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Lens scrounging


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#1 Paul Bruening

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 10:08 PM

With so much debate and so many numbers flying back and forth about RED's resolution, I am wondering what sort of lens is most realistic for it. It seems that the lens scrounging has spanned the full gamut of lens qualities. But, what is really "good enough"? It seems to me that a really good SLR lens resolves well in RED's capture limits. I know about the pulling hassles of SLR lenses. I'm just wondering about value for money in glass quality, here. Any kind of opinion is welcome.
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 11:09 PM

Biggest issue I'd worry about with still lenses is color matching between them, ya know? It's not normally something that's uncorrectable, but it's there. Of course you mention the pulling, but also there might be issues with edge to edge sharpness. As still glass isn't up to the same production standards, really, I would say your mileage may vary from lens to lens, so it's important to test out each one to know it's little quirks. That being said if you were going to go the still lens route, I'd go with Nikons, but that's just me. They have some very fast 50mm primes (F1.2) or you can get an older F1.4 for relatively cheap. Also a good deal of their other lenses open up to a F2 or so. I mention this since as you're scrounging for lenses you may well find yourself scrounging for light as well.
All this considered, though; I would really try to get my hands on a "reasonable," cine zoom lens, or a collection of cine primes. I know the sticker shock of lenses (and tripods for that matter, but that's another thing. . . ) sometimes makes my stomach turn, but it's certainly worth it.
Optar Ilumina is supposedly bringing out some S35mm glass in '09. I'd recon on it being about $7000/lens brand new. . .
http://www.optarillu...es/super35.html. For the money, something like this
http://www.visualpro...t...=20&Cat3=29
might make more sense.
It all comes down to what you can afford. For the price of 1 cine lens you can get a whole range of still lenses. But the cine lenses will probably treat you better in the long run, as opposed to the Nikon glass. It's also about what type of client you're dealing with, ya know? Is it the type of client who can afford to rent out the cine glass? Then why buy! Or is it the type who can't? If they can't afford cine glass. . .I don't think they'd mine a Nikkor on the front of the Red.
As for the resolution of this or that lens; honestly I don' know them off of the top of my head. Again, something which must be tested, but I'd wager a cine lens would outperform a stills lens in terms of rendering detail for the red's sensor. Again, because the cine lenses are built to much tighter tolerances (as is my understanding.)

my small change.
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#3 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 02:07 PM

Lenses, like anything, I think should be considered in a case by case basis. What is the best equipment needed for the task at hand? Different projects are all approached differently. Obviously, a film noir feature will look different than a baby food commercial. So will the lenses.

While the debate of cine vs sill lenses still rages on, with both sides making a good case for their positions, I have never found anyone who could tell apart a cine vs still lens acquired image in normal footage viewing conditions. I am not talking intentional A/B comparisons. Camera assistants will appreciate using cine lenses for focus pulling, that is a fact.

So I would choose the best lens I can afford, as I always do. Sure, it may not be state of the art technology, but if I don't have a hundred thousand dollars lying around to spend on lenses, well that settles that.

Plus, if you buy cheaper lenses now you can always upgrade later AND if the budget is there you can rent better lenses when you need them. That gives you the best of both worlds.

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 29 November 2008 - 02:08 PM.

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#4 John Sprung

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 06:39 PM

Plus, if you buy cheaper lenses now you can always upgrade later AND if the budget is there you can rent better lenses when you need them. That gives you the best of both worlds.

Actually, one major rental house has made it their policy to only rent their best glass with their cameras. They don't want bodies on the shelf because they ran out of lenses. Lens only rentals are limited to their older stock, what I call "sub-prime" lenses. They've kept older glass in inventory rather than selling it off due to the Red demand.

Russian lenses would seem to be a natural for the cost effective Red owners, are many of you buying Elite's and such?




-- J.S.
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