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C-mount lenses on Super 8 cameras


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#1 John Richardson

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 08:53 AM

I have always been interested in testing different lenses on c-mountable super 8 cameras and was curious to hear if anyone has any opinions and actual experiences on various lenses, whether they be primes or zooms at any length, that have either been great, or terrible. For example, a friend swears by his Angenieux c-mount zoom (8-64mm) as being sharp as a tack at all ranges, while others say that it is really soft and actually the worst of the Angenieux c-mount zooms made for super 8 and that even those security cameras lenses and primes will always be a better option on the c-mount for super 8. I plan to do some tests in the future, but thought i'd see if anyone has any comments/things to consider with specific lenses to trial...
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#2 Jean-Louis Seguin

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 12:34 PM

I know this is not practical, but the only full-proof way to know is to try each piece of equipment yourself under the conditions you usually use.

Otherwise, gather as much information as you can from as many sources as you can on the merits of a particular piece of equipment before deciding on a verdict.

Try to search for professional evaluations on brand new samples of the lenses as were done in the trade magazines of the 70s such a Super8Filmaker, Movie Maker or Filmmaking.

Too often, an opinion is based on a maladjusted or otherwise defective sample of the lens and then it gets generalized to all such lenses.

Talking about equipment made in the 60s and 70s, it's a safe bet that a fixed focal length lens from a reputable manufacturer will usually perform better that any zoom.

Depth of focus is extremely critical in the super8 format and zooms and very wide angle lenses are often prone to back-focus errors that can seriously impact on sharpness.

This accounts for many instances of poor performance reported by users. Not to mention dirty lenses, lenses with internal fog, poorly seated lenses, maladjusted groundglass, etc...

If you're using one of the Beaulieu models with built-in gel filters (40 years old now!), I would seriously consider having them removed and the flange-focal distance re-adjusted. Use glass filters in front of the lens for any corrections.

Just my two pence.

Cheers,
Jean-Louis

Edited by Jean-Louis Seguin, 31 July 2010 - 12:35 PM.

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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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