Continuing the round of lens announcements at IBC 2016, Sony has announced the new E PZ 18-110mm F4 G OSS lens, designed specifically for motion picture applications.
Compatible with all Sony Alpha E-mount cameras, the E PZ 18-110mm F4 G OSS lens covers Super35 and APS-C size sensors. While in optical performance Sony classifies this lens as "Sony G Class" similar to the FE PZ 28-135mm f/4, it adds a number of features beyond this earlier model servo zoom lens.
Mechanical manual and silent servo
Sony E PZ 18-110mm lens on a Sony FS7
Like the 28-135, its push-pull focus ring switches between auto and manual focus. But when the servo zoom is disconnected, the manual zoom is completely mechanical, allowing snap zooms and eliminating servo lag. This has been a consistent source of concern with PZ E lens users. Autofocus and auto iris changes are virtually silent. The focus ring incorporates a cine-style gear for use with a follow focus or attached external motor drive. As an added feature, the zoom ring direction is switchable CW/CCW.
The Iris, Focus and Zoom rings are all of different texture, allowing faster movement between functions. And the final external difference is a sunshade with a built-in louver-style lens cap with a regular lens cap provided when the sunshade is not in use.
Sony Senior Product Manager, Juan Martinez, emphasized these features of a fully mechanical zoom option, as well the silent operation of the servo motors in automatic modes. The integrated louvered lens covering integrated into the sunshade returns a popular feature found in sunshades of earlier cameras, notably the EX-1 and EX-3.
More features and characteristics
Martinez further emphasized the lens' moisture and dust resistance owing to its tightly sealed but lightweight design.
Iris markings on the barrel are in 1/3 stop increments, yet in servo or clickless mode, the camera can resolve aperture at 1/128 stop. Maximum aperture of f/4 is consistent across the entire zoom range.
In addition to the removable collar-style tripod mount, the lens has an integrated support bracket for added support when used with rails.
Sony E PZ 18-110mm lens on a Sony FS7 (side-view)
Optical Steady Shot (OSS) may be switched on or off, while lens electronics incorporate Sony Smooth Motion Optics (SMO) design, which eliminates motion artifacts like focus and axis shift. It is parfocal and Sony indicates that there is no focus breathing.
According to preliminary specs released by Sony, the lens weighs about 2.4lb (1.1Kg) with a minimum wide object distance of 1.3' to 2.9' at full 110mm telephoto. Horizontal angle of view ranges between 64 to 11 degrees. Diameter of the lens is 4 3/8" (110mm) with length of 6 5/8" (167.5mm).
With its E mount bayonet, the E PZ 18-110 can also integrate perfectly with Sony's line of mirrorless cameras for both still and motion picture acquisition.
The focal length, which ranges from wide to medium telephoto, combined with the angle of view and minimum focal distances, positions this lens as a versatile tool for run-and-gun shooting.
Shipping date and price have not been revealed, but it is reasonable to expect shipments by the end of the year. Pricing should be in a similar range to the 28-135mm lens.