Introduced in 2015, the new Xeen lenses for video and cinema are, as the information available suggests, “a masterpiece of design” only possible with the feedback from professional directors of photography. Samyang states they represent, also, the culmination of the company’s expertise in optical engineering.
Xeen, the name for the new lenses comes from the experience of ‘scene’ and ‘seen.’ The first letter is replaced by an ‘X,’ which represents infinity; limitless experiences and possibilities. Xeen aims to deliver superior optics, for maximum user satisfaction. Samyang refers to the bright T1.5 aperture and outstanding performance for 4K+, as essential aspects of the new lenses. The trio allows users to concentrate on the only thing that matters: realizing their creative power.
More expensive than the traditional offer in cine lenses from Samyang (or Rokinon) the new lenses share the same price: $2495. Available on PL, Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony E, or Micro Four Thirds mount, the new prime lenses feature declicked gear rings in identical locations, so that changing lenses is no longer a hassle. Mounts are interchangeable, meaning each lens can be used on a variety of cameras. The trio was announced through a bold picture, of a Xeen sailing ship blasting lenses from Zeiss (CP2) and Canon (CN-E) out of the water.
Apparently Samyang wants to compete with reference lenses while offering a lower price point, but only time will tell if the Xeen trio succeeds. Samyang expects it to become popular, as they already announced the lineup will soon be expanded to a total of six lenses. The new lenses seem better built than the previous line of cinema lenses from Samyang, but information already available online suggests that these lenses share the same optical design as previous models (the Rokinon Cine DS lenses), and that only the presence of a new mount, the PL, may be an asset, as this option was not available in previous models. The option to use these lenses on a PL mount and the price tag when compared to lenses from names as Zeiss may be the reason for – some – cinematographers to go the Xeen way.
As always when a new product is launched, some more or less known names will appear to praise its benefits. It is no different here, with Francois and Maxime Tornier, two French filmmakers and co-founders of independent film company Outdoor Live, stating that what we have here is “a new generation of cine lenses – delivering amazingly sharp images and professional results. A new must have in my outdoor filmmaking kit.”
Frank Glencairn, a German award winning cinematographer focusing on creating documentaries and short films said that “Xeen is the ‘game changer. The materials, build quality, optics, mechanics and especially the image, are nothing but amazing.” Youngchul Kim, Vice-chairman of Moving Image Technology Association of Korea and teacher of young cinematographers, also commented that “Xeen will be a beloved tool in the arsenal of directors all over the world. It sets my heart aflutter.”
The best source of information, at the moment, may be the article published by Matthew Duclos on his website: Rokinon Takes Aim with New Xeen Cinema Prime Lenses. The author tried the new lenses for some time, so his comments are based on real world experience, making for some interesting reading if you’re interested in the subject. Let’s just resume it: Matthew Duclos says there is nothing revolutionary on the Xeen line, they are just well made lenses. This may be the most important element to most users.
To find more about the new lenses visit the new dedicated website at www.xeenglobal.com, which has full details about the products.
- Covers Full-Frame 35mm
- Available in PL, Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony E, and Micro Four Thirds Mounts
- Internal Focus Design
- Multi-Coating for Color Consistency
- Dual Side Focus and T-Stop Scales
- 11 Blade Iris
- Cinema Gearing for Focus and Iris
- 200° Focus Rotation
- 114mm Front Diameter