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panavised Sony F900


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#1 Scottie Mei

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 07:29 PM

Hi, I am shooting a project with panavised F900 HD cam and digi-primo. i wonder has anyone done a test with digi primo and Zeiss digi-prime?? thanks.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 07:33 PM

Hi, I am shooting a project with panavised F900 HD cam and digi-primo. i wonder has anyone done a test with digi primo and Zeiss digi-prime?? thanks.


It would be hard to since you can't put a Zeiss Digi-Prime on a Panavised F900.

The Digital Primo primes and zooms are nice, not quite as good as the Zeiss lenses when wide-open.

I like to use the 8-72mm Digital Primo zoom for almost everything; it's a good combination of size, weight, zoom ratio so that I don't have to switch lenses and deal with back-focusing all the time. But if you're going to do handheld / Steadicam, you need to use the primes.
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#3 Scottie Mei

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 07:43 PM

Thank you very much David, I am making a decision between using Panavised F900 with digi primo and F900R with Zeiss digi prime.the whole film takes place at night so I have some night exteriors at San Pedro harbor area which I want to be able to capture the nightscap in the backgroud, but concern about shooting wide open. I read an article about "Collateral", Paul Cameron switched to Zeiss prime because he thinks the digi primo was slightly softer. does the image turn soft when shooting wide open? any suggestions or tips you can share with me would be highly appreciated. thanks.
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#4 Kevin Zanit

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 08:07 PM

You can put a B4 mount on a F900 from Panavision, you just have to ask nice (or have someone in your camera department who knows what they are doing change it out themselves).

The Digiprimes are way better lenses than the Digital Primos. I am told they are very old, rehoused Canon lenses.

The Digital Primo zooms I find to be better than the primes, and I really liked renting HD equipment from Panavision, so I have always rented my HD stuff from them, in spite of the less superior optics.

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#5 Adam Paul

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 09:22 AM

I like to use the 8-72mm Digital Primo zoom for almost everything; it's a good combination of size, weight, zoom ratio so that I don't have to switch lenses and deal with back-focusing all the time.


Is this a problem with the Digital Primo primes? Why do you need to deal with back focus when switching primes? If the FFD is set right, back focus shouldn't be a problem right?
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#6 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 09:35 AM

Is this a problem with the Digital Primo primes? Why do you need to deal with back focus when switching primes? If the FFD is set right, back focus shouldn't be a problem right?


You need to adjust the back focus because of thermal expansion of the lens mount etc. This expands and contracts depending the camera's operating temperature, so the back focus needs to be checked if there are any temperature changes.

I've heard some horror stories about how sensitive the Panavison version is regarding its backfocus.
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#7 Gary McClurg

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 09:50 AM

You can put a B4 mount on a F900 from Panavision, you just have to ask nice (or have someone in your camera department who knows what they are doing change it out themselves).


Plus 8 is owned by Panavision now... see if they can help you out...
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#8 Stefan Nell

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 10:15 AM

Hi there Scottie

Just to confirm some of the replies to your post. We @ Panavision do supply B4 mounted Digital Primos and Primo Zooms. We have not had any problems regarding these lenses being soft when shooting wide open but I will not dispute anyone else's opinion or experiences on the Digital Primos. Obviosly I am biased but In my opinion the Digital Primo range is superior to other glass available on the rentals market. Shouls you want more info on these lenses please feel free to mail me .
stefan@panacamafrica.co.za

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Digital Imaging
Panacam Africa
Panavision South Africa
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#9 Kevin Zanit

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 04:56 PM

Respectfully, I have to disagree with you. I am extremely loyal to Panavision, their gear and people for the most part are what I consider the best in the business.

That said, the digital Primos are definitely not superior lenses to the Digiprimes. I have done side by sides several times, and have had people who work at Panavision (annomysly of course) agree that the line of lenses do have problems.

I still rent my HD gear from Panavision because I love the company, and if one reads my past posts I have never really had anything negative to say about Panavision, but on this one point, I can not agree with you that the Digital Primos are superior.
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#10 Max Jacoby

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 05:24 PM

I once prepped an F900 package at Panavision in London where we had the 3 Primo zooms. The focus-puller soon noticed that one of the zooms (I think the 8-72mm) had some sharpness problems. If I remember correctly one side of the image was somehow softer than the other. He called the Dop (a hardcore Panavision user) who must immediately have called his contact there, because soon after we had the whole Panavision London office in our testroom, claiming that if couldn't possibly be the lenses. But essentially we excluded everything else (monitor, camera) so the lenses must have been the culprits. We tried 3 different zooms, but they all showed the same problem, so in the end we picked the one where the sharpness drop-off seemed the least bad.
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#11 Kevin Zanit

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 05:55 PM

I have heard that same complaint from a few different people with regard to these lenses.
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#12 Elhanan Matos

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Posted 23 March 2007 - 01:07 AM

Just about every job that I have worked on in the past 6 months has been out of Panavision, one of them a TV show for roughly 4 months. We used the Primo zooms, the 6-27 and the 8 - 72. I have noticed that the 6 - 27 is the sharper of the two, but my biggest problem with them is that the majority of the lenses don't match in color, so if you will be renting from panavision make sure you do side by sides with the lenses if you are getting more than one lens.

I would say that I do have a fairly large bias towards Zeiss lenses. I used to work for the company responsible for the Zeiss Digiprimes, and have worked with them many many times. Now that I have said that, I do think that the Zeiss Digiprimes are probably the best lenses you can put on a camera with a B4 mount. Also there are the two zooms, the 6 - 24 and the 17 - 112, which are both gorgeous lenses.

There are also the Fuji E series lenses, which are also superb lenses, I would also say they are better lenses than the Digital Primos from Panavision.
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