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Auto exposure vs. manual zooms


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#1 Steven Budden

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 03:56 PM

I just posted this in the wrong forum so here it is again...

I'm trying to decide whether to buy a manual zoom or an automatic exposure zoom for my bolex, but I guess this question could be taken as more universal. What should I consider when choosing? In what circumstances does the auto exposure come in handy? I know I read of a lot of people having the POE switar converted to a manual zoom. Why might one prefer a manual?
(For instance, a POE or PTL vario switar vs. MC vario switar)

I should mention, I'll mostly be shooting with the spring motor SBM, short, often handheld takes.

Thanks for any help.

Steven
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#2 Ian Marks

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 05:40 PM

Long story short - IMHO "automatics" have no place in serious filmmaking, which is probably why there are so few to choose from. I'm sure others will chime in with more detailed opinions....
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#3 Steven Budden

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 06:55 PM

Long story short - IMHO "automatics" have no place in serious filmmaking, which is probably why there are so few to choose from. I'm sure others will chime in with more detailed opinions....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Thanks!

That's good to hear, because manuals are cheaper. I like when the better option is cheaper. Wait... come to think of it... that's never happened to me before!

So why does one think all of these bolex zooms are auto? Were they designed more for amateurs or something?

Steven
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#4 Steven Budden

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 07:01 PM

Another zoom related question...

Those newer vario switars (PTL, MC, etc) are between 1000 and 2000 generally (ebay). For that price would it be better to get a PL mount and a PL zoom? Any around that price range?

This is a Les Bosher PL mount. He assures it will work with the Bolex reflex, and many dealers buy and sell them without complaint.

Anyway, I'm just starting shooting with primes and I'm finding switching them all the time slightly irritating. (well, it might be easier with a turret model rather than an SBM!)

Thanks!

Steven
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#5 Sam Wells

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 11:46 AM

The Switar 12.5-100 will hold its own against anything in the price range you're talking about. Plus, with the Aspheron it's 6.5mm, very cool (well I think so). (you can also get FL's between 6.5 & 12.5 this way but you *can't zoom* with the Aspheron on.

The drawback (say as opposed to a Zeiss 10-100) is that of course you're kinda doing a lens change when you want to go wider than 12.5mm (sometimes, 10mm is my "normal" lens (but I ain't claiming to be normal B)

Also of course the Switar zoom is designed to correct aberration induced by the Bolex prism optics.

I'd say - feel free to ignore me - if you're starting out fimmaking, don't give up on primes yet.

Get a sense of SPACE as well as just frame.

-Sam
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#6 Steven Budden

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 04:44 PM

Thanks!

I like the aspheron idea too, but it nearly doubles the price. I originally wanted to stick with primes because my POE was so bulky and heavy, but without the auto exposure parts I don't think the MC would be too too bulky. Also, after I realized how big that 75mm macro switar prime was (Almost as big/ heavy as a zoom) I thought I might as well get all my primes into one zoom and just keep a 10mm around for more handheld stuff.

Do you know... can the MC do Macro-type shots? Also did it originally come with the aspheron or did they also come separately? I know MC's with the earlier serial numbers can't use the aspheron at all, from what I've seen.

Thanks!

Steven
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#7 Steven Budden

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 01:06 PM

Can the Vario Switar MC do extreme close ups? I know the Zeiss 10-100 can focus right up to the front element (or so I've read).

Steven
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#8 Sam Wells

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 06:46 PM

I'm not familiar with any Switar zooms except the 12.5 - 100.

The 10-100 T2 Zeiss zooms will vignette at less than ~ 30mm when focussed cloer than 5'
The older T3 I forget, I doubt if they focus closer than that.

-Sam
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#9 Steven Budden

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Posted 23 July 2005 - 04:34 PM

The vario switar 12.5 - 100 is the MC, just multicoated. Same as the PTL but without the auto exposure.

I just bought one so we'll see how it goes. Sadly, I coudn't afford the aspheron but at least I got one with the switch to accept it. Maybe I can sell off my primes and find a deal on one of those eventually. I just found out that it can do macro with the aspheron on but not without it.

Also, I was reading about the Zeiss 10-100 T2 in 16mm camera book. Says it focuses down to 5 feet but has a useful macro feature that will turn the lens into a 10mm prime and focus all the way down to its front element.

I dunno.

Steven
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#10 Steven Budden

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Posted 24 July 2005 - 02:01 PM

Is this an angenieux 12-120 with a bolex bayo mount? I didn't know they made those...

http://cgi.ebay.com/...egory=4691&rd=1

Steve
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#11 Sam Wells

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Posted 24 July 2005 - 06:02 PM

I just found out that it can do macro with the aspheron on but not without it.

Also, I was reading about the Zeiss 10-100 T2 in 16mm camera book. Says it focuses down to 5 feet but has a useful macro feature that will turn the lens into a 10mm prime and focus all the way down to its front element.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I've shot macro on the 12.5-100 Switar, that's why I used it.

I have not seen a Zeiss 10-100 T2 that did not vignettee in "macro" mode @ 10mm.

-Sam
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#12 Steven Budden

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Posted 24 July 2005 - 11:53 PM

[quote name='SamWells' date='Jul 24 2005, 04:02 PM']
I've shot macro on the 12.5-100 Switar, that's why I used it.

Aspheron needed for macro mode correct?

Steven
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#13 Sam Wells

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 10:03 AM

[Aspheron needed for macro mode correct?


<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


No.
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#14 Matt Pacini

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 01:05 PM

I hate "auto" anything.
I don't like machines & computers making creative decisions for me, because they assume one "right" choice, which is often the exact rule I want to break to get a certain look.

MP
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#15 John Mastrogiacomo

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 01:33 PM

I have not seen a Zeiss 10-100  T2 that did not vignettee in "macro" mode @ 10mm.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I have a Zeiss 10-100 T2 with the 87mm front element that was coverted to S16 with the Optex conversion kit. It is now 12-120 but works fine in macro mode at 12mm.
Maybe it is the 87mm front element that makes the difference. I know they went to the 87mm front element to cut down on vignetting. :)
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#16 Sam Wells

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 05:19 PM

Was that a / the difference with the Mark II ?

I think I used both and there was that ~ 30mm limit in close focussing in both cases, but I won't swear to it.

Anyway, an S16 mod certainly has to take rear coverage issues in to consideration.

-Sam

Edited by SamWells, 25 July 2005 - 05:23 PM.

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#17 Steven Budden

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 09:50 PM

No.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Really? Do you recall what it can focus down to without the aspheron? (Some dealer told me I needed it to do macro).

Thanks!

Steven
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#18 Steven Budden

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 09:51 PM

I hate "auto" anything.
I don't like machines & computers making creative decisions for me, because they assume one "right" choice, which is often the exact rule I want to break to get a certain look.

MP

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Amen to that.

I'm curious why there are so many auto lenses for the Bolex though. Is it because they were designed for home movie type applications or what?

Steven
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#19 Chris Keth

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 10:41 PM

Is it because they were designed for home movie type applications or what?

Steven

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Yeah, pretty much.
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#20 Sam Wells

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Posted 26 July 2005 - 12:20 PM

Really? Do you recall what it can focus down to without the aspheron? (Some dealer told me I needed it to do macro).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Since you have one and I don't you should tell me !

I got pretty close, I shot 19th Century optical toys with one once, zoetropes, praxinoscopes etc. I mean I was filling the frame with the moving images they made.

Anyway when used with the Aspheron in macro mode (ie using the Aspheron requires it) it is focussing close to the front element.

Besides, typically in macrophotography you *don't* want to do it at wide angles; the point of using a longish lens is to give you some working distance between your lens and the subject.

-Sam
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