Canon's first series of premium full-frame and Super 35mm cinema zoom lenses is ideally suited to a wide range of high-end productions, including cinema. The Flex Zoom range launched with two lenses – the Canon CN-E20-50mm T2.4 L F / FP and the CN-E45-135mm T2.4 L F / FP, which between them cover the popular 20-135mm focal range. Canon's other full-frame cinema lens ranges, Sumire and Cine Prime, are prime lenses and users would need almost seven of those to cover the focal range of these two Flex Zooms.
DoPs and filmmakers working on Super 35mm productions can take advantage of the CN-E14-35mm T1.7 L S / SP and CN-E31.5-95mm T1.7 L S / SP, which between them cover a useful focal range of 14-95mm.
The four Flex Zoom lenses are available in EF or PL mount for use with Canon cameras such as the EOS C500 Mark II and EOS C300 Mark III, plus non-Canon cameras, and support metadata communication including Cooke /i Technology and Zeiss eXtended Data as well as EF mount communication. Regardless of the camera used, the Flex Zooms offer a standardised gear position and front diameter by which you can utilise the same matte box.
"The Flex Zoom series is designed to provide high optical performance," explains Jack Adair, Canon Europe Product Marketing Specialist. "The lenses feature 11 iris blades resulting in beautiful bokeh, plus the depth of field fall-off is really smooth."
Producing a sharp and clean look just like Canon's Cine Primes, the high performance of the Flex Zooms is future-proofed for 8K productions, and well suited to today's 4K productions where it's common practice to enjoy the additional detail and flexibility that shooting in higher resolution brings. "With regards to the look of the lenses, there is the unified Canon colour, so even if you are mixing and matching with our other cine lenses, you have the same natural colours and beautiful skin tones," Jack adds.
The shallow depth of field afforded by the large maximum apertures of the full-frame and Super 35mm Flex Zooms contribute to their cinematic look. "The constant T-stop values are unheard of for cine lenses at these focal lengths,” says Jack. “With the full-frame Flex Zooms you have a constant light transmission of T2.4 and with the Super 35mm models, you get T1.7 throughout the zoom range, making them the fastest lenses for their focal lengths."
Living up to the Flex Zoom name, this series is the most versatile and adaptable of Canon’s cine lenses. Users not only have the option of changing the mount from EF to PL and back again at Canon authorised service centres or authorised third-party companies, but the lenses can also be converted from Super 35mm to full-frame and vice versa.
Using the relay kit, a Canon authorised service centre is able to convert the CN-E14-35MM T1.7 L S / SP and CN-E31.5-95MM T1.7 L S / SP to give a full-frame image circle, or change the Canon CN-E20-50mm T2.4 L F / FP and CN-E45-135mm T2.4 L F / FP to Super 35mm. The conversion can also be reversed. Having the option to alter both the mount and the relay on the premium Flex Zooms brings an even greater level of flexibility and value to high-end film productions.