Jump to content


Photo

BBC "Man Alive" lenses


  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 Samuel Berger

Samuel Berger
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1179 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Seattle

Posted 09 December 2017 - 11:20 PM

According to David Whitson, the two lenses used by the BBC "Man Alive" team on the Eclair NPR were a 12mm and 25mm. Do any oldies know what manufacturer they were from?

 

 


  • 0

#2 Samuel Berger

Samuel Berger
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1179 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Seattle

Posted 10 December 2017 - 08:45 AM

Wow, I can't believe it! A buddy of mine managed to contact David Whitson himself, who is still alive and kicking! Here's what David told him:

 

"Those of us who liked to work with the spinning turret had a variety of lenses, often scrounged from odd places.
My choice was a 12mm Angenieux and an elderly Cooke 35 mm, which the BBC were always trying to get from me because it “was not up to BBC spec.” However I loved it and used it for many years.
I think I’ve remembered this right - it was many many years ago.
Best wishes"

 

I wonder why they believed a Cooke would not be up to spec.


  • 1

#3 Michael Rodin

Michael Rodin
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 259 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Moscow

Posted 10 December 2017 - 08:58 AM

Well it wasn't an S4 Cooke :)  Must have been an old retrofocus lens, probably with bad edge sharpness, but - I'd guess why he would love it - just "smooth" enough for portraiture.


  • 0

#4 Dom Jaeger

Dom Jaeger
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1756 posts
  • Other
  • Melbourne, Australia

Posted 10 December 2017 - 09:07 PM

I don't think Angenieux made a 12mm prime.. 

 

In terms of wide angles, they had a 10mm and 15mm in C mount (designed for Bell and Howell's Filmo), and an 18.5mm for 35mm format, which was the widest 35mm cine lens available for a few years in the early 50s. Their 5.9mm from the 60s was popular, but by then their focus was almost exclusively on zooms. Many Eclair NPR owners had an Angenieuc 12-120 during the 60s, that's the only 12mm Angenieux I can think of.

 

12mm is a bit of an odd focal length. There were a couple by Zeiss in the 70s, their 16mm format Super Speed and a front adapted ultra wide angle for 35mm. There were 12.5mm primes made by Kinoptik, Cooke and Kowa, or a variety of cheaper C mounts by the likes of Wollensak or Elgeet.

 

If it was a Cooke, the 35mm must have been a Speed Panchro (made for 35mm format) since the 16mm Cooke Kinetals jumped from 25 to 50.


  • 1

#5 Samuel Berger

Samuel Berger
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1179 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Seattle

Posted 11 December 2017 - 12:22 AM

I don't think Angenieux made a 12mm prime..

 

I looked at the 1975 Eclair catalogue and they don't list a 12mm available. As for the 35mm, well, the 2 and 3 are very close to each other on the keyboard. Mr. Whitson clearly says "25" more than once on one of his interviews so there's a good chance that it was a misprint.

 

I've found an interview where said lens is mentioned. Here, at around 1 minute and 48 seconds in, where he explains his preference for primes over zooms.

 

https://youtu.be/soAgdCKol_A?t=1m48s


  • 0


Broadcast Solutions Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Willys Widgets

Visual Products

FJS International, LLC

Ritter Battery

Glidecam

Technodolly

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Tai Audio

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineLab

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

The Slider

CineTape

Metropolis Post

Aerial Filmworks

Abel Cine

Wooden Camera

Paralinx LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Abel Cine

Technodolly

The Slider

Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineLab

Glidecam

Ritter Battery

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

rebotnix Technologies

Rig Wheels Passport

Metropolis Post

Willys Widgets

Paralinx LLC

Aerial Filmworks

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Tai Audio

CineTape

Wooden Camera

FJS International, LLC