Cinematics CT.2 Lenses Half the Price of Zeiss Cousins

Made of refurbished Zeiss Still lenses

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

If you’re like Shane Hurlbut or Phillip Bloom, you’re at the peak of your career and can swing some hefty primes to include in your lens kit, as you go from film project to film project. But if you’re just starting out and have gotten your first RED or Blackmagic Cinema Camera, then a $30,000 set of lenses aren’t likely in the cards. So when Cinematic’s announced their CT.2 set for half the price, you can bet some will take a good hard look.

As far as I can tell, the lenses are not re-barreled, but just… Barreled. It looks like the original lens is left intact and the housings are added on top of the original lens. Not a bad thing… – Matthew Duclos

Meet the Cinematics CT.2, and they are basically Zeiss ZF still image lenses that have been barreled and repackaged. But what causes me to scratch my head is that if these are Zeiss ZFs, why is Cinematic trying to get an additional fee for adding an aperture ring?

According to Matthew Duclos’ review, the ZF already has the ring built in. “The site says they can add a aperture ring for an additional charge,” Duclos says, “(so) I assume to ZF models only which already have an aperture control ring. It also notes that to remove the click-stops, there is another additional charge which tells me that the original aperture assembly is kept intact.”

He adds, “The CineMatics lenses look almost identical to Zeiss Compact Primes, but to the decreeing eye, are obviously very different. From what I can see on the photos provided on their site, the barrels are quite a bit larger than stock ZE/ZF lenses. This would help extend focus travel a little bit… ”


ZF lenses available include a 28mm f2, 35mm f1.4, 50mm f1.4, and 85mm f1.4. The lenses have mounts that fit them to the Canon EF, Nikon F, and Pentax K-bayonet mounts.  There is also an optional switch interface for micro four thirds and PL mounts at an extra cost.

The cost is between $1,000 and $2,500 a lens, which isn’t really that bad for a prime that’s really old Zeiss glass. De-clicking your lenses will run about $77/lens. Again, worth the extra price.  And if you already have  set of Zeiss ZFs that you want to convert, Cinematics can even send you a custom housing for about $350 per lens.

There are also custom Canon lens conversions, Nikon Lens conversions, anhd Zeiss ZE series conversions.  All for under $2,000 a lens.  And most under $1,000.  So if you’re looking to get more bang for your buck, and still make your kit look professional, then it may be worth finding a company that rents these and give them a try.  They may be worth the investment, at least for the more rugged shoots.

Hat Tip – NFS

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Doddlenews is the news division of the Digital Production Buzz, a leading online resource for filmmakers, covering news, reviews and tutorials for the video and film industry, along with movie and TV news, and podcasting.

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