The Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2 15mm/T2.9 with Imperial Markings is a cine prime lens designed for filmmaking and video production applications. Aside from great optics and mechanics, it offers broad flexibility in the areas of camera compatibility, follow-focus compatibility, and shooting capacity.
Announced at NAB 2012, this lens is a super-wide addition to Zeiss’s Compact Prime CP.2 family of cine primes. Like the rest of the family, the 15mm features an interchangeable-mount system that affords a major forward-looking benefit — not only can the lens now be used with cameras of different mounts, but rather it is ensured to also be compatible with most all future cameras. The system offers compatibility with PL, EF, F, MFT and E mounts. Zeiss’s website provides instructions on how to dismantle an existing mount and assemble a new one. The five mounts allow use with cine cameras and DSLRs.
The CP.2 15 is designed to shoot wide angles in tight spaces and does so very effectively. It’s a rectilinear flat field lens that does extremely well in the distortion area, minimizing it to almost non-existence and producing razor-sharpness to the very edges of a frame, even on full frame sensor cameras. The 15mm is a great tool for shooting architectural settings in confined spaces, as it accurately captures horizontal and vertical lines and delivers natural looks.
The optics and mechanics are superior too. The lens incorporates two aspheric lens elements and two special types of glass with abnormal partial dispersion that exceptionally corrects for chromatic aberration. Zeiss-famous T* anti-reflective coating along with internal light traps provide advanced flare suppression. Fourteen high-precision iris blades open up consistently circular across all T-stops, allowing impressive highlights in out-of-focus areas and producing smooth bokeh.
As for high flexibility, in addition to the interchangeable-mount system, the CP.2 15, like the rest of its family, provides full coverage of full frame 24 x 36 sensors. Accordingly, it can, now or at a future time, be used with any 24 x 36 sensor camera, such as the Canon 5D and 1DC and the Nikon D800.
The lens also offers follow-focus flexibility. Across the entire CP.2 family, the front diameter is consistent, focus and iris gears are standard, and the housing is cine-style, offering thus compatibility with all standardized follow-focus systems. In addition, the CP.2 15 also offers a focus ring rotation of a manual 300° and as such allows accurate follow-focusing.
Yet back to flexibility — for anyone who wants to take advantage of the 4K shooting capacity of many of the cameras being released, the entire CP.2 family, with the 15mm included, is 4K-compatible.
The 15mm is also color-matched with the rest of the CP.2 family, and so swapping it with another from within the family can conveniently be done without correcting for changes in post.
Built sturdy and with long-lasting optics, and promising future-proof compatibility, the 15mm can be relied on for many years of use in sharp resolution.