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Old October 6th, 2005, 10:50 PM   #1
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Zeiss Lenses For HD100U w/ Mini35

Can someone give me the names and model number of the best but most reasonable Zeiss lenses that I can use for HD100U w/ Mini35 adapter. I was looking at Zeiss T1.3 Superspeed prime lenses, but i am not sure they are the best or cheapest. My goal is to get the best film looking footage with the above.

Any input would highly be appreciated.

Duke
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Old October 6th, 2005, 11:18 PM   #2
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"Cheapest" and "Zeiss" are mutually exclusive terms, by the way.
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Old October 6th, 2005, 11:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
"Cheapest" and "Zeiss" are mutually exclusive terms, by the way.
That's what I was afraid of, but even if I can purchase one or two lenses and rent the rest I'll be OK. Just need to know exactly which ones to get and perhaps a dealer that has a reasonable price. I can't seem to find anyone who is selling them.
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Old October 6th, 2005, 11:21 PM   #4
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Brian, I suggest that you rent, cine lenses are very expensive. The superspeed prime set (18-85) is very good if you use the primes with mini35 as the adapter eats light!

You could get very good filmlooking footage even with Nikons or Canon lenses if you know how to light, frame etc!
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Old October 6th, 2005, 11:27 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Soroush Shahrokni
Brian, I suggest that you rent, cine lenses are very expensive. The superspeed prime set (18-85) is very good if you use the primes with mini35 as the adapter eats light!

You could get very good filmlooking footage even with Nikons or Canon lenses if you know how to light, frame etc!
Probably what I am going to end up doing, but what kind of price would I be looking at to buy a new or used Zeiss High speed lens?

What do good canon ro Nikon lenses go for? Anmd could you recommend me some?

Thnaks
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Old October 6th, 2005, 11:45 PM   #6
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I think you can get a full set of Nikon Primes [if you know what you are looking for] on Ebay quie cheaply. In the last month I bought a 24 f2, 35 f1.4 50 f1.4 85 f1.4 and 105 f2.5 for about US$1300. I had the 35mm cleaned for dust [$100] but otherwise they are a good bunch. I also bought a Russian 16mm f2.8 for occasional use, and a weird little shift focus thing from a guy who sells then online - yet to test it, but maybe it will be a bit of fun.

The thing to remember about Still lenses is that they need to be geared if you want to use a follow focus, and a lot of them don't internally focus - they "expand" through the focus range - so you need to get a wide gear on your follow focus as the focus gear will move back & forth with the lens barrel. The focus range [ the play from end to end ] is also quite small and the lenses are a little looser than cine lenses.

With that said - they offer a slightly wider rear plane [in many cases] than cine primes, and may be less prone to vignetting ot falloff at the edges - they are thought by some to be a good choice for the mini 35.

I would recommend that you look around on Ebay - a good 50mm 1.4 is about $100 - the fast 35 / 85 are more like $3-450 each and the other ranges [like the 24 f2] are very hard to get your hands on.

Anyway - I say that a better lighting truck is worth the difference - and the mini 35 is what it is. You may get along fine with a $100 Nikon 50mm 1.4 prime rather than a $2500 Zeiss 1.3.

cheers

John Colette
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Old October 6th, 2005, 11:47 PM   #7
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Google Zeiss + prices...I bet each prime will be more expensive than the camera+adapter!

Regarding SLR primes, it depends if you are purchasing used or new and if you are looking for primes or zooms. The best is to go after f/2.8s and below as 35mm adapters eat light. I recently purchased Nikon 17-35 f/2.8 and 80-200 f/2.8 to use with my M2, but its more optimal to buy primes if you can afford a good set!

Not to be rude Brian, but how long have you been shooting? Cinelenses are not for any person...you have to know a good deal about cinematography to be able to get good footage out of cineprimes...you cannot expect to get stunning footage just bc you have good lenses. If you dont know the basics of photography you will most probably end up being very dissapointed and bankrupt at the same time!

I have seen good DPs deliver better footage with DVX100 than amateurs shooting 16mm, no joke!
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Old October 7th, 2005, 12:20 AM   #8
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The cheapest Zeiss you can get would be the old Carl Zeiss Jena lenses made for the M42 ("Pentax Screwmount") lens system. They're not cine lenses, they're still camera lenses. You can use them with the Mini35 if you get the Contax lens mount, and then get some M42->Contax adapter rings for the lenses.

They're inexpensive ($60 to $300) and come in a reasonable array of focal lengths (20, 35, 50, 80, 135, 200). They're not overly fast; I think the 50mm is f/1.8, most of them are f/2.4, the 135 is an f/3.5 IIRC.

They look pretty good on a mini35 rig when shooting standard-def; I don't know if they'd hold up to 1/3" high-def resolution.

But keep in mind these are still-camera lenses, not cine lenses. You can't pull focus with a still-camera lens anywhere near like what a cine lens can do, for example. No follow focus for still lenses etc.
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Old October 7th, 2005, 12:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soroush Shahrokni
Google Zeiss + prices...I bet each prime will be more expensive than the camera+adapter!

Regarding SLR primes, it depends if you are purchasing used or new and if you are looking for primes or zooms. The best is to go after f/2.8s and below as 35mm adapters eat light. I recently purchased Nikon 17-35 f/2.8 and 80-200 f/2.8 to use with my M2, but its more optimal to buy primes if you can afford a good set!

Not to be rude Brian, but how long have you been shooting? Cinelenses are not for any person...you have to know a good deal about cinematography to be able to get good footage out of cineprimes...you cannot expect to get stunning footage just bc you have good lenses. If you dont know the basics of photography you will most probably end up being very dissapointed and bankrupt at the same time!

I have seen good DPs deliver better footage with DVX100 than amateurs shooting 16mm, no joke!
No offense taken. =)

I am actually just starting out, but only to learn the basics of cinematography, since I am really starting a production company and my main focus is writing and directing, but I need to know something about cinematography in order to understand the shot better and convey what I want to the DP.

I will eventually have a DP for my shoots, but when I started out I planned on renting, but renting equiptment for $300 per day that cost $4000-6000 doesn't make sense when you do shoots for several weeks. Renting just seems like throwing money away. Owing it will save you money in the long run and you can always resell it if you don't need it.

For example renting a lense for $100 oper day that cost $1500 doen't make sense to me. I hope that make sense. Now I just need a GREAT DP who lives in the LA area =)

Duke
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Old October 7th, 2005, 12:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Green
The cheapest Zeiss you can get would be the old Carl Zeiss Jena lenses made for the M42 ("Pentax Screwmount") lens system. They're not cine lenses, they're still camera lenses. You can use them with the Mini35 if you get the Contax lens mount, and then get some M42->Contax adapter rings for the lenses.

They're inexpensive ($60 to $300) and come in a reasonable array of focal lengths (20, 35, 50, 80, 135, 200). They're not overly fast; I think the 50mm is f/1.8, most of them are f/2.4, the 135 is an f/3.5 IIRC.

They look pretty good on a mini35 rig when shooting standard-def; I don't know if they'd hold up to 1/3" high-def resolution.

But keep in mind these are still-camera lenses, not cine lenses. You can't pull focus with a still-camera lens anywhere near like what a cine lens can do, for example. No follow focus for still lenses etc.
Thanks Barry. Always like your comments. I rpobbaly will go for Cine lenses instead of cutting corners. There's a saying."The cheap comes expensive."

Are you a DP, and if so, do you have a website with footage?
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Old October 7th, 2005, 12:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Duke
For example renting a lense for $100 oper day that cost $1500 doen't make sense to me.
Remember that most rental houses' day rates are for one or two days at a time. Weekly rates usually equal 3 or 4 days. So $100 per day for a lens would only be maybe $300/week. Most rental houses will also give you a flat rate for your whole shoot, assuming you finish on schedule.
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Old October 7th, 2005, 12:57 AM   #12
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Brian:

If interested, you can view my reel here. You may have seen my article on the HD100 and Mini35 at the HDV Info net, and there is some footage with that specific package there also.
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Old October 7th, 2005, 12:59 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Tim Dashwood
Remember that most rental houses' day rates are for one or two days at a time. Weekly rates usually equal 3 or 4 days. So $100 per day for a lens would only be maybe $300/week. Most rental houses will also give you a flat rate for your whole shoot, assuming you finish on schedule.
Hi Tim,

Yeah that is true, but if I believe in the long run I will save money, even with $300-400 rental fees, as I plan on shooting a lot. Someof the equiptment I was loong to rent was $300 per day, and $1000 per week, and cost $8000 to buy so it makes sense to buy it. Like I said, I can sell bought equiptment, but not rented. =) Now if I only had a professional like you here it would be a lot eaiser -=)
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Old October 7th, 2005, 01:48 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Charles Papert
Brian:

If interested, you can view my reel here. You may have seen my article on the HD100 and Mini35 at the HDV Info net, and there is some footage with that specific package there also.
I've certainly read your article and your reel looks GREAT!. I hope a lot of it was HDV, but I have a feeling a lot of it was Film.

My only problem, well it may not be a problem, is that I think you would probbaly be WAY out of my budget and price range, but I don't like to assume anything. If you are interested in working on low budget indie stuff I am absolutely open to talk =)
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Old October 7th, 2005, 01:50 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Brian Duke
Hi Tim,

Yeah that is true, but if I believe in the long run I will save money, even with $300-400 rental fees, as I plan on shooting a lot. Someof the equiptment I was loong to rent was $300 per day, and $1000 per week, and cost $8000 to buy so it makes sense to buy it.
I'm not sure what kind of lens could possibly rent for $300/day and only cost $8000 to buy?
With the mini35 you will need the fastest lenses possible because of the stop loss.
I would typically rent a prime kit for $300/day consisting of Zeiss Super speed T1.3 with 18mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, & 85mm. Depending on the film or music video I would also usually rent a 12mm for around $100, and one long lens like a 135mm for around $100.
So I'm looking at $500/day for a very versatile prime kit. To buy this quality of primes I would guess you would be looking at around $250,000.
This is why so few production companies actually own equipment. It doesn't make sense to carry the burden of your own lenses and insurance, when there are rental houses like Panavision and Clairmont who maintain the lenses in pristine condition, and have a large variety depending on your individual needs on the day.

Quote:
Now if I only had a professional like you here it would be a lot eaiser -=)
Don't you live in LA? You probably have access to the largest concentration of DPs anywhere in the world! :) Subscribe to Amercian Cinematographer!

Tim
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