Canon launches CN-E18-80mm cine zoom lens

Cinematic lenses

For the diary:

Canon CN-E18-80mm T4.4 L IS KAS S lens
Canon's CN-E18-80mm offers an effective "standard zoom" for film makers on Super35mm camcorders.
Canon CN-E18-80mm T4.4 L IS KAS S lens
Canon’s CN-E18-80mm offers an effective “standard zoom” for film makers on Super35mm camcorders.

Canon is to launch a new cine-servo lens, the CN-E18-80mm, aimed specifically at the growing market of large-sensor camcorder users.

The new lens – its full name is the CN-E18-80mm T4.4 L IS KAS S — is smaller and lighter, as well as cheaper, than Canon’s 17-120 CN7 cine zoom lens. The CN7 has already proved popular with film makers and documentary producers using cameras such as the C300. However, the high cost of the 17-120mm lens, which costs more than US$30,000, makes it a rental-only option for most owner operators.

The CN-E18-80mm is, of course, a less powerful lens. It is rated at T4.4, effectively F4 in stills lens terms, is slightly narrower at the wide end, and rather shorter at the long end. However, it is both smaller and lighter, and costs £4,699.

Although this is still much more expensive than a stills camera standard zoom, such as Canon’s own 28-105mm L Series lens, it is relatively cheap for a cine lens. Despite the entry-level price, Canon says that the new lens resolves at 4K, making it compatible with the C300 Mark II, and the C500.

The lens has a constant T4.4 aperture and, Canon says, minimal focus breathing. It has three image stabilisation modes, and draws its power from Cinema EOS cameras. It should be compatible with Canon technologies such as Dual Pixel CMOS Autofocus too.

The lens has a built-in servo unit, and owners can add the ZSG-C10 zoom grip for shoulder-mount shooting, although this adds around another £500 to the cost. The lens weighs 1.2KG, without the zoom grip, and should go on sale in the summer.

Canon is also releasing a free firmware update for its CN7x17 cine zoom les, which will add support for Dual Pixel CMOS AF, push auto iris and one shot and continuous AF on the C100 and C300 cameras.