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Sony XDCAM PMW-F3 CineAlta
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Old March 7th, 2011, 08:33 AM   #31
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Re: Sony Kit lenses vs still or Red lenses?

Jaques a friend and I are having that same discussion right now it seems like everyone is buying the camera (the thing that becomes obsolete the quickest, except for maybe storage media) and renting the support gear. A good set of lens will last you at least a decade. What was the last time you used a digital camera that was over 5 years old? If you maintain a geared head or even a 2575 head and sticks you can use them forever. It may not be quite as high of a rental price but it's still a good investment.

However I don't know that I agree with you on camera purchase being good enough to produce content that is eligable for theatrical release. We shot a film 5 years ago on an HDV camera that got a theatrical release (only 200 or so theaters but theatrical none the less) I think trying to attain a theatrical experience is much more about the story, acting and style then it is about the technical aspects. Trying to get a cable release may be much more technical oriented.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 08:47 AM   #32
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Re: Sony Kit lenses vs still or Red lenses?

Well how did the HDV look bolwn up? Please let us know.

Thanks!
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Old March 7th, 2011, 09:01 AM   #33
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Re: Sony Kit lenses vs still or Red lenses?

Jacques,

I have no doubt that the F3 provides an image quality more than sufficient for any lower budget feature film, and with proper recording and postproduction sufficient for higher budget ones as well. Though when talking about the kit lenses, you might think about the concept of a 'matched set'. Obviously Sony has spent time to make sure the three kit lenses are matched, but I doubt you wiill be shooting an entire feature on just those three lenses, so at that point you're back to the question of matching other lenses to the Sonys, or whether to rent or buy a wider assortment of focal lengths. (Back when I shot low budget films, we typically couldn't afford to rent a zoom (and I didn't like the way the zooms were hard to match with the primes) so a typical inexpensive rental lens kit contained 16,24,32,50,85mm lenses, or a more expensive package would include 18,25,35,50,85,135,300mm lenses. I have no doubt that Sony will at some point add additional lenses to their kit, but I'm also sure you won't want to wait.
Of course the good news it that with a little tweaking in the color correction suite, slight coloration or contrast differences between lenses can be addressed. (This was much more difficult in traditional film timing -- Thank you Digital Post!!) The areas that are harder to address are sharpness and flares.

Purchase vs rental is always a complex question, but if you'll be using a camera a fair amount, purchase tends to be far more economical. I haven't seen a lot of posted rental rates for the F3 yet - probably because not that many rental houses are set with them yet -- the first one I saw online was $600./day. It didn't say 'package' so I'm not sure what was included. If you do the math, you'll see that at that rate, even if you only use the camera one day every two weeks, you've almost made your investment back in a year. If you spend the money to put a full package together, it would obviously be better if the camera is used one or two days a week, but you're still viable. If it's going to sit in your closet for 6 months, then rental may be the way to go.
Of course one of my reasons for buying packages is that the travel (50 miles each way) and time involved in going to a rental house, properly testing and checking out a camera package the day previous to a shoot, and then returning it the day after the shoot, makes renting items far less desirable, and more costly in terms of the value of my time, or hiring someone for returns. Plus I know my gear, and can stay on top of firmware updates and keep it in top working order.

So - if you're doing a traditional low budget feature and shooting the whole thing in a single 3-4 week window - and if that's your only need for the camera, then rentals are a great option. If you need it often and frequently, then purchase makes sense, and at that point this thread becomes far more relevant in terms of what glass you will need to complete your kit.

Best,
Dave S
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Old March 7th, 2011, 09:03 AM   #34
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Re: Sony Kit lenses vs still or Red lenses?

I am hoping to record S-Log using an F3 in about two years time.
You're right, the story and other components MUST be EXCELLENT, but IMHO
4:2:2 high quality pro res is probably good enough for your average audience.
I hope to do better with S-log.

Others I know in the biz have shown actual producers footage shot on tiny inexpensive cameras,
but because everything else was so professional, when told it was shot on 16mm, they believed it.

Much of our biz is perception.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 09:09 AM   #35
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Re: Sony Kit lenses vs still or Red lenses?

SInce I don't have much bread, the movie I am writing and hope to shoot is designed to take place in one room 80% if the time.
I plan to build that set on a location I either own or can hang out on for a year if necessary.
So, I want to keep the gear in place, so when my actors are available, I can spring into action.
I simply don't have the money to shoot the thing in a month.
That is a huge 'one time' expense and will be difficult in my current situation.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 09:57 AM   #36
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Re: Sony Kit lenses vs still or Red lenses?

Here's some info on the zoom lenses that Sony are bringing out for the F3

Sony PMW-F3 Zooms and Updates Film and Digital Times: News
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Old March 8th, 2011, 11:50 AM   #37
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Re: Sony Kit lenses vs still or Red lenses?

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Originally Posted by Ryan Koo View Post
Maybe I'm getting confused, but the CP2s are full frame, so there's a crop factor, right? Are the Sonys any different?
There is no crop factor, an 50mm lens is a 50mm lens, nothing changes.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 12:32 PM   #38
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Re: Sony Kit lenses vs still or Red lenses?

Giuseppe,

Are you saying that the FOV on a 50mm lens doesn't change whether it's a stills lens or a proper PL cine lens when used on an S35 sensor?

-and that the crop factor only comes into play when you are comparing the FOV of different sized sensors such as S35 vs. Full Frame.

Is this right?

Thanks,
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Old March 8th, 2011, 12:59 PM   #39
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Re: Sony Kit lenses vs still or Red lenses?

The crop factor is just a quick calculation to give the equivalent angle of view focal length for different sized sensor usually compared to full frame 35mm. When the focal length is the same, a stills lens or a cine lens will give the same angle of view on a S35mm sensor.

Some consumer video cameras did give the full frame 35mm equivalents as lens markings, but that had nothing to do with the real focal length actaully being on used on the camera, it was just a comfort blanket for stills photographers.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 01:22 PM   #40
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Re: Sony Kit lenses vs still or Red lenses?

I love the pCam app on iPhone / iPad. It allows you to quickly see field of view, depth of field, focal length matching for different sensor sizes and a whole bunch of other stuff. Yes, it's expensive and it doesn't really do anything that you couldn't do yourself with a pencil and paper, but I've found it indispensable. I use it on every shoot.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 05:56 PM   #41
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Re: Sony Kit lenses vs still or Red lenses?

Everyone's complaining about the Sony-bundled lenses being plasticky, but I remember reading somewhere that the pre-production units had plastic hardware and the final production lenses had metal (aluminum or something). Any truth to this?
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Old March 8th, 2011, 06:10 PM   #42
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Re: Sony Kit lenses vs still or Red lenses?

I have the kit lenses with F3. They are indeed very plasticky. Not sure if they are more or less plastic than the pre-production units but definitely the most plastic lenses I've ever seen.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 09:52 PM   #43
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Re: Sony Kit lenses vs still or Red lenses?

I am not worried too much about the plasticky feeling, plastics can be very good these days. One thing I like though is the weight of those lenses. They are quite bulky but feel light. I am also actually quite impressed by the smoothness of focus and iris, they feel good.

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Old March 26th, 2011, 12:55 PM   #44
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Re: Sony Kit lenses vs still or Red lenses?

Does anyone know the weight of each of the Sony PL lenses and outside diameter of the fronts lenses, in millimeters?
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Old March 26th, 2011, 08:35 PM   #45
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Re: Sony Kit lenses vs still or Red lenses?

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Does anyone know the weight of each of the Sony PL lenses and outside diameter of the fronts lenses, in millimeters?
pretty accurate postal scale. 3 pounds, 3.36 ounces. with no caps, lens only. looks to be about 105mm on the ruler.
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