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Old November 8th, 2007, 06:28 AM   #1
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Angenieux 16mm zooms

Hi
I have the opportunity to pick up a number of secondhand 16mm lenses , with C or Arri mount, for use with mini35 or JVC adapter:

- either a 2.2/17-68 or a 2.2/12-120 Angenieux zoom
- a Som-Berthiot AXIAL zoom 3.4/25-100
- a Schneider Variogon 2/18-90
and
- a Schneider Xenon 2.3/60mm prime


All are in the 150-250 Euros/Dollars range each except the variogon which is double

Any advice on the zoom lenses ? Hey DP's, any of you worked with axial zooms ? I would use them for an upcoming thetrical documentary with my favourite DP and enough crew and time to use cine lenses for most scenes.

Also, is it possible to use super-8 lenses with the 251 and an adapter ? I have a few around. The camera's chip is also ca. 8mm, no ?

Thanks!
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Old November 8th, 2007, 10:56 PM   #2
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those are old & slow lenses which may well be inferior to the basic stock lens. they could be close to 30 years old. if you want to look at 16mm glass, look for newer ones, and apetures of 2.0 or lower. 2.2 is a bit dark.
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Old November 9th, 2007, 02:07 PM   #3
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those are old & slow lenses which may well be inferior to the basic stock lens. they could be close to 30 years old. if you want to look at 16mm glass, look for newer ones, and apetures of 2.0 or lower. 2.2 is a bit dark.
You won't get that many 16mm zoom lenses faster than T2. The 10:1 zooms are all in the T2 to T3 range. The fastest 16mm zoom is the T1.3 16 to 44 Angenieux.

The old 1960/70's Angenieux zooms aren't that great, although you do get the odd 12 to 120 which performs pretty well. You really need to test them. Although, given the cost of the JVC adapter, it seems rather pointless putting on really old 16mm zooms unless you're after a particular look that they can provide. You'd be better with the more modern lenses, although the old 10-100 T3 Zeiss isn't bad.

In what sense do you mean axial zooms?
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Old November 10th, 2007, 12:21 PM   #4
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The look and feel of the documentary - Woodstock ?

Thanks, Steve, thanks, Brian

Here's a picture of this axial zoom, I understand the zoom ring is replaced by a lever and the glass dispacement inside the lens is axial.

Well, I'd like to get as close as I can to a 16mm - look in this documentary on rock music. Even though it will also go to TV I need to get as far away as I can from looking like a tv story or made for tv docu. on the other hand, going for full digital 35mm seems overdoing it.

A good example of what I'd like the live footage to look like is Woodstock which I think was mostly 16mm ? The slight granines of the image with very vivid colors - some of the nicest outdoor rock imagery, very well suited to the music's genre. Most of my concert foootage will be at 2008 summer festivals.

Also I mostly dislike zooming and just never use it in fiction, but in docu it's almost inevitable so I woder if such an axial zoom gives a different feel to a zoomed sequence.

Look forward to your comments
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Old November 10th, 2007, 12:47 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Claude Mangold View Post
Well, I'd like to get as close as I can to a 16mm - look in this documentary on rock music. Even though it will also go to TV I need to get as far away as I can from looking like a tv story or made for tv docu. on the other hand, going for full digital 35mm seems overdoing it.

A good example of what I'd like the live footage to look like is Woodstock which I think was mostly 16mm ? The slight granines of the image with very vivid colors - some of the nicest outdoor rock imagery, very well suited to the music's genre. Most of my concert foootage will be at 2008 summer festivals.
well the first place to start is with setting the camera up. its very adjustable. there is a reversal film setup floating around I've used for a more contrasty look that works well certain diffusion filters. since diffusions tends to lower contrast, the two sort of meet in the middle.

if you want the grain, you can do that 2 ways. one in camera by using gain of say 6 or 9 db... 18 would be more like 8mm, and you may have other problems with 18, or in post using any of the various film grain filters like BCC film grain, magic bullet, the grain tools in combustion, ect. lots of options in post. apple's color app can also do a great deal to dial in more of the look you want.

I'd really reccomend that you get 70-80 percent there in camera, and then in post do the final matching. personally I'd add the grain in post as its more controllable and it you won't be stuck with it if you went too far in camera. you also never know when when you may want to repurpose the footage for something else, especially if it has long term value.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Claude Mangold View Post
Also I mostly dislike zooming and just never use it in fiction, but in docu it's almost inevitable so I woder if such an axial zoom gives a different feel to a zoomed sequence.

Look forward to your comments
that glass BTW is really old. AFA as zooming, thats a matter of shooting _control_. I don't know where its written that doc shooting = bad shooting. do what you think works. if you don't want zooms, be sure you recompose fast so you can over the zoom with B roll and make it go away, or just cut it out completely by zooming only when some one isn't talking. I've done it. if you need to be fast like this, disable the lens zoom with the switch on the bottom and then you'll have full manual control... for better or worse.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 01:02 PM   #6
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The zoom lever is just a different mechanical method of moving the optics, the principle remains the same. the optics inside still move axially.

The one lever operated zoom control I've used had a sticky spot. It doesn't really affect the style of your shooting in a way that an audience would notice. It only affects how you operate the lens, although smooth slow zooms were more difficult, so you need quite a long lever.

These old zooms also flare very easily.
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Old November 12th, 2007, 02:24 AM   #7
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Thanks, Steve, Thanks, Brian
I didn't mean to say at all that docu shooting is bad shooting, or that zooming is bad shooting.
What I meant to say is that I don't like to use it very much --- or maybe just that I haven't found a way to use it which satisfies me. But this may just represent an artistic lack in me.

Many theatrical music docus use digibetas or xd/hdcams with tv lenses and the result is often not satisfactory to my taste because there often is a confusing mass of info which the viewer's ear can sort out but not his eye (because too much dof, too much detail and indiscriminate use of zoom).

So I was hoping that 16mm- style could help with reduced dof, more color intensity, less detail through 16mm grain and also more modulated zooms. So all in all it would be worthwhile to have use a costly adapter if I could get some of this - and as you suggest part also through cam settings.

I just wondered if a 16mm zoom and even better with a lever gives one more creative possibilities, and Brian's answer tells me that apparently not. But it seems to allow for faster zooms, or fast-slow-fast zoom moves.

From what you guys are telling me, all these lenses are technically outdated save maybe the Angenieux 12-120. So probably I'm better off renting very modern 16mm zooms rather than collecting old ones ?

If so, which modern 16mm zooms would fit well with the 251 for rock concert footage?
What about super-8 lenses ?
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Old November 12th, 2007, 02:00 PM   #8
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The colour intensity etc, comes from shooting on the film. Using the 16mm lenses on the JVC isn't going to change the colour space of that camera.

The DOF of 16mm isn't really different to that found on 2/3" video cameras (like Digibeta), it's pretty similar.

If you've got the JVC PL Cine adapter, you should ask a camera rental house if you can test their 16mm lenses on your camera. They'll allow you to do this on their premises without charge and you can check the results for yourself.

For concert work I'd imagine you'd want the Zeiss T2 10 to 100 (or the Super16 version 11 to 110), there are a few Canon Super 16 lenses as well.

The Super 8 lenses are almost all built into the camera. The few separate zooms, wouldn't fit onto the Cine adapter because they've got the wrong mount (C mount from memory as against the D mount used on Regular 8) and using the adapter wouldn't cover the frame in the JVC. They're also old early 1970s designs.
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Old November 14th, 2007, 08:40 AM   #9
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Thanks, Bryan
Is there a Dashwood scene file which approximates the 16mm color intensity (I guess this also depends on the film type chosen).

Think I'll give up on the 16mm lenses and rent a 35mm zoom (I think they have Cooke zooms). But I'll follow your advice and we'll try out the 16mm and 35mm carefully before.
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Old November 14th, 2007, 11:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claude Mangold View Post
Thanks, Bryan
Is there a Dashwood scene file which approximates the 16mm color intensity (I guess this also depends on the film type chosen).

Think I'll give up on the 16mm lenses and rent a 35mm zoom (I think they have Cooke zooms). But I'll follow your advice and we'll try out the 16mm and 35mm carefully before.
If you're using the JVC adapter, the DOF will be the same as shooting 16mm, even if you put a 35mm zoom lens on it. To get 35mm DOF you'll need one of the 35mm adapters like the Mini35, then you get the problem light loss etc, with a rather slow zoom lens (T4 on the 25 to 250).
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Old November 16th, 2007, 12:44 PM   #11
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Brian, I've used the mini-35 before with both Nikon and Hasselblad lenses. The result was very satisfactory. However, this was for a short fiction.

Now, for my upcoming music docu, I seem to be left with two choices:

1 if I want a 35mm dof and all that goes with it, I stick to the mini-35 and need VERY fast lenses, the fastest 35mm zoom available here in Switzerland. What lens ? It's going to be costly anyway, I guess.
2 I stick to the 16mm DOF and use the JVC adapter plus a reasonably fast 16mm or 35mm zoom, but will get an image which doesn't differ a lot from digibeta/hdcam.

Is that correct ? Can I use a very fast photo like a Nikkor zoom in var. 1 for 35mm dof ?
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Old November 16th, 2007, 01:55 PM   #12
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Much depends on long a focal lemgth 35mm zoom lens you want. The fastest 35mm cine zooms (shorter focals lengths) tend to be around T2 to T2.6, however, the fastest 10 to 1 zooms are around T2.8 and are big heavy bits of glassware.

http://www.angenieux.com/?rub=42&art=45

To keep them compact, stills camera zooms tend to be slower than the cine zooms and you're already losing light through the Mini35 on a camera which isn't that sensitive.

In a concert. unless you're on the stage, you tend to use the longer end of the lens, so you're more than likely need a 10 to 1 zoom, especially for CUs etc.
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