Full Frame Prime Cine-Tilt Schneider Lenses

Micro Salon, Paris.

Schneider-Kreuznach introduced the first model in a new set of Full Frame (24×36) tilt lenses at the Micro Salon Exhibition in Paris. The 25mm Xenon FF-Prime Cine-Tilt Lens, fitted with a E-mount, was shown on a Sony a7S. Yet another new Full Frame lens option in the growing E-mount collection!

Schneider-Kreuznach’s Cine-Tilt lenses are based on their Xenon FF-Primes. The set consists of 25, 35, 50, 75 and 100 mm – all T2.1. Cine-Tilt FF-Primes will be available in a Sony E-mount this spring, individually or as a set.

Top: standard 25mm Xenon FF Prime. Bottom: Cine-Tilt. Note the Cine Tilt occupies the area of the PL mount, hence the E-mount. It adds two additional geared barrels: one for focus and the other for tilt.

If you get Schneider-Kreuznach Xenon FF Cine-Tilt lenses, you are essentially getting two sets in one. With the tilt setting locked in at 0°, the Cine-Tilt lenses work just like standard FF-Primes. Unclick and rotate the standard 0.8M geared barrel for continuous in-camera effects. The new tilt function is calibrated for 0 to ±4° tilt, which corresponds to an 80° focal plane swing of a view camera. A secondary 0.8M geared barrel controls secondary focus and contributes to interesting in-camera effects.

What does it do and how does it work?

Remember the famous Clairmont Camera Swing/Shift lens system? It was also made by Schneider. It works like a view camera bellows system for PL-mounted cameras.

Denny Clairmont would probably call the new FF-Cine-Tilt lenses “Swing” instead of “Tilt.” That’s because the image plane is adjusted horizontally.

Instead of using bellows to move the lens in relation to the image plane, these new lenses swing the camera left and right. (There might be a way to retrofit the lenses, or perhaps Schneider could do it, so the lens could be rotated 90 degrees as well and thus provide vertical tilt in addition to horizontal. You can’t rotate the E-mount like a PL, as far as I have seen.)

What kind of shots does this enable?

Imagine the usual raking 2-shot of driver and passenger in a moving car. The camera is mounted on a car rig outside the window. You either need a lot of depth of field to keep both actors in focus, or you might add a split diopter (which can be tricky if the actors move).

Or, consider creative effects where you pull focus and pull tilt all in one shot. There might be a new position in the camera department in addition to focus puller: tilt puller. And wireless lens units might now be labeled:  focus, iris and tilt.

How does it work? 

The tilt mechanism rotates the camera and its image plane left and right in relation to the image plane. So, now the center of the image is sharp for the distance set on the lens’s focus scale, and objects that are front or rear focus can also be sharp on the left and right sides of the image.

Further reading: “Scheimpflug principle

The Schneider-Kreuznach Xenon FF Cine-Tilt lenses benefit from the E-mount’s mere 18mm Flange Focal Depth, which provides a lot of room for all this additional mechanical movement.


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