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Canon Sumire Prime: seven new cinema lenses with PL/EF mount

Canon expands its line of cinematography lenses with not one but seven new lenses, the Sumire Prime family. Rumored for months, the new Sumire Prime family comes with PL mount but can be changed to EF mount.

Canon Sumire Prime: seven cinematography lenses with PL/EF mount

With the new Sumire Prime Canon offers a solution that seems to be designed to compete with what independent lens makers have offered for a while now, covering everything from 14 to 135mm.

Along with all the camcorders and new broadcast lenses that will be showcased at Canon’s booth during NAB 2019, the company will present the new Sumire  Prime lens series, a range seven fast T-stop cinema prime lenses. All the new lenses are compatible with any PL mount cinema cameras equipped with either a 35mm full-frame format sensor or a Super 35mm format sensor, including selective Cinema EOS cameras, like the flagship full-frame Cinema EOS camera, the C700 FF.

The new lenses – CN-E14mm T3.1 FP X, CN-E20mm T1.5 FP X, CN-E24mm T1.5 FP X, CN-E35mm T1.5 FP X, CN-E50mm T1.3 FP X, CN-E85mm T1.3 FP X and CN-E135mm T2.2 FP X –, expand Canon’s cinematography offering, introducing a solution that seems to be designed to compete with what independent lens makers have offered for a while now. Although price is now available yet, the series will probably be offered at a competitive price.

Canon Sumire Prime: seven cinematography lenses with PL/EF mount

PL mount or EF mount

The Sumire Prime lenses come with an interchangeable PL mount, which can be changed to an EF mount and back to PL, a versatility and compatibility that will make them attractive not only to Canon shooters but to anyone using third-party cinema full-frame cameras. The ability to respond to the need of the industry shooting anything from drama productions to high-end cinema, either in studio or on location,  producing future-proofed, premium quality footage is, according to Canon, a key asset of the Sumire Prime lens family.

“The new Sumire Prime lenses are the perfect blend of science and art,” says cinematographer Matt Porwoll, who shot the first U.S. footage with the lenses. “The bokeh comes alive in ways that weren’t occurring with other lenses I’ve used. Lens flares have a dynamic feel to them, rather than behaving in a formulaic manner. I wish I had these on my last project!”

Built with Canon’s heritage of optical excellence at the forefront, the seven prime lenses offer new imaging capabilities for those working in the cinema industry. Devoted to detail, they feature, says the company, “a large diameter aspheric element and anomalous dispersion glass, offering a delicate, velvety nuance when the aperture approaches its maximum setting during shooting. This unique optical design results in solid and natural image rendering, bringing impressive image quality and warmer tones to cinema productions.”

Canon Sumire Prime: seven cinematography lenses with PL/EF mount

Warm tone as the Cinema lens range

Supporting an 11-blade iris, all the lenses feature precise manual control, providing cinematographers with richer levels of rounded bokeh for better impression of subjects and softer rays of light – perfect for creating intimate shots that direct the viewer’s attention to specific details. Thanks to their large lens diameter, a brighter T-number is possible, making these lenses an ideal choice for filming in challenging low light scenes – as well as capturing the scene with a distinctive shallow depth of field – when ambience and atmosphere is essential.

The Sumire Prime series lenses inherit the same subtle, warm colour tone as Canon’s full Cinema lens range. Such compatibility makes it easier for cinematographers to interchange lenses on a production without affecting colour tone. Whilst shooting on busy sets, this unity reduces the need for time-extensive post-grading ensuring consistency across shots – no matter what lens is used. All seven prime lenses adopt the 0.8 pitch lens gears for both iris and focus rings and are positioned consistently on the lens. In addition to this, the lenses have the same front diameter  , eliminating the need to adjust rigging accessories when replacing lenses. All lenses also have carefully developed focus resistance – enabling delicate and fine focus adjustments which can be made over a 300-degree rotation angle. Cinematographers can rely on dependable framing when composing shots as the lenses control focus breathing, combating the perspective variation that sometimes arise when refocusing to another subject.

Canon Sumire Prime: seven cinematography lenses with PL/EF mount

Change mount as much as you need

Key features of the new Sumire Prime series:

  • Compact Cine Primes with a new creative cinematic look
  • Interchangeable PL mount with full-frame coverage
  • Same unified colour tone as the Cinema Lens range
  • Bright T-number and an 11-blade iris
  • Reduced focus breathing
  • 300-degree focus rotation
  • Consistent filter diameter and gear positioning

Designed with a unified look, the new compact lenses from Canon offer more options for professional filmmakers using full-frame and Super 35mm cameras. The interchangeable PL mount, although not exactly a new or surprising feature, means users have more options, as they can change between the PL and EF mount as  needed. The mount on the Sumire Prime Lenses can be converted from PL-Mount to EF-Mount at a Canon Factory Service & Repair center. A Canon representative will be able to perform the service or even revert back to original PL-mount upon request at an additional cost.

The Canon CN-E24mm T1.5 FP X, CN-E35mm T1.5 FP X, CN-E50mm T1.3 FP X and CN-E85mm T1.3 FP X lenses are scheduled to be available in Summer 2019. The Canon CN-E14mm T3.1 FP X lens is scheduled to be available in Fall 2019. The Canon CN-E20mm T1.5 FP X and CN-E135mm T2.2 FP X lenses are scheduled to be available in Winter 2019/Spring 2020.

One final note: Sumire is the common Japanese name of Viola mandshurica, a perennial species of violet. Its name derives from its native habitat, Manchuria, but the flower is found in different places across Asia. Sumire is a feminine Japanese given name, and it means… violet.

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Journalist, writer and photographer since 1979, both print and online, with a vast experience in the fields of photography, software, hardware, web, aviation, History, video games, technology, having published content in almost all Portuguese newspapers…

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