Jump to content


Photo

35mm primes?


  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 Michael Maier

Michael Maier
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 215 posts
  • Camera Operator

Posted 17 August 2005 - 08:05 PM

Hi,

I'm looking into getting a mini35 adapter. I would like if possible, to get a short set of primes to go with it, as opposed to a zoom lens. I belive the minimum number of primes I could get would be like 3, a wide angle a 35 or 50mm and more telephoto. Maybe the 4 of them.(How many primes you usually work with when shooting a feature by the way?)

My question is, what would be good lenses to get which would not cost me an arm and a leg? I know that probably leaves out Zeiss, Cooke and all the big guys. But what would be the affordable options?
Thanks.
  • 0

#2 Paul Bruening

Paul Bruening

    (deceased)

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2858 posts
  • Producer
  • Oxford, Mississippi

Posted 18 August 2005 - 02:00 AM

Hey now,

What's your cam? (If you mean mini DV, then the lens lengths you're looking for will be closer to those on a super-8 cam. A normal lens for a 35mm camera, which is 50mm, frames up like a telephoto lens on a prosumer DV cam like an XL2. You can't get a normal appearing image out of shorter lenses since they goof up the perpective and normal to longer lenses require so much cam-to-subject distance that they're darn near useless). How do you intend to show your finished product? If you're going to show at film festivals with a DVD then a set of Snotter-Krudnutts do just fine on an Arri II and are plenty cheap. If you think that you'll get to the big screen, then you may have to play with the big dawgs like Zeiss and Cooke. Most folks just rent those. I have a set of five, flat, Super Balts for my 2 perf Mitchell and don't regret owning them one bit. Where you intend to go with your product will likely be the biggest determining factor in your choice. In a flat lens, you'll commonly see a set of three in 35mm, 50mm, and 75mm. The 50mm is always a go-er since it most closely resembles the way the human eye sees things. The 35mm is usefull but something around a 24mm is better when shooting space is crampt. Some reflex cameras can't take a 24mm range as it hangs up in the spinning mirror. The longer lens (75mm to 100mm) is a matter of taste. You'll be using it for facial close-ups much of the time. Longer lenses flatten the image. Too long and the subject's ears look like they're ready for take-off. Too short and the nose looks like it is trying to crawl into the camera. One of my S-K's is a 75mm and I find it a bit too short for close-ups. A compromise in the 85mm range might be the most useful for you if you can find it. No matter which way you go, it's wise to pay a little more with a reputable dealer like Visual Products or equivalent than to by-guess-and-by-God-it on Ebay. Good luck with your shopping.
  • 0

#3 Michael Maier

Michael Maier
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 215 posts
  • Camera Operator

Posted 18 August 2005 - 08:50 AM

I think you might have missed the part I say I want to use the lenses with a mini35 adapter. This adapter keeps the exact smae angle of view of the 35mm lens.
I want to use it with the new JVC HD100 HD camera. It is a 720p camera. Thanks.
  • 0

#4 Paul Bruening

Paul Bruening

    (deceased)

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2858 posts
  • Producer
  • Oxford, Mississippi

Posted 18 August 2005 - 10:51 AM

Never mind, then.
  • 0

#5 Michael Maier

Michael Maier
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 215 posts
  • Camera Operator

Posted 18 August 2005 - 01:08 PM

Never mind, then.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Come on Paul. The advice on the lenses and focal length was great! ;)
  • 0

#6 Paul Bruening

Paul Bruening

    (deceased)

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2858 posts
  • Producer
  • Oxford, Mississippi

Posted 18 August 2005 - 09:29 PM

Cool. :D
  • 0

#7 Paul Bruening

Paul Bruening

    (deceased)

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2858 posts
  • Producer
  • Oxford, Mississippi

Posted 18 August 2005 - 09:47 PM

The mounts will be a consideration in your lens choices. PL mount is the most common adapter type. BNCRs often follow as next most common. Which will you be getting on the adaptor? Can the supplier give you more options? Still frame lenses like Nikon are beloved by DPs as well and are much cheaper than cine lenses.
  • 0

#8 Michael Maier

Michael Maier
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 215 posts
  • Camera Operator

Posted 19 August 2005 - 02:00 AM

The mounts will be a consideration in your lens choices. PL mount is the most common adapter type. BNCRs often follow as next most common. Which will you be getting on the adaptor? Can the supplier give you more options? Still frame lenses like Nikon are beloved by DPs as well and are much cheaper than cine lenses.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Cool you talked about still Nikon lenses. I thought about them, but thought they would not be up to HD specs or be as good as the cine ones. So people do use them for motion picture photography? Are all Nikons the same quality of are there any special ones to look for?

About my options, I can get PL, OCT-19, Nikon F and Canon FD.
  • 0

#9 Jan Doggen

Jan Doggen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 26 posts
  • Other

Posted 19 August 2005 - 04:59 PM

Cool you talked about still Nikon lenses. I thought about them, but thought they would not be up to HD specs or be as good as the cine ones. So people do use them for motion picture photography? Are all Nikons the same quality of are there any special ones to look for?

About my options, I can get PL, OCT-19, Nikon F and Canon FD.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Still lenses are good enough for HD; after all they are being used on 16mpix dslr's... the only problems you might (will) encounter are:

-still lenses aren't really matched up colorwise and lookwise

-focussing is harder than with cinelenses as the mechanism often isn't quite as well made as on cinelenses and the distance markings aren't as precise, but it works nevertheless. focussing is also harder because still lenses are often designed to cover the focussing range within a 90-120 degree rotation (because that's easier when shooting photos) whereas the same range is spread over a rotation of up to 330 degrees on cine lenses...

-breathing: the 'zooming' effect when you focus is often more noticeable with still lenses as they are not optimised to reduce this.

if you have to choose between nikon and canon fd lenses, i would go for nikons as canon fd's aren't being made anymore and nikon has kept the same mount up untill now so new lenses will also work. I wish canon eos lenses would work on mini35/movietube adapters but they don't have manual diaph-rings.

when buying nikon lenses, make sure you don't buy those new lenses specially made for their d-slr's as they project a smaller image than standard 35mm-photography and only just about the size of 35mm cine size, so you might get vignetting but more importantly: they don't have manual diaph rings either and you can only set the iris electronically with a dslr body.

if you go for nikon still lenses, I can recommend the 20, 24 and 28 mm sigma wide-angles which open at f1.8 and deliver a nice image (they are hard to focus, though).

overall the nikon option is a cheap way to get started and when needed you can always rent cine lenses and decide to buy when you've found out which lenses you like most. there are a lot of good second hand f1.8 manual focus nikons out there.

you can get 20, 24, 28,35,50,85,100 and 135 mm lenses in f1.8 or f2 relatively cheap (check sigma for the 20, 24 and 28).

hope this helps; i'm no expert but this is what i've found out so far.

JD
  • 0

#10 Paul Bruening

Paul Bruening

    (deceased)

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2858 posts
  • Producer
  • Oxford, Mississippi

Posted 19 August 2005 - 05:18 PM

Hey now,

The Nikons also rack focus in the other direction. However, the glass in them is PREMIUM! Even with all the other compromises in mind, that's the way I'd go if it were on me. The price means you can affordably grab a large selection of sizes which makes a big difference when shooting on location. If you really give a damn about how your lenses interpret reality, then the large selection will serve you well. On top of that, you can get a normal lens from Nikon that stops down really fast. With a liitle practice and some marking tape on the lens, your focus puller can hit the marks just fine. I wouldn't presume to tell you which way to go, but I'd love to be in your cam situation and know I could move on the Nikon lenses.

Good luck.
  • 0

#11 Michael Maier

Michael Maier
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 215 posts
  • Camera Operator

Posted 19 August 2005 - 08:48 PM

Thanks both Paul and Jan.

The Nikons are looking better abd better. I might just go with them. So, a should stick with F1.8 only? I have to confess that I know close to nothing about 35mm lense. So I have no idea of which F numbers to look for.
So basically, as long as they are Nikons 35mm (not D-SLR) primes, all I need to pay attention then is focal length and F number? Every Nikon will be a F mount, without exceptions? They are all same quality?Same peformance? I see that not every Nikon mount is a Nikon. Jan suggested Sigma. Are there other brands which used the Nikon F mount? Or should I stick with Nikon brand only?
The problem with using still lenses is that theay are slimmer, and then follow focus and mattex boxes won't fit well.
But they are much cheaper and if you guys say they good enough for HD (specially with Paul's enthusiasm towards them calling the glass PREMIUM ;) ), I think that's what I'm going with.

Jan, you lost me here:

"-still lenses aren't really matched up colorwise and lookwise"

You mean physically, like in the way they look like, meaning every lens will look different from each other and not like a lens set?
Or you mean the images they make will have different textures and colors?

Also, what's a good source of used Nikon primes besides Ebay? Or should I buy new ones only?

Thanks guys

Edited by Michael Maier, 19 August 2005 - 08:50 PM.

  • 0

#12 Jan Doggen

Jan Doggen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 26 posts
  • Other

Posted 20 August 2005 - 04:19 AM

The Nikons are looking better abd better. I might just go with them. So, a should stick with F1.8 only? I have to confess that I know close to nothing about 35mm lense. So I have no idea of which F numbers to look for.


The thing with the f-number is that the lower it is the less light you need (and the shallower you can get your depth of field) so usually the better lenses (and more expensive ones) are those kind of lenses. In 35mm still photography f1.8 is about as low as they go (excepted for the occasional 1.0, 1.2 or 1.4 for a few selected lenses) over a wide range of primes.
It's always easiest to get a set of f1.8 lenses so that you can switch lenses within the same lighting setup... if for example you've lit a scene for f2.0 and you've got a f2.8 lens then you have to adapt your lighting just for that one lense, if you see what I mean.

So basically, as long as they are Nikons 35mm (not D-SLR) primes, all I need to pay attention then is focal length and F number? Every Nikon will be a F mount, without exceptions? They are all same quality?Same peformance? I see that not every Nikon mount is a Nikon. Jan suggested Sigma. Are there other brands which used the Nikon F mount? Or should I stick with Nikon brand only?


Not all nikon mount lenses are the same quality or the same performance. There are lenses aimed at consumers and pro's; both have a different price-tag and usually you get what you pay for. A 'pro' lens will usually be better mechanically, will open wider, use better glass and thus be better all around.

You can get lenses from other manufacturers with the nikon mount but I would advise you to stay away from cheap lenses. Those 3 sigma's I was talking about are good glass too, but I would say: always try to test a lens before buying it.

The problem with using still lenses is that theay are slimmer, and then follow focus and mattex boxes won't fit well.

You can get nikon lenses geared for use with FF (I haven't done it yet but it will probably set you back about $100-$200 per lens, i hear)

Jan, you lost me here:

"-still lenses aren't really matched up colorwise and lookwise"

You mean physically, like in the way they look like, meaning every lens will look different from each other and not like a lens set?
Or you mean the images they make will have different textures and colors?


Cine lens manufacturers usually design a whole set of primes at the same time, using the same optical formulas, the same type of glass and the same type of coatings for the whole range so the way they render the image is the same.
Still lenses are usually designed one at a time, possibly even by different teams within the company.
Theoretically if you're shooting DV or HDV which both don't have a huge exposure and color latitude, it's best to white balance the camera each time you switch lenses, even within a same scene or lighting setup. If you were using a matching set of cine lenses, you could bet on it that there would be no difference in color between lenses.
Besides color non-matching still lenses will also render flares and bokeh (out of focus image) differently... and when you're not shooting wide-open you will notice that some still lenses have 5 iris-blades, others 6 or 7 or 8 which will result in differently shaped out of focus highlights: wide open you will always have a nice circle but with 5 blades you'll get a pentagon shape, with 6 a hexagon, and so on... so if in the edit you jump for one to the other it might look really weird.
Though it's maybe only image-nerds who will notice it.

Also, what's a good source of used Nikon primes besides Ebay? Or should I buy new ones only?


I bought some older nikon manual focus lenses from the used department of www.bhphotovideo.com. I have already bought a lot of photo equipment from them and they are trustworthy. Their physical shop in NY is huge and carries an incredible amount of stock.
Newer lenses like for example the sigmas I would buy new so you have the warranty.

I hope this helps...
JD
  • 0

#13 Tim J Durham

Tim J Durham
  • Sustaining Members
  • 742 posts
  • Director
  • East Coast, Baby!

Posted 20 August 2005 - 05:07 AM

Cool you talked about still Nikon lenses. I thought about them, but thought they would not be up to HD specs or be as good as the cine ones. So people do use them for motion picture photography? Are all Nikons the same quality of are there any special ones to look for?

About my options, I can get PL, OCT-19, Nikon F and Canon FD.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

All Nikon lenses are NOT created equal. I have shot stills with Nikon cameras for many years and the ones you want to get are the 24mm f2.0 AIS (about $400-$500), the 50mm f1.2 AIS ($300), and the 105mm f2.5 AI or AIS (I had and early AI and it was the sharpest lens Nikon ever made). I suspect you can pick one of these up for less than $200.

Get the fully manual lenses as they are indestructable. Another great lens is the 180mm f2.8 ED.
I shot regularly with each of these lenses and they are top quality. Stay away from the "E series"
(as opposed to "ED" which is an entirely different animal) and I would also steer clear of the newer auto-focus lenses. And yes, they do focus the opposite way.
  • 0

#14 Michael Maier

Michael Maier
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 215 posts
  • Camera Operator

Posted 22 August 2005 - 08:46 AM

The thing with the f-number is that the lower it is the less light you need (and the shallower you can get your depth of field) so usually the better lenses (and more expensive ones) are those kind of lenses. In 35mm still photography f1.8 is about as low as they go (excepted for the occasional 1.0, 1.2 or 1.4 for a few selected lenses) over a wide range of primes.


I see. But with video lenses, is never good to shoot at the aperture limit/wide open. The sharpest point of the lens is about 2 stops down. The same apply to still film lenses?

It's always easiest to get a set of f1.8 lenses so that you can switch lenses within the same lighting setup... if for example you've lit a scene for f2.0 and you've got a f2.8 lens then you have to adapt your lighting just for that one lense, if you see what I mean.


That?s a good point. If you set the light for f1.8 and your next lens opens only till f2.0 it?s a problem. Although if you have let?s say two f1.8 and two F2.0 lenses, you could just never set any of them wider than F2.0 which is the limit of the slower lenses. Couldn?t that work too, in case I can?t find all them at the same speed?

Not all nikon mount lenses are the same quality or the same performance. There are lenses aimed at consumers and pro's; both have a different price-tag and usually you get what you pay for. A 'pro' lens will usually be better mechanically, will open wider, use better glass and thus be better all around.


How can I tell if a lens is consumer or pro? Pricing is very subjective. Any special details to make it easier to tell them apart.?

You can get lenses from other manufacturers with the nikon mount but I would advise you to stay away from cheap lenses. Those 3 sigma's I was talking about are good glass too, but I would say: always try to test a lens before buying it.


I will just stick with the Nikon brand then (besides the 3 Sigmas ;)

You can get nikon lenses geared for use with FF (I haven't done it yet but it will probably set you back about $100-$200 per lens, i hear)


I found a place, which also makes gear rings for them. I?ll see what?s the cheaper option.

Cine lens manufacturers usually design a whole set of primes at the same time, using the same optical formulas, the same type of glass and the same type of coatings for the whole range so the way they render the image is the same.
Still lenses are usually designed one at a time, possibly even by different teams within the company.
Theoretically if you're shooting DV or HDV which both don't have a huge exposure and color latitude, it's best to white balance the camera each time you switch lenses, even within a same scene or lighting setup. If you were using a matching set of cine lenses, you could bet on it that there would be no difference in color between lenses.


So, as long as I WB when I switch lenses, my colors should fine? I can do that.

Besides color non-matching still lenses will also render flares and bokeh (out of focus image) differently... and when you're not shooting wide-open you will notice that some still lenses have 5 iris-blades, others 6 or 7 or 8 which will result in differently shaped out of focus highlights: wide open you will always have a nice circle but with 5 blades you'll get a pentagon shape, with 6 a hexagon, and so on... so if in the edit you jump for one to the other it might look really weird. Though it's maybe only image-nerds who will notice it.


Do you think it would be hard to find them all with the same number of blades? Which is the most common number, 5, 6,7 or 8 blades?




Newer lenses like for example the sigmas I would buy new so you have the warranty.


Makes sense. Thanks for the advice Jan. Very helpful and insightful.
  • 0

#15 Michael Maier

Michael Maier
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 215 posts
  • Camera Operator

Posted 22 August 2005 - 08:51 AM

All Nikon lenses  are NOT created equal. I have shot stills with Nikon cameras for many years and the ones you want to get are the 24mm f2.0 AIS (about $400-$500), the 50mm f1.2 AIS ($300), and the 105mm f2.5 AI or AIS (I had and early AI and it was the sharpest lens Nikon ever made). I suspect you can pick one of these up for less than $200.


Thanks for the tips. But those lenses being all different speeds, wouldn't it make my life complicated o set. Specially based on what Jan said, which I think makes sense?

Get the fully manual lenses as they are indestructable. Another great lens is the 180mm f2.8 ED.
I shot regularly with each of these lenses and they are top quality. Stay away from the "E series"
(as opposed to "ED" which is an entirely different animal) and I would also steer clear of the newer auto-focus lenses. And yes, they do focus the opposite way.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Thanks Tim. Any tips for a 18mm, 35mm, 75mm, 85mm and maybe a 150mm? That way, I can fill in the gaps :)

Also I didn't understand this. I shouldn't get any E series, but should I or should I not get any ED series?

By the way, I found those lenses when loking for AI and AIS Nikons (what the terms stand for by the way?)

Nikon Nikkor-P 105mm f/2.5 AI
Nikon 20mm f/2.8 AIS
Nikon 24mm f/2.8 AI
Nikon Nikkor-H 85mm f/1.8 AI
Nikon 35mm f1.4 AIS
Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AIS Fast lens

Are they from the good ones you adviced?
Thanks.

Edited by Michael Maier, 22 August 2005 - 09:01 AM.

  • 0

#16 Jan Doggen

Jan Doggen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 26 posts
  • Other

Posted 22 August 2005 - 05:18 PM

I see. But with video lenses, is never good to shoot at the aperture limit/wide open. The sharpest point of the lens is about 2 stops down. The same apply to still film lenses?


yes it does, but keep this in mind:
1) one of the reasons why you would use a mini35 is to have shallow DOF so you might not want to stop the lens down too much.

2) I think there's a limit too which you can stop down lenses with the mini35 because above that the image gets worse or something... I wouldn't go above 5.6.

That?s a good point. If you set the light for f1.8 and your next lens opens only till f2.0 it?s a problem. Although if you have let?s say two f1.8 and two F2.0 lenses, you could just never set any of them wider than F2.0 which is the limit of the slower lenses. Couldn?t that work too, in case I can?t find all them at the same speed?

the difference between f1.8 and f2 is quite small so you could get away with lighting for 1.8 and fixing the f2 footage in post, or you could just stop the f1.8's down to f2 and light for f2.

if however you're working with f1.8's, f2.8's and f4's then you would have to light for f4 and stop the f1.8's down which brings us back to more DOF and so on...

How can I tell if a lens is consumer or pro? Pricing is very subjective. Any special details to make it easier to tell them apart.?

if the same focal length exists in a f2.8 and a f1.8 then the f1.8 is probably the pro version ;)

Which is the most common number, 5, 6,7 or 8 blades?

I don't know....
I think generally more recent lenses have more blades and those blades are curved a little to give more round out-of-focus highlights. The sigma's I have -which are very recent designs- have 9 curved blades and my old nikon 85 f1.8 has 6 which are very straight...

by the way, I hear there is a nice older 135mm f1.8 by sigma but it's hard to find.

oh, could you tell me where you can get your lenses geared?

JD
  • 0

#17 Michael Maier

Michael Maier
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 215 posts
  • Camera Operator

Posted 25 August 2005 - 09:05 PM

Thanks again Jan.

Hey guys, I'm trying to find some Nikon lens on ebay, but it's really confusing. I'm looking for the AI and AIS lenses, as they were highly recommended in this thread. But some of them say AI E series. I was told not to get any of the E series. Also some say AI mount. Aren't all Nikons F mount?
What the AI and AIS stand for?
trying to stay with f1.4 to f2 and maybe a F1.2 for low light.


oh, could you tell me where you can get your lenses geared?
JD

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

There you go Jan.
http://www.jbkcinequipt.com/index.htm

Edited by Michael Maier, 25 August 2005 - 09:12 PM.

  • 0

#18 Matti Poutanen

Matti Poutanen
  • Guests

Posted 14 October 2005 - 12:49 PM

I think you might have missed the part I say I want to use the lenses with a mini35 adapter. This adapter keeps the exact smae angle of view of the 35mm lens.
I want to use it with the new JVC HD100 HD camera. It is a 720p camera. Thanks.


By the way, have you tried the HD100 with mini35, does it work well? I've seen mini35 in action with Panasonic DVX100, and I was most impressed! But does it perform as well with JVC HD? I was thinking of shooting a short film with this combination.
  • 0


Technodolly

Abel Cine

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

FJS International, LLC

rebotnix Technologies

CineTape

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Visual Products

Paralinx LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Ritter Battery

Opal

Wooden Camera

CineLab

Willys Widgets

The Slider

Rig Wheels Passport

Metropolis Post

Glidecam

Aerial Filmworks

Tai Audio

Glidecam

Aerial Filmworks

Tai Audio

rebotnix Technologies

Metropolis Post

Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Opal

CineTape

Technodolly

CineLab

Abel Cine

FJS International, LLC

The Slider

Rig Wheels Passport

Willys Widgets

Ritter Battery

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Wooden Camera

Paralinx LLC