Matthew Duclos has touted the Rokinon Cine primes since they debuted. Now they have rehoused the lenses and branded them as Xeen Cinema Primes. They have the physical look of a Zeiss CP2 or other large cinema lens with a price tag of $2500. So now you can get them in a variety of mounts and all that. Sounds great, anyone want to buy my used Cine DS primes?
After waiting for a very long time the 50mm has arrived. Rokinon has a nice set of affordable primes. The 35mm is and 85 are great. The 24mm is acceptable on the 5D full sensor. But that 50 was really what was missing. This looks like a really good one. Looking forward to trying it out on a shoot tomorrow.
So the camera has been out for a year, but this was our first outing with the small box with a lens mount.
I can say that I was more impressed with the camera than I thought I would be. Why is that? As many have noted the camera has many shortcomings but comes in at a price tag that may have you overlooking them. The recording and file types of the camera are amazing at any price. Recording straight to ProRes will cost you at least another grand coming off your Sony/Canon/Nikon and you have to attach that gizmo to your rig. The BMCC does it in camera. If you want raw, you can record to Cinema DNG files. Be prepared to spend some time with Resolve or some other workflow to get your RAW footage into your NLE.
It was really easy to use and intuitive. An inexpensive camera should not be complicated. Some of the features like focus assist were very useful. We used the Canon EF model with a variety of lenses. The Tokina 11-16 worked great as did the Rokinon Cine primes. One of the Canon EF lens had trouble with the iris control. It worked fine on a DSLR, just couldn’t communicate with the BMCC.
The shortcomings have been well documented and some are just compromises of an inexpensive motion picture camera. Not every camera can or should do everything. If it does it should cost more than $2K. The first thing my students asked was how fast does it shoot? 60 fps? nope. You got 24 or 30. Okay, I can still make a movie with that. Card format and clip editing in camera. nope. You have to connect your SSD card to a computer to format it and manage any clips. The battery is internal. What? By the time we had the shot set up and dolly shot rehearsed the battery was flashing 25%. More cable wrangling or a third party solution to power. Can I plug a mic in? Sure with an adaptor to 1/4″ plugs. But I don’t hear any sound. That’s because there is no Phantom power and we have a 416 p48 plugged in. I’m sure there were other minor issues but none that stand out.
If you are aware of the compromises you can use this camera to make some great images. If you were expecting a RED EPIC for $2K you will be disappointed.
I’ve been shooting with the Rokinon 35mm Cine prime for a few weeks now. I have it on a 5D mkIII and it works great for the hand-held walking around stuff I shoot. Low light inside is easy with the fast T1.5. I love the look shooting near wide open. The field of view on the full frame is nice and wide, but not too wide. I also have the 85mm Cine but have used it less. That one I pull out for sit down interviews for a portrait style look.
Here’s was Mathew Duclos has to say about the quality of the Rokinon lenses. link