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Prime vs. Telephoto


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#1 Dustan Lewis McBain

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 11:32 AM

in contrast to telephoto's and primes. I was to to shoot with a 50 mm prime. But had the option to stick on a 18-80 telephoto and set the distance to a 50 mm lens. Will both lenses look the exact same. Same depth of focus...
what if I put on a 45-250 and set the mark to 50 mm. Will that look the same aswell?

thank you,
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#2 Ben Brahem Ziryab

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 12:17 PM

Zooms (In this case, Telephoto zooms) and Primes serves different purposes. Per say the field of view should be the similar at same focal length. As for the quality,there is a difference. Primes tends to be faster lenses than zooms, considering all the light-loss in zooms (compare aperture in f-stop of both lenses at 50mm, not T stop). As well a lens with such focal length range is usually compromising quality. Primes usually takes advantage of improved coating, optical purity and better optical properties in general.

I can't say anything for sure, unless you provide us with more information. So if they're similar, my guess is you're better off with the prime, unless it's a budget issue,
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#3 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 12:21 PM

I think you're confusing a zoom lens with a telephoto lens, which is a longer focal length lens, usually a prime lens (i.e. it remains the same focal length).

Zoom lenses tend to breath (the angle of view changes as you adjust focus), but when the lenses are focused at infinity they should (in theory) have the same angle of view. Focused at less than infinity they'll perhaps be roughly within a ball park of each other, but not precisely the same, due to variations in the degree of breathing between different lenses.

It also could depend on accurate the focal length calibrations are.
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#4 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 12:48 PM

Technically, a zoom lens at, say, 18mm and a 18mm prime should give you the same image. But when the subject is close to the camera, the FOV changes just because the zoom lens is longer and therefore closer to the subject than the prime lens, giving you a different FOV. Learned this first hand when rigging hostess-tray camera-mounts on cars. The shorter-barreled primes of the same FOV as a longer-barreled zoom always gave me a wider image inside the car.
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#5 Dustan Lewis McBain

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 02:59 PM

Do all zooms breath? And is breathing a negative to all aspects of film, or do some people use it to their advantage and how?
Great tip! thanks guys.
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#6 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 04:19 PM

Do all zooms breath? And is breathing a negative to all aspects of film, or do some people use it to their advantage and how?


Most professional camera zooms breath, although some high end zoom lenses correct for it, you need to check if a particular lens breaths.

It's usually disadvantage because it reveals the focus adjustment and it reduces the angle of view when you need it most - in confined spaces. However, you can see it all the time on productions if you look out for it.

You don't find it on many prosumer video cameras with built in zooms, because they use a varifocal design rather than a "true" zoom design.
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#7 jay singh

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 03:07 AM

Can anybody tell in detail what is the difference betn prime lenses and ultra prime lenses. which is good for film making specially digital film making?

Edited by jaya, 28 August 2010 - 03:08 AM.

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#8 Stephen Williams

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 04:10 AM

Can anybody tell in detail what is the difference betn prime lenses and ultra prime lenses. which is good for film making specially digital film making?


Hi,

The Ultra prime is a zeiss range launched 15+ years ago, they are very good. Some people prefer Cooke S4's lenses have character & should be chosen for what you are shooting. That's the beauty of renting. You should not buy a set of expensive lenses without trying them & ideally some other lenses first.
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#9 Dustan Lewis McBain

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 06:12 PM

Hi,

The Ultra prime is a zeiss range launched 15+ years ago, they are very good. Some people prefer Cooke S4's lenses have character & should be chosen for what you are shooting. That's the beauty of renting. You should not buy a set of expensive lenses without trying them & ideally some other lenses first.


I understand that lenses made from different companies will be different. But how much different will they be? two lenses with the same focal length, speed, etc.. Would it be hard to tell the difference?
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#10 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 06:28 PM

I understand that lenses made from different companies will be different. But how much different will they be? two lenses with the same focal length, speed, etc.. Would it be hard to tell the difference?


Some manufacturers just make better glass than others. Zeiss lenses are very nice. I picked up a brand new 50mm Zeiss prime when I bought my Arriflex 16 S/B. Really sharp lens. But then you have Primos that not only give you a beautiful image but also produce a nice soft, milky circle of confusion.

So while all lenses have the same functions, they all have different characteristics.
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#11 jay singh

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 08:52 AM

Hi,

The Ultra prime is a zeiss range launched 15+ years ago, they are very good. That's the beauty of renting. You should not buy a set of expensive lenses without trying them & ideally some other lenses first.

I am buying lenses to make my movie and to let it out later for rent. My banker allow me to buy but will not support to rent it. so I need suggestions to buy set of lenses often cinematographers prefer to take on rent( lenses useful for my movie is the priority. pls help
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