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Long primes for Super 16mm


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#1 Chance Shirley

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 03:30 PM

It seems like all the prime lens sets I see for Super 16 cameras consist of a 9.5mm, 12mm, 16mm, and 25mm. Occasionally they'll include a 50mm.

I'd really like a longer prime, maybe an 85mm or a 100mm, for shooting Super 16. Could I find such a lens in B-mount, or are all the long prime lenses made with a PL mount (or a 35mm-camera-only mount)?

Thanks...
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#2 Matthew Skala

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Posted 01 December 2005 - 10:29 AM

If I remember correctly I have used an 85mm on a Arri SR2 with a B mount. I know that technicians at a rental house can change the mount on a lens, so it shouldn't be a problem. Just talk to your rental house.
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#3 Joseph White

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Posted 01 December 2005 - 12:53 PM

yes there are 50mm and 85mm zeiss primes available in B-mount for 16mm. you can also use the long end of a zoom as well - many 16mm zoom lenses go to 100mm or 120mm. a nice all-purpose zoom from my experience is the canon 8-64mm t2.2. people are often very hesitant to use zooms with 16mm, but i would frankly rather have the right lens size than anything. it's generally best to stay longer than 12mm with 16mm to give you a really sharp look - but i just shot a film on super 16mm with 7217 using only a canon 8-64mm on a modified sr-II and it looked damn close to 35mm.

and there really aren't "35mm only" mounts these days for the most part. most cameras you rent that are non-panavision in the US are all PL-mount, whether it's 16mm or 35mm. and you can get adapters to fit almost any lens to any mount. you can also use PL-mount 35mm primes on your 16mm camera as well; i've used zeiss super speeds and cooke s4's on 16mm with nice results.
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#4 Chance Shirley

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Posted 01 December 2005 - 01:51 PM

Thanks for the feedback, guys.

I currently have a long zoom (the very average 15-150 Angineux), but I'd like something sharper. I started checking prices and realized I could get an older set of Zeiss superspeeds for cheaper than a good zoom. So I've decided to go the prime lens route and would like a longer prime to augment all the standard wider primes.

Now that I know it's feasible, I'll be on the lookout for an 85mm.

Thanks again...
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#5 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 01 December 2005 - 07:44 PM

You can also consider using SLR lenses. Long focal lengths are "easily" sharp. Consider Nikon lenses. It shouldn't be a problem to find a Nikon/B mount intermediate. I just mention that because they are much cheaper than Zeiss lenses and are honestly very good as well.
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#6 Steven Budden

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Posted 01 December 2005 - 07:58 PM

Depends also on what you're shooting. If you're doing a documentary, switching primes might not be an option. But for a feature, where there is ample set up time, primes might work even better than a zoom in some ways.

Steven
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#7 Chance Shirley

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Posted 01 December 2005 - 08:26 PM

Thanks for the additional feedback, guys.

My camera's "native" mount is actually an Aaton mount. I'd heard there are adaptors to convert still camera lenses to Aaton but was unsure about the quality. Also, I know many still camera lenses are on the slow side, and I tend to shoot with low light.

I'm looking for primes for a feature. I shot my last feature with the previously-mentioned Angineux zoom. I thought it looked pretty good, and a zoom is definitely handy, but I'd really like my next flick to look as sharp as possible, and I think some primes would help in that area. Even if it slows down the production a bit.

Thanks again...
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#8 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 01 December 2005 - 08:48 PM

I mentionned that because you are looking for long lenses on a super 16 camera. Nikon are honelstly pretty good enough and not so slow ! my 50 mm opens at 1.4, my 85 at 2. and 3.5 for a 135 is not that bad, I think.
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#9 Mitch Gross

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Posted 02 December 2005 - 01:02 PM

If you have an Aaton mount camera then you have a few excellent options. You can get a B-mount adapter and use longer B-mount primes, which are very much available for purchase or rental. Or you can get a Nikon adapter and use Nikon-mount lenses. Just make sure you get a Nikon lens with manual focus and iris controls (some of the newer auto models won't let you control the lens any other way). Or you can get some Zeiss Contax still lenses that have been converted to Aaton mount directly. I have all three and use them frequently. The Contax lenses are available in 28 (rare), 35, 50, 85 & 135 lengths. I've put 400mm and even 1200mm Nikons on my camera plus I own a set of b-mount primes which I use with my adapter all the time.
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#10 Chance Shirley

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Posted 02 December 2005 - 01:11 PM

Mitch,

Where did you purchase the Zeiss Contax lenses with Aaton mount? That sounds like a cool solution for me.

Thanks...

Edited by chance, 02 December 2005 - 01:11 PM.

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#11 Mitch Gross

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Posted 02 December 2005 - 01:23 PM

It's been years so I can't recall. Try VisualProducts.com.
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#12 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 02 December 2005 - 01:26 PM

Mitch,

Which of the various Zeiss Contax primes do you own? Are they Planar, Sonnar, Distagon or Biogon? Which series would you recommend for an Aaton kit?

Thanks

Stuart
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#13 Mitch Gross

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Posted 02 December 2005 - 01:47 PM

Let's see (as I pull out the lens case...)

35mm - Distagon T1.4

50mm & 85mm - Planar T1.4

135mm - Planar T2.1


These are the standard converted lenses that are available in Aaton mount. I've also seen a 28mm.

Don't get too hung up on which models. Jorge Diaz-Amador of CinemaTechnic, Inc. in Miami (http://www.cinematechnic.com) has an excellent page on his site where he explains the meaning behind the various names like Distagon that Zeiss uses. He rebuilds and sells these lenses daily and he certainly knows what he's talking about. Sometimes a name is just that, and if you want a Zeiss 50mm T1.4 lens, you're going to get a Planar no matter what.
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#14 Stephen Williams

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Posted 02 December 2005 - 01:58 PM

Jorge Diaz-Amador of CinemaTechnic, Inc. in Miami (http://www.cinematechnic.com) has an excellent page on his site where he explains the meaning behind the various names like Distagon that Zeiss uses. He rebuilds and sells these lenses daily and he certainly knows what he's talking about.


Hi,

I second that Jorge is most helpful. E-mail him he will happily give you a very detailed answer to any questions you may have. I originally "met him" on Ebay!

Stephen
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#15 andrewbuchanan

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Posted 02 December 2005 - 03:48 PM

I have a Nikon to c-mount adapter on my eclair, when I want super tele, I flip the PL mount around and use Nikkors. They are outstandingly sharp, a little warmer than my Optars... but very cheap to rent or own. I think the 300 - 600 are some of the sharpest lenses you will ever see.
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#16 Edward P. Davee

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Posted 02 December 2005 - 05:32 PM

If you have an Eclair, you might be able to find a nice c-mount to Contax adaptor. I think they are pretty rare though. I was lucky enough to find one on ebay for $10. The company that made it is called Kenko.

If you go with Contax Zeiss lenses you can find a 50mm planar f1.4 for about $150 and a 85mm/1.4 Distagon lense for around $500 in near mint condition. Same glass as super speed's, significantly cheaper.
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