So the lovely team at Intro2020 gave me the chance to test the following cine lenses, for my new mini web series, The Unthinkables: A Samyang cine VDSLR 100mm & 135mm along with the 50mm Xeen. These lenses were tested on a Panasonic GH4 with a Metabones Speed Booster 0.64x which makes the sensor size equivalent to a APS-H. If shot in Cine 4k mode, the sensor becomes that of a Super 35.
Let’s start off with the 50mm Xeen; it’s a crisp lens that pumps out great natural colours. Sharp, but not overly sharp like other lenses. It’s balanced and captures crisp detail, which is a personal preference. The focus gear turns a full 180, and when you put the focus on infinity, the lens is actually on infinity; something that the lower end Samyang cine VDSLR lenses don’t quite achieve. The depth of field you can achieve on the Xeen was beautiful, giving you that lovely soft bokeh especially if used on T1.5. All in all, the Xeen lens has a great metal build and feels like a premium lens and the image quality is great. If you’re after a premium cine lens that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg, for only £1,600, it’s a steal compared to its higher priced competitors. You can get this lens on a range of mounts: PL, EF, MFT, E & Nikon (I used EF).
Samyang cine VDSLR line – I have actually used most of the lenses in this line, so this will be an overall review of the kit I have used. I’m just going to get this off of my chest, do not underestimate these cheaper cine lenses! I’ve seen so many film-makers overlook these lenses just because “they are cheap” or “not named brand”. For the prices and the image quality they produce, I truly believe these lenses are heavily underrated. I’ve never had a problem when using Samyang VDSLR lenses, in fact, they are my go to lenses for any projects. Yes, the build is plastic and they can potentially be quite fragile compared to higher end lenses, but in all honesty unless you don’t take much care of your equipment, you will not have a problem with them. These are manual prime lenses, with pronounced gearing allowing to quickly and easily pull focus. The image quality they produce is excellent and they are tack sharp. In my opinion, they produce a flatter natural colour compared to some high end photography lenses, which can give you more of a cinematic feel. You can get a range of mounts for this line e.g. EF, MFT and many more. You can buy these lenses individually or in various kits which makes purchasing multiple lenses more cost effective.
If you would like to see these lenses in action, here is a teaser trailer for my new project:
The lenses used in the trailer are as follows:
Shot 1: Samyang 135mm
Shot 2 & 3: Canon 24-70
Shot 4: 50mm Xeen