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Optar 8mm vs. 9.5mm - How wide can you go?


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#1 Cullen74

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 09:50 PM

I'm building a camera package I'm going to use to make a film. Many scenes take place within tight quarters--cars in particular. I'm debating on getting an Optar Illumina 8mm or 9.5mm. My question is--is the 8mm too wide? Is there significant distortion? Will it be worth the extra cost to get that extra width(the 8mm costs a bit more) and will it come in handy in tight situations? Or is it overkill? Or is there even a significant difference b/t the two lenses? Does anyone have any experience w/ Optar Illuminas--advice welcome.

Many Thanks,
Cullen
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#2 Michael Carter

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 10:17 AM

IF all lenses see the same amount at whatever mm focal length, and I don't know if they do, then my Angenieux 9.5 - 95 does see just a little bit more than 6 feet wide by 4 feet high at 9.5mm from 6 feet away. Hope that helps, at least it is a reference for you. I'd like to know what a 8mm lens sees from that distance.
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#3 Kar Wai Ng

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 11:46 AM

I've used both the 8mm and 9.5mm Illuminas. There's a big difference between the two; the 8mm is *very* wide. Whether or not you need the 8mm in a car depends on how wide you're thinking your shots are going to be.

The general feeling I get when I look through the viewfinder is that the 9.5 is a good wide-angle focal length that gets used often in interiors, but the 8mm look calls a little bit of attention to itself because it is so wide.
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#4 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 11:55 AM

IF all lenses see the same amount at whatever mm focal length, and I don't know if they do, then my Angenieux 9.5 - 95 does see just a little bit more than 6 feet wide by 4 feet high at 9.5mm from 6 feet away. Hope that helps, at least it is a reference for you. I'd like to know what a 8mm lens sees from that distance.


---Did you take trig in high school?

The math to figure it out is even simpler than that.

---LV
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#5 andrewbuchanan

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 03:05 PM

The distortion of the wide-angle lenses should be something you take into consideration too. When I am shooting, a lens with too much distortion can work against the narrative. For me, the 8mm and 9.5mm you are discussing might be too much of a distorted perspective for a dramatic story where I was trying to convey a sense of realism. They might work great for a surreal horror story where I wasnt too concern with real persectives, and was more into creating a feeling for the film. Different lenses have different amounts of distortion... the 9.5mm for example is very wide, but has a good deal less distortion than the 8mm even though the difference in focal length isn't huge. Don't just think of the glass in terms of what it will squeeze into a shot at a certain distance, think about how it will effect the viewer to see things from a certain perspective too.

That said, the widest pro lens you will get in S16 is the Elite 6mm, with a PL mount. You can get a Century 3mm in C-mount if you look hard enough, but I do not know the quality of this lens. Good luck.
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#6 Cullen74

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 04:18 PM

That's what I'm concerned about--the benefits of a wide frame vs. distortion. But judging from what I've read, the Optar 8mm has very little distortion. Yet--it may be 'too wide' all the same. Will a 9.5mm lens get me a nice frame in a small car...or worse, in a crammed backseat of a small car? Ideally, I'd like to test the two lenses out and see for myself but I don't think that option's available. Does anybody have experience w/ these two lenses, specifically Optars, in these types of situations?

Cheers,
Cullen
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#7 Mike Welle

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Posted 22 April 2006 - 01:44 AM

Here is a picture inside of a car shot with an 8mm Optar Illumina. The shot was taken on the long bridge which stretches across the Florida Keys just before Key West. I noticed that the corners were very sharp on this lens and it didn't seem to distort a great deal.

I hope this helps,
Mike Welle
Charleston, SC

That's what I'm concerned about--the benefits of a wide frame vs. distortion. But judging from what I've read, the Optar 8mm has very little distortion. Yet--it may be 'too wide' all the same. Will a 9.5mm lens get me a nice frame in a small car...or worse, in a crammed backseat of a small car? Ideally, I'd like to test the two lenses out and see for myself but I don't think that option's available. Does anybody have experience w/ these two lenses, specifically Optars, in these types of situations?

Cheers,
Cullen


Edited by Mike Welle, 22 April 2006 - 01:49 AM.

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#8 Cullen74

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Posted 22 April 2006 - 10:59 AM

Excellent--thank you very much Mike!

Kind Regards,
Cullen
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