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AaronTan

Opinions Please - CP.2 Discounted Set Worth Buying?

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Hello!

 

I'm looking at building up a set of affordable cinema primes for use on documentaries, corporates and tv shoots I do. I narrowed it down to either the Xenon FF or the Zeiss CP.3 because of the following qualities.

 

- Wide range of focal lengths

- Interchangeable lens mounts

- Light weight for travel

 

My local camera store threw me a (pleasant) surprise curveball by offering a brand new set of 6 CP.2 lenses with the Zeiss Pelican case at what works out to be about US$16K!!!

 

Lenses included are:

15mm T2.9

25mm T2.9

35mm T2.1

50mm T2.1

85mm T2.1

135mm T2.1

 

My question for those more experienced with these lenses is whether you think this is a good deal? Would you jump on it if you were in my shoes? Aside from the size and weight difference between the CP.2 and CP.3 I've read somewhere that the optics are basically the same so with the offer I feel like difference between the two models isn't worth the additional price.

Edited by AaronTan

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Why not the Rokinon Xeens? I believe those are the cheapest even with that discount on the Sony CP2s.

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Why not the Rokinon Xeens? I believe those are the cheapest even with that discount on the Sony CP2s.

 

Yes that's true. I did consider them but I'm not sure about their durability and longevity. I could be wrong but from playing around with them I prefer the Zeiss CP.2 over the Rokinon.

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Shane Hurlbut had some pretty kind things to say about them visually. Look up his in-depth review where he compares them to the Cp2s, CNEs and cooke s4s

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I've never liked the CP2's. I get lambasted everytime I speak negatively about them, but I've shot with them quite a bit and they're kinda meh. I know the specs on the Xeen's and CP2's are very similar, but in use, they aren't. I don't know if Rokinon underspecs their lenses purposely, but they seem to close focus better then the CP2's and they're a more "hefty" made lens. Where Rokinon kinda fails is with the wider lenses. My widest Xeen is a 24 and the kit I use is 24, 35, 50, 85. They have a really beautiful look to them as pictured below. These are all "wide open" samples from the 24 and 50, which are the two I use the most.

 

hassan_look.jpg

 

hassan_looks_at_note_front.jpg

 

look_at_ocean.jpg

 

hassan_at_cafe.jpg

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I've never liked the CP2's. I get lambasted everytime I speak negatively about them, but I've shot with them quite a bit and they're kinda meh.

 

 

You haven't seen "meh" until you've coupled a CP2 with a Sony.

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You haven't seen "meh" until you've coupled a CP2 with a Sony.

 

I can't imagine... the already "sharp as a tack" CP2's mixed with the sharpness of sony cameras, would make it look horrible. YUCK!

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I'm a big fan of the CP.2s. They have a beautiful, modern, cool and crunchy look, and excellent mechanics. My only real gripe (given the price point) is that they're T/2.9 on the wide end (for the 15mm and 21mm lenses).

 

The 25mm T/2.9 in the set you're being offered was replaced quite a while ago with a 25mm T/2.1. I'd highly recommend finding a set that includes the T/2.1 version- so that you at least have one fast wide lens. That's pretty important.

 

For the money, the CP.2s are excellent. And a good entry point into cinema glass. Being full-frame and having interchangeable mounts also makes them as future proof as a lens can be.

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Honestly, I own a set of Rokinon Cine DS primes, and they are the same optics as the Xeen lenses, yet about 1/4 the price. They are much less durable, but then if you take care of your gear like I do, that is not a problem. But as for the CP.2's, I'd say go for the Xeen's. They are newer, and the optics are fine for high-res video work. They have an all metal construction with proper 114mm fronts. They are also a little softer than some high-end cine lenses, which is a good thing in my opinion.

 

If you're just after picture quality, there is nothing wrong with the Cine DS line, unless you're going for a very professional rig and you have thousands to spend on a set of lenses. A set of Xeens will run you about $15,000, compared to $2,400 on the Cine DS.

 

Honestly, if I was purchasing today and had some money to spend, I'd probably just go for the Sigma 18-35 and 40-100 cinema series lenses. The same optics as the 18-35 art (amazing), yet in a cine housing with proper markings and such. Though these two lenses will set you back $8,000.

Edited by Landon D. Parks

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Yes, the Sigma's are T2.2 I believe, and run $4,000 a pop. But in terms of zooms, that really isn't bad. I prefer primes myself.

 

If they had a longer zoom range like 18 - 50, then they'd be worth it. But with such a short zoom range, they kinda hit a very small niche in my opinion.

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I think the CP.2s will retain good resale value because they are a known and trusted entity, and if you can get a set for more or less what a similar set of Xeens cost, then that's a good deal. It depends on your clientele but brand lenses can make a better impression sometimes, regardless of how fair that is. Turning up with a set of Rokinon DS lenses certainly won't impress anyone, where as CP.2s have been used on plenty of decent productions. (I actually recently checked out a Rokinon Cine DS and while the image was good, it jolted to one side as I focussed - not what I'd want in a cine lens unless I really had no money.)

 

The Xeens I've seen look fine, but given a choice between those and CP.2s for the same price I'd recommend Zeiss, but then I like the way they look. To be honest there's not a huge difference between a lot of these entry level cine primes, so things like weight and size, speed (and whether you need it), focal length choices, mount options and resale value probably mean more than any image comparison.

 

As Mark noted, you might want to sell the 25mm CP.2 and buy the faster version.

 

I haven't had the chance to check out the Schneiders.

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I mean you can make pretty images from any lens really. Here are some stills from a Red Dragon shoot with the CP2's.

 

Tyler, thanks for your input and nice screen grabs!

 

I'm a big fan of the CP.2s. They have a beautiful, modern, cool and crunchy look, and excellent mechanics. My only real gripe (given the price point) is that they're T/2.9 on the wide end (for the 15mm and 21mm lenses).

 

The 25mm T/2.9 in the set you're being offered was replaced quite a while ago with a 25mm T/2.1. I'd highly recommend finding a set that includes the T/2.1 version- so that you at least have one fast wide lens. That's pretty important.

 

For the money, the CP.2s are excellent. And a good entry point into cinema glass. Being full-frame and having interchangeable mounts also makes them as future proof as a lens can be.

 

 

I spoke to the store and told them if they can swap the 25mm T2.9 for the 25mm T2.1 since it should make no real difference to them, it would go a long way to convincing me to relinquish my cash... and guess what, they did!

Edited by AaronTan

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Aaron,

 

The CP's are a good deal for that price point. They are well built and resolve high quality imagery. I vote for this set because they are more neutral than other brands, allowing you

more options for a wider range of projects( narrative, composting, documentary work).

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I spoke to the store and told them if they can swap the 25mm T2.9 for the 25mm T2.1 since it should make no real difference to them, it would go a long way to convincing me to relinquish my cash... and guess what, they did!

Great. That makes it a really solid set, for a great price. Did you take it?

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Great. That makes it a really solid set, for a great price. Did you take it?

Yes I did! Just picked them up today, except for the 135 which I need to wait a bit for. Gonna put them to use on a job tomorrow.

 

Thank you and everyone who put in their two cents.

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