Tag Archives: rokinon xeen

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DVEStore BlackMagic Ursa Mini 4K 4.6K RAW Video Camera DVE Store

What a surprise! While this camera is pretty tough to find right now, DVEStore.com was kind enough to lend me one of their BlackMagic Design URSA Mini Cameras. I really did enjoy the quality coming from the big URSA, but it was a beast of a camera to manage out in the field. It required a heavy duty tripod and couldn't be shouldered for very long without fatigue. The URSA MINI is less than 1/3rd the weight at just 5lbs (camera body) with a more compact form factor, so very easy to move around and travel with.

BlackMagic Design Ursa Mini Review Samples Video Demo 4K RAW 60fps 120

The most stand out feature over the BlackMagic Production 4K camera, is that the URSA MINI offers 4K RAW up to 60fps (yes 4K/60fps!) and for just $2995 (here). That's cheaper than a Sony A7RII. There's additional modes for 1080 up to 120fps if you need faster. If you want even better quality, the URSA Mini 4.6K sensor will offer 4K RAW up to 80fps.

The basic package for the new URSA Mini doesn't come with the top handle, shoulder pad, extension handle, battery plate, or URSA EVF which is all options you can purchase to make a full shoulder rig camera. For now, I've had to improvise by assembling my favorite rig parts together (as seen below).

blackmagic design mini ursa 4k 4.6K cheesycam rig evf shoulder pad battery plate vmount top handle

I would say the 'core' of the rig you see above is the SHAPE C100/C300 Rig setup with the Paparazzi Top Handle + SHAPE Pro Dual Follow Focus. The long 15mm Rails are lightweight Carbon Fiber from PVGear.com. The CAME-TV Shoulder Pad is placed directly under the camera, so it's very well balanced. But when the camera sits this far back, you'll need an EVF upfront. I'm using my Cineroid Retina EVF + Loupe.

I'm using CAME-TV 15mm Handles with Rosette joints. The BlackMagic URSA Mini Remote Handle just happens to be the exact same so I was able to replace one handle with the URSA Mini Remote. Now that I have most of this put together it's time to take it out this week for some test footage. If you guys have any questions about this camera, I have one here in my hands and i'll try to answer some. Otherwise you can get more information by contacting or visiting DVEStore.com

BlackMagic Design URSA Mini 4K 4.6K RAW 80 120 fps DVEStore
VIEW-ITEM BlackMagic Design URSA Mini 4K or 4.6K Cameras

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While I see many people switching over to the Panasonic GH4 and Sony A7 series cameras (like the A7sII/A7RII), there's one product that I wanted to remind people about - the FotoDiox ND Throttle. When shooting with Sony cameras, especially in SLOG, the minimum ISO could be anywhere from 1600-3200. SLOG is such a great option to have, but means you really have to deal with ND Filters to keep a wide aperture and proper shutter speed.

The easiest and most simple solution that I know of is the FotoDiox ND Throttle. The FotoDiox ND Throttle is a variable ND Filter built right into a lens adapter, and allows you to dial in your exposure without changing your ISO, Shutter, and Aperture. Of course this only works if you are adapting a Full Frame lens to the Sony or Panasonic, and not using a native lens.

It doesn't matter if you're working with a Canon EF autofocus lens, a manual Rokinon Lens, or even high end Cinema Prime Lenses like the
XEEN, Canon CN-E, Zeiss CP.2, etc. The FotoDiox ND Throttle is one simple adapter that I highly suggest all Sony A7 series or GH4 shooters look into and find the time to try it out. Even if you're not using it all the time, I think you'll find it's worth keeping in the gear bag.

fotodiox nd throttle adapter sony a7s a7rii nex fe mountpanasonic gh4 nd throttle lens adapter canon ef variable nd filter
VIEW-ITEM FotoDiox ND Throttle Variable ND Filter + Lens Adapter

So while I think Canon L lenses offer great image quality, you can get a (4) piece Rokinon Cine DS Lens Bundle Set for about the price of one Canon L Lens. The DS line from Rokinon are designed to be color matched, same exposure ranges, common focus and iris gear positions, a de-clicked aperture, etc. For me personally I feel they are better for video than standard Autofocus Photo Lenses (image quality aside). If you're looking into a set of Rokinon Cine lenses, I highly suggest starting with the 'Cine DS' line for the reasons stated above.

The image quality is great, and I think you'll really appreciate the longer focus (pull) throw, and de-clicked aperture which lets you set F-stops in smaller increments than you can with auto focus lenses. The built in gear ring is great for follow focuses, and the standard positions make it easier to swap lenses without moving your FF around each time.

Rokinon Cine DS Lens Canon EF
VIEW-ITEM Rokinon Cine DS Lens Bundle for Canon EF Mount

Now if you really want to step it up a bit, the Rokinon XEEN Cinema Prime lenses have a standard physical size, lens diameter, better optics, less breathing, etc. To date they are probably the most affordable Cinema Prime Lenses that cover a full frame sensor. They have a 114mm Diameter which is exactly the same as a Canon CN-E Prime, or Zeiss CP.2. You can find great deals on XEEN Lens Sets via eBay (click here).

Rokinon XEEN 3 Lens Bundle Set
VIEW-ITEM Rokinon XEEN Lens Bundle

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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.

ef_cine_primes__hero
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