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Arriflex 16mm - Zeiss zf2 & Best primes


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#1 Mendes Nabil

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 05:33 AM

Hello all!

 

I have some questions, with a Nikon to Arri standard adapter on an Arriflex 16s, how a Zeiss zf2 (nikon mount) performs against a Zeiss standard speed or ultra speed on Arri mount?

 

I heard that Nikon lenses don't perform optimally on 16mm film cameras, is it the case with Zeiss zf2 lenses?

 

Also, is that possible to install a Bayonet mount on an Arri 16s? How would that coast?

 

And last thing, according to you, what are the best prime lenses for a 16mm camera (Arri st mount and Arri bayonet mount)?

 

 

Thank you all!

 

 


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#2 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 08:09 AM

Lenses made to cover a particular format are optimised for that size image circle, so as a general rule, good 16mm lenses (like the Zeiss S16 Super Speeds) are usually a bit sharper than 35mm cine lenses or full frame 35mm lenses and a lot sharper than large format lenses.

But the main issue with using still photography lenses on movie cameras isn't lack of sharpness but useability - accurate focus pulling can be harder to achieve, they may exhibit excessive breathing during a focus shift (actually not bad with zf2s), different lenses may not colour match, they may have different barrel dimensions or variations in maximum aperture speed. Depending on the type of filmmaking you want to do, it may not matter. You will struggle to find a wide angle focal length though (something around 10mm or less for 16mm format).

Later model Arri 16s had two S mounts and one B mount, called Arri 16SB. Forget about conversions, just find a 16SB.

The best lenses for that camera would probably be Cooke Kinetals in S mount or 16mm Zeiss Super Speeds in B mount.
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#3 Mendes Nabil

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 04:47 PM

Thank you Dom for your great answer! 

 

I know about the 16sb but the deal i'm getting is an Arriflex 16s (with 3 standard mount), when you say "Focus pulling can be harder to achieve", is that the case when eye-focusing too? 

 

I need the best image possible, color is the most important criteria and then comes the contrast and the sharpness, i will shoot wide open at night, with these informations, how would you classify these following lenses from best to worst (On an Arriflex 16s of course):

 

-Zeiss ZF2 (25mm f2 and 100mm macro)

-Zeiss super speed primes

-Schneider Xenon 50mm f2

-Heligon 16mm f2

 

How far the Zeiss ZF2 will be from the Zeiss Super speed quality? And according to you, using ZF2 on the Arri 16S can be interesting or will the Schneider and Heligon perform better (these 2 lenses come with the camera)  ?

 

Thank you again Dom!


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#4 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 11:21 AM

Look honestly I think they'll all perform fine, the important thing you need to think about is what focal lengths you'll need for the sorts of shots you want. A 100mm lens on a 16mm camera is very telephoto, and used handheld would be extremely shaky. Even 25mm is only a medium focal length for this format. If you're not familiar with 16mm cameras, use a field of view comparison tool to get a sense of the coverage, eg:

 

https://www.abelcine.com/fov/

 

Or rent a camera and lenses for a weekend to practice and get a sense of what you might need.

 

If you want to shoot at night without extra lighting you'll probably want the fastest lenses you can get - like S16 Zeiss Super Speeds, which are probably the best lenses anyway in terms of quality on your shortlist.


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#5 Tim Carroll

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 01:02 PM

Mendes,

 

What Dom is saying, if you get an Arriflex 16S/B and can get a set of Zeiss Super Speed primes in ARRI bayonet mount, I think that will give you very good image quality.

 

If you can only get an Arriflex 16S, then try to find a set of Cooke Kinetal primes in ARRI standard mount.  

 

With the Zeiss Super Speed primes, if they are properly serviced and have no defects (cleaning marks, scratches, haze, fungus) you should be fine.  With the Cooke Kinetals, even though I've always loved those lenses, a lot will depend on the samples you acquire.  I've seen them in "all over the map" condition (remember these were made Sixty plus years ago).  The ones that are in good shape produce fantastically sharp and contrasty images (better than the Zeiss, but that's just my personal taste), but I've seen ones in not so good shape and the images are not terribly sharp and the contrast is not so good.  So check them out first before shooting an important project with them.

 

Best,

-Tim


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#6 Mendes Nabil

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 07:05 PM

Thanks for your great advices Dom and Tim! I'm looking at some great deals right now, Zeiss super speed seem to be the way to go especially for my night shots..

 

Salutations from Paris! ;)


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#7 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 11:12 AM

I have tested Nikon mount still glass with my LTR a few times and I wholeheartedly agree with Dom's explanation. Due to the fact still glass focus ring isn't very accurate + doesn't rotate very much, it was actually hard to get focus when all the way open. We did experiment with some very pretty Nikon manufactured still lenses in my class this past semester and made a print for the kids to watch. Where I wasn't disappointed in the results, it was noticeably softer then the Optar primes I normally use.

Arri Super Speeds for Arri Standard or Arri B mount, are going to be hard to find. So be very careful when looking. There are some cheaper alternatives... my Optars came with Arri B mount for instance. You can pickup a set of Optars for A LOT less money then anything else on the market and they are pretty darn good, far better then anything else on the market even near that price range. They're also F1.3 and work well all the way open, which is nice.
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