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Computars vs. Switars vs. Fujinon TV C-mount lenses


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#1 Ian Marks

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 01:43 PM

There's a discussion on another thread about the 10mm Switar which has swung to a comparison of the Kern Switar lenses and the much less expensive Computars (which I think are made by Pentax). Does anyone have any experience with the Fujinon lenses? I see them on Ebay all the time at give-away prices, and they include a nice 9mm focal length, as well as the usual 12.5mm, 25mm, 50mm, and 75mm. If the 9mm covers Super-16 and was reasonably sharp, it could be the bargain of the century.

Edited by Ian Marks, 18 December 2006 - 01:44 PM.

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#2 Sir Alvin Ekarma

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 05:17 PM

According to the folks at Chambless, most of the lenses under 12.5 are meant for 2/3" CCD cameras so they're good for R16, but bad for S16 (or so the rule of thumb goes). And if it means anything, all CCTV lenses they sell are Cosmicar http://www.chambless...alog/lenses.htm .

Re: 9mm S16/R16 lens. I was able to whip up a good 9mm lens using a computar 12.5mm lens and a Cosmicar wide angle attachment-- total cost under $100. check out the thread here http://www.cinematog...n...c=5646&st=0
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#3 Ian Marks

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 07:08 PM

Sir Alvin, if the 12.5mm with wide-angle supplementary lens arrangement is working for you, great, but wouldn't a proper 9mm be better? Having said that, I have a 10mm Schneider with a Nizo ultra wide adapter on it and it rocks.
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#4 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 08:30 PM

Does anyone have any experience with the Fujinon lenses? I see them on Ebay all the time at give-away prices, and they include a nice 9mm focal length, as well as the usual 12.5mm, 25mm, 50mm, and 75mm. If the 9mm covers Super-16 and was reasonably sharp, it could be the bargain of the century.

I always had heard that the COSMICARs were made by pentax. One thing I have noted is I have a cosmicar which came on a sony TV camera that comes too far towards the focal plane to clear the shutter on my filmo. A TV lens can be mere milimeters away from the CCD or Vidicon face., the shutter gets in the way in a filmo, and I belive a Bolex would need even more room to allow for the prisim...

I might be worth trying a Fujinon, worst case would be to re-list it.
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#5 Sir Alvin Ekarma

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 08:46 PM

Sir Alvin, if the 12.5mm with wide-angle supplementary lens arrangement is working for you, great, but wouldn't a proper 9mm be better? Having said that, I have a 10mm Schneider with a Nizo ultra wide adapter on it and it rocks.


A proper 9mm would be nice but if wishes were horses... I do have a 8mm Peleng but it doesn't agree w/ my Bolex for some crazy reason-- it's a bit soft; it works just fine on my K3 though. The 10mm schneider looks like something I might look into later, what with them being S16 safe and all.
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#6 James Erd

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 08:52 PM

A proper 9mm would be nice but if wishes were horses... I do have a 8mm Peleng but it doesn't agree w/ my Bolex for some crazy reason-- it's a bit soft; it works just fine on my K3 though. The 10mm schneider looks like something I might look into later, what with them being S16 safe and all.


Is your Bolex reflex? Could be that the lens is not compatible with the prism. If you Bolex is H16 Standard then I have no idea. Either way I'd like to know because I was interested in the 8mm Peleng.
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#7 Sir Alvin Ekarma

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 09:13 PM

Is your Bolex reflex? Could be that the lens is not compatible with the prism. If you Bolex is H16 Standard then I have no idea. Either way I'd like to know because I was interested in the 8mm Peleng.


It's an S16 Bolex EBM and I wouldn't recommend the Peleng. The image was always off. If I had to do it again, I'd get that 10mm Schneider as it's about the same price. Other debits to the Peleng: crazy distortion, it's slooooow, and you need to rig up a french flag because any light that strikes the convex lens directly will cause flare that will only be visible once you get it developed or telecined; I had to put together a flag w/ a 4x6" piece of blag foam core and held it right above the lens w/ heavy armature wire taped to the camera whenever I was outdoors . The same flare problem is also found in the 17mm Zenitar.

Edited by Sir Alvin Ecarma, 18 December 2006 - 09:15 PM.

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#8 James Erd

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 09:21 PM

It's an S16 Bolex EBM and I wouldn't recommend the Peleng. The image was always off. If I had to do it again, I'd get that 10mm Schneider as it's about the same price. Other debits to the Peleng: crazy distortion, it's slooooow, and you need to rig up a french flag because any light that strikes the convex lens directly will cause flare that will only be visible once you get it developed or telecined; I had to put together a flag w/ a 4x6" piece of blag foam core and held it right above the lens w/ heavy armature wire taped to the camera whenever I was outdoors . The same flare problem is also found in the 17mm Zenitar.


Thank you. It's nice to get a critical opinion before investing money on a lens. It just seemed like an easy way to gets good coverage for Super 16.
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#9 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 19 December 2006 - 02:35 AM

Since TV lenses are designed to be used with a lower resolution medium (video), I'm not sure if you would get optimal image quality if such lenses were used to expose film. I would think that film lenses would have higher resolving power. Though can anyone here say from experience that they have obtained sufficiently good or even impressive looking film images when using video lenses?
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#10 Ian Marks

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Posted 19 December 2006 - 01:05 PM

Since TV lenses are designed to be used with a lower resolution medium (video), I'm not sure if you would get optimal image quality if such lenses were used to expose film. I would think that film lenses would have higher resolving power. Though can anyone here say from experience that they have obtained sufficiently good or even impressive looking film images when using video lenses?


I think this a grey area. In the last week several people have stated here that they are getting Switar-like quality from their inexpensive Computar lenses.

Also, there are video lenses intended for broadcast (many of which carry stratospheric prices when new), and video lenses intended for low-resolution surveillance cameras, and there are those intended for high-resolution "machine vision" work, and I guess there's some cross-over.

The 10mm Cinegon is sold by Schneider these days as a machine vision optic, but its Cinegon designation seems to give away its origins as a cine lens. It's plenty sharp for 16mm.

Also, at one time lens manufacturers recognized that some of there lenses would work for either video of film applications. The early video cameras had 1-inch pickups (this was before small, modern CCDs), so the 15-150mm Angeneiux, as far as I can tell, was sold in both markets. That lens is now in demand for Super 16 work and commands fairly high prices - much more than the ubiquitous 12-120mm.

Canon also had a C-mount 15-150mm zoom, and while these were sold as "TV" lenses Les Bosher and others have said that they're are quite good for film use. I have two of them that I picked up for next to nothing, but I have yet to shoot a test on my ACL because I will need to rig up some kind of support. These lenses too heavy for the camera's C-mount to support on it's own. I also have a 18-108 Canon which I'm eager to try out with some film. It's an odd focal length range, but it's quite fast for a zoom at f1.6.

Finally, Canon used to market a line of "TV16" lenses - for use with video or film, which obviously had to cover for 1" video, so they should be good for Super 16 as well.

Edited by Ian Marks, 19 December 2006 - 01:05 PM.

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#11 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 19 December 2006 - 03:49 PM

Finally, Canon used to market a line of "TV16" lenses - for use with video or film, which obviously had to cover for 1" video, so they should be good for Super 16 as well.


These were the primes used on first Super16 movie Lykliga Skitar' Happy shits.
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#12 Ian Marks

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Posted 19 December 2006 - 06:16 PM

Wait, Leo... are you saying the lenses were sh*ts? I have the 13mm f1.6, 50mm f1.4, 50mm f1.4, and 100 f2.0, and all seem like good lenses for their day.

from the New York Times' site:


Lyckliga Skitar

Directed by: Vilgot Sjöman

The director of this film, Vilgot Sjoman, is better-known for his film I Am Curious, Yellow. Here he explores the situations arising from the efforts of a naive, or perhaps only rather stupid, young man as he attempts to cope with notions of love, honor and responsibility. These notions are thrust upon him in the form of a pregnant woman living on his houseboat with him. Though he is not the father, he gallantly offers to marry her. She refuses but lets him become involved with her in a left-wing protest effort, which he doesn't understand. ~ Clarke Fountain, All Movie Guide
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#13 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 01:53 PM

Wait, Leo... are you saying the lenses were sh*ts? I have the 13mm f1.6, 50mm f1.4, 50mm f1.4, and 100 f2.0, and all seem like good lenses for their day.

from the New York Times' site:
Lyckliga Skitar

Directed by: Vilgot Sjöman

The director of this film, Vilgot Sjoman, is better-known for his film I Am Curious, Yellow. Here he explores the situations arising from the efforts of a naive, or perhaps only rather stupid, young man as he attempts to cope with notions of love, honor and responsibility. These notions are thrust upon him in the form of a pregnant woman living on his houseboat with him. Though he is not the father, he gallantly offers to marry her. She refuses but lets him become involved with her in a left-wing protest effort, which he doesn't understand. ~ Clarke Fountain, All Movie Guide


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#14 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 02:21 PM

Wait, Leo... are you saying the lenses were sh*ts? I have the 13mm f1.6, 50mm f1.4, 50mm f1.4, and 100 f2.0, and all seem like good lenses for their day.

from the New York Times' site:
Lyckliga Skitar


Sorry, but I was about to be bumped and had to send prematurely.
'Happy Shits' is the English translation of 'Lyckliga Skitar'. Not that that was used as the American release title.

Skit=>scat, as in scatological.

The point would have been that they were considered good enough for a blowup to 35mm.

Sjoman's next movie, 'Troll', was also S16, though IMDB's techSpecs lists it as 35mm.
A Canon 14-84mm prototype was used on 'Troll'.
The things one remembers from old ACs.
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