Buyer’s Guide: Canon Cinema EOS Lenses

This page contains a lot of data displayed in several charts and tables.
It is best viewed on a laptop or desktop display.

007First introduced to the market in November 2011, Canon’s Cinema EOS series of digital cinematography lenses has grown to include six primes and eight zooms. This page delineates the entire Cinema EOS lens product line-up. You can jump directly to a particular section of this page with these links:

How to Read These Tables

Canon cinema lenses are separated into five groups. There is a table below for each group. To the right of the group name is its image circle coverage, which is either Super 35 (S35) or Full Frame (FF), and resolution, which is either 4K or 4K+ (greater than 4K). Lens images are clickable to show large versions. Next come the model numbers, of which there can be as many as four for one type of lens. The first model number is the EF lens mount version; under it is the PL lens mount version if one exists. There may be one or two more model numbers below, in parenthesis “also known as,” with a different nomenclature. For example, the COMPACT-SERVO 18-80mm T4.4 EF is also known as the CN-E18-80mm T4.4 L IS KAS S. The reason for this is due to separate divisions within Canon that market the Cinema EOS lens product line. Below the lens model number(s) are links to the Canon USA web site product page for that lens, its press release and the user’s operating manual in .PDF format. Product page links point to EF versions. Those pages link to the PL versions in their Overview sections. Both versions are listed on the Canon USA cinema lens index page.

Next is a line of five data points about that lens, such as:

(8.2012)      ⌀114/⌀105      MOD 0.95m      1.3kg      ~$5,000

The first data point, “(8.2012),” is the month and year the lens became available. Next are two diameter measurements, “⌀114/⌀105,” the first being the outer diameter of the lens front, for sizing a matte box. The second is the screw-in filter thread diameter. Note that some lenses such as the Cine Zooms are not threaded for filters… these are matte box only. The third data point, “MOD 0.95m,” is the Minimum Object Distance, the closest possible focusing point, given in meters. These values are shown as measured from the camera’s image sensor, not the front of the lens. The next data point, “1.3kg,” is the weight of the lens in kilograms. This is followed by the price, “~$5,000,” which is given either as a less than or as an approximate, in U.S. dollars. The amounts shown on this page are at or near the full MSRP, the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, and may not reflect current discounts and promotions offered by dealers. In many cases, the actual amount charged by a dealer will be at or below the prices given here.

Obviously this page is targeted to the U.S. market since I have listed U.S. prices. That’s because the “where to buy” links on this page are referring to DV Info Net site sponsors, all of which are U.S. dealers… at this time I do not have a Canon Cinema EOS dealer outside of the U.S. as a site sponsor. However, some dealers such as B&H Photo Video, will ship overseas to just about anywhere in the world. There are four DV Info Net site sponsors that are authorized Cinema EOS dealers:

  AbelCine  
(888) 700-4416
L.A.   /   Chi.   /   NYC
  B&H Photo  
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY
  ProVideo  
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR
  ZGC  
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

A note about the technical data listings… I have kept them in metric measurements for the sake of consistency. Lens focal length is universally expressed in millimeters, as are filter thread diameters. However, metric distances and weights can still be confusing for many Americans, myself included. Therefore I have added in the Imperial equivalents for Minimum Object Distance and lens weight. Just mouse-over the listed MOD and kilogram values and you should see a pop-up text box near the mouse cursor which converts the distance to feet plus inches, and weight to pounds.

Features Common to All Cinema EOS Lenses

The most common feature across the entire Canon Cinema EOS lens line-up is color balance. All of these lenses were developed primarily for cinematic applications and therefore the colors they produce, especially with regard to skin tones, are warmer than the color balance of Canon EF series still-photo lenses. If you intend to use a Canon cinema lens together with a Canon EF lens on the same production, be sure to adjust white balance and other parameters accordingly in order to match colors.

All Canon cinema lenses incorporate chromatic aberration correction and focus breathing suppression. They all cover Super 35 image sensors and all resolve at least 4K (80 LP/mm). All have geared control rings at industry-standard pitches. All are offered with Canon EF lens mounts (PL lens mounts are available on six zooms). All eight cinema zooms include a flange back adjustment mechanism to control back-focus.


We begin with Compact Servo Zooms as they are the most affordable in the Canon cinema lens series. The 18-80mm wide zoom and 70-200mm telephoto zoom are matched in terms of size and length, allowing the focus, zoom and iris rings to be co-located. Both are constant aperture T4.4 with a 9-blade iris. They have switchable zoom motors. The optional ZSG-C10 grip adds a feathered zoom rocker and more. These are the only Canon cinema lenses with autofocus and image stabilization. Available in EF mount only.

Canon Compact Servo Zooms (S35 4K)
COMPACTSERVO18-082 E70-200-SLANT-FR-hiRes
COMPACT-SERVO 18-80mm T4.4 EF
(aka CN-E18-80mm T4.4 L IS KAS S)
(10.2016)    ⌀84/⌀77    MOD 0.5m    1.2kg    ~$5,300
CUSA product page  ·  Press Release  ·  User Manual
COMPACT-SERVO 70-200mm T4.4 EF
(aka CN-E70-200mm T4.4 L IS KAS S)
(4.2017)    ⌀84/⌀77    MOD 1.2m    1.25kg    ~$5,800
CUSA product page  ·  Press Release  ·  User Manual
EF     AbelCine       B&H Photo       ProVideo       ZGC   EF     AbelCine       B&H Photo       ProVideo       ZGC  


1460563522000_1246190Canon ZSG-C10 Zoom Grip     (10.2016)     750g     <$500
Adds feathered zoom, One-Shot AF, rec control to Compact Servo
zoom lenses via 20-pin. Adjustable and can be used while detached.
  AbelCine        B&H Photo        ProVideo        ZGC  


The two Compact Zooms are smaller, weigh less and cost less than the larger cine zooms. The 15.5-47mm wide zoom and 30-105mm telephoto zoom are matched in terms of width and length, allowing the focus, zoom and iris rings to be co-located. Both are constant aperture T2.8 with an 11-blade iris. They share the same front diameter and filter threads as the Canon cine primes, allowing greater flexibility when choosing a matte box or screw-in filters. Available in either EF or PL mount.

Canon Compact Zooms (S35 4K)
15.5-47_slant 30-105_slant
CN-E15.5-47mm T2.8 L S
CN-E15.5-47mm T2.8 L SP
(12.2012)   ⌀114/⌀105   MOD 0.5m   2.2kg   ~$23,500
CUSA product page  ·  Press Release  ·  User Manual
CN-E30-105mm T2.8 L S
CN-E30-105mm T2.8 L SP
(10.2012)   ⌀114/⌀105   MOD 0.6m   2.2kg   ~$23,500
CUSA product page  ·  Press Release  ·  User Manual
EF     AbelCine       B&H Photo       ProVideo       ZGC  
PL     AbelCine       B&H Photo       ProVideo       ZGC  
EF     AbelCine       B&H Photo       ProVideo       ZGC  
PL     AbelCine       B&H Photo       ProVideo       ZGC  


All six Cine Primes are the same width and share the same filter thread diameter (except for the 14mm, which is matte box only). They all have unified focus and iris rings, to maintain consistent lens control placements when changing lenses. Each has an 11-blade iris, and a fast aperture for shallow DOF. These are the only Canon cinema lenses with an image circle large enough to cover Full Frame image sensors. Available in EF mount only. Conversion to PL is offered by Duclos Lenses.

Canon Cine Primes (FF 4K)
canon-cine-primes
CN-E14mm T3.1 L F
(4.2013)   ⌀114/⌀–   MOD 0.2m   1.2kg   ~$5,250
CUSA product page  ·  Press Release  ·  User Manual
EF     AbelCine       B&H Photo       ProVideo       ZGC  
CN-E24mm T1.5 L F
(7.2012)   ⌀114/⌀105   MOD 0.3m   1.2kg   ~$5,250
CUSA product page  ·  Press Release  ·  User Manual
EF     AbelCine       B&H Photo       ProVideo       ZGC  
CN-E35mm T1.5 L F
(12.2013)   ⌀114/⌀105   MOD 0.3m   1.1kg   ~$5,000
CUSA product page  ·  Press Release  ·  User Manual
EF     AbelCine       B&H Photo       ProVideo       ZGC  
CN-E50mm T1.3 L F
(7.2012)   ⌀114/⌀105   MOD 0.45m   1.1kg   ~$5,000
CUSA product page  ·  Press Release  ·  User Manual
EF     AbelCine       B&H Photo       ProVideo       ZGC  
CN-E85mm T1.3 L F
(8.2012)   ⌀114/⌀105   MOD 0.95m   1.3kg   ~$5,000
CUSA product page  ·  Press Release  ·  User Manual
EF     AbelCine       B&H Photo       ProVideo       ZGC  
CN-E135mm T2.2 L F
(5.2013)   ⌀114/⌀105   MOD 1m   1.4kg   ~$5,000
CUSA product page  ·  Press Release  ·  User Manual
EF     AbelCine       B&H Photo       ProVideo       ZGC  
Full set of six (6) Canon Cinema Prime lenses
incl.  14mm T3.1,  24mm T1.5,  35mm T1.5,  50mm T1.3,  85mm T1.3,  135mm T2.2,  case    ~$25,000
order:     AbelCine        B&H Photo         get quote:     ProVideo        ZGC  


The large Cinema Zooms resolve at greater than 4K resolution. The 14.5-60mm wide zoom and 30-300mm telephoto zoom offer a very useful overlap from 30mm to 60mm when used together on A & B camera setups. The wide zoom has a constant aperture of T2.6 while the telephoto zoom has a slower, variable aperture. Both have an 11-blade iris. Both have the same front diameter for sharing a matte box. They are not threaded for screw-in filters. Available in EF or PL mount.

Canon Cine Zooms (S35 4K+)
Canon_6141B002_CN_E_14_5_60mm_T2_6_L_839223 Canon_6142B001_CN_E_30_300mm_T2_95_3_7_L_839228
CN-E14.5-60mm T2.6 L S
CN-E14.5-60mm T2.6 L SP
(4.2012)   ⌀136/⌀–   MOD 0.7m   4.5kg   ~$43,000
CUSA product page  ·  Press Release  ·  User Manual
CN-E30-300mm T2.95-3.7 L S
CN-E30-300mm T2.95-3.7 L SP
(3.2012)   ⌀136/⌀–   MOD 1.5m   5.8kg   ~$45,000
CUSA product page  ·  Press Release  ·  User Manual
EF     AbelCine       B&H Photo       ProVideo       ZGC  
PL     AbelCine       B&H Photo       ProVideo       ZGC  
EF     AbelCine       B&H Photo       ProVideo       ZGC  
PL     AbelCine       B&H Photo       ProVideo       ZGC  


The motorized Cine Servo Zooms are very different from each other. Unlike the other zoom groups, these are not a “wide and tele pair.” Each is a sort of crossover between 4K cinema and high-end 4K broadcast. Both have variable apertures and an 11-blade iris. The servo drives are detachable on each. The CN7x17 is a 4K broadcast zoom with cinema color and features. The CN20x50, intended for very long throws in auditoriums, stadiums, etc., has a built-in 1.5x extender for a maximum telephoto reach of 1500mm. Diameters are listed for filter threads only. Both are available in EF or PL mount.

Canon Cine Servo Zooms (S35 4K)
cine-servo-17-120mm-t2-95-zoom-lens-digital-drive-3q-left-grip-hires cine-servo-50-1000mm-t5-0-8-9-ultra-telephoto-zoom-lens-3q-left-hood-hires
CINE-SERVO 17-120mm T2.95-3.9 EF
CINE-SERVO 17-120mm T2.95-3.9 PL
(aka CN7x17 KAS S/E1 and CN7x17 KAS S/P1)
(8.2014)   ⌀112p1*   MOD 0.85m   2.9kg   ~$28,000
CUSA product page  ·  Press Release  ·  User Manual
* plus ⌀127p0.75 in lens hood  ·  Brochure
CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9 EF
CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9 PL
(aka CN20x50 IAS H/E1 and CN20x50 IAS H/P1)
(4.2015)   ⌀127p0.75   MOD 3.5m   6.6kg   ~$70,200
CUSA product page  ·  Press Release  ·  User Manual
Information Display Manual  ·  Brochure
EF     AbelCine       B&H Photo       ProVideo       ZGC  
PL     AbelCine       B&H Photo       ProVideo       ZGC  
EF     AbelCine       B&H Photo       ProVideo       ZGC  
PL     AbelCine       B&H Photo       ProVideo       ZGC  

Is there a missing lens in the Canon Cinema EOS product line? In this writer’s opinion, there’s an ideal Compact Servo zoom that doesn’t exist yet: a 10-22mm or 12-24mm T4.4 rectilinear ultra-wide. It would probably require a front objective with a larger diameter than the current 18-80mm and 70-200mm twins, and most likely it would be at least a bit more expensive than the other two compact zooms. However it would certainly fill a gap in the current focal length range that these lenses currently offer. Canon has been quite successful with a particular still-photo ultra-wide zoom, the EF-S 10-18mm IS STM. Although it does not have a constant aperture, this lens is fairly rectilinear and it has image stabilization… and it’s surprisingly affordable at less than $300. The same zoom range in the cine lens line as a compact servo zoom would cost substantially more but would no doubt prove to be just as highly popular.

Resources

The following sources were consulted while researching this buyer’s guide:

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About The Author

Chris Hurd

After completing my degree in Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas, I managed a video production studio "back in the tape days" while waiting for the digital video revolution to arrive and for the internet to become mainstream. Things started to get interesting in November of 1997 when I launched The XL1 Watchdog, my first web site dedicated to digital video technology. In January of 2001, that site morphed into DV Info Net — the Digital Video Information Network. More than fifteen years later, the longevity of DV Info Net is exceeded now only by its popularity and reputation as one of the leading technology information resources in the broadcast and professional video markets.

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