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Your Best Lens


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#1 Chris D Walker

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 03:04 AM

Please be as broad or in-depth as you choose.

What is your favourite lens/lens set that you have ever used for a production? What makes it your favourite?

-Speed
-Sharpness
-Contrast
-Roll-off of focus
-Bokeh
-Spherical or anamorphic
-Ergonomics
-Weight
-Distortion free optics
-Unique characteristics

Is it a zoom lens? Ridley Scott's favourite lens appears to be the Angenieux 24-290 T2.8. What about for different lens mounts? B4, PL, PV etc.

As a sidebar question, what are your thoughts on shooting with lenses? Do you limit your palette? Do you shoot with a consistent stop? Is your personal taste for wider or telephoto lenses?

It'd be interesting to hear differing views and rationale for them.

As always, thanks to those who read and reply.

Edited by Chris D Walker, 10 June 2010 - 03:05 AM.

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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 09:01 AM

I don't think I have a favorite lens for cine shooting. For Stills it used to be my "e" series 50mm F1.8 nikon lens, which was a nice piece of glass, and I liked it a lot more than the F1.4 50mm I had to replace it with. I will say for cine I tend to be enjoying wider lenses, something like an 18mm or a 9.5mm (35mm and 16mm respectively), and I prefer my stops to be 'round a 2.8/4/5.6 on 35mm while on 16mm I often go WFO 1.3, and not liking to go above a 4.
I try to keep stop consistent for a sequence, though not so much so between sequences.
I will say, though, that I recently used some Ultra Primes, and I really enjoyed them but I haven't yet used them enough to call them favs. I also have a soft spot for Cooke optics over Zeiss and I don't like Zooms .
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#3 Ben Brahem Ziryab

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 10:19 PM

For anamorphic lenses, I'll usually go for the Lomo's. Excellent glass with great performance throughout all stops. I'm in love with Lomo's organic quality and dimensionality. Optical purity is obviously there, and they're for sure more affordable than the Hawks. When it comes to spherical glass, I would probably go for a set of Cooke S4 primes. You mention the Angenieux zoom, which I don't remember using since early 16 mill projects. Not a big fan of zooms, but again this probably has to do with my way of viewing a scene. I like to plan focal lengths at an early stage and using lenses that maintain even sharpness, all the way from center to corners. Every situation is different, so my focal length preferences would be slightly different between projects as well, but usually somewhere between 28-85mm on 3-perf Super35 format. If I wanna go wider than that, I'll use the Ultra Primes from Zeiss.
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#4 Chris D Walker

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 09:02 AM

There's a guy I know who's into photography and that's all we have in common and all we talk about. He shoots with a whole set of camera bodies and lenses (he still uses film in a 30-year old Minolta) but praises his Nikon glass to no end and a Tamron 28-300 f/3.8-6.3 on his Canon.

As far as cinematography the majority seem to be either in the Cooke or Zeiss camps. There's not as much distinction as to shooting with wide or longer lenses as I can see.

Are there any sets of primes or zooms that you've wanted to get your hands on since NAB? The new Leicas? Schneider? Arri and Fuji zoom lenses?
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#5 James Martin

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 04:04 PM

For me, it's the Panavision Digital Primo 8-72mm (aka 9:1)

Used it on a short last year, attached to a Panasonic HDX-900 and, don't ask me why, but everything I pointed it at looked sublime.

The 900 was hardly taxing on the resolution front, but I am very familiar with Canon's popular cine/tv lenses and I own a fujinon. The Panavision beat down on all of them on all fronts.

Main thing was just this "unknown" feel it gave though. Extremely pleasing bokeh, didn't seem to have a solitary weakness.
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#6 Chris Keth

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 02:45 AM

I'm fond of a 100mm cooke panchro for its look on closeups.
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