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PL Mount Conversion for EOS 7D


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#1 Basil Chawkat

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 02:36 PM

Hello and sorry if this has been posted already somewhere, but I couldn't find it.

I'm a student film-maker trying to gather together a decent camera rig for professional use. I have decided to try and go the EOS 7D route. I was wondering however that if I were to begin investing in my own glass, should I try to buy PL mount cine lenses and then alter my EOS 7D to accept the PL mount as mentioned here, http://www.denz-deni...evo_PL54_en.pdf I understand the benefits of cine lenses and understand that the PL mount is one of the standard mounts for them, but do you think, considering the camera im using, it would be worth it to alter the body to accept them, or just rent my glass for my 7D until i move onto another camera where I would invest in PL Cine lenses or continue to rent? Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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#2 Sowatt Music

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 03:18 PM

Hi,
My opinion on using still photography lenses
Advantages:
a) you can buy them or rent them quite cheap.
b Quality is extremely high with high end Full frame Zeiss, Nikon and Canon lenses. always get fast high end lenses.
c) No modifications required.

Issues
a) Not made for film style shooting: Zoom and Focus not ergonomic in a film way of shooting.
b Still Photography zoom ranges are not optimal for film shooting.

My opinion on using PL lenses
advantages
a) choice of lenses rental: no limits
b High ergonomic factor: you shoot faster, you can employ film crews.

Issues
a) high rental price tag for high end lenses. If you rent cheap PL lenses you're better of with still photography lenses.
b not owning the lenses mean you can not experiment at home.

I personally opted for high end still photography lenses and am quite happy. You need to invest in a Follow focus and a matte box exactly like you would for PL lenses.
You can totally work in a professional film style with these lenses.

Edited by Sowatt Music, 30 June 2010 - 03:20 PM.

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#3 Chris Durham

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 03:28 PM

If you have money to start investing in PL Glass then I'd look instead at renting cameras. That said, if you want a relatively inexpensive camera at hand to pop those lenses on the 7D is about as inexpensive as you can get. That's an intriguing looking mod. I haven't seen that one before.
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 06:59 PM

One thing with PL glass, it costs a lot, yes, but you can keep it with you for other cameras, which is quite nice. I'd look into the Panasonic camera, which has been hacked to give it more quality, and it's 4/3rds mount allows you to use lens adapters to mount whatever you want on it without modification. That said, you can get a PL adapter and rent PL gear when you need it and a Nikon adapter for nikon glass you can buy now (i'm a nikon fan).
Or, get a 7D stock, some lenses for it, shoot and make some money, then buy a 2nd body to do the mod on later on in case you need PL mounts. Honestly, though, I'm a little leary about the HDSLR market, only because I feel you need to make money on 'em fast before the "next hot camera" comes out a few months down the line-- seems to be the way it goes.
A 3rd option would be buy the 7d for now, save up for a T2i, the T2i can take all your canon glass then use your original 7d for a mod.
Or, best option of all, find another owner and work out with him/her rentals on their system and invest on something more long-term, like lighting kits, matte boxes, filters, grip equipment, stuff that you need on EVERY set and which'll last for YEARS before going out-dated (if it ever does.. example.. my on 2K says "Walt Disney Animation" on the side of it.... and it still works!)
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#5 Basil Chawkat

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 08:56 AM

Just another question, i was checking some zeiss lenses and they have a set of cine dslr primes but they arent listed with T stops, I was just wondering why not?
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#6 Chris Durham

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 09:12 AM

If you're talking about the Zeiss CP.2 (compact prime) lenses, they're T2.1 (with the wider lenses having a smaller aperture)
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#7 Basil Chawkat

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 09:24 AM

You know what i was looking at their products page for cinematography and they listed these SLR lenses for cinematography on the left hand side, but i think they're just still lenses that they suggest for cinematography use. http://www.zeiss.com/cine, Like the Distagon or Planar lenses.

Edited by Basil Chawkat, 01 July 2010 - 09:27 AM.

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#8 Rob Vogt

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 09:35 AM

The ZE and ZF SLR lenses are made for still photography, but they have all manual controls so people would use them with the 35mm Adapters. The CPs (Compact Primes) are the same exact lenses rehoused with either a PL, EF or Nikon F mount, with an interchangeable mount option.

Edited by Rob Vogt, 01 July 2010 - 09:36 AM.

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#9 Chris Durham

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 09:37 AM

Well, the point of the CP is to be an intro-level Cine lens I think, and on on appropriate to the HDSLR/Red crowd. They've basically taken the glass of some of their stills lenses, manufactured it in Europe instead of Asia (so presumably to a higher quality) and housed it in a common-diameter barrel more ideal to cine accessories like rods and follow focus. They're not the greatest lenses in the world but at around $35,000 for a complete set of PL glass you can't complain much. And I've been on Red shoots with a Nikon mount and the stills lenses and they produce a pretty damn good image. There's no reason not to use these in independent films with indie budgets, and on higher end stuff you can always rent better. So I think for the low-end to middle budget cinematographer they're not a bad investment.
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#10 Basil Chawkat

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 09:53 AM

Thanks for the replies guys. Do you think design-wise it would be difficult to gear the SLR lenses as opposed to the CP2 lenses for follow focus?
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#11 Basil Chawkat

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 09:58 AM

Also do you think the speed of the CP 2 lenses is decent for film work?
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#12 Rob Vogt

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 11:04 AM

Well, the point of the CP is to be an intro-level Cine lens I think, and on on appropriate to the HDSLR/Red crowd. They've basically taken the glass of some of their stills lenses, manufactured it in Europe instead of Asia (so presumably to a higher quality)


I'm pretty sure the CPs are manufactured in Japan.

Also Basil putting gear rings or strips onto an SLR lens will make it compatible with a follow focus, but the focus rings move in the opposite direction as a cine lens and it still doesn't change the fact that the focus on a still lens is inaccurate.
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#13 Basil Chawkat

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 11:59 AM

I'm pretty sure the CPs are manufactured in Japan.

Also Basil putting gear rings or strips onto an SLR lens will make it compatible with a follow focus, but the focus rings move in the opposite direction as a cine lens and it still doesn't change the fact that the focus on a still lens is inaccurate.


Is breathing a primary concern with these SLR lenses?
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#14 Stephen Williams

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 01:40 PM

Is breathing a primary concern with these SLR lenses?


If breathing bothers you yes, but 30 years ago motion picture lenses breathed as do most 2/3 ENG lenses today.
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#15 Oliver Christoph Kochs

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 03:57 PM

To get to the beginning (a bit)...
This market is changing rapidly. There will be VDSLRs in the near future that offer a choice of lens mounts.
Why? Because the manufacturers will lose the mirror that prevents it from having a PL or any other mount.
They may have a "universal mount" kind-a thing i think, but i may be wrong. I can imagine that there will be one option
only to use the original companys lenses that are controlled by the camera itself so they can sell overpriced lens mounts of different types.
Having a 7D converted to a PL mount now nearly triples the price of the original camera. To be honest, i would buy older SLR glass instead. The older Nikons i.e. work like a charm but they focus the opposite direction which sometimes drives you nuts.

These newer Zeiss primes and the compact cine primes are not original Zeiss lenses, but may be based on their design.
They are made in Japan by COSINA under license. Globalisation sucks.
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