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Lomo vs. Nikon. The final showdown


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#1 Adam Paul

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Posted 24 September 2005 - 10:50 PM

After a long time since I started my other thread, I still have no solid answer to this question. The thread had gone way off topic and I haven't really had much on this question. So, I would like to get a final showdown on this matter. Lomo vs. Nikon for motion picture photography? Which is the sharpest and overall best? The Lomo are basically the double of the price but easier to focus. But which is the better option? I can only afford the slower F2 Lomo by the way, so please consider that. Also consider, no matter what, a follow focus system won't be used.

A related question. If you had to pick four lenses out of those, which four would you pick to shoot a feature film? 18mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 75mm, 100mm.

Thanks in advance.

Edited by Adampaul, 24 September 2005 - 10:51 PM.

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#2 Max Jacoby

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 02:34 AM

Personally I wouldn't buy lenses without having shot some tests first, or at least looked at them on a projector. Especially if you want to know whether the Lomos or Nikons are better a comparison test really is in order.
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#3 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 03:47 AM

After a long time since I started my other thread, I still have no solid answer to this question. The thread had gone way off topic and I haven't really had much on this question. So, I would like to get a final showdown on this matter. Lomo vs. Nikon for motion picture photography? Which is the sharpest and overall best? The Lomo are basically the double of the price but easier to focus. But which is the better option? I can only afford the slower F2 Lomo by the way, so please consider that. Also consider, no matter what, a follow focus system won't be used.

A related question. If you had to pick four lenses out of those, which four would you pick to shoot a feature film? 18mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 75mm, 100mm.

Thanks in advance.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Adampaul,
I will choose the 18mm,35mm,50mm,100mm
U will definately want the 75 mm sometimes cause I believe it's really nice for close ups.
As for the lomo's and nikon differences I have no idea.Are u talking for still photography here?

Dimitrios Koukas
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#4 Adam Paul

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 09:41 AM

Dimitrios, I think you missed the part of my post where I said it was for "motion picture photography". ;)

After a long time since I started my other thread, I still have no solid answer to this question. The thread had gone way off topic and I haven't really had much on this question. So, I would like to get a final showdown on this matter. Lomo vs. Nikon for motion picture photography? Which is the sharpest and overall best? The Lomo are basically the double of the price but easier to focus. But which is the better option? I can only afford the slower F2 Lomo by the way, so please consider that. Also consider, no matter what, a follow focus system won't be used.

A related question. If you had to pick four lenses out of those, which four would you pick to shoot a feature film? 18mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 75mm, 100mm.

Thanks in advance.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Thanks for the focal length advice. I was also thinking about dropping the 28mm, as it is almost the same as a 35mm. But the 100mm might be too long for close ups when in tight places. I had thought 18mm, 35mm, 50mm and 75mm. But am willing to listen to other opinions too.

Audiris, testing is not a possibility. Reason I posted the question here, hoping I would find somebody who had done the test, or at least had used both to give me an opinion.
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#5 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 02:02 PM

Dimitrios, I think you missed the part of my post where I said it was for "motion picture photography". ;)
Thanks for the focal length advice.  I was also thinking about dropping the 28mm, as it is almost the same as a 35mm. But the 100mm might be too long for close ups when in tight places. I had thought 18mm, 35mm, 50mm and 75mm. But am willing to listen to other opinions too.

Audiris, testing is not a possibility. Reason I posted the question here, hoping I would find somebody who had done the test, or at least had used both to give me an opinion.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Either ways, u will need the 75mm and the 100mm, and if you can find the whole set better have them all.Unless it's a very common type of lenses.
And yep I 've missed that bit. :)
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#6 Marc Alucard

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 02:25 PM

Personally I wouldn't buy lenses without having shot some tests first, or at least looked at them on a projector. Especially if you want to know whether the Lomos or Nikons are better a comparison test really is in order.



--------------------
Max Jacoby
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www.imdb.com



I can't agree more on what Max wrote.

Be prepared to test any equipment you get.The camera and all magazines for steadiness, scratching and light leaks. Checking every lens on a projector will definitively answer your resolution question, as well as turn up any problems particular to that lens. Finding out you if have equipment problems before you buy is a lot easier than finding out when you get your film back from the lab on your first project. Try to buy your gear from a reputable dealer that has serviced it and backs it up with a warranty.

In regards to your Lomo vs. Nikon question you must factor in mounting issues. The Lomo lenses are made for the Konvas cameras, and are ready to shoot. Nikon (or other still) lenses will require a custom mount or adapter for almost all motion picture cameras. Still lenses are a good route to go if you already own, or have access to a set. Arri IIc cameras can be hard fronted for PL, BNCR and certain still lens mounts.

Focal length selection requires information on what you are filming. A Konvas or Arri IIc make quite a bit of noise when running that may require longer lenses for sync sound recording. That's not an issue if you are shooting music videos MOS.

For what it's worth, my four lens focal length recommendations are 20mm, 35mm, 50mm, and a 75mm for starters.

Don't forget to budget for camera support, filters, extra batteries and chargers, a changing bag or tent, and all your consumables. And then there are the other small details like grip and lighting equipment as well as sound.

My best advice is to buy the best condition newest gear you can afford from a well known dealer that will support you and be around when you are ready to upgrade.

Cheers,
Marc
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#7 Adam Paul

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 04:03 PM

Either ways, u will need the 75mm and the 100mm, and if you can find the whole set better have them all.Unless it's a very common type of lenses.
And yep I 've missed that bit.  :)
Dimitrios Koukas

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Why do you think I will need both, 75mm and 100mm? I heard a 75mm is pretty nice for close ups. Problem with a Lomo 100mm is that they are much slower than the rest. I think they are f2.8 against f2 on the others.
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#8 Adam Paul

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 04:09 PM

I can't agree more on what Max wrote. 



As I said, I have no way of testing it before, as I will most likely buy online and maybe even from overseas.

In regards to your Lomo vs. Nikon question you must factor in mounting issues.  The Lomo lenses are made for the Konvas cameras, and are ready to shoot.  Nikon (or other still) lenses will require a custom mount or adapter for almost all motion picture cameras.  Still lenses are a good route to go if you already own, or have access to a set. Arri IIc cameras can be  hard fronted for PL, BNCR and certain still lens mounts.



Adapters will be no problem if the quality is there. All I need is somebody who had used or seen results from Lomo and Nikon, to tell me their opinion on the quality of the lenses.

For what it's worth, my four lens focal length recommendations are 20mm, 35mm, 50mm, and a 75mm for starters.


Thanks. But I have never seen a Lomo in 20mm. Just 18mm.
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#9 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 04:44 PM

Why do you think I will need both, 75mm and 100mm? I heard a 75mm is pretty nice for close ups. Problem with a Lomo 100mm is that they are much slower than the rest. I think they are f2.8 against f2 on the others.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Yes 75 mm is great for close-ups,I ve said this too in my previous post, but I can recall one feature film that I did on S16 that one 125 was the best choice for an actress!
Wich means 250 for 35mm!
U see many times it is this ''something'' that u were wishing to have from your lenses set to do the shoot as u imagined it. That's why I have suggested you to buy all the set.
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#10 Adam Paul

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 04:54 PM

Makes sense. I suppose I could stretch for a 100mm, even it being slower.
On a side note, 250mm for a close up? How far did you have to back the camera? Did she have a huge nose or what? :P

Edited by Adampaul, 25 September 2005 - 04:55 PM.

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#11 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 10:42 AM

Lomo.

Why?

Because they're made for film.
Because they're easy to convert to PL.
Because they fit into a production environment.
Because they're great value for money.

Nikon uses a short flange focal of 44mm - impossible to convert to PL. You need a camera
that's made for that mount. This basically means Aaton since their mirror is on a slight angle
making it possible to fit very short FF lens mounts.

The Nikon barrels also have extremely short distance between close focus and infinity making them virtually impossible to follow focus on. To make things worse, the focus ring turns the wrong way as compared to film lenses.

For sharpness comparisons there's only one way to find out. Do a test or an MTF chart/projection.
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#12 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 10:47 AM

Makes sense. I suppose I could stretch for a 100mm, even it being slower.
On a side note, 250mm for a close up? How far did you have to back the camera? Did she have a huge nose or what? :P

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


It was S16 so it was one 125mm
I was about 30ft from her. You got it correct about the nose.Telephotos where really flaterring for her.
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#13 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 05:25 PM

LOMO (resale value + reasons above) and all the lenses except the 28mm and the 75mm

You should try and check the LOMOs cause there are some very different qualities floating around . Even within the Zeiss superspeed arena there are differences between Mk1 and MK3. Also how do you know the barrel movement is smooth and the lens is not damaged without a test.

Most decent shops | people will give you a period to return - try and write it into a purchase order "Quailty test, no defects, smooth movement etc." You have the money they need to sell something that doesn't move in huge quantities

Adam's point about nikon stills is very important. There is no adaptor I have seen either in LA, NYC or London in 4 years of looking that allows you to mount a Nikon lens to a PL camera - as Adam said the small Nikon cannot fit a larger lens hole.

This is important because most people assume "yeap I can buy Still lenses and a cheap little adaptor and use them on any 35mm camera."

They will only fit on cameras that have the nikon mount (some Aatons etc)

You also need to be careful about having no FF - as you do bigger and bigger projects someone somewhere is going to demand you work with an AC - and the AC cannot pull focus without a FF and a whip (if handheld) - having said that I used no FF for a couple of years and it still one thing I need to really buy for my camera kit

thanks

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#14 Adam Paul

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 07:41 PM

LOMO (resale value + reasons above) and all the lenses except the 28mm and the 75mm


You mean don't buy 28mm and 75mm Lomo lenses? Why? Are they bad?
But I need a close up lens and the 75mm seems nice. The 100mm Lomo is much slower at T3.
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#15 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 27 September 2005 - 04:14 AM

I was recommending lenses based on focal length for a set - there are no general issues I know of that apply to those focal lengths

I would still go with the 100mm - it gives more of a look than a 75mm - and by the decresed field of view (unless you are planning deep focus effects) it is fairly easy to light to T4 etc

hope that makes sense

thanks

Rolfe
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#16 Jun Tang

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Posted 22 October 2005 - 12:55 AM

Nikon uses a short flange focal of 44mm - impossible to convert to PL. You need a camera
that's made for that mount.


Hey Adam,

Where did you learn about the flange focal stuff and how it affects follow focus? This is exactly what I'm trying to get knowledge on and have absolutely no idea. I try google, but no luck. any recommendation on books or articles.

thanks :ph34r:
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#17 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 22 October 2005 - 07:00 AM

Hey Adam,

Where did you learn about the flange focal stuff and how it affects follow focus? This is exactly what I'm trying to get knowledge on and have absolutely no idea. I try google, but no luck. any recommendation on books or articles.

thanks :ph34r:


I can't remember where I learned that - it was in some article years ago. But I was heavily into the technical side then, so it stuck.

A Flange focal is simply the measurement between the seat of the lens mount to the film plane. Here's a list at the top of my head:

Nikon 44mm
PL 52mm
Panavision 56 or 57mm
BNCR 61mm
Lomo (OCT-19) 61mm (OCT-19 is a BNCR rip-off anyway)

This means that any lens mount made for a shorter FF can not be made to fit one with a longer FF (except if you completely rebuild and rehouse the lens). But the opposite is true. I.e. it's impossible to fit a Nikon mount on a PL with some adapter, however, a PL mount could easily be fittet to a Nikon camera.

That's also why Panavision can convert their Arri cameras quite easily to PV mount - all they have to do is stick the mount on and add some spacers! But converting a Panavision camera to PL would turn out to be very difficult unless you rebuild the front of it.

Now, the above isn't always as simple as that either. What also plays in is the diameter of the mount. In PL, the diameter of the lens mount is 54mm. PV I think has something around 56mm. That means that many of the lenses with a bigger diameter, even though they might have greater FF, still will not fit (because many lenses protrude behind their mounts). This has to be taken into consideration. That's why the Lomo square anamorphic lenses can not be made to fit on a PL mount lens without re-housing the lens barrel - they're simply to thick and have to big a diameter at the back even though the FF distance would suggest such a thing feasible.

As an interesting side note I can also tell you that the shorter the FF, and the greater the diameter of the mount, the faster the lens one can make (providing you can clear the mirror). Therefore it's easier to make a fast lens for PL mount than it is for a PV mount.
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#18 Nate Downes

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Posted 22 October 2005 - 08:31 AM

What I find fustrating is more that I can't find a reliable source of lens mounts that doesn't charge an arm and a leg. ($120 for a Nikon bayonet? Who is kidding who?)
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#19 Jun Tang

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Posted 22 October 2005 - 09:36 AM

Nikon 44mm
PL 52mm
Panavision 56 or 57mm
BNCR 61mm
Lomo (OCT-19) 61mm (OCT-19 is a BNCR rip-off anyway)

This means that any lens mount made for a shorter FF can not be made to fit one with a longer FF (except if you completely rebuild and rehouse the lens). But the opposite is true. I.e. it's impossible to fit a Nikon mount on a PL with some adapter, however, a PL mount could easily be fittet to a Nikon camera.


On top of your head...very impressive.

I am using the Micro35 adapter. It doesn't have Contax lens mount. But it does have a Canon EOS mount.

I want to experiment with a good lens like Zeiss Contax Planar lens. So I was thinking of using the Canon EOS mount, with a Contax to EOS adapter.....then putting the Zeiss contax lens on.

Since the Contax flange is 29mm....and EOS is 44 mm (these numbers are from Dan Diaconu, not me....as I don't know about lenses yet) that would be...."IMPOSSIBLE" as you say...or unless I rehouse?

Basically that experiment is theoretically no feasible.
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#20 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 22 October 2005 - 12:42 PM

Since the Contax flange is 29mm....and EOS is 44 mm (these numbers are from Dan Diaconu, not me....as I don't know about lenses yet) that would be...."IMPOSSIBLE" as you say...or unless I rehouse?


---That 29mm is for the Contax rangefinder. Except for maybe Canon FD, all 35mm SLRs have a flange depth greater than 40mm. They need room for that swinging mirror.

Still. Contax RF lenses from the 30s and 40s are availiable at extremely high prices, so they must be better than some cheap used Lomo made just prior to the financial collapse of the Soviet Union.

Heck, an uncoated 50mm f/3.5 Tessar might be just the thing to eliminate those annoying digital artifacts.

& Canon lenses aren't good?

---LV
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