Image taken using a Pentax 67 with the Schneider Cine-Xenon (updated Cinelux) 150mm f/2.3 from  The Boutique Lens

Image taken using a Pentax 67 with the Schneider Cine-Xenon (updated Cinelux) 150mm f/2.3 from The Boutique Lens


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When you’re looking for something to mount on your Pentax 645, Mamiya 645, Pentax 67, or even your GFX or something like a Phase One that is “next level” compared to any native glass, you’ll inevitably arrive at the Schneider Cinelux Ultra MC.

With various focal lengths of Schenider Cineluxes that will work on 645 and 6x7 ranging from 90mm to 170mm, there are a plethora of options matched only by the difficulty encountered by trying to obtain one of these rare beauties.

Schneider Cinelux Lens Review Images-2.jpg

You’ll see that I compare the Cinelux vs the Zeiss 80mm f/2 quite a bit. This is because I have loved the Zeiss 80mm f/2 and it’s rendering so much. But, I find that I find myself loving and constantly comparing the Cinelux with the Zeiss 80mm, which, believe is saying a lot.

Image taken with Fujifilm GFX 50S using  Schneider Super Cinelux 80mm f/2  from  The Boutique Lens

Image taken with Fujifilm GFX 50S using Schneider Super Cinelux 80mm f/2 from The Boutique Lens

So without further ado, in my Schneider Cinelux lens review, I’ll cover:

Image taken using Pentax 67 with the Schneider 115mm Cine-Xenon (updated Cinelux) f/2 lens from  The Boutique Lens

Image taken using Pentax 67 with the Schneider 115mm Cine-Xenon (updated Cinelux) f/2 lens from The Boutique Lens

If you’re mainly looking for some history and/or the differences between different Cineluxes such as Schneider vs ISCO or Ultra MC vs Cinelux discussion, be sure to take some time to view the Cinelux Guide from The Boutique Lens.

Image taken using the Schneider 115mm Cine-Xenon (updated Cinelux) f/2 lens from  The Boutique Lens

Image taken using the Schneider 115mm Cine-Xenon (updated Cinelux) f/2 lens from The Boutique Lens

Bokeh

The Schneider Cinelux lens has very pleasant, smooth, yet full-of-character bokeh. The edges of the bokeh-circles it produces are not “too crisp” and do not distract from the subject.

Bride and Groom with Bouquet taken with Pentax 67 Schneider Cinelux Ultra MC 120mm f/2 from  The Boutique Lens

Bride and Groom with Bouquet taken with Pentax 67 Schneider Cinelux Ultra MC 120mm f/2 from The Boutique Lens

Vignetting

With the Cinelux at f/2 (do note that some longer focal lengths have smaller maximum apertures of 2.1, 2.3, and 2.8) I notice almost no vignetting. This lens was designed to project IMAX movies onto a huge screen at f/2, so it makes sense that it would perform amazingly, even at that aperture.

Image from 115mm Cinelux from from  The Boutique Lens  using Pentax 67 and HP5 Film

Image from 115mm Cinelux from from The Boutique Lens using Pentax 67 and HP5 Film

Distortion

Since the Cinelux lens is going to be a telephoto portrait focal length, you will not notice much distortion of any sort.

Image taken with Pentax 67 using Schneider Cinelux Ultra MC 120mm f/2 lens from  The Boutique Lens

Image taken with Pentax 67 using Schneider Cinelux Ultra MC 120mm f/2 lens from The Boutique Lens

Sharpness

The Schneider Cinelux Ultra MC line of lenses are very, very sharp. Again, they were designed for IMAX screens, and being primes, they are honed for sharpness. To compare it to the Zeiss 80mm f/2, I find that the Cinelux has better edge to edge sharpness.

Image taken with Pentax 67 and Cinelux 150mm f/2.3 from  The Boutique Lens

Image taken with Pentax 67 and Cinelux 150mm f/2.3 from The Boutique Lens

Fall-Off/Depth of Field

The Cinelux Ultra has wonderfully smooth fall-off. The depth of field when used on a 645 is similar to a f/1.25 lens on 35mm/full-frame, and on a 6x7 it is equivalent to a f/1.

Farm table at wedding taken with Pentax 67 and Schneider Cinelux Ultra MC 120mm f/2 from  The Boutique Lens  on Fuji 400H Film

Farm table at wedding taken with Pentax 67 and Schneider Cinelux Ultra MC 120mm f/2 from The Boutique Lens on Fuji 400H Film

Microcontrast/Contrast

The Schneider Cinelux causes the subject to pop with incredibly pleasant clarity. I believe it has as much and probably a little better rendering than does the Zeiss 80mm f/2, which is a fantastic lens.

Image taken with Pentax 67 and Cinelux 120mm from  The Boutique Lens

Image taken with Pentax 67 and Cinelux 120mm from The Boutique Lens

Color Rendition

I absolutely love the color tonality of the Schneider Cinelux Ultra. It is by far my favorite lens when it comes to producing rich and beautiful colors. It produces skin tones that are creamy and desirable, making this lens perhaps the biggest competitor to the Zeiss 80mm f/2 in terms of skin tone rendition.

Pentax 67 Schneider Cinelux Ultra MC 120mm f/2 from  The Boutique Lens

Pentax 67 Schneider Cinelux Ultra MC 120mm f/2 from The Boutique Lens

Minimum Focusing Distance

Though it varies per the focal length, with my 120mm Cinelux I can achieve about .9 meters minimum focusing distance while still reaching infinity on my Pentax 67. This allows me to achieve a head and shoulders shot that I’m very pleased with.

Image taken with Pentax 67 and 120mm Cinelux from  The Boutique Lens

Image taken with Pentax 67 and 120mm Cinelux from The Boutique Lens

Build Quality, Features, and Feel

These lenses feel incredibly nice. They are simple, solid, and gold. What’s not to love? To be serious, though, they are very lightweight for being a f/2 lens that covers even a 6x7 negative.

Image taken with Pentax 67 and 150mm f/2.3 Cinelux from  The Boutique Lens

Image taken with Pentax 67 and 150mm f/2.3 Cinelux from The Boutique Lens

Where Can I Buy a Schneider Cinelux Lens Adapted for My Camera?

Now, you can scour eBay and find a Cinelux pop up every once and a while. More than likely, you’ll still have to go through the process of adapting it and all that good stuff.

Or, you can become the owner of one of these amazing lenses, and have it custom adapted to the camera of your choice by purchasing from a website such as The Boutique Lens which happens to sell Schneider Cinelux Ultra MCs.

Image of bride and groom kissing with bouquet taken with Pentax 67 using the Schneider Cinelux Ultra MC 120mm f/2 lens from  The Boutique Lens

Image of bride and groom kissing with bouquet taken with Pentax 67 using the Schneider Cinelux Ultra MC 120mm f/2 lens from The Boutique Lens

Final Remarks on My Schneider Cinelux Ultra MC Review

The Cinelux is probably my favorite lens in overall terms of lightweight usability balanced with amazing image quality. I love the image quality that it produces and I love using to create images that have tons of pop and character.

It’s rendering reminds me of the Canon 85mm f/1.2 L Mark II, only with perhaps more pronounced bokeh. When it comes to digital lenses, the 85L is at on my top favorites, so I consider this a very good thing.

So, the fact that the Cinelux is lightweight, built well, can be adapted to medium format film, and creates a clean, crisp, full-of-character image means that these lenses stay mounted on my cameras almost always.


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