Zeiss cinema zoom – planet5D tries it on 5D2

by planetmitch5 Comments

Legendary lens manufacturer Zeiss has announced new compact primes and zoom lens both aimed at the cinema market. I believe planet5D is the first to show video shot with the new zoom! I was able to put the new 15.5-45mm zoom on my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and I shot some video with it at 24p – tho it is designed for the 1.6 crop and sensors like the Canon EOS 7D so the video shows a vignette. It is a beautiful lens and of course I wasn't able to really test it while on the show floor and the 5D2 doesn't do it justice (and surprisingly, they wouldn't let me bring it home LOL!). They estimate it will be priced in the ‘low to mid $20k range'.

Redrock Micro

We spoke with Rich Schleuning from Zeiss – and in this video, you'll find the video I shot with the LWZ.2

Zeiss cinema zoom – planet5D tries it on 5D2 from planetMitch on Vimeo.

DPreview has an article about the compact primes and about the new zoom. If you're interested, there's a video of Rich showing off the compact primes at photocinenews.

Here's the PR that I got from the DPreview page.

OBERKOCHEN/Germany, 13.04.2010 : Whether shooting in an airplane or from inside a car, filming action scenes, or capturing the tranquility and color of underwater life — whenever the size and weight of a camera are decisive, filmmakers need equipment that can perform reliably and precisely. Filmmakers also need flexibility so they can choose the right camera and lens for every setting. Optics specialist Carl Zeiss now introduces a new lens that satisfies all of these needs: the Lightweight Zoom LWZ.2.

The innovation in camera technology over the last few years has been tremendous. Today, photographers and cinematographers can find the perfect camera for every imaginable shot. The use of high-definition digital SLRs has also grown rapidly. The new-generation Lightweight Zoom by Carl Zeiss reflects this trend toward ever-greater flexibility. It comes with interchangeable mounts that allow the lenses to be used with a wide range of cameras, from traditional cine to HDSLR systems. Three different mounts are available: PL, EF and F mount. The LWZ.2 covers the ANSI Super 35 image area (24.9 x 18.7mm / 0.980’’ x 0.7362’’).

Weighing in at around two kilograms, the LWZ.2 is especially suitable for handheld or Steadycam shots with traditional cine cameras but also with HDSLRs. Still cinematographers can continue to rely on the high optical image quality that ZEISS cine lenses are known for.

The LWZ.2 features radically shaped spherical glass surfaces with a very strong curvature, which guarantee high optical performance. Large-diameter aspherical lens elements keep the lens light while at the same time reducing spherical aberrations and keeping the image free of distortions. Straight lines stay straight, from infinity to close-ups and over the entire zoom range. The T* XP multi-layer anti-reflex coating reduces flare and internal reflections, resulting in pleasing and gentle colors, high contrasts and deep blacks. With its precision, flexibility and light weight, the LWZ.2 gives cinematographers everything they need to excel at every assignment.

(Photo credit: snap from the video)



  1. I guess i’m missing why we would want a $20,000 cinema lens that only really works on 1.6 crop sensors…. If you are going to drop this kind of cash on a zeiss cinema lens, why not get the PL version and modify a crop sensor SLR to fit it if necessary? This is beyond me.

  2. Yes but it could just as easily be full frame and still cover super35 and crop and not be useless for the 5d and other full frame formats

  3. Hmmmm

    1st what a waste of video. This lens is not designed to work with a full frame camera. Why is half of this video, out of focus badly shot footage of something that has zero use.

    2nd What is up with the person (camera man) doing interview. When someone in explaining a product keep your mouth closed and if they tell you that they designed something to work with a particular format and your “reporter” interrupts them to say that they tried it on a camera that does not work with just screams Ralph Wiggum

    love the blog, but let keep the rookie reporting to a minimum.

    1. Author

      Mike – I appreciate your comments and I agree – I wish I hadn’t interrupted. I also wish I’d thought to use their 7D to shoot the video, but again, I didn’t think of it at the time. First time at NAB and I learned a lot.

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