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zoom for steadicam


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#1 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 15 December 2005 - 06:45 PM

A DP that I am working with next week just called me and asked me what zooms I like to work with when on steadicam. I didn't have a good answer for him because I'm used to using primes in 35mm. I very rarely work with zooms in 35mm. He was asking specifically about a Cooke that he said weighed 13 lbs., and if it would be OK. I told him that I'd like to find something lighter, but didn't have any specific recommendations. Are there any zooms that any of you like, as far as weight and length go? I'd like to help him, as well as myself. All we are getting for the job are zooms. No primes at all. Which sucks, but what can you do.... The zoom he was asking about was 14mm on the wide end, and T3.1, so something comparable to that would be nice to find.
Any help is appreciated. The camera is a 435 I believe.
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#2 Tim J Durham

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Posted 15 December 2005 - 07:36 PM

A DP that I am working with next week just called me and asked me what zooms I like to work with when on steadicam. I didn't have a good answer for him because I'm used to using primes in 35mm. I very rarely work with zooms in 35mm. He was asking specifically about a Cooke that he said weighed 13 lbs., and if it would be OK. I told him that I'd like to find something lighter, but didn't have any specific recommendations. Are there any zooms that any of you like, as far as weight and length go? I'd like to help him, as well as myself. All we are getting for the job are zooms. No primes at all. Which sucks, but what can you do.... The zoom he was asking about was 14mm on the wide end, and T3.1, so something comparable to that would be nice to find.
Any help is appreciated. The camera is a 435 I believe.

Not that I would know anything about them, but these:

http://cameraservice...a/lens35_VP.htm

are allegedly quite a bit lighter than a typical cinezoom (atleast that's what I read).
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#3 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 15 December 2005 - 11:53 PM

Thanks Tim, but the vari-primes are too heavy for steadicam. I've seen it done, but it was silly. I found some good short zooms from Century. Probably won't be able to use them on this one, but it's always good to know.
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#4 Max Jacoby

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Posted 16 December 2005 - 03:01 AM

There is a new Cooke Zoom, 15-50mm, T2, which is only T2 and weighs 8 lbs, but I don't think it's available yet.

Same goes for the Arri/Zeiss Lightweight-zoom, 15.5-45mm, T2.6 and only 4.4lbs, but again I am not sure if it's available yet.

Then there's the zoom from Century that you mention, which is a rehoused stills lens. Vantage Film also have a 17-35mm zoom lens. I'm afraid that's all I can think of.
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#5 Mitch Gross

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Posted 16 December 2005 - 11:42 AM

Slow-Motion, Inc. makes an Elite lightweight zoom that is surprisingly nice for its lightweight and small size. I think it is a 25-80, so perhaps it doesn't get wide enough for your DP. The same lens is also available with a small anamorphot as a rear insert (it's tiny--the size of a thumbnail!) to make the lens a 50-160 zoom. There are a few quirks to this lens, such as funky retainer rings on the front to fit a clip-on mattebox and the zoom action on the barrel is not continous (you turn the ring the same speed but the zooming motion speeds up towards the longer end). But it is sharp with nice contrast and corner to corner brightness. Might be worth checking out--the thing is the size of a 16mm zoom.
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#6 Eric Steelberg ASC

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Posted 16 December 2005 - 12:39 PM

You should consider the panavision lightweight zooms. Fantastic image quality and I believe the smallest zooms out there. They are, from what I remember, converted still lenses. Check them out on the Panavision website.
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#7 none

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Posted 16 December 2005 - 06:12 PM

Another option is some zooms from Vantage Film (Germany). They have a very nice (rehoused Nikon) zoom, its 17-55mm T2.8, as well as a Hawk Spherical 10-24mm T2.5. I have used the Vantage (Nikon) 17-55mm, and I have to say, its a phenomenal lens. Weighs less than 4 lbs, something like 5"-6" long, and it focus' down to approx 1'. I can't speak from personal experience on the Hawk 10-24, but judging by their reputation for Anamorphics, I am sure its a sweet lens.

Check out Vantage Film, and go to the downloads section of the equipment page(s). There are some PDF's on the lenses I mentioned. You might give them a call (or email) and see if there are any rental houses in US that have their lenses in inventory.

respectfully,

j. elliott
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#8 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 16 December 2005 - 08:48 PM

Thanks for all the tips guys. I believe we're now getting a 17.5-35. We're also getting some primes now, including a 135mm, which should be fun. It's amazing how the budget grows when the rental house tells the producer he's crazy for trying to put a large zoom on steadicam. The weight doesn't really scare me since I've flown all the heaviest cameras before. But trying to balance the rig with all that weight up front would be the nasty part.
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#9 Max Jacoby

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Posted 17 December 2005 - 05:17 AM

135mm on steadicam? Your focus-puller will be happy :-)
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