Posted 26 October 2006 - 09:41 AM
There's a lot of generational baggage with 3-CCD cameras...It tracks all the way back to when cameras still used vacuum tubes. The sensors are actually at slightly different focal planes, and the lens has to compensate to avoid serious color fringing. (Apparently it was deemed early on in the development of color TV that it would be cheaper or easier to make the adjustment in the lens than in the optic block) If you're using really long lenses or very deep stops and thus have significant depth of focus, a film lens would theoretically be fine, but what fun is it to shoot at f16 at 300mm all the time?
[Certainly the sensor size is different between 35mm and 2/3", but that in and of itself wouldn't make the lenses incompatible...in the same way that 35mm PL lenses can be used on 16mm PL cameras...]
The DigiPrimes and DigiZooms are great lenses with excellent characteristics all around, since they were designed from the ground up with cinema applications in mind (instead of EFP and ENG), they're optimized for image quality - not for weight or ease of single person operation. Other digital cinema lenses and zooms from Canon and Fujinon share similar characteristics, but to my eye aren't up to the same level as the Zeiss products.
EFP and ENG zoom lenses have inferior characteristics (ramping, breathing, portholing etc) but are lighter and designed for use without an assistant. They're ideal when you have to move fast in doc environments.
Most of the adaptor systems to use film primes on digital cameras use a relay system that focuses the film lens on an oscilatting ground glass. The video camera is then focused on the ground glass and records that image. The significant advantage of these relay-based systems is 35mm-like Depth of Field. The disadvantages are light-loss (up to a couple stops), speed of use (the systems are cumbersome and awkward), and reliability. In the toss-up column is the softness in the image created by the ground glass. It can look filmic with texture, or just soft...