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The Best Super 16mm LENSES what is your pick?


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#1 Jon Petro

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 03:45 PM

Hey guys,

Just wondering...if you could shoot with any prim set for super 16mm what would you pick and why?

I know there are not a whole lot of choices, but just wanted to see peoples choices and reasonings.

And I know the story and artistic goals will usually push you in a direction (usually the budget) none of this is a factor. If you had the power to use any. What do you think is the best lenses out there?

Jon
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#2 Chance Shirley

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 03:50 PM

Actually, there are a lot of choices. Assuming mount compatibility, any 35mm lens will cover the Super 16mm frame.

As for which lenses are best, if money isn't an object... I couldn't even guess. As far as I know, money is always an object.

Bang for the buck, I'm fond of the Optar Illumina primes.
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#3 Jon Petro

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 03:59 PM

Actually, there are a lot of choices. Assuming mount compatibility, any 35mm lens will cover the Super 16mm frame.

As for which lenses are best, if money isn't an object... I couldn't even guess. As far as I know, money is always an object.

Bang for the buck, I'm fond of the Optar Illumina primes.


You're right, no point limiting the choice to lenses made specifically for s16mm.

In that case I would have to go with Cooke S4s. They go as wide as 12mm which is good enough for me (although they did make a couple wider lenses for use with Super16).

They just seem like this unobtainable fantasy set.

Jon
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#4 Bobby Shore

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 10:11 PM

You're right, no point limiting the choice to lenses made specifically for s16mm.

In that case I would have to go with Cooke S4s. They go as wide as 12mm which is good enough for me (although they did make a couple wider lenses for use with Super16).

They just seem like this unobtainable fantasy set.

Jon


Arri Ultra Primes... no doubt.

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#5 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 10:19 PM

Arri Ultra Primes... no doubt.

Bobby Shore
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LA/Montreal


Bobby beat me to the punch. Ultra primes all the way, and then Cooke S4's second. Superspeed are awesome lenses as well, but being as they were the only lenses we had in filmschool, I'm so used to their look. I love ultra primes. I wish reading glasses were made out of the same materials.
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#6 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 10:46 PM

Probably Master Primes or Primos. The S4's are nice lenses as well. I think they're all good choices and my choice would probably vary depending on the type of project and the look I was after.
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#7 kevin jackman

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 10:54 PM

zeiss makes glass blanks for glasses
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#8 A. Whitehouse

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 01:57 AM

Probably Master Primes or Primos. The S4's are nice lenses as well. I think they're all good choices and my choice would probably vary depending on the type of project and the look I was after.


Hi Brad,
Are the Primos available as PL mount? I must admit Id always assumed panavision mount was incompatible but Ive never used a primo (or panavision specific anything). Is there an adapter? Or is PL the same? Are they S16mm lenses, whats the widest Focal length?
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#9 A. Whitehouse

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 01:58 AM

Oh, and does anyone have an opinion about the Elites? Angeneiux zooms?
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#10 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 03:24 AM

Hmm, I think I remember hearing about Primos in PL, but maybe not. I can't remember where that info came from and I've never used them, so it may be some confusion in my brain.
They're 35mm lenses, and I believe the widest is 10mm and the longest is 150mm, with lots of choices in between.
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#11 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 03:28 AM

Hi Brad,
Are the Primos available as PL mount? I must admit Id always assumed panavision mount was incompatible but Ive never used a primo (or panavision specific anything). Is there an adapter? Or is PL the same? Are they S16mm lenses, whats the widest Focal length?

No, Primos and other Panavision lenses are only available in PV mount, which only comes on Panavision cameras or Panavision-modified cameras like a Panavised Arri 435, 235 etc. Their cameras and lenses are only rented, never sold. PL mount is similar to a PV mount in that they both have four flanges and a locking pin but they are totally incompatible -- not only are the mounts a different size and shape (PV is smaller and looks like a "+", PL looks like an "X"), but the flange focal distance of each mount is different. BTW, while PL mount has the locking pin on the mount itself, the PV mount has it's pin on the lens and can only be oriented in one way. Primos are 35mm lenses.

I've recently had the chance to use the new Ziess Ultra 16 lenses (6, 8, 9.5, 12, 14mm, all T1.3) and they are the sweetest lenses I've ever used. They use the 35mm Ultra Prime housings with a 95mm front diameter, and they are color-matched to the UP's and Master Primes. The 6mm is my favorite lens -- it's totally rectilinear so it doesn't immediately scream super wide-angle, but it is in fact very wide, super-sharp and contrasty wide open. Stanley Kubrick would have loved this lens.
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#12 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 08:23 AM

zeiss makes glass blanks for glasses


And for quite some time, as they calculated the spherical point-focus lenses that modern glasses can trace their origin to. They were sold under the Zeiss Punktal label.
But actually, today's "Zeiss" glass blanks are, as far as I know, all manufactured by Schott anyhow (just like their cine-lens elements) and only feature the Zeiss logo.

Back to Topic:

With generous budgeting at hand, I would pick a Cooke S4. Reason? Because I would love to try them out (very egotistical reasing here ;) )

But the Ultra 16-series is a more reasonable choice after all. For Direct Cinema-style documentary filmmaking, the Distagon 12mm is a great match.

Is it just me or would anyone agree that Zeiss' color reproduction seems to me much colder, blueish, "clinical" when compared to Panavision Primos, which seem to have a much more sensually warming "flair" (not flare!)?


Oh, and does anyone have an opinion about the Elites? Angeneiux zooms?


With regard to older glass, the Angénieux Zooms ( :blink: ) adaptable for S16, those you usually get when buying an "old" Eclair or Aaton or Bolex, the Angénieux 10-150 is a really good lens, with only slight vignetting in the shorter focal lengths. Chances are, however, that the ubiquitous Angéniux 12-120 will be sticking on the camera instead-

My Bolex 16 Pro came with one, and I still resent that as I would have loved to see the alternative, highly-praised and rather rare Schneider 10-100mm on it (as I had better experiences with Schneider lenses over Angénieux lenses when filming on the Super 8 format).
Does anyone have experiences with that 10-100mm lens in the 16 Pro's servo housing adapation ?
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#13 Anthony Kennedy

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 01:42 AM

Bumping this thread!

Edited by Anthony Kennedy, 20 December 2012 - 01:42 AM.

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#14 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 08:09 AM

Well after the bump; I gotta say the Ultra Primes are my LEAST favorite lenses. Every times i've used them (mostly for 35mm) I've been disappointed. So; when it comes to lens selection; I almost always want to go with Cooke S4s (or S4ks). However, I also personally have a soft spot for the older Zeiss standard speeds. They aren't as clinical feeling; for me, as the newer Zeiss glass.
In terms of Zooms; the Canon cine zooms I have used have been more than adequate. Also used a Cooke (i think) Optex converted S16mm zoom which was very nice.

I own a set of Optar Illumina lenses. They get the job done-- when there is no budget-- but they really aren't the best.

I also had chance to throw a few Lomos on my rig which had been PL modified. They looked good-- a bit soft but I find that ok most of the time-- however the mechanics and the markings in meters really made them difficult to work with.

I don't think there is any singular "best" lens and we'll all have our own likes and dislikes. For myself, I try to match lenses to how I want the story to look. In the case of the UPs, even though I personally don't like the way they look, I have chosen them in past for the reasons I so dislike them--- namely their insane sharpness. In the end, It's more, for me, about making the director/client happy in the look they want and need for their story than it is about my own love for a particular optic.
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#15 Will Montgomery

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 06:43 PM

My favorite PL mount Super 16 lens is the Super 16 Zeiss 11-110. I shot it on an SR3 a few months ago and LOVED it. I don't think I would go with a prime set after using this lens.

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#16 Kyle Wullschleger

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:52 PM

Will, what's your close focus on the lens?
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#17 Gautam Valluri

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 07:52 AM

My favorite PL mount Super 16 lens is the Super 16 Zeiss 11-110. I shot it on an SR3 a few months ago and LOVED it. I don't think I would go with a prime set after using this lens.

Posted Image


A beautiful piece of optics!

Sorry for posting out of topic; Will, since you're a K3 vet- I have the Russian Bayonet version. Is it different from the Arri PL mount?
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#18 David Cunningham

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:08 AM

Does anyone know of a reasonably priced PL to C Mount adapter so as to attach a PL Mount Super 16 lens to my C-Mount Bolex? I don't need the ones with the optics designed for "fixing" 35mm PL Mount.
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#19 Will Montgomery

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 10:41 AM

Is it different from the Arri PL mount?

Yes. That K3 Bayonet is unique. But any adapter would cost as much as another K3 M42 mount anyway so I'd just pick another one up since there are so many more M42 lenses out there.
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#20 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 10:49 AM

The Zeiss 11-110 is a good lens but some people don't like how much it breathes, or that close focus is around 5 ft. Like Adrian, I think the Canon S16 zooms (particularly 7-63, 8-64, 11.5-138) are all excellent. Cooke also made some lovely zooms for S16, 10.4-52 and my personal favourite, the T1.6 10-30.

For primes I just can't go past Cooke S4s supplemented with SK4s.

"Best" is certainly subjective (and often quite subtle). For clinical perfection and speed you probably can't beat modern Zeiss, but then I've just finished PL mounting a set of 60's (35mm) Super Baltars - not terribly sharp, not flare resistant, not very fast, but man are they sweet and creamy!
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