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Old lens compatibility with Eclair-Arri S adapters


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#1 Isaac Chung

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 12:03 AM

I tried using an older 25mm Cooke Kinetal (Taylor Hobson) arri standard mount lens on my Eclair via it's adapter and found that the focus ring will not move. Additionally, the focus seems to be quite off.

Are these Cooke Kinetal Arri-S lenses incompatible with Eclair to Arri S adapters, and if so, what types of Arri-S lenses will be compatible?

Also, is there any way to fix this compatibility issue?
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#2 Tim Carroll

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 01:05 AM

I only know of one type of Cooke Kinetal 25mm lens and I actually have one. The way it focuses is that the whole barrel of the lens mount turns, sliding inside the standard Arri mount, while the internal elements are held by a tab in the base of the Arri standard mount.

I am not familiar with the Eclair to Arri S adapter but I can imagine why it would not work for that type of lens. Besides the Cooke Kinetal, the early Schneiders with the Arri Standard mount worked the same way. The later Schneider lenses were what I like to refer to as "internal focus"; the barrel of the lens mount stays stationary. Those may work with your adapter.

-Tim Carroll
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#3 Isaac Chung

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 02:05 AM

Besides the Cooke Kinetal, the early Schneiders with the Arri Standard mount worked the same way. The later Schneider lenses were what I like to refer to as "internal focus"; the barrel of the lens mount stays stationary. Those may work with your adapter.


Thanks Tim,
How about the old Zeiss Planars. Do they also focus this way?

Isaac
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#4 Tim Carroll

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 09:18 AM

Thanks Tim,
How about the old Zeiss Planars. Do they also focus this way?

Isaac


The only Zeiss lenses I have seen for the Arri S in Arri Standard mount focus the same way as the Cookes. Here's a picture of one from eBay.

Posted Image

The part of the lens that slides into the Arri mount, the kind of dark coppertone part, that, and the focus scale turn when focusing the lens. The flat black part of the rear of the lens, is held by a tab in the Arri mount, so the internals of the lens stay still in relation to the barrel (the dark coppertone part) rotating, which moves the whole internal elements closer or further away from the film plane. They may have made some that are "internal focus", I just have not seen them.

-Tim Carroll

PS: There is a Schneider 25mm 1.4 on eBay right now. I cannot swear it is the "internal focus" type, but every one I have ever run across was (the Schneider 25mm 1.5 is like the Cookes). But you may want to ask the seller, and right now it is at a pretty low price. I just bought one and it took me quite a while to find anyone who had one in decent shape, so the eBay route may be a good way to go.
Schneider 25mm f 1.4 on eBay
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#5 Ian Marks

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 12:40 PM

I have a 12.5 Kinetal in standard Arri mount that I use with a CP adapter. The adapter has little threaded pins which you tighten against the lens with a very fine hex wrench to hold it in place. When I first put this on the lens I recall thinking I had the same problem; however, when everything is put together properly and the lens mounted on the camera, the lens does rotate to focus, but the whole front assembly is turning. Focus, happily, is bang on. It's weird, but it does work, and it was an inexpensive way to get a wide angle with Super 16 coverage on my CP. If your focus is way off I wonder if your lens is fully seated in the adapter. Needless to say, the Arri lenses with internal focussing are preferable.
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#6 Tim Carroll

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 01:06 PM

Ian,

You can get full Super 16 coverage from a Kinetal 12.5? I did not know they would work for Super 16, I figured they would vignette.

-Tim
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#7 Ian Marks

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 01:13 PM

Yup. My plan was to use Nikon lenses (with adapter, of course) for the longer lengths and the Kinetal to cover the wide end of things.
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#8 Isaac Chung

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 04:29 PM

But would that only work with a CP adapter? I don't see any hex screws on my Eclair adapter.
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#9 Ian Marks

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 06:26 PM

I'm not sure. On the Eclair mount, you insert the lens and rotate clockwise until the lens is tightly cinched into the mount and holds firm (there's no locking "click"), so it sounds like there might be a problem. Then again, I don't think they would have sold so many of these adapters if you couldn't focus with them with the early standard lenses.

I actually have an Eclair to Arri adapter on the way to me, but it's an Arri Bayonet, and I don't know whether it's going to work with a standard mount lens. The seller tells me it was made by Les Bosher. I'm eager to see if I can get one of my Arri Standard mount lenses to work with it (I'll let you know). If not, I'll have to buy another adapter. I've got a 5.7mm in Arri Standard mount that I want to put on my ACL so I can do the "El Mariachi" thing. Of course, it will make no difference if that lens won't turn, because it's a fixed focus lens.
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#10 Isaac Chung

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 01:51 AM

I've tried different methods of putting the lens in the adapter, and it still won't work. Once the lens is in the adapter, the focus ring moves, but when the lever is pulled to lock the lens in (for standard mount), it's completely immovable. In fact, the lever lock does not fully engage.

If a different lens adapter altogether could work with these lenses, that'd be great. In fact, if you could let me know once you get yours, or if someone who's had experience with this write in---

I'm not sure if my adapter is from Les Bosher.
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#11 Ian Marks

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 12:23 PM

I'll definitely let you know how things go with my adapter. It's due to arrive this weekend. It sounds like you might have to use an internal focussing lens with the adapter after all, which is a shame, because the Kinetals are nice old-school lenses. Is there a lens tech in your area who could help you?
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#12 lluis

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 04:55 PM

Ian,

You can get full Super 16 coverage from a Kinetal 12.5? I did not know they would work for Super 16, I figured they would vignette.

-Tim


All the Cooke Kinetal lenses cover super 16, except the 9mm. They are warm tone and very very sharp. I have used them with my Aaton with apropiate adaptor.
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#13 Tim Carroll

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 05:41 PM

All the Cooke Kinetal lenses cover super 16, except the 9mm. They are warm tone and very very sharp. I have used them with my Aaton with apropiate adaptor.


Everybody keeps telling me how great the Kinetal lenses are and I can't figure it out. I have a set and just did a quick test with them and was not pleased with the result. Mine are the Arriflex versions with serial numbers in the 670,000 range and all have been recently serviced. I have the 12.5, the 17.5 and the 25. The 25 is quite warm compared to the other two, and I briefly had a 50 with this set, but it was like having a constant 85 filter on the lens, it was so warm. So far I have not found them to be particularly sharp. I have found them to be pretty contrasty, and I wonder if this is what some folks are referring to as sharp.

I want to do some more testing with them because the first test was not too complete. But after all I had heard, I was expecting better looking results.

-Tim
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#14 Ian Marks

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 01:11 PM

Isaac, my Arri lens to Eclair adapter was waiting for me when I got home last night, but I've only had a few minutes to look it over. It's an Arri bayonet-only model only from what I can see. I haven't put either of my Arri standard mount lenses into it yet, because that would mean removing the CP adapters that are currently on both of them. I did take an old Komura 2x teleconverter, which is an Arri standard mount, and put that in the adapter to check the fit. It went in with no problems, but once in there was no way it was going to turn in the mount - the tolerences are just too tight. I'm thinking that an internally focusing lens is going to be the answer to your problem - you'll probably have to avoid the early lenses which rotate in their mounts to focus. I hope this is helpful.

On another note, about Kinetal lenses in general, I suspect that since these are all fairly old now and were manufactured without today's advanced quality control measures, there's probably quite a bit of of variation from lens to lens, which would account for the differing opinions about them. I know mine had received some service before I bought it, because the back of it has been modified to clear the mirror/shutter on Arri BL and SR cameras. It might be that I just got lucky with mine, although obviously it's no Zeiss Superspeed. As for the variation in color rendition, I've observed how some lenses seem to go yellow with age... I suspect having to do with the particular optical glass used, and, possibly, with the cement in between the elements. I had an early Nikkor 35mm f1.4 lens at one time, and it was quite yellow compared to my other Nikkors of the same era. A little research on the internet suggested that this lens was manufactured with a special radioactive glass element, and these go yellow over time. One remedy that has been suggested to me was to leave the lens out where it will be exposed to bright sunlight.
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#15 Ian Marks

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 03:05 PM

Isaac, for what it's worth I removed the CP adapter from my 12.5 Kinetal last night and inserted the lens into the (Les Bosher-made, I believe) Arri to Eclair adapter I purchased on Ebay. I put this on my ACL, and it worked just fine. The lens rotates (the front section, as the mount is held immobile by the adapter), and the focus on the groundglass is sharp.
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#16 Tim Carroll

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 03:14 PM

It just dawned on me and I grabbed on of my Kinetals, if you are eye focusing (which is really the only good way with these lenses as the distance scales are microscopic) and your adapter does not have a pin that engages the inner notch in the back side of the lens, you can just clamp the mount barrel in your adapter and turn the front of the lens(which would turn the internal elements) to focus. You have to be careful and practice turning the internals of the lens, not the aperture scale, but it seems like it would work.

So, instead of holding the internals and rotating the mount barrel to focus, like you do on the Arri 16S, you hold the mount barrel in your adapter and rotate the internals to focus. That ought to work. But my concern would be that the adapter may have the internal pin that engages the internals of the lens and keeps them from rotating, because that is how the adapter would work with the "internal focusing" lenses I was talking about earlier. But maybe you can remove the internal pin in the adapter. . . and maybe I am just rambling here.

Just some thoughts,
-Tim
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#17 Ian Marks

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 12:25 PM

"It just dawned on me and I grabbed on of my Kinetals, if you are eye focusing (which is really the only good way with these lenses as the distance scales are microscopic) and your adapter does not have a pin that engages the inner notch in the back side of the lens, you can just clamp the mount barrel in your adapter and turn the front of the lens(which would turn the internal elements) to focus. You have to be careful and practice turning the internals of the lens, not the aperture scale, but it seems like it would work."

Tim, what you're describing is exactly how my 12.5 Kinetal works on my CP or on my ACL. The back portion of the mount is held in place by the adapter, and the front portion, including the aperture ring, rotates to focus. I didn't pay a lot for my Kinetal, so I don't mind this funky arrangement.
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#18 Isaac Chung

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 12:24 PM

Thanks for the responses. I also had a backfocus issue on all of the Cooke Kinetals I tried, so I think it has to do with the adapter. I'm in the process of trying to find a zoom lens to test instead. Most likely, the super 16 converted Cooke. Thanks again.
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#19 Jeff Clegg

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Posted 24 August 2006 - 06:44 PM

All the Cooke Kinetal lenses cover super 16, except the 9mm. They are warm tone and very very sharp. I have used them with my Aaton with apropiate adaptor.


lluis, what kind of adaptor do you have for your Aaton? I am interested in using some Kinetals next month and am looking for a way to use them on my aaton.

-Jeff Clegg
NH DP (US)
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