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A Great Introduction to Cine Zooms | Review by Of Two Lands



How I Used Pictor Zoom Lenses

So across the six months that I've had Pictor Zooms, I've used them in a bunch of different situations and projects. First of all, I've used them in documentary work, which was the main intention. And I've done two main documentaries with them, one about cycling and one about a blacksmith. And by the way, I can't wait to be able to share more with you soon. I also used them to shoot landscapes, personal and travel content, as it allows me to test them in different situations and to have a pretty good idea of what they can do and if they work for me.



In terms of gear, I've used them with the BMPCC 6K and a 6K Pro and also used them with both minimal and fully rigged setups. And finally, for all these different situations, I either use them as the main lenses or as secondary lenses alongside cine primes.


Specs & Features

So the Pictor lineup is made for Super 35 sensors, and it's the reason why I was interested in the first place since I shoot on a 6K and a 6K Pro. And you can get them in either EF, like I have, or PL mounts. And when you get the kit, you actually get both mounts. These lenses are T2.8 and fully manual, and they are also parfocal. If you don't know what that means, I'll get back into this a bit later in the video. In terms of weight, they're roughly between 1.5 and 1.6 kilos, which is to be expected considering the size and the build quality.



Speaking of build quality, they're built like tanks. As soon as you pick them up, you can feel how well-made they are and how sturdy they are. They have a 95 mm front thread, and they have three rings on the side, one for the iris, one for the focus, and one for the zoom. In addition to the 12-25 mm and 20-55 mm that I have, you can also get a 14-30 mm and a 50-125 mm. And you can also get these in white. And depending on the combination you get, they also come in a very sturdy and useful case.


What I Like About Pictor Zoom Lenses

First of all, the build quality. As I said before, these are super well-made, very sturdy, and they feel very tight. And you know where the money went. This is not your standard lens, and it's definitely a step up from my other zooms. Next is the shooting experience, which is very important for me and one of the main reasons that I wanted to get cine zooms. I love using these lenses. They're super smooth. The rings are very precise, and the weight also means that you don't get micro-jitters. And it's also super easy to swap lenses on set, which is very handy.




Now, as you know, I've always loved having zoom lenses, and these are not different. Having zooms on set helps with speed and coverage. For example, even though we used the Vespid Retro primes as our main lenses for the two documentaries, we still used the Pictor Zooms for establishing shots, outdoor shots, secondary shots, and also for scenes or sequences when we knew we were short on time and we needed maximum coverage. Aside from documentaries, I also used them to shoot landscapes, personal and travel content, and I was able to capture pretty much everything just having the two zooms with me.


Then, of course, let's talk about the image. The image you get with the zooms is really nice. You can definitely tell you're using a cine lens. There's a certain look and feel without being over the top.




Next, these zooms are parfocal, which is one of the main reasons and one of the main features of a cine zoom. And if you don't know what that means, it means that you are able to stay in focus even if you zoom in and out. So basically, if you go from 12-25 mm or 20-55 mm, the whole image will always be in focus, and you won't have to readjust. For documentary work, this is very important as it allows you to be quick and not to have to refocus each time. And it also means that you can actually if you want to do it in a creative way, zoom in and out while you are recording.


And all you have to do to make them parfocal is to do a bit of shimming. And I've explained this in my first impression video. You can check it out. Now, it was a very quick process, and all you have to do is follow the instructions or the chart. And you have to remove or add some shims. You just have to remove the mount. It seems quite daunting at first, but then it only takes a couple of minutes.




These lenses look professional. I know it shouldn't matter, but it does. Perception is very real in the filmmaking world. It doesn't really matter what level. If it's just freelance, if you're on a big set, having gear that looks legit is important. So if you show up on set with lenses like that, you look the part. If you show up with lenses that everybody has seen, they are more accustomed to or they have even used, maybe just to take photos on the holidays or things like that, they can think of it as a way that they could bring the same gear. So in the eyes of a client or the talent, even, this looks professional, and it looks like you know what you're doing.


I would definitely recommend the Pictor Zooms. I think they're a great introduction to cine zooms. The shooting experience is amazing, the image is beautiful, and the range makes them super useful in a wide variety of applications. They also look great.