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Super 16mm zooms that don't breath


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#1 Albion Hockney

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 12:38 PM

Was curious on experience with various lenses on super 16mm.  I was planing on using a Zeiss 11-110 Zoom on a shoot with a long slow zoom shot. but apparently I have heard the lens breathes during zooms and won't hold focus? Are there any zooms that won't be a problem.

 

(When I say breathes I don't mean the subtle zoom effect created by pulling focus but instead the loss of focus while zooming...the opposite effect I suppose)


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#2 Alex Nelson

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 12:52 PM

Cine zooms don't usually change focus during zooming unless the back-focus is off. If a lens is properly collimated to the camera, by shimming the mount on either the lens or on the camera, it should hold focus through the full zoom range.


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#3 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 01:43 PM

Lens breathing refer to the image expanding of contracting when changing focus. When a lens holds focus throughout the zoom range it is referred to as 'parfocal.'

Practically all s16 zooms were designed to be parfocal, so like Alex says as long as the lens and the camera lens mount are properly collimated then the focus should hold while zooming. The Zeiss 11-110 is parfocal when correctly collimated. The close focus is 5' and the lens does breathe quite heavily. Canon has several s16 zooms like the 7-63, 8-64, 11.5-138, and 11-165 that are not quite as sharp but focus much closer and breathe less. Might be better for what you are trying to do.
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#4 Albion Hockney

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 03:42 PM

ok hmm got some misinformation. thanks for clearing it up. since the focus is holding one place during the take I dont think the breathing will be an issue.


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#5 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 04:02 PM

I can confirm that the 11-110 is parfocal. Though it does breathe.
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#6 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 06:20 PM

I don't know of any zoom lenses that don't breath. Perhaps the new Fujinons don't but I'd have to check on that. Anyone know about those?

G
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 06:37 PM

Some breathe less than others, just compare the 4:1 Primo zoom to the 11:1, for example.

When I shot 16mm decades ago, I recall the Canon 16mm zooms breathing less than the Zeiss and Angeniuex 16mm zooms.
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#8 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 07:17 PM

The Cooke 16mm zooms don't breath that much.


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#9 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 07:44 PM

The Cooke 10.4-52 was famous for not breathing.  Quite an old lens now,  but still a really good one.  Looking at the frameline during a pull,  magnification does clearly change,  but maybe it's not very impactful on our seeing compared to the focus shift.  And maybe it was just much better than the Zeiss with that.


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#10 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 08:23 PM

The Cooke 10.4-52 was famous for not breathing.  Quite an old lens now,  but still a really good one.  Looking at the frameline during a pull,  magnification does clearly change...


Seeing the magnification shift during a focus pull constitutes the very definition of breathing. Even in David's example of the Primo 4:1 and 11:1, there is still some degree of a magnification shift. I still don't know of any zoom lens that doesn't breathe. Just too many elements and lens groups moving not to prevent breathing.

G
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#11 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 09:04 PM

Seeing the magnification shift during a focus pull constitutes the very definition of breathing. ....

 

This seeming contadiction between what is said and what it really is,   is already expressed in my post.  If some prefer one lens over another it would be due to one breathing  less than the other.  If the breathing is unobservable in a film because our "seeing" is busy with something else,  so what. 


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#12 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 09:45 PM

This seeming contadiction between what is said and what it really is,   is already expressed in my post.  If some prefer one lens over another it would be due to one breathing  less than the other.  If the breathing is unobservable in a film because our "seeing" is busy with something else,  so what.


Ok. I see what your saying. Your point is that the breathing doesn't have an impact if it's disguised by the focus pull - whether it's really there or not. Correct? I have to look at it in a more absolute way since magnification shifts affect VFX so much. That's why we have to do visual effects lens grids all of the time now as a part of our usual routine. Even though the new Master Prime Anamorphic lenses are not zooms, we were extremely impressed with the zero breathing they display. That's not usual for any anamorphic lens. Pretty good.

G
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#13 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 10:32 PM

Hey Greg,

Yes that is what I thought.

I hadn't thought of the VFX thing.  Now I get why you are more stringent about it.

 

Cheers,

Gregg (2 Gs)


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#14 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 12:58 AM

Hey Greg,
Yes that is what I thought.
I hadn't thought of the VFX thing.  Now I get why you are more stringent about it.
 
Cheers,
Gregg (2 Gs)


Thanks Gregg!

G (2 Gs too but at either end!)
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#15 aapo lettinen

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 04:21 AM

I think the cabrio 19-90 does not breath much at least at the mid range. internal focus lenses breathe less by my experience so may be something to do with that


Edited by aapo lettinen, 07 November 2015 - 04:21 AM.

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#16 Kalle Folke

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 04:47 PM

The Cooke 10.4-52 was famous for not breathing.  Quite an old lens now,  but still a really good one.  Looking at the frameline during a pull,  magnification does clearly change,  but maybe it's not very impactful on our seeing compared to the focus shift.  And maybe it was just much better than the Zeiss with that.

 

Seeing the magnification shift during a focus pull constitutes the very definition of breathing. Even in David's example of the Primo 4:1 and 11:1, there is still some degree of a magnification shift. I still don't know of any zoom lens that doesn't breathe. Just too many elements and lens groups moving not to prevent breathing.

G

 

Hope I managed to get this quote thing to work...

 

I have the Cooke 10.4-52mm and I can confirm it's par focal and does not breathe (not enough for me to really notice at least, but I do no VFX work). For me it's nice to have a zoom since it makes focusing easier when I zoom in to focus (and then zoom out for wider focal lengths). When shooting Super 16 I usually judge focus by eye and with wider lenses it can be really hard for me without the zooming.

 

Maybe 10.4-52mm isn't long enough for your planned shot, but I wanted to take the opportunity to recommend this beautiful lens!


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#17 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 05:24 PM

As a general rule, you'll find that the greater the zoom range, the worse the breathing will be.  That's not always true but it happens often enough to be a good guide.  Back when I shot 16mm regularly, I always remember being disappointed that the old 16mm Zeiss zoom breathed so badly, and the front end would trombone in and out during a focus rack, making it hard to use a matte box -- because otherwise it was a very sharp, snappy zoom.


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#18 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 07:03 PM

The macro feature on that lens is also excellent. It makes up for the unremarkable close-focus.
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#19 David Peterson

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Posted 08 November 2015 - 08:45 AM

Was curious on experience with various lenses on super 16mm.  I was planing on using a Zeiss 11-110 Zoom on a shoot with a long slow zoom shot. but apparently I have heard the lens breathes during zooms and won't hold focus? Are there any zooms that won't be a problem.

 

(When I say breathes I don't mean the subtle zoom effect created by pulling focus but instead the loss of focus while zooming...the opposite effect I suppose)

 

You're using the wrong terminology, you mean "parfocal" not "breathing". 

 

https://en.wikipedia...i/Parfocal_lens


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#20 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 08 November 2015 - 11:48 AM

Yes, re-reading the original post, he wasn't talking about breathing but about holding focus during a zoom.  Cinema zooms are parfocal but if the back focus is off, then even a parfocal zoom won't hold focus as you zoom in and out.  So the Zeiss 11-110mm should hold focus during a zoom unless there is something wrong with the back focus.


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