New Lens Is Specifically Designed for Cinematography with the FS7 and FS5 Camera Systems

Sony is filling a hole in its E-mount lens line-up with the E PZ 18–110mm F4 G OSS, a new Super 35mm/APS-C cine-style servo zoom. The company says it will be a good match for vérité-style shooting with the Sony FS5 and FS7.

Designed with a magnesium-alloy body and a weight of 2.4 lbs., the new lens is said to be similar to Sony's previous 28–135mm servo zoom which was made for full-frame sensors. But this one has a more appropriate zoom range for smaller sensors like those found on the Sony a7 series as well as the FS5 and FS7. "That lens is a little bit too tight for run-and-gun shooting," Sony product manager Juan Martinez noted, citing the "crop factor" affecting the field of view when used with smaller sensors. "But you can shoot pretty much anything with this lens — cinema vérité or run and gun."

Martinez said this lens has also been updated with a fully mechanical zoom system that eliminates some lag that had bothered users of the earlier lens when doing quick zooms. "You can snap-zoom, and it's switchable to servo so that you can have beautiful, feathered zooming as well," he said. The minimum object distance is 1.3 feet at the wide end of the lens and 2.9 feet at maximum telephoto. 

Like its predecessor, the new lens is designed using Sony's Smooth Motion Optics, which are meant to reduce undesirable characteristics for motion picture photography, including ramping, breathing, chromatic aberration, and optical axis shift. Also important for motion shooters, the iris can be switched between "click" and "clickless" modes. In click mode, the aperture can be changed in 1/3-stop intervals, while clickless allows smooth iris pulls at 1/128 stop precision. The rubberized manual focus ring includes a cine-style modulus 0.8 gear, and the servo zoom ring rotation is reversible.

Sony cine-style servo zoom

The lens will come with a sunshade with a built-in louver-style lens cap mechanism, and a regular cap is included for use without the shade. The lens also supports full metadata transfer for display on the camera viewfinder and real-time recording with image data in Sony file formats.

Martinez said FS7 and FS5 users can make the most of the zoom range by taking advantage of center-scanning when shooting HD. "You can combine it with the 2K center scan on the FS7 to double the reach of the lens, essentially giving you an angle of view equivalent to a 220mm lens," he explained. "With the FS5, you can push in further if you're shooting HD, because it has [Sony's proprietary] Clear Image Zoom technology."

The new lens is set to ship in November and sell for "approximately" $3,500, Sony said.