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Canon 15-150mm vs. Angenieux 15-150mm


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#1 JP Creatives

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 11:50 AM

Hello,

Both of these lenses cover s16mm completely. However, the difference between them is about a $1000. I was wondering if anyone actually has seen results from both of these and would care to share their honest opinion.

Is the optical quality of the Angenieux really that much better than the Canon (which I believe is a TV lens)?

I understand the Canon is not a cine lens and it's a TV lens and it's not made for filmmaking, etc. I appreciate it if you feel this does matter, but I just want to know from those who have actually seen the visual results of one or the other.

I don't mean to be rude, but I don't need warnings and speculation, unless you have first hand viewed footage from or have used these lenses.

Thanks,

JP
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#2 Ian Marks

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 03:32 PM

I know this isn't what you're asking for, but I've wondered myself. I actually own both the Angenieux and Canon, and it has long been my plan to do a side by side comparison. The problem is that my Canon is in a C mount and my Angenieux is in an Aaton mount, and I don't have an Aaton. I bought the Angenieux because I had an opportunity to get it at a bargain price and in mintish condition, and because I thought I saw an Aaton in my future (I still do).

I can't test the C-mount Canon on my ACL until I have a repair made to the Eclair; I would also want to rig some kind of lens support, as the huge Canon 15-150 is too much for the C-mount alone. Having test-fitted the Canon to the Eclair, I can tell you that the view off the groundglass looked bright and sharp, on par with my 9.5-57mm Angenieux. Consider that the Canon cost about $45 delivered, whereas my 15-150 Angenieux was many times that.

Just looking at it, it's clear that the build quality of the Canon is very high, and I don't see why Canon would have built a lens to such a high standard if it didn't perform reasonably well - at least on par with other zooms of the era (like the Angenieux). I'm no expert, but it looks to me like it was designed to be a cine lens. On the other hand, around the same time Canon was making a line of C-mount prime lenses labeled "TV-16," indicating that they could be used for video or 16mm, but my 15-150 does not have this engraved on the barrel.

I have exchanged e-mails with Les Bosher, who has indicated that he has converted several of the Canons to "proper" (presumably Arri) mounts for 16mm use. He tells me that they are "very good" lenses and I tend to believe him, but you might want to e-mail him yourself.

So, eventually, I will run a test of the Canon on the Eclair (soon), and a test of the Angeniuex on the Aaton, but not at the same time, so this won't be a side by side test. (I know - another useless post from Ian.) If, at some point, you have an opportunity to buy the Canon lens for a pittance like I did, I don't see much harm in it.
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#3 JP Creatives

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 05:58 PM

Thanks very much, not a pointless post at all.

I was wondering where did you get the lens? Off Ebay?

If it you got it for $45 you can't go wrong.

Thanks again,

JP
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#4 Ian Marks

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 06:30 PM

I'll confess: I have two of them, both off Ebay, and both really cheap. I'm the king of cheap. One came with gears on the iris, zoom, and focus rings, which I presume means it was used in some kind of industrial setting, possibly in a housing. (The gears were easy to remove with a hex wrench.) The other came in the original Canon case, with a little zoom stick. I also have (if memory serves) a Canon 18-108 f1.6 which looks almost exactly like the 15-150. Not as useful a range, but I put in a (very) lowball bid and got it. I see there's one on Ebay right now (Auction no. 7606276449) listed at $60. Like the 15-150, it takes 77mm filters. With a 77 to Series 9 filter adapter, you can use all the same filters and shades that you would with an Angenieux zoom.
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#5 JP Creatives

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 06:54 PM

Does the 18-108 coiver super 16 as well?

Thanks a lot,

JP
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#6 Ian Marks

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 11:35 AM

I haven't checked it on the camera (but now that you've got me thinking about it, I will), but if these were marketed as "TV" lenses, they virtually had to, as the video pick up in those pre-CCD days was bigger than the Super-16 field - I think it was an inch across.
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#7 JP Creatives

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 12:00 PM

I haven't checked it on the camera (but now that you've got me thinking about it, I will), but if these were marketed as "TV" lenses, they virtually had to, as the video pick up in those pre-CCD days was bigger than the Super-16 field - I think it was an inch across.


This is true, thanks very much.

Duall camera in NY wanted to sell me a canon 15-150 for $850. They are sold on ebay for about $50, which is how much Duall bought one for about a month ago off ebay (I checked their history). You're guidance has saved me a great deal of regret.

Also, does the same ring true about the Fujinon TV zooms? They too were designed for video CCDs and I suppose they can cover Super as well? If they do, I wonder their quality.

JP
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#8 Ian Marks

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 01:03 PM

Duall seems to snag a lot of stuff at low prices that way. A company like that can afford to price things high and let them sit on a shelf for an extended period, knowing that eventually someone will walk in and pay their price. If you go to the website for Whitehouse Audio Visual, you'll see that they have an Angenieux 15-150 in Arri bayonet for $1,850, and another in C-mount for $1,250. Check fvesco.com out and you'll see that they have them listed for $1,500 (Arri standard) and $1,200 (C mount). They also have something really interesting on their site... a Canon 18-108 in CPR mount (for $800), which tells me someone thought enough of this lens to have it remounted (the CPR mount is very similar to the Aaton).

I should have mentioned before that Paul Hillman told me that he thought that the Angenieux was a very good, somewhat underrated lens for Super 16.

Of course, there are benefits to buying from a company like Duall or Whitehouse too - usually the staff is knowledgeable and the equipment has been serviced. I, however, would not pay that much for the Canon when they come up fairly regularly you-know-where for under a hundred bucks. I could have bought more of them, but what would be the point, when I have two...

I'm curious about what representations Duall might have made about the Canon 15-150... did they say anything about its optical performance? $850... ouch! If you go to Ebay and do a search for auction no. 7604337295, you'll see how little you could pay, if you're willing to do a little work.
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#9 Ian Marks

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 01:19 PM

Unfortunately, I don't know anything about the Fujinons, but I see a massive 16-160mm on offer from time to time. I suspect that they're not as well put-together as the Canons (which are really nice). I believe that many years ago a company called Zolomatic advertised a zoom for 35mm cameras which I suspect was a reworked Fujinon lens, maybe originally for broadcast video. At least I have vague memories of seeing small ads in American Cinematographer. Does anyone know?
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#10 JP Creatives

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 04:06 PM

I agree, someone will purchase the lens from Duall in a matter of time. Since they are reputable they can like you said keep stuff on a shelf for as long as it takes to sell. I just wish there didn't have to be an $800 turn around. But I suppose a lot of their business as well as many others thrives on the ignorance of the consumer.

I did ask him what he felt about the quality of the lens because I was also talking to him about the Angeneiux 15-150, and he simply replied, "Yes it's good quality, it's Canon quality." I suppose there is no reason for the lens to not perform pretty well. I have used Canon lenses on my SLR and XL1 and have been very pleased. It's Canon glass.

Of course he was trying to sell me, so I don't think he would have expressed any disdain for the lens in the first place.

There is a Fujinon on Ebay right now, a zoom 9.5-60mm I think (Definitley 9.5-something) and it looks like it is in really great condition. If it covers super 16 a zoom that wide could be a very valuable asset.

For the costs of these lenses I don't know how you could go wrong, even if you do one test with them and realize they aren't so magnificent. You can get them for a days rental fee.

I did see the auction you noted, where the lens is encased by that big box. $15 and some screws later and you could have a really sharp s16mm lens. These lenses seem to be widely unknown as an option. I am going to get one and give it a try. Then I will let you know/see what the results are.

JP
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#11 Ian Marks

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 06:40 PM

I see a 9.5 - 57 C-mount Fujinon - that must be the one you're talking about. I've never seen that particular lens, but it looks like it's newer and probably made for 1/2" or smaller CCD cameras. I'm 99% sure that it won't cover Super-16, and possibly not even regular 16, at focal lengths below about 20mm. Part of the appeal of the Canon 15-150, ironically, is that it's an older design, and so designed to cover the older, bigger-than-Super-16 video pick-up area. There is also a very common 25-100mm Canon, which is a really old design and not a very useful range at all - and I've heard it's a poor performer. Basically a lens to avoid.

However, the Fujinon is cheap, and there's nothing stopping you from giving it a go if you're willing to risk a few bucks. Ironically, it's the same focal length range as one of my favorite reasonably-priced Angenieux zooms, the 9.5 - 57 F1.6, which is light, small, fast, sharp, and focusses to two feet. It's not good for Super 16, but may be one of the best arguments out there for the Ultra 16 format (discussed ad nauseum in other threads).

Personally, I'd skip the Fujinon and wait for a good Canon 15-150 at around $50-60 to come around. Then we can both shoot tests and compare notes. What kind of camera are you going to be using, anyway? Bear in mind that the Canon 15-150 is big and heavy, a bit too much to hang off a C-mount turret without some additional support.
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#12 JP Creatives

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 09:04 PM

I didn't plan on going for the Fujinon, and now that you inform me that it would most liekly not cover super 16mm I definitley won't.

I am going to wait for a Canon 15-150 and go for that. They seem to be up there prety frequently.

I am going to be using it an NPR. I will have rods so I don't think it will be too difficult to make up some kind of support.

THanks again,

JP

Edited by JP Creatives, 07 April 2006 - 09:06 PM.

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#13 lluis

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Posted 08 April 2006 - 03:56 AM

The Ang 15-150 was designed for 1" tube video c-mount and for Arri cameras also. I think that the optical quality is similar to the others st16 Ang zooms (12-120 or 10-150). Canon 'TV-16' means the 16mm diameter coverage of the 1" tube video, which is a little bigger than super 16 area (14.5mm). Since these old lenses were designed to use without prism in camera it's possible to think that will be good optical corrected for super 16 movie cameras also... I have the Canon 15-150 TV-16 converted to Aaton mount and it works really good (specially also for its price): good sharpness and contrast (surprising for a video lens!!) with a little desviation to green color (easy to correct later). I consider it better than the old Angenieuxs zooms that I tested, which were specially soft until T4-5.6... (and not super 16).
All the best,
Lluís
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#14 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 08 April 2006 - 01:27 PM

Unfortunately, I don't know anything about the Fujinons, but I see a massive 16-160mm on offer from time to time. I suspect that they're not as well put-together as the Canons (which are really nice). I believe that many years ago a company called Zolomatic advertised a zoom for 35mm cameras which I suspect was a reworked Fujinon lens, maybe originally for broadcast video. At least I have vague memories of seeing small ads in American Cinematographer. Does anyone know?


I remeber the zolomatic. 28-280mm. Two models: with and without sidefinder.
Did see somewhere that they were actually fujinons, but can't say if they were rebuilt broadcast lenses or cine lenes.
The side finder inclines me toward actual cine lens. But angie made lenses in cine and Tv versions.

---LV
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#15 Ian Marks

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Posted 08 April 2006 - 03:11 PM

The Ang 15-150 was designed for 1" tube video c-mount and for Arri cameras also. I think that the optical quality is similar to the others st16 Ang zooms (12-120 or 10-150). Canon 'TV-16' means the 16mm diameter coverage of the 1" tube video, which is a little bigger than super 16 area (14.5mm). Since these old lenses were designed to use without prism in camera it's possible to think that will be good optical corrected for super 16 movie cameras also... I have the Canon 15-150 TV-16 converted to Aaton mount and it works really good (specially also for its price): good sharpness and contrast (surprising for a video lens!!) with a little desviation to green color (easy to correct later). I consider it better than the old Angenieuxs zooms that I tested, which were specially soft until T4-5.6... (and not super 16).
All the best,
Lluís


Thanks so much for the valuable information! Come to think of it, I have seen the video version of the Angenieux 15-150 (usually with some weird mount), so I shouldn't be surprised that Angenieux designed it that way. I'd bet that Canon took the same approach with their 15-150.

Very glad to hear you're happy with the Canon on your Aaton! Who did the mount conversion, and how expensive was that?

I am going to wait for a Canon 15-150 and go for that. They seem to be up there prety frequently.


I think that's a great idea. Here's another interesting lens I spotted:

http://cgi.ebay.com/...1QQcmdZViewItem

(or do a search for the item number: 7607978563)

A bit overpriced though.
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