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Old June 2nd, 2004, 07:15 PM   #1
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Help with Lenses

Hi, I just put in my order for a mini35 for my Xl-1s. I am using it on my DV feature film.

I am still trying to figure out the lenses I should get. Originally I had planned on renting them, but for insurance and other reasons, it's more of a hassle than I would like. I am now more thinking about buying a couple of lenses. I don't know much about 35mm lenses so obviously I am going to check out, but I wanted to get your opinions.

My feature involves a lot of shots in cars and several shots at night as well. I am shooting a lot outside during the day and at night inside. I am going for a very beautiful, bright, and warm feel.

With my little knowledge of 35mm lenses, I thought that renting a couple of Cooke 1.4 primes would be best. I had planned on a 25mm and a 50mm probably. As I said, renting is a hassle, so I was looking to buy used lenses instead. I saw some used Cooke Kinetal T2 lenses that were fairly cheap.

I am really wondering what you think about the choice to purchase those lenses. They are about a 10th of the price of the lenses I would be renting. I would like to always have access to the lenses instead of having to rent stuff to just use my camera. And I definitely cannot afford to buy $1000+ lenses.

I am also wondering if you think that having just 2 lenses is a bad idea. I know I need a sort of wide angle lens(to film inside the cars) and then a medium lens to shoot a lot of the rest of it. I really don't know why I would need a full set including 75mm and 35mm lenses for example.

Also, since I am shooting at night in several scenes, do you think that having a t2 lens instead of a t1.4 lens makes such a huge difference.

THANKS!
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Old June 2nd, 2004, 07:22 PM   #2
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I'm very happy so far with nikons...
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 01:44 AM   #3
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Dave:

Picking your lens set is a stylistic choice that no-one can make for you. There have been entire films made with a single focal length (Wes Anderson is fond of this; both Bottle Rocket and Rushmore were made this way) but this is certainly the exception.

If you are shooting on location, there are likely to be many times when you want to get the shot a little wider and you're backed up against a wall, or something is preventing you from getting close enough, etc. You mention that you will be shooting in cars; there's a perfect example where the number of places you can get the camera is limited by the structure, and the actors are somewhat fixed by the seats, so you may find that your 2 lenses are "neither here nor there". Also factor in minimum focus for the lenses, and make sure that you don't intend to shoot anything tighter than can be achieved by your longer (50mm) lens at minimum. Really, I could come up with a dozen reasons why I would and do use a 35mm or a 75mm, but then again, see the first sentence of this post! My standard lens order: 18, 25, 35, 50, 75, 100, 150, with as many of the following as can the budget will allow: 10, 14, 21, 40...
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 03:16 PM   #4
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Lens choices...

One thing I would add about using still lenses as opposed to cine ones on your Mini35 is that still lenses have a greater chance of "breathing" during focus and/or zoom.

Lens breathing is the shifting of the image during focus or zoom operations. This may happen since still lenses just weren't designed for picture taking during a focus/zoom operation.

Given that, I have successully used Nikon AF-S lenses on my Mini35 without said breathing.
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 03:31 PM   #5
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Thanks a lot for the input guys! I see that people love to use Nikon lenses with the mini35.

I was told by a person who rents the mini35 that lenses slower than f2(or t2, I can't remember) would vignette. Have you guys using the Nikons had vignetting problems before?

I am now looking into getting a set of an 18mm, 35mm, and an 85mm. Nikon lenses. These were the lengths recommended if I were to get 3 lenses. I am worried that the 35mm might be a little wide though. Maybe a 50mm might work better...

What about the difference between the Nikon AF and manual lenses. Are their any that would apply to the mini35 system?
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 03:47 PM   #6
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Huh?

I've used alot of f/2.8 lenses on my Mini35 and I haven't noticed any vignetting and this includes the 16mm fisheye, 14mm, 17-35mm, 28-70mm, and 80-200mm, and the 85mm f/1.4
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Old June 7th, 2004, 03:24 PM   #7
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Getting depth of field

I realise depth of field is dependent on several factors. However Which 35mm lens will i need to give me that beautiful shallow depth of field i see on the mini samples?
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Old June 7th, 2004, 03:38 PM   #8
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Lenses and depth of field

Well, the factors are max aperture, distance to subject, and focal length...so, lenswise, anything below f/2.8 and longer focal lengths. Nikon 85mm/1.4 is great for shallow depth of field and good subject to camera distance...and if you really want to blow out the background...a 300mm/2.8 would do the trick but that's just crazy at that point. :)
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Old June 7th, 2004, 03:49 PM   #9
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Sorry for the basic question.. I only know video..could you please explain lens speeds and how they relate to the mini 35? In other words what is the praticale difference between a 50mm 2.8 and 1.4?
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Old June 7th, 2004, 03:53 PM   #10
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Differences in aperture...

Video lenses and still lenses act the same in terms of aperture. Larger aperture numbers mean less light is let through the lens. So, an f/2.8 lens lets in half as much light as an f/1.4 lens. Also, an f/2.8 lens will have more depth of field for a given lens and lens-to-subject distance than an f/1.4 lens.
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Old June 7th, 2004, 04:00 PM   #11
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Shooting with the DVX100 on the Mini35 would a 2.8 lens present contant lighting challenges? Not trying to over simplify lighting but In other words would I have to light twice as much indoors to get "normal" exposure?

Would this do the trick? Nikon Autofocus 28-200mm ED-IF Zoom Lens How can I ascertain the speed of this lens in the following post?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=3343&item=3820343640&rd=1
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Old June 7th, 2004, 04:15 PM   #12
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DVX100/Mini35/2.8

The zoom lens you pointed out is a 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6 which means at the 28mm end it is f/3.5 and at the 200mm end it is f/5.6. It's a fairly slow lens.

Also, remember with the Mini35, there is some light loss. I think it's about 1 1/2 stops which means an f/2.8 lens will, light wise, really be an f/4.5 lens. The depth of field will remain the same as f/2.8 however.

So, will a f/2.8 lens on the Mini35 present constant lighting challenges? Well, that depends on how much light you have. :)

If you're going to rely on ambient light, you may have to boost the gain on the DVX in order to get "normal" exposure. Or, if you don't want to boost the gain, then you are going to have to add additional lights to light your set.

It's as simple and as complex as that. :)
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Old June 7th, 2004, 04:48 PM   #13
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<<So, an f/2.8 lens lets in half as much light as an f/1.4 lens.>>

To be annoyingly scientific, each stop represents a halving (or doubling) of light. 2.8 is 2 stops down from a 1.4, thus it allows 1/4 of the light transmission of a 1.4 stop.
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Old June 7th, 2004, 05:13 PM   #14
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Does anyone have samples (screenshots or movies) of footage shot with Nikkon lenses. Will I notice a huge stylistic difference between these lenses and say Cooke cine lenses. Could someone who is happy with their lenses recommend the exact models you are using so that I can research/and or buy them? It looks like faster speed lenses are what I will need. Thanks for the info.
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Old June 7th, 2004, 06:21 PM   #15
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well not with a nikon, but with a konvas 37-140mm zoom lense so when someone posts pics shot with nikon or other lenses you perhaps can see differences between different kind of lenses.
its a quite slow lense f3.5 / t4.5
i made some tests a week ago and it was more or less cloudy. but still more than enough light (the pics are from that tests).
i also made some other tests today and it was a hot summer day. there was so much light i had to stop the lense down to the bottom. when there would be that much light every time, you wouldnt have to worry about speed anymore ;-)

where just soem quick tets, the intention of the tests where something different. but that deep of field is really amazing.
i made quick auto color correction on one pic (copy and paste into ie bar, the free spaces at the end dont work correct on direct links i guess)

http://home.t-online.de/home/jcarter/zoom 2.JPG
http://home.t-online.de/home/jcarter/zoom 3.JPG
http://home.t-online.de/home/jcarter...rcorrected.JPG
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