Gearless? Smooth housing? LCD screen? You’d think these lenses were meant for flight. At Cine Gear 2019, we learned this is exactly how and why Panavision designed their Primo X lenses.
The Panavision Primo X Series is the first of its kind. These are cinema lenses specially designed for use on drones and gimbals. Each lens is fully sealed, weatherproof, and counterbalanced to be aerodynamic, and able to easily maintain a proper center of gravity.
One of the interesting elements of many Panavision lenses are focus motors are built within the lens housing. This puts likely bulky, less aerodynamic, and the added weight of a Follow Focus motor off the camera and more importantly off the Gimbal or Drone. We have all been here, a fully kitted out camera on a Freefly Movi or DJI Ronin, and that camera build can become rather heavy very quickly. Yes, you have a ReadyRig, or EasyRig to help manage the entire rig, but any weight left off the build is always appreciated. At least in my book, it is appreciated.
Primo X lenses come in two primes – 14mm (T3.1) and 24mm (T1.6) – and one 24-70mm zoom (T2.8). Are these lenses available for purchase? No, Panavision as a camera option is rental only. Plus, that internal focus, iris, and on the 24-70mm, zoom control are going to require a Panavision camera.