Canon has announced the CINE-SERVO 25-250mm T2.95-3.9 (CN10x25 IAS S) lens. Canon designed the 25-250mm to be a versatile lens that can be used for wildlife, documentary, broadcast, and cinema applications.
Canon now has three CINE-SERVO zooms that cover a range from 17mm out to a whopping 1500mm (if you engage the 1.5x extender on the 50-1000mm).
The lens doesn’t have a constant aperture like the Angenieux Optimo Style 25-250mm T3.5. The Canon 25-250mm has a variable aperture that goes from T2.95-T3.9. This is not a massive ramp in the aperture. If Canon had of given the lens a constant aperture it would have made it significantly larger and heavier.
The lens remains at T2.95 from 25-187mm and then it starts ramping up to T3.9 from there. It is unclear at this stage how linear that ramp is. Still, having a constant T2.95 aperture between 25-187mm is impressive.
So how does the Canon compare to the aperture ranges of other cine zooms with similar focal lengths? Below you can see:
|Canon CINE-SERVO 25-250mm T2.95-3.9||T2.95-3.9|
|Angenieux Optimo Style 25-250mm T3.5||T3.5|
|Fujinon ZK 25-300mm T3.5 to T3.85 Cabrio Premier||T3.5-3.85|
|Canon CN-E 30-300mm T2.95-3.7 L S||T2.95-3.7|
Optical Design & Features
Canon used a lot of the same technologies they came up with when they designed the 50-1000mm. The optical design and mechanics for the 25-250mm can be directly traced back to the 50-1000mm.
The 25-250mm uses an 11 blade iris which is exactly the same as both the CN7x17 KAS S Cine-Servo 17-120mm and Canon Cine-Servo 50-1000mm.
Just like its siblings, it features the same 180° of focus rotation for precise focus pulls and is marked in both feet and meters. This makes it a lot easier to pull focus manually than using a lens with 300 degrees of rotation.
The 25-250mm has a close focus ability of 4′ (121.9 cm). This is exactly the same minimum focusing distance of the Angenieux Optimo Style 25-250mm T3.5.
If you need to focus even closer, just ike the 17-120mm, the 25-250mm lens also features a macro function.
The lens also features 0.8 MOD / 32 Pitch focus gears and 0.5 MOD / 51 Pitch gears on the iris and zoom. It has a Φ 114 mm front filter diameter.
The PL version of the lens supports Cooke/i Technology.
You wouldn’t normally classify a lens that weighs in at 6.7 lb (3 kg) as lightweight, but considering what other 25-250mm or similar range cine zoom lenses weigh, it is exceptionally light.
The lens is also only 11.1″ (28.2 cm) long. That makes it 3.85″ (9.78 cm) shorter than the Angenieux Optimo Style 25-250mm T3.5.
Canon took a lot of what they learned from creating the CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9 and applied it to the new CINE-SERVO 25-250mm T2.95-3.9. Making a 10x cine zoom that has T2.95-3.9 aperture and weighs under 7 lb is a real engineering feat.
The digital drive unit can also be removed if you want to make the lens even lighter.
As a comparison, here is what a couple of other cine zoom lenses with similar focal ranges weigh:
|Canon CINE-SERVO 25-250mm T2.95-3.9||3 kg (6.7 lb)|
|Angenieux Optimo Style 25-250mm T3.5||7.3 kg (16 lb)|
|Fujinon ZK 25-300mm T3.5 to T3.85 Cabrio Premier||8.9 kg (19.6 lb)|
|Canon CN-E 30-300mm T2.95-3.7 L S||5.8 kg (12.8 lb)|
As you can see, the Canon CINE-SERVO 25-250mm is less than half the weight of the Angenieux Optimo Style 25-250mm T3.5 and almost a third of the weight of the Fujinon ZK 25-300mm T3.5 to T3.85 Cabrio Premier.
The only problem I can see with the 25-250mm is that just like the 17-120mm a lot of the weight is concentrated at the very front of the lens. This makes it difficult to balance when shooting on the shoulder.
Just like the CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9, the 25-250mm features a built-in extender.
The extender on the 25-250mm is a 1.5x, which allows the user to change the focal range of the lens to 37.5-375mm. Of course, by doing this you will lose light and the lenses T-stop range changes to T4.4-T5.9.
Having a lens that can go out to 375mm at T5.9 is still impressive. With today’s modern digital cinema cameras having such good sensitivity, T5.9 is going to be more than usable in most situations.
By adding a 1.5x extender Canon has greatly increased the versatility of this lens.
Even though the lens is only designed to cover S35 sensors if you activate the 1.5x extender the lens will actually cover full-frame sensors.
Servo Drive Unit
The detachable drive unit, can be removed and reattached with the zoom in any position, requiring no re-calibration. It also supports motorized zoom speeds ranging from 1.5 seconds to 180 seconds to zoom throughout the entire range. The zoom control includes a mini-LCD that displays zoom, focus, and iris setting. The lens mount supports electronic signal pass through, supporting EOS lens data management functions. The built-in, 12-pin connector allows you to interface this lens with standard broadcast connectors.
If you use the EF mount version of the lens you can take advantage of Canon’s proprietary Dual Pixel CMOS AF.
Just like the 7×17 KAS S Cine-Servo 17-120mm and Canon Cine-Servo 50-1000mm, the 25-250mm doesn’t feature any IS.
As someone who uses the Cine-Servo 50-1000mm, I would have liked to have seen some sort of IS incorporated. With the 50-1000mm you really need to use a very heavy duty tripod, because the slightest amount of movement at 1000mm is very noticeable.
It will be interesting to see how well the 25-250mm works with the C500 Mark II and C300 Mark III as both of those cameras feature electronic image stabilization (EIS).
Price & Availability
The Canon CINE-SERVO 25-250mm T2.95-3.95 (CN10x25 IAS S) is scheduled to be available later in 2020 for an estimated retail price of $29,999.00 USD.
|Canon CINE-SERVO 25-250mm T2.95-3.9||$29,999 USD|
|Angenieux Optimo Style 25-250mm T3.5||$41,699 USD|
|Fujinon ZK 25-300mm T3.5 to T3.85 Cabrio Premier||$44,000 USD (servo drive unit is extra)|
|Canon CN-E 30-300mm T2.95-3.7 L S||$44,650 USD|
You can download the full specifications of the lens above.
The 25-250mm T2.95-T3.9 looks to be a very exciting lens. If you are doing high-end documentary or wildlife work then its range, coupled with its manageable weight makes it a compelling solution.
This is not a lens for everyone and if you think that someone is going to suddenly be able to make a lens with these specifications for $5,000 USD then you need to keep dreaming.
Thee are physical limitations when designing optics and Canon has certainly pushed those boundaries with this lens.
What are your thoughts on the new CINE-SERVO 25-250mm T2.95-3.9? Discuss with others on the Newsshooter Forums.