Lenses and Accessories for the Canon C300
By Jeff Lee, Updated Friday, 01 March 2013
Canon’s much anticipated EOS C300 is a modular Super-35 sized sensor camera available in both PL and EOS (EF) mount. The modular nature and size of the C300 means the camera can live in many configurations – from the fully decked out studio camera to a light-weight run-&-gun setup.
In this article, we present the many different lenses and accessories that can be used with the camera.
Lens Adapters | Lenses | EF Mount | PL Mount | Support Systems | External Recorders | Viewfinders & Onboard Monitors | Microphones | Batteries & Power Options | Additional Accessories
Canon EF to Nikon F adaptor
There are two Canon EF to Nikon F mount adaptors available from Novoflex; we recommend the EOS/NIK NT, because it includes a built-in aperture control ring for any Nikon “G” series lenses (these lenses do not have a built-in adjustment ring). All Nikon mounted lenses will work with the C300 (super 35mm sensor), including the APS-C sized “DX” lenses.
EF Mount Lenses
Canon EF Cinema Prime Lenses
To compliment the C300 release, Canon will also be releasing three EF mount Cinema Prime Lenses. Available as a 24mm T1.5, 50mm T1.3, and 85mm T1.3, these newly designed primes will provide coverage for a full frame 4K sensor with an 11 blade aperture design and a 114mm front diameter for consistency. The new EF Cinema Prime lenses are also compatible with all Canon EOS HDSLRs. Pricing and availability will be announced soon.
Canon EOS Lenses
The ever expanding line of Canon EOS lenses are all supported on the EF version of the C300. From specialty lenses like the various tilt-shift options to fast f/1.2 primes, there are over 60 Canon EF lenses to choose from. For versatility, our perennial favorites include the 16-35mm f/2.8, 24-70m f/2.8, and the 70-200mm f/2.8. Of course, as the C300 body only weighs 3.2 pounds, the 17-40mm f/4, 24-105mm f/4, and 70-200 f/4 lenses are great lightweight options for the run-&-gun shooter.
Available in Nikon F or Canon EF mount, the popular Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 is one of the widest zoom lenses available on the market. As constant aperture lenses, the 11-16 f/2.8 and the complimentary 16-28 f/2.8 can be great lenses for those run & gun situations.
Zeiss Compact Zoom CZ.2
Introduced at NAB 2012, the new Zeiss Compact Zoom family is designed to complement the CP.2 range. The first lens in the series is the 70-200 T2.9, an 18-blade aperture lens with interchangeable mounts (including Sony E). The CZ.2 will cover full frame cameras (24mm x 36mm), which makes it a versatile option for those shooting with multiple cameras, including full frame HDSLRs.
Zeiss ZE or ZF.2 Lenses
Zeiss designed these high quality lenses for the still photography world, but they also work very well for video and are available in Nikon F (ZF.2) or Canon EF (ZE) mount. If using the Nikon mount ZF.2 lenses, you’ll need to use the Novoflex EF to Nikon adapter. The ZF.2 lenses have manual aperture rings and both the ZF.2 and ZE lenses have focus rings with hard stops, which makes pulling focus much easier. There are many different lenses to choose from, including 18mm, 21mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, 50mm macro, 85mm and 100mm. Zeiss ZE lenses are available in 18mm, 21mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 50mm macro, and 100mm macro. The lenses vary in size and speed, but they all match in terms of color and contrast.
Canon PL Cinema Zoom Lenses
Announced at NAB 2011, Canon’s 14.5-60mm T2.6 is an exciting entry into the PL mount world. With the companion 30-300mm T2.9-3.7 lens, Canon’s new cine zoom lenses should also be available in EF mount by NAB 2012. Pricing and availability will be announced soon.
Zeiss Compact Primes (CP.2)
The Zeiss CP.2s are lightweight lenses that are affordable and versatile. Built for cinema applications, each features a 14-blade iris and a long focal range. They are also unique in that the lens mount can be changed between PL, Nikon, Canon EF and other mounts. It should be noted that iris adjustments on the EF version of the CP.2 are still controlled manually, like the PL and Nikon equivalents. The size and weight of these lenses would fit very nicely with the C300.
Arri Ultra Primes
The Arri Ultra Primes from Zeiss are universally known for their quality, color, contrast and speed. A set of these lenses would be a beautiful addition to the C300 PL camera.
Zeiss Light Weight Zoom 2
The Zeiss Light Weight Zoom 2 (LWZ.2) is an incredibly high quality 15.5-45mm T 2.6 zoom lens. Like the Compact Primes, it comes in PL, Nikon, Canon and other mounts, and is lightweight at only 4.4 lbs.
AbelCine Canon C300 Shoulder Rig
A streamlined solution that’s been a favorite in our showroom is a combination of the Zacuto C300 Studio baseplate with the Shape C300 handle relocator and Vocas shoulder pad. After much trial and error, this rig was first assembled by DP Andrew Wonder. The AbelCine Canon C300 Shoulder Rig fits well with the low-profile nature of the C300 while providing ergonomic support for prolonged shoots.
Because of the unique shape and size of the C300, Zacuto has designed two new baseplates for the C300. The lightweight Gorilla style baseplate has rod holes in the front to mount a follow focus, mattebox, or other accessories in front of the camera. Similar to the HDSLR Gorilla baseplate, the C300 Gorilla baseplate also has rod holes on the side for EVFs and other side mounted accessories. For larger or more complex builds, the studio style baseplate actually has rod holes on all four sides, allowing for a myriad of mounting options. If you’re looking an entire rigging solution, Zacuto has the C300 Target Shooter, Striker, Recoil, and Stinger kits based on the two new baseplates.
Zacuto will also be releasing a “winged cage” for the C300 that adds additional mounting points to the top of the camera. The unique articulation of the winged cage permits for both vertical and horizontal accessory mounting. With a pair of Zacuto Mini Mounts attached to the winged cage, you can mount a set of rods over the lens for lens motors and other lens control accessories.
If you’re using a shoulder rig, the C300 handgrip relocator allows you to move the included handgrip from the camera body to a lower position, much like the Zacuto Z-Grips. Since the handgrip is still attached to the body via the control cable, all functions of the Canon handgrip are retained. Pricing and availability on the Zacuto C300 accessories will be announced soon.
If you’re looking for a solution with the ability to go to a 19mm or 15mm studio setup, Arri’s new C300 LWS kit can be integrated in to the BP-12 (19mm) or BP-13 (15mm studio) bridgeplates. The new C300 LWS baseplate is low profile solution that can be paired up with the new C300 handgrip kit, which includes rossette adaptors, handgrips, and a pair of handgrip extensions. The rossette adaptor adds standard Arri rossettes to the LWS baseplate, which would allow you to use other handgrip kits such as the Shape Double Quick Handle or Ronford Baker “Moose” bar handles.
Similar to their other camera baseplates, the Chrosziel LWS and LWS HD baseplate are camera-specific lightweight systems compatible with all rod based accessories. The only difference between the LWS and LWS HD is that the HD version includes a second rod support for additional stability. Chrosziel is bundling the LWS with their Super Wide mattebox (450W-20) and the LWS HD with the 456 Academy mattebox.
Designed by cinematographer Shane Hurlbut, the Letus Master Cinema Series kits are built around a camera specific cage that both protects the C300 and provides additional mounting points for accessories. The MCS ShoulderCam bundle is a versatile shoulder rig that was designed to mimic the feel of a film camera. The majority of the camera weight is placed on your shoulders, and combined with a comfortable shoulder pad, the ShoulderCam bundle can help reduce fatigue.
Ki Pro Mini
The AJA Ki Pro and Ki Pro Mini both accept HD-SDI and HDMI inputs and record in various flavors of Apple ProRes, with support for Avid DNxHD coming via a free firmware update soon for the Ki Pro Mini. The Ki Pro has many different inputs and offers long recording to hard drive or SSD, while the Ki Pro Mini is small and records directly to Compact Flash cards. Both units will record in ProRes LT, ProRes 422 and ProRes 422 (HQ).
The Convergent Design nanoFlash is a very popular tiny recorder. It accepts HD-SDI, SDI and HDMI inputs and records in various flavors of MPEG2. It can record 4:2:2 LongGOP video at up to 180 Mbit/s and 4:2:2 I-Frame at up to 280 Mbit/s. Its small size and high quality make it an excellent on-board recording option for the C300.
The Sound Devices PIX 220 (HDMI only) and PIX 240 (HDMI & HD/SDI) are compact Apple ProRes & Avid DNxHD recorders that feature a 5″ screen and multiple up/down/cross conversion capabilities.
Viewfinders & On-Board Monitors
The modular monitor unit of the C300 allows you to position the 4″ LCD in almost any position you need, but there are times where a viewfinder is more practical or desirable.
If you’re using the C300 on a shoulder rig, a nice alternative to the built-in LCD screen is the Cineroid EVF Metal. Built upon the original Cineroid EVF, the EVF Metal is available in three variants – SDI In/Out, HDMI In/Out, or HDMI In/ SDI Out.
Zacuto’s popular Z-Finder EVF Pro is also a great option, especially for those coming from an HDSLR. This electronic viewfinder has a high resolution screen, HDMI input and a loop through for additional monitoring, and many of the same features found on high-end viewfinders.
With a high resolution 1280×800 screen and built-in HDMI to HD/SDI converter, the TVLogic VFM-056WP 5.6″ monitor is a great tool for any C300 user. Other features include a waveform monitor, vectorscope, and focus assist.
TVLogic / Alphatron EVF035W-3G
The just-announced EVF035W-3G electronic viewfinder will be a nice addition to any C300 kit. With the highest PPI of any viewfinder on the market, judging focus will be easier than ever.
The C300 has two XLR inputs on the modular monitor unit. If you decide to use the camera without the monitor unit, you will no longer be able to use the XLR inputs. Fortunately, there is still a stereo 3.5mm mini jack mic input on the body. If you’re looking for a shotgun microphone, the Rode VideoMic Pro is a high quality, compact super cardioid mic that will mount directly to the cold shoe on the camera. For better stereo separation, the Rode SVM (stereo video mic) is a great option of you do not need the traditional cardioid or super cardioid pattern.
Batteries & Power Options
While the C300 ships with a single battery charger, if you need to charge multiple batteries at once, Dolgin’s popular dual and quad Turbo Chargers will fully recharge multiple batteries simultaneously in less than 3 hours.
Included with every C300 is a BP-955 battery, which will fit perfectly within the battery compartment and provide up to 205 minutes of run time. If you’re looking for a longer life solution, the BP-975 will power the camera up to 310 minutes.
Anton Bauer will be releasing a new Gold Mount plate specifically for the C300. The QRC CA940 will have a regulated output for the camera and three additional P-Tap outputs for various accessories. Pricing and availability will be announced soon.
If you already own a Gold Mount or V-Lock style battery plate, you can use the Switronix Xp-DV-C/20 (20″) or SW-XP-DV-C/48 (48″) P-Tap to Canon cable that includes a built-in voltage regulator.
If you’re looking for a straightforward follow focus, the Genus Superior and Zacuto Z-Focus follow focus units have been very popular. If you’d like to have some additional controls, the Arri MFF-2 is certainly worth considering. As an evolution to the MFF-1, the MFF-2 has inherited all the features but adds a few new ones as well. The MFF-2 is still reversible for use on lenses that may rotate “backwards”, but now gives you the ability to switch between three different focus knobs.
If you’re using Canon “L” series lenses and want additional light control, having a lightweight mattebox like the Genus Wide Angle mattebox can be invaluable. With two 4×4 trays (single stage rotating), the Genus can be used on rods or clipped on with the various threaded adapter rings. Arri’s popular MMB-2 is available as a 4×4 and 4×4/4×5.65 or as a slightly heavier double 4×5.65 system and can accommodate 114mm lenses directly.
Designed by our very own Mitch Gross, the Calzone / AbelCine Universal Camera Case is a compact hard shipping case that will accommodate the C300, Sony F3, Red Epic, and Panasonic AF100. If you’re looking for a more run &gun appropriate bag, the CineBags CB-25 backpack is flight ready and will hold up to a 17″ laptop.