Canon 18-80 First Look w/ Sony Cameras

Thanks, Canon, for bringing in one of the only three production lenses in the country!  It was great to get to play around with this lens and test the functionality with the Sony cameras – i.e. the Sony PXW-FS5, Sony PXW-FS7, and Sony PMW-F55.Canon CN-E 18-80mm T4.4 COMPACT-SERVO Cinema Zoom Lens (EF Mount)

Canon COMPACT-SERVO 18-80 observations

  1. We liked it – it is lightweight and the images looked very good.  Breathing was almost zero.
  2. It shares the optical coatings of Canon’s higher end Cine zoom and prime lenses, so it looks ‘warmer’ than the DSLR lenses.  It is meant to match the other Cine lens’ look.
  3. It gets power just fine via the appropriate Metabones adapter – no extra cables required.
  4. Any control of the iris from the camera body does not work – you have to use the iris ring on the lens.
  5. Iris metadata reported back to the cameras is inaccurate.
  6. The start/stop button on the optional servo zoom controller did not trigger recording on any of the cameras.
  7. With the FS5 and the FS7, it is a little awkward and weird to have two servo handgrip controllers – the one that comes with the camera, and the one for the lens.  The servo controller on the camera did not control the zoom on the lens.
  8. The servo zoom rocker is a little ‘heavy handed’ – not as precise of a feel as the servo zoom rocker on the more expensive lenses.
  9. The rosette mounting of the optional servo zoom controller was a nice touch – it is very easy to relocate it to a handle on a rig or even to the camera.

Other details

Canon said that while the lens is based on the 18-80 DSLR lens, it is rather reworked – inside and out:

  • external geared barrels
  • extra optical elements in the rear to get it from full frame to Super 35 mm footprint
  • Cine optical coatings to match their Cine lens line – hence the telltale red mounting ring in the back.

Photos of the lens in action

The pitch of the focus and aperature rings is different. Not sure why.


Note the 12 V DC in power jack – handy if you are using on a non-electronic adapter. We didn’t need it for any of the Sony cameras we tested. The lens does not come with a 12 VDC power supply.


Here is a shot with the (optional) servo zoom rocker mounted to a Tilta handle. Note the Rosette on the lens and the push buttons for the zoom if you don’t have the optional controller. These are fixed speed.

More features and specifications

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Accessory hand grip



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Canon COMPACT-SERVO 18-80mm T4.4 EF-mount lens $5,225.00

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Canon ZSG-C10 Zoom Grip for COMPACT-SERVO Lens $474.05

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