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Brevis Lens Adapter & Nikkon Stills Lenses


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#1 Edward Goldner

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 08:58 AM

Hello there,

Just wondering if anyone has any advice, feedback or general comments on the Brevis Lens Adapter. I have never seen nor heard of this model until today when a friend informed me of one offered for rental at quite a cheap rate. The adapter comes with a set of Nikkon stills lenses: 50mm, 28mm, 35-105mm (with macro), 135mm, 80-200mm, 500mm. I have worked on shoots where Nikkon lenses were used with a P+S Technik adapter and a RedRock adapter but once again, never with a Brevis Lens Adapter.

The adapter and lenses would be used alongside a Sony EX1. Much of the project in question will be shot in low light so I am also unsure as to whether the Nikkons are suitable or not as I've heard that they're prone to abborations and other issues. The choice is either the Brevis and the Nikkons or not lenses at all (budget constraints...). It'd be great to hear whether people think it's worth using the adapter and lenses or whether it may just be better to go without.

Thanks for your time. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
Edward Goldner
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#2 Phil Gerke

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 02:29 PM

Hi Edward,

One thing I can tell you about the Brevis and the EX1, make sure you have the appropriate acromat! I was involved with a feature that was to be shot with the EX1 and a Brevis, however at the time, Begining of April, Cinevate did not have an acromat that would accomodate for the EX1. We tried the one that works for the HVX, but no luck. The edge sharpness is just crap with out a proper acromat. My guess is that Cinvate has fixed the issue by now, but definately check. We ended up using the Letus Extreme.

As far as low light, the EX1 is a pretty sensitive camera. I assume the Nikons are anywhere from a 1.4 50mm to a 2.8. 28mm, I don't know about the zoom, probably slow. I found that light package for video still worked fine for most setups. Not sure where I would rate it as far as ISO goes. Supposedly the Brevis actually ads a half stop of light, read their site for reasoning. So maybe 500 ish? Never did get to do a waveform test.

Is it better with or with out? Well do you have an AC? If you have a work flow and a crew that can accomodate then sure go for it. If you want to do some run and gun type shoot or if you have to do all the lense changing, cleaning, focus pulling yourself, well... People want the look and they seem to think that the adapter itself is the only investment you have to make, but in reality there are other "costs" involved with an adapter. So can you guys afford it?

I think the Brevis is fine. Its light, does not lose light and does its job. I am not the biggest fan of 35mm adapters in general however. The word "adapter" is the first clue, but it is a look and it looks pretty good. I am not willing to say "profesional" but a fairly cheap way to get a better than "video" look I suppose.

Have fun!

Phil
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#3 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 10:30 PM

Hi Edward,

One thing I can tell you about the Brevis and the EX1, make sure you have the appropriate acromat! I was involved with a feature that was to be shot with the EX1 and a Brevis, however at the time, Begining of April, Cinevate did not have an acromat that would accomodate for the EX1. We tried the one that works for the HVX, but no luck. The edge sharpness is just crap with out a proper acromat. My guess is that Cinvate has fixed the issue by now, but definately check. We ended up using the Letus Extreme.

As far as low light, the EX1 is a pretty sensitive camera. I assume the Nikons are anywhere from a 1.4 50mm to a 2.8. 28mm, I don't know about the zoom, probably slow. I found that light package for video still worked fine for most setups. Not sure where I would rate it as far as ISO goes. Supposedly the Brevis actually ads a half stop of light, read their site for reasoning. So maybe 500 ish? Never did get to do a waveform test.

Is it better with or with out? Well do you have an AC? If you have a work flow and a crew that can accomodate then sure go for it. If you want to do some run and gun type shoot or if you have to do all the lense changing, cleaning, focus pulling yourself, well... People want the look and they seem to think that the adapter itself is the only investment you have to make, but in reality there are other "costs" involved with an adapter. So can you guys afford it?

I think the Brevis is fine. Its light, does not lose light and does its job. I am not the biggest fan of 35mm adapters in general however. The word "adapter" is the first clue, but it is a look and it looks pretty good. I am not willing to say "profesional" but a fairly cheap way to get a better than "video" look I suppose.

Have fun!

Phil



Hi Phil,

How do you feel about the look of Nikon still lenses as opposed to renting cine lenses? I know somebody who has been buying up various Nikon still lenses and gets a good look with them and his Brevis, so for the money I'd say that he's doing pretty well and it's a nice equipment package that gets him work
but I wonder how some of those short "films" would look with the same attention to lighting, production design, etc. but with a much fancier lens package.

Thanks.
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#4 Phil Gerke

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 11:17 PM

Hi Phil,

How do you feel about the look of Nikon still lenses as opposed to renting cine lenses? I know somebody who has been buying up various Nikon still lenses and gets a good look with them and his Brevis, so for the money I'd say that he's doing pretty well and it's a nice equipment package that gets him work
but I wonder how some of those short "films" would look with the same attention to lighting, production design, etc. but with a much fancier lens package.

Thanks.


Hi Tim,

I wish I could offer more of an opinion as far as lenses go. I have yet to see footage through some really good glass. Mostly its Nikons and FD Canons. Damn near had some of the Zeiss Nikon mount lenses, but that fell through. I'd love to see what some good cine lenses look like, I can only assume they would offer an improvement. If nothing else for the speed. Would it be worth the cost? Who's paying? I would be inclined to go with the Nikon glass and put the money into another aspect of the film, but thats me, at least as far as low budget shorts are concerned.

Wish I had more experience. Let us know if you ever get your eyes on some footage shot with some fancy glass. I'll do the same.
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#5 David Auner aac

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 01:08 AM

I wish I could offer more of an opinion as far as lenses go. I have yet to see footage through some really good glass. Mostly its Nikons and FD Canons. Damn near had some of the Zeiss Nikon mount lenses, but that fell through.


Hi Phil,

if you're referring to the recent Zeiss ZF lenses don't expect too much. They're manufactured for Zeiss by Cosina, cheaply made and feel that way. They're not better than Nikon's own stuff, and least not by much. Check out this comparison test of 50mm lenses here:

Ken Rockwell's 50mm lens comparison

Cheers, Dave
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#6 Phil Gerke

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 10:41 AM

Hi Phil,

if you're referring to the recent Zeiss ZF lenses don't expect too much. They're manufactured for Zeiss by Cosina, cheaply made and feel that way. They're not better than Nikon's own stuff, and least not by much. Check out this comparison test of 50mm lenses here:

Ken Rockwell's 50mm lens comparison

Cheers, Dave


Wow, what a great resource. Thanks for that link. Kind of depressing, but not suprising either. The ZF lenses are not cheap, compared to the Nikkons you can get all day long all over the place. Lets see how long and how many they manufacture.

Cheers!
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#7 Chad Terpstra

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 11:11 PM

I'd go with good quality Nikons for adapter work. I've gotten great results with even E series Nikons. One thing to keep in mind for the Brevis is that you won't see any light gain in any lens faster than a 2.8. It's a strange phenomenon unique to it's design but the light loss is non-linear. So anywhere from a 1.2 - 2.8 is the same - a total of .5 stops as compared to no adapter. Then F4 is another 1/2 stop loss, and 5.6 is almost a stop. From there it is about stop for stop loss but the grain will show too much above a F5.6 so You'll want to stay away from that (same goes for all vibrating adapters).

What I usually do is leave the prime lens at F2.8 and get my ASA rating from there (ASA 160 for the Brevis + lens + JVC HD100 combo) and adjust only the back (stock) lens for exposure. This means of course that the bokeh remains the same regardless of stop so if you need to split focus or deepen it you can stop down to 5.6 and adjust your light meter to match the new ASA rating. That's the best system I've come up with for adapter work.

I'm usually surprised by how good shooting with an adapter can look. I've tried going without mine a few times but with a 1/3" chip there's no amount of set dressing and careful attention to lighting (which is usually the norm anyway) that can fully alleviate the video look IMHO. The definition and sharpness are still there. What remains is the camera behind the setup and that's where the quality goes down most steeply to me. If you can find a prosumer camera with great color, latitude, resolution and motion, then put an adapter in front of it and you'll have a great little rig on your hands. The EX1 might be getting closer to that camera but I haven't used it yet so I don't know. Still for under $10,000 altogether (including a modest set of primes) it's probably nice setup for side projects.

Feel free to take a peak at my reel (mostly adapter footage) and let me know what you think: CineVera Pictures Thanks!
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#8 Davide Marcone

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 07:45 AM

Hi, I whant to show you my last work whit Sony Ex1 and Cinevate Brevis and Nikon 35mm lenses.
I think is very nice to work whit this adaptor for 35mm lenses.
Watch it and tell me!

http://www.youtube.c...p;v=-lvr6_z3nlY
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