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Lens set for BMPCC


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#1 Chris Leutger

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 01:10 AM

God, I hate to start a 'help me with lens choice' thread but I've reached a limit. I've been shooting with a BMPCC for about three (four?) years.

Background: I'd started with some vintage 16mm glass which was okay but had some issues. Tried an Angenieux 15-150mm that seems softer on the files than it looks on the screen. Tried some Panny's but my camera doesn't seem to want to autofocus. Everything looked a little soft anyway. I'm mainly a still photographer so I've been traveling with 4x5, BMPCC, Hasselblad and a Pentax K1000 (35mm). I tried using a Pentax 35mm zoom (35-70mm) with the BMPCC and turned off focus peaking and I finally started getting images I liked. The problem is that once I started wanting to shoot more cinematically (less of the same kind of stuff that I shoot with my still cameras) that crop factor became a problem. I started to fish about for a vintage (i.e. cheap) solution but decided to look into something better for the camera. As someone pointed out, with the BMPCC you don't need vintage glass filtering for the overly sharpened digital look.

 

I would characterize my work as documentary in the way that Chris Marker (without the voiceover) is. Landscapes, cityscapes, noirish warehouses and burned out homes. No characters, ambient location sound only. 

 

Question: I see that Tokina makes a 11-16mm cine-zoom that would be pretty wide for me and it's appealing because it's currently on sale. The thing is what do I match that with? I want a manual cine lens and not an AF lens. I can't find a longer zoom that fits my budget but thought perhaps perhaps a Veydra prime to go a little longer perhaps the 25mm. That's under 2k for a start. I figure I can get a longer prime down the road if necessary. I prefer zooms because I hate futzing with extra equipment when I'm out and about because of time constraints but 2-3 lenses doesn't seem bad. 

 

Does that sound reasonable?

 

Thank you.

 


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#2 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 02:34 AM

I use the Rokinon DS cine primes and Zeiss 12-120 zoom when I need adjustable focal lengths. The DS glass is very good for the price and you can buy the stuff 'returned' on Amazon for pretty cheap if you look carefully.

Gotta have manually adjustable glass, no auto nonsense. Parfocal, repeatable focus, gears, declicked stop, etc. It's a cheap camera, so might as well match it with inexpensive glass. I don't see the benefit in spending thousands in glass.
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#3 Chris Leutger

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 06:53 PM

Thanks! I thought about the Rokinon's but I've read lots of bad things about the 24 and not been excited about what I've seen on the web though I know that mileage may vary on Vimeo or youtube vids.  Since the Tokina is half off at BH I liked that since that makes it affordable. I wouldn't buy it at full price. I'm going to rent the Tokina this weekend and see what I think about the lens and that focal length. They also rent Veydra's there so that might be a next rental to see where that goes. No Rokinons other than the Xeen's available locally for rental.

 

Thanks for the info.


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#4 Robin Phillips

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 01:34 AM

theres usually some optar s16 lenses that show up on ebay. They're fast, have gears and markings for cinema use. I dont personally have experience with them but they may be worth looking at


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#5 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 02:07 AM

What kind of issues have you seen on the 24mm Rokinon? That's my main lens and it works great.
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#6 Chris Leutger

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 10:10 PM

There was a video...somewhere...(of the many I saw) where the 24 looked noticeably softer than the 16mm or the 35mm. Various comments on boards about that one being the weak link. Just enough to make me shy of that. If I could rent it I would. The local camera shop has Veydras and Xeen's for rent. I might try the Veydras next since they're the cheapest thing going. 

 

I rented the Tokina and took it out today. I love the focal range on the BMPCC and the general handling. But when I got home I could see that I had problems nailing focus. I was shooting with my Pentax still lenses as well today, and don't seem to have a problem focusing with those. Tried with and without focus peaking while I was out since I was having a hard time dialing it in. Not sure what to make of that. Anything at a distance was more problematic than close. I'm using a Zacuto attached to the screen for viewing. I would think it's me if it weren't for the fact that I don't have that problem with the Pentax's. Also the Tokina is in MFT mount while the Pentax is obviously on an adapter so that rules out adapter issues. Gonna take the Tokina out for another go round tomorrow. See if I can dial it in better.

 

Robin - I see the Optars on ebay but they're more expensive than the Veydras. Are they supposed to be better?

 

Someone told me to check out SLR Magic since they're in the cheaper end of things....


Edited by Chris Leutger, 28 October 2017 - 10:11 PM.

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#7 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 04:34 AM

There was a video...somewhere...(of the many I saw) where the 24 looked noticeably softer than the 16mm or the 35mm.


Huh, I don't have the 16 or the 35, so hard to tell. 24 is kind of the magic number for 16mm imagers, that's the problem. 12 is good for "wide" and 24 is good for mediums to close up. I basically put the 24 on before anything else.
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#8 Chris Leutger

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 10:56 PM

I found somewhere that has Rokinons for rent! So I'll be trying those out next. 


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#9 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 03:48 AM

Laugh if you like but I have a set of Nikon series E lenses from the early 80s which are surprising good, especially on an MFT camera like the pocket with some sort of reducing adaptor.

Depends what you're doing, of course, but I didn't see the point in buying the expensive cheap lenses 😀
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#10 tom lombard

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 08:53 AM

I also have series E lenses (and still use them on my FA occasionally) as well as several other Nikon mount MF lenses.  When I got a Canon T3i, I thought I'd use them until I could afford some "better" lenses and did the same thing when I got into 16mm Bolexes.  So far, I haven't had to get any other lenses and haven't been disappointed with the results.  Adapters are a lot cheaper than lenses so I can stick the extra $$ into my XTR prod fund.  And I already have lenses for it :)


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#11 Chris Leutger

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 09:34 AM

I just want a wide angle lens which is impossible with 35mm still lenses. If Metabones made a Pentax to BMPCC focal reducer I might try that....but the cheaper ones I've read about have horrible performance and my Pentax 28mm still wouldn't be equivalent. But the Tokina didn't wow me so I figured I may as well try the others. 


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#12 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 12:00 PM

You could, if you wanted, stack a Pentax K adapter with the speed booster.

 

I have Pentax K lenses and EF adapters for them, but I've never tried putting them on a booster (my booster is Nikon mount, to suit the Series Es) - it ought to be possible.

 

P


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#13 Chris Leutger

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 01:45 AM

Even with a booster that's not going to get me that wide and a Metabones ain't that cheap. But perhaps I should look on ebay and see what's what there for a cheaper speed booster. I don't have to commit to anything now. Mainly was wondering what people thought about mixing and matching Tokina with Veydra. But now I'll rent 'em all......let footage sort 'em out....


Edited by Chris Leutger, 31 October 2017 - 01:45 AM.

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