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#1 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 01:44 AM

Just a couple things I've noticed recently, as I've had the chance to work with Canon lenses quite a bit. Both in shooting some 16mm, HDV and SLR as well.

I've noticed that there's something I don't particularly like about Canon. It's as if there's no contrast to them, or perhaps there's a certain amount of diffusion that seems to be build into the elements.

I have a friend who shoots a lot of Canon DSLR stuff. And no matter what she does, she's never to really accomplish any interesting contrast in her shots. They all appear incredibly flat and lacking much dynamic. Even when she shoots in b&w. She even took a shot of me on a bus, low light, no flash, overhead lighting, exposure was fine and yet somehow not a shadow on my face.

I've noticed this happening when I've toyed with the XL2 or XLH1 as well. At Macworld, when I was comparing the XLH1 to the Sony XDCAM EX, it was obvious. The Canon glass was just giving me too much detail in the shadows, compared to the wonderful contrast of the XDCAM's Fujinon glass.

And in shooting 16mm, it's a very similar situation. I would shy away from mixing a set of Zeiss or Cooke primes with a Canon zoom, as you will definitely see the difference.

I guess I'm fishing for more opinions on Canon lenses. I've been very happy with the look of Nikkor zooms, and the Nikkor lenses to my Nikon 35mm SLR camera. But everything I see that's shot Canon just hasn't suited my personal taste.

I could see myself using a Canon if perhaps I was going for THAT particular low contrast look, so I can see the benefits in that sense.
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 02:25 AM

That's an interesting observation. I've never noticed that with my girlfriend's canon DSLR glass. I can get fine contrast with what she has.

Next time I do an HD checkout, perhaps I'll try and do a quick test of lens manufacturers. I wonder if it's something other people have noticed?
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#3 John Brawley

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 04:16 AM

That's an interesting observation. I've never noticed that with my girlfriend's canon DSLR glass. I can get fine contrast with what she has.

Next time I do an HD checkout, perhaps I'll try and do a quick test of lens manufacturers. I wonder if it's something other people have noticed?



To me, the Canon's are always a bit milky at the long end of their zooms. You can almost see it in the viewfinder, and you will certainly see it if you shoot a chart. All my Canon experience is in Super 16 BTW, with the Suzuki modified Canon broadcast lenses.

jb
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#4 Deepak Bajracharya

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 10:39 AM

Namaste,

I have finalised to purchase LTR54 with the Canon zoom lens 11.5-210mm T2.4 and minimum focusing distance of 0.9mtr in Australia.

Almost no result found on google search. The lens serial no is 702041HD . Does the HD denotes for high defination or not?

If so how would this lens performance for the 35mm blown up theatrical release projects, please share your thoughts and experiences.

John, how's your experience regarding shooting with the modified canon glass on super16 besides the milkiness on the long end of the zoom? Have you done the projects with these lens for the 35mm blow up projects?

with best regards,
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#5 Paul Bruening

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 10:41 AM

Hello Jonathan,

What are the Canon lenses you have found this contrast issue with?
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#6 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 12:37 PM

What are the Canon lenses you have found this contrast issue with?


I think my friend's DSLR lens is a 28 to 70 zoom, or in that ballpark. I recently AC'd with a Canon 7-56 (8:1) T2.1, modded with an Arri bayo mount which was used on a regular 16 Arri SR. I haven't seen the footage yet, so my opinion of that particular lens is mostly what my eye saw. And another film I was on we had a Canon 11-165 (15:1) T2.4 zoom also modded but with a PL mount. The guys who DP'd the aforementioned shoots post here regularly, so I'd be interested to hear their opinions as well.

And then, of course, there's the standard zoom lens that comes with the XL sd and hd cameras. Which I guess has a range of 5.4-108mm, the XL H1 does anyway.
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#7 John Brawley

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 04:59 PM

Namaste,

I have finalised to purchase LTR54 with the Canon zoom lens 11.5-210mm T2.4 and minimum focusing distance of 0.9mtr in Australia.

Almost no result found on google search. The lens serial no is 702041HD . Does the HD denotes for high defination or not?

If so how would this lens performance for the 35mm blown up theatrical release projects, please share your thoughts and experiences.

John, how's your experience regarding shooting with the modified canon glass on super16 besides the milkiness on the long end of the zoom? Have you done the projects with these lens for the 35mm blow up projects?

with best regards,


Hi Deepak,

Do you mean 10.5-210 ? It sounds like an abekus or similar conversion of a regular stock 2/3" canon lens. The lenses are quite good when you consider the range you get. By the way, the lens is actually a regular 20X canon 8-160. Once you add the PL mount adaptor at the back it becomes a 10.5-210. With such a long range it suffers from ramping a little, I think you'll also find it's only T2.4 until about 40mm. After that it's T2.8 and maybe even T3.4 by the time you hit 210.

The other advantage with these lenses is that you get built in zoom and sometimes focus motors. An advantage if you like to zoom off the pan handle and don't want to buy a microforce.

Plus it's usually not that difficult to totally remove the adaptor and you can go back to a regular video zoom if you have a regular digital camera to use it with. You will need to be able to collimate the lens to go back to film though.

The lens is pretty good value when you consider the zoom range you get from it. You can, of course blow anything up and it's all subjective but, I don't know that I personally would expect it to hold up to a 35mm blow up all that well. It's a lens I would expect to be great for SD and MAYBE HD telecine. But I don't want to dissuade you off your purchase because people will accept a bit of a dip in image quality when the story is engaging. Im only being really picky and not taking into account your resources, budget and access to equipment, especially if you're in Nepal !

The Suzuki Canon's are made by Suzuki selecting the best of batches from Canon stock lenses and he then totally rebuilds and rehouses them with the film style gears and paint work. The actual lens elements are the same, but everything else changes. But Suzuki usually only uses the shorter 15x and the wider lenses.

I just did a Super 16 feature last year with a 2k finish and I used the 6.6-66 T2.4 and the 11-165 T2.5 canons and was mostly pretty happy with them I do try to avoid the longer end of them when they do tend to get a bit milkier. In pre, I tested them against some MK3 Superspeeds and you could see a difference against the zooms, on a chart, but on real world scenes with people, it was pretty hard to pick much between them. That was looking at regular optical workprints by the way.

Good luck with your purchase.

JB
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#8 Deepak Bajracharya

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 05:30 PM

Canon20x.jpg [quote name='John Brawley' date='Jan 23 2008, 01:59 PM' post='214547']
Hi Deepak,

Do you mean 10.5-210 ?

Hi John,

Thank you very much for providing with the great infos. The cinematographer /owner of the camera purchased this lens from Canon Australia in 1998. I have attached the picture of the lens. This is the PL mount lens whether with the adapter or not, I dont know.

I guess this is the 10.5-210mm converted lens after reading your post.

Please write me more about this lens.

with best regards,
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#9 John Brawley

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 07:06 PM

Please write me more about this lens.

with best regards,



Im not sure what else I can add. The converter doesn't appear to be attached, but I can't really tell from looking at the front of the lens ! There is normally a shroud that sticks out from the back that covers the screws and lock off that I would expect to see even on this frontal view. You don't have to have it on to have it attached of course, it's just a cover. I suspect it's not attached in this image.

jb
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#10 Bruce Greene

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 02:24 AM

Just a couple things I've noticed recently, as I've had the chance to work with Canon lenses quite a bit. Both in shooting some 16mm, HDV and SLR as well.

I've noticed that there's something I don't particularly like about Canon. It's as if there's no contrast to them, or perhaps there's a certain amount of diffusion that seems to be build into the elements.

I have a friend who shoots a lot of Canon DSLR stuff. And no matter what she does, she's never to really accomplish any interesting contrast in her shots. They all appear incredibly flat and lacking much dynamic. Even when she shoots in b&w. She even took a shot of me on a bus, low light, no flash, overhead lighting, exposure was fine and yet somehow not a shadow on my face.

I've noticed this happening when I've toyed with the XL2 or XLH1 as well. At Macworld, when I was comparing the XLH1 to the Sony XDCAM EX, it was obvious. The Canon glass was just giving me too much detail in the shadows, compared to the wonderful contrast of the XDCAM's Fujinon glass.

And in shooting 16mm, it's a very similar situation. I would shy away from mixing a set of Zeiss or Cooke primes with a Canon zoom, as you will definitely see the difference.

I guess I'm fishing for more opinions on Canon lenses. I've been very happy with the look of Nikkor zooms, and the Nikkor lenses to my Nikon 35mm SLR camera. But everything I see that's shot Canon just hasn't suited my personal taste.

I could see myself using a Canon if perhaps I was going for THAT particular low contrast look, so I can see the benefits in that sense.


Jonathan,

I don't think it's fair to say it's the Canon glass on the DSLR, especially if your friend is using the 24-70L zoom. Contrast here is most likely the result of the camera settings or RAW image processing on the computer. In other words, it's the choice of the photographer, and not the lens quality.

That said, the Canon zooms I've used on 16mm Arrifilexes I don't believe were designed as cine lenses originally, but I used it because of the 7mm wide end of the zoom. I think that the lenses were adapted from ENG video lenses and re-housed for movie use. But I would add that the 10-100mm ziess zoom was no champion of contrast and sharpness compared to the ziess prime lenses either.

As for the DSLR lenses, the manufacturers don't seem that interested in creating prime lenses like the cooke s4's or the ziess cine lenses, probably due to lack of demand for large, expensive, and heavy prime lenses. Their zoom's can be quite good, but to me anyway, don't ever match the "punch" of the cine primes, but they don't weigh as much as a cine 5-1 or 10-1 zoom :rolleyes:
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#11 Daniel Sheehy

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 04:22 PM

Just a couple things I've noticed recently, as I've had the chance to work with Canon lenses quite a bit. Both in shooting some 16mm, HDV and SLR as well.

I've noticed that there's something I don't particularly like about Canon. It's as if there's no contrast to them, or perhaps there's a certain amount of diffusion that seems to be build into the elements.

I have a friend who shoots a lot of Canon DSLR stuff. And no matter what she does, she's never to really accomplish any interesting contrast in her shots. They all appear incredibly flat and lacking much dynamic. Even when she shoots in b&w. She even took a shot of me on a bus, low light, no flash, overhead lighting, exposure was fine and yet somehow not a shadow on my face.

I can't comment on the other lenses, but I have to say I haven't noticed that as an issue with Canon DSLR's and their lenses.

I'd think you might want to look at the other elements in the chain before you attribute it to the lens. Are you sure it wasn't her RAW processing?
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#12 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 06:02 PM

I'd think you might want to look at the other elements in the chain before you attribute it to the lens. Are you sure it wasn't her RAW processing?


I can't speak for the file type or workflow she goes through, it's just one of the examples I have. I've noticed a similar effect in both shooting film and HD, as well.

I shouldn't say that it's an issue perse, but more of a characteristic of Canon lenses that just doesn't appeal to my personal taste in lenses. However, if in the future I am going for that low contrast look, I'd surely consider them.

Edited by Jonathan Bowerbank, 24 January 2008 - 06:03 PM.

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#13 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 02:52 AM

I recently AC'd with a Canon 7-56 (8:1) T2.1, modded with an Arri bayo mount which was used on a regular 16 Arri SR. I haven't seen the footage yet, so my opinion of that particular lens is mostly what my eye saw. And another film I was on we had a Canon 11-165 (15:1) T2.4 zoom also modded but with a PL mount. The guys who DP'd the aforementioned shoots post here regularly, so I'd be interested to hear their opinions as well.

Well, mine was the film shot with the 7-56 Canon zoom - I watched the workprint and didn't notice any low contrast issues. Of course, we were lighting rather contrasty scenes and using a lot of hard light, so that may have counteracted any milkiness in the print. I also overexposed the stock (7217 200T) by 2/3 of a stop. And we were shooting wide open most of the time, so there were lots of variables going on that could alter the overall contrast. I supervised the transfer on Monday and the footage still looked fairly contrasty, we were actually lowering the contrast on many of the shots. I probably should have used more fill light... I'll get my copy of the footage on Monday so if you want to come by and watch it next week, you're more than welcome to, Jon. We should have a wrap party and screen the footage for everyone, actually. If there's one thing I could change about student shoots, it's the opportunity to watch dailies immediately after so you can learn from your triumphs and mistakes. Hey, I pushed for print dailies in pre-production so I tried!

I would check the menu settings on your friend's DSLR, Jon. She's probably got the contrast turned all the way down. I've got a Pentax K10D and the difference that setting can make is remarkable.
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#14 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 03:35 AM

Yeah, we were working with a lot of high contrast, so I don't expect to see any real milky blacks in "Kneading You". It would have been cool had we had the budget to get a set of primes to compare, but ahh well.

I thought these MFA films were required to have printed dailies?

Next time I see my friend, I'll play around with her camera to see what's going on with her cam.

BTW, I got some of the 35mm snapshots I took on set. There are a couple good ones of you. I'll send'em over once I can get'em scanned.

Edited by Jonathan Bowerbank, 01 February 2008 - 03:38 AM.

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#15 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 03:39 AM

Yeah, we were working with a lot of high contrast, so I don't expect to see any real milky contrast. It would have been cool had we had the budget to get a set of primes to compare, but ahh well.

I though these MFA films were required to have printed dailies?

They are, but most (if not all) of them get a workprint weeks later which is not nearly the same as actually having print dailies on set a day or two after having shot it. That's what I was trying to get, but it just wasn't feasible because our local lab doesn't do weekend runs unless a big film comes through and Fotokem is 300 miles away.

*Also, if we had gotten the Zeiss primes, I would also have rented diffusion filters for close ups but since we were shooting wide open on the Canon zoom, the filters were unnecessary. :)

Edited by Satsuki Murashige, 01 February 2008 - 03:43 AM.

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#16 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 01:35 PM

Well, mine was the film shot with the 7-56 Canon zoom - I watched the workprint and didn't notice any low contrast issues. Of course, we were lighting rather contrasty scenes and using a lot of hard light, so that may have counteracted any milkiness in the print.


I'm thinking that contrasty lighting/scenes would accentuate the flare more than a high key scene, since there would be more noticible bleeding into the blacks, if not outright flare around the highlights.
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#17 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 05:20 PM

I'm thinking that contrasty lighting/scenes would accentuate the flare more than a high key scene, since there would be more noticible bleeding into the blacks, if not outright flare around the highlights.


"Flare" really isn't the issue in this thread. Besides, we avoided flare as much as we could on this film. Contrast will always be lowered by flare, but what I mean to discuss here is the quality or characteristics of Canon lenses. Maybe it's a good thing if some subtle degree of diffusion is provided by Canon's glass.

As was stated in another thread recently, lens manufacturers are always going sharper, while a lot of DP's are always trying to light softer to hide the unattractive details that come with a sharp lens.
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