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What budget 35mm lenses to buy?


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#1 Erik Turestedt

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 10:18 AM

Hello,

I'm moving from 16mm to 35mm.

As I have yet no experience in 35mm, I don't know which lenses to buy.

I'm thinking of getting myself the Arri 2c +2perf mod, or some similar camera, but I don't know which mount to have on it.

PL sounds great, but wont the lenses cost a fortune?

Anyone have good advise as to which lenses to get when you're low budget? Affraid that a pair of Zeiss would cost me more than I budget for a feuture film;)

I have quite a few nikon 35mm still lenses, are they worth using on an arri2c and is it even possible to get a mount conversion without having focus issues or other optical problems?

Thanks guys,

Regards,

Erik
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#2 James Martin

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 12:02 PM

This isn't really my specialist subject, but why are you wanting to buy the lenses?

Even a cheap 35mm lens will probably cost you a lot more than renting a good one, certainly now the RED ONE has come out second hand PL mount lenses (and Nikon stills lenses) have gone up in price by a long way.

I don't know much about converting old cameras to 2-perf either, but surely by the time you've done that you're not far off the frame area of Super16 which is cheaper and (more importantly) a known and established standard?

I've had a few people recently tell me that 2-perf if a false economy, but I am afraid I have 0 experience in 35.
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#3 Bruce Taylor

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 06:30 PM

I don't know much about converting old cameras to 2-perf either, but surely by the time you've done that you're not far off the frame area of Super16 which is cheaper and (more importantly) a known and established standard?

I've had a few people recently tell me that 2-perf if a false economy, but I am afraid I have 0 experience in 35.


2 perf 35mm has WAY more film real estate than Super16, even at 1.85:1 it's significant. 2 perf is also known and established, though not as common as Super16.

False economy? Depends. If you're going for a costly optical blow-up for 35mm anamorphic prints you do have to shoot a lot of film to see the economy. If it is going to finish digitally, then there is no increased post cost over S16 or any 3 or 4 perf 35mm format, you simply cut your film and lab costs by 50%, that's it.

One thing about the llC 2 perf conversion, once you make it, you don't go back, so be sure you want to live with it.

A PL mount would be the most versatile, you can convert old Arri Std or Bayo mounts to PL if you want to use older glass. Or you can do something really nutty, buy a set of OCT19 Russian Lomos and put an OCT19 mount on the thing. I believe Nikon mounts were fairly common on hard fronted llC's- someone correct me if I'm wrong. Or just rent PL glass when you need it.

Bruce Taylor
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#4 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 03:55 AM

If you get a turret Arri, yo can get a deal on Arri standard mount lenses (they often come with the package in fact it's rare to see one without the lenses) and can be had for maybe $1500 for the full package, because YES PL mount lenses (Ziess and Cooke) are generally very expensive. You could also go with a Mitchell, Baltars are fairly reasonable. The problem with converting OCT-19 mount lenses to PL mount is it generally costs about $300 bucks a lens, (not to mention that we Commiecam guys lose out on lenses for our cameras) The LEAST expensive way to go would be a turret Konvas with OCT-18 mount lenses, you are talking around a grand for a package with a set of lenses, less if you get the Konvas-1 which has the 6 vt rheostat "wild" motor. They are very cool little cameras but like the Arri 2, they are MOS cameras.
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#5 Erik Turestedt

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 10:31 AM

Thanks for the replies

First of, I'm migrating to 35 for the 2.35 aspect. I've seen 16mm anamorphic on 2.35 print, cool, but of course not perfeclty suitable. So now I'm interested in 2 perf.

I'm don't think 2 perf is false economy. I checked our past budgets with a filmlab here in Sweden, (Stockholm Post production), I believe they set up an office in Los Angeles recently also by the way. Anyway, I will Telecine to HD and get out Prores 422 (technicals), since we are on low budget we'll cut, grade and fx the "real" material ourselves.

I checked the costs, and here's what I found:

Filmstock: 35 is cheaper than 16 per ft up to almost 30% (Fuji) So shooting 2 perf seems to be even cheaper compared to 16, since we double the 35 rolls lenght! Or am I doing a happy mans calc?

Lab: Generally cheaper with 35 per ft than 16, and once again the 2 perf holds twice as much time thus bringing the price even cheaper than 16, or once again happy calc?


TK/Scan: Well first when I heard of the format was when I talked with Anders Banke in Gothenburg, Sweden, during the promotion of his feature "Frostbiten". I was very interested then, but the lab (Nordisk film post production), which they used only had tech for scanning 2 perf which would be too expensive for motivating me to shoot 35 over 16.

However, now seems like theres no problem with telecine, and the cost for 35 to HD doesn't differ from 16 to HD.

All and all, seems I could even save money on 2 perf.

Well, maybe not with the camera...

I always rented before, and will probably do so, fortunately I don't live too far from "Solid entertainement", I think 2 perf would be excluded for rental over here otherways.
Maybe it could be a good idéa to have a OCT 19 mount? Or is it crazy?

I know "Solid" has some BNCR+ mounts on some camera. What lenses go with that?

Can you convert an PL mount on 2c easy to old arri mount? And are there many old arri lenses out there?

Anyone got a tips on some trader of old film gear?


Thanks again guys!


PS.

Hello Bruce,

Found your camera on your page some months ago... I thought Banke got bankrupt an sold all his equipment! But then I saw another "Solid" camera on production here in Gothenburg. Great to here that the cameras are spreading! I think he has 6 cams or something... How many you got?

Are they Kinor 35h all of them? Isn't 35h super 35 by default?

And if I ever shoot in the states I'll surely rent your gear!

Hopefully the Digital monsters won't eat up the organic world before that happends! Would be sad to be forced to jump to shooting Genesis or something like that... At least not without ever trying 35!
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#6 Bruce Taylor

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 08:51 PM

Hi Eric!

As you know, Anders did not sell his equipment, he is just finishing another 2 perf feature "Newsmakers." And he says he shot with up to six 2 perf cameras, they were probably al his.

I have only one :( 2 perf, a Kinor 35H, modified by Anders. (There are two other 4 perf Kinors and two Konvas 2Ms in the corral)

Kinor 35H is native academy, not Super35 by the way. I think Anders has done away with the BNCR mounted gear, the BNCR was a Mitchell design for their reflex cameras before they went bye bye.

Your calculations are probably correct. If you look at screen time, 2 perf may be more economical than 16. I always shoot on short ends (plenty of them around here), and they are dirt heap, 5 to 10 cents a foot, much cheaper than 16mm.

You are fortunate you are near Anders, I'm sure you can rent his 2 perf gear for a reasonable price. If you're ever in my area for a 2 perf shoot let me know.

BTW, concerning the OCT19 Arri llc idea, I was suggesting leaving the mounts on the lenses OCT19 and changing the hard front on the Arri, probably cheaper overall. Bruce at Aranda Film does a lot of Arri llc2 perf conversions.

Best regards,

Bruce Taylor
www.indi35.com
Los Angeles
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#7 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 05:12 AM

If you're going to go to all the trouble of changing an Arri 2 to a hard front OCT-19 mount, you might as well go with a Konvas 2M with a modern electronics sync motor. You'll be money ahead, it will run on 12 volts and quite frankly, I see no advantage an Arri 2 would have over a Konvas 2M. They are both MOS cameras that can run crystal sync motors. They are both limited to 400 ft mag loads, they both can be converted to 2 perf (though that will probably cost 4 grand to do on either camera) HOWEVER the Konvas can run inexpensive square front anamorphic lenses that are fairly common on ebay and sell for around $800 bucks each so for what a Techinscope conversion costs, you can own a set of anamorphic lenses, an anamorphic gate (which can be installed in a few seconds without any tools needed)and a De-anamorphic viewfinder (which are also common on ebay) since you are shooting 200 to 400 ft rolls, you can buy short ends so the film costs are minimal and the camera does not have to be threaded only loaded into the mads properly and the mag locked into the camera which makes using short ends VERY attractive. Plus the Arri is far more fragile than the Konvas. The only negative is the 200 ft mags on the Konvas require the use of special smaller film cores the Russians made specifically for them or an adapter that Raf at Raf camera makes that will allow you to use standard Kodak cores but limits you film load to 170 ft.

HERE's a Kinor 35H for sale on Ebay right now BTW if you decide to go that way:

http://cgi.ebay.com/...1QQcmdZViewItem

No lenses included thought.

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 22 March 2009 - 05:16 AM.

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#8 Andreas Wessberg FSF

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 09:35 AM

Erik. I shoot a 2perf feature last summer here in sweden with cameras and lenses from Solid entertainment.
Contact me if you want to now more about it.

andreas
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#9 Hal Smith

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 11:37 AM

The older quality lenses aren't cheap anymore unless you get lucky. Cooke Speed Panchro II/III lenses I bought for $250-350 are now going for two to three times that. When the RED camera was getting close to production I guessed (correctly!) that there would be people ordering those cameras who had no idea just how much modern new and used 35mm glass cost and who shortly afterwards would start buying up all the older lenses.

Ken Stone has had an Arri 2C with a BNCR hardfront conversion on and off eBay for some time. That may be the most economic route to go since Baltars, Super Baltars, and lenses like the Angenieux 20-120mm zoom in BNCR mount are still relatively cheap compared to Zeiss and Cooke lenses in Arri Standard mount.
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#10 Bruce Taylor

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 06:59 PM

I see no advantage an Arri 2 would have over a Konvas 2M.


The advantage would be the cost of a 2 perf conversion. The Arri ll conversion from Bruce at ArandaFilm is not expensive (2k or less if IRC). The Konvas is 5- 6 grand because of the Konvas movement. I was looking into just such an Arri llC/OCT19 hardfront conversion for that reason. But that idea fizzled with our economy.

Bruce Taylor
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#11 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 03:57 AM

Yeah, I can see how you might come to that initial conclusion, but consider this, you figure an Arri OCT-19 hard front conversion alone has got to add a grand or more to the camera then add another 2 grand for the 2 perf conversion so now you're at 3 grand plus the cost of the camera it's self so you are CLOSE to the 4 grand to convert the Konvas 2M to 2 perf, now factor in the costs of stock and the 2M's ability, due to the fact that the mags can be pre-loaded and changed far more quickly and easily that short end loads on an Arri 2, to make short ends viable for feature production ESPECIALLY in a 2 perf configuration where a 170 ft load would essentially become a 340 ft load in practical application, where the Arri would add time and therefore production cost every time the mag is changed and be forced by practical necessity to stay mostly with more expensive long ends that would STILL would take more time to load when needed and the cost of conversion becomes negligible over the long haul. and ALSO factoring in the durability of the Konvas 2M in comparison to the more fragile Arri 2 and the cost factors virtually disappear after the first feature shoot, and the Konvas gains ground on any subsequent shoots. Your biggest expense after a star on a feature low budget film shot on 35mm will be film stock, processing and transfer. when you have the ability to shoot very short ends at say.05 cents a foot, you can cut stock costs significantly also if you OWN a camera, you want one that can take a lot of abuse and still keep running particularly if that is your only camera. The 2M fits those specifications, the Arri 2, though a very good camera, falls a bit short of the mark.

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 23 March 2009 - 04:02 AM.

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#12 Tim Carroll

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 08:53 AM

James,

What are you talking about?

where the Arri would add time and therefore production cost every time the mag is changed and be forced by practical necessity to stay mostly with more expensive long ends that would STILL would take more time to load when needed

I shoot short ends in my IIC almost exclusively and have never had any problems with loading short ends into mags or swapping from mag to mag while shooting. It's simple and fast.

ALSO factoring in the durability of the Konvas 2M in comparison to the more fragile Arri 2

I have never shot with a Konvas camera, but the Arriflex 35 IIC is an absolute tank. The only way the Konvas could be more durable is if the Konvas was a solid chunk of steel. IIC's are some of the most "bullet proof" cameras ever made, which is why they're still going strong fifty, sixty and sometimes seventy years after they were made.

the ability to shoot very short ends at say.05 cents a foot

Please let me know where you are getting short ends for 5¢ a foot (I'm assuming you really meant 5¢ a foot, not .05¢ a foot). Because I am paying 15¢ a foot for Kodak at Film Emporium and if you found it for 5¢ a foot, I would love to buy some.

Best,
-Tim
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#13 John Sprung

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 11:22 AM

I have never shot with a Konvas camera, but the Arriflex 35 IIC is an absolute tank. The only way the Konvas could be more durable is if the Konvas was a solid chunk of steel. IIC's are some of the most "bullet proof" cameras ever made, which is why they're still going strong fifty, sixty and sometimes seventy years after they were made.


Having had both, I can confirm that the Arri is by far the more robust machine. The Konvas has that wimpy little gear that barely drives the magazine, and the whole thing is a lot looser and the latches not as strong. The original Arri hand camera, now known as the Model I, was made primarily to shoot newsreels in WWII (Die Deutsche Wochenschau). The Arri II-B and later have the cardioid cam pulldown, which gives you far better registration than a Konvas.




-- J.S.
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#14 Erik Turestedt

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 12:28 PM

Thanks a lot for the help guys...

I'll have a think about everything...

I'll probably make some test shots with some 2 perf cameras rented from Solid entertainment, just to test the whole worflow from cam-lab-disk.


Big thanks and good luck to all of you...


Erik
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#15 Bruce Taylor

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 05:36 PM

James,
I have never shot with a Konvas camera, but the Arriflex 35 IIC is an absolute tank.

Please let me know where you are getting short ends for 5¢ a foot (I'm assuming you really meant 5¢ a foot, not .05¢ a foot). Because I am paying 15¢ a foot for Kodak at Film Emporium and if you found it for 5¢ a foot, I would love to buy some.

Best,
-Tim


Steve (James),

While I appreciate your enthusiasm for the Konvas, my goodness, don't become a REDhead about it! Good point too, about the total cost, since I have so much Russian stuff it would probably be worth converting a 2M instead of an Arri simply because of the accessories I already have. That is, if there was enough demand for a Russian MOS 2 perf. I have never used an Arri llC, but I have always heard they are tanks when it comes to durability.

Tim,

I used to use Film Emporium, until I found www.reelgoodfilm.com (just down Sunset Blvd from Film Emp). Film Emp didn't have a great selection of stocks and they were .15 a foot, for really short short ends. I bought fresh 5279 at reelgood for .05 a ft. 200-250 ft lengths. 5219 was .10 a foot, and they stock just about anything in 35mm.

I also picked up some 5219 and 5205 from an individual recently @ .05/ft, he may have some more, let me know if you're interested.

Bruce Taylor
www.indi35.com
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#16 Tim Carroll

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 06:08 PM

Tim,

I used to use Film Emporium, until I found www.reelgoodfilm.com (just down Sunset Blvd from Film Emp). Film Emp didn't have a great selection of stocks and they were .15 a foot, for really short short ends. I bought fresh 5279 at reelgood for .05 a ft. 200-250 ft lengths. 5219 was .10 a foot, and they stock just about anything in 35mm.

I also picked up some 5219 and 5205 from an individual recently @ .05/ft, he may have some more, let me know if you're interested.

Bruce Taylor
www.indi35.com


Bruce,

I'm in good shape (35mm wise) right now and am prepping for a Super 16 shoot in a month or so. But I will definitely keep www.reelgoodfilm.com in mind for 35mm short ends on future projects, that is a fantastic deal.

Best,
-Tim
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#17 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 06:06 AM

Steve (James),

While I appreciate your enthusiasm for the Konvas, my goodness, don't become a REDhead about it! Good point too, about the total cost, since I have so much Russian stuff it would probably be worth converting a 2M instead of an Arri simply because of the accessories I already have. That is, if there was enough demand for a Russian MOS 2 perf. I have never used an Arri llC, but I have always heard they are tanks when it comes to durability.

Tim,

I used to use Film Emporium, until I found www.reelgoodfilm.com (just down Sunset Blvd from Film Emp). Film Emp didn't have a great selection of stocks and they were .15 a foot, for really short short ends. I bought fresh 5279 at reelgood for .05 a ft. 200-250 ft lengths. 5219 was .10 a foot, and they stock just about anything in 35mm.

I also picked up some 5219 and 5205 from an individual recently @ .05/ft, he may have some more, let me know if you're interested.

Bruce Taylor
www.indi35.com


Bruce, I would NEVER become a REDhead, some of my best friends are Arri users :rolleyes:
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#18 K Borowski

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 06:55 AM

Bruce, I would NEVER become a REDhead, some of my best friends are Arri users :rolleyes:


I think that went right over your head. . .
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#19 Bruce Taylor

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 04:03 PM

Bruce, I would NEVER become a REDhead, some of my best friends are Arri users :rolleyes:


Steve,

Well done!
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