Folks, I just have to say thanks a million because this is exactly the kind of discussion I was after.
I will be buying two lenses - one is Canon and one I would like to be Zeiss or Leica if possible although I admit there may be some romanticism or subjectivity there because we used those lenses back in film school...
I have already chosen the Canon - it's the new wide one, the Canon CN-E 24mm T1.5 L F Cine Lens - and very happy with that decision.
I just need to choose a Zeiss or Leica now. I'd probably like something slightly less wide but still somewhat wide and with a shallow depth of field. Ideally, I would like that cinematic effect, where the foreground is sharp but quickly softens in the background.
Given my forestated concern about my lenses working in all formats on this cam, and what I am saying about Zeiss and Leica preference and shallow depth of field, any recommendations - especially from you Axilrod?
I can't really speak about Leica, as I don't have much experience with them, although from what I've seen they're all amazing, but will they even fit on an EF mount? But I can say that I absolutely love all of the Zeiss glass in terms of color accuracy/rendition, bokeh, sharpness, and micro contrast, they are all superb. I'd say a 50mm would be pretty crucial to add to your set initially. There are a few options with that:
1.Zeiss CP. 2 50mm T/1.5 Super speed - $4500, available October 15th.
2. Zeiss CP.2 50mm T/2.1 - $3990, already available
3. Zeiss ZE 50mm f/2 Makro - $1283 - Amazingly sharp lens, just as good optically as the others
Honestly even the Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 is a stellar lens, and it's only $725. Keep in mind the CP.2's are essentially just ZE's in a cinema housing with built in gears and smooth aperture ring, but optically they are very similar. The only difference you'll see visually is the CP.2's have a 14-blade iris vs. the 9 the ZE's have, so you'll get a more circular bokeh. If you have the money by all means go for the cine lenses, but I wouldn't expect too much more out of them than the ZE's in terms of optics. You're paying more for the convenience of uniform size across the board to make it easier to switch them out and make adjustments on your rig/mattebox. And of course the focus throw is much better (although they are great on the ZE's) and you have a smooth aperture ring so you can change it without anyone noticing.
I'm not sure about the Canons, although I'd venture to say they are optically similar to their L-counterparts just in a cinema housing. They are debuting quite a bit cheaper than initially expected, they said $6800 when they were announced but now that I'm looking they're all around $5k.
I'd also look into the Duclos modded lenses (http://www.ducloslenses.com/
), they pretty much sell the ZF.2's with the aperture ring declicked and a follow focus gear built in, and I think they make the thread size uniform as well. You'd be able to get the entire set (http://www.ducloslenses.com/products/zeiss-zf-2-set
) for about the same price as 2 cinema primes. Just a thought.