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sigma art lenses vs angenieux

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#1 Mitch Teller

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 03:14 PM

so..I grew up directing commercials with panaflex's and arri 535s...ziess superspeeds, primos, etc. Now I'm old and pretty much retired, but just put an order in for the Ursa mini 4.6K so I can still "F" around for myself. I took my friends 4.6 Ursa out for a test run beforehand. Rented both the Sigma art 18-35MM and the Angenieux Optimo 16-40, and shot a bunch of "apples to apples" comparisons in raw with identical grading. Results: besides the slight "color" difference (easily corrected), both lenses were remarkably similar. Sure, the optimo was slightly sharper when i began to "push" pixels in post. But, subjectively, VERY equatable. Can anyone out there convince me to buy a $17K lens vs an $800 dollar lens?? 

PS If i buy the sigma, i'll have Duclos do the film convert.


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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 03:54 PM

Well the higher cost ones will probably last longer, have truer marks, be easier to pull off of, and are parafocal -v- a stills lens. Whether that makes a difference or not to you I don't know. Often, and I'd say especially a bit with the wider zooms, we're looking at them more as a variable prime -v- an actual zoom lens.


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#3 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 06:06 PM

Big problem is the focus/zoom ratio. Plus, since still lenses aren't designed to have critical focus changes done mechanically, it can be hard to focus them perfectly.

Honestly, there are plenty of great/acceptable older zoom lenses which will work on the Ursa Mini no problem. DO you need the best if you're just going out and having fun?
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#4 Jan Tore Soerensen

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 06:16 PM

Doesn't make much sense to have a $17000 lens for personal or small projects. One can always rent them if needed(if rentals are available where you live). Maybe some middle ground? High-end stills glass or older cine glass.


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#5 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 07:02 PM

I own a Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 with a speedbooster and have never had any bad images taken by it. In fact, I compared it to my 14-45 kit lens and found it looks, basically the same - despite being twice the price. I have never shot with a true cinema lens, but I cannot really image how the quality is such an improvement. I think a lot of the improvement with the expensive cine-lenses relates to to the build quality, t stops vs f stops, better focus mechanism, etc. 

 

RocketJump Film School did a test comparing expensive lenses to, what essentially amounted to kit lenses, in the below video. They basically found that most industry-insiders could not even tell the difference. Honestly, there may be something to be said for the particular LOOK of a glass - for example the way it flares - but once you start getting into lenses I doubt the QUALITY of the image itself will suffer that much. 

 

Although, I'm not a professional cinematographer, so take that for whatever it's worth to you.

 

The below video is pretty funny too...

 


Edited by Landon D. Parks, 07 May 2016 - 07:06 PM.

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#6 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 08:47 PM

This guy has a great discussion about this and why there is a considerable difference between cinema and DSLR glass. One thing he mentions that I always forget is the cinema zoom's parfocus ability, which is super important. I just did a shoot this last week with FS7's and DSLR glass. Adjusting the stop was a pain, it would either open up too much, or not enough because it's not infinitely variable, like a de-clicked external mechanical adjustment.

I personally would never recommend DSLR glass for a cinema camera, even if you modify it.

Article: http://wolfcrow.com/...m-a-photo-lens/

Video:



FYI, it's one of the main reasons I went with a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema camera VS a large-imager camera. It's A LOT easier to find old school glass that looks fantastic and covers a Super 16mm size imager. I'm starting to shoot a new documentary this week and I just started using my Zeiss 12-120 S16 zoom lens on the BMPCC for the first time and the stuff came out great. It's so wonderful having a REAL piece of glass, it makes all the difference in my opinion. So if you're just having fun shooting and struggling for money, better to buy a smaller imager camera and better glass, then a larger imager camera that almost certainly requires better glass.
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#7 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 10:00 PM

. One thing he mentions that I always forget is the cinema zoom's parfocus ability, which is super important.
Video:


better to buy a smaller imager camera and better glass, then a larger imager camera that almost certainly requires better glass.

A parfocal zoom is only necessary if you intend to zoom in shot, which is not currently a fashionable thing to do. As long as the lens has reliable focus markings, it shouldn't be a problem.

 

Any modern, and most vintage, stills lenses comfortably out-resolve any digital cinema sensor, so questions of quality are really only confined to build quality and focus throw.


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#8 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 10:27 PM

I was going to say, I wouldn't worry about stills glass not resolving enough resolution... It's designed to resolve much more than 4k resolution - most stills are upward of 20-30 megapixels. 


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#9 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 10:51 PM

A parfocal zoom is only necessary if you intend to zoom in shot, which is not currently a fashionable thing to do. As long as the lens has reliable focus markings, it shouldn't be a problem.

 

But by necessity, for a zoom's focus marks to match at both ends of the zoom range, it has to be parfocal anyway.

 

I think that's actually one of the single most important elements of a zoom - being able to zoom in or zoom out from the same position, and run a wider or tighter take without having to make any changes to focus - it makes a huge difference to gaining coverage quickly. That's what really makes them faster than working with primes, it's less the time required to change lenses, and more the time required to acquire focus marks for the new lens.


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#10 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 11:26 PM

If this is just for a personal camera kit, then I'm not sure it makes sense to spend $$$$$ on an cine zoom lens unless you have that much disposable income just lying around. I bought a set of Canon compact cine zooms several years ago for $50k and that was a really big investment for me. I would not have done it if I wasn't planning on parking them at a rental house and making my money back in rental fees.
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#11 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 10:11 AM

A parfocal zoom is only necessary if you intend to zoom in shot, which is not currently a fashionable thing to do. As long as the lens has reliable focus markings, it shouldn't be a problem.


True, I mean a quick change of focal lengths to get different coverage, is a great use for a zoom. With narrative shooting, I personally like moving the camera to change my shot, rather then zoom because of course, changing focal length, changes field of view. I don't like it when filmmakers change field of view on coverage. Personally, I would only use a zoom if I'm zooming in shot, my primes are faster, smaller, lighter and crisper. When I shoot documentary, the zoom is my go-to lens.
 

Any modern, and most vintage, stills lenses comfortably out-resolve any digital cinema sensor, so questions of quality are really only confined to build quality and focus throw.


Honestly, I've done quite a bit of shooting with modern DSLR glass, shot a feature with the stuff and many short subject films. I have yet to find anything that holds a candle to the cinema counterpart. It's the small things like the type of coatings (inherent warmth), how it deals with boca, how it deals with reflections, then all the mechanical aspects as well, which are a deal killer in my book. I'm also not addicted to zoom lenses, I'm perfectly OK with using all primes and changing lenses between shots if I need to change field of view/focal length. It's true that some of the older Nikon still glass is pretty darn good. Even then, I'd still rather have something setup more like a cinema lens.
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#12 Don Norberto

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 05:39 PM

For me it's a matter of taste and what you want. If you want a cinematic "film" look, there's no way around cine lenses...best the vintages like Angi, Zeiss etc. For Zoom lenses the Angi 10x12 is my favourit when it comes to organic look and handling. When shooting Primes and bmpcc I love the Schneider 25 0.95 (of course !) and the Kern lenses (except the 16mm) and some modified juvels. If you like to see some of my tests with bmpcc and vintages, check out my vimeo uploads.



If you want the most easy and most digital lense/Zoom for your bmpcc to shoot viideo you can choose the Sigma 18-35 with Speedbooster and also a fast Canon glass.

That's just my opinion and taste. Best is to try and shoot and shoot and shoot.... anyways your skills count.

cheers,
The Don
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#13 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 05:45 PM

A parfocal zoom is only necessary if you intend to zoom in shot,

 

Ehhh.

 

I guess. In theory.

 

Personally, speaking as someone used to B4 zooms, having to focus every time I twitch the zoom to reframe a shot, or frame one up to begin with, is an absolute ballache. Usually non-parfocal zooms breathe massively, enough to significantly upset the framing, so it becomes a nightmare of tweaking both to get to where you need to be. And that's before you take into consideration the twenty-five-degree focus rotation, generally horrible handling, and awful viewfinding that tend to go hand in hand with these situations.

 

If you're shooting nice, careful, time-no-object drama, that's one thing, but I get the feeling most of the poor souls who are running around with stills zooms are not doing so because they're on the next Marvel superhero movie. They're doing it because they're shooting "documentary", which tends to be a euphemism for corporate video these days, and they're running around trying to cover something as it happens in real time. In that situation, a parfocal zoom is as close to absolutely necessary as it possibly can be without quite crossing the threshold.

 

P


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#14 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 05:59 PM

There's some saying that I don't recall accurately about the last 10% of the quality in a lens accounts for 50% of the cost -- in other words, a $10,000 lens is not twice as good as a $5,000 lens.

 

If the cheaper lens does everything you need it to and your happy with it, then use it.

 

The more expensive zoom will have some optical issues corrected out, ramping of exposure near the end of the zoom, tracking side-to-side as you zoom, breathing, and in general the lens will be more robust, more waterproof, and easier to service.  The distance markings will often be farther apart and easier to read because there's a longer barrel rotation.  The manufacturing quality will be more consistent over multiple units. All these little things add a lot to the cost of manufacturing even though they don't improve the lens optically by a significant amount.

 

Often with the cheaper lenses it's easier to just buy another one rather than repair it since they are mass-produced.

 

Some of these consumer lenses won't hold up to the rigors of a rental house item (and are harder to service) but are fine for individual owner-operators who will baby them more than a renter might.


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#15 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 06:49 PM

 

Ehhh.

 

I guess. In theory.

 

Personally, speaking as someone used to B4 zooms, having to focus every time I twitch the zoom to reframe a shot, or frame one up to begin with, is an absolute ballache.

I absolutely agree. What I was trying to say was that if you are going to buy cheap(er) stills zooms, even non-parfocal lenses can still be used, even if it's not ideal.


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#16 charles g clark

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 03:19 AM

I own both the sigma art zooms (18-35 and 50-100)- they are amazing lenses- and with the dock you can tune them as well

On my ursa I don't find a massive issue with getting sharp shots in everyday use- the evf and screen are great for helping that.

They're not cine zooms, but for the 99.9% of the time I'm using the ursa with just myself, I think they're unbeatable value with great imaging quality- sometimes too sharp.

There's a lot to be said for the more expensive cine zooms, and they're probably about as cheap as quality like that is going to get, but I don't think you'll be missing out on it that much unless you'll have a focus puller on every shot- even then I think they'd get pretty great results
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