Jump to content


Photo

Fuji HA17x7.8 - opinions?


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11944 posts
  • Other

Posted 12 March 2014 - 12:33 PM

Hi folks,

 

So I'm toying with the idea of getting back into owning at least something of a camera, and have come to the conclusion that I'll likely need to grab some sort of reasonable glass to go on it.

 

Has anyone got an opinion on the Fuji HA17x7.8BERM? It's a proper 2/3" HD video zoom in B4 mount. Apparently they cover big chips quite well with the extender in.

 

P


  • 0

#2 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4161 posts
  • Other
  • Went over the edge... Central Europe

Posted 14 March 2014 - 04:58 PM

Hi folks,

 

So I'm toying with the idea of getting back into owning at least something of a camera, and have come to the conclusion that I'll likely need to grab some sort of reasonable glass to go on it.

 

Has anyone got an opinion on the Fuji HA17x7.8BERM? It's a proper 2/3" HD video zoom in B4 mount. Apparently they cover big chips quite well with the extender in.

 

P

 

Aren't they fantastically expensive tho?

 

Freya


  • 0

#3 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11944 posts
  • Other

Posted 14 March 2014 - 06:41 PM

I've seen that particular type used for perhaps £2.5k, which interestingly enough is about what I paid for a Fuji S20x6.4 about ten years ago.

 

I've seen the results of standard-def B4 lenses on HD cameras and in the main they're not going to make me happy, so perhaps it's time for a splurge.

 

There are of course vastly better Fuji HA and Canon HJ series lenses out there, at the fantastically-expensive £20k end of the market.

 

P


  • 0

#4 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4161 posts
  • Other
  • Went over the edge... Central Europe

Posted 14 March 2014 - 07:01 PM

I've seen that particular type used for perhaps £2.5k, which interestingly enough is about what I paid for a Fuji S20x6.4 about ten years ago.

 

I've seen the results of standard-def B4 lenses on HD cameras and in the main they're not going to make me happy, so perhaps it's time for a splurge.

 

There are of course vastly better Fuji HA and Canon HJ series lenses out there, at the fantastically-expensive £20k end of the market.

 

P

 

I've heard that some of the standard def B4 lenses are far, far better than others but It's never been clear which ones!

In fact it's hard to find info on B4 lenses generally.

 

Theres also the issue of the fact they are designed for 3ccd cameras and how well any adapter compensates for that?

At the $20K end of things then I'd be looking at optimo dps instead personally.

 

Freya


  • 0

#5 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11944 posts
  • Other

Posted 14 March 2014 - 07:19 PM

The 3-chip splitter block lens design issue is rapidly becoming a bit of an urban legend.

 

Lenses of the type we're discussing are designed to be broadly image-space telecentric, at least as regards light originating at the currently selected focal plane (which is why Viper images went green and magenta top and bottom in out-of-focus areas). It's not designed to have various wavelengths focus at different distances, it's designed to have everything come out the back parallel. This is good for digital sensors too because it means that we shouldn't see problems of the type that I get (for instance) when I put old Pentax K mount lenses on a Canon 400D, which vignette green around the edges.

 

It isn't a problem, or at least shouldn't be in most cases. In any situation where I was buying a lens with the idea of using it a lot on a particular camera, I'd try it first if I could.

 

I don't think the Optimo DP series is really very comparable. I'm looking for an ENG-style lens for off-the-shoulder and lone working. With many modern cameras I could pull the lens and adaptor and mount almost any lens for single-camera sort of work (whatever I get is likely to be MFT mount).

 

P


  • 0

#6 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4161 posts
  • Other
  • Went over the edge... Central Europe

Posted 14 March 2014 - 09:23 PM


I don't think the Optimo DP series is really very comparable. I'm looking for an ENG-style lens for off-the-shoulder and lone working. With many modern cameras I could pull the lens and adaptor and mount almost any lens for single-camera sort of work (whatever I get is likely to be MFT mount).

 

P

 

Well yes, I was more speaking in terms of cost tho. By the time you are looking at £20,000 I'd be very nervous given that an optimo dp lens costs between 1/2-2/3 of the price, is more likely to still be useful if 4K takes off and has more of a resale value if you want to sell in the future.

 

In actual use, they are not going to be as comparable it's true.

 

Freya


  • 0

#7 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11944 posts
  • Other

Posted 15 March 2014 - 08:03 AM

I wouldn't spend £20k on lenses either.

 

The idea is that this whole thing should come in around £5k, assuming something like a GH4, of which glass would of course be the lion's share. That would get me 10-bit 4:2:2 HD with switchable sensor windowing, with the option to add the 4K output module and recorder late. Shame about the rolling shutter, but whaddayagonnado. I'd love to go for a Blackmagic 4K, but the only way to cover the sensor is either a lens or a lens adaptor that really would come under "fantastically expensive," or with DSLR lenses, which are detestable for documentary work if you're used to ENG cameras.

 

This would, in any case, be at least somewhat upgradable, maintaining at least part of its value into the future.

 

The applicability of a lens like this to 4K work is of course somewhat open to debate, but I would hope that the quality shortfall would be less than that between SD and HD lenses. And frankly, what's the choice? A £30k Fuji Cabrio that would probably outweigh the rest of a package like this, twice over? Not doable in my world, where nobody seems to want to pay for camera gear.

 

P


  • 0

#8 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4161 posts
  • Other
  • Went over the edge... Central Europe

Posted 15 March 2014 - 08:40 AM

Well I was especially pointing out that it wouldn't be good to spend £20K on a 2/3" broadcast zoom! That might be somewhat obvious tho! ;) You suggest the other choice would be a £30k Fuji Cabrio but I'm already pointing out that the other choice might be an Optimo DP at something like £14,000 + VAT new. Very nice lens that is more likely to hold its value than a broadcast zoom and is already being used in 4K contexts.

 

I've often wondered if it wouldn't be possible to attach a zoom motor from an old broadcast lens to something like this? One big problem is the zoom range is only 16-42, so you would probably want to supplement it with a cheap 75 or 85mm prime for close ups.

 

As you suggest it's not the same thing at all, as you are trying to get away from the workflow compromises and I can understand that. Obviously a £2.5K zoom does make more sense, in this context than a more expensive one but I would personally be concerned about how that lens might hold up in the world of 4K. The reason I'm concerned about that isn't because of any information I have about that lens per-se, because of course there is so little information about these lenses, but it's more about the whole history of B4 lenses themselves. It's been suggested to me that the standard definition lenses were often not even able to resolve standard definition resolution which seems kind of mind blowing to me, but the fact that people have made such a fuss over needing to have HD lenses would seem like there is some evidence to support this, as HD at the point in time that people were making of fuss about these things, started at a resolution of only 960x720 which really isn't that much. It seems to me that there might be scope to vastly improve the lenses and that they might still barely resolve 1080p by those kind of standards!

 

The big problem is the lack of any decent information about these lenses, so I would be very interested to hear about whatever you discover but I think you do need to keep in mind that there are presently very high quality cine zooms available at good prices, so I'd investigate the 2.5K lens as much as you can to find its limitations but I'd probably think twice about going above that, especially as there are presently no 2/3" 4K cameras.

 

Ironically there appear to be some people who really like the old SD B4 zooms and think they are more "filmic". I'm guessing that's the whole "filmic"=blurred thing. Shallow depth of field etc. Perhaps it helps hide certain video artifacts too.

 

Freya


Edited by Freya Black, 15 March 2014 - 08:40 AM.

  • 0

#9 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11944 posts
  • Other

Posted 15 March 2014 - 08:43 AM

I've often wondered if it wouldn't be possible to attach a zoom motor from an old broadcast lens to something like this?

 

I fear the gears would end up in entirely the wrong place; the servo grips are designed per lens, as far as I know. I mean, on mine, the legend "S20x6.4 BRM-SD" is on the grip, not the barrel. Film and video lenses tend to have different gear pitches too. To do this you'd have to put remote lens control motors on it, with appropriate snap-on gears, and finangle that up to a zoom rocker somehow. I'm not even that obsessed with the servo zoom, to be honest, though it's nice; I just want a nice grip and a record button under my thumb.

 

I saw a prototype of a general-purpose grip at NAB a year or two back which was supposed to sit on DSLR lenses and provide similar services, which struck me as a fantastic idea, but I've not heard of it since.

 

There are some comparison images between SD and HD B4 zooms here:

 

http://www.oneriverm...com/blog/?p=984

 

These were shot at max focal length and minimum aperture. Under these circumstances, the SD is really... not great. The HD, while immeasurably better, is not as good as much cheaper EF glass, but of course it does have an absolutely enormous focal length range and is lightning fast, which is what you're paying for in optical performance.

 

And 19-90 isn't a huge range either. The lens in the topic goes from 7.8 to 132 even before you consider the doubler, and is more than a stop faster (sans doubler), although of course it doesn't project such a large image. And of course you could, if you wanted to, simply discount the bottom two stops of the 17x7.8 and get rather better optical performance. My S20x6.4, which was to be fair never a premium lens, looks pretty awful in SD at full telephoto and max aperture.

 

I have an acquaintance who shoots endless amounts of broadcast stuff. He uses his older SD 2/3" lenses on HD shoots and has reported no complaints, but presumably he isn't constantly shooting at max zoom and min aperture.

 

P


  • 0

#10 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4161 posts
  • Other
  • Went over the edge... Central Europe

Posted 15 March 2014 - 09:29 AM

 

There are some comparison images between SD and HD B4 zooms here:

 

http://www.oneriverm...com/blog/?p=984

 

These were shot at max focal length and minimum aperture. Under these circumstances, the SD is really... not great. The HD, while immeasurably better, is not as good as much cheaper EF glass, but of course it does have an absolutely enormous focal length range and is lightning fast, which is what you're paying for in optical performance.


I have an acquaintance who shoots endless amounts of broadcast stuff. He uses his older SD 2/3" lenses on HD shoots and has reported no complaints, but presumably he isn't constantly shooting at max zoom and min aperture.

 

 

Hey that's really, really helpful Phil! Thanks for that link!

I have heard so much on this issue but that is the first time I've seen an article that shows it like it is!

Clearly the issue is not so much about the lenses being sharp per-se but that edge to edge sharpness is poor.

I assume that in that context that stopping down the lenses a bit might help?

 

I have to confess that now I've seen the effect I kind of quite like it. Do you think the hipsters would have me? I do sort of like some Wes Anderson movies (although I couldn't even stand to sit through the "dahjaling limited" it was so bad, fast forwarded through it. It didn't get any better) I suspect I might get my cutlery the wrong way around or something tho.

 

Anyway it's definitely not an effect you would want all the time I suspect!

 

Freya


  • 0

#11 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4161 posts
  • Other
  • Went over the edge... Central Europe

Posted 15 March 2014 - 09:33 AM

By the way, that shot of the car looks quite good! If you can achieve that kind of quality it might work but I still would want to keep the cost down for all the reasons I already went over. I think £2.5K doesn't seem so bad, it seems in line with the $5000 that the guy in the article mentions. I still think you would have to question going above that kind of price.

 

Freya


  • 0

#12 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4161 posts
  • Other
  • Went over the edge... Central Europe

Posted 15 March 2014 - 10:44 AM

 

I fear the gears would end up in entirely the wrong place; the servo grips are designed per lens, as far as I know. I mean, on mine, the legend "S20x6.4 BRM-SD" is on the grip, not the barrel.

 

I think it's always the case that the legend is on the grip, but I still suspect they might be very similar if from the same manufacturer. It just makes sense to reuse as many standard parts as possible. I'll have to have a good look at my own lenses when I get the time and see if there is a lot of variation in these things.

 

Freya


  • 0

#13 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4161 posts
  • Other
  • Went over the edge... Central Europe

Posted 15 March 2014 - 11:06 AM

 I just want a nice grip and a record button under my thumb.

 

How are you planning to trigger the GH4's record from the button on the zoom?

 

Freya


Edited by Freya Black, 15 March 2014 - 11:09 AM.

  • 0

#14 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11944 posts
  • Other

Posted 15 March 2014 - 12:04 PM

I wasn't, I was going to trigger a Samurai Blade via LANC and a bit of basic microcontroller code (there's a LANC library out there, and it's easy enough to patch up the pushbuttons when making up a cable to power the servo zoom). This would also be an opportunity to use a Blackmagic HDMI to SDI mini-converter, which provides for embedding either AES digital audio or analog line level.

 

That said I believe there are simple closing-contact remote options that have previously worked on the GH series cameras, and it'd probably be nice to optionally have the mp4 SD card recording as an and/or option. One wonders if this could be a useful proxy option, if it were possible to ensure frame sync between the two recordings.

 

With the option to buy the expanded I/O base in the future, the only 4K recording would be on board, but that's OK; it keeps things upgradeable.

 

P


  • 0


Visual Products

The Slider

Aerial Filmworks

Paralinx LLC

CineTape

Metropolis Post

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Wooden Camera

Abel Cine

Glidecam

Tai Audio

CineLab

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Opal

Technodolly

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

FJS International, LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Willys Widgets

Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

Technodolly

Rig Wheels Passport

Ritter Battery

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineTape

Opal

Visual Products

CineLab

Aerial Filmworks

Abel Cine

Tai Audio

Paralinx LLC

FJS International, LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Metropolis Post

Broadcast Solutions Inc

The Slider

Wooden Camera

rebotnix Technologies

Glidecam

Willys Widgets