ZEISS SP15: Rectilinear in Grand Central Terminal

The new ZEISS Supreme Prime 15mm T1.8 is faster, lighter, narrower and shorter than many wide lenses. And so, what better place to try it than the 35,000-square-foot Main Concourse of Grand Central? The SP 15 is rectilinear, meaning that straight lines stay straight, not curvilinear. Walls, buildings and architectural details do not curve inward. Geometric, barrel or pincushion distortion is minimized.

Read complete article in April 2022 FDTimes #114 — pages 42-51.

April 5, 2022. ZEISS adds a 15 mm T1.8 lens their series of Full Frame ZEISS Supreme Prime lenses. ZEISS Supreme Primes were introduced in June 2018. In the beginning there were 5 focal lengths and the initial roadmap showed 13. New focal lengths were added like clockwork. Now the set consist of 14 ZEISS Supreme Primes.

About the new 15 mm Supreme Prime (SP 15), Christophe Casenave, Head of Cinema Lenses at Carl Zeiss AG, said, “Having the Supreme Prime 15 mm is a game changer. It creates a new perspective in Large Format / Full Frame. 

“The SP 15 is, in fact, a rectilinear super wide angle lens, equivalent in field of view to a 10 mm on Super35. This makes the ZEISS Supreme Prime set complete for use on Super35 cameras as well because 15 mm is the ‘standard wide angle’ lens in the S35 format.

“It is also important to point out that we’ve been able to create a 15 mm T1.8 within a fairly compact lens housing and with this level of quality. Equivalent lenses generally have a larger compendium (the front diameter of the lens where you attach the mattebox.”  ZEISS Supreme Primes come in PL or LPL lens mounts that can be swapped by the user, rental house, DP or camera assistant. The lenses come with Cooke /i and ZEISS eXtended Data.  

Christophe described the look of Supreme Primes: “They have  a gentle sharpness. We insisted on a look that is versatile and flexible. These are not a vintage lenses. They do not have a specialized look. We do not dictate a look to cinematographers. We make lenses to the best of our ability so that all possibilities are available. They allow you to have sharpness where you need it, but also with very smooth skin tones and textures. 

“We worked hard on the Supreme Primes to achieve the sharpness of Master Primes, but also to have a more smooth fall-off. We made the transitions between the areas in-focus and out-of-focus, between the sharp and the un-sharp parts, much smoother. The focus fall-off is much gentler. When you consider that DPs confront actors’ and actresses’ faces 80 percent of the time, this helps a lot—eyelashes are sharp and the face is silky smooth.” 



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