Jump to content


Photo

Master Primes...too delicate for normal use?


  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 matt marek

matt marek
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 13 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 08 December 2008 - 12:13 PM

i've been looking at financing some zeiss master primes.

i was recently forwarded a letter from a company saying how they have experienced in the past, issues with the lenses going out of alignment simply from transportation in a foam case.

this has me a 'little' worried that i may be getting in over my head with master primes and perhaps i should be looking at alternatives. can anyone give any personal experiences?

thanks
matt
  • 0

#2 Stephen Murphy

Stephen Murphy
  • Guests

Posted 08 December 2008 - 02:44 PM

Matt - master primes are rock solid - not fragile in any way - their construction is just as solid as the Cooke s4's, ultra primes or primos. If you are investing in a set of master primes you are investing in the best lenses on the planet.
  • 0

#3 Dan Goulder

Dan Goulder
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1259 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 08 December 2008 - 03:12 PM

Matt - master primes are rock solid - not fragile in any way - their construction is just as solid as the Cooke s4's, ultra primes or primos. If you are investing in a set of master primes you are investing in the best lenses on the planet.

It also means you've got a really good line of credit. Which camera are you planning on using with these lenses?
  • 0

#4 matt marek

matt marek
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 13 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 08 December 2008 - 03:17 PM

It also means you've got a really good line of credit. Which camera are you planning on using with these lenses?



right now, i'm just planning to rent them out to local productions through dop and 1st ac friends of mine. i imagine they will end up on a lot of red cams...
  • 0

#5 Brad Grimmett

Brad Grimmett
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2660 posts
  • Steadicam Operator
  • Los Angeles

Posted 09 December 2008 - 04:26 AM

I considered doing exactly what you're talking about earlier this year. Unfortunately, the exchange rate was, and probably still is, so bad that it didn't make financial sense. I had a rental house more than willing (that didn't own any Master Primes) to take them on consignment. Are you thinking about buying a full, or close to full, set, or are you just going to buy 5 or 6?
I've never heard of them being fragile, but I have heard it's a bit tougher to service them than a set of Ultra Primes or S4's.
  • 0

#6 Chris Keth

Chris Keth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4427 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Los Angeles

Posted 09 December 2008 - 04:49 AM

I have found them every bit as tough as any other set of lenses. Like every other set of lenses, they do have to be properly stored and transported gently. A case with foam is not a license to throw them about like bales of hay. Perhaps that is how the set you heard about got damaged?

Iris blades are particularly fragile. I know of a lens that was always moved about gently and its iris was still damaged when it was left stopped down when it was put into the case. Lenses should always be stored at infinity and wide open. Zoomed full-out for zooms. This results in the most internal support for all moving parts.
  • 0

#7 matt marek

matt marek
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 13 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 09 December 2008 - 04:04 PM

good points chris. thanks. funny how you can have this grand idea in your head with lots of positive feedback and 'go for it' advice from colleagues, and one negative comment from someone you don't even know throws you for a loop. :)

i guess i was looking for someone to tell me it was a bad idea, so i could have an easy out...but that hastn't happened yet, so...i guess i must go through with this ;)
  • 0

#8 Dan Goulder

Dan Goulder
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1259 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 09 December 2008 - 04:18 PM

i guess i was looking for someone to tell me it was a bad idea, so i could have an easy out...but that hastn't happened yet, so...i guess i must go through with this ;)

I think you already know the answer, as expressed in your own words. It's a bad idea. There's your out.
  • 0

#9 Ira Ratner

Ira Ratner
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 558 posts
  • Other
  • Coral Springs, Florida

Posted 10 December 2008 - 06:13 AM

Lenses should always be stored at infinity and wide open. Zoomed full-out for zooms.


Hey, thanks for that one! Didn't know that.

Edited by Ira Ratner, 10 December 2008 - 06:17 AM.

  • 0

#10 Stephen Murphy

Stephen Murphy
  • Guests

Posted 10 December 2008 - 06:43 AM

I think you already know the answer, as expressed in your own words. It's a bad idea. There's your out.



Why is it a bad idea?
  • 0

#11 Michael Lindsay

Michael Lindsay

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Director

Posted 14 December 2008 - 06:11 AM

Master primes are absolutely NOT too delicate for normal use. Are they more delicate than UP?

I recommend you ask Arri. I've found them to be very honest about this kind of thing.

As for a business that just hires out a set (I assume a smaller set) MP? I'd say only do it if you can:

1)personally can put them on jobs (or have a formal agreement for at least some work)

2)Have very easy access to a projector or other way of checking them every time they come back

3)Are not using credit to buy

regards and good luck

MichaelL
  • 0

#12 Brad Grimmett

Brad Grimmett
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2660 posts
  • Steadicam Operator
  • Los Angeles

Posted 15 December 2008 - 04:18 AM

I'd say only do it if you can:
Are not using credit to buy

MichaelL

I guess you haven't priced these lenses! A complete set costs (according to the most recent quote I got) $379,000.00. It's very doubtful that an individual buying a set of lenses has $400 grand laying around in cash. These purchases are pretty much always done on credit.
  • 0

#13 Marque DeWinter

Marque DeWinter
  • Sustaining Members
  • 117 posts
  • Digital Image Technician
  • New York

Posted 15 December 2008 - 10:46 AM

FYI as a side note... We have Ultras and are having problems sending them out with our Red Cameras... Nobody has asked for Master Primes with it, almost everyone is looking for Super speeds...the older glass cuts the hard HD look a bit.

On a positive note, lenses while very expensive tend to last for a really really long time. You have a set of lenses that will keep earning you money for 30 years if they are cared for. The hard part really is having the credit or the cash to buy $400k in glass. Even a basic set of Ultras (5 lenses) can run you $100k.

~Marque DeWinter
  • 0

#14 Hunter Hampton

Hunter Hampton
  • Sustaining Members
  • 170 posts
  • Director

Posted 15 December 2008 - 02:49 PM

The MP's feel fragile only because the focus rings are floating on melted butter, and if you have one in your hand- you feel pretty fragile about dropping it.
  • 0

#15 John Sprung

John Sprung
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4635 posts
  • Other

Posted 15 December 2008 - 04:33 PM

right now, i'm just planning to rent them out to local productions through dop and 1st ac friends of mine. i imagine they will end up on a lot of red cams...

This is kind of a strange business plan. But then again, movies are a strange business. Instead of being a full service rental house, you propose to be a guy with one set of incredibly expensive lenses for rent. Check out insurance for this. You'd need to have them covered between jobs. If you took the lenses out of the cases, and crammed the boxes full of $20 bills, I'm not sure if the value per box would go up or down.

Compare this idea with other uses for that much capital. Perhaps you could buy a house or small apartment building, and get rent.





-- J.S.
  • 0

#16 Hunter Hampton

Hunter Hampton
  • Sustaining Members
  • 170 posts
  • Director

Posted 15 December 2008 - 10:01 PM

Good point John- many rental houses haven't bought into the MP's because its such a huge investment- and if well known rental houses are hesitant about that purchase, I think an individual should be more hesitant about it. They are *the best* lenses and I have never seen any lens so sharp at f1.2- but its hard to find productions that want to pay that much for lenses (i.e. 1 MP lens costs as much to rent as a set of superspeeds- try running that by most producers!)
  • 0

#17 matt marek

matt marek
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 13 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 15 December 2008 - 11:39 PM

in my mind it's about supply and demand. i look at it this way (and please continue to throw in thoughts) :

5 master primes are roughly $110 000 USD. 5 cookes are roughly $98 000 USD. up here in toronto a master prime lens goes for $245 usd, while a cooke goes for around $160 (per day). the purchase price difference is not so great, but the rental price is. i think there could be more demand if producers could have the lens at a better price. my idea is to come close to the cooke rental price...say $175/lens/day. there are enough dp's that love master primes, but rarely get them because there are only a few sets in town and because of the rental price. they shoot with cookes (happily) but i think if given the choice, maybe half of those happy cooke dp's would choose the masters...

(still wish i purchased that set of super speeds 5 years ago for 25k :P
  • 0

#18 Alfeo Dixon

Alfeo Dixon
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 120 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • Atlanta

Posted 16 December 2008 - 11:38 AM

in my mind it's about supply and demand. i look at it this way (and please continue to throw in thoughts) :

5 master primes are roughly $110 000 USD. 5 cookes are roughly $98 000 USD. up here in toronto a master prime lens goes for $245 usd, while a cooke goes for around $160 (per day). the purchase price difference is not so great, but the rental price is. i think there could be more demand if producers could have the lens at a better price. my idea is to come close to the cooke rental price...say $175/lens/day. there are enough dp's that love master primes, but rarely get them because there are only a few sets in town and because of the rental price. they shoot with cookes (happily) but i think if given the choice, maybe half of those happy cooke dp's would choose the masters...

(still wish i purchased that set of super speeds 5 years ago for 25k :P


WOW... get ready to be put on a very short list by all the rental houses if you do that.
  • 0

#19 matt marek

matt marek
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 13 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 16 December 2008 - 06:25 PM

alfeo,
i'm not looking at a full set of lenses. big shoots will not be coming to me. i'm more in the 5 - 6 lens set that i'd rent out to commercials, or indie films. i hardly see my pidly set as COMPETITION for the big rental houses that have full sets of lenses.
  • 0

#20 Alfeo Dixon

Alfeo Dixon
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 120 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • Atlanta

Posted 17 December 2008 - 02:12 PM

But here's the thing. That's a big ticket item and not a lot of them are out there so they do demand the big ticket price. Like you said supply and demand. But dropping the rates as such is really not going to be favorable to you from the rental houses.

For instance, look at the RED frenzy, too new and unproven, so a lot of houses didn't buy into them. Kinda of the same as the lens adapters. These devices where now enabling low budgets to achieve better images. But no one had the glass for the adapters, so all of a sudden houses started renting lenses only and camera support. Now most houses have these adapters along with a few of the hot ticket miniDV or HDV cameras. Now RED demands the support of 35mm gear when in full production mode. Every Tom, Dick and Harry that owns a RED needs glass, filters, etc.

The rental houses are now not giving deals on glass and support. Not to mention your gonna pay top dollar for the support gear, but if you got the camera also from them, you'll come put better in the package price. I'm sure your aware of this, but just needed to touch on it.

So if the houses aren't selling their big ticket Ultra Primes and S4's, their going to start to wonder why the camera is going out the door without glass. Not to mention when the word gets around also that you got them and are basically giving them away. You are competition at that point

In fact, Atlanta doesn't have a set of Master Primes, it's an Ultra and S4 town as of now and they fly them in if that's the order.
  • 0


Opal

rebotnix Technologies

CineLab

CineTape

Technodolly

Willys Widgets

Metropolis Post

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Visual Products

Tai Audio

The Slider

Glidecam

Wooden Camera

FJS International, LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Ritter Battery

Paralinx LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Abel Cine

Aerial Filmworks

Tai Audio

Glidecam

Abel Cine

The Slider

CineTape

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

FJS International, LLC

Willys Widgets

Wooden Camera

Aerial Filmworks

Opal

Paralinx LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Metropolis Post

rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Visual Products

CineLab

Technodolly

Ritter Battery