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to cine lens, or not


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#1 Bill Chepel

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 10:19 AM

I want to make the move to a DSLR, probably a 7D, and have to make a decision re lenses. I own a factory multi-coated 20-120 Ang zoom (T2.9) and a 16mm Zeiss prime (T2.1) - both from the late 70s, with b-mounts, but in terrific condition (serviced, etc.) They're old, but they were good lenses in their day.

So my dilemma is do I convert them to PL mounts, get an adapter and use them with the 7D since I already own them and they are intended for cine use (focus especially), or is the conversion and rig necessary to use them not worth it? Are the optics of these older cine lenses comparable with modern Canon lenses intended for this camera?

If I didn't already own them, this would not be a difficult decision. I'm thinking that with the right support, rods, etc., I could save money and have a setup that works well for filmmaking. On the other hand, getting them to work on a 7D may be a kluge, and maybe they're lame compared to todays "L" lenses in optical quality, ease of use. etc.. I dunno.... What would you do?
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 10:26 AM

Honestly Bill, the lenses will save your ACs a lot of trouble with focus, but a good 1AC should be able to work with good canon lenses. What I would suggest, though, would be to look into renting Compact Primes, from Zeiss which are available in a Canon mount, no kludging needed and they'll have all the focus of a typical cine lens.
AS far as i know, the only way to PL a 7D is the "hot rod" system which requires removing the whole front of the camera and putting a hard mount on, and costs a few thousand.
Another option would be to look into a Micro 4/3rds system, which has adapters available. The new Panasonic camera, AF-100, is a 4/3rd sensor/mount in a video body, which might be more useful for you. Plus, it has all the audio inputs needed for a normal video camera and records to a more NLE friendly codec (AVCHD)
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#3 Eric Weindel

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 12:01 AM

Bill I think all Arri B-mount lenses are for 16mm yes? This means your lenses won't cover the 7D sensor without huge vignetting. I believe the 4/3 sensor systems are your only option if you want to shoot with your glass. And you might want to check and see if your lenses can even cover this format which is also larger than 16mm.

-ERIC
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#4 Tim Tyler

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 04:10 PM

AFAIK The 16mm lenses won't cover a four-thirds sensor.

If you can figure out a way to mount your lenses on the Panasonic GH2, then you can use that camera's 1:1 feature which should match nicely with your lenses. The GH2 offers similar video settings, quality, and codec to the AF100, but it is a point-and-shoot form factor with poor pro audio, time code, and monitoring capabilities.
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#5 Jaron Berman

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 11:38 PM

and no internal ND wheel! That alone is worth the cost over the GH2 (along with everything else you get). I gotta say - Hooking up an SDI monitor to the AF100 without adapters or fuss is a revelation when I've been dealing with stupid ##%&*@&# slrs.. The image looked noisy, so I hooked up a proper waveform (!!!) and it only took a few minutes to tweak the scene file to deliver the clean image all the early users are reporting. Doing that without SDI would have been a @&*(#(_#. Back to the topic at hand though - I second the idea of keeping the zoom and getting the GH2 - its blows away other DSLR. Demo it if you can. The lens mount flexibility is magic, being able to use your zoom 1:1 - no other cam can do that AND allow you to mount m43/nikon/canon/pl lenses without ripping apart your cam. Seriously, the GH2 is a game changer.
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#6 Bill Chepel

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 11:37 AM

Hey guys, thanks for the input. FYI, the arri b-mount is for 35mm lenses too. The Ang zoom was used with my IIC. The GH2 sounds amazing and I am definitely going to check it out. Given that my zoom is intended for 35mm and the 7D sensor size, do you still favor the GH2?
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#7 Tim Tyler

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 11:46 AM

FYI, the arri b-mount is for 35mm lenses


Doh! You're right. I was thinking 16mm. Your 20-120 would cover four-thirds sensor fine. Not sure about the 7D.
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#8 Frank Glencairn

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 04:01 AM

Why not using an adapter?

Here: http://shop.ebay.de/...=&_trksid=p3686

or there you might find one: http://shop.ebay.de/...=&_trksid=p3686

best, Frank
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#9 Hal Smith

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 09:23 AM

At least one Angenieux zoom lens in BNCR will go on a minimally modified 7D. My 20-120mm T2.9 is retrofocal design, there's almost zero room needed behind the rear element. The Arri standard and bayonet mount versions of that lens would project well into the mirror box, it might be simplest to have a lens tech change a std/bayo mount lens to PL or BNCR. I see no reason why one of the PL/EOS adapters that install in the EOS mount itself wouldn't work on an unmodified 7D with a retrofocal lens.

I suspect the 25-250mm is the same basic design but I don't have one in hand to look at.

I'm buying one of the Polish BNCR/EOS adapters that require removing the EOS mount's four screws to install their adapter. There are new Angie zooms that are retrofocal and are obviously PL mount. Angie had short zoom on a 7D at this year's NAB, it produced an awesome image. Anyone out there who has tried a modern PL mount Angie on a 7D?

One huge advantage of a motion picture zoom lenses over Canon lenses is they're parfocal, you can zoom in, focus, and then zoom out. That doesn't work with still photo zooms. My otherwise killer little EF-S 17-55mm F2.8 drives me nuts when shooting documentary style. I've got the docco habit of always zooming in to focus, then out to frame...which of course never works with a still zoom. :o
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