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features filmed with Nikon or Canon primes


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#1 Dan Goulder

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 10:05 AM

Does anyone know of any features filmed with either Nikon or Canon prime lenses? (non-telephoto, 14mm to 85mm range) Also, is anyone aware of any features filmed with Moviecam primes?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 10:20 AM

What's a Moviecam prime?

Some of the wide-angle primes for Super-16 cameras use conversions made from Canon glass. I think some of the Century Precision Optics lenses do that. For example:
http://centuryoptics...lm/zoom_lenses/

Some efx photography in VistaVision use Nikon lenses.

I believe some of the lenses used on Carrol Ballard's Eclair CM3 (Cameflex) may have been Nikon primes, like for parts of "The Black Stallion". Perhaps also the Techniscope Eclair Cameflex used by Lucas for "THX-1138" and "American Graffitti". I'm not talking about a whole set of primes, just the occasional lens, although most likely telephoto.

I believe there was a set of Canon primes made for movie cameras, mainly 16mm, back in the 1970's. I remember ads for them. I might have used some myself on my first feature shot on a 35mm Leonetti Ultracam. Perhaps some of the old Panavision Ultra-Speeds and old MkII lenses used Canon or Cooke elements.
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#3 Robert Edge

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 10:38 AM

Does anyone know of any features filmed with either Nikon or Canon prime lenses?  (non-telephoto, 14mm to 85mm range) Also, is anyone aware of any features filmed with Moviecam primes?

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Nestor Almendros talks about using Nikon primes in his autobiography. It's not clear from what he says about how often he used these lenses. The text suggests that he may have done so on a number of occasions. However, in the filmography at the end of the book, a Nikon lens is listed for only one film. On that occasion, he used a Nikon lens because it was faster than the available cine lenses and he wanted to shoot at night.
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#4 Dan Goulder

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 10:43 AM

What's a Moviecam prime?


Moviecam primes consist of standard speed(T2) Canon glass. They have greater contrast and much less flare than Canon K35 speeds. They're pretty rare. (I've got both sets.)
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#5 Stephen Williams

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 12:42 PM

Moviecam primes consist of standard speed(T2) Canon glass.  They have greater contrast and much less flare than Canon K35 speeds.  They're pretty rare. (I've got both sets.)

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Hi,

Generally slower lenses of the same vintage are better quality.

Stephen
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 02:06 PM

Moviecam primes consist of standard speed(T2) Canon glass.  They have greater contrast and much less flare than Canon K35 speeds.  They're pretty rare. (I've got both sets.)

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That's probably what I used on my Ultracam feature back in 1992.
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#7 fstop

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 03:02 PM

As David hinted, the miniature puppet photography of the mine car chase from INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM was shot with a 16mm Nikon lens and camera for 35mm negative, modified for VistaVision large format film. Here is a quote from Dennis Muren, ASC:

"In shooting the miniatures, we used Nikon still cameras. I wanted to keep the scale down as far as possible to reduce the length of the sets and it occured to me that we could use a Nikon. Mike McAlister, who shot all the miniature sequences, worked on ways to steady the Nikon and put a larger magazine on it. Everything was dictated by the smallest camera we could devise, and it worked great. We could have spent $100,000 on building a special new camera, but a slightly modified 35mm Nikon with 30 feet of Vistavision film shooting at one frame per second worked perfectly.


LINK TO INDIANA JONES ARTICLE

Nikon lenses of similar focal length were used for shots of the drop ship flying from Aliens- here is a quote from operator Michael Anderson:

That one was used in the scene where Signourney Weaver and the child are on the platform from which the android picks them up in the Drop Ship. The set-up for that shot took up the full length of "L" and "M" stages. It was shot at 125 fps with a whip pan by the camera. The model was on wires and because of its overall weight it went tail up and nose dived across the stage. I remember for that set up that there was around 50 crew, setting the model, setting of explosions etc. Another scene where the large scale model was used was where the crew go through the atmosphere and the ship is being bounced around. There were also some smaller fixed Drop Ships, about six feet long. They weren't flying ones but the front flap opened and the A.P.C. came out. One of these shots I remember very well. It was a process shot where the Drop Ship is flying past the Atmosphere Processor. We had to have depth of field as the Atmosphere Processor had to appear massive. We used a Nikon lens on the front of the camera and with the lack of light we had to have a longer exposure.

MICHAEL ANDERSON INTERVIEW HERE
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