During their Zenmuse X7 event in Hollywood, CA on October 11, 2017, DJI announced four new prime lenses clearly aimed at the professional photographer or filmmaker. The widest angle lens is a DL-S 16mm F2.8 ND ASPH lens with a built-in 4 stop ND filter, to allow for wide-open shooting during daylight to achieve cinematic shallow depth-of-field footage. The 16mm lens is the only one of the four prime lenses, that does not have a leaf shutter. Any filter with a diameter of 46 mm that weighs 10-12 grams and is no thicker than 4.4 mm can be used with Zenmuse X7 lenses, according to DJI. When taking stills, the focal length multiplier is 1.5m turning the 16mm lens into a 24mm lens.
The 16mm lens is specifically designed for aerial use
DJI designed all four lenses from the ground up to manufacture the lightest possible and most robust carbon-fiber body lenses without any external moving parts for optimal aerial performance. All four prime lenses have roughly same weight and the same dimensions to eliminate the need to rebalance the gimbal when switching out lenses.
Taking advantage of new FSI-Cu technology, the X7’s sensor features thinner interconnection, allowing light to reach the sensing area via a larger incident angle for increased photosensitivity. This combined with the newly designed DL-mount (diameter: 58mm), enabled DJI to reduce the flange focal distance to 16,84mm roughly 1/3 of the size of a typical 52mm PL-Mount. The compact mount and lens design means that the combined weight of the 16mm lens and Zenmuse X7 camera is only about 630 grams. Together with the Inspire 2 the total weight is around 4 kilograms. DJI claims that this light-weight drone/camera combination can compete with the traditional heavy-weight camera setups weighing as much 40 kilograms.
The aperture, focus, and the 4 stop ND filter can be controlled remotely from within the DJI Go 4 app and the lens is capable of up to 8k video shooting, i.e. it should be future proof. DJI aimed to deliver very high contrast and resolution lens, with edge-to-edge sharpness. A high level of consistency has been achieved in image quality between the different lenses to make post-production easier.
The Zenmuse X7 with the 16mm lens is roughly the same size and weight (170 grams heavier) as the previous X5s and has no noticeable negative impact on the Inspire 2’s speed, agility and only a limited reduction of airtime (23 minutes with the X7).
Pricing and shipping
The Zenmuse X7 DL-S 16mm F2.8 ND ASPH Lens is currently for sale at $1,299 directly from DJI. You can also buy all four lenses at once for a reduced price of $4,299. The expected ship date is early November 2017.
DL-S 16mm F2.8 ND ASPH lens specifications
- Lens: DL-S 16mm F2.8 ND ASPH
- Weight: Approx. 182 grams
- Max Aperture: F2.8
- Maximum image circle: Super 35
- Elements/Groups/ASPH elements: 13 / 12 / 4
- Close Focus: 0.40 meters
- Front Diameter: 46 mm
- Dimensions: 55.0 x 62.0 x 70.6 mm, (including lens hood）
- Other: Built-in 4 stop ND
See also the other prime lenses released by DJI:
- DL 24mm F2.8 LS ASPH Leaf Shutter Lens
- DL 35mm F2.8 LS ASPH Leaf Shutter Lens
- DL 50mm F2.8 LS ASPH Leaf Shutter Lens
We hope to have our hands on the new Zenmuse X7 and lenses soon so that we can thoroughly review them and write about it here.
What do you think about the DJI Zenmuse X7 and the new prime lenses, in particular, the DL-S 16mm F2.8 ND ASPH lens? Let us know in the comments below.
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