Z1 Red Rock 35mm adapt. at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CCD HDV camcorder.


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Old April 27th, 2006, 02:33 PM   #1
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Z1 Red Rock 35mm adapt.

Shooting allot of scenics outdoors and plenty room to move camera distances compaired to subjects, What would be a good 35mm lens to cover a wide array of distances with. This lens would be used in conjunction with the Z1 and the Red Rock 35mm adapter and a Matte Box. I understand its great to have several lenses but what would be one good lens to cover several types of shots not a $16,000 Cooke. Something to complement the Red Rock Price but also be very flexable and have a great look. Thanks
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Old April 27th, 2006, 03:20 PM   #2
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Me and some folks have been shooting with the M2 on a Z1 lately. The best we've used is the Nikkor AIS 85mm f1.4. It's a expensive lens (about $500 is VCG), but nothing compared to cine lenses. It offers excellent color/contrast and has a lot of speed. Really pretty bokeh too. We've also shot with a Nikkor 135mm f3.5 and 200mm f4.5. The give excellent results, but combined with the adapter, they devour light. I'd forget them if you are not working in daylight. The good news is they are cheap. You can get either used from B&H for well under $100.

Also, be ready for a good deal of breathing. I've seen this with every SLR lens on the M2. This hasn't been so obvious on the material I've seen with slow racks, but with sudden racks, you really see it. Coming from a film background, it is very distracting.

Avoid zooms. You may want to try to Nikkor 85mm f2 to save a little $.
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Old April 27th, 2006, 11:32 PM   #3
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I've had a good luck with buying SLR lenses on eBay.

Just make sure the lens is described as excellent glass (or better), without visible marks, fungus, or dust.

Go for the oldest lenses - like Canon FL (not FD) or Nikkor AI (not AI-S) etc.

They are much less popular with the SLR cam folks since they do not have contemporary electronics. This translates into lesser cost to you.

Also try to find auctions that end on *weekdays* - they will give you significantly lesser end price than on weekends when more people are able to participate/jack the price up.

Try to buy f1.2, f1.4, f1.8. Any slower, you're losing too much light indoors. Remember that the lenses usually have to be stopped down to deliver their sharpest performance. So if you start with f2.8 and stop it down, it'll be way too dark for the indoor shoot. Unless your talent is OK with being cooked alive by your lighting :)
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Old April 30th, 2006, 11:53 AM   #4
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Alex - you seem to know a lot about lenses (compared to me...lol)

could you link me to one of these Canon Fl lenses on ebay? Preferably in UK though. I ask, mainly because I do not know what I am looking at. It is for a Sony HDR FX1E.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 02:21 PM   #5
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Would a Carl Zeiss Distagon 35mm F/1.4 wide angle manual focus lens work well with the redrock M2. Have had trouble finding any Nikkor AI found plenty of AIS and trouble finding any Canon FL but found the FD. Thanks for the help
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Old May 9th, 2006, 07:37 AM   #6
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John, the Zeiss will work well, but you find that getting a decent set of 5 or 6 primes with the Zeiss name on them will be quite expensive. Unless they are cine-zeiss lenses, they will probably be no better than any Nikon AIS glass. I think the Nikon AIS are perfect to use with the M2. They are inexpensive, plentiful, and offer the same optical formula and coating as many of the newest Nikkor AF lenses. I'd avoid getting the cheapest lenses off ebay. There are a variety of reasons. The back focus issues with lenses wider than 50mm on the M2 can be critical. I've had to disassemble several of my lenses, and recalibrate the back focus to get an accurate focus reading on the M2. Unless you are prep'd to do this type of work on a lens, I'd look somehwere like the used section of B&H, where you are more likely to get a properly calibrated lens. You might pay a little more up front, but an additional $40 or $50, seems cheap when you realize you need to tear a lens down to make it work properly.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 01:56 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the help just one more question to show my ignorance for SLR lenses. With the M2 I would imagine you would want a manual focus lens is this correct. thanks again
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Old May 9th, 2006, 03:32 PM   #8
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Yes, definitely manual focus. While it is possible to AF lenses with the M2, most Af lenses get the resistance in the focus ring from the AF motor, which resides in the SLR body. When you disconnect the AF motor on the body the focus becomes very loose or what I'd call sloppy. This makes it hard to hit a focus mark precisely. Also, newer AF and AI lenses like the G series from Nikon don't have ANY iris control on the lens... so to change the f-stop, you would have to remove the lens from the M2, reconnect to the camera, set the f-stop and then put the lens back on the M2... which would make you go postal in a matter of minutes. The Nikon AIS series lens are very durable, have full manual control, and they sold about a billion of them, so they are cheap to come by.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 08:45 PM   #9
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Drew, you obviously are an expert on lenses - while I most definitely am not.

So correct me if I'm wrong, but with the 35mm adapters accessible to us, including M2, isn't the optical quality of the adapter itself the most limiting factor?

In other words, what's the point of investing in the highest quality lenses when the adapter behing them will eat up any quality difference between them and the other, cheaper lenses?

Another question: in practical terms, what is the expected difference in image quality using Nikon AIS vs. say Canon FL on the M2 adapter or any other 35mm adapter, in your opinion?

(The sreet prices comparison is almost 3:1 at $140 for the former vs. $50 for the latter in case of 50mm 1.4 in excellent condition.)
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Old May 10th, 2006, 08:22 AM   #10
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Alex, sorry I should have this more clear, Canon FD series are fine too. I only advocate Nikkors because that is what I have experience with (my 35mm and S16 camera take Nikkors, and that is what I have always used). You are correct about the adapters - the GG and achromat are far more of a limitation than the glass. Even early 70's Nikkors have resolutions that compare to modern cine lenses - I have tested it.

I am not advocating nikkors above Canons for quality of image. Canon makes great glass (expecially anything with the Flourite coating). Personally, I think it would be easier to find a set of Nikkor primes because they sold so many, but if you can find Canons for less, do not hesitate to buy them. I think if you look over the price of a whole set, you'll find the prices are pretty similiar. I have 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 105mm, 135mm, 200mm, 300mm in my collection.

Watch for coating though... this will effect the color the lenses render. Even though my set isn't the same series, I made sure they had the same optical coating.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 08:24 AM   #11
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Got it, thanks for the detailed answer!
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