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Lens Investment (Zeiss, Schneider, Cooke, Luma Tech)


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#1 JosephCampanella

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 12:39 PM

Going to be pulling the trigger on a few lenses soon and just looking for some advice.


The goal is to get a 2-3 lenses set.

I was thinking of going with the CP.2 set, but the fact that they are more or less rehoused ZF lenses is holding me back.

The Schneider Cine-Xenar lenses look promising, but for the very few lenses tests I've seen done with them, I'm not as impressed with the images I've seen (very limited and of course could be chalked up to camera, lighting, etc...)

Then I started looking at the new glass by Luma Tech. They are very fast at T1.3, but kind of an unproven brand. Not sure I want to sink $20,000 into lenses that will have less of a resale value and job appeal.

Cooke has recently released a new version of their Panchro series, which, to me, seems like the best deal. I was told and have read that at T3 they are nearly indistinguishable to the S4s which to me sounds too good to be true.

I'm constantly pinging back and forth on this.

Should I get a 5 kit lens CP.2 set? Three Luma Tech Illuminas, which are faster by almost 3 stops on the wide end (18mm) Are the Schneider's better than I'm giving them credit? Are the Cooke Panchros the most sensible option in terms of quality glass vs. price vs. T-stop? Or should I instead of getting 3 Cooke Panchros that are all T2.8, go with 2 Zeiss Ultra Primes, which would be just a few thousand more?

Also, we have to take into account that shooting at 800 ISO is becoming more and more of a reality, therefore making a T2.8 stop the T2 of yesteryear.

Then of course it comes down to the look of the lenses which is more important than T-stop or price. Also, quality of build.

I think I prefer the warmer softer look of the Cooke lenses to the harder look of the Zeiss, but to be honest, I can go either way.

This is a bit of a rant, and kind of annoying for a first post. Just wondering if anybody here as any opinions on any of these lenses.


I'm leaning towards the Cooke Panchros right now. An 18mm, 32mm & 75mm. All at T2.8 which I think will be fine. Most of the time I'm sitting comfortably at T3 anyhow, and if I can get the quality of a $20,000 Cooke lens for $8,000 it sounds like a great deal to me.

Thanks in advance.
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 12:55 PM

I think you answered your own question in regards to liking the look of Cookes.
Also, regardless of how far a lens opens up, in truth, most of us tend to stay in 2.8~5.6 range.
And, in such situations where you might need super fast lenses, e.g. 1.3s (of which I own the Optar Illumina/Luma Tech versions) you can rent.
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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