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Switar or Schneider?


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#1 Michael Maier

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Posted 25 October 2005 - 06:20 PM

In terms of sharpness, resolution, color rendition, contrast, distortion and just over all quality, which are the best C mount primes, Switar or Schneider Cine Xenon?
Also, just to clarify, no RX cameras can use RX lenses right? Thanks.

Edited by Michael Maier, 25 October 2005 - 06:20 PM.

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#2 Michael Maier

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Posted 26 October 2005 - 04:34 AM

Nobody has used any of them? Hard to believe, as they are the most used C mount 16mm lenses.
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#3 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 26 October 2005 - 05:48 AM

Switars especially the pre-set ones are sharper and contrastier than Cine Xenons.

Switars especially the pre-set ones are sharper and contrastier than Cine Xenons.
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#4 lluis

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Posted 26 October 2005 - 03:17 PM

Time ago I tested (in Bolex Super 16 RX camera and 3ccd color video camera) some 25mm c mount lenses. Surprisingly the old Switars 1.4 (RX and non RX) were the worst in sharpness. Canon and Som Berthiot (non RXs) the best one!!
Recently I have tested some wide angles lenses: Zeiss 8mm (with c mount adaptor), Zeiss Jena 10mm and Cosmicar 12.5mm. All these cover super 16 area (even the 8mm, the best one at all stops, with an insignificant vignette in the corners, never projected). Closing 1 or 2 stops Jena and Cosmicar solve all the focus problems with RXs.
All the best,
Lluís
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#5 Michael Maier

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Posted 26 October 2005 - 04:31 PM

Switars especially the pre-set ones are sharper and contrastier than Cine Xenons.


Do the same apply with Cinegons in your opinion, or are they the same, Cinegon and Xenon?


Time ago I tested (in Bolex Super 16 RX camera and 3ccd color video camera) some 25mm c mount lenses.


How did you mount a C mount lens in a video camera? Which video camera was it, XL1?


Surprisingly the old Switars 1.4 (RX and non RX) were the worst in sharpness.


Most people have been telling me Switars are the sharpest C mount lenses you can buy.


Canon and Som Berthiot (non RXs) the best one!!


Do you have the model numbers and speed?

Recently I have tested some wide angles lenses: Zeiss 8mm (with c mount adaptor), Zeiss Jena 10mm and Cosmicar 12.5mm. All these cover super 16 area (even the 8mm, the best one at all stops, with an insignificant vignette in the corners, never projected). Closing 1 or 2 stops Jena and Cosmicar solve all the focus problems with RXs.


Do you mean the Jena, Cosmicar are sharper than the Switar as well? I heard terrible things about Cosmicar. They are CCTV lenses. Not sharp enough. Also, is not the Jenas made for 35mm still?
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#6 santo

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Posted 26 October 2005 - 10:47 PM

Just to add two things which you probably know already:

c-mounts can vary quite a bit in their performance if the back focus is not set up properly on an individual camera

there is a difference in optical formula for lenses which are built to take into account a beam-splitting prism like the RX has, versus a mirror shutter like Beaulieu for example which might effect sharpness. bolex literature makes note of this with regards to the lenses for its RX system, and we can see that as a factor even today with lenses like Zeiss's Digi Prime series for 2/3 video cameras with beam splitting prisms.



I am not an expert in this area, but I've sure seen some great sharp shots taken with either lens. Cinegons have been around a long time and there are probably at least three different types of them that look quite different physically. A version of them is, I think, still available from Schneider for high definition critical machine imaging purposes.

Edited by santo, 26 October 2005 - 10:48 PM.

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#7 lluis

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 02:56 AM

Do the same apply with Cinegons in your opinion, or are they the same, Cinegon and Xenon?
How did you mount a C mount lens in a video camera? Which video camera was it, XL1?


Most people have been telling me Switars are the sharpest C mount lenses you can buy.


Do you have the model numbers and speed?
Do you mean the Jena, Cosmicar are sharper than the Switar as well? I heard terrible things about Cosmicar. They are CCTV lenses. Not sharp enough. Also, is not the Jenas made for 35mm still?


Sony, Hitachi, Toshiba... all these brands made 3ccd c mount cameras. I use the Sony xc-003P (color) and the Pulnix B/N. Both (although I am seeing only the central optics) are very useful for first lens test.
Sure Switars made the most compatible lens for its Bolexes, since the RX lens series use a plus lens elements to correct the spherical aberration due the camera prism. But the two 25mm 1.4 were the worst in sharpness in my test (I couldn't to test the later MC preset lens, sure better).
The Canon TV-16 series and the Som Berthiot Cinor lenses are (surprisingly) excellent lens in my Bolexes RX super 16.
I couldn't test the 10mm Switar (against Zeiss or Cosmicar) because I don't have it (I have read the most of them don't cover super 16, or have a poor corner resolution). I was exceptical first with the Cosmicar 12.5 lens (designed to cover 1" video, bigger than super 16) until I tested it (there are many in ebay for a few bucks...). Look at http://www.chambless...alog/c21211.htm
The other lens was the c mount Carl Zeiss Jena Tevidon 10mm f2, which was designed for 1" also. The exit pupil of this lens is more near of the prism (like Dennis Couzin explain...), so I need to close to f4 to have focus sharp in the corners. Excellent lens for my wide angle exterior time lapse shoots...
All the best,
Lluís
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#8 Michael Maier

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 04:39 PM

So, if I understood it right, the RX version of the Switar is not good for non RX cameras, because it splits the beam. It should be used in the Bolex RX only. But the RX version is best for 3 CCD cameras, for the same reason. Is that it? If so, that's interesting to know.
Concerning the quality between Schneider and Switar, most who I have asked are voting for the Switars. That would be Schneider Xenon 25mm and Cinegon 10mm versus Switar 26mm and 10mm.
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#9 Evan Kubota

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 11:16 PM

Interesting thread. It's generally said that both Switars and Schneiders are excellent lenses, but I haven't received my film back... I used a Switar 10mm f/1.6, an Angenieux 25mm f/0.95, and a Sony TV zoom 20-80mm f/2.5. It should be interesting to see what look each lens gives.

IMO there's not nearly enough quantitative comparison of C mount primes - I've yet to see a comprehensive and objective test of images produced under similar conditions with different lenses.
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#10 Michael Maier

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Posted 29 October 2005 - 09:01 AM

Interesting. Please keep us posted how the Switar and Schneider compare when you get your footage back.
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#11 Evan Kubota

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Posted 29 October 2005 - 02:56 PM

I don't have a Schneider ;) I guess you meant Angenieux. Unfortunately I didn't make notes of what lens/fstop I used for each shot, but I should be able to roughly figure it out because the camera placements were largely determined by the set design - all of the rear shots used the Switar or Sony, for example.
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#12 Michael Maier

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Posted 02 November 2005 - 05:19 AM

So far what I heard is that Switar is the best glass for C mount. I heard good things about the Xenon 25mm, but not about the Cinegon 10mm. The Switars 10mm and 26mm on the other hand was all praise. So I think Switar it is.
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#13 Mitch Gross

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Posted 04 November 2005 - 11:19 PM

Testing a film lens on a video camera is pointless, even if they both have c-mounts. A video camera uses a prism to spli tthe light for 3-ccd chips while a film camera focuses all light onto a single flat plane of emulsion. Lenses made for video take the prism into account and lenses made for film are designed for just that. The best film lens in the world will look poor mounted on a video camera. This is why special optical adapters are generally needed to get good results from film lenses on video cameras.

Some Switars will blow away just about any other 16mm format lenses. Check out a 10mm retrofocus. Sharp as a tack and contrasty too.
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#14 lluis

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Posted 05 November 2005 - 01:33 AM

Testing a film lens on a video camera is pointless, even if they both have c-mounts. A video camera uses a prism to spli tthe light for 3-ccd chips while a film camera focuses all light onto a single flat plane of emulsion. Lenses made for video take the prism into account and lenses made for film are designed for just that. The best film lens in the world will look poor mounted on a video camera. This is why special optical adapters are generally needed to get good results from film lenses on video cameras.

Some Switars will blow away just about any other 16mm format lenses. Check out a 10mm retrofocus. Sharp as a tack and contrasty too.


But stopping down to 4/5.6/8 the spherical and chromatic aberrations, due the video prism, are insignificants. Here I have an idea about the differences in color and light trasmition for each lens. Using c mount B/W cameras (no prism) with a HR monitor it's possible also to note, with all T stops, the differents in resolution and contrast. I consider this FIRST TESTS the quickest way to evaluate them (putting each lens test in each vertical track of the time line and select and deselect the track). Although I am seeing only the central part of these lenses, this way confirm me, point by point, the later film test.
By the same way that my two Switars 25 f1.4 (rex and non rex) weren't the sharpest in my video/film test I have also discovered that the Vario-Switar Compact 17-85 has been as good or better that all my primes. It has been a real surprise since this rare and small lens covers fully the super 16 also.
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#15 Michael Maier

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Posted 05 November 2005 - 06:57 PM

Lenses made for video take the prism into account and lenses made for film are designed for just that.


Don't RX Switar lenses take a prism into consideration as well? I thought RX lenses may be good in a 3 CCD camera?
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#16 Robert Hughes

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Posted 05 November 2005 - 08:06 PM

Testing a film lens on a video camera is pointless. Kern RX lenses are designed specifically for the reflex Bolex camera. Don't count on it to work properly on anything else, whether it uses a prism, mirror, or outboard motor.
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#17 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 05 November 2005 - 10:57 PM

Testing a film lens on a video camera is pointless, even if they both have c-mounts. A video camera uses a prism to spli tthe light for 3-ccd chips while a film camera focuses all light onto a single flat plane of emulsion. Lenses made for video take the prism into account and lenses made for film are designed for just that. The best film lens in the world will look poor mounted on a video camera. This is why special optical adapters are generally needed to get good results from film lenses on video cameras.

I thnk that depend son the video camera. Some have a single sensor, particularly any Black and white ones :rolleyes:

Now since the vedio camera can be viewed in real time, some of the cheaper ones just adjust the back focus distance rather than have a focusing lens. for the same reason many Video lenses will not bother to have a diaphram. Finaly I have a nice looking video lens that had counted on their being nothing in the way behind the mount so does not have any room for the movie camera's shutter. :o
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#18 Bert Smith

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 03:12 AM

Hello,
I already own the Zeiss Tevidon 10mm f2, and I just won on EBay the 25mm f1.4, and the 16mm f1.8. There is amazingly little information about these C-mount Tevidons, and I simply could not take the curiosity any longer. I paid a lot for the 10mm on Ebay, over $300 (at the advice of a camera/lens tech who you all know very well. But looking back I should have taken that advice with a grain of salt...since they sell brand new for around $400). Luckily, it was in mint condition. I have not shot any tests yet, but I bought a highly detailed resolution chart for just that purpose. FYI, this 10mm seems amazingly free of barrel distortion, and easily covers the Super16 frame, with apparently a bit to spare. It also appears sharp from edge to edge, which is one of the boasts on the site that sells them (doktor optics, or doctor optic, or something like that). But, that is only through the viewfinder. I wrote to the company which I just mentioned relentlessly, asking for additional specs, and if a tech there could tell me the resolution in lp/mm. They were not helpful at all.

Well, I will soon have a complete set. My ACL is getting prepped for production, so by the time I get it back, the lenses will have arrived.

I am pretty new here, but I will do my best to contribute by posting my results on these highly unknown (but perhaps excellent lenses)....as soon as I have solid results. I will attempt to post clips after some of the footage is transfered.

Oh, some posts I have read on different forums, confirm the claim that these are very sharp lenses. But then, conflicting information is everywhere. We shall see soon enough.

If anyone has any info they would like to add, please do. These might make a better alternative to using C-mount Switar lenses on various C-mount cameras, like the Eclair ACL.

(I'll leave this same message on a few other threads which are discussing the Tevidons)
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