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Canon launches Sumire Prime Lenses for Reimagined Cinematic Imaging

Apr 3, 2019, 1:30 pm

Keeping in mind the focal lengths frequently used for cinematic imaging, Canon has launched seven new cinema prime PL-Mount lenses going by the name of Sumire Prime. Associated with floral gentleness and beauty, the Japanese word Sumire (Soo-Mee-Ray), in this context, signifies the artistically pleasing look of the lenses, complete with beautiful skin tones and smooth bokeh. The lenses have been designed to be used with large-sensor cinema cameras, which include 35mm full-frame cameras like the EOS C700FF Cinema Camera.

The series lenses combine bright T-stops and warm-color imagery Canon is well renowned for with a unique optical design. This provides for a very distinct look as the lens aperture approaches its maximum setting while it is simultaneously and subtly modifying the textural renderings of the closeup of a human face, besides allowing for a smooth transition to the fall-off portions of the scene, thus making way for a pleasing bokeh, an emotional expressiveness, and creative flexibility for that perfectly memorable scene.

Kazuto Ogawa, president, and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. has commented, “Sumire in Japan is the name of a flower, and like the petals of a flower, our lenses are most beautiful when fully opened. This is the inspiration behind the Sumire look. The feedback from cinematographers is crucial and their voices have been heard loud and clear – they asked Canon to introduce a set of PL-mount cinema prime lenses. We went a step further and our new Sumire Prime Lenses produce the beautifully cinematic and unique images professionals desire. We can’t wait to see how the lenses will contribute to the art of filmmaking.”

The seven lenses forming the current series include

  • 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
  • CN-E135mm T2.2 FP X

The features shared by the aforementioned lenses include 11-bladed iris and bright T-stops to allow users to capture images featuring a more naturally circular bokeh at maximum as well as minimum aperture. The odd number of iris blades can be accounted for by the ability to diffuse light rays and produce an often sought after, artistically pleasing, cinematic look, replete with warmer colors. The lenses, furthermore, maintain uniformity in color balance throughout the series, thus reducing the need for post grading, even when lenses are being changed frequently during production.

Furthermore, the lenses are highly durable and have been equipped with the same reduced focus breathing and outstanding operability as Canon’s EF-Mount Cinema Prime Lenses. Manually operating the lenses also provide users with the desired resistance for making precise changes in focus. The lenses also feature a 300-degree focus rotation angle, besides gear position that is consistent across the series which does away with the necessity to adjust gear positions while changing lenses.

Cinematographer Matt Porwoll, having shot the first U.S. footage with the lenses, has attested,

The new Sumire Prime lenses are the perfect blend of science and art. 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!

The Sumire Prime Lenses can be used with the entire lineup of Canon Cinema EOS full-frame and Super 35mm 4K cameras, like the EOS C300, EOS C700 FF, Mark II, and EOS C200. Additionally, they are also compatible with the latest full-frame and Super 35mm PL-mount cameras from any leading manufacturer. And the Sumire Prime Lenses having interchangeable mounts means that they can easily be converted from PL-Mount to EF-Mount at any Canon Factory Service & Repair center, with a Canon representative being able to provide the service or revert to original PL-mount upon request at an additional cost.

The official site for Canon US cites the lenses’ availability as “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.”

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