Tag Archives: 50mm


If you find yourself swapping lenses throughout a project, or cutting between multi-camera angles you'll find your footage will be easier to match looks if you have a matched set of lenses. Color, Contrast, Sharpness, and more could look quite different if you're just using a random set of mixed lenses. Probably the most talked about affordable set of lenses for video use are the Rokinon Cine DS Lenses. The 'DS' is a more improved version of the original Rokinon manual photo lenses that has better optical coatings and have been 'matched' to have a more consistent look across the set.

Even though I feel Canon L series lenses are optically better, I ended up selling many of my Canon L series Autofocus lenses just because I wanted to work more with Manual Focus lenses, de-clicked apertures, with a matched 'look' when doing video projects. Not to mention I haven't been shooting much with Canon DSLRs. In fact, just one Canon 85mm F/1.2L lens paid for an entire bundle of Rokinon Cine DS Lenses. That's just how affordable a complete set is.

Rokinon Cine DS Lens Bundle Deal Sale Discount GH4 Sony A7sII A7s A7RII A7r
Personal set 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm Rokinon Cine DS Lenses seen w/ GH4 and A7sII

If you're working with many of today's mirrorless cameras, these lenses are highly adaptable and cover a full frame sensor. Unlike camera bodies, lenses like these also hold their values really well, so I feel it's a good investment for people starting out in video. You can always sell them off later if you decide to upgrade to set of true Cine Primes. Though, it's not uncommon to see just how many people are throwing these lenses on even high end cameras like the BlackMagic Design or RED these days.

So if you're looking for a decently matched set of lenses for video work, the '4pc Lens Bundle' is currently discounted an Instant Savings of -$350 OFF which includes the most popular Rokinon focal lengths 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm (found here).

rokinon Cine DS Lens Kit
Learn-More-sm Rokinon 24, 35, 50, 85mm T1.5 Cine DS Lens Bundle


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.

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

Canon 50mm F/1.4 1.4
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Just a reminder about those 'Instant' Canon rebates going on right now. One of the hottest lenses for first time DSLR users is the Canon 50mm. Instead of opting in for the $99.00 dollar version, I highly suggest you dive into the Canon 50mm F/1.4 that has a better build, better Aperture, and better focus ring. Instant Rebate savings end about a month from now, but you can check out a list of Rebates all together on this page over at BHPHOTOVIDEO.com

If you're an eBayer, you can grab them for under $300 dollars, which can save you more than $50.00. Follow the Link.


VisualRebel picked up on one of my earlier posts found here about cheap ways to shoot Macro. I'm not sure if anyone really believed the quality you can get from flipping a lens backwards, but the proof is in the pudding. This video was shot by VisualRebel using a standard 18-55mm on a 550D / T2i, and handheld used the cheap $99 dollar 50mm F/1.8 in reverse. This awesome little video does a good job in showing the quality of Macro with equipment you probably already have. Now take this setup outdoors with more light, and get in on those creepy crawlies like National Geographic.

Here's a tip folks, if you want to use the exact same setup as VisualRebel, the filter on the 18-55mm is 58mm and the 50mm filter is 52mm. You can buy this special adapter for less than $4.00 dollars + Free shipping to 'mate' the two together (one in reverse) so you don't have to do any handholding. Save yourself the headache. For less than $4.00 + Free shipping, you can get this adapter to hold the lens for you.

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I'm not sure what's the best combination of lenses to do this reverse trick, it's more trial and error. Apparently this video shows superb quality and definitely sounds like the cheapest (and lightest) combination for reverse macro. You can find other Rings here to match different size lenses against other size lenses by clicking here.

If you've already got two lenses to do reverse Macro, then the adapter is cheap. If you're looking to simply work with 1 lens, especially the 18-55mm, remember to check out my review on the cheap Macro Bellow found here:


I really enjoy Timelapse videos. I think mainly because you have to be both Photographer & Videographer to pull off something awesome. You have to prepare yourself to be in a mindset to not only take good looking pictures, but get the settings right for when you convert those images into a video. One of the hottest Timelapse videos on Vimeo, gaining steam in the last 4 days, is Attica by Alexandros Maragos. Shot with a Canon 7D & 50mm, comments on the Vimeo page state most of the shots were taken at 0.8 seconds exposure & 1 second intervals translated back into a 24fps timeline. Wow that's alot of pictures. All I gotta say is skills....much skills.

More info: alexandrosmaragos.com | twitter.com/alexmaragos


Matt S. gives us an awesome breakdown of the Canon 50mm F/1.8 vs. the Canon 50mm F/1.4.

For anyone that's ever purchased their very first Digital SLR and has asked me what lens they should buy, i've always sworn by the Canon 50mm. Depending on how cheap that person is determined whether or not they started out with the 1.8 or the 1.4 version. (I started with the 1.8 version - i'm cheap).

The Canon 50mm F/1.8 lens Found Here for less than $99.00 dollars, is the cheapest prime you can get into that gets you shooting some very professional looking images. It also feels like the cheapest.

The Canon 50mm F/1.4 is about 3 times the price at $349.00 Found Here, and adds some worthy features like a bigger smoother focus ring, more quality build, and an aperture of 1.4. Check out the video above to get more information, and If you're not an owner of either Canon 50mm's, well you're just hurting yourself....Get one!

There is also a F/1.2 L version, but we'll save that review for another day. Check out the Price on the F/1.2 version