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Header image for article Lens Options for Sony's F3 Super35 HD Camera

Lens Options for Sony's F3 Super35 HD Camera

The new Sony PMW-F3 camera, due out next month, will ship with a PL mount lens adapter, which means it will work with any PL mount lens. This adapter attaches to the camera's F3 mount, which has a very short flange depth. This short flange depth means that a huge variety of lenses can be used with the camera, using only simple mechanical adapters.

Here is a quick outline of all the lens options for the Sony F3 including PL, Nikon, Canon and Sony's special F3 lenses.

PL Lenses

There are many excellent PL mount lens choices out there today that will work with the Sony F3. PL mount lenses are designed for cinema use and include Zeiss Compact Primes, Arri / Zeiss Ultra Primes, Schneider Cine-Xenar, and Angenieux Optimo Zooms. Sony also has three PL mount lenses, and the F3K version of the camera will come with these Sony branded lenses -- a 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm all at T 2.0. We've seen these lenses and done some initial testing. We projected them with good results, and I can say for sure that they are definitely worth their price tag.

Sony plans to release a short PL Mount zoom lens in April, which will be 11-16mm, F2.8. The combination of the three lenses and the zoom would make for a nice full kit.

Nikon & Canon

If you've already invested in Nikon or Canon FD lenses, then the F3 will work for you as well. MTF Services has just announced Nikon and Canon F3 adapters for the F3. This will allow any Nikon or Canon FD (not EF) lens to be attached directly to the camera.

Sony F3 Mount Lenses

Finally, Sony will be releasing zoom lenses that will work on the camera's F3 mount. Sony is working with a well known zoom lens manufacturer to make these servo drive lenses that cover the F3's Super-35mm size sensor. This will be the first time we've seen a motorized lens like this. Here is an outline of the lenses coming in the future from Sony:

F3 Mount 18-270, F3.5-6.3 -- Manual Focus and Zoom Only, Due Fall 2011, Price TBD

F3 Mount 18-270, F3.5-6.3 -- Automatic Control, Due 2012, Price TBD

F3 Mount 17-50, F2.8 -- Automatic Control, Due 2012, Price TBD

Andy Shipsides

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