Daniel Haggett

London based Lighting Cameraman / DoP 

PL Zoom Lenses Fujinon and angenieux optimo

Yesterday I did a shoot with two Canon C300s and two PL zooms.  One was the new Fujinon 19-90 T2.9 (named "Cabrio" for some strange reason) and the other was the Angenieux Optimo 28-76 T2.6 (seen in the photo below).

angenieux optimo C300Most of the time I use EOS lenses on my C300, so thought I would write a few quick notes on these two lenses.  Obviously a big factor in a PL zoom lens like this is the range.   The Fujinon has the most range 19-90 being 4.7x which gives you a better range than most EOS lenses with the 70-200 being under 3x (Only the 24-105 has a bigger range, but that is a fairly slow lens at 4f).  It also has a rocker button, like an ENG style lens, this can be powered with a cable running to a D-tap.  I run my C300 with on-board batteries, so don't have a D-tap coming from a V-lock mount, so didn't actually try out the rocker.  The general feel of this lens is very much like that for a 2/3 inch camera, although this is a smaller, lighter weight lens.  The Fujinon lens is around 6lb, or under 3kg, however it still makes the camera very front heavy, so you would need a decent counter balance if you were using it on a handheld shoulder rig.

 

The build quality of both lenses is excellent.  The focus ring, zoom and iris control are all really clearly marked, and the throw on the fujinon 19-90 PL zoomfocus is huge compared to EOS lenses.  This is a feature I really liked.  Pulling focus from one thing to the next, while remembering the distance mark on the focus ring, makes it really easy to snap the focus from one thing to the next.

I was looking at the image through a large monitor, and both lenses had a good filmic quality to them, unfortuneately I didn't have any other lenses to compare them with.  At T2.9 and 2.6 These lenses are both a very reasonable speed, considering how much they can zoom.

 

The fujinon definitely feels like it is aimed at the documentary style, run and gun shooter, more so than the Angenieux.  The hangrip and the rocker button would work well for handheld situations.

So the final thing to say is how much these lenses cost.  The Fujinon is around £30k in the UK and $38 in the US so it is not a cheap option.  The Angenieux tend to go for slightly more around 35k in the UK.

Are they worth the high price tag?  I think that all C300 users are crying out for a mid range zoom.  If you go for a photography lens you get the 24-70L Canon 2.8, this is a nice lens, but not quite wide enough, or you have the 17-55s Canon which has a nice wide end, but not quite long enough (there is also slight vignette issues).  For me the range and speed of the Fujinon 19-90 makes it an ideal lens for broadcast tv work.  The rental prices on this lens is currently around 320 UK pounds a day, for that price you could rent an entire PMW 500 kit with camera lens sticks the lot.  For me this isn't cost effective.  Great lens, great range, nice optics, fast, but just a bit too expensive.