Jump to content


Red Zoom 18-85


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 Matti Poutanen

Matti Poutanen
  • Guests

Posted 22 April 2009 - 12:15 PM

Does anybody happen to have any experience with the 18-85 Red zoom lens, pros, cons? Rental houses in Finland don´t have it yet, so I can´t see it myself. Isn´t it a standard PL mount lens, so it can be used with any camera which uses a PL mount?

I´m not actually planning to use the lens with Red. I´m a shooting a project for TV in the summer and it will be aired in SD, I´m shooting with a 35mm lens adapter and would like to use a zoom lens. Angenieux and Cooke zooms feel like a overkill for 35mm adapter SD show, so I´m looking for a cheaper alternative. The cost of Cooke 20-100 is affordable, but the thing is pretty big physically, Red zoom seems to be a bit smaller in size.
  • 0

#2 Oliver Christoph Kochs

Oliver Christoph Kochs
  • Sustaining Members
  • 323 posts
  • Film Loader
  • Germany

Posted 22 April 2009 - 12:52 PM

Hi Matti,

most lens adapters have a matted ground glass. The grain of this glass cannot be seen / is not visible because the glass is moved by a motor (it rotates or vibrates).
If you stop down your lens, the grain or the patters from the movement becomes more visible. That's the reason you always have to shoot wide open and you should use lenses that are fast. Most zoom lens with a range like the RED lens you mention starts at a T2.8. IMHO this is already too stopped down. I'recommend a range of faster primes instead.
Greetz Oliver
  • 0

#3 Rob Vogt

Rob Vogt
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 437 posts
  • Other
  • New York

Posted 22 April 2009 - 06:54 PM

Hi Matti,

most lens adapters have a matted ground glass. The grain of this glass cannot be seen / is not visible because the glass is moved by a motor (it rotates or vibrates).
If you stop down your lens, the grain or the patters from the movement becomes more visible. That's the reason you always have to shoot wide open and you should use lenses that are fast. Most zoom lens with a range like the RED lens you mention starts at a T2.8. IMHO this is already too stopped down. I'recommend a range of faster primes instead.
Greetz Oliver

Posted Image

I just shot with the RED 18-50 on a P+S Technik adapter yesterday due to budget restrictions. I was pleased with the results, it did appear grainier than usual, than if we shot with super speeds, but it suited the story and the director's pocket.
  • 0

#4 Matti Poutanen

Matti Poutanen
  • Guests

Posted 26 April 2009 - 06:24 AM

Hi Matti,

most lens adapters have a matted ground glass. The grain of this glass cannot be seen / is not visible because the glass is moved by a motor (it rotates or vibrates).
If you stop down your lens, the grain or the patters from the movement becomes more visible. That's the reason you always have to shoot wide open and you should use lenses that are fast. Most zoom lens with a range like the RED lens you mention starts at a T2.8. IMHO this is already too stopped down. I'recommend a range of faster primes instead.
Greetz Oliver


I think I would get away with it since I´d be using a Pro35 (or possibly a Letus with EX3 relay lens), without EX3´s stock lens. The show used PMW-530P XDCAM, Pro35 and Cooke 20-100 F3.1 zoom for one summer but went back to primes because of the sheer size of the rig: the grain wasn´t an issue. Red zoom would be a stop faster and little smaller in size. Since EX3 camera body is a lot smaller I think it could work.

Tom Guillmette has an online review using a Angenieux 20-250 F3.5 zoom with Letus and EX1. Even with this rig there doesn´t seem to be grain problems (but many other problems due the amount of glass, vignetting, soft edges, weight etc). The review is here: http://www.tomguilme...us-elite-review.

My main question is that does the 18-85 Red zoom function like any other PL mounted zoom lens? Or does it function like Red lcd which cannot be used in other cameras (some of the electronics are in the camera body)? Of course I´d appreciate any insight on the optical quality and ergonomics of the lens also! Rob, did you have any problems with the Red zoom and Mini35, for example vignetting or edge to edge sharpness issues?
  • 0

#5 Rob Vogt

Rob Vogt
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 437 posts
  • Other
  • New York

Posted 27 April 2009 - 11:38 PM

No there weren't any issues with vignetting or edge to edge sharpness that I noticed though I was framing for 2:35 anyway. It seemed fairly even throughout. The lens can be used on any PL mount. I found this lens to be quite light and fairly fast at T3. I stayed at 50mm for the majority of the shots and had no problems. As for the 18-85, I cant really speak but Id imagine it'd be the same. Ill post some frame grabs if I get the ok from the director.
  • 0

#6 andres victorero

andres victorero
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 412 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Spain

Posted 15 May 2009 - 04:35 AM

You can see a test here:

View on Vimeo
  • 0

#7 A. Whitehouse

A. Whitehouse
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 267 posts
  • Director
  • Melbourne

Posted 15 May 2009 - 06:12 AM

I agree with Oliver, certainly that's been my experience with the P + S pro. In my opinion if you're shooting at around f4 then the DOF characteristics would be similar to shooting with the stock lens wide open on some of the 1/2 inch chip Sonys but I haven't ( and probably can't ) done the math to bear this out. Certainly the adapter is far more apparent the further you're stopped down and I've seen some weird colour abnormalities related to that as well ( vignetting etc. ). F3.1 to F2.9 isn't a stop faster either.
If the DOF is similar, is it really worth the added hassle for a possibly minimal return? That's for you to decide but I would push for some superspeeds or perhaps think about renting a better 1/2 inch lens instead of the adapter. Would Standards wide open be within budget? Actually they may not cover S35, I can't remember.
The EX3 is quick but that's still a lot of light you're going to have to push through that front end to get to a stop of 2.8 - 4 if you aren't shooting in day light.
Not to discourage you as they can be quite fun to use but in my experience you might not get the result you're after even in SD. As far as I know I don't think the 18-85 functions any differently to any other PL lens.
Good luck with your project.
  • 0


Glidecam

Opal

Ritter Battery

Metropolis Post

FJS International, LLC

Abel Cine

Tai Audio

The Slider

Visual Products

Wooden Camera

Rig Wheels Passport

Paralinx LLC

Willys Widgets

Aerial Filmworks

rebotnix Technologies

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineTape

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Technodolly

CineLab

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Tai Audio

FJS International, LLC

Ritter Battery

The Slider

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Wooden Camera

Metropolis Post

Abel Cine

Opal

CineLab

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

rebotnix Technologies

Glidecam

Paralinx LLC

CineTape

Visual Products

Technodolly

Willys Widgets

Rig Wheels Passport

Aerial Filmworks