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Panavision MkII lenses (SS, US)


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#1 Jarin Blaschke

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 02:28 PM

Anyone have much experience with Panavision's old SS and US lenses? Is there much difference between the two when shooting wide open to a T2? Any particular experiences/remarks regarding the 50mm T/1, especially at T/1?

I'm obviously looking for a softer look with some interesting hits/flares, but not an overall gray wash whenever theres a blown out window in the frame. How do these lenses deal with interior day scenes with blown out windows or exterior scenes with big overcast skies?

Thanks,
jarin
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#2 Patrick Neary

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 02:58 PM

Hi Jarin-

Here's a link to a music video i shot awhile back with the ultra-speed MK-11's:

http://www.brokensky.../peopledie.html

I LOVED them! The only time i really noticed their flaring was on a shot of a guy on a sofa with a big window directly behind him- there was quite a bit of blue veiling. We shot clean, no filtration.

For sure they are a tad softer (i think in a good way) than the primos, but they're still very fine lenses, it's not like putting an old sears lens on your camera or anything. And man, they are CHEEP to rent!

good luck.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 03:03 PM

Yes, they tend to flare easily when pointing into light sources.

Sharpness is variable so you'll have to look at them on a lens by lens basis.

As far as I can tell, the 50mm T/1.1 lens is very soft at that wide aperture, but you may like the look.
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#4 Jarin Blaschke

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 03:20 PM

Which films do you know used these lenses clean with bright windows in frame? I'd like a few references until I can test (big 'if' there), although I'm sure each individual lens has its own unique characteristics.

Didn't Gordon Willis always use these for spherical films? I don't think he ever used any diffusion, did he?
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 03:29 PM

He liked old Cooke Speed Pancros, which I'm sure some of Panavision's Mk.II lenses are cobbled from...

He didn't like diffusion filtration much although most of the period scenes in "The Godfather, Part II" were shot (beautifully) with Low Cons. Afterwards he complained that everyone using golden filters/gels combined with Fog or Low Con filters were copying his work in that film...

I noticed he used similar filters on other films like "Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy" along with warming filters. But generally, yes, he didn't use diffusion.

Plenty of movies from the 1970's were shot on Panavision Mk.II lenses, like "Days of Heaven", which also used the 50mm T/1.1 for some (rather soft) shots in extremely late magic hour. Caleb Deschanel used that lens for some romantic night shots in "It Could Happen to You".
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#6 Jarin Blaschke

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 03:48 PM

Where is a good place to get technical information such as stocks, lenses, filtration, lab work, etc. on older films such as these? Or have you just memorized every AC magazine from the 70s?

Also - Are those old Cooke Panchros still around, or have they all been dismantled? Which rentable lenses are comparable to the MKIIs in the PL world? Cooke Series 3s?


Thanks as always,
Jarin

Edited by JarinBlaschke, 07 June 2005 - 03:51 PM.

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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 03:53 PM

Or have you just memorized every AC magazine from the 70s?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Yes.

I also wrote my own index to the AC 1970's issues, which is why it is easier for me to find an article from then than from the 1980's and on (or before 1970...) I own most every issue from 1970 so I can generally find an article from memory, but anything pre-1970 requires a trip down to the library (although I've read every AC issue going back to the mid 1920's.)

Barry Salt's "Film Style & Technology: History and Analysis" is a good reference for how earlier movies were shot, as well as Brian Coe's "History of Movie Photography".
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New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

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