Before hiring the Ultra primes, I had been searching for the perfect set of prime lenses that had all the characteristics I wanted – sharp image, compact and lightweight with a good range of focal lengths. The master primes delivered this.
First of all, the sharpness of these lenses is crazy. They are by far the sharpest, crispiest lenses I have ever used. The details are razor sharp and look absolutely amazing in 5K.
Second, they’re strong, sturdy, and seem expensive, yet come in a compact form factor and aren’t overly heavy. One of the issues I found with the Cooke S4i minis was that they were incredibly heavy and made operating handheld difficult. The Ultra primes are a breeze in comparison: they extend a good distance from the body of the camera and feel balanced enough to make operating handheld preferable to gimbal work.
Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, they come in a wide range of focal lengths. The main gripe I had with the P+S Techniks was how limited they were with focal length – they didn’t have anything wider than a 40mm (at least the hire company I got them from didn’t), and the 100mm was too distorted at times to be useable. The Ultra prime kit we hired came with a – 20mm T1.9; 24mm T1.9; 32mm T1.9; 50mm T1.9 and 85mm T1.9. These were both wide enough and zoomed enough to capture everything we needed, while maintaining the same front diameter and size across the range. We hired them for a corporate job and they were perfect for the project; the client was impressed with how sharp the images looked.
The Ultra primes are a marvellous set of lenses for anyone looking for a super sharp, beautifully clean, undistorted image. They have set the bar for what I look for in cinema lenses, and I’m excited to test more lenses in the future (let’s see if the Arri/Zeiss Master Primes or Supreme primes set a new standard).