DZOFilm’s new “Tango” series Super35 cinema zooms cover 18mm up to 280mm

Sep 7, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

DZOFilm’s new “Tango” series Super35 cinema zooms cover 18mm up to 280mm

Sep 7, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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DZOFilm has announced two new cinema zoom lenses for Super35 with a pretty large focal length range. The first is the DZOFilm Tango 18-90mm T2.9 (buy here), covering from fairly wide angle to medium telephoto zoom range.

The other is the DZOFilm Tango 65-280mm T2.9-4 (buy here), which lets you get extremely close to subjects at some distance. Both lenses are available in Canon EF and Arri PL mount, providing a lot of adaptable mounting options.

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DZOFilm Tango 18-90mm T2.9 & 65-280mm T2.9-4

The wide focal length range of these two lenses affords filmmakers a lot of framing and compositional options in a very small kit. They’ll let you cover everything from wide-angle establishing shots all the way to close-up intimate portraits.

The 16-bladed apertures in both lenses help to provide nice, smooth, round bokeh throughout the aperture range. This helps to prevent the background out-of-focus areas from drawing attention to themselves when you want the viewer focused on the main subject.

Big, beefy lenses for serious productions

While these two lenses can cover the needs of a vast majority of filmmakers, they versatility comes at some expense. And I’m not just talking about the price, either – although, it’s pretty high.

These lenses are both big and heavy. The Tango 18-90mm T2.9 measures 249.1 x 114mm for PL mount. The EF mount version about 7mm longer. The Tango 65-280mm T2.9-4 is a hair longer, at 267.1mm for PL mount and 274.4mm for EF.

When it comes to weight, the 18-90mm is 3,539g, and the 65-280mm is 3,962g. That’s a gram over 7.5kg when you’re carrying the two together in your camera bag. Not exactly a lightweight setup for run-and-gun shooting. So, you’re likely going to be using these on larger rigs on tripods, steadicams or shoulder-mounted setups.

Glow-in-the-dark markings

The DZOFilm Tango lenses feature markings made with fluorescent paint. This makes your settings easier to see in darker locations and on-set where the light is typically pointed at the talent, not the camera operator.

Speaking of the markings, the lenses feature both imperial and metric markings for focus distance. Each side of the lens shows a different measuring scale, letting you quickly see your focus distance at a glance, no matter whether you speak metric or freedom units.

DZOFilm 18-90mm T2.9 and 65-280mm T2.9-4 Specs

18-90mm T2.965-280mm T2.9-4
Focal Length18-90mm65-280mm
ColourBlack
MountPL/EF
ApertureT2.9-22T2.9/4-22
Image Circle31.5mm (S35)
Optics24 elements in 17 groups21 elements in 17 groups
Flange distance52mm (PL) / 44mm (EF)
Minimum focus distance70cm1.1m
Zoom ratio5x4.31x
Iris controlManual (74.1°)Manual (73.5°)
Focus controlManual (270°)
Zoom controlManual (100°)
Front diameter114mm
Length249.1mm (PL) / 256.4mm (EF)267.1mm (PL) / 274.4mm (EF)
Iris blades16
Filter sizeM105
Gear pitch0.8 MOD
MaterialAluminium Alloy
Weight~3,539g~3,962g

Price and Availability

The DZOFilm Tango 18-90mm T2.9 lens is available to pre-order now for $8,599 (I told you they weren’t cheap), and the DZOFilm Tango 65-280mm T2.9-4 lens is available to pre-order now for $10,999. If you want to save a little money, the two are available to pre-order together as a pair for $1,7999.

Shipping is expected to begin in mid-September.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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