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#1 Luka Sanader

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Posted 04 December 2007 - 12:55 AM

Hi,

Something is worrying me for a long time now, and I would like to share my concerns with you, and ask on your opinion on this matter. As we all know there are only tow major manufacturers of motion picture lenses I the world (not counting panavision or other smaller or specialized shops). More and more, digital cameras are using 35mm lenses and definitely large number of personal 35 cameras are modified to PL. Demand is high and but nothing is going in the market, except that used equipment went thro the roof. Number of cameras per lens set is constantly growing and I am afraid that in year or tow we are going to have lot of headache over this.

Recently I went to see AC friend of mine on some low budget shoot; and they had S4 mounted via pro35 to digibeta camcorder. I must say that my knowledge of electronic camera is limited but that seems to me as overkill. I asked young DP way he decided on S4 and not on Zeiss SS or standards and he didn?t give me any valid answer except disrespect. On the other hand I know tow proud owners or Red cameras and by their standards even Master Primes are disputable of Red?s ability. If we say that truth is some ware in the middle; fact is that Red and Pro35 are both S35 format; all of as are going for tow possible solutions UP?s an S4?s.

I am facing a problem now! We are prepping a film and more then 70% of the scenes are in exterior. Estimated time now is a 9 weeks of shooting, but probably that will extend to 12. ?Weather? is one of the ?actors? in the movie and we are completely averred of possible extensions. If we count in brakes during that period we are facing approximately 12 weeks of shooting in 6 months period. Budget is limited and I can?t act as drunk seamen and rent for 6 months. We are shooting in S35 on 535 and 435 combo. Camera is not the problem but availability of S4 is an issue. I have my personal set of Zeiss standard primes in PL but I can?t mix them. I even considering to buy used set of UP as last option. I really like S4 and this project is definitely Cooke?s cup of tea.

Whole this story a side, lens set became a ?star? and almost mythical animal if your budget is tight or your project over stretched.

I had conversation with different industry people and heard some ideas about ?New thing from Russia? or ?cheep but superb lenses for digital camera? and so on. Somehow I think that is far from our daylily reality. So unless we work on big budget with Primo?s or Master Primes we are about to face some problem in future, mainly concerning availability of our favorite glass.

I must say that I had pretty good experience with Russian glass in the past. I shot documentary on Optar Ilumina lenses and one add with first series of Ellit?s. On boat occasions I was pleasantly surprised with results. And if we are talking abut future big production of lenses without Mechanical issues; am afraid that we will be in same demand. Especially today; when brand of the equipment is a part of a trend and image of some filmmakers.

I am afraid that noting new is going to happened on the market and number of cameras in demand for S35 will double in next couple of years; and we cinematographers have more DI options and possibilities then variety of lenses that we can use. This is pure absurd!
Its sure that this matter has already being addressed in other topics, but am wondering about wider picture here and I would like to know what you think on this subject.

I posted this in 35mm forum and not in Lens forum because this issue is directly affecting 35mm cinematography.

Thus are my 2-cent on a fact. I am sorry if I was to long or if I unwillingly offended someone. English is not my first; niter a second language, and I apologies for some misspelling I made in this post.
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#2 Mitch Gross

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Posted 04 December 2007 - 10:21 AM

This is an issue that many o us have seem coming for quite some time. In fact, it began a number of years ago when the Mini35 and then the Pro35 first came out. Before that SuperSpeeds were actually being sold off for next to nothing. Arri was giving away free lenses as promotions to help sell the 235 camera. Now they are a precious commodity and because of environmental restrictions they will never again be manufactured.

I will say that there is still only so much production out there and only so much worldwide call for any lenses at any given time. At a certain point supply will rise to meet demand. No company wants to be in the position of a vast supply of gear that is waiting on the shelf.
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#3 Todd Anderson

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 03:30 PM

Hi Mitch,

That was an interesting quote regarding the SuperSpeeds. I was wondering what the specifics were regarding the "environmental restrictions" in the production of the SuperSpeeds?

Thanks,
Todd
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#4 Mitch Gross

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 04:21 PM

Lead is required for their manufacture. Just like the EU's lead-free restriction necessitated the need to change solder and circuitry for a vast arrary of products, it also made it impossible to build SuperSpeeds based on their original design.
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#5 Max Jacoby

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 06:01 PM

So that's why the Master Primes are so big, it's because they are green ;)
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#6 John Sprung

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 08:12 PM

Lead is required for their manufacture.

That's a shame. Is it really a lot of lead? Sometimes I wonder if this environmental thing has gone too far.



-- J.S.
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#7 Phil Savoie

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 10:05 PM

Lead is required for their manufacture. Just like the EU's lead-free restriction necessitated the need to change solder and circuitry for a vast arrary of products, it also made it impossible to build SuperSpeeds based on their original design.


I spoke to Helmut Bajerke at the Zeiss factory in Oberkochen about the change in multi-coatings because of the new (this was in the late 90s) EU lead restrictions. As I got understood it the last run of Super Speeds - the third generation was the one to own. It was the latest and last set Zeiss made with the hard (with lead) multi-coatings. I remember when the first sets of of Ultra Primes came out the lads in rental at Arri Media in London told me they were going out mint and coming back skuffed up just from rough cleaning due to the new soft coating.
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#8 Jess Haas

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 10:54 PM

Maybe it is time for someone here in the states to pick up the slack.... The dollar being so weak could even help sales.

~Jess
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#9 Max Jacoby

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 04:30 AM

Apparently the 50mm, 65mm and 85mm Ultra Primes are the exact same design as the equivalent Superspeeds, with just a new coating and obviously a stop of T1.9 instead of T1.3.
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#10 John Sprung

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 01:52 PM

Perhaps there's a business opportunity here. Send the new lenses to some non-EU country to be coated with the good stuff.



-- J.S.
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#11 Mark Dunn

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 12:32 PM

Then you wouldn't be allowed to import it.
Tell me about it. The EU has just destroyed our barometer industry by banning mercury. Hasselblad had to discontinue a very popular camera, the X-Pan, because it had a tiny bit of lead solder and it wasn't a big enough seller to be worth redesigning. How many £1500 cameras were going to end up in landfill?
I'm not joking. Mobile phones and Ipods are one thing, but the film industry is one of those comparatively small markets which can't afford to redesign its products on some passing whim.
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#12 John Sprung

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 02:53 PM

Then you wouldn't be allowed to import it.

OK, so don't import it. Export motion picture production instead. Maybe the greenscreen/virtual set guys are behind it all ..... ;-)




-- J.S.
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