In our September Issue, our New Gear section looks at Tokina Cinema Vista Prime Lenses – by Tom Waugh
Each time a new sensor is released in an new size, cinematographers are required to evaluate lenses in their kits to see if their lenses will cover the new sensor. This changes with the Tokina Cinema Vista Prime Lenses, covering beyond full-frame.
Tokina’s new Vista series T1.5 prime lenses feature a huge 46.7mm image circle making these lenses compatible with nearly every motion picture camera sensor on the market including VistaVision format. The new Vista series all are the exact same size and gear position for easy set up and workflow. Ultra sharp with nearly zero image breathing during focus pulls.
Originally announced as a set of three (35mm, 50mm, 85mm) back in September 2016, the line has expanded to include 18mm, 25mm and recently announced 105mm options. With an image circle of 46.7mm (in PL/EF mount), the lenses are designed to cover all of the new full-frame and Vistavision cinema cameras, as well as happily work on existing S35 cameras.
Tokina says the lenses use newly designed optics, not just re-housed stills glass.They come in PL, EF, MFT and Sony E-Mounts, and the mounts are user interchangeable. The lens series are the Japanese company’s first foray into making a set of cine prime lenses. Tokina had previously made a range of cine zooms that included the Cinema ATX 50-135MM T3, 16-28mm T3, and 11-16mm T3.
Priced to compete with other full frame cinema lens kits (Zeiss CP3, Sigma Cinema Lenses, Schneider Xenons and Canon Cinema Primes) the Tokina Lenses have a consistent T1.5 stop and suffer very little focus breathing or chromatic aberration as you will see in a test we performed for this article.
The downside for some cinematographers who work in small crews may be the 2.0 – 2.8kg per lens weight, around double the weight from the competing lens kits.
Their build quality is great and the 300° focus rotation offers plenty of focus markings. Front diameters are all 114mm for clamp on matte boxes and only the 18mm and 105mm are different physical lengths, but they still have consistent focus and iris gear positioning.
You can see the video test of the Tokina set here, along with a comparison to some of the Canon Cine primes on the Alexa Mini and Amira.
Special thanks to Vince Clark from C.R. Kennedy for providing the Tokina Cinema Vista lens set for review, Dane Meale from Creative Grit for the Canon Cinema Prime Lenses for comparison, and to Leuke Marriott for being our model for the shoot.