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Sony XDCAM PMW-F3 CineAlta
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Old May 25th, 2011, 01:33 PM   #16
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Re: RED PRO 18-85mm (BT) with F3

You can see the difference between the mechanics of still and cine lenses here:

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Old May 25th, 2011, 02:44 PM   #17
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Re: RED PRO 18-85mm (BT) with F3

I haven't seen breathing in my ZE's, at least that I've noticed. I believe they deliver the same performance as the CP2's on that level (I've shot with both).

The main difference between the Z series and the CP's is the mechanical rehousing which absolutely makes a difference if one is pulling focus by hand. However, if one uses a remote lens control system, it will remap however short the barrel throw is to the full rotation of the knob, giving all lenses exactly the same feel. The system I use goes so far as to extrapolate the markings on the lens so that I can turn the knob to 5'3" or 5'6" and both will be accurate. It's the same with the Z lenses, CP2's, Cookes, whatever. Now, that is a very expensive system and I happen to own it from my Steadicam days, but this concept is contained within some of the lower cost systems in development (Redrock) so when and if those emerge, it will be available to a much wider range of users

As far as value is concerned and the application of still lenses to other cameras; I think it's apparent that there will be a great push to make these lenses attach physically to the large sensor cameras emerging simply because there are not inexpensive alternatives. A universal Nikon or EF to PL mount is not a particularly exotic concept.

As far as using these lenses on higher end productions--the productions themselves don't care what you use for lenses as long as they deliver the goods without issues. I have shot network television pilots, high-end commercials and major label music videos with my ZE's. Again, I am using them in conjunction with technology that significantly improves the AC's workflow and that makes a big difference. Optically however--no concerns there.

Return on investment? Remains to be seen but the still community is still much larger than the filmmaking community, and they know the value of good lenses. Return investment on inexpensive PL lenses remains to be seen. As that market expands, there will be many more options down the road and if a cheaper and better lens emerges, the early adopters may find themselves with a substantial loss in investment. Historically resale has been good, but that's because everyone wants them and there aren't enough choices. That will change and very soon.

That all said: I would rather work with a PL mount, cine-style lens (the EF mount is rather "soft" and does allow the lens to shift in the mount, which can be seen during focus racks--that can be managed via a lens brace, which I am designing). I considered both the CP2's and the ZE's and ultimately decided not to invest 3x the money into them and have not regretted that decision. I am expecting to see competitive PL primes emerge that may be faster or less expensive or both and may make a plunge then. The market is demanding it...
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Old May 25th, 2011, 05:00 PM   #18
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Re: RED PRO 18-85mm (BT) with F3

giuseppe that makes complete sense but Alister Chapman made a valid point some time ago that PL mount lenses are a dime a dozen and are very accessible from rental houses. If I can access these lenses for the bigger productions and simply use my ZF's for smaller productions I feel this might be the better option.

Also, will the Chorsziel DV studio rig with a reverse gear(
Chrosziel AC-206-40S hdSLR Follow Focus AC-206-40S B&H Photo
) make the follow focus act the same as it would with traditional cine lenses? If so, focus pulling shouldn't be very different with these Nikon lenses.

Thanks again for all the input everyone!
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Old May 25th, 2011, 07:41 PM   #19
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Re: RED PRO 18-85mm (BT) with F3

I should have my Chrosziel reversing gear here tomorrow. Although I didn't use the FF much before I got the F3 (I have Contax lenses which focus the "right" way), I just couldn't get my head around reverse focussing with the Nikons. I'll post how I go.
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Old May 25th, 2011, 07:55 PM   #20
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Re: RED PRO 18-85mm (BT) with F3

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Originally Posted by William Graydon View Post
PL mount lenses are a dime a dozen and are very accessible from rental houses.
Accessible, yes. To those with money and insurance. Or long contacts in the biz to borrow.

Dime a dozen? Hahahaha. Last dozen I saw was a full set of Cooke S4s, and was worth about $250K :-/
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Old May 26th, 2011, 01:38 AM   #21
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Re: RED PRO 18-85mm (BT) with F3

Yes, the rental PL lenses are the up market glassware and aren't that cheap unless your production has the budget and insurance to cover the cover it. One well known rental house has a set of Arri Master Primes going at $1500 per day and the Cooke S4 at $1000 per day. Another has a set of Zeiss Super Speeds at $300 and a set (slightly smaller range) of Cookes S4 at $595. Although I imagine you can do a deal and there'll be a weekly rate.
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Old May 26th, 2011, 03:09 AM   #22
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Re: RED PRO 18-85mm (BT) with F3

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Although I imagine you can do a deal and there'll be a weekly rate.
Week rate is typically 3 day rates, although when business is bad or they otherwise need to swing a deal, some places will do 2 day weeks.
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Old May 26th, 2011, 03:14 AM   #23
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Re: RED PRO 18-85mm (BT) with F3

Yes, that's the same as the UK 35mm weekly rate.
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Old May 28th, 2011, 08:19 AM   #24
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Re: RED PRO 18-85mm (BT) with F3

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Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
However, if one uses a remote lens control system, it will remap however short the barrel throw is to the full rotation of the knob, giving all lenses exactly the same feel. The system I use goes so far as to extrapolate the markings on the lens so that I can turn the knob to 5'3" or 5'6" and both will be accurate. It's the same with the Z lenses, CP2's, Cookes, whatever. Now, that is a very expensive system and I happen to own it from my Steadicam days, but this concept is contained within some of the lower cost systems in development (Redrock) so when and if those emerge, it will be available to a much wider range of users
Hello Charles,
I'm wondering about your opinion of the precision of the focus on the shorter focus throw lenses when using a focus remote. Because I haven't been doing much dramatic stuff lately, I don't have much experience with the most recent remote focus designs, but back when I was working on jobs where we used them, we typically would create a 'double set' of distance markings on the remote's marker ring. This was to accomodate any play between the different gears of the mechanism and any flexing within the system. Hence, for each distance setting we created two marks, one if you were moving the focus ring in one direction, the second for moving in the other direction. Thus on the remote's ring, each distance was indicated by a little bracket drawing.
Hence my accuracy question... If using a stills lens where the barrel rotation is significantly reduced compared to a cine lens, have you found the 'slop' between the gears of the focus system to be more of a problem, or have the remote systems become more intelligent (accurate) to account for the play between gears? Or does it add sufficient accuracy to mount a large gear ring on stills lens (hence have more 'gear teeth' per degree of rotation on the lens)?
Thanks,
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Old May 28th, 2011, 09:01 AM   #25
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Re: RED PRO 18-85mm (BT) with F3

Hi Dave:

Sounds like you are describing the Seitz, or the WRC-4...yes, I remember the double-mark days too. And messing around with Hedens, trying to keep them from getting bounced off stiff lenses (remember slaving two of them together with a bracket and reversing motor?) Ugh.

That all ended with the Preston system with its digital motors. I'm not technical enough to go into detail into how it achieves that accuracy but I know that there is two-way communication between the motor and brain so backlash are accounted for, and the resolution is much higher. Repeatability is absolute. The short throw of still lenses is not a problem. No need for larger gears for accuracy.

It's a very different game than the analog days, for sure.
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Old May 28th, 2011, 10:29 AM   #26
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Re: RED PRO 18-85mm (BT) with F3

Thanks Charles,
Exactly what I was hoping to hear!
Best,
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Old May 29th, 2011, 08:06 PM   #27
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Re: RED PRO 18-85mm (BT) with F3

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Originally Posted by Peter Corbett View Post
I should have my Chrosziel reversing gear here tomorrow. Although I didn't use the FF much before I got the F3 (I have Contax lenses which focus the "right" way), I just couldn't get my head around reverse focussing with the Nikons. I'll post how I go.
Do you by any chance have an update? Thanks!
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Old May 30th, 2011, 03:42 AM   #28
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Re: RED PRO 18-85mm (BT) with F3

It got delayed William. Hopefully here tomorrow!
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Old May 31st, 2011, 01:52 PM   #29
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Re: RED PRO 18-85mm (BT) with F3

Renting is a great option because you get pretty much any lens you need whenever you need it.

My Zeiss CP1's 6 lenses goes out for $275, and my 6 lens set of Panchro's for $425. and my Cooke 18-100 T3 goes out for $225.

These arent outlandish numbers. The CP1's are a GREAT deal. the Cooke zoom is a phenominal deal. For narritive, and studio work the Zoom is a great choice if its a hand held light day.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 04:14 PM   #30
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Re: RED PRO 18-85mm (BT) with F3

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I would love to see the comparison of the SAME lens both from the ZF series and the CP.2 cut in half, to see how big of a difference their layout internally are. Say the 50mm CP.2 vs the 50mm ZF nikon mount.
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