Budget Glass is the Best Glass! New 20mm Samyang/Rokinon XEEN Cine Lenses
My bread and butter is working with a few ad agencies. So with that information you know the producers and Account Execs are all clowns and don’t want to spend a dime of their clients’ money on anything I ask for. Gotta spend it on the buy and music licensing, or the lead talent.
When we can’t get any rentals in the budget, we usually shoot with our owned cameras and glass. Believe me, in the beginning I kept toying with the idea of financing some Master Primes, or Vantage Hawk Ana’s, and be paying out the ass for years instead of doing smarter things with the income. I realized that if I can’t get a budget for rental glass, there is no way I’d be able to charge a reasonable fee to payoff those lenses in a reasonable time-frame and keep my clients. They don’t like it if you charge an extra $400 a day to shoot w Hollywood lenses
Enter the budget cine lens. We were able to get a nice used set of Zeiss CP.2, a Rokinon XEEN set, and when we decided to splurge a bit in the mid-range we picked up 3 Schneider CINE-XENAR III Lenses. Not so baller, but let me be clear:
None of My Clients Have Ever Complained About the Aesthetic of the Image Based on the Lens.
The image quality you can achieve with these lower priced lenses is astounding. The problem using DSLR lenses on a commercial set are the mechanics. Crap focus, no marks, notched iris, no gears for FF. People started rehousing lenses, then manufacturers got smart and rehoused their glass themselves.
The Rokinon XEENs were the second set we bought, and at only around $15,000, an incredible bargain. They are PL mount, cover full frame, have scales for focus, and have a common front diameter so you don’t have any weirdness with the mattebox during changes. Yes, wide open they have some issues, and a color shift as you go wide open to closed, but overall you cannot beat the deal.
Enter the Rokinon XEEN 20mm
So I was excited when Rokinon announced another in the line, the XEEN 20mm T1.9. As with the rest of the series it is available in PL, EF, F, E, and MFT mount. Here are the specs from the sheet:
Samyang/Rokinon XEEN 20mm T1.9 Specs
- Covers 35mm Full-Frame (36 x 24mm)
- Ultra Wide Angle in 94.8° Coverage
- Aspherical Lens
- Proper Solid Cine Build
- Dual-Side Focus and T-Stop Scales
- Internal Focus
- 114mm Front Size
- De-clicked Aperture
- Circular aperture with 11 blades
- Smooth Focus Ring
- Available in EF, Nikon F, Sony E, Micro 4/3 and PL mounts
- Price: £1799.99 GBP or approx. $2250-$2,495 USD
- Expected to ship in March 2017.