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Old April 7th, 2004, 05:01 PM   #1
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Lens Choices...

Does anyone have any suggestions on a good set of prime lenses for this unit?

My thought has been that it may not be worth spending the cash for Zeiss or Cooke prime's when you're really only capturing a 720x480 image, and you don't need the smooth zoom of a Cine lens.

I was thinking perhaps some Nikon Nikor MF lenses to build my set of primes. Of course I'd like to get a great picture and have good f/ or t/ stop range.

Any suggestions on the best "value buy" and the best buy for maximizing the potential of the Mini35 without considering cost savings?

Also, what about that same question when it comes to a zoom lens?

Sorry if this was already covered in depth but my preliminary search didn't show it.
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Old April 7th, 2004, 05:36 PM   #2
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I got superb results from the mini35 using Zeiss still-camera lenses. You can get a set of multicoated primes in 20mm, 35mm, 50mm, 80mm, 135mm, and 200mm lengths. The 50 and 80 open to about f/1.8, others are 2.4 to 3.5. Fast apertures are very beneficial when using the mini35.

Zeiss Jena M42 lenses go on ebay for $30 to $200 each, and when we compared 'em side-by-side against Zeiss SuperSpeed cine lenses, there was practically no difference in clarity, color, contrast, etc. Just in speed. Sure there may have been a difference if we'd been shooting 35mm film with 'em, but on a 720 x 480 frame I couldn't tell any noticeable difference other than aperture.

The mini35 doesn't include an option for M42 mount, but you can get the mini35 with a Contax mount, and an inexpensive M42->Contax adapter.

Other cheap high-quality lenses include M42 Pentax Super-Multi-Coated Takumars, and obviously there are many fine lenses from Canon and Nikon. M42 lenses are older and thus much less expensive, and still provide great quality.

As for a zoom, I don't know what to tell you on that. I haven't found an inexpensive, fast, quality zoom that I can recommend.
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Old April 7th, 2004, 05:56 PM   #3
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On the zoom lens, say I had a budget of $3k or so - any good ideas there?

Thanks for the prime's suggestions. I'll take a look at those for sure. Any additional suggestions from other shooters will be apprecaited as well.
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Old April 9th, 2004, 01:19 PM   #4
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I have a vivitar series 1 nikon 28-90 f2.8 macro zoom... probably not what you're looking for but at $45...
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Old April 13th, 2004, 12:18 AM   #5
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Vivitar

Have you used that with the Mini35? Was the zoom action actually smooth?
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Old April 13th, 2004, 11:59 AM   #6
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I use it pretty often in 2 ways... outdoor variable lense and as a quick way to pick out which lense to frame with.
It's a push pull zoom and there's NOTHING smooth about that. It does hold 2.8 throughout and that makes it useful to me. You can twist and pull zoom with it but it's hard to get right and generally not worth it as film is expens... oh. nevermind.
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Old April 19th, 2004, 02:33 PM   #7
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Any additional suggestions from other shooters will be apprecaited as well.

Hello Eric, Ięve shot a whole corporate film with the new, shaking and not rotating anymore, Mini35-Adapter and the Panasonic DVX100 Advance with stillcamera Nikon-lenses. It was the 17-35mm/2.8 Zoom, the 50mm/1.4 prime, 24-85mm/2.8-4, and last but not least 70-200/2.8 Sigma Zoom. It worked very well, because we used a real Follow-Focus with selfmade gearwheels. The widest F-Stop (2.8) of the lenses is very important, because if you use F-Stops bigger than between 4 and 5.6, you will see the shaking groundglass. So you have 1 and a half stops on your lens. (On the old, rotating Mini35-Adapter it`s even worse, because you see black rings in the middle of the picture, if you close your lens more than f-stop 4). If you want to go wider than 17mm itęs difficult with regular stillcamera lenses, because they are very expensive. I used a rented 14mm PL-Mount Zeiss Prime; itęs very easy to change the Nikon-mount into a PL-mount on the Mini35. PL-mounted zooms are very difficult to use on the Mini35, because they are too clumsy (you canęt even balance it on a Oconnor) and usually donęt have the right f-stop - they are too dark.
Hope that helps
Gerhard
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Old April 19th, 2004, 03:38 PM   #8
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How did you get the follow focus gears on the nikons?
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Old April 19th, 2004, 03:47 PM   #9
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I don't know about Gerhard, but I have heard of a few machining shops here in Los Angeles that can do it - VERY IMPORTANT that you get them to use appropriate "gluing" methods to get that on there, rather than any method that could squeeze or compress the lens.
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Old April 19th, 2004, 03:59 PM   #10
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so they're permanantly glued? any kind of rubber on rubber tricks?
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Old April 19th, 2004, 07:15 PM   #11
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Re: Any additional suggestions from other shooters will be apprecaited as well.

<<<-- Originally posted by Gerhard Hirsch : PL-mounted zooms are very difficult to use on the Mini35, because they are too clumsy (you canęt even balance it on a Oconnor) and usually donęt have the right f-stop - they are too dark.
Hope that helps
Gerhard -->>>

Didn't have a problem using them on the Amex/Seinfeld campaign. The first picture in this article illustrates a Cooke 25-250 in use on the Mini 35, on an O'Connor 1030, only a midrange sized fluid head. The trick is to use a sliding baseplate which will aid in balancing. We didn't experience any vignetting issues. We even used them for interiors on a few occasions, although generally we used Cooke S4 primes, but we lit to the appropriate stop to acommodate the slower aperture available on the zooms.
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Old April 19th, 2004, 07:43 PM   #12
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Wow - what did that weigh in at with that zoom?

The best low-cost fluid head I've seen is the bogen 3274, but I don't think it'd handle that bad boy.
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Old April 20th, 2004, 05:04 AM   #13
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Hello Eric, Josh and Charles,
my focusgears were not glued, because I wanted to use the lenses for stillphotography too. It is difficult for me to explain how they were fixed, so I put some photos on the Internet - http://www.kamerahirsch.de/Pola.html
It was a really cheap solution, but it worked very well, and right, you should not squeeze the lens tooooo much.
...and I used three different gearwheels, with 10, 20 + 30 teeth, because some of the lenses had only a short part of "focusability".
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Old April 20th, 2004, 05:26 AM   #14
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Eric:

I'll take a guess at 35 lbs, all told. The 1030, which is designed for 16mm and lightweight 35mm work, handled it fine. I also own the O'Connor 2575 which can handle up to 80 lbs or so.

"low cost" is of course a relative term. The 1030 costs around $4000, I think, while the 2575 is over $10,000--making the 1030 relatively cheap, but not compared to anything Bogen makes!
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