hand on Review Canon 1880mm servo lens

Canon CN 18-80mm Cinema Lens hand On review

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Hand On Review Canon CN 18-80mm Cinema Lens

Hand on report on Canon Cn 18-80mm Cinema lens. As a Vancouver Documentary Filmmaker I like working with different gears such as lenses, rig to improve my creative work. I’m not a gear head but the right gear for the right job for my clients. Recently, I have rented the Canon CN 18-80mm Cinema Lens with the servo grips to work on few projects. There are lot to like and few improvement this lens can improve upon. Let’s talk about the positive side first.

It is a well balance lens compare to my DSLR lenses (Sigma 18-35mm & Sigma 50-100mm Art lens) I felt very comfortable using the lens with my Zacuto VCT pro rig with my Canon C300mkII cinema camera. The servo grip can be remove to mount to different locations but I filmed with an ENG in mind. I can say it felt great and well balance with my rig.

The sharpest of T4.4 equal to F4 is very sharp yet the sharpest didn’t feel like video look to me, there three setting for Image Stabilizer.

Canon IS mode for 18-80mm servo lens

Canon IS mode for 18-80mm servo lens

  • STABILIZER A MODE

    A: Standard handheld

  • STABILIZER B MODE

    B: Stronger correction for shake and good when handheld from moving vehicles

  • STABILIZER C MODE

    Tripod shooting and avoids the image drifting when a pan comes to a stop

hands on review Canon Cinema lens 18-80mm

Vancouver filmmaker hands on review Canon Cinema lens


Please note, this video was shot on the tripod as I left the stabilizer at A mode since I was filming on and off tripod during the event, but only showcase this part of the video on the tripod, but I can say the Mode A worked well during filming over my shoulder. The Servo is smooth and can be fine tune more on Camera but it worked well for me. I did own the Sony E PZ 18-110mm f/4 G OSS Lens for a year and the Canon CN 18-80mm lens is smoother than the Sony lens when zooming in and out. Yes both Canon and Sony are Parfocal lens I did not see any breathing on this lens if there are I don’t notice it.

If you are a Canon Cinema user and wondering how well the Dual focus worked along this lens, I would say it worked well during well lit place. I didn’t hear any focus noise during the face detection mode. Just one thing I didn’t really get the chance to film is using my Tiffan Steadicam, but did try to rig it and it certainly will work well for Steadicam. I will look forward using this lens for my Steadicam work in the future.

Below are some of the finding that I was having issue with.

-Iris lock, people says you don’t need the Iris lock….well for those people who don’t do documentary work is fine but for those of us. Iris lock allows the T stop to stay in one location and there are time the Iris has been moved to a different setting. You do have to pay attention during the filming.

-Another issue is, there is no thumb controller build into the servo grip. What made Canon C300mkII so great is the focus guide, with the build in thumb control on the Canon C300mkii grip, it was great. If you are only setting the center of the camera screen as your focus center it is fine, but not all focus is in the center. I did end up rigging my rig with the Canon stock grip just below the servo grip while allowing me to fine tune my focus area; it was a pain to add extra handle.

-I was finding myself an accidental hitting the record button beside the servo grip and this need to be paying more attention when you are filming.

Final thought, not all lenses are perfect, but consider the price of this lens which is the ONLY lens allows Canon Cinema camera to have auto focus, IS, parfocal and an internal servo lens with grip filming with ENG style. If you have used Canon CN 18-80mm Cinema lens and do you have the same issue I’m? Please leave your comments below. Thank you.