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What lenses for 35mm adaptor?


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#1 Ben Brahem Ziryab

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 11:50 AM

Hi Guys,

I am new to the forum.

I am a promising young filmmaker. Right now, I am studying in college preparatory high school, but I am hoping to become an big DP after filmschool and university.


At April, next year, I am going to shot an high-budget shortfilm for my filmworkshop called "Station Next", which is BTW placed in Filmbyen, Copenhagen. Same place as Lars Von Trier's company Zentropa (which I assume you know).

Anyway,

For the film we will be renting equipment from our local dealers, such as 35mm adaptor, steadicam and shoulder mounts.


The 35mm adaptor will very likely going to use an Nikon mount. It would also be possible to get a P+S TECHNIK 35mm ADAPTOR with PL mount, but Zeiss or Arri lenses are too expensive to rent and we can't afford that on our budget.

So,


What Nikon lenses do you prefere, I go out and buy?

I have already an Nikkor 18-55mm VR (f/3.5-4.5) and an Nikkor Telephoto 70-300mm (f/4-5.6).


NB: It would also be nice to buy lenses, that I later can use for still photography at movie sets with my Nikon D80 camera.



Thanks in advance


Gazoo
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#2 Stephen Williams

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 11:54 AM

Hi Gazzo,

You need to use your full real name, it's a requirement of this forum.

Thanks

Stephen

Hi Guys,

I am new to the forum.

I am a promising young filmmaker. Right now, I am studying in college preparatory high school, but I am hoping to become an big DP after filmschool and university.


At April, next year, I am going to shot an high-budget shortfilm for my filmworkshop called "Station Next", which is BTW placed in Filmbyen, Copenhagen. Same place as Lars Von Trier's company Zentropa (which I assume you know).

Anyway,

For the film we will be renting equipment from our local dealers, such as 35mm adaptor, steadicam and shoulder mounts.


The 35mm adaptor will very likely going to use an Nikon mount. It would also be possible to get a P+S TECHNIK 35mm ADAPTOR with PL mount, but Zeiss or Arri lenses are too expensive to rent and we can't afford that on our budget.

So,


What Nikon lenses do you prefere, I go out and buy?

I have already an Nikkor 18-55mm VR (f/3.5-4.5) and an Nikkor Telephoto 70-300mm (f/4-5.6).


NB: It would also be nice to buy lenses, that I later can use for still photography at movie sets with my Nikon D80 camera.



Thanks in advance


Gazoo


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#3 matt marek

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 12:51 PM

i don't understand.

you say you are going to shoot a 'high budget short film' and then go on to say that you don't have enough money to rent lenses...

perhaps you can talk to the rental house and see about getting a deal on the lenses you KNOW you will need, and shoot on a weekend?

the nikon lenses you own, are variable f-stop and are not good glass. if you must shoot with stills lenses, i'd go for some primes. forget the zooms. i'm sure you are aware of the problems you will face when shooting with still lenses over cine lenses?
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#4 Ira Ratner

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 07:40 PM

Hi, Gazoo. Do you understand a New York "sense of humor?" (That's where I'm originally from--New York.) I hope you do!

First, you should never call yourself a "promising young filmmaker." That's what your MOTHER calls you, but "promising" is the wrong adjective. You want to say "aspiring." "Promising" is a compliment that others say about you, but you never say it about yourself.

Next--no, I don't know where the heck in Denmark you're talking about.

Next again, never have a title for your production until it's completed. A title means nothing.

Finally, as said above, forget about your variable F-stop zooms, and use primes instead. For now, buy the BEST and FASTEST Nikon prime you can afford. And for an all-purpose lens , let's say a 50 or 55mm.

Now, just do some shooting with THAT and really learn it, for all types of views. (Long shots, wide shots, medium, close-up, extreme close-up, etc.)

In other words, pretend you're doing an entire production with just the one lens.

Yeah, a Nikon isn't a Zeiss, but a high-quality Nikon brand lens is DAMN good.
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#5 Ben Brahem Ziryab

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 11:33 AM

you say you are going to shoot a 'high budget short film' and then go on to say that you don't have enough money to rent lenses...


Yes, but when saying an "high budget" shortfilm, I was refering to a youth shortfilm production. Considered what the budget is on other independent youth shortfilm productions, this is has a more serious budget. Unfortently, cinelenses are very expensive to rent in Denmark, and the rental house will not allow renting the expensive cinelenses to everyone, but only to professional cinematographers.


the nikon lenses you own, are variable f-stop and are not good glass. if you must shoot with stills lenses, i'd go for some primes. forget the zooms. i'm sure you are aware of the problems you will face when shooting with still lenses over cine lenses?


Okay, thank you. I knew my zoom lenses was for no use when it comes to moving images. I will try to get some Primes then. Maybe I will have some used one's, because they are a bit expensive. I AM aware of the problems using still lenses over cine lenses, but cine lenses are too expensive to rent and buy. Also still lenses are ok though for independent shortfilm use.


Do you understand a New York "sense of humor?" (That's where I'm originally from--New York.) I hope you do!

First, you should never call yourself a "promising young filmmaker." That's what your MOTHER calls you, but "promising" is the wrong adjective. You want to say "aspiring." "Promising" is a compliment that others say about you, but you never say it about yourself.


No, I don't undestand New York "sense of humor", and whatever you are trying to say, it's making me laugh.

Finally, as said above, forget about your variable F-stop zooms, and use primes instead. For now, buy the BEST and FASTEST Nikon prime you can afford. And for an all-purpose lens , let's say a 50 or 55mm.

Now, just do some shooting with THAT and really learn it, for all types of views. (Long shots, wide shots, medium, close-up, extreme close-up, etc.)


Hmm...okay. Thank you. Again, I will get some prime lenses with a good range of f-stop, so I will be able to use it for different angles and type of shots.
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#6 Ira Ratner

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 07:30 PM

Gazoo, you're a really nice guy. And you DID understood my stupid sense of humor.

I'm just an amateur, but I'm an OLD amateur who has done a lot of 35mm still work.

Basically, when you buy a lens, it's not really a "range" of f-stops you're looking for, although I know what you mean by that. If you're buying fixed focal lenses or zooms--and we all said here to get fixed lenses, not zooms--you want the widest MAXIMUM aperture. For example, for a 50mm, 1.2 is the best available. Then 1.4. (NOT 1:2. It should say 1:1.2.)

It's not only that the 1.2 lets in more light, which makes it a "faster" and better lens for low light situations. It will also be a SHARPER lens.

I have a few 55mm 1.8 and 2.0 lenses, and although they can be okay, the good stuff is 1.2 and 1.4.

When you go to longer focal lengths, the maximum apertures will increase. So a 135mm lens at 2.8 is a good lens.
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#7 David Auner aac

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 10:24 AM

It's not only that the 1.2 lets in more light, which makes it a "faster" and better lens for low light situations. It will also be a SHARPER lens.


Hi Ira,

that's a dangerous statement. Generally you are correct, but not because your statement is true. Zeiss, Nikon and other lens makers will usually put more care in their faster lenses because they are more expensive. So a 50/1.4. will probably be sharper at f2 than, say, a 50/2 because the 1.4 will be a superior design and construction and you're not using it wide open.

In fact, many slower lenses are way sharper than their faster same focal length brethren. Special scientific lenses optimized for sharpness and resolution might well be down in the range of f5.6-8, because speed doesn't matter as much in that field. The many aspects of lens quality, such as speed, color rendition, susceptibility to flaring or ghosting, flatness of field, sharpness as well as resolution are achieved by different methods in lens design. If you optimize a lens for one you quality will usually loose something in other areas. That's why lens design is all about achieving the best comprise possible.

So, a faster lens is not by definition sharper than a slower lens. In real life most of the time it will be because faster lenses are usually quality lenses and to shoot at a specific low f-stop you'll usually stop down more. As a rule of thumb, lenses are at their best 2 stops down from wide open.

Regards, Dave
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#8 Stephen Williams

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 10:52 AM

Hi Ira,

So, a faster lens is not by definition sharper than a slower lens.
Regards, Dave


Hi,

As the light has to travel through more glass, one would expect a slower lens to be better than a fastre one. One of the reasons the Zeiss Standards are still popular V the more expensive (in todays lens market) Super Speeds.

Stephen
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#9 David Auner aac

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 12:27 PM

As the light has to travel through more glass, one would expect a slower lens to be better than a fastre one. One of the reasons the Zeiss Standards are still popular V the more expensive (in todays lens market) Super Speeds.


Of course, true that. In fact, nothing is sharper than a infinitely small pinhole! :D

Cheers, Dave
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#10 Atthar Ahmadi

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 06:32 AM

Hi guys
Glad to be a member of Cinematography.com
In third post of topic, matt said about the problems with still lenses. Can anybody explain this problems? I searched a bit in lens section and i found that focus marker in still lenses are not true. Is that all? If i test all distances, and make a chart, can this problem be resolve?
Im going to buy prime lens to use with 35mm adaptor. But cine lenses are expensive to my budget.
What is your opinion about canon 50mm f1.8? And there is how much difference in bokeh between f1.8 and f1.4?

And my most amateur question. For a basic set, what focal lengths i need? A 35mm, 50mm and 85mm is enough?

Thanks

Atthar
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#11 Atthar Ahmadi

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 03:44 AM

Still no idea?
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#12 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 04:11 AM

For the film we will be renting 35mm adaptor, steadicam...

The 35mm adaptor will very likely going to use an Nikon mount. ... Zeiss or Arri lenses are too expensive to rent and we can't afford that on our budget.

You're using a Steadicam? Then you MUST use 35mm cine lenses that have proper lens gears that will mesh with a follow focus motor and that have calibrated witness marks. FORGET NIKON LENSES, you will not be able to pull wireless focus with them, so they're useless. You cannot pull focus from the barrel or from a standard follow focus with Steadicam or you will get jerky movement. You will also need to rent a wireless follow focus system like a Bartech or Preston and hire a very good focus puller. Otherwise you're steadicam footage will be OUT OF FOCUS.

Sorry to have to tell you this, but you probably don't have enough money or experience to pull this off yet. Instead, I'd recommend looking into a handheld rig and some wide angle nikon lenses (24, 28, 35, 50, 85, 100, all at least f/2.8, and get a 50mm macro too), which won't be as smooth as a steadicam but will be much cheaper to rent and easier to focus.

Edited by Satsuki Murashige, 22 February 2009 - 04:15 AM.

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#13 Chris Keth

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 08:19 PM

Of course, true that. In fact, nothing is sharper than a infinitely small pinhole! :D

Cheers, Dave


Even that's not true. An infinitely small pinhole has infinitely severe refraction problems. :P :lol:
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#14 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 03:31 AM

Oh, I just noticed that the original post was a few months ago. Ookay nevermind then, I sure feel dumb... (wanders away mumbling to self)
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#15 David Auner aac

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 06:55 AM

Even that's not true. An infinitely small pinhole has infinitely severe refraction problems. :P :lol:


Yep. You're right of course. Wasn't thinking of refraction! dang! ;)

Cheers, Dave
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#16 damian moon

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 03:19 PM

Oh, I just noticed that the original post was a few months ago. Ookay nevermind then, I sure feel dumb... (wanders away mumbling to self)



hi dont worry i was very very usefull for me, so thak you very much.

Best

Damian
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#17 Kip Kubin

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 09:30 AM

28f2.8
35f2
50f1.4
105f1.8

This is my inexpensive lens kit. $45 was the most I spent for any lenses. Using a Letus Extreme I only loose 1/2 a stop before I put the lens on.

The main issue is build quality and rack focusing.. as well as enough light indoors.

My point is you can go cheep... but I'd rent if I needed faster glass or a different look.
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#18 Ralph Keyser

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 01:46 PM

In third post of topic, matt said about the problems with still lenses. Can anybody explain this problems? I searched a bit in lens section and i found that focus marker in still lenses are not true. Is that all? If i test all distances, and make a chart, can this problem be resolve?
Im going to buy prime lens to use with 35mm adaptor. But cine lenses are expensive to my budget.
What is your opinion about canon 50mm f1.8? And there is how much difference in bokeh between f1.8 and f1.4?

And my most amateur question. For a basic set, what focal lengths i need? A 35mm, 50mm and 85mm is enough?

Thanks

Atthar

The problems with using still lenses in cine applications are numerous. Here's a quick, off-the-cuff list to get you started:
- Breathing on focus changes
- Lack of precision on witness marks and short end-to-end rotation on focus rings
- Changes in color and character from lens to lens (this is worse with some manufacturers than others)
- Ergonomic issues (still lenses work backward from cine lenses, aperture adjustment is not infininte, lack of geared rings, etc.)

Having said all of that, there has been some beautiful work done with still lenses on movie cameras.
I'm a little surprised that there has not been an effort to turn out low end cine lenses. The market might not be big enough, but I would have thought that someone like Sigma or Tamron would have cranked out some bargin cine lenses for the market that's buying all these still lenses for 35mm adapters. I guess the Red primes are sort of a shot at that market.

I'll pass on the bokeh comparison. That's mostly a subjective decision on your part. Try them both and see if you see a difference.

As for a basic set of lenses, that's once again your choice. It all depends on what you shoot most, and what your budget can handle. Personally, I'd add some wider angle lenses to that set.
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#19 DS Williams

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 11:51 PM

Hey.


Zeiss ZF still primes are your best bet. They're incredible lenses, especially the 50 and the 85. And I believe they cover full frame aperature (36x24) So you can achieve vista vision frame sizes on adapters like the Cinevate Brevis, who's groundglass is 26x40mm I believe. It's in that ballpark.
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#20 Chris Keth

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 01:18 AM

Yep. You're right of course. Wasn't thinking of refraction! dang! ;)

Cheers, Dave


I never thought about diffraction (now that I look at my old post, I see I said "refraction." It's "diffraction.") much until I started shooting 8x10, where you sometimes have to stop down to 45 and beyond to get any depth of field at all. Of course, even though the diffraction problem might be huge when you stop a lens down to f90, it's nothing on a sheet of film the size of a piece of printer paper. :lol:


I'll add that a simple achromatic meniscus lens with the stop in front of it (a standard landscape lens circa 1840) is quite sharp in the center. The problem is that you have to stop it down past 22 and preferably in the f64-f90 range to keep the edges from going wildly swirly and distorting like mad.

Edited by Chris Keth, 07 March 2009 - 01:22 AM.

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