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Documentary Lens Suggestions


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#1 Frank DiBugnara

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 06:19 PM

I am putting together some packages for documentary work with the RED. We're looking for suggestions of good lenses that will cover 4K. They need to be small enough to to manage hand-held and more "on the go" type of shooting, but ideally still provide great resolution and good range--favoring the wide end.

Primes are obviously out and the new RED 18-85 I've used seems to perform well, but way too big and heavy for hand-held.

The older 18-50 and 50-150 RED lenses are smaller I believe (never used them myself) but I've heard mediocre reviews on them.

Any suggestions? We're looking to purchase, not rent.
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 06:41 PM

An 35mm zoom is going to be pretty heavy... unfortunately.
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#3 Matt Garrett

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 07:01 PM

if you need lightweight the red zooms are not bad. The reviews your heard are pretty spot on but in some situations they might be the best lens for the job.
There is also a 25-80 T3.4 Ekran zoom I used on the red for a documentary for Disney with lovely results. Great zoom for handheld and steadicam.
Fast, lightweight and covering the wide end is a hard combo though.

Edited by Matt Garrett, 02 December 2009 - 07:04 PM.

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#4 Rob Vogt

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 07:53 PM

The Optimo Rouge 30-80
The Century Optics 17-35 (though you will probably need more options for a documentary)
Elite makes a lightweight zoom 25-80
Rehoused Spherical lenses
Panavision has some lightweight lenses (I think they are rehoused Leicas)
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#5 Rob Vogt

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 07:54 PM

Also maybe consider a set of variable primes

Sorry for the double post

Edited by Rob Vogt, 02 December 2009 - 07:54 PM.

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#6 Olex Kalynychenko

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 03:16 AM

if you need lightweight the red zooms are not bad. The reviews your heard are pretty spot on but in some situations they might be the best lens for the job.
There is also a 25-80 T3.4 Ekran zoom I used on the red for a documentary for Disney with lovely results. Great zoom for handheld and steadicam.
Fast, lightweight and covering the wide end is a hard combo though.


I agree of opinion of Matt about russian 35 OPF-29-1 zoom lens 25-80 mm.
Thsi is very good lens.
This lens can have rear adapter 1.4x - 35-112 mm and rear anamoprhic adapter 50-160 mm.
But, this is rare lens and do not cheap.

From other side, i can recommend cheap and very good russian zoom lens Foton 37-140 mm.
Foton zoom lens can have OST-18, OST-19, Arri PL lens mount, have small size 190 mm and low weight 0.77 kg.
As for me, this is best choose for Konvas camera for documentary shoots.
I think, this can be good choose for RED too.

LOMO 35OPF-9-1, 35OPF-16-1 zoom lens 25-100 mm T4.2 193 mm, 2.3 kg


The next idea,
Vario Eliter - 50-150 mm modern zoom lens of Elite Optics company can have anamoprhic rear adapter 100-300 mm.

or other zoom lenses of ELite Optics:
Elite 17-35 mm T2.8 l=121 mm 1.5 kg
Elite 24-82 mm T2.8 l=203 mm 1.5 kg
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#7 Matt Garrett

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 03:38 AM

I agree of opinion of Matt about russian 35 OPF-29-1 zoom lens 25-80 mm.
Thsi is very good lens.
This lens can have rear adapter 1.4x - 35-112 mm and rear anamoprhic adapter 50-160 mm.
But, this is rare lens and do not cheap.

125/day in la
http://houseofsmooth...ipmentmenu.html
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#8 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 04:16 PM

You could check out the set up that Rodney Charters used on the RED for an around the world documentary.

http://visualnary.co...rld-in-red.html

It has limitations, but might be worth checking.
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#9 Frank DiBugnara

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 03:57 PM

Thanks for all the advice.

So, I am assuming that the Ekran and the 35 OPF-29-1 are the same lens? Can anyone suggest a vendor for this lens? Is it still in production?
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#10 Frank DiBugnara

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 04:56 PM

Here's a follow-up question:

In general, I have always stayed away from still lenses for any motion picture work. But now, with the prospect of doing a lot of traveling with the RED for documentary work, I'm wondering if I should revisit this option. I'm getting quotes on some of the newer short cine zooms---they are very costly and the ranges are limited when compared to the still lenses.

I'm familiar with still lenses' incompatibility with zoom motors, follow focus, etc as well as the different barrel characteristics, but other than these limitations, are there any others I should be aware of? What kind of differences would I notice in optical performance between an $800 still zoom and a $50K cine zoom?
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#11 Stephen Williams

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 08:11 AM

What kind of differences would I notice in optical performance between an $800 still zoom and a $50K cine zoom?


Hi Frank,

Focus holding as you zoom, with some still zooms the image jumps as you change direction with Zoom& Focus. Acual picture quality will be good, just handling issues.

Stephen
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#12 Matt Irwin

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 01:30 PM

Frank,

I've had to use the old red zooms in a documentary setting, and optically they're not half bad. My big gripe is the build quality and handling on the barrel, you're in trouble without a microforce. They actually flex if you do a fast rack.

Still zooms might be a good way to go- if I had to do a Red doc again I would probably test that route. A colleague of mine has been using the latest range of Tokina zooms for DSLR work and loves them- I think 11-16, 16-50, 50-135 - they're compact, built like a tank, all constant t/2.8, and sharp as hell. Just step the OD's to 80mm and add gears, and they could be a good option...

Matt
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#13 Frank DiBugnara

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 02:42 PM

Thanks, everyone....you are great as always. This is a big help.

Happy Holidays.
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#14 Chris Keth

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 09:12 PM

You could do an awful lot if you carried the angenieux rouge zoom (30-80mm) and the rouge wide zoom (16-42mm I think).
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