Carl Zeiss CP.2 Super Speed Lenses Capture Dramatic Night Shoot

Published on Wednesday, 01 August 2012

Carl Zeiss commissioned a first-time filmmaker to produce a short with a small crew, Carl-Zeiss-tumulus-2
the Sony F3 and a set of their Compact Prime CP.2 lenses to test their flexibility
and ease of use.


Shooting in a pitch-black forest lit by flickering torches, following two men running and fighting for their lives, resulted in conditions in which the new Carl Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2 Super Speed lenses - 35 mm, 50 mm and 85 mm – showed their strengths. Cinematographer Sebastian Wiegärtner successfully used the lenses to shoot the film although 80 per cent was shot at night, and he and his crew are enthusiastic about the high speed of the lenses and their possibilities for visual expression.

The visual effects and dynamism of the film are impressive, especially considering how quickly it was produced. Tumulus was shot in just three days, despite heavy rain showers and snowstorms on days one and three. Sebastian said, "The speed of these lenses is remarkable. It reduces the time you need for artificial lighting and makes the scenes appear very natural. The high speed of the Super Speed lenses was perfect for giving both actors an authentic, medieval look. The images are cinematic and soft looking."

Like the other members of this family of lenses, the new Compact Prime CP.2 Super Speed lenses have an iris made of 14 blades, which forms an almost-round aperture to create a very harmonious bokeh. The crew shot most of the scenes using the camera handheld and the 35 mm CP.2 Super Speed.


"This lens is very versatile and can be used for all kinds of situations. It is a good choice for both action and point-of-view shots, so the actor's perspective is shown authentically and the viewer has the feeling of 'being there'. The 50 mm and 85 mm lenses complement the 35 mm lens very well, for example for getting nice portrait or close-up shots."

To demonstrate the lenses' performance range, Sebastian worked almost exclusively with a wide-open aperture of 2.8 to 1.5. The image quality in the results was more impressive than what he expected to see in this aperture range. His comprehensive kit included ARRI 2.5 compact HMI lights, BeBop V45 lights, a Kessler Crane cine slider, a SmallHD DP6 monitor, AJA Ki Pro Mini recorder, and the OConnor grips, matte box and Studio follow focus.

The new Compact Prime CP.2 Super Speed lenses can be used on different camera systems such as PL-mount such as ARRI Alexa, EF-mount including the Canon 5D Mark III, F-mount as in the Nikon D800, MFT-mount like the Panasonic AF-100 and E-mount such as the Sony FS-700. The first sets are expected to ship in late August or beginning of September 2012.