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Recommendations for "gritty lenses"

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#1 Mario Bosanac

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 01:07 PM

Hi All!,

 

So I'm doing a project in an upcoming month or so and I need suggestions. I'm shooting most likely on a BlackMagic 2.5k camera and am looking to achieve a "gritty" look. I understand that it's not just the camera or lenses solely that would help achieve this but I'm curious if there are any suggestions as far as lenses that would help me in the right direction. I've shot multiple times with Rokinons on different cameras and have noticed this has creating a "gritty" dark look but I'm looking for a step up from this. Also what filters would help with this too. ND filters I presume?

 

Thank you!


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 01:23 PM

ND filters allow you to open up the iris, which reduces depth of field, and the lens may be softer at its widest aperture, but whether or not that counts as "gritty" is up to you.  

 

I'm not sure what "gritty" means.  Some people might think it means a softer lens, to suggest something shot in the 1970's when movies were "grittier" but the lenses weren't as good as they are now, others might think the opposite because "grit" implies textures and to see fine textures, you need sharpness!

 

By "grit" do you mean a technically rougher image, more "mistakes" and artifacts, more noise/grain, more missed focus, more flares, more shakiness, etc?


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#3 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 02:16 PM

Some of those old russian Lomo lenses could be a good place to start. Also there's some PL mount bokeh effects lenses under the name "Helios 44" or something like that.


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#4 Michael Rodin

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 03:00 PM

I'd second the question, what exactly are you after? The aforementioned Lomo, for example, made all kinds of lenses in the Soviet era: moderately all-around soft with low microcontrast, center-sharp and edge-soft, high-resolution with pretty strong contrast, really soft portait, etc. Take two 75mm T2 Lomos - a late OKC17-75 and an OKC1-75 -  both are 6-element Double Gauss, but performance (and "look" or "feel" as a result) is radically different. Then there's "75mm soft" and prototypes... it's almost that no 2 Lomos are the same :)

 

Those bokeh effect lenses must be Helios 40-2, known for swirly bokeh and very bad edge definition (which can be an advantage for a portrait lens).


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#5 aapo lettinen

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 04:06 PM

to me a "gritty" lens has somewhat "muddy" contrast with lower quality coatings and some unwanted bad-looking ghosting/flaring, normally (but not always) also low sharpness on everywhere else but the center of the frame. 

like "using a bad quality and bent plastic low-contrast filter on a cheap ass consumer level stills lens" type of look .

 

Most of the current lenses (by current I mean most of the lenses made after about 1970 or so) may be too good and sharp though so you may need to augment the look a lot with filters. 

maybe you could check out couple of Chinese c-mount cctv lenses for starters (for example 35mm F1.7) which has somewhat muddy contrast and bad unwanted flaring 

http://www.ebay.com/...qwAAOSw3YNXYO2d

 

I sold my Samyang/Rokinon 85mm F1.4 years ago because I hated its muddy contrast (gritty look in a bad way) compared to Nikkors. 

other lenses I practically don't shoot with at all because of the muddy look include Mir-1  37mm F2.8 and certain Pentacon6 lenses like Vega 90mm F2.8 (not as bad as the Mir though) 

 

--------

older zooms may be really bad so you could test them first :)  you can for example use old betacam-era low quality b4 zoom with b4 to ef adapter and lens's extender switched on. that normally messes up the image quite a bit. you can add filtration on that if needed :)


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#6 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 07:43 PM

I just repaired a lens that had sand all through the focus and iris mechanisms - very gritty. Didn't affect the image though..  ;)


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#7 Robert Hart

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 08:41 PM

If you want plain bad, an old TV Nikon B4-Mount ENG zoom lens in a poor condition plus lousy colour correction might suit. 

On that day, everything which could go wrong, did. Took the train with everything on a furniture trolley. Wheeled it some 2km from the station. All of three audio cables failed. I forgot my colour temp setting. Member of the public stepped right back into the shot after being asked to move. 

The TV Nikon lens requires a correction optic behind it for use with single CMOS sensored 2/3" cameras.


Edited by Robert Hart, 09 July 2017 - 08:42 PM.

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#8 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 09:32 PM

 Also there's some PL mount bokeh effects lenses under the name "Helios 44" or something like that.

The Helios 44-2 lenses are in M42 mount, and can't be converted to PL, although they can be converted to EF mount, if that's what you have.


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#9 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 03:30 AM

I've seen them in PL on eBay. Maybe not 44-2 but still something along XX-X number tagline.


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#10 aapo lettinen

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 05:46 AM

44-2 should be possible to fit to a pl adapter with little machining (I have one here + rafcamera m42-pl adapter). the focus ring is on the way so that it is about correct ffd +2mm without modifications. without machining tools not possible to get infinity focusing though. there is indeed some helios44 pl modifications on ebay, they may be a bit 'clunky' as far as I have heard but should normally focus to infinity. 

 

note that the different 44-versions have different irises which affects the bokeh a lot. the newest ones having 6-corner bokeh and the older types normally having 8-corner, either rounded or straight depending on the version


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#11 aapo lettinen

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 05:49 AM

by my standards the 44-2 is a little bit too high quality for "gritty look" but it depends on the project and the look you are after. they have at least quite ok flare characteristics so may be ok for your purposes


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#12 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 10:21 AM

I've seen them in PL on eBay. Maybe not 44-2 but still something along XX-X number tagline.

I mis-spoke. I should have said they can't be easily converted to PL. As Aapo points out, they won't focus to infinity without some fairly serious modification.


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#13 Freya Black

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 05:44 PM

I mis-spoke. I should have said they can't be easily converted to PL. As Aapo points out, they won't focus to infinity without some fairly serious modification.

 

Well they just need a bit machining off the bottom. They are the easiest lens to convert from M42 to PL and maintain infinity focus. It's worth noting that there are different models of Helios 44 even in M42 mount and only the one model is of use in this way.

 

I know some people who use the other kind of M42 adaptors though and forgo infinity focus altogether and make it work.


Edited by Freya Black, 10 July 2017 - 05:46 PM.

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#14 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 06:21 PM

If I have to 'machine off the bottom' or 'forgo infinity focus' with a lens, I'd pretty much consider that to be deal-breaker. Helios 44-2 lenses are not that amazing that I'd be prepared to make the sacrifice.


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#15 Freya Black

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 01:06 PM

If I have to 'machine off the bottom' or 'forgo infinity focus' with a lens, I'd pretty much consider that to be deal-breaker. Helios 44-2 lenses are not that amazing that I'd be prepared to make the sacrifice.

 

Sorry I probably wrote that badly. I just meant machine off a little from the bottom of the Helios lens. Probably you could even file it off. The lenses aren't that expensive so it isn't that big of a sacrifice in a way but I think they also aren't that exciting lenses for a lot of people either! ;)

 

Freya


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#16 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 01:28 PM

 

I just meant machine off a little from the bottom of the Helios lens. Probably you could even file it off.

Removing metal from the bottom of the thread wouldn't change the flange focal distance. You'd have to remove metal from the casing immediately above the m42 thread. Trying to do that with a file would almost certainly damage the thread. It would also be near impossible to accurately file the necessary distance, so you'd end up with an uneven FFD and all kind of focus issues. Machining it might be possible if you know what you're doing, but it doesn't look easy. M42 mount is just not very friendly to PL conversions. It's the same reason no-one tries to convert the lovely Asahi Takumar lenses from the 1960s and 70s.


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#17 Freya Black

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 02:16 PM

Removing metal from the bottom of the thread wouldn't change the flange focal distance. You'd have to remove metal from the casing immediately above the m42 thread. Trying to do that with a file would almost certainly damage the thread. It would also be near impossible to accurately file the necessary distance, so you'd end up with an uneven FFD and all kind of focus issues. Machining it might be possible if you know what you're doing, but it doesn't look easy. M42 mount is just not very friendly to PL conversions. It's the same reason no-one tries to convert the lovely Asahi Takumar lenses from the 1960s and 70s.

 

 

I didn't say anything about the thread. The thread is fine. It's the bottom of the lens... in particular around the edges of the base because the lens needs to be thin enough to fit into the adaptor because the adptor for M42 lenses with the correct FFD has to be recessed. This means that if the lens is too wide in the base it is hard to get it into the adaptor because the adaptor is like a little saucepan or something and so it only has a certain amount of width.

 

The big problem with this adaptor is that there are hardly any lenses that can work with it unless you flip it over and use it in macro mode but the helios lens CAN be made to work. That's mostly about it though so it's not so much the cost of the lense but what is basically a one time adaptor. You can probably pick up a lens fairly easily that has already been adapted in this way anyway.

 

I hope that makes it a bit easier to understand. It's hard to explain unless you have done it but it's more that the edge of the base blocks it from going into the adaptor properly unless you shave a bit off somehow.

 

Freya


Edited by Freya Black, 13 July 2017 - 02:17 PM.

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#18 Freya Black

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 02:26 PM

I should try and explain a bit more.

 

It's not a problem with the FFD as the adaptor is made for the right FFD and the lens is made for the right FFD for M42 but in order to achieve this the adaptor is recessed into the mount a little! Like a tiny saucepan or something. If you file of the edge of the base, might be best to use a needle file if you are worried about getting too close to the thread, then it can fit into the saucepan so to speak but the base of the lens is normally too wide to fit in there, once it is small enough however which it almost is to start with but not quite... then it's just a matter of screwing the lens into the adaptor. The RAF adaptor is at the correct FFD and the M42 mount should be correct for M42 and it all comes together.

 

Hope that is a bit easier. The helios is the easiest to get in there because it is the narrowest at its base but other M42 lenses would probably need much more heavier machining if they could be made to work at all.

 

Freya


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