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Compact Zooms - which way to go?

Canon CN-E Zoom

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#1 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 02:01 AM

Hi Guys,

 

I'm strongly considering moving from a set of CP.2 primes to a pair of compact zooms to speed things up on set (I'm generally shooting single-camera narrative, with a bit of commercial work here and there), and I was wondering if people could share their thoughts on the options out there at the moment.

 

We seem a little spoilt for choice with 'affordable' compact zooms at the moment, there's:

 

- Angenieux DPs 16-42mm and 30-80mm

- Zeiss Compact Zooms 15-30mm, 28-80mm and 70-200mm

- Arri Alluras 15-45mm and 30-80mm

- Canon CN-Es 15.5-47mm and 30-105mm

 

Each seems to have their pros and cons:

 

- The Angies are lovely, but top out at 80mm.

- The Zeisses cover vistavision, but 15-30mm is a bit limited and would require more frequent lens changes than other options, and as nice as having 28-200mm covered in just two lenses would be, I think I'd feel limited on the (28mm) wide end at times with that combo.

- The Alluras seem nice, but a little clean/uninspiring optically for my tastes

- The Canons cover the most appealing focal range of the lot, but their combination of warmth and high contrast seems like it would be hard to match with a set of conventional cine primes.


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#2 Haris Mlivic

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 05:25 AM

Have you considered something like just one Optimo 19-94? that should cover most of your needs I think. Might be out of price range, but shouldn't be that far of from three Compact Zooms.

 

Or maybe Optimo 15-40 and a Optimo 45-120? I guess that would be similar to the Canon combo, but more expensive :)

Or like the DP 16-42, and a Optimo 45-120 to save some money, they should match pretty well color wise.

 

I dont know, just some thoughts :)


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#3 Oron Cohen

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 10:45 AM

Angenieux DPs 16-42mm and 30-80mm got beautiful image, I just love the look of them and the focal lengths are perfect. If you really need a lens more than 80mm you could always add a prime later. 

Only main drawback for me, they don't work on film cameras, which is a shame but if it's not an issue for you, so go for that.  

 

I haven't used the new Zeiss, but it seems like they have a lot going for them, but as you stated something in the focal length is strange... 


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#4 cole t parzenn

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 03:11 PM

How much time does a lens change typically take?


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#5 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 08:50 PM

Thanks guys,

Haris, unfortunately those are all way outside of my price range, two $20k lenses is where I top out (which is why the range of the Canons is extra appealing).

How much time does a lens change typically take?


A lens change is generally 1-2 minutes depending on how much crap is hanging off the camera, but it's not just lens changes, it's being able to fine-tune framing without constantly having to move the tripod/slider/jib around. Anything that gives me more time to light and acquire additional coverage is a big deal for me.
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#6 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 11:16 PM

Do these zooms have to intercut with your Compact Primes? If so, then the Zeiss zooms are prob your best bet. I like the 70-200, haven't really tried the others. You could just get the medium and long zooms, and supplement the wide end with Compact Primes.

I chose the Canon cine zooms; in my opinion they are the best bang for the buck. What ended up swinging my decision was the Duclos mod for a universal mount, adapting easily to EF, PL, and PV. Being able to use the lenses on any camera, including film cameras with reflex viewfinders, makes a big difference.

Also, I find because of the focal length range, I rarely have to switch back and forth. I almost never need anything wider, and 15.5-47 is great range for handheld. The 30-105 is a better looking lens with less distortion, so I prefer to use that one as much as possible unless I need to go super wide. As for the warm look, I really like it. Sharp but still flattering on faces. I just wish the long zoom was a little bit longer. Would love to see the Canon equivalent of Fujinon's 75-300.
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#7 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 06:58 PM

Cheers Satsuki, I'd need to sell the CP.2s to be able to move to a pair of zooms, so matching them isn't a concern.

I'm leaning towards the Canons for the same reasons you have I think. Do you have any samples of work online that you've shot with yours?
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#8 Alexis Marcoux

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 05:08 PM

Hi Mark,

Just want to share my experience in case it help.

2 years ago I bought the 2 compacts zooms from Canon. I have to say that they perform amazingly. Just stellar piece of glass. And also very underestimated by the industry so far. But it should change because there is nothing better on the market for the buck. I also had problem color matching with my set of standard primes. After some research, I know the color match pretty close with Cooke and... The Canon Cine primes perfectly. Another well kept secret and unevaluated tools in the film industry. After testing them, I sold my standard set and bought a complete set of Canon primes. Such a good price for the buck. Yes they just make them in EF mount but you can modified them PL at Duclos Lens.

Canon make amazing glass. All color match perfectly. I'm very impress with them. Here are 2 interested links:



https://matthewduclo...-in-depth-look/

Good luck
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#9 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 07:02 AM

Thanks for your thoughts Alexis, I had the Canon CN-E primes in mind for a possible future addition (if I go with the Canon zooms), it'd be a nice combination to have the two compact zooms and the four 'superspeed' Canons for times when you need the extra couple of stops or the smaller size/weight of a prime lens.

 

Those samples from Homeland look great.


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#10 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 10 February 2015 - 04:24 AM

Cheers Satsuki, I'd need to sell the CP.2s to be able to move to a pair of zooms, so matching them isn't a concern.

I'm leaning towards the Canons for the same reasons you have I think. Do you have any samples of work online that you've shot with yours?

 

Shot 75% of this film in 2013 with the Canon Cine zooms and a 5D MK3 with Magic Lantern raw:  https://www.youtube....h?v=6qpudAhYhpc.

The other 25% is with various EF stills lenses, mostly Sigma 24mm f1.8 macro, 45mm f2.8 Tilt/Shift, and 70-200L f2.8 II.

 

And here are some frame grabs from a few unreleased projects shot with the Cine zooms, not the best examples of IQ since I used diffusion filters but what I've got on my laptop right now.

Sephora Collection:

 

15.5-47, HBM 1/4, F5 XAVC 1080p.

Marisa WS.jpg

Steve WS.jpg

 

30-105, HBM 1/8, F5 XAVC 1080p.

Marisa CU.jpg

Steve CU.jpg

 

30-105, clean, F5 XAVC 1080p.

Powder.jpg

Foundation.jpg

 

Drea 'Timebomb' Music Video:

 

30-105, rear net, A7S XAVC-S 1080p.

Drea Hook.jpg

Drea MCU.jpg

Drea CU.jpg

Drea ECU.jpg


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#11 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 10 February 2015 - 04:40 AM

Found a few more trailers for another film I shot last year with the Canon zooms:

 

'Goodbye Havana'

Canon 15.5-47, 30-105, rear net (1950's), Smoque 1 (1970's), F5 XAVC 1080p.


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#12 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 10 February 2015 - 08:25 AM

Thanks Satsuki! Some great looking stuff there. Wow... they really are bitingly sharp lenses - even through heavy diffusion like a net they don't let up.

How do you find distortion on the 15.5-47mm? The only thing I'm not too fond of in the samples I've seen so far, is the apparent barrel distortion on the widest shots. Is there a focal range at which that more obvious wide-end distortion goes away?

Cheers,

Mark
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#13 Freya Black

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Posted 10 February 2015 - 11:31 AM

 

Shot 75% of this film in 2013 with the Canon Cine zooms and a 5D MK3 with Magic Lantern raw:  https://www.youtube....h?v=6qpudAhYhpc.

The other 25% is with various EF stills lenses, mostly Sigma 24mm f1.8 macro, 45mm f2.8 Tilt/Shift, and 70-200L f2.8 II.

 

And here are some frame grabs from a few unreleased projects shot with the Cine zooms, not the best examples of IQ since I used diffusion filters but what I've got on my laptop right now.

Sephora Collection:

 

I recommend people stay away from this youtube video.

I was a fair ways into watching it when the computer suddenly forced a bizzare re-login in the middle of what I was doing.

I didn't think anything of it until a fair bit later when I realised the nature of this movie.

Give it a miss.

 

Freya


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#14 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 10 February 2015 - 04:19 PM

There's definitely some weird distortion going on in the 15.5-47. When I was looking to purchase, I took a trip down to Duclos Lenses and had Matthew put them up on the projector for me. There's some barrel at 15.5, then as you zoom in it lessens and becomes 'mustache' distortion at some point, sort of a combination of barrel on the perimeter and pincushion on the inside. In real world shooting, I don't find it to be a big issue but if I was doing a lot of VFX shots, I might choose to go with different lenses. I suspect it's pretty hard to design a lens with that wide of a focal length in that small size and weight without those compromises. It's kind of shocking to actually see lenses projected, as you will see all of their flaws and what they can get away with on a daily basis. I highly recommend it before purchasing. I did consider looking at the Optimo 16-42 and the Zeiss 15.5-45 but in the end I wanted a matching set and I don't regret it.

 

Freya,

 

Sorry the link didn't work for you. I have not had any issues while watching the film, very weird.


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#15 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 11 February 2015 - 07:00 PM

Thanks Satsuki, good to know.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark


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#16 Freya Black

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Posted 12 February 2015 - 07:31 AM


Freya,

 

Sorry the link didn't work for you. I have not had any issues while watching the film, very weird.

 

The link worked just fine but about halfway through my computer forced a re-login. I've now found that the security in my power management has been compromised too.

 

Given the nature of the movie I suggest staying well away from it.

 

Other than that a good movie!

Just not worth the hastle of a compromised system.

 

Freya


Edited by Freya Black, 12 February 2015 - 07:31 AM.

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#17 Mark Dunn

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Posted 12 February 2015 - 07:56 AM

No problem here.


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#18 Freya Black

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Posted 12 February 2015 - 08:49 AM

No problem here.

 

That you know about! ;)

 

Freya


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