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Old October 19th, 2005, 04:22 PM   #1
New Boot
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Boston MA
Posts: 15
And yet another newbie

The dreaded #1 post. I am another recent newbie to The Digital Video Info Network and wanted to say hello and see if I could tap the contributors for answers to a few question. I’ll try a brief introduction but tend to be a little long winded…

But first I can’t help mentioning the incredible amount of information already here about the HD100 and everyone’s willingness to share and help others. The past few weeks I have practically lived here at this forum every night and found enough answers that I was able to make almost all of my purchase decisions. I am new to the field of cinematography and spent most of the time I worked in production on the co-ordination side (getting my foot in the door as a PA)… so I will be right up front about having limited knowledge about digital video or film camera operation. I will always attempt to find answers here before asking and hope one day to be able to contribute useful information in return. But after visiting several other digital cinematography forums I was hesitant to join them as they were usually very clear about their feeling towards those just getting their feet wet operating a camera.

We received today two HD100’s cameras and tomorrow we take delivery of our first Mini35. We are planning on offering cost effective alternatives for music videos that have a very high production value and will eventually cross over to the dramatic side with comedic shorts. Christine Brnic at ZGC was very helpful (and patient) assisting with the Mini35, connecting kit, PL and Canon mounts, Chrosziel matte box and follow focus. Please note I am in no way affiliated with any of the companies listed I just had very good experiences with them... even after being very forthright about my experience. Listening instead of talking has worked great so far…

On Christine’s recommendation I then got in touch with Mike Casey at Visual Products and after a few conversations we purchased the Canon K35 prime lens set. I learned that these were still camera 35mm lenses that were converted for motion picture cameras. He made it clear that finding a used Zeiss T1.2 or 1.3 Super Speed lens set to purchase at this time would be next to impossible. Christine had warned about this as well. I will not attempt to pretend I knew anything about the Canon set before making the purchase, but during a very non-sales-style chat Mike convinced me that this was a good set to get going with. Here is some interesting information from the Visual Products site regarding the set for anyone else interested in the vignetteing phenomenon that may occur with the Mini35 with lenses in general:

“ATTENTION P+S Technik Mini 35 & 35Pro Owners: You may have noticed that some lenses intended for 35mm film shooting produce images with dark corners when used on the P+S Technik Adapters. Since these Canons were originally made for 35mm still photography, they produce an image circle larger than that of lenses designed specifically for use on 35mm motion picture cameras (which have a smaller image area than 35mm still photography). This feature enables the Canon K35 lenses to produce a bright image from edge to edge on P+S Technik Mini 35 & Pro35 adapters making K35's an excellent, affordable lens choice.”

Christine had provided another reference to try and reach Jorge Diaz-Amador at CinemaTechnic in Miami and I wasn’t about to give up yet trying to locate a set of Super Speed lenses. Our business plan started with getting all of our gear in place in the beginning and from what I have been reading having a set of these on hand will be useful for a long time to come. Doesn’t look like they lose much resale value either. Jorge does not list a phone number on his website and initial contact begins with email and so I wrote enquiring about the Zeiss set. He responded that he had a set but they were not the T1.2 but 1.4 instead;

Super Speed (High Speed f1.2/f1.3/f1.4) Mk. I Set (originally Bayonet, with Visual Products PL mounts):
f1.2/18mm T1.4
f1.2/25mm T1.4
f1.2/35mm T1.4
f1.3/50mm T1.4
f1.4/85mm T1.4
VP PL mounts, 80mm fronts (converted) focus scale ft/mt, focus gears (clamp-on). 18, 25 and 35mm are f1.2 and have same optics as Mk. II. Very good condition. Sold as full set only.

So my first question is for usage on the Mini35 and the JVC HD100U, would there be a reason not to go with the T1.4 set? Why would we hold out and wait until a faster set became available?

Jorge was very knowledgably of course and when he called me today to discuss the purchase I was able to hear his opinion. He reiterated the much sought-after shallow depth of field was a result of the F-stop, not the T-stop and with digital and the increased sensitivity to light the T1.4 set would be a great match with the Mini35… can anyone comment or share their opinion?

We are going down to Miami the weekend of Nov. 5th as he extended an invitation to spend the weekend doing tests with the Zeiss lenses. I hope to have our second Mini35 to test both cameras and be able to have comparison footage of both the Canon and Zeiss lens sets. And working with such an experienced Director of Photography will prove invaluable. He too is excited to have the opportunity to put the HD100 though it’s paces.

If there would be any interested I would be happy to share what we shoot when down in Miami. Of course these lens sets are at the lower end of the spectrum but again, have been highly recommended for where we are all at in our careers and the intended usage. I am anxious to see first hand the issues currently being debated. On that note, will chromatic aberration be an issue with 35mm lenses? I think I understand that this is due to the smaller CCD’s on pro-sumer cameras.

As for HD field monitor recommendations for both cameras… what can anyone suggest? (720p is all that would ever be needed) CRT or LCD? The obvious criteria to me is show correct focus and desired exposure when shooting.

Again thank you all for such a great resource.

Billy Mead is offline   Reply

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