New Canon ENG style cinema lens.

Canon CN7x17 KAS servo zoom for s35mm sensors.
Canon CN7x17 KAS servo zoom for s35mm sensors.

I want one! What more can I say. The Fujinon Cabrios are very nice but on paper at least this looks like it’s going to be great. Designed for 4K and super 35mm sensors this is a 7x zoom (compared to the 4.7x of the 19-90mm Cabrio) with a really useful range, 17-120mm, nice and wide, reasonably long. It has a servo hand grip for smooth power zooms and is not too big (although it is heavier than most 2/3″ B4 zooms).  At T2.95 it’s not too slow either, but the aperture does ramp at the long end of the lens down to T3.9. I guess this is a small price to pay for a compact lens with such a large zoom ratio. Must take a look at NAB. Now, I wonder how much this beauty is going to cost? UPDATE: Well it appears that the price will be approx $33K/£20K, which is very good value compared to a Cabrio. It’s still a bit steep for me to buy, but it’s certainly one to consider on a rental basis. That’s a pretty good price, if it was £14K then I’d be seriously tempted to lay down some cash.

Follow this link to go to Canon’s press release and more information.

17 thoughts on “New Canon ENG style cinema lens.”

  1. …or wait for Zacuto’s upcoming “Control Grip” to give you servo zoom control on almost any lens for thousands less.

  2. Its longer and even heavier than the cabrio and the Aperture goes from 2.95-3.9 above 91mm…two downsides in their effort for beating the cabrio.

  3. A PL zoom with such a useable focal length, and a servo. It’s the lens I’ve been waiting for since the large sensor camera evolution. I believe it will be £22,500. Eye wateringly expensive, but none of the other PL zooms, bar the Cabrio, can cover that critical 18-80ish range. Anything else, is at best, a two lens solution, which will always grate in documentary. All the B4 adapter – still lens rehousing etc are compromises in comparison. I worry, though, that it is a very expensive 4k ENG lens, and that I’d still find myself wanting to shoot interviews etc on primes, say Cine Samyangs, for the film quality, D.O.F. etc we all love…?
    I know there is no one lens for everything. I just wonder how close this one is….?

  4. I´ve been working documentary with the Cabrio over a year now. I think it´s really great, thus its weight. I´ve heard rumors about Canon having “something up their sleeve” and now we know what it was, and I´m not impressed by it specs and price. Above 91mm the CN7x17 KAS S loses aperture from 2.95-3.9. Not good working documentary and wanting to be at 2.95 all the time. DoF will be affected under 91mm as well, because of that. I thought more of the canon lens, either in price or specs.

  5. I’m really surprised by the people complaining about the aperture reduction from 91mm. Lets face it the Cabrio 19-90 can’t even go beyond 90, so a 2/3 stop aperture reduction doesn’t seem to be too bad a price to pay to go all the way to 120mm. To have constant aperture would mean a bigger front element and thus much heavier lens. Yes it’s heavier, a whopping 200g heavier, but that’s the price you pay for a bigger zoom ratio.

    Why on earth will DoF be affected under 91mm? The lens is f2.95 so the DoF will be more or less the same as the T2.9 Cabrio up to 91mm, and you can go a bit wider. In addition the 11 blade iris of the Canon should give a rounder bokeh compared to the Cabrio’s 9 blade iris. The Canon lens looks like it will be a bit cheaper than the Cabrio. So you’re getting everything the Cabrio can do plus a bit more for less money. Looks like a good deal to me.

    Of course we will have to wait and see what the pictures are like. At the moment no-one really knows.

  6. No one really knows, but Canon have been at the top of their game for their other lenses of late. Their primes are fantastic.

    I’ve been quoted £21,400. When I was a young camera assistant, the older guys would spank a fortune on Beta/DigiBeta and lenses. And then get 10+ years out of them. I feel this lens ticks that many boxes, that it (on a F-55, say) could be a return to something that will have a shelf life longer than a few years. Good glass is good glass.

    Set of Samyang Cine’s for £1,500 gives one the T1.5 prime experience when required. With this for almost everything else.


  7. We all work differently. When working with the cabrio, I like to stay in the 2.9-3.4 aperture area. Going beyond 91mm with the canon lens is then impossible because
    you´ll lose light, and if you place yourself inbetween to be able to use that extra zoom with the new canon lens, DoF will be affected.
    Im not saying that 200 extra g is much, but still. Heavier and longer. I know that you get the extra 91-120mm but I´m not sure thats what I need losing either DoF or light.

  8. P.. you must have shares in the Cabrio :).. the canon is $10,000 less!! yes you don’t have to worry going over 90mm on the Cab.. because.. drum roll.. it doesn’t go there anyway.. more for less.. simple concept really.. you will get less DOF as the lens goes longer anyway.. and the canon goes wider.. how can the cab be better than the canon.. ? sorry I don’t see your logic at all..

  9. Robin, I didn´t say the cabrio is better. No one knows how good the canon lens is. Maybe its great. I just said that I think the extra 91-120 3.9 isn’t good workflow documentary. For me anyway.

  10. When zoomed all the way in the T stop will be 3.9 but the F Stop will be 2.9. T stop stands for transmission stop, how much light is eaten up by the lens, affecting exposure. Basically, the aperture will still be F2.9 (the iris blades don’t move, which determines DOF) but only 3.9 amount of light will be passed. So the image will dim but the DOF will not change. (other than the change caused by change in focal length.) Older inefficient film zooms were often marked with both F stops and T stops. You used the T for exposure and the F for DOF.

    Hope this helps.

    1. No, that’s incorrect. Basically the front lens element isn’t big enough so the effective aperture changes. The iris blades don’t move but as with many zoom lenses once you pass a certain focal length the ratio between the size of the entrance pupil and the focal length means that the effective f-stop will reduce. If the lens had a much bigger (and heavier) front element then that ratio could be maintained. The transmission losses through the lens don’t change, the light passes through the same amount of glass no matter what the focal length.

  11. At the risk of sounding hideously naive, north of 90mm, the DoF should be getting very shallow through the nature of the length of the lens. Isn’t this slower top end not such a problem?
    I’m just itching to see some images from it. A lot of chat from NAB, but I can’t find anything more yet. If anyone knows otherwise…

    1. Pictures from the F65 with this lens on it looked very good.

      You can programme the servo not to go past 90mm if you really need to avoid the ramping.

  12. P .. ok sorry sounded like you were saying the Cabrio was a “better” lens..which frankly I could see .. but yes each to there own.. what ever works.. again apologies didnt mean to come over in a combative way ..

  13. I do have a question though, and would be interested in opinions (P, I understand you have direct experience): I worry this lens, and the Cabrio, are simply too heavy. Too heavy, too large, and too expensive. The CN 7×17 is double the weight of a simular B4 lens. I have found that the Angenieux, Canon & Ziess 16-50mm (ish) PL lenses seem about as big, and heavy as one could ever really love to live with, on the F-55. I’m so spoilt by the balance of say a PDW 800 (it can sit on the shoulder with no hands if need be) that, although at first I felt these focal lengths and servos were what I’d been waiting for, I am increasingly less sure. With things like the Zacuto servo grip round the corner, there will be alternatives. I think it may be a 2 lens system (15-45 & 70-200) for me…
    Was going to get to see CN 7×17 next week, but work has scuppered that.

  14. I know what you mean.. Ive only worked with the Alura 15.5 _ 45.. and its heavy lump and makes the camera very front heavy.. but I doubt theres any getting around that,but might as well have only one lens to deal with,have the servo,and be able to focus by hand,without the need of a FF.. with the Canon.
    Or get an Abakus adaptor and use your ENG zoom on centre crop mode for those jobs were getting the actual shot in the bag is more important than having PL glass on board..and where you have no control over the action..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.