As digital cameras settle into a familiar technological groove, crisp images with outstanding color rendition have become the rule in both broadcast and entertainment production. As a result, DPs are looking more toward the glass in front of the camera to help differentiate the images they capture, and lensmakers are stepping up with new offerings that can add singular characteristics to digital imagery, from gorgeous soft background bokeh to the exacting level of detail resolution that makes 4K productions sing. Here are some of the more distinctive lens offerings announced earlier this year that are about to reach users in the field.
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Nikon Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct Lens
Nikon may not have known exactly what it had on its hands with this new manual-focus lens — the fastest in Nikon’s history. This one-of-a-kind “Noct” lens is naturally ideal for shooting at night, including astrophotography, but the range of depth-of-field and soft bokeh it delivers will make it appropriate for portraiture, as well. And, because it takes advantage of the 55mm diameter of the Nikon Z mount, it’s obviously a perfect match for Nikon’s Z series mirrorless cameras. It’s such a unique proposition that, according to PetaPixel, Nikon has suspended new orders due to unexpected demand. So it might take a while to ship but, if you want one, it makes sense to put your order in now.
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Canon RF 85mm f/1.2 L USM DS Lens
Canon’s introducing a new coating to create softly blurred bokeh with this lens, an 85mm prime with an f1.2 aperture and a minimum focusing distance of 2.79 feet (0.85 m). The DS in the name stands for Defocus Smoothing, but this is not a soft focus lens that softens the entire image. The coating only affects the appearance of out-of-focus elements in the foreground and background while maintaining sharp focus on the subject, and the effect is strongest at the maximum aperture. Used with a little imagination, this lens should create striking and atmospheric imagery — see the promo video from Canon, below, for samples.
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Fujinon 4K UHD F1.8 7.6–137mm Zoom Lens (with 2x Extender)
Aimed at ENG, sports, worship and entertainment production markets, Fujinon’s UA18x7.6 is a 4K 2/3-inch F1.8 UHD broadcast lens with a focal range from 7.6 to 137mm — plus a 2x extender to get those truly long shots. It weighs 3.5 pounds. It’s designed with extra-low-dispersion and fluorite lens elements as well as Fujinon’s proprietary HT-EBC coatings, and its HDR and 4K performance matches other lenses in the UA series. Not delivering 4K yet? Fujinon notes that the optical quality of its 4K lenses will also improve the imaging performance of HD broadcast cameras, making them a future-proof investment that you can get a benefit from right away.
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