High-quality cinema lenses for less money? I know it sounds hard to believe but DZOFilm might just have managed that with Vespid Prime. A brand that puts itself in the shoes of the filmmakers, DZOFilm has a clear mission:
Think like a filmmaker, let technology unlock the art in filmmaking and seek a more innovative, versatile, and cost-effective workflow. We are dedicated to listening to the voice of filmmakers, and arming them with reliable and innovative film tools.
Vespid Prime Lenses Review
Vespid Prime is a series of Full Frame sensor lenses from DZOFilm, suitable for use on budget productions ranging from independent to studio films. With the Largest Supporting Format of 46.5mm(Full Frame), the 16mm (not released yet), 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, 75mm, 90mm (macro), 100mm, and 125mm lenses are small and lightweight, making them an excellent choice for smaller rigs or drone work.
If you plan to use them as a set it is really important to know these lenses share the same position for the focus and iris gears, this will enable you to change lenses really fast, with fewer adjustments to the lens accessories, such as cine-style follow focus units, lens motors, and lens control systems.
The built quality of these lenses is a really good one, all of them have a solid metal construction, with great tolerances, and satisfying balance. Unfortunately, these lenses are not weather sealed so keep that in mind.
Another strong selling point for Vespid Prime lenses, besides “Full Frame and low price”, is the aperture range T2.1. This will help you a lot when you shoot in the dark. True for all Vespid Prime lenses except for the 90mm (Macro) lens, which opens up to maximum T2.8.
If you plan to use filters you must know the outer front diameter is 80mm but these also come with adapters for 77mm filters and the witness marks are easy to read, and come in metric and imperial values.
The EF mount construction is good, made out of metal, it is solid and smooth, perfect for day-to-day busy workflow. Right now it only comes with PL and EF mounts, but the mounts are interchangeable. Probably DZOFilm is working on some adaptors for L-mount, E-mount, RF mount.
Vespid Prime Optical Quality
Thanks to Gerald Undone`s video review on Youtube, we can clearly see the optical quality of these Vespid Primes compared to other lenses. We learn that optically, by any means, these are not spectacular. However, for only $1250, Vespid Prime Lenses perform better than expected.
Sharpness and Aberration
When compared to the Sigma 35mm you can see that these Vespid primes are not as sharp and that disparity increases near the edge of the frame. Still, it is not that bad and feels like a reasonable trade-off for the money saved.
Compared to lenses from Samyang or Rokinon, the minimal longitudinal chromatic aberration for Vespid Prime lenses is better.
It doesn’t look that good when it comes to the transverse aberration, with noticeable cyan and red fringing, not ideal, but this flaw is correctable in post-production.
Distortion, Vignetting, and Bokeh
These are normal, nothing out of ordinary, vignetting is mostly unnoticeable by T4. The sweet spot that solves every issue with these lenses is around T3.2. This aperture also takes care of the odd-shaped corner bokeh.
As you can notice, the out-of-focus orbs are quite nice when it comes to smoothness but at T2.1 the ones in the corners get cut in od shapes. Thankfully, this gets better by T3.2 and completely gone by T4.
Flare and Focus Breathing
Flare affects these lenses in an interesting way. There is not that much ghosting or spectral glare, but it loses contrast abruptly when the light hits the lens at a given angle.
For some people, this might be exactly what they want but for the rest, this just won`t work.
Depending on what angle the light hits the lens, it can create a dividing arc of contrast that is not pleasing at all, the good thing is that you can get rid of it by slightly moving the camera’s
As for focus breathing, it is non-existent which is great, except for the 90mm macro lens. This one breathes a huge amount of focus, but it is fine because it is capable of a 1.5:1 reproduction ratio.
Vespid Prime 90mm Macro
The witness marks on this lens are different from the other lenses, showing the macro ratios.
Compared to a cheaper sony lens capable of a 1:1 reproduction ratio, this lens is lacking in sharpness and contrast. However, I would still choose this one over the sony because of the better magnifying, being capable of 1.5:1 reproduction ratio.
This lens is more expensive than the rest of the Vespids lenses, this one costs around $1500, with around $250 more than the other ones.
Overall DZOFilm Vespid Prime lenses are not perfect, in comparison with other brand lenses they lack sharpness, contrast, and other aberrations but they still offer a lot for the price you can purchase them. Let’s not forget these still are full-frame cine lenses with small sizes and weights. If you are looking for a whole set, you can get 6 lenses and a hard case for $6.800, which is a really good deal in my opinion.
If you choose to purchase them, I hope you will find this helpful and you`ll be able to create art like never before with the help of these wonderful lenses.
For a more detailed review, you can watch Gerald Undone`s video review on Youtube below.