Engineering Service, Inc.
The Canon Sumire Prime Series, are a range of seven fast T-stop cinema prime lenses, all with an interchangeable PL mount, which can be modified to an EF mount. It’s only taken eight years, but Canon finally decided to make prime cine lenses with a PL mount. When I asked Canon at NAB as to why it has taken so long, they couldn’t tell me.
The lenses consist of:
- CN-E 14mm T3.1 FP X
- CN-E 20mm T1.5 FP X
- CN-E 24mm T1.5 FP X
- CN-E 35mm T1.5 FP X
- CN-E 50mm T1.3 FP X
- CN-E 85mm T1.3 FP X
- CN-E 135mm T2.2 FP X
At first glance, the Sumire (pronounced ‘Soo-mee-ray’, is Japanese for violet – the flower not the color) Primes look almost exactly the same as the existing CN-E Prime lenses. They have the same focal lengths, same T-stops and are almost identical in size and weight. So what’s different? According to Canon, all seven full-frame Sumire Prime lenses feature a completely new optical design. They have been designed to have a “softer” look that allows them to create a more organic looking image.
I’m not quite sure just how much the optical design differs from the CN-E Primes. I asked Canon if these lenses were just CN-E primes with different lens coatings, and I was told no. Still image from launch video Canon claims that the Sumire subtly modify the textural renderings of the human face, and have a smooth fall-off to out of focus areas.
The lenses feature a large diameter aspheric element and anomalous dispersion glass, that Canon says “Offers a delicate, velvety nuance when the aperture approaches its maximum setting during shooting. This unique optical design results in solid and natural image rendering, bringing impressive image quality and warmer tones to cinema productions.”
All seven lenses have an 11-blade iris which Canon says “Provides cinematographers with richer levels of rounded bokeh for better impression of subjects and softer rays of light – perfect for creating intimate shots that direct the viewer’s attention to specific details.”
The Sumire lenses are claimed to have the same uniform color balance as CN-E primes. Just like the CN-E primes, the Sumire Primes all share the same 114mm front barrel diameter, 300° focus rotation, 36° iris rotation, and focus and iris gear positions.
The Sumire lenses have the personality and look of older optics, but with a modern twist. You can swap the mount between PL and EF. The PL mount on the Sumire lenses can be changed to EF mount. Now, unfortunately, this is not something you can do yourself. It has to be done at a Canon Service Center or authorized Canon dealer. It’s important to note that if you do swap them over to EF, those EF mounts do not have any electrical contacts.
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