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Old February 18th, 2017, 02:17 PM   #1
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Using B4 lenses?

If this has been answered already just point me to the post. Appears the search function is down for service.

A friend is getting a new LS300. I still own my $16K Fuginon 15X SD zoom. Probably one of the last generations prior to the HD's. I use it as a paper weight : )

What is the low down on using one of these on this camera with an adapter strickly for shooting 1080I... no 4K work?

1) this camera can adjust its scan electronically so will it cover the full frame with no vignetting at WA?

2) how bad does it look and am I way better off getting an B4 HD... will it make that much difference?

To those using this... which adapter are you using?

Thanks!
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Old February 18th, 2017, 03:39 PM   #2
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Re: Using B4 lenses?

There's a whole group on Facebook dedicated to adapting B4 lenses to other cameras, and the LS300 is pretty popular. I have an F3 with some B4 lenses. The SD lenses aren't as sharp as their HD counterparts, especially at the edges.

Another drawback is that your camera has no way to power the lens. You will either need an external battery just for the lens, or an adapter cable from P-tap if you already have an external battery solution.

Since you can adjust the scan electronically, you can use an adapter with no glass, so you won't lose any light. I use an IBE Optics HDx35 adapter, which means I lose about 2 stops, but I also can cover S35 with no crop.
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Old February 18th, 2017, 04:59 PM   #3
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Re: Using B4 lenses?

I owned the Fujinon 17x low-end HD lens (on my HPX500). It was fine on that camera, especially at the native 720p.

But I sold it after borrowing an adapter and trying it on my AF100. It just isn't sharp enough, even for that camera.

On the LS300 I think you'll be very disappointed, especially since there are excellent native MFT mount zooms available new or used for under $1,000. They aren't parfocal, but the Fujinon wouldn't be on the LS either (sensor thickness I'm told).
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Old February 18th, 2017, 08:22 PM   #4
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Re: Using B4 lenses?

Steve what are a couple of MFT zoom lenses that you think would operate as close to that Fuji 17x for shooting fast moving sports from long range?
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Old February 18th, 2017, 09:38 PM   #5
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Re: Using B4 lenses?

I don't shoot sports (although I did shoot surfing and motorcycle racing eons ago, in the 60's)... I mostly work intimate and handheld now, so you need to ask others... But I will say that the Canon EOS long zooms are reputed to be winners in that area. With a Smart adapter they'd work well on the LS. Also adapted vintage S16 and 35 zooms are worth looking into, but good ones like Canon and Zeiss are very pricey...

Another option to consider is a relatively long vintage telephoto from Canon or Nikon (like 135 or 200mm). With the Prime Zoom on the LS you can turn it into a 2x1 zoom when shooting 1080. That would be my choice.
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Old February 18th, 2017, 11:24 PM   #6
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Re: Using B4 lenses?

Going from a tight zoom 70 yards away to a wide shot 5 yards away in a second or two is the trick to shooting sports for me Steve, so a long telephoto even with the prime zoom wouldn't perform like a B4 ENG in that regard because you could't get the wide shot when the action is right in front of you.

Something like the Panasonic 14-140mm seems similar to me, I've read it's not great in low light but that's one thing about shooting sports, the lighting is usually pretty good.


And I don't want to hijack your thread George, I have an old FUJI ENG 14x for my JVC LS300, bought a cable and external battery on eBay for about 50 bucks that powers the lens.
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Old February 19th, 2017, 07:14 AM   #7
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Re: Using B4 lenses?

The 14-140 is a decent lens, especially at 5.6.. It's relatively inexpensive and the auto functions should work with the LS300. (Auto exposure won't work in J-LOG)

I should mention again that the 14-140 won't be parfocal, as I said above, no zoom, even the best legacy S16, is parfocal on the LS300, so you'll need to be ready to quickly refocus when you zoom back. After years of shooting S16 and later with cameras like the DSR300, XL H1, and HPX500 I find it difficult and extremely annoying to have to deal with non-parfocal lenses.

Last edited by Steve Rosen; February 19th, 2017 at 07:21 AM. Reason: parfocal
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Old February 19th, 2017, 08:08 PM   #8
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Re: Using B4 lenses?

I have a question about the cine-zoom lenses that lose par-focal capabilities on the LS300, are these lenses with adjustable back focus? Or are they fixed back focus?
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Old February 20th, 2017, 06:32 AM   #9
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Re: Using B4 lenses?

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Originally Posted by Steve Rosen View Post
I should mention again that the 14-140 won't be parfocal, as I said above, no zoom..
My whole purpose for considering a B4 lens is so I'd have the parfocal capability. This is not possible because of something to do with the thickness of the sensor?

Can someone please explain?

As a long time shooter I have to say I truly hate using these "kit" cameras. I do not feel I do my best work with them. I find I'm always fighting with the camera to get the shot. Never had to do that with the old one piece cameras.

Give me a full size HD camera with a Fujinon or Canon servo zoom lens and a B&W viewfinder and I'll give you great footage and plenty of it.

Just one persons opinion.
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Old February 20th, 2017, 12:17 PM   #10
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Re: Using B4 lenses?

George, I can't answer the sensor question personally, it was suggested here to me over a year ago...

In my case, I have three legacy zooms, a std16 Canon 12-20, an S16 Angenieux 15-150, and an S16 Cooke 10.4-52. These have all been true parfocal lenses on all of my film cameras (three Eclair ACLs and an Aaton). They currently are parfocal on my two Black Magic Pocket cameras and my Micro.

The Canon,which I have always liked, vignettes slightly on the corners at mid-ranges, but I use it regularly because it has a "romantic" quality. On the LS300 it will not ficus to infinity at 12mm - in fact it's WAY off... Oddly, the 15-150 (a lens I don't care much for) will focus to infinity at 15mm, but will not hold focus if you adjust it at 150 and zoom back... The Cooke never seems in focus, but because the diaphragm is stuck at T8, I haven't been able to test it much.

My guess, and it is only a guess, is that a B4 lens will exhibit the same kind of issues - but you need to try it to be sure...

One thing I will say is that when I put a Mosaic OLPF on the Pocket's sensor the result is similar to what I've experienced with the JVC... I don't want to adjust the back-focus on any of my lenses, so I use native MFT zooms and Rokinon primes on the LS300.

Hope that helps...

Last edited by Steve Rosen; February 20th, 2017 at 12:19 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old February 20th, 2017, 12:19 PM   #11
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Re: Using B4 lenses?

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Originally Posted by George Odell View Post
As a long time shooter I have to say I truly hate using these "kit" cameras.
I'm just getting started on a "kit", so the hatred isn't there yet but I know exactly what you mean. I could take my ENG shoulder form with full confidence in getting whatever shot needed to be captured. and I know the first wedding or whatever I shoot with this rig isn't going to feel the same way at all, but it's just evolving past tiny sensors.

And the thing is if they could just drop a larger sensor into a shoulder form ENG cam I couldn't afford it anyway so I'm gonna try and make a rig that works for me. I bought a second baseplate that has the shoulder pad directly under the camera, not behind it like many seem to be where all the weight is forward on your arms, am combining that with a side mount viewfinder and it's getting there.


/This may be a dumb question but what is about an old ENG lens that makes it "SD" or "HD"? Seems it would be as much about the sensor as anything, like how the old Canon L lenses are considered "HD" or even "4K" and that stuff didn't exist back when they were made but they shot on a big sensor.
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Old February 20th, 2017, 02:45 PM   #12
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Re: Using B4 lenses?

A HD lens is usually much sharper than an equivalent SD lens. The quality of the glass is higher so there's less blooming, chromatic aberration and other artifacts from the increased resolution. Some SD lenses work well for HD, others are near useless. I had an expensive wide angle from a friend's SD Ikegami that I tried to adapt to HD and the result was like looking thru a prism on every high contrast edge. A lot of blooming on whites as well. The lens worked great in SD. Some people like the decrease in harshness that some of the SD lenses bring to the image, sort of like putting a soft filter on a regular lens. Some SD zooms work well in limited part of the zoom range, can't get too wide and/or can't get too zoomed in. The VSM in the LS300 can help with the wide part. I have explored the video zoom adapter options for my GH LUMIX cameras and decided that it wasn't worth the trouble for the work I have.
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Old February 20th, 2017, 03:23 PM   #13
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Re: Using B4 lenses?

William, I just noticed your post asking about back focus, sorry I missed it before..

All cine zooms have "adjustable" back focus, but it's not a rotating collar as on some adapters. You remove the rear collar (with screws) and add or subtract very thin shims made specially for the particular lens. It's a job for a lens technician with a jig for testing focus... For the layman, it's trial and error, which is mostly error...

As an experiment I attempted it on my Canon 12-120 after I added an OLPF to one of my Pocket Cameras... I was very careful to make note of the several shims that were already in place, then added and subtracted shims that came with the lens when I bought it with my first ACL in 1974.

I was never able to reach a satisfactory combination of shims. I either had no infinity focus, or I had infinity focus before the barrel reached the stop...

BTW, that particular Canon lens was promoted as having "flourite elements" back then, and sometimes temperature variations would change its infinity setting. But I'm aware of that, and it wasn't the cause of my problem.
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Old February 20th, 2017, 06:16 PM   #14
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Re: Using B4 lenses?

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Originally Posted by William Hohauser View Post
A HD lens is usually much sharper than an equivalent SD lens. The quality of the glass is higher so there's less blooming, chromatic aberration and other artifacts from the increased resolution. Some SD lenses work well for HD, others are near useless.
Thanks William, on that same line- When you shoot with an old SD ENG lens on a modern "HD" setting what is the actual resolution? Is it still 1080? Is it considered 'upscaled' to 1080, but it's it's not really 1080?
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Old February 21st, 2017, 01:23 PM   #15
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Re: Using B4 lenses?

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Originally Posted by Jay P. Kaley View Post
Thanks William, on that same line- When you shoot with an old SD ENG lens on a modern "HD" setting what is the actual resolution? Is it still 1080? Is it considered 'upscaled' to 1080, but it's it's not really 1080?
Well, here we go. Optical resolution vs video resolution. A good lens test chart will tell you loads about the optical resolution of any lens... but good or bad... the video resolution of the camera will remain the same.
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