As the low-cost/large-sensor movement marches forward leaving a lens-hungry camera-saturated landscape in its wake, a few lens manufacturers are stripping down and dressing up photography lenses and advertising them as cinema lenses or 'cine-style' lenses. Once upon a time in Hollywood, the difference between the two was obvious. Now, it is not so clear and the distinction will continue to blur as manufacturers try to release lower cost cinema lenses, which will undoubtedly forsake important characteristics of cinema lenses to hit a price point. The future will see photography lenses being called cinema lenses and lower cost cinema lenses behaving more like photography lenses.This entire article written because of two influential factors. The first was my anxiety regarding the increasing common use of photography lenses on digital cinema cameras as being 'good-enough' for film work and secondly, manufacturers who, at times, seem to take advantage of the large DSLR influx of less knowledgeable shooters by re-branding photography lenses as cinema lenses... by simply making the mediocre photography lens a marginal amount more like a cinema lens.
For awhile, things were simple. Add a geared ring and declick the iris... but as of late, my forecast has been coming true... we are seeing lenses rated in T-stops, modifications to mount lenses sideways, so the distance and iris scales are viewable from the side, modifications to lens fronts to make a uniform front diameter, and more.
This transition, I must admit, is painful for me. It's going to be tough, but I think in the end, lenses will be better for it.... once we get through the growing pains.
The photography kids are learning... slowly... what it takes to make a cinema lens.