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Cine vs Still lenses (Zeiss CP.2 vs Nikon glass)


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#1 Travis Gray

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 09:35 AM

So, low participation in this forum and now I'm coming with an annoying question (need to make a point of being more active here), but, I'm in the process of buying new glass and looking to either get opinions or figure out what questions I'm not asking myself to make the best decision.

I'm moving more into doing small budget projects and commercial work, and while I'm ramping things up, doing weddings (been doing them for a while now so, gotta do what I know haha). And right now I'm shooting on the Sony FS100 and a D7000 for when I need a second camera/something small.

I've been looking at the Zeiss Compact Primes for a while now and they look like they're a pretty good set for the price and I've read some pretty good things about them, and I definitely like the low weight. Haven't specifically used them with the camera, but have handled them and liked them as far as that's concerned.

But, given the price, I could definitely save/get more if I just went with Nikon glass. While I'm sure wedding clients (and I've found a lot of times for the most part, other people) don't notice weird little differences and things like breathing, I do like to shoot for the best quality I can pull off.

So does anyone know if the difference between the two is such a huge difference where it'd be obvious to go with one over the other?
I'm using the Novoflex f-mount adapter, so the Zeiss having the iris ring is awesome so I actually know what I'm shooting at (also fixed by getting the D Nikon lenses), as well as the standard sizes so when I do have it on a rig I can easily switch things out, and there's the obvious difference in focus rings.

Maybe there's also something that I'm just not thinking of asking myself to see what would work best for me that someone may be able to point out. It'd probably be nice to have a set of cine primes on hand to shoot things that come up, and then rent better glass/cameras for bigger projects, but I also want to make sure that I'm not just after the CP.2 because I like the look of them haha

I dunno. Sorry for the long post, but hopefully I can gain some insight into things.
Thanks!
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 09:44 AM

If you're doing video, then the Zeiss is kind of a necessity. The Fact it has gears, a good throw, and good witness marks are going to make all the difference in those situations where you have to pull focus. While Nikon makes some damned fine lenses, a still lens and a cine lens are really worlds apart in the mechanical build, and that's really going to matter when you're moving out of the wedding world into projects with a crew.
Also, the CPs should be much better matched for color and "look," so there's less of a bump in contrast/color when switching lenses.

I'd recommend getting them in PL mount, though, and a PL mount for the FS100 as then you can also use your lenses on other PL cameras (Red, F3, AF101 (with PL Mount) ect.) and rent your set to other people who need them. This will make back some money for you.
For the Nikon, I'd get Nikon glass and use the camera for stills. I have always liked the old, and dirt cheap, e-series lenses, especially the 50mm F1.8. Until I dropped it off of a cliff in NM it was the lens that LIVED on my FM/F4 (yes, I know, I need to get with the digital times).
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#3 Travis Gray

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 09:53 AM

If you're doing video, then the Zeiss is kind of a necessity. The Fact it has gears, a good throw, and good witness marks are going to make all the difference in those situations where you have to pull focus. While Nikon makes some damned fine lenses, a still lens and a cine lens are really worlds apart in the mechanical build, and that's really going to matter when you're moving out of the wedding world into projects with a crew.
Also, the CPs should be much better matched for color and "look," so there's less of a bump in contrast/color when switching lenses.

I'd recommend getting them in PL mount, though, and a PL mount for the FS100 as then you can also use your lenses on other PL cameras (Red, F3, AF101 (with PL Mount) ect.) and rent your set to other people who need them. This will make back some money for you.
For the Nikon, I'd get Nikon glass and use the camera for stills. I have always liked the old, and dirt cheap, e-series lenses, especially the 50mm F1.8. Until I dropped it off of a cliff in NM it was the lens that LIVED on my FM/F4 (yes, I know, I need to get with the digital times).



I was planning on getting the CPs in f-mount, and then being able to switch out on the D7000 as well, because the one PL mount I originally looked at (because my first thought was PL mounts too) said there was an additional crop of 1.11. Kinda scared me off of the idea a bit.

Part of my reasoning with the Nikon glass too was that I'd be able to build up my still arsenal as well. And no need to say to get with the digital times, next on my list is to pick up an F5 haha. And I'm dying to have some client book me to shoot all in 16mm. But I doubt they'd want to pay for that hahaha
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 10:11 AM

Quite true.
But you need to kind of look @ this from a buisiness perspective. The lenses you buy for film/cine work will out-live your cameras by a long shot. That being said, I feel it makes more sense to buy in the de-factor film mount, that being PL. Plus, it opens you up to be able to rent out the lenses to productions who may need them (or add them on to your fee when you're booked for a gig on a camera you may not own).
And, while I'm sure the CPs would look great on a Nikon, I don't see the point in spending that much for glass for stills when you can grab old nikon lenses, in great condition from BH for a few dollars.
Forget about crop factors, that get's more confusing that need be, sufficient to say it's a stills camera thing. Sill film negative is larger than motion picture, and always has been, so ever film camera/lens will have a crop factor going onto a stills camera (and vice-versa).
Also, to be honest, you could get most of your stills work done with 1 good Nikon zoom lens, but that's not necessarily true for cine work (where primes are much better IMHO). But again, this is all my 2 cents. Look at what you want to do and choose the path of least resistance with the best ROI.

As for 16, if you can't tell 'em on that, try for 8mm for that "vintage," feel ;)
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