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Old June 4th, 2013, 02:04 AM   #16
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Re: Letís talk about the Glass!

Hi John,

I keep the wide angle adaptor in the kit bag all the time and find it very useful. Fits securely to the front of the lens and dosen't seem to have any impact on the image other than making it much wider and a little bit of perspective distortion in the corners. Will try and do a few comparative shots and put them up here later.

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Old June 4th, 2013, 02:22 AM   #17
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Re: Letís talk about the Glass!

Originally Posted by John Vincent View Post
Well the funny thing is that if you want to get full control and IS, there's only 3 ways to go - either the stock Sony NEX zoom, a Canon/Nikon with a so-called "smart" adapter, or older manual glass with a "dumb" adapter.

Now Canon zooms - particularly the 24-70 2.8 L and the 24-108 4.0 L - are well respected lens, but you won't be able to control the iris or get auto anything unless getting one of the smart adapters. That said, the newest adapters, like the Metabones Mark III, does get you all those goodies.

Unfortunately, it cost $400:
Sony NEX System : Canon EF Lens to Sony NEX Smart Adapter (Mark III)

Which is a small price to pay if you're already heavily invested in Canon glass. Otherwise, I'm not sure. But if you want a fast zoom lens that has all the modern bells and whistles, you'll have to get some sort of adapter, either for Nikon, Alpha (Minolta), or Canon.

Of course, it all depends on exactly what you're using the camera/lens for. I shoot nothing but narrative films and commercials, so I can (usually) take a little time to properly light/set up a shot. That's why all my zoom lenses are Canon FDs - super cheap, built like tanks, with decent image quality. I bought a 28-200mm 3.5-5.3 FD from KEH not long ago for $70 and the thing's nearly flawless.

But if you're an events/doc shooter, you'll likely want IS, auto focus, and a faster lens then that. A 2.8 constant ap FD lens is hard to find - and fairly expensive.

SO, I guess my answer depends on what kind of shooting you do, whether or not you want to commit to one brand of lens (which you more or less have to do if you're on any kind of a budget), and whether or not you can hold out until the next gen of NEX glass comes out (which is hopefully soon). For me, I'm willing to invest in fully manually FF capable primes like the 35mm Rokinon because I know I be able to use them on basically any camera in existence (other then Nikon). I invest in the FD glass because it's an incredible value, and the dumb adapters are so cheap.
I own a few Canon FD glass as they have been compared to the L series in terms of quality! Although I haven't conducted a scientific comparison between them I am very happy with my FD glass.

I own a Zoom lens with F3.5 constant aperture and have my camera set up to not exceed above 2500iso (this is the limit with acceptable grain on the EA50).

But I so wish I could drop the aperture by 1 f stop.

Any gadget out there to do this on the FD mount like metabones?

Or do you know of any good zooms under £500 with a constant aperture? other than the 35-105mm i've got.
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Old June 4th, 2013, 06:13 PM   #18
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Re: Letís talk about the Glass!

You can find Canon FD "L" class lenses if you look hard enough. Never had a chance to use them, but they are supposed to be very good (esp for the price).
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Old October 29th, 2014, 11:29 PM   #19
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Re: Letís talk about the Glass!

Hey guys, seeking some assistance with purchasing perhaps some new lenses for a VG-20E. Currently, I'm turning good results with the kit lens in photo mode and some what average footage in film mode. I am an amateur with a prosumer budget. My forte is still life and I greatly benefit using Expanded Focus with the kit lens. I've discovered that I like sharp but soft dirty images. Is the Zeiss the lens for me?
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Old October 30th, 2014, 12:43 AM   #20
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Re: Letís talk about the Glass!

I really like the classic Zeiss 'Contax' full frame lenses and I now have a large collection of these valuable primes. Try the 50mm F1.7 as a starter and put it with a C/Y to NEX 'Speedbooster' for F1.2 at the sensor. It will transform your pictures from the Vg20.
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Old October 30th, 2014, 02:36 PM   #21
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Re: Letís talk about the Glass!

Contax Zeiss is very good and relatively affordable.

Leica R is also very good but more expensive. I've used both extensively and prefer the latter now.

If you have a decent budget, you can get the f/2 Leica R set--35, 50, 90, which should cover a lot of ground. There are 300-500 grams, just about the right weight IMO. Contax has the advantage of 28 f/2 and 135 f/2, but for the intermittent FL's you have to choose between light f/2.8's and heavy f/1.4's. The Leica R line most sorely lacks a fast true wide angle.

IQ-wise it's a matter of taste and style. Both sets are great. Contax is more neutral, more faithful, with more cutting OOF transition; Leica is more beautifying, more romantic, with more gentle OOF transition that gives a fuller sense of spcae. One feels like looking at, the other looking through. Color-wise especially they are superior to most other brands, which may resolve as well but lack a certain subtle refinement that's hard to describe. As mechanical objects I prefer Leica R's. The mount is more robust and less liable to develop play than most other vintage mounts I've tried, including Contax and FD (which actually has a somewhat irritating mount system that requires an aperture lever to catch, not ideal for quick switching.).

FDs: I've used 24L, 50L, 85L. The former I found had very drab colors and didn't match either Contax or Leica. The 50 had insane ghosting when pointed at bright light sources, but it and 85 were very competent optically. But I didn't see any particular reason to prefer them over Contax and Leica equivalents since they're not cheap either.
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Old November 1st, 2014, 05:32 PM   #22
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Re: Letís talk about the Glass!

Thank you both for taking the time to reply, I do appreciate that time is valuable. Al Yeung, great post, perfect description of your chosen lenses and explained why and as a result I like the sound of the Leica R glass. I like that dreamy depth with a sharp grunge finish.

The learning curve is quite steep and I'm currently trying to get my head around all the terminology. One particular area relating to lenses is Focal length multipliers and field of view. The VG-20 supports a APS-C 23.5 x 15.6 cropped image sensor, question what is the VG-20's multiplication factor? Would I not be better placed with lenses specifically designed for the VG-20's cropped sensor?
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Old November 1st, 2014, 08:26 PM   #23
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Re: Letís talk about the Glass!

Crop factor on the VG20 is 1.5x.

I rather like Sony's E-mount lenses for cropped sensors--very good value, and the 35/1.8 and 50/1.8 come with optical stabilization for steadier footage. And of course sometimes autofocus and autoaperture are very useful. The Zeiss ones (12, 24, 32, and the 55 FE etc.) are more refined but lack OSS. I think for many people the native E-mount lenses are actually excellent options, as long as you can accept the lack of mechanical focusing and aperture control.

If you end up getting some of the aforementioned manual lenses, all intended for 35mm film, you can either adapt them directly to the VG20, which will result in a 1.5 x crop in the field of view (because the smaller sensor is recording only the central part of the image).

Or you can get a Metabones Speedbooster, which goes between the lens and the sensor and basically shrinks the 35mm full frame image down to fit the smaller cropped sensor. That way the lenses will look roughly equivalent to what they do on a full frame sensor. Because the light is now concentrated into a smaller area, the brightness of the lens will increase by one stop. So when the lens itself is at f/2.8, the lens + speed booster combination will be at f/2, and so on. So in a sense, you won't be "wasting" the full frame coverage on a cropped sensor anymore.

There're many reviews of Speedboosters online. I found them very useful; they introduce some softness in the corners, but for video this is irrelevant. The biggest downside for me was that they introduced some barrel distortion.

Metabones recently came out with new "Ultra" versions of the Speedboosters that are supposed to have improved image quality, particularly less distortion, but I haven't tried them.

Incidentally, a full frame 35/2.8, 50/2/1.4, and 85/2.8 set (as is available and affordable in Contax and Leica R and virtually all brands) plus a Speedbooster will give you the field of view and brightness equivalent to a 24/2, 35/1.4/1.0, and 55/2, virtually identical to the native Zeiss f/1.8 set.

Last edited by Al Yeung; November 1st, 2014 at 11:03 PM.
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