Tokina Cinema Vista-P Lenses

Tokina Cinema has unveiled its new Vista-P lenses, which were purposely designed to offer cinematographers a distinctive combination of vintage character but with high resolution. The lenses are claimed to produce images with a buttery, swirly, vintage-like character towards the edge of the frame, combined with incredibly high resolution in the middle.

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Tokina Cinema Vista Primes have been a popular choice for customization and ‘de-tuning’ by third-party manufacturers and rental houses, trying to get a less perfect image towards the edge of the frame, which is typically done by modifying the air gap between the easily accessible elements at the rear of each lens. Adding shims can move these elements further apart and does have a mild effect. To get the greatest noticeable effect, more spacing is needed between other elements deep inside the lens, which is not possible with this kind of relatively simple modification. Due to this popularity, Tokina Cinema has decided to re-engineer the Vista Primes themselves as a factory option.

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To achieve this look, Tokina Cinema has repositioned the elements throughout the design, not just at the rear of the Vista-P lenses. By moving the placement of the lens elements it has deliberately introduces strong spherical distortion. which is a characteristic more commonly associated with vintage lenses. The modifications create a lower contrast and increased distortion effect.

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At first glance, the Vista-P primes look physically similar to the existing Vista lenses, but optically they have quite a different look. At the edge of frame, the look is similar to famous vintage lenses like the Helios-44 or Petzval with their swirl-type distortion, while overall the look is cleaner and more modern, with resolution that exceeds traditional vintage lenses.

Apart from the difference in character, the Tokina Cinema Vista-P lenses retain all the other key advantages of the regular Vista Primes. They exhibit virtually no focus breathing and have image circles with a 46.7mm area of definition that can cover all large format cinema cameras. The lenses share the same 114mm front O.D. and nine blade iris, and come in PL, LPL, Sony E, EF or MFT mount.

With the Tokina Cinema Vista-P series, the spherical distortion effect is most noticeable at the Vista Vision/Full Frame intended area of definition. The effect can be lessened at the edge of the frame if Super35 or smaller formats are used.

Factory Modification

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Because of the complexity of the modification it has to be performed at the Tokina Cinema factory in Japan. The Vista-P series will be available as brand new lenses already fully modified when purchased, or as an upgrade to the existing Vista prime lenses which requires the lenses to be returned to Tokina Cinema and sent to Japan for modification. Once done, the conversion is not reversible as to do so would be uneconomical.

Price & Availability

Initially, the Tokina Cinema Vista-P lenses will be available in 18mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm and 85mm focal lengths, all at a constant T1.5. It is anticipated that additional focal lengths will eventually be added. The 25mm, 35mm, 50mm and 85mm will cost $7499 USD each. The 18mm will cost $8999 USD.

If you own existing Tokina Cinema Vista primes, the modification will cost around $2,000 USD per lens, plus shipping.


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