At the Cine Gear show in Los Angeles over the weekend, lens maker SLR Magic officially unveiled two new prime lenses designed for creative cinematography. The new 35mm and 75mm Cine lenses have much in common and are made specifically for Sony E-Mount cameras, including both APS-C and full-frame mirrorless cameras.
Both lenses include some impressive specifications, like fast maximum apertures with thirteen iris blades. That high number of blades helps create a circular aperture at all f-stops, providing a more pleasing out-of-focus blur pattern. The 75mm can open up to f/1.4, while the 35mm pushes things even further to f/1.2. This opens up options for filming in extreme low light conditions without having to add light to a scene, and also yields a very shallow depth of field to separate the subject from the background.
Although smaller than traditional cinema primes, the SLR Magic lenses still operate in much the same way, with manually controlled focus and aperture rings complete with gear teeth to couple to a follow-focus system. One potentially overlooked benefit of their small size is that standard, screw-on optical filters can be used. Both lenses are threaded for 52mm filters, which are inexpensive and easy to find. Students and low-budget independent filmmakers don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on a large matte box and drop-in filters.
While the lenses will likely be most popular on Sony’s Alpha mirrorless cameras, such as the a6300, they can also be used on higher-end E-mount cinema cameras, like the FS7 and FS5.
SLR Magic has made a name for itself by building lenses for the budget-conscious filmmaker and photographer, offering features found on cinema primes costing thousands of dollars at a fraction of the price. Both the new 35mm F1.2 and 75mm F1.4 Cine lenses will be available from dealers this August at a price of $499.