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Lenses to use with Mini 35 Adapter


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#1 Mike Sorel

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 01:36 PM

Hi,

I am shooting a commercial in a couple of weeks with a HVR-Z1U and a Mini 35 adapter. I've never used a Mini 35 I am new to the world of film lenses. The local rental house has Zeiss Super speed prime lenses, and a couple of zooms. I am wondering wich is the better choice with the adapter? and if extra's as far as lens supports should be added?

Any other tips regarding the Mini 35 or lenses would be helpfull.

Thanks
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 01:56 PM

It seems that the main reason to use the Mini-35 adaptor is to get a shallow-focus look, so why use a zoom that only opens up to a T/2.8-4.0 split for example? I'd stick to either T/2 or T/1.4 primes. Also a 35mm zoom would be huge on that rig, really unbalanced. I'd be tempted, if I needed to zoom during a shot, to just pull off the adaptor and use the camera's own zoom.
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#3 Michael Maier

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 03:48 PM

Go with David, he's totally right. I asked P+S about zooms once and they were not encouraging at all.
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#4 Joseph White

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 04:40 PM

it depends on the look you're going for. 35mm zooms should definitely be avoided, unless maybe you used the zeiss variable primes but they're still pretty beefy. if you want a sharper look, i'd say go with the zeiss super speeds as they are compact, fast (t1.3), and really really sharp - i still use them all the time even when shooting with 35mm. if you want a softer, creamier look, i'd get yourself a set of cooke S4's (t2.0) - not necessarily my favorite glass out there, but they're insanely popular.

but yeah fast lenses and shooting close to all the way open will give you a sharp look with shallow DOF, like david says, the only real reason to use 35mm lenses on video cameras. it won't look like film, but you'll get nice fuzzy backgrounds.
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#5 Abraham Cherian

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 10:42 PM

A better option (or so we believe) with the mini is using 35mm still photography lenses - Nikon (if you need more contrast in your image) or Leica (if you need a slightly softer dreamier look). These lenses are lighter as well. This is something we do when we use the mini following the advice given to us by Alfred of P+S. Only make sure that the lenses you get can be used with the follow focus kit.
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#6 Michael Maier

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 04:45 AM

Problem with SLR lenses is the breathing.
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#7 Mike Williamson

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 11:39 PM

I was a first AC on a feature that used the Mini-35 adapter with a set of Zeiss Superspeeds and an Angenieux 25-250 zoom that opened to T3.9. One of the things that we found working with the Mini-35 was that if you stopped down the lenses too far, you would begin to see the texture of the spinning ground glass in the adaptor come into focus in the image. To combat this, the DP set a wide F-stop on the 35mm lens, usually T2.0 if I remember correctly, and then used the video camera iris to control exposure. Unfortunately, I don't remember what stops we were shooting when we'd begin to see the "rings" appearing, but I'd be suspicious of anything T4 and up, which obviously makes it difficult to use a number of zoom lenses.
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#8 Michael Maier

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 06:37 AM

It must have been an older 300 series model. The newer 400 series doesn't have much of this problem anymore. Anyways, closing the iris too far down goes against the whole short DOF for which you are using the adapter for in the first place, so you shouldn?t want to step down anyway. Besides it's easy to handle that problem there?s too much light just by using ND filters. That?s what you do when you want to keep the DOF short in any format actually.
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#9 Jayson Crothers

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Posted 11 December 2005 - 09:17 PM

I've only used the larger version (Pro-35) on HD and DVcam, but the same principles will apply.

Be meticulous in what lenses you rent - the device will exaggerate any aberations in the taking lenses - during one of my preps, we found our zeiss standard speeds were vignetting terribly all around the edges, so switched to super speeds that worked fine. My cooke zoom 10-1 (25-250) had some darkening in the corners at the long end of the lens, though my 5-1 (also a cooke, 20-100) worked fine. It varies from lens to lens, so just be certain to be very thorough in prep and check everything with the largest and best monitor possible - I did a multi-camera HD show with the pro-35 and for budget reasons one monitor was 9" and the other was 14" - the 9" showed few to no problems (with lens aberations) during prep, but the 14" revealed all.

Check postings from this year as well - a number of folks have chatted about the mini and pro-35.
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#10 Mike Sorel

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Posted 15 December 2005 - 02:01 PM

Thanks for all the advice,

It's has eased my mind about choosing the Zeiss Super speed primes, and staying away from the zoom lenses. I have plans to get the biggest monitor I can get my hands on to catch any imperfections right away. We shoot this sunday and I'm really looking forword to seeing how everything looks.

Edited by Mike Sorel, 15 December 2005 - 02:02 PM.

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#11 Michael Collier

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Posted 15 December 2005 - 03:17 PM

Yeah, definatley get a fast lens, you have to keep in mind that the gg looses about a stop to a stop and a half (this doesnt affect dof, but does affect how much light you need) so at T4, you would need a lot of light.

Also from talking with P+S (Im considering shooting a doc with it as well) they said not to shoot above f4 (on the relay lens/camera lens) because the gg grain will be in focus and not look right at all. I think someone mentioned rings on the 300 series. the 400 ozies will definatly eliminate the rings and centerspot of the 300 series, but if that grain is in focus it will look bad.
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