HVX + Redrock M2 + matte box + Nikon lenses. Which Nikons should I be looking at? at DVinfo.net

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Old November 26th, 2006, 04:44 PM   #1
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HVX + Redrock M2 + matte box + Nikon lenses. Which Nikons should I be looking at?

Hi all. . . your enthusiasm has done it to me again. . . first the HVX. . . and now. . .

. . . I'm about to break down and buy a Redrock M2 and follow focus system.

However, before I take that plunge, I'd like to know what Nikon lenses to pop on the front of the camera.

Since there are a lot of old manual focus Nikon lenses walking around on Ebay, etc., and since the M2 obviously can't use autofocus capabilities, the question becomes should I be buying older, cheaper Nikon lenses (with perhaps slightly inferior optics) or brand new ones?

This also brings up the issue of my Cavision matte box, which I actually really like quite a bit. Should I specifically be looking for lenses with internal focus mechanisms so that the rail-mounted matte box isn't an issue?

Thanks so much for all of your input.

Stephen
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Old November 26th, 2006, 04:47 PM   #2
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Stephen,

Before our resident "content mafia" smacks your knuckles, please use the *search* feature available on the forum. This subject has been covered in multiple threads with a wealth of info about this very topic and it's related subtopics.
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Old November 26th, 2006, 06:12 PM   #3
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Actually, Robert, I DID do a search and didn't get anywhere close to the specificity I am looking for.

There seem to be least three different grades of Nikon lenses available (Nikons, Nikon primes, Nikon prime+, etc.). Some of us don't know which are which. I've never used a Nikon camera in my life (always used a Hasselblad. . .it's too bad that I can't use the blad lenses on the M2, actually, but those focal lengths are a beast. My smallest two and quarter lens would be a decent telephoto on the M2!) and know absolutely nothing about them.

Then there is the question of old Nikons versus new ones. The price differential is huge, of course, but is there any discernible image quality on video?

So, anyway, those are the types of questions I am hoping that someone can answer.

Stephen
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Old November 26th, 2006, 07:33 PM   #4
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Stephen,
Try the redrock forum....
More answers than you can imagine.

http://www.redrockmicro.com/forum/
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Old November 26th, 2006, 07:41 PM   #5
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Hi Stephen:

As a lifelong Nikon user, I would recommend older manual focus Nikons for Cinematography over any newer Nikon lenses any day. The newer D and DX series Nikons have really quite rough and coarse manual focusing. So much so, that focusing with them will jar your camera when trying to focus on tracking or racking shots.

The older manual focus Nikon glass that we all grew up with generally has a MUCH smoother and easier manual focus mechanism. Very smooth.

I was a Beta tester for the Cinemek lens adapter and used a lot of my Nikon glass and learned what works better for cinematography. I recommend a set of older primes, all as fast as you can afford. I would suggest a 20-24mm 2.8 or 2.0, a 50mm 1.8 or 1.4, an 85mm 1.8 or 1.4. Unfortunately in Nikon, most of the zooms are pretty slow unless you spend big bucks. And slow equals too much light loss total from your Red Rock, which, if I am not mistaken already has a stop to stop and a half light loss over your stock camera.

Check out Ebay and used camera stores. You should realize that still lenses in general resolve much more detail per mm than cinema lenses, making them a relative bargain. A cheap Nikon like a 50mm 1.8 looks amazing on a camera like an HVX-200.

All the best,

Dan
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Old November 27th, 2006, 12:06 AM   #6
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Thank you Stephen and Dan for the question and answers on this forum. I'm not seriously considering an adapter at this time, but this information is helpful should I come across some good lenses at a good price that I can put away until I get an adapter. (Isn't it really just a matter of time?)

My photography has been mamiya so I am unfamiliar with the NiKon lenses either. So, my question is, how old is an older set? Is it the lack of auto focus that makes the difference?
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Old November 27th, 2006, 11:31 PM   #7
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You want manual focus, fixed focal length Nikons. I have no idea what year "the good ones" were made, but they have a longer throw and are smoother when pulling focus (the new MF/FFL Nikons have a plasticky/step feel when focusing). Check out KEH.com.
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