenient operation. These markings appear on the angled surfaces on both sides of the barrel, making them easy to both read and to adjust the stepless focus and/or aperture settings of the lenses from behind - or from either side - of the camera. Focus markings can be switched from standard labeling to metric, and control rings are engineered to maintain the proper amount of resistance with consistent operating torque and familiar tactile "feedback" for satisfying manual control. All Canon Cinema prime lenses also share the same uniform gear positions, diameters, and rotation angles, as well as front-lens diameters, making them compatible with matte boxes, follow focus gear, marking disks, and other third-party film-industry-standard accessories. Film crews can quickly change lenses without the need for accessory gear-position adjustments or other changes to the rig setup.

The new Canon CN-E14mm T3.1 and CN-E135mm T2.2 Cinema prime lenses - as well as the Canon CN-E24mm T1.5, CN-E50mm T1.3, and CN-E85mm T1.3 primes - are fully compatible with the Canon EOS C500, EOS C300, EOS C100 and EOS-1D C digital cinema cameras. The EF-mount design of all five Canon Cinema prime lenses provides communication with these cameras for such handy features as display of the ƒ number in the electronic viewfinder, recording of focus/zoom position and ƒ number, and Peripheral Light Compensationi for more pleasing effects shots.

The versatility of image-capture options using Canon EOS digital cinema cameras can be further extended with Canon's Super35mm top-end Cinema zoom lenses (the CN-E14.5-60mm T2.6 wide-angle and the CN-E30-300mm T2.95-3.7 telephoto) and compact Cinema zooms (the CN-E15.5-47mm T2.8 wide-angle and CN-E30-105mm T2.8 telephoto). All four are available in both EF- and PL-mount versions, as are the EOS C500 and EOS C300 cameras. Almost all of Canon's EF Series photographic lenses can also be used with these Cinema EOS cameras, including Image Stabilized zooms, tilt-shift models, and macro lenses. All of these products are designed to contribute to the continued advancement of tools for visual storytelling and all express Canon's continuing commitment to cinematic culture.

Pricing and Availability

The CN-E14mm T3.1 L F single-focal-length lens is expected to be available in April 2013 for an estimated retail price of $5,500. The CN-E135mm T2.2 L F single-focal-length lens is expected to be available in May 2013 for an estimated retail price of $5,200.

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  • mythbuster

    Only 5500? Cheap stuff indeed!

  • As much as I like Canon’s lenses, I think these are priced wrong. There are better known names in cine optics (e.g. Zeiss and Cooke) so why should anyone bother to get Canon lenses that cost just as much? Also these lenses aren’t optically different to the regular DSLR EF line up… if I had to select lenses, I’d pick something that gives a different look to what a lot of people (Canon L series lens owners) are already familiar with.

    I’m sure they must be costlier for Canon to make these because of the smaller production numbers (just like the 1D C story) but if the prices were made to be around the prices of the regular DSLR lenses, it’d be more tempting for people to buy Canon video DSLRs, just for the affordability of these lenses too. No regular stills shooter’s going to pick these 1Kg+ monsters which are a pain to focus so it’s not like they’re going to eat in to the sales of the regular EF line either.

    • Jesse

      they are not the same optics. They are completely redesigned optics. Sharper, parfocal, no breathing. Those in the industry that have been shooting them are really loving them.
      You obviously are not their target audience.
      I like watching people tell canon how to do business.

      • lenscap

        exactly. And Canon made their money on these lenses through equipment rentals from production teams/studios anyway. You’ll have to use them to know they’re worth the money, theyre very different from the L line of lenses.

        • “theyre very different from the L line of lenses”

          Are you talking about the primes? They (the primes) can have consistent colours across the range and they may even have different coatings compared to the regular L lenses, but apart from that, I’d like to know how they’re different… if you’ve used them as you imply.

          • Jesse

            Yes, I know primes can’t be parfocal.
            And the primes are completely new designs.
            There are Cine vs L tests out now that even show visible differences.

          • lenscap

            you’ve just answered your own question mate, the fact sheets and physical differences are easy to find,point out and explain but again, you’ll need to try them out on-hand and see the results they produced to see the difference.

          • lol… coatings and color calibration doesn’t make the sorts of differences I’m talking about. Heck, if I was that bored I can have the coatings changed on any lens that can be taken apart.

            The optical formula is the primary determining factor of the look a lens produces. And in the case of CN-E primes and the corresponding EF primes, they’re the same.

      • “They are completely redesigned optics.”

        The zooms, not the primes. I don’t know about you but I did ask this from Canon and they said they’re not. I don’t know where you get your info from but I’d like you to prove me wrong.


        Parfocal primes? LOL Do you even know what you’re talking about?

      • mythbuster

        blah blah blah! These lenses are not made from gold and meteorites like the Hasselblad Lunar. Really, the only reason for cinema lenses selling at so high prices is the lack of competition, but market is changing very quickly.

      • mythbuster

        Parfocal primes? hahaha! All primes are parfocal, my friend. Also, most quality DSLR or CSC lenses don´t “breath” and are far sharper than cinema lenses. You don´t know what are you talking about!

        • Jesse

          the zooms are parfocal, I know that primes are parfocal. And actually, most quality DSLR lenses do breathe. I think every L series lens I have owned or used has some amount of breathing. You are right, lots of cinema lenses are not sharp. However the Canon cinema lenses are visibly sharper than there L counterparts.
          Mr. Mythbuster, may I ask what you do for a living?

          • Jesse

            I meant I know that primes can’t not be parfocal.

        • Jesse
    • Boudou

      You have no clue what you are talking about, and I doubt you’ve worked with any of these lenses.

      First, I will point out that Zeiss CP primes, that these lenses go up against, are optically IDENTICAL to the dSLR Zeiss ZE/ZF lenses. For Zeiss Ultra Primes, you’re talking about paying $14,000+, and is a different class of lenses better suited for renting. But Zeiss CP area all dSLR lens derived.

      Red is likely basing their cinelenses off of Sigma dSLR lenses, which is where the optics are supplied from. Cooke lenses are fine, but they have an ugly hexogonal bokeh unlike the other cine-lenses, and they more geared for entry-level cine-lesnes. Canon actually has a long history making PL lenses.

      The BASIC reason you get a cine-lens over a dSLR lens is that they focus the proper way, have proper markings, and focus smoother. dSLR lenses focus the opposite way, and aren’t really designed for focus pullers. They are cumbersome to work with in any cinema environment. Apertures are also de-clicked.

      • lenscap

        not to mention full weather sealing, full native electronic contact between body and lens(which some of the zeiss and cooke lack), better. more consistant built quality over their L counterpart. Optically they’re different than the L glasses as well, in general its the same reason you won’t use them for still because they’re not really optimized for it, the same way L glasses will get you better result for still then these.

      • Would have been a better use of your time if you actually addressed the question at hand (i.e. optical difference between the EF and CN-E line) with some facts instead of turning this in to what the CP.2 lenses are and what Red uses… who asked?

        • Boudou

          They are fundamental differences between still glass and ones used for cinema.

          Your entire line of commentary seems to be that why would anyone buy a Canon cinema lens over a Zeiss, Cooke, etc. Your line of criticism seems to be connected that you think that they are just L glass repackaged. I’m pointing out that pretty much all other cinema lens in that class are optically identical to dSLR counterparts.

          Also, you don’t seem to understand the function of cinema lenses in general or the key optical attributes.

          These lenses must be designed to fit into professional workflow (basically with a DP and focus puller). Meaning fitting in with the job of a focus puller. The main difference between still lenses and cinema is that the image is continuous (needs are also different from ENG). So things like focusing, exposure have to be gradual and smooth.

          The housing makes the biggest difference, optically its not really important. dSLR lens or not. Let’s keep in mind people like Duclos make a living rehousing dSLR lenses for cinema use.

          For around $5k, that’s the best you’ll get.for that price. Let’s keep in mind, in terms of image quality dSLR lenses are designed for much higher sharpness and image quality than cinema. A 1080p image is just 2MPs, 4K image is just above 8MPs. Still cameras are hitting 36MPs these days and show a lot more optical imperfections than cinema.

          The only optical issue that dSLR lenses are inferior to compared to cinema is focus breathing (expansion/contraction of image while focusing). The reason is telecentricity. To remove this you need massive glass, which why the Zeiss Master Primes cost $25k and are massive. Canon PL Zooms can cost near $50k per lens.

          So if these lenses are based on L-lenses that’s irrelevant. In fact, it bodes better than the competition at this price range.

          • “Your entire line of commentary seems to be that why would anyone buy a Canon cinema lens over a Zeiss, Cooke, etc”

            No. Please re-read what I wrote originally. I never said people have no reason to buy these lenses. If it was that then I would’ve said “Canon, stop making cine lenses” instead.

            “I’m pointing out that pretty much all other cinema lens in that class are optically identical to dSLR counterparts.”

            Again, you’re missing the point. The difference between Canon lenses and Zeiss ZF/ZE lenses is far more people have the Canon ones… making it a known look. I already know that CP.2 lenses are optically the same as the ZF/ZE lenses:

            “Also, you don’t seem to understand the function of cinema lenses in general or the key optical attributes. …”

            You might want to find out a bit about me and what I know before you continue further, for your credibility’s sake.

            “So if these lenses are based on L-lenses that’s irrelevant. ”

            ROFL… apology accepted.

          • Boudou

            Now I know for a fact you have absolutely no clue what you are talking about. Out of all your replies you have not responded with any facts.

            Let’s review what you’ve said:

            >>You: ” I think these are priced wrong.”

            You’re not going to find new PL lenses below $5k from any respectable manufacturer. Keep in mind, native digital cinema cameras with PL mounts cost four-figures. $5K is the bargain basement bin when it comes to PL glass (same as those Sony and Red PL lenses).

            >> You: The difference between Canon lenses and Zeiss ZF/ZE lenses is far more people have the Canon ones… making it a known look.

            “Known look”, WTF are you talking about? Cooke lenses have a “known look” only because of the hexagonal bokeh (due to the small 7 aperture blade count), the CP Zeiss series is fundamentally a mish-mash of different lenses and different SLR optical elements. Which is why they are so cheap. This is why Zeiss charges more for the high fidelity of the Master Prime and Ultra Prime lenses. You pay big money for that uniformity, the cheap ZE/ZF aren’t designed for that.

            Sorry, but you make it incredibly clear that you have NEVER touched a cinema lens before.

          • georgeforeman

            I wouldn’t waste my time arguing with the man if i were you, he’s one of the biggest resident troll on the site, The guy’ll get a kick out of talking bullshit for the sole purpose of advertising his own website and flickr page….take a look at his past comments and you’ll see what i mean.


          • ROFL… the link I gave wasn’t my flickr page or my website… even a 6 year old probably could tell that.

          • georgeforeman

            care to leave the proper links, common, here’s your chance now!

          • I usually don’t mind arguing a point when something good can come out of it to at least someone else who’s going to be reading on a different day. But this conversation (and it is barely one) with you is turning in to a complete waste of time.

            I will say this one last time and I won’t reply or read replies here… email me if you really want… My original point was, these Canon cine prime lenses would be a lot more appealing if they were priced lower. They have the same optical formula as the corresponding EF line and they’re going to produce the same fundamental “look”… a look that’s so familiar to the many owners of those EF lenses out there. Cine-idiots might not realise this because they probably have no idea about DSLRs and that culture… after all, until recently they were all shooting with big-a** cr*p cameras with tiny sensors in them until Canon had to come along and show them how to use a new tool.

            Yeah, so, learn the subject before you talk about it.

          • georgeforeman

            hahaha but you would reply tho, would you, i have faith that you will see this through the end……….those cameras with tiny sensor are what people use to shoot feature film these day, how many film were shoot on a canon full frame again?

          • Boudou

            >>”Cine-idiots might not realise this because they probably have no idea about DSLRs and that culture… after all, until recently they were all shooting with big-a** cr*p cameras with tiny sensors in them until Canon had to come along and show them how to use a new tool.”

            This is just amusing.

            Cinema has always been with film, largely with super 35mm, not with cameras with “tiny sensors”. Digital has only recently started being used in cinema, and the resurgence of PL lenses only started with the Red One.

            You’re obviously mistaking ENG work, such as TV news, for actual cinema. Cinematic work has always focused on large format film and incredibly expensive lenses.

            And PL lenses don’t really get ‘heaper than this. They are priced as low as any real PL lenses get. These lenses are meant to go on a $16K+ camera. PL mount cameras are for professionals, not for hobbyists like you.

    • mythbuster

      Agree. Expect soon strong competence from Samyang and others. Samyang-Rokinon is selling (preorder) 35mm f1.4 for $500.

      • mythbuster

        I want to say T 1.4, no f… 😉

      • What surprises me is how Canon made those very complex cine zooms but just re-used the same EF line optics for the cine primes.

  • R!

    …lets sale both arms!!!!f…k it.

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