Sirui has launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to help bring three new cine lenses to market. The new lens range - called Night Walker - consists of 24mm, 35mm and 55mm primes, each with a fast T1.2 maximum aperture. The large aperture is designed to make the lenses excel for low light shooting, where otherwise you would have to resort to high camera ISOs and incur an image quality penalty. The T1.2 aperture, combined with a whopping 12 aperture blades in each lens, should also make for very smooth bokeh in out of focus areas, improving subject/background separation.
Another interesting feature of the Night Walker lenses is that they share the same physical size (83.7mm high, 79mm diameter), and are approximately the same 500g weight (exact weight varies depending on mount option). This enables the lenses to be quickly and easily swapped in the same rig set-up, with no need to readjust follow focus gearing. The latter being particularly useful, as all three lenses are fully manual lenses, so you’ll need to do the focussing yourself.
The optical path in each lens incorporates extra-low dispersion (ED) elements to reduce ghosting and flare, as well as high refractive index elements to improve sharpness. The 24mm lens gets six HRI elements, the 35mm one such element, and the 55mm four. All three lenses feature a geared focus ring with 270 degrees of travel, plus a stepless aperture ring.
The lenses will be available in Sony E, Canon RF, Fuji X and Micro Four Thirds, but they are Super35/APS-C format, so can’t be used on full-frame Sony or Canon cameras. Sirui lists cameras like the Sony FX30, Canon C70, R50, R7, Fujifilm X-T4, and Panasonic Lumix GH6 as ideal cameras to use with Night Walker lenses.
But what really makes Night Walker lenses appealing (apart from that rather cool name) is Sirui’s aggressive pricing. The 35mm will retail for $399, while the 24mm and 55mm lenses will cost £349 - very attractive prices for such large aperture lenses. Indiegogo backers can also get a limited early-backer discount of $40-50 on each lens, and can purchase the whole set for $899 - $100 less than the eventual bundle price.
Of course as with any crowdfunding project, paying money now does not guarantee the end product will actually materialise.