B&H Photo News Roundup: Week of December 3, 2023

B&H Photo News Roundup: Week of December 3, 2023

As the holidays quickly approach, the pace of new product launches slows but it doesn’t stop. This week, we have a good lineup for video production to highlight. A couple of cine lens lineups are getting tweaked this week, with Tokina revealing a new character-filled version of its full-frame cinema primes, the Vista-P series, and Samyang/Rokinon adding a 100mm T2.3 to its V-AF Compact Cine Lens series. Also, Hollyland is upgrading one of its most popular items, so now we get to enjoy the enhanced Mars 400S Pro II Video Transmission System.

Tokina delivers creative, character-filled look with Vista-P cine lenses

Big, fancy cinema lenses are always fun, and Tokina Cinema has been doing a phenomenal job creating them. The Vista series of primes is a premier option, with modern design and aesthetics. However, when it comes to filmmaking, it isn’t always about getting the most pristine and perfect image. Filmmakers love to impart a look that evokes character when they select their glass, and Tokina is now offering the same benefits of its modern glass, but with a distinct look, through its Vista-P Prime lenses.

The Vista-P series takes the same design and optics and makes some fairly significant modifications to the glass. There is greater spacing between the air-to-glass surfaces, which results in lower contrast with strong spherical distortion that creates the swirly bokeh effect found in the classic Petzval lens. It’s a very obvious look that you should view in Tokina’s demo video.

Tokina did maintain all the modern conveniences of a current cinema optic, with a clean housing and the various controls that we have come to expect. These are also full-frame primes with fast T1.5 apertures. Available in ARRI PL mount, you’ll be able to make use of them on most cinema cameras. And right now, you will be able to choose from 18mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm focal lengths.

Tokina Vista-P 35mm T1.5 Lens
Tokina Vista-P 35mm T1.5 Lens

Interestingly, Tokina Cinema will allow existing Vista owners to convert their lenses into Vista-P versions by sending them in to be serviced. This is a one-way move, however, so be sure you want it before you do it.

Samyang/Rokinon adds 100mm T2.3 lens to V-AF cine series

Samyang (and Rokinon—same company just different name) launched the V-AF series recently with the goal of creating compact, lightweight, and affordable cinema lenses with full autofocus functionality. I think the brand succeeded here and that’s why it is great to see the lineup expand with the addition of the V-AF 100mm T2.3 FE Lens for Sony E.

Samyang’s full-frame V-AF series for Sony E-mount cameras continues to grow, with the addition of the 100mm T2.3 lens this week.
Samyang’s full-frame V-AF series for Sony E-mount cameras continues to grow, with the addition of the 100mm T2.3 lens this week.

Optically, we have what Samyang refers to as “cinematic expression,” with resolution able to work on full-frame at 8K. The lenses are all relatively fast, although the longer 100mm option announced this week does change that to T2.3 to maintain the same form factor as its compeers. This will still provide plenty of light and offer shallow depth of field.

Autofocus works well with modern Sony E-mount cameras. These lenses even have some unique features, including tally lamps to help you check your recording status, a focus ring that is ready for follow focuses, and future-proofing in the form of electronic contacts on the front for accessories, including this Manual Focus Adapter. These are fun lenses.

If you prefer the Rokinon version, it's also available at B&H.

Hollyland offers better wireless video with Mars 400S Pro II

Wireless video transmission has gone from a near-impossible task to something only the most high-end productions can afford to a relatively affordable and compact piece of kit. Hollyland is a big part of making these systems more accessible and among its most popular options is the Mars 400S. Now, we get an even better version with the release of the Mars 400S Pro II.

This upgraded model shares the same overall design and form factor as the original, although the big improvements are to the transmission capabilities. The Mars 400S Pro II’s biggest updates are less latency (down to 0.07 seconds from 0.1 seconds) and a longer 450' range (compared to 400').

Beyond that, the core features remain.

  • Transmission of up to Full HD 1080p60 video

  • SDI and HDMI connectivity

  • OLED display

  • 12 Mb/s data rate

  • Smart Channel Scan

  • Flexible Fan Control

If you need a wireless video transmission system, it is hard to go wrong with the latest update of an already popular option.

In other news…

  • The B&H Photography Podcast has launched a new limited series called “Picturing World Cultures,” which highlights photographers from other cultures and their experiences. Listen to the first episode today featuring Wayne Quilliam, who provides insight on photographing the indigenous experience in Australia and Tasmania.

  • ¿Quieres mejorar tus vídeos? Embajador de Sony Latinoamérica Martin De Iuliis comparta sus 5 consejos para grabar vídeos más profesionales.

  • The Gradus Group makes tons of products for all types of creatives. Learn about some of the best gear for this holiday season with this guide.

  • Hear how the Universal Audio SC-1 Mic sounds in our hands-on review.

We hope you are enjoying this holiday season!