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Lens choices for a Fries Mitchell…


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#1 Jay Taylor

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 11:41 PM

Hey guys,

So I just bought a Fries 35R (pellicle) from Ken Stone. Now I'm looking for some lenses.

The Fries I have has a Nikon mount, so I could use those, but I'm concerned by the lack of wide angle choices. If I use an 18mm Nikon, it crops, correct? So what I end up with on film is actually more like a 27mm? Right? Is there any kind of modification you can have done to the lenses to correct this?

I'm starting to look at other possible choices, but I realize I'm limited by the fact that it's the pellicle Fries. I could get a BNCR mount, and use some super baltars. What do you guys think of these lenses? I've heard they're very low contrast. I think I know what that means, but does anyone care to expand on that? Anyone have some stills from shots done with super baltars? What are the specs on these? Most are T2.3, but what is the close focus?

I realize The Godfather was shot with super baltars, but what else?

I think I've heard that you can use PL mount lenses, but it's a very limited choice. Does anyone know which lenses can work? Would the older Zeiss, or maybe the Cooke Speed Panchro lenses work any better?

It seems strange to me that the Nikon mount and still lenses are such a popular option, given the limited wide angle options.

Jay



P.S. You guys might be wondering why I went with the pellicle Fries. It's because I'm doing a lot of animation, so the mirror shutter version wouldn't really work for me!
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#2 Patrick Neary

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 09:35 AM

Hi-

An 18mm nikon is going to give you essentially the same FOV as any other 18mm. Nikon also made a very nice and sharp 15mm rectilinear lens, and I don't think the rear element would bump into your pellicle.
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#3 Jay Taylor

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 11:39 AM

Hey Patrick,

I understand that an 18mm is an 18mm regardless of your format. However, since the Nikon's are made for still lenses, which uses twice the negative, wouldn't it end up cropped with motion picture film? That would mean I'm not getting the full 18mm field of view, or am I misunderstanding?

Jay
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#4 Patrick Neary

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 12:54 PM

Hi Jay-

Well, you're getting the FOV of an 18mm lens. But it's no different if you got an 18mm Zeiss or Cooke, you'd get the same composition and FOV through your viewfinder with any of those lenses.

If you wanted the same FOV on your Fries that an 18mm gives you on a Nikon still camera, then yes, you need to find something wider, like the 15mm I mentioned.

I believe the problem you will run into though with wider lenses on your Fries is that some rear elements may stick back too far into the camera and bonk into the pellicle.

Stephen Williams and Paul Breuning are the resident Fries owner/experts here, maybe they will chime in on what they have found works best in the wide-angle arena!

(congrats on getting the camera, by the way- if it's one of the units he had up on ebay recently, it looked like a really nice set-up!)
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#5 Jay Taylor

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 01:32 PM

Hey Patrick,

OK, let me see if I understand this. An 18mm Nikon, Canon, Zeiss, Cooke, etc., will all give me the same FOV on my Fries. But an 18mm on a still camera will give me a wider FOV. Is that correct?

As far as some of the wider Nikons hitting the beamsplitter, I was under the impression there weren't any problems with this? According to the Fries website the only Nikons that won't work are the older fisheye lenses that required mirror lockup. Is this not the case?

Jay
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#6 Patrick Neary

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 02:32 PM

yup. your nikon (camera) is just using more of the image circle projected by the lens.

I haven't kept up with Nikon glass. I have used the 15 extensively and it's great. The lenses that require mirror-lockup are obvious, because they have what looks like a long pipe sticking out of the back of the lens.
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#7 Jay Taylor

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 03:40 PM

Hey Patrick,

Thanks for the help! It all makes a lot more sense to me now! Might have to hunt down one of these 15mm's you're talking about.

Now if Stephen and Paul could chime in with any issues they've come across with using the Nikons?

Jay
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#8 Stephen Williams

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 05:21 PM

Hi,

If you got that camera for $3500 on Ebay from Ken you got a bargain.

For Animation Nikon's are fine, if you go for Super Balatars watch the 50mm may hit the beam splitter when focused at infinity, (don't ask how I know) it's an easy mod to fix. PL mount is a waste of time as many lenses won't clear the beam splitter.

Stephen
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#9 Jay Taylor

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 05:40 PM

Hey Stephen,

Yes, I got the one for $3500!

Any issues with any of the Nikons? Do they all clear the beam splitter alright?

I read your other post about the beam splitter shattering! Other then that, how do you feel about the super baltars? I've looked through the forums, and what I've read is that they're very low contrast, soft compared to modern glass, and tend to flare.

Haven't really seen very many examples though, besides the Godfather!

Any idea how much a set would go for?

Jay
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#10 Stephen Williams

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 01:48 AM

Hey Stephen,

Yes, I got the one for $3500!

Any issues with any of the Nikons? Do they all clear the beam splitter alright?

I read your other post about the beam splitter shattering! Other then that, how do you feel about the super baltars? I've looked through the forums, and what I've read is that they're very low contrast, soft compared to modern glass, and tend to flare.

Haven't really seen very many examples though, besides the Godfather!

Any idea how much a set would go for?

Jay


Hi Jay,

Any Nikkor that works on an SLR without having to raise the mirror will work fine.

The Super Balatars are softer 'Beauty' lenses, lower contrast & will flare more than modern glass. They were used on 1000's of Hollywood features, they were state of the art when new.

A perfect set bought from a rental house probably about $5000, lenes from Ebay $300 each.

Stephen
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#11 Jay Taylor

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 11:52 AM

Hey Stephen,

Thanks for your help! Maybe I'll rent some super baltars, and see if I like them or not.

Jay
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#12 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 02:04 PM

If you wanted the same FOV on your Fries that an 18mm gives you on a Nikon still camera, then yes, you need to find something wider, like the 15mm I mentioned.


Since the width of the still format is 36mm and the width of the S35 frame is 24mm, you'd need a 12mm to match 18mm in still formt.

But think how much worse the K-3 users have it with wide angles.
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#13 Hal Smith

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 02:50 PM

Did anyone ever make an Arri Standard to BNCR adapter? Is it possible? Then one could use the older Cooke and Zeiss glass on a Mitchell.
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#14 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 02:49 PM

Did anyone ever make an Arri Standard to BNCR adapter? Is it possible? Then one could use the older Cooke and Zeiss glass on a Mitchell.


Yes. We had some at Sawyer.
The rub is that the Arri mount won't clear the Mitchell mirror.
So they're for use with Arris and Moviecams with BNC mounts.

I suppose they would work on a rackover BNC.
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#15 Hal Smith

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 04:48 PM

Yes. We had some at Sawyer.
The rub is that the Arri mount won't clear the Mitchell mirror.
..........I suppose they would work on a rackover BNC.

Thanks Leo.

I've been tempted to bid on the BNCR on eBay right now. I do have an Angenieux 20-100 in BNCR but if my full set of Arri Std. Cooke SP II/III's can't work on it, I'd better pass. Darn!
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