Zeiss has announced a new lineup of 13 'Supreme Prime' lenses for large format cinematographers who want smaller and lighter glass that still produces top-quality results. The kind of lenses that'll make your salivary glands work... and your wallet groan.

The Supreme Prime range will comprise focal lengths from 15mm to 200mm, and Zeiss says that most of those lenses will have a maximum aperture of T1.5. In fact, ten of the focal lengths will offer a maximum aperture of T1.5, while the 15mm and 150mm will be T1.8, and the 200mm will be a T2.1.

Despite their diminutive size, Zeiss stresses that the Supreme Primes are designed for high-end advertising work and movie production; consequently, they will be compatible with large format (full-frame) movie cameras such as the Sony Venice, ARRI Alexa LF, and the RED Monstro. Zeiss says the lenses will be versatile and able to create different looks because of their "gentle sharpness, the aesthetic focus fall-off, and elegant bokeh" which the company claims makes them suitable for a wide range of production styles.

Communication between the lenses and the camera will be performed via the Zeiss eXtended Data and Cooke’s /i metadata protocols. These record optical characteristics and lens settings to every frame recorded to assist post-production processes, especially when visual effects need to be added to the footage.

The 25mm, 29mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm lenses will be released in August 2018 and the 100mm will be ready in December. All six can be purchased together as a set for $108,000, but you’ll have to wait until 2019 for the 15mm, 18mm, 21mm, 65mm, 135mm and 150mm focal lengths to finish drip-feeding into the range. The 200mm T2.1, meanwhile, will arrive in 2020.

To see the new Zeiss Supreme Prime lenses in action, check out the sample film below shot with these lenses on the Sony Venice, Phantom 4K, and RED Monstro VV. And if you want to learn more about the lenses, head over to the Zeiss website.

Press Release

New High-End Cinema Lens Family ZEISS Supreme Primes

With its 13 high-speed, full-frame, prime lenses for high-quality film productions, ZEISS is focusing on maximum quality, low weight, and significant versatility when it comes to creating superb visual imagery.

ZEISS has introduced a new family of high-speed lenses for high-end film production: The ZEISS Supreme Prime family consists of 13 lenses with fixed focal lengths between 15 and 200 millimeters, the majority with a maximum aperture of T1.5. “The lenses are designed for film productions of an extremely high quality,” says Christophe Casenave from ZEISS. “They are perfect for high-budget advertising or feature films, for example.” ZEISS Supreme Primes are designed to cover cinematic large format camera sensors and are compatible with all of the latest camera models, such as the Sony Venice, ARRI Alexa LF, and RED Monstro. According to Casenave, the versatility of the Supreme Prime lenses to create different visual looks is due to the gentle sharpness, the aesthetic focus fall-off and elegant bokeh. The lenses are extremely flexible and can be used equally well for science fiction thrillers as well as for dramas.

Compact and Lightweight

"Weighing an average of 1600 grams (3.5 pounds), ZEISS Supreme Primes are significantly lighter and smaller than comparable lenses on the market,” says Casenave. With these compact and lightweight lenses, ZEISS is responding to many camera operators’ desire for compact equipment that still meets the highest standards of quality. “ZEISS Supreme Primes are unbelievably rugged and reliable. Regardless of whether filming in the desert or in the Arctic, the lenses perform flawlessly. And in the event that something should ever break, our worldwide service network provides fast and professional help.”

ZEISS eXtended Data Metadata Technology

The ZEISS Supreme Primes are equipped with the ZEISS eXtended Data metadata technology. Introduced in 2017, ZEISS eXtended Data provides frame by frame data on lens vignetting and distortion in addition to the standard lens metadata provided using Cooke's /i technology1 protocol. This greatly speeds up the entire film production’s workflow. When using visual effects for example, with only a few clicks, the lens properties can be removed so that computer-generated effects imagery can be accurately applied to the captured imagery. The lens properties can then be reapplied with the same click of a button and combined with the film material to create a realistic image. Previously, all of the data had to be measured manually so that it could be corrected in post-production. But ZEISS eXtended Data eliminates this time-consuming job.

Price and Availability

The first ZEISS Supreme Primes lenses with focal lengths of 25, 29, 35, 50, and 85 millimeters will be available starting on August 1, 2018. The ZEISS Supreme Prime 100 millimeter will be available in December 2018. The set of six lenses, consisting of the focal lengths mentioned above, is available from ZEISS Cinema lens dealers for 108,000 USD. The remaining focal lengths will be released successively until 2020.