Tag Archives: 85mm


If you find yourself swapping lenses throughout a project, or cutting between multi-camera angles you'll find your footage will be easier to match looks if you have a matched set of lenses. Color, Contrast, Sharpness, and more could look quite different if you're just using a random set of mixed lenses. Probably the most talked about affordable set of lenses for video use are the Rokinon Cine DS Lenses. The 'DS' is a more improved version of the original Rokinon manual photo lenses that has better optical coatings and have been 'matched' to have a more consistent look across the set.

Even though I feel Canon L series lenses are optically better, I ended up selling many of my Canon L series Autofocus lenses just because I wanted to work more with Manual Focus lenses, de-clicked apertures, with a matched 'look' when doing video projects. Not to mention I haven't been shooting much with Canon DSLRs. In fact, just one Canon 85mm F/1.2L lens paid for an entire bundle of Rokinon Cine DS Lenses. That's just how affordable a complete set is.

Rokinon Cine DS Lens Bundle Deal Sale Discount GH4 Sony A7sII A7s A7RII A7r
Personal set 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm Rokinon Cine DS Lenses seen w/ GH4 and A7sII

If you're working with many of today's mirrorless cameras, these lenses are highly adaptable and cover a full frame sensor. Unlike camera bodies, lenses like these also hold their values really well, so I feel it's a good investment for people starting out in video. You can always sell them off later if you decide to upgrade to set of true Cine Primes. Though, it's not uncommon to see just how many people are throwing these lenses on even high end cameras like the BlackMagic Design or RED these days.

So if you're looking for a decently matched set of lenses for video work, the '4pc Lens Bundle' is currently discounted an Instant Savings of -$350 OFF which includes the most popular Rokinon focal lengths 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm (found here).

rokinon Cine DS Lens Kit
Learn-More-sm Rokinon 24, 35, 50, 85mm T1.5 Cine DS Lens Bundle


As much as I love Canon EF photo lenses, it bugs me that every time I change to a different lens, the focus throw and feel is different. Some lenses focus very smooth, some too smooth, and some not so smooth. The size of the lens is always different which throws off my Rig configuration if i'm using a Follow Focus, Lens Support, or Mattebox. Focus throw also varies from maybe an inch from Point A to B, to a few inches - depending on the lens. They are Photography lenses after all, not video lenses. Those problems are all solved when you move to a decent set of Cinema Lenses, but for many price has always been a huge deterrent.

Recently Rokinon has introduced a new line of XEEN Cinema Prime Lenses. These aren't just rehoused photo lenses like the line of Rokinon DS. These lenses now feature an 11 blade iris (as opposed to just 8 on Rokinon photo lenses) and with new coatings. The look will be different than from a standard set of Rokinon DS Lenses.

The size of the Rokinon XEEN lenses (length) are consistent with each other, and all sport a 114mm front diameter. You won't have to swap donuts on a mattebox, nor adjust the height of your Mattebox to center the lens. It's going to remain consistent as you swap lenses.

The lens focus gears and iris gears are all equal distance from the lens mount, so anytime you have to switch lenses, every bit of your rig can remain the same. Your follow focus will lock in place perfectly each time you swap lenses. This is especially handy when working with wireless follow focus systems that can be a pain to reconfigure. Focus throw is a nice smooth 200 degrees as opposed to very short and inconsistent focus throws on varying Canon EF photo lenses. With a set of Rokinon XEEN lenses you'll have a very consistent feel and with practice should make you faster to hit your marks.

Rokinon Xeen Cinema Lenses Prime
find-price-button Rokinon XEEN Cinema Prime Lenses 24mm T1.5 | 50mm T1.5 | 85mm T1.5

Prior to the new XEEN Cinema Prime Lenses, your options for somewhat affordable has been Canon's CN-E Lenses, Schneider Xenon, and the Zeiss CP.2. Each of those lenses can easily run about $4,000 US or more. The new Rokinon XEEN Cinema Primes run just under $2500. That's a huge difference, and when you start to add up a simple 3 piece set that's a lot of spare cash.

find-price-button Canon CN-E Cinema Prime Lenses

Schneider XENON Cinema Prime Lenses
find-price-button Schneider XENON Cinema Prime Lenses

zeiss cp2 cinema prime lenses
find-price-button Zeiss CP.2 Cinema Prime Lenses

Even though they may not be up to the standards of higher end Cinema Prime Lenses, the quality, price, and convenience these new XEEN lenses offer is very compelling. I own the Canon 85mm F/1.2L II which can run close to $2,000. The XEEN 85 T1/.5 runs for $2500 (not a huge price difference), and for me personally seems like I could benefit more from the XEEN for video use.

Currently they have a 24mmT1.5, 50mm T1.5, and 85mm T1.5 in the lineup but it's said they will release more. A solid 35mm and 100mm should really make a complete set of Cinema Primes. And because these can cover a full frame camera, if you opt for say a Canon EF Mount, they can easily be adapted to other bodies (MFT, Sony, etc). I'm pretty eager to try these out, and wondering if anyone else out there might be just as excited?

Rokinon XEEN Product Description

Rokinon's Xeen is built specifically for use as a cinema lens. It features an internal focus design so that the lens does not change size while focusing, this minimizes the appearance of breathing when changing focus. Each lens in the set is multi-coated for good contrast, glare prevention, and are color matched to a factory standard, allowing you to assemble a set over time with minimal color shift. This 24mm lens provides what is considered a wide angle of view on full-frame cameras, and a tighter angle of view on smaller formats.

The lens features dual sided focus scales marked in feet, with dual sided iris scales. The 11-bladed iris provides a rounded aperture for a natural looking highlights and Bokeh. The lens is a manual focus and iris lens, and does not have auto focus or auto iris capability. It incorporates cinema-style focus and iris gears that share the same position across the lenses in the Xeen set. The common 114mm front diameter allows for quick lens changes when using a matte box and focus accessories. The focus ring rotates 200° from close focus to infinity; this gives you a high degree of precision when adjusting focus. The new Rokinon XEEN Cinema Prime Lenses mounts are available in Canon EF, MFT, Nikon, PL, and Sony FE.

The lens features metal construction to withstand the rigors of daily production, and it incorporates a support that can help take strain off your camera's lens port. Dual right and left side focus and T-stop scales allow your focus puller to work from either side of the lens, without having to flip the lens in the mount, or facing upside numerals. Each lens in the XEEN series share common focus and iris gear ring positions, which speeds up lens changes as accessories such as follow focus units or iris motors don't have to be re-positioned. The common 114mm front diameter allows for quick lens changes as you don't have to swap out anti-reflection donuts or adapters to use the same matte box. The non-rotating front allows you to use optional clip-on matte boxes. "Clickless" aperture ring for smooth iris pulls.

Rokinon Samyang Xeen 24mm Cine LensRokinon Samyang Xeen 50mm Cine LensRokinon Samyang Xeen 85mm Cine Lens
find-price-button Rokinon XEEN Cinema Prime Lenses 24mm T1.5 | 50mm T1.5 | 85mm T1.5


Don't think I ever posted any footage samples of the vintage 85mm F/1.2 on the GH2, so here it is if you're curious. Old lenses are a great alternative to getting DOF on a budget. There's a variety of different adapters to mount just about any lens type to any camera. For a list of old Vintage lenses, check out the eBay auctions. Just make sure you choose the right adapter for the Lens you choose to fit your camera body.

find-price-button Search for Manual Focus Camera Lenses

Here i'm using an FD adapter without glass to make this 85mm F/1.2 work on the Panasonic GH2. At F/1.2 there's a soft glow, but step it down to F/1.8 and it's plenty sharp. They will never be as sharp as true lenses designed for Digital, but that's the whole allure about them. Sometimes they give off a really vintage feel. Oh and I didn't bring an ND filter out so the shutter speed was quite high on this footage. Might look at bit jittery...

Cheesycam GH2GH2 (1 of 2)

find-price-button Canon FD Lens adapter for Micro 4/3 Cameras


The disaster in Japan set back quite a few products including the long awaited Samyang 35mm F/1.4 lens. A nice follow up to the already popular budget 85mm prime lens, the new 35mm is finally available.

find-price-button Samyang 35mm F/1.4 UMC AS

Don't forget that these lenses are quickly re-colored and re-branded under names like Bower, Rokinon, Vivitar. So when those names become available, you'll also be able to find similar ones via Amazon below.

find-price-button Rokinon 35mm F/1.4