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Sony NXCAM NEX-FS700 CineAlta
4K EXMOR sensor with SDI, slow-motion recording.


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Old November 14th, 2012, 08:37 AM   #1
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It's time to buy a new lens... but I'm not sure what to get.

Last week I won a quote to shoot a French version of a corporate video...
I had offered my FS700 & PIX240.
But when the agency sent me an example of the English version... I realize, they must have use high speed primes.

When I called, they confirmed they had used an Epic & primes...
When I told them I couldn't match the look with my quote, they said they had a small budget and to do my best.

In the end they were happy... but I wasn't.
The problem wasn't the camera... it was my lenses.
On set I tried my fast SLR primes, but wide open they looked too muddy.
In the end I used my Zeiss 18-70mm f2.8., but some of my shots didn't have the shallow DF found in the English version.

It's time to buy a new lens... but I'm not sure what to get.
Would one of the Compact Zeiss lenses be a good choice?
The Interchangeable Mount System looks appealing.
Or will I never get the look without using one of the Master or Ultra lenses?
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Old November 14th, 2012, 10:47 AM   #2
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Re: It's time to buy a new lens... but I'm not sure what to get.

There is a new e-mount F0.95 35mm that is $850, that's probably a good option, it tests well.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 04:47 PM   #3
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Re: It's time to buy a new lens... but I'm not sure what to get.

Would this be a lens from SLR Magic?
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Old November 14th, 2012, 07:19 PM   #4
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Re: It's time to buy a new lens... but I'm not sure what to get.

I rented the Zeiss e-mount 24mm f1.8 and loved it. Very sharp, great DoF.
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Old November 15th, 2012, 03:15 PM   #5
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Re: It's time to buy a new lens... but I'm not sure what to get.

On a budget the Samyang/Rokinons are very good.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 06:16 AM   #6
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Re: It's time to buy a new lens... but I'm not sure what to get.

And of course, no lens is at its best absolutely wide open. Even if it's half a stop, things improve. A full stop should get you on-song. My Canon L 50mm f1.2 is unusable at 1.2 and only just starts work at 1.4, though comes on song at 2. Which begs the question 'what's the point?'

Perhaps, and of course some cheap lenses defy this, the more expensive lenses work better wide open.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 11:04 AM   #7
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Re: It's time to buy a new lens... but I'm not sure what to get.

I want to be able to match any look.

Using an 100mm F2.8 Nikon SLR prime, I had no problem getting a pleasing CU.
It was the master / medium shot, that I wasn't able to match.
I think the Toronto crew were using either a MP 50 mm/T1.3 or CP.2 50 mm/T1.5 Zeiss... wide open.

I was using my 17inch Panasonic HD monitor on set...
I tried a F1.4 Nikon, F1.4 Canon and F1.4 Minolta… but wasn't happy with the sharpness from any of them.
I didn't get acceptable sharpness… until I tried my Zeiss 18-70 zoom… but it's only F2.8, so the background wasn't soft enough.

I think I could live with just one very fast 50mm lens... something I'll keep forever.
I'm concerned the inexpensive lenses won't 'sing' wide open. (is on-song a UK expression?)

This maybe a good year to visit NAB… all the Zeiss, second generation Sony and Canon cinema primes will be there.

Are there any other lenses in this class?
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Old November 18th, 2012, 12:00 PM   #8
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Re: It's time to buy a new lens... but I'm not sure what to get.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Kerrigan View Post
I'm concerned the inexpensive lenses won't 'sing' wide open. (is on-song a UK expression?)?
Okay, try the Sigma 50mm f1.4.

Please excuse my passion in the following, but THIS SUCKS ROCKS THROUGH STRAWS as a stills lens, truly horrible manual actuation of focus, seems filled with sand and chicken poo in operation but...

It works better than the Canon 50mm f1.4 when shooting video from 1.4 to 2.8.

Optically, it does nice things - better than my Nikkor 17-55 2.8 - and it really should have been thrown away as a cheap joke when compared to the Canon, until I used it for video. Actually, I only bought it for video. There's a bokeh test which I saw on YouTube and I was sold.

Please, if you do actually buy this lens, don't yell at me for how cheap and nasty it feels. Look at the results first, compare them with others if you can.

And yes - On Song appears to be a UK expression reserved by what we call 'petrol-heads': what happens when your engine enters the power band and does a Glam Rock Guitar Solo by scrubbing your occular synapses with a wire brush and disinfectant.
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