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Canon 50-1000mm CINE SERVO T5.0-T8.9 Zoom Lens

Canon 50-1000mm CINE SERVO T5.0-T8.9 Zoom Lens

By Matthew Fresolone | June 21st, 2022

Canon has built a specialty use S35 zoom lens with an incredible zoom ratio of 20x. With a fantastically wide focal range of 50-1000mm, and capable of reaching 1500mm with a 1.5 Extender—the Canon CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9 is built for long distance coverage. Specifically, this lens is perfect for television documentary and wildlife photography.

Canon 50-1000mm Cine Servo Canon 50-1000mm Cine Servo Picture

Image Quality

The Canon 50-1000mm is capable of shooting 4K and up to Super35 formats, making this zoom lens perfect for professional, higher-budget work on the small and large screen. It has an image circle of 31.4mm. The zoom lens can employ either the PL or EF lens mount, swappable by technicians. Canon designed this lens for long-distance shooting, most notably on television wildlife documentaries. Therefore, certain features of the lens’ image are aimed towards a real-life aesthetic, such as the naturalistic bokeh produced by the 11-bladed iris. Similarly, there is a special fluorite coating over the lens to reduce the aberration in the image.

20x Zoom   

The first feature to discuss in this lens is its magnificent zoom—because that core functionality determines all other aspects of the CINE-SERVO. The Canon CINE-SERVO is able to achieve 50mm-1000mm. Attaching the 1.5x Zoom extender transforms the range into 75mm-1500mm. The 1.5x Zoom Extender also supports 4K resolution. This lens is parfocal, meaning that the focus distance will persist throughout the zoom range. In practice, this means that you can zoom into an object and achieve critical focus at 1000mm. Then, if you reset the shot by zooming back in from 50mm, the object will remain in focus throughout the entire stable zoom. This makes it perfect for lulling viewers in with a stable zoom, allowing movement to the frame. The maximum T-stop, however, cannot remain consistent throughout the entire zoom range. Although other zoom lenses may be able to achieve this, it’s practically impossible to achieve universal maximum T-stop throughout a zoom range as extensive as the CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm. From 50mm-560mm, the maximum T-stop is 5.0. At 1000mm, it becomes T8.9. With the 1.5x Extender attached, the maximum T-stop from 75-840mm is T7.5, and at 1500mm, the maximum T-stop is T13.35. For other zoom lenses, insufficient aperture may be an issue. But this Canon zoom is specialty designed for long-distance coverage in outdoor areas, so achieving a shallow depth of field at, say, 1000mm, is no issue.

Detachable Motor System

The Canon 50-1000mm has a "digital drive unit" on the side of the lens with three built-in servos: Zoom, Iris, and Focus. Any can be operated manually, and the motor unit can be detached if users prefer a third party system. The motor can smoothly zoom throughout the 20x range at speeds from 1.5 seconds to 180 seconds. This way, users can incorporate smooth, automatic zooms without any extra equipment or time; the zoom is totally integrated within the lens’ hardware. Users intending to zoom all the way to 1000mm (or 1500mm with the 1.5x Extender) should have a sturdy tripod. The slightest shake or vibration at 1000mm has the potential to garble the image.

Form Factor

The CINE-SERVO is compact for its capabilities, but still weightier than the average zoom lens. It weighs 14.6 lbs, which means it can be operated by a single person, shoulder-mounted. Additionally, the display is beveled, so operators standing behind the lens can clearly make out readings. The relative light weight of the CINE-SERVO, combined with its extensive zoom makes it perfect for television documentary work. The lens employs a 19mm rod system for accessories. The CINE SERVO is compatible with accessories like matte boxes, follow focuses, and electronic controllers. The focus ring contains both a .8mm MOD cine standard gear ring and a .5 Canon MOD ring for attachments. There is also a .5 Canon MOD on the zoom ring, as well as a .5 MOD iris gear.

The Bottom Line 

The Canon CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9 is an exceptional zoom lens, built for maximum zoom performance. With a compact build, the CINE-SERVO brushes up against its physical constraints to deliver top tier zoom performance perfect for television documentary and wildlife videography.
  • Full 4K performance 
  • Super35 coverage 
  • 20x zoom: 50mm-1000mm 
  • Optional 1.5x Extender
  • Support for 19mm rods
Canon's CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm can be purchased at a retail price of about $70,000 in either PL or EF mount system. Additionally, it could take weeks to deliver, as these lenses are mostly ordered by professional film studios or rental houses. To make the most of your budget with the CINE SERVO 50-1000mm, the best move is to lease from a rental facility.

Considering renting? Why not check out Bokeh Rentals’ Canon packages!

•Rent the Canon CINE-SERVO 25-250mm T2.95-3.95 at Bokeh Rentals

•Rent the Canon CINE-SERVO 17-120mm T2.95-3.9 at Bokeh Rentals

Contact us to customize a package to suit your production needs at low prices!

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