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Eclair ACL and lenses


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#1 Heikki Repo

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:41 PM

Hello everyone,

for some time now I have been trying to find answer to this question of mine. Unfortunately despite all googling around and searching this forum and other forums with a dedicated base of filmshooters, I haven't been able to find answers that'd help me forward.

Now then, to describe the setting:
I own an Eclair ACL (R16). In my possession are also following lenses (all C-mount lenses non-reflex): Kern Switar 10mm, Kern Yvar 75mm, Som Berthiot Cinor 20mm, Som Berthiot Cinor 25mm and Angenieux 9.5-57mm (non-HEC) zoom. I own two adapters for mounting Arri S lenses to this camera.

The question I have been wondering is what options do I have concerning the lenses. I'd like to have a set of good primes, but ultimately my question is, are there cheap primes that would be sharper than the Angenieux zoom I already own but at the same time still cheap? I have no idea of the quality of the Cinors I own (but I suspect not too good since I got them for free with the Bolex I own..). I also own a good set of Olympus OM Zuikos and an adapter could be bought, but then again -- can 35mm still lenses compete with the Angenieux I own?

I also wonder about the look different lenses have. The 10mm Switar seems to be quite good lens and from some examples I have seen I do like the way it draws. Should I want to build a set of lenses around that look, what options do I have?

So to sum it up:
1) Are there cheap primes for Eclair ACL?
2) If there are, are they any better than Angenieux 9.5-57mm?
3) Should I want to have (cheap) primes that make image that can be cut with Switar 10mm images, what lenses should I look for?

Many thanks in advance and sorry for the frustration this topic might cause -- I know the space between the two (cheap and better than) is quite narrow but that's exactly why I'm turning to you who have more experience than I do! ;)
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#2 Jean-Louis Seguin

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:19 PM

The Switar lenses are very good. You could get a whole set 16, 25, 50, 75, etc... also the Aspheron that fits the 10mm and gives you 6mm.
Stick to non-RX Switars for your ACL.

Cheers,
Jean-Louis
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#3 Heikki Repo

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:46 PM

The Switar lenses are very good. You could get a whole set 16, 25, 50, 75, etc... also the Aspheron that fits the 10mm and gives you 6mm.
Stick to non-RX Switars for your ACL.

Cheers,
Jean-Louis


Thanks Jean-Louis,

In fact I do own Switar 25mm but it doesn't fit because part of it protrudes from the back of the lens, from behind the threading. Do you know, is there a version of this lens which doesn't have this problem?

Thanks,
Heikki
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#4 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 07:17 PM

Heikki,
The Switars always looked quite sharp and can be cheap. But they are really small and fidley to work with and not very practical if there are a lot of lens changes. You could look at Arriflex Schneider (Arri standard mount) primes, Cooke Kinetal, or MK I Zeiss super speeds. I saw a set of Zeiss sell a few months ago as singles for about $500 each with gears and 80mm front mods. That seems really cheap but I don't know your budget. The Scneider and the Cooke Kinetals are often cheaper. Are there any lenses for sale in Finland so you can see them first, get some advice from the sellers etc?

Another option is to get a Zeiss 10-100 T3 zoom. These are quite sharp and sometimes cheap.

Edited by Gregg MacPherson, 28 January 2013 - 07:18 PM.

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#5 Jean-Louis Seguin

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 11:14 PM

Thanks Jean-Louis,

In fact I do own Switar 25mm but it doesn't fit because part of it protrudes from the back of the lens, from behind the threading. Do you know, is there a version of this lens which doesn't have this problem?

Thanks,
Heikki



You must have the really early "deep-mount" version made for the H16 with the very thick turret.
More recent versions of the 25mm would work fine on the ACL.

Kinetals could work but with the Arri-standard adapter for the ACL, you can't tighten the locking ring all the way or it will prevent the lens from focusing. You have to loosing the tightening ring just a little in order to focus. Not an ideal set-up.

Cheers,
Jean-Louis
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#6 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 11:30 PM

Hey Jean-Louis,
I was always put off the Kinetals because of them having to focus by turning in the lens port with vaseline or whatever lubricant. Do you think that the ACL / Arri S adapter is particularly bad for the Kinetals, because of the shape of the locking part perhaps. Is that locking part shaped diffeently, maybe better for the Kinetals in old Arri camera ports? Les Bosher does a nice ACL / Arri S mount that gives Kinetals a focuing sleeve in the mount, but it's expensive.
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#7 Jean-Louis Seguin

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:33 AM

Actually, the ACL Arri-S adapter is not bad at all as it has three locking lugs that grab the groove on the lens evenly, but you have to find the sweet spot when tightening the lens locking ring and tape it down so it doesn't accidentally move. I have one in my hand right now with a Kinetal in it and there is no play, yet I can focus the lens no problem.

I'd like to see that Bosher adapter. A rotating sleeve would be an ideal solution for the Kinetals but I can see how its construction would be more complex and more expensive.

Cheers,
Jean-Louis
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#8 Heikki Repo

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:02 AM

Thanks Gregg and Jean-Louis,

I think I'll take the Switar route, that way the look will be more consistent I hope -- and Switars are at least a little closer to my shoebox budget and more available here in Europe than other cine lenses, it seems. While being ill suited for follow focusing, their lightness is something that I do like.

Now I just have to find new enough non-reflex Switars... :)
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