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Sony NXCAM NEX-FS100 CineAlta
An interchangeable lens AVCHD camcorder using E-Mount lenses.


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Old May 24th, 2011, 08:06 AM   #1
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Starting from scratch... Lens brand and mounts?

This is not a question specific to an adapter or mount... but the FS-100 begs the question: What if I start from scratch and invest in new glass for the FS-100 but also for future proofing on other models?

Where would this lead to? Or is it an impossible dream...

Most of us have some investment in one proprietry brand and is it worthwhile doggedly sticking with them?

If not, what would be the choice considering where cameras are going.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 08:34 AM   #2
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Re: Starting from scratch... Lens brand and mounts?

If the projects I am going to shoot could justify it, I would buy a kit of Zeiss CP2 primes with PL mount, and a PL to E- mount adapter.
But this is not the case...

The world is full of compromises. In my case the compromise is some fast Zeiss Nikon primes and a Nikon to E – mount adapter. Then I am also able to use the lenses on my Nikon D700 and for the prize of one CP2 I can buy 4 Zeiss primes for my Nikon / FS100. It is not the perfect solution, but it is useable.
In the future thees lenses could also, with an appropriate adapter, be used on my future cameras.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 12:15 PM   #3
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Re: Starting from scratch... Lens brand and mounts?

I would get Nikon Zeiss with the Cine upgrade which removes hard stops, adds a focus gear and adapts the outer filter ring to a standard size so all Zeiss cine upgrades can use the same mattebox. AFAIK, these Nikon Zeiss can be used on Reds, PL-mounts (ie, F3) and the FS100. DuclosLenses has a good reputation for this cine-mod and is only about $250 extra per lens. They can upgrade other lenses as well.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 01:35 PM   #4
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Re: Starting from scratch... Lens brand and mounts?

Steve this mod is new to me. It makes the lenses even better.
I have been looking on Ducloslenses website and their mod is actually removing the downsides of using SLR lenses as cine lenses.

Glad I haven’t ordered mine yet
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Old May 24th, 2011, 10:16 PM   #5
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Re: Starting from scratch... Lens brand and mounts?

+1 on the Nikon F mount Zeiss primes. I have the 21mm 2.8, 35mm 1.4, 50mm 1.4 and 85mm 1.4. I love these lenses. I like them so much I started using them just as much for photography as I do cinematography. The external aperture control is the big plus over the ZE mount lenses. On the downside the focus control is counterintuitive unless you've been a Nikon user all along. Not a big deal though really.
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Old May 26th, 2011, 07:12 AM   #6
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Re: Starting from scratch... Lens brand and mounts?

I think everyone agrees on the Zeiss cp2's!

Nikon F mounts solve many issues in terms of compatibility with a range of new cameras mostly due to adapter availability. Seems like everyone is sitting on the fence waiting to see what MTF and Birger come up with for EOS lenses.

Right now - without considering the two Canon bodies I own, I would go with NIkon Zeiss myself.
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Old May 28th, 2011, 07:00 AM   #7
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Re: Starting from scratch... Lens brand and mounts?

I just saw some FS-100 tests using this Sony Zeiss lens...looked really good.

Sony SAL-2470Z 24-70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar SAL2470Z
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Old June 1st, 2011, 01:53 PM   #8
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Re: Starting from scratch... Lens brand and mounts?

What should one be looking for in a lens? How can you tell if they are for still photography or video? I'm looking into this camcorder as a next step for me. I currently shoot with an XH-A1, so I don't know much about lenses unfortunately. I would like something that will be versatile and make use of a high f-stop for the DoF that this camera will give me.

Also, as far as A-mount, F-mount, E-mount... Will any mount of lens work with the camera if I get the right adapter? Will any adapter work, or are they not all made equal? I'm would use the stock lens, but wanted to know what else I should get. I had someone recommend to me the Tokina 11-16mm lens, but I wasn't sure what adapter, etc.

Unfortunately I wouldn't have a large budget for a lens (<1k).

Sorry, kinda new to this interchangeable lens world. Thanks guys.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 05:02 PM   #9
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Re: Starting from scratch... Lens brand and mounts?

I got some low cost used Canon FD lenses to tide me over until I can get something better. You have to get lenses that have a manual aperture ring on them (in general EF and EF-S lenses don't, although there are a few non Canon lenses for the EOS (eg. Vivitar) that do have a ring for setting the aperture manually). Nikon lenses seem to be a safe bet too, quality, and because they are in demand if you want to sell them later, and it appears to me that even the latest NIKON lenses have a manual aperture ring. Always look for F stops 2.8 or lower if you want low light and shallow DOF possibilities. Just about any lens has a lot of information available on the web--read before you buy!
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 10:58 PM   #10
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Re: Starting from scratch... Lens brand and mounts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Creason View Post
What should one be looking for in a lens? How can you tell if they are for still photography or video? I'm looking into this camcorder as a next step for me. I currently shoot with an XH-A1, so I don't know much about lenses unfortunately. I would like something that will be versatile and make use of a high f-stop for the DoF that this camera will give me.

Also, as far as A-mount, F-mount, E-mount... Will any mount of lens work with the camera if I get the right adapter? Will any adapter work, or are they not all made equal? I'm would use the stock lens, but wanted to know what else I should get. I had someone recommend to me the Tokina 11-16mm lens, but I wasn't sure what adapter, etc.

Unfortunately I wouldn't have a large budget for a lens (<1k).

Sorry, kinda new to this interchangeable lens world. Thanks guys.
Welcome to the world of interchangeable lenses. Lots to learn, but the results on the screen are worth it.

With a budget of <$1K, you probably won't be able to afford a dedicated video or cinema lens, so if anyone brings up a "PL" or a "B4" mount, ignore them.

You will want a still lens -- either a "native" Sony lens (one that fits the camera without an adapter), or an adapted lens from Sony or another brand (which, as the name implies, requires an adapter).

For the NEX-FS-100, native lenses are "E" or "NEX" mount. The lens that is included with the NEX-FS100UK version of the camera is the http://www.amazon.com/Sony-SEL18200--mount-18-200mm-F3-5-6-3/dp/B0042GFYLI. If you get this lens with the camera, you will not need an adapter. All exposure metering and autofocus functions will be available with this, or any other, "E" mount lens.

Like almost all still lenses, the 18-200mm kit zoom is manual and varifocal (which means you lose focus on a fixed subject as you zoom in or out).

You will probably miss your XH-A1's 20x power zoom and parfocal lens, which maintains focus on a fixed subject as you zoom in or out.

If you want to use a Sony "A" mount lens (to include the A mount version of the http://www.amazon.com/Tokina-AT-X-11-16mm-Asph-Minolta/dp/B00385YI9I), you will have to get a http://www.amazon.com/Sony-Alpha-LAEA1-Mount-Adaptor/dp/B003QK1VK4. You will have exposure metering, but you are likely to have slow autofocus with these lenses.

For other still lenses, you will need specific adapters for each brand. Look for http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_17?url=search-alias%3Delectronics&field-keywords=nikon+nex+adapter&sprefix=nikon+nex+adapter or http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_17?url=search-alias%3Delectronics&field-keywords=canon+fd+nex+adapter&sprefix=canon+fd+nex+adapter adapters on Amazon, and you will find a range of adapters in every price range. Low end adapters work, but will sometimes bind to your lenses or wobble on the camera. You get what you pay for.

There are a lot more in-depth resources out there -- I hope this answers a few of your basic questions and provides a starting point for further research.

Good luck,

Bill
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 11:19 PM   #11
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Re: Starting from scratch... Lens brand and mounts?

Thank you so much Bill. I really do appreciate the feedback. I didn't realize the kit lens isn't parfocal. That's really too bad. Are all lower cost lenses that way? I haven't seen 'varifocal' or 'parfocal' in lens descriptions, so now I'm really wondering what I should go for. I know for <1k, i'm paying for what I get. I might just have to use the kit lens until I can get one of the Zeiss lenses that I hear so much about. I just don't know for what kind of work I do if I can survive on a varifocal lens.

I did originally have a problem with my XH-A1 lens. It wasn't holding focus like it should have. Apparently it's a big problem with that camcorder and I didn't realize. It was really annoying because you can't zoom and focus simultaneously with that lens.

EDIT: I'd probably be able to go up to ~1.5k for a parfocal zoom lens of some sort, as long as the adapter wasn't another 500.
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Old June 4th, 2011, 05:16 AM   #12
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Re: Starting from scratch... Lens brand and mounts?

Ryan -- sadly, this is one of the "translation" problems as these new hybrid cameras increase the overlap between the still and motion picture communities. Still folks (I've been one since the early 1970s) don't expect their zooms to hold focus on stationary objects across focal lengths. They just re-focus between shots, no big deal.

TV and movie folks (I was in film school in the 70s), expect their lenses to be able to zoom in on a stationary subject, focus, pull back, start the camera and hold focus as they zoom back in.

There are a few still lenses that may be parfocal -- but this is based on hearsay, not specs, as far as I can tell.

If you want a zoom lens that is designed for motion pictures, the least expensive lens that I could find (that will cover the FS100's sensor) is the
$4000 DigiOptical DO1850
.

$2000 less expensive than the RED 17-50mm, you would also need a PL to NEX adapter for this lens. Least expensive I could find is this $149 adapter from eBay.

If I were you, I would buy either the kit lens or the http://www.amazon.com/Sony-SEL1855-mount-18-55mm-F3-5-5-6/dp/B003U8Q7TC. I would also get an inexpensive PL mount adapter and rent different cinema zooms to see if they met my needs before I bought one, like this Century 28-70mm zoom for $169 a day from Budget Video Rentals:

Budget Video Rentals 800-772-1111 - 35mm PL Mount Lenses for Rent - Miami, Florida

Hope this is helpful.

Bill
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Old June 4th, 2011, 07:03 AM   #13
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Re: Starting from scratch... Lens brand and mounts?

Now you may understand why prime lenses are still very much the lens choice for most pro's.

For documentary work, a genre which basically rose up at the same time as fast zoom lenses - they went hand in hand so to speak - and as a doc maker I love using zooms as they get me out of trouble all the time.

My FS-100 arrives this Monday and I am looking at a set of primes now rather than zooms. I am favoring the Zeiss Distagons with Nikon mounts. But no rush yet, as I will also see what happens on the adapters copming out this month with great features.
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Old June 4th, 2011, 10:13 AM   #14
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Re: Starting from scratch... Lens brand and mounts?

I am getting my FS 100 Tuesday from AbelCine. They sold me a e mount to Nikon adapter for my Nikon glass http://www.amazon.com/Novoflex-Adapter-Nikon-Lenses-Cameras/dp/B0041GCXIG/ref=sr_1_4?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1307195288&sr=1-4. I'm considering the 16mm Sony http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=NavBar&A=getItemDetail&Q=&sku=695859&is=REG&si=rev#costumerReview it is very cheap for a 2.8 lens. I am also looking for a fast sony e or a mount zoom for more run and gun type work. The one Jon showed
Sony SAL-2470Z 24-70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar SAL2470Z
look very nice. Jon do you have a link for it? The testing of the lens.

Dan
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Old June 4th, 2011, 12:35 PM   #15
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Re: Starting from scratch... Lens brand and mounts?

It was AbelCine who did the tests but not about the lens but on dynamic range - Sony FS100 Ratings and Dynamic Range | CineTechnica

The Sony lens is used here. This lens is an A=mount lens so you still need an adapter A to E mount but the aperture and even auto focus will still work.

Right now I also hav ethe Nikon adapter and I am looking at some Zeiss primes - Distagon and Planars.
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