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This is ridiculous--2 more lenses on the way.


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#1 Ira Ratner

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 06:33 AM

K3 owners with M42 mounts, beware:

The availability of low-cost SLR lenses for this camera is a curse.

20/4.5 and 50/1.4 on the way.

That makes 13 lenses.
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#2 Max Jacoby

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 08:08 AM

F4.5, that's not very useful.
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#3 Chris Burke

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 08:36 AM

K3 owners with M42 mounts, beware:

The availability of low-cost SLR lenses for this camera is a curse.

20/4.5 and 50/1.4 on the way.

That makes 13 lenses.




what do you mean on the way? I have been using a pentax takumar 50/1.4 for years and loving it.
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#4 Ian Cooper

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 10:59 AM

...and the camera usually comes supplied with a perfectly adequate 17-69mm f1.9 zoom which covers most situations ;)
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#5 Ira Ratner

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 08:41 PM

Max, ever hear of sunny Florida? We simply don't have those clouds and rain that you guys have to deal with--only an occasional hurricane now and then. A fixed 20mm, even at 4.5, shooting naked chicks sunbathing in South Beach, is just fine.

And it's a Pentax. (The 50 is a Pentax too, which means I'll be loving life like Chris does very shortly.)

And Ian--I don't want to get into a debate about the stock Meteor zoom as opposed to primes--plus, it sure ain't 1.9 over the full zoom range. But it's pretty much a given that primes are superior to comparatively priced zooms. But be that as it may:

If you always use the same lens, doesn't everything you shoot always LOOK the same?

Edited by Ira Ratner, 08 January 2009 - 08:45 PM.

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#6 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 03:31 AM

A fixed 20mm, even at 4.5, shooting naked chicks sunbathing in South Beach, is just fine.


You know Ira, I'm JUST not convinced, Maybe you should post some footage.........or just send me a DVD. :rolleyes:
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#7 Ian Cooper

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 04:08 AM

...And Ian--I don't want to get into a debate about the stock Meteor zoom as opposed to primes--plus, it sure ain't 1.9 over the full zoom range. But it's pretty much a given that primes are superior to comparatively priced zooms. But be that as it may:

If you always use the same lens, doesn't everything you shoot always LOOK the same?


The aperture of my Meteor zoom certainly 'appears' to remain at f1.9 across the entire range. Although I usually use negative stock, which would hide any slight differences, the first film I put through the camera when I received it was B&W reversal aimed at a focussing chart and grey cards... the results certainly appeared to remain the same across the range of focal lengths when used at f1.9!

As for a change in "look" between lenses, I'd have thought the benefit of the zoom is the fact that the 'look' will remain the same across a whole range of focal lengths, rather than possibly changing each time the focal length of the lens alters, hopping back and forth as the sequence cuts from shot to shot - not a particularly attractive prospect to my mind unless used for a specific reason. To piece together a set of matched prime lenses, even from the same manufacturer, all giving the same look so their footage can be intercut is no mean feat! To collect multiple matched sets for differing looks I suspect is even more of a challenge, especially at the lower end of the lens market.

As for how the Meteor lens itself performs and its look? The examples I have are quite acceptable, not that different to those from the Canon C-Mount zoom lens used on my Beaulieu. I also have an adapter to use a range of 35mm still lenses on the Beaulieu as well... and the 'look' from them isn't much different either, they simply give me more options beyond the range of the zoom. Perhaps if I was projecting into a theatre there might be a more obvious difference between them all, but watched on TV from a DVD there's not much between them. I wouldn't be suprised to find the Meteor's more susceptible to flare, but given that I'm careful to avoid light hitting the front element, and don't tend to film with a strong backlight, then it isn't something I've experienced myself.

For sure the image produced by the lenses I have access to is different to that from the latest range of highly expensive glass used commercially ...but there's no way I'm going to find a few tens of thousands of pounds worth of quality movie lens at the sort of second hand prices I might afford! Heck, if I could afford to buy those type of lenses I wouldn't have been using a K3 in the first place :lol: To be perfectly honest, the biggest difference in 'look' I've noticed so far has been by swapping telecine machine used from an Ursa to a Spirit ...and between the two I can see why so many people prefer the Spirit output! ;) Further tweaks of look can be accomplished during the grade if I'm that fussy.

So long as you're getting the results and 'look' you desire, then I suppose it doesn't really matter, but the stock Meteor zoom seems to often get a bad press and dismissed without people actually testing and seeing if it suits their needs - something you've clearly already done to find that your example doesn't hold f1.9 across the zoom range, and hence why you're now collecting primes.
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#8 Max Jacoby

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 04:16 AM

Max, ever hear of sunny Florida? We simply don't have those clouds and rain that you guys have to deal with--only an occasional hurricane now and then. A fixed 20mm, even at 4.5, shooting naked chicks sunbathing in South Beach, is just fine.

Ever heard of day interiors? Or night scenes? Good luck trying to shoot those at F4.5.
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#9 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 05:14 AM

Ever heard of day interiors? Or night scenes? Good luck trying to shoot those at F4.5.


Plus as its for 16mm pretty much everything will be in focus!
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#10 Ira Ratner

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 07:08 PM

I'm on my iTouch now, but when I get him, I'll further engage in this ridiculous argument that some of you can't possibly win.
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#11 Ira Ratner

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 08:23 PM

Whew! Back to a real keyboard now! Thanks for waiting boys!

Ian, your lens is NOT 1.9 across the entire range, regardless if you think it LOOKED like it is. No zooms have the same effective aperture across all focal lengths. WHich brings me to the point of the fact that although my 20 is slower, so is the Meteor, which still does the job.

Let's also consider all of that extra glass in a zoom, all of those moving parts, which inherently makes them less sharp than primes.

Let's ALSO consider your statement:

"I'd have thought the benefit of the zoom is the fact that the 'look' will remain the same across a whole range of focal lengths, rather than possibly changing each time the focal length of the lens alters."

Well, I kind of got you more than one way here. First, you said there's no difference in look between lenses in the first place. (Hey, don't get mad at me--YOU said it.) So this moots the other point. More importantly:

Uhhhh--ever think of using different lenses for different projects? Or WANTING different looks for different scenes within the same project, whether you do or don't get different looks depending on....

Wait. My brain just blew a fuse trying to figure which argument you're making. Do different lenses make a difference or NOT make a difference? Also, the term "adequate" is not accepted in my universe, because I just don't know what the heck that means.

And Max--yeah! I heard of day interiors and night exteriors! But did you ever hear that you can actually screw (or twist) your lens off the camera and replace it with another that's more suitable for the conditions? And that I'm not obligated by law to use this lens for day interiors and night exteriors? And that's why I want to own a wide variety and large collection of lenses? Or maybe the work I'm doing doesn't require night exteriors? Or day interiors without artificial lighting?

DUUHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I can't believe I'm typing here and wasting my time entertaining this nonsense.
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#12 Max Jacoby

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 03:59 AM

And Max--yeah! I heard of day interiors and night exteriors! But did you ever hear that you can actually screw (or twist) your lens off the camera and replace it with another that's more suitable for the conditions?

So if you have a faster 20mm lens, why would you want another one that's slower at F4.5? Unless the F4.5 lens can do things a regular 20mm couldn't do, like macro or so. And with such an atrociously slow stop, it better be pretty amazing in that other area, otherwise there is absolutely no point in you starting a thread about a new lens whose availability you consider a 'curse'. No one is forcing you to buy it.
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#13 Ian Cooper

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 08:17 AM

Ian, your lens is NOT 1.9 across the entire range, regardless if you think it LOOKED like it is. No zooms have the same effective aperture across all focal lengths. WHich brings me to the point of the fact that although my 20 is slower, so is the Meteor, which still does the job



1) I am perfectly aware that most zoom lenses at the cheaper end of the market don't hold their maximum aperture across the whole zoom range. One only needs to look at the majority of zooms used on 35mm stills cameras (and I suppose DSLRs these days as well) to find the maximum aperture will vary by up to a stop, to over 2 stops in some cases - on 'manual' lenses this difference used to be marked on the barrel to show what the aperture actually was at any given focal length.

I am also aware that away from the market for relatively cheap consumer zoom lenses, manufacturers DO produce zooms which will hold their aperture across the entire range. Examples of these are listed by the likes of both Nikon and Canon. A browse through the specifications for various manufacturers of motion picture lenses also shows the ability to hold aperture isn't too uncommon in that market either. I'm sure there are enough members in the forum who work in the industry who can either confirm or deny whether the aperture on motion picture zoom lenses usually varies as they alter focal length or not.

As for the Meteor zoom, I'm afraid I can't give precise optical data on it, perhaps the likes of Olex might have that to hand, but the manufacturers, Zenit, weren't exactly a fly-by-night company, and their optical products seem to be generally considered pretty good. In still photography I generally use reversal film and if conditions are 'difficult', then I might bracket in half stop increments - and I can see the difference in exposure between the frames. All I can say is that having viewed the film exposed through my Meteor zoom, the exposure does not differ by 1, 2 or any other huge amount of stops according to the position of the focal length. As I stated previously, actually looking at the results produced by my lens, the maximum aperture does not alter significantly across the zoom range.

I've never tried using the internal light meter on the K3, but the internal light meter on my Beaulieu R16 is reliable and accurate. I can set the camera up with the Canon zoom lens focused on an evenly toned surface with the aperture wide open, and the needles aligned. I can then zoom back and forth through it's range of focal lengths (18-108mm) without the needle moving to indicate a change in admitted light level (ie. varying aperture). If I now repeat the exercise with a Tamron zoom designed for a 35mm stills camera sitting in a C Mount adapter - lo and behold, the light meter needle moves as the lens' focal length varies to show the maximum aperture shifts. That isn't a great surprise, the spec. on the Tamron lens does actually say there'll be a drift of around half a stop, and sure enough there is!

All I can assume is that your particular example of Meteor zoom is exhibiting some sort of problem (or else mine is an exceedingly good example!), but given that you seem to be replacing it generally with prime lenses having a maximum aperture around 2 to 3 stops slower than the Meteor, I wouldn't have thought the maximum aperture varying a bit on your zoom would bother you that much.


Let's also consider all of that extra glass in a zoom, all of those moving parts, which inherently makes them less sharp than primes.


2) Indeed, and that is something which is more of an issue in older designs of lens (such as the Meteor) than modern zooms. I think if you refer back to my previous post I did state that probably the Meteor would exhibit more flare - a situation caused by the multiple optical surfaces found in a zoom design over that of a prime lens.

I suppose it could also be considered in the quest for perfect optical conditions that a lens designed for smaller film formats will, all other things being equal, be of a much higher optical quality than a lens designed for larger imaging formats. A lens designed for 5"x4" sheet film does not need to be of as high an optical quality as one designed for 16 or 35mm film as the expected enlargement factor will be significantly less. This can be offset slightly by the fact that smaller formats will tend to only utilise the more optically corrected centre portion of the lens, but if all possible degradation is to be avoided then it is worth considering.

You may have an avenue to have your films blown up to 35mm release prints, or projected at 16mm in a theatre space somewhere, in which case the quest for ultimate optimal performance may be worth pursuing. In my case final viewing is accomplished through a DVD and TV. Once again, the quality of the picture produced by the Mir-11 Prime lens on my K3 is not appreciably sharper than the image produced by the Meteor zoom - in fact I'd say they are basically the same, when viewed on a TV. Likewise the results from the zoom, to my eye, look to be no worse than the results from a 35mm prime lens designed for still photography. Whilst on paper the zoom may not give images as sharp as the primes, I am personally more interested in what the images it actually produces look like - and they show no great difference.

I have nothing against prime lenses, I only use primes on both of my stills cameras - partly because in the world of medium format photography zoom lenses are all but unheard of, but where they do exist their quality is not too dissimilar from the prime lens offerings (you don't get 'cheap' zooms for those cameras!). Even when I'm using the zoom on the K3/R16 I don't alter focal length whilst the camera is running. A prime lens is certainly smaller and lighter, (although the weight benefit is offset by having to carry multiple lenses around) but the wide maximum aperture on both the Meteor and Canon zoom are a major consideration to my choice of lens, and from what I have seen from my tests of camera & lens, the Meteor stays around f1.9. Clearly you are prepared to call me a lier without seeing the evidence I based my response on. I am more than willing to accept the results of your lens tests are different - that, after all, is the reason for carrying out a camera/lens test.

To my mind, in an artistic pursuit what something 'looks' like is more important than differences that might be written on paper, so I stand by the validity of my comment that 'my' Meteor lens looks to hold f1.9 across its range of focal lengths.




Well, I kind of got you more than one way here. First, you said there's no difference in look between lenses in the first place. (Hey, don't get mad at me--YOU said it.) So this moots the other point. More importantly:

Uhhhh--ever think of using different lenses for different projects? Or WANTING different looks for different scenes within the same project, whether you do or don't get different looks depending on....




3) Across the handful of different lenses I have, I can't see any significant difference in the 'look' produced - not viewed on a TV screen. But as I stated previously, that situation may change if the film was to be projected in a theatre.

BUT, you clearly CAN see a difference between the lenses in your collection, because you have stated it as one of the reasons for not using the Meteor zoom, so...


4) ...To have the 'look' change from shot to shot within a given scene as the focal length varies, because the cinematographer is swapping between prime lenses each giving a different 'look', would not seem to me to be a particularly beneficial situation, unless used for a specific reason - as I stated in the previous post.

Collecting together a group of second hand prime lenses which do give a matched look, so the cinematographer CAN alter focal length for different shots in the same scene, does not seem to be a trivial task (there's a reason why sets of matched cine lenses cost big money!). To manage to group multiple sets of prime lenses together, which are matched to themselves, but give a different look from other sets of matched lenses, would appear to be quite a challenge. This is the situation required to allow the cinematographer to choose both focal length and 'look' at will, whether that is to be applied within the same project, or to give different projects differing 'looks'.

This does not alter the fact that I can't see a difference between my different lenses, but in the situation where you said your prime lenses offer a range of different looks against using the zoom which only has one look....



Finally: It appears from your post that you seem to think you are engaged in some form of battle where there will ultimately be winners and losers. You seem to have taken a somewhat condescending attitude with phrases such as:


Hey, don't get mad at me--YOU said it.

and

DUUHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

together with

I kind of got you more than one way here.


I would have thought such phrases would not find a place in mature reasoned discussion, something which I understood this forum was supposed to be known for. Personally I am not aware of any contest or 'war', and can think of no reason why I should wish to get mad at you.


Ultimately it is the results captured on film which matter. I am happy to accept that your example of the K3 zoom varies aperture to a significant degree according to the focal length, your example may also not produce sharp images. This is one of the dangers of the poor quality control that seems to have been exercised when the cameras were originally built. You only need search the forums to find different people claim the image registration is both solid and poor, on K3s which were brand new stock, so supposedly the same.

You have stated that one of the benefits of using your collection of prime lenses is the different 'look' each lens produces. For the type of subject matter I am interested in filming (a more documentary style) the ability to alter focal length whilst maintaining the same image characteristics is more important than the ability to change both focal length and 'look' at the same time, but I accept that this is an artistic choice and in different circumstances other people (and I) may choose differently. I wish you well with your projects, but I wouldn't be surprised if not all the members of the forum share your logic for choosing to use slow lenses, especially as it is generally recognised that lenses perform better closed down around 1.5 to 2 stops from wide, so to achieve the sharpest images the 20mm f4.5 lens might need to be used perhaps around f8.
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#14 David Rakoczy

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 04:52 PM

Ian & Max,

You are extremely patient people and for that I applaud you both. But I have to say, I find it most amusing you are actually taking the time to explain your points so eloquently while Mr. Ratner is so condescending and dismissive of your logical reasoning. Like he said.. you have no way of winning this argument (with him). He is only interested in shooting "naked chicks on the beach" anyway... come on... welcome to Ratner World... :lol:

I too live in 'sunny Florida' and own a set of S16 Zeiss Super Speeds for all the reasons you have mentioned.

You guys (Ian & Max) have a great 'relaxing' weekend. ;)
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#15 Matthew Buick

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 06:24 PM

I've been watching this thread for a while now, and I can't really understand why more lenses to fit a K3 M42 is such a bad thing, surely this must therefore be as big market, and more products to fit that market would surely be a positive thing, would it not? Sure F4.5 is a bit of a silly maximum opening for such a conventional focal length, and I can't really see the reasoning behind that, but it may have a use.
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#16 Stephen Williams

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 01:26 AM

Sure F4.5 is a bit of a silly maximum opening for such a conventional focal length, and I can't really see the reasoning behind that, but it may have a use.


Hi,

This lens is designed for FF35mm still photography. Making a fast wide angle lens able to cover that format would be heavy & very expensive, thats not the market the lens was designed for.

Stephen
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#17 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 02:56 PM

I have a Nikon 20mm AIS f2.8 that is not that heavy and was not all that expensive.
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#18 Mike Rizos

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 12:45 AM

Most cine-zooms hold their T-stop throughout. Although old, the Meteor 5:1 is one of them. This can be confirmed with a K3 with a working light meter.
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#19 Stephen Williams

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 03:44 AM

I have a Nikon 20mm AIS f2.8 that is not that heavy and was not all that expensive.


Hi,

I have one, it's the most expensive Nikon prime I ever bought. I suspect you could buy 5-10 Nikon 50mm f2.00 for the same price on Ebay. Personally I don't rate a f2.8 lens as 'fast' for cine use.

Stephen
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#20 Paul Bruening

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 08:43 AM

Ian & Max,

You are extremely patient people and for that I applaud you both. But I have to say, I find it most amusing you are actually taking the time to explain your points so eloquently while Mr. Ratner is so condescending and dismissive of your logical reasoning. Like he said.. you have no way of winning this argument (with him). He is only interested in shooting "naked chicks on the beach" anyway... come on... welcome to Ratner World... :lol:

I too live in 'sunny Florida' and own a set of S16 Zeiss Super Speeds for all the reasons you have mentioned.

You guys (Ian & Max) have a great 'relaxing' weekend. ;)


C'mon, David. Hang in there, baby. No need to turn every thread into an anti-porn campaign. There's room enough in this world for all us freaks as well.
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