SALT III “WFO” (updated)

Leica Summilux-C 50mm T1.3
Leica Summilux-C 50mm T1.3

 

CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS POST!

The SALT (Southland ALternative Lens Test) is an informal yet professional collaboration of motion picture industry professionals who gather a specific genre of cinema lenses and evaluate their characteristics and features for the masses to explore and learn. This particular round of SALT included the talents of Will Kier, Matt Hayslett, Evin Grant, Matt Uhry, Ryan O’Hara, Charlie Pickle, Phil Holland, Jeff Whitehurst, Luke Edwards, and myself, Matthew Duclos, evaluating the most recent crop of high-speed prime lenses available. With resources at hand, we were able to secure a respectable selection of prime lens sets including:

  • Leica Summilux-C
  • Zeiss Master Primes
  • Zeiss Super Speeds
  • Zeiss CP.2 Super Speeds
  • Illumina S35
  • Elite High-Speed
  • Canon Cinema Eos Primes
BEFORE I GO TOO FAR, IT’S ONLY FAIR TO MAKE A FEW DETAILS CLEAR. THE SHOOTING SET-UP PORTION OF THE TEST FEATURED A RED EPIC CAMERA WHICH IS NOT BY ANY MEANS CONSIDERED THE STANDARD BY WHICH ALL LENSES ARE EVALUATED. IT’S MERELY A MATTER OF CONVENIENCE IN THAT THE MOUNT CAN BE SWAPPED TO ACCEPT DIFFERENT LENSES AND IS A VERY COMMON OPTION FOR CINEMATOGRAPHERS WHO WOULD BE INTERESTED IN SUCH RESULTS. EVALUATION OF LENSES WITH A TEST PROJECTOR CAN BE SUBJECTIVE IN CERTAIN ASPECTS AND THUS ALL READINGS AND EVALUATIONS WERE PERFORMED BY THE SAME INDIVIDUAL TO MAINTAIN CONSISTENCY THROUGHOUT THE RANGE. EVERY LENS WAS TESTED WIDE OPEN. T-STOP READINGS WERE NOT MEASURED IN ORDER TO AVOID BROKEN HEARTS ;-). AND LASTLY, TO GATHER, ARRANGE, EVALUATE, AND RECORD ALL THE RESULTS FROM SIX SETS OF LENSES IS TIME CONSUMING AND LABORIOUS TO SAY THE LEAST. EVERYONE THAT PARTICIPATED IN THE TEST IS A WORKING PROFESSIONAL WHO TOOK TIME OUT OF THEIR SCHEDULE TO PARTICIPATE. THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED OUT.

We were looking for specific characteristics exhibited by each set of lenses such as resolution, contrast, light falloff, field coverage, breathing, chromatic aberrations, distortion, and other factors that effect the image quality and performance of a professional motion picture lens. All of the footage shot is being processed by wizards over on RedUser if you’re interested in seeing them. I’ll have a few frame grabs posted here for your viewing pleasure later on, but the bulk of the footage and data will be posted to RedUser.

Testing at Red Studios consisted of a locked off shot of our “trap” which was setup in a way that would really stress the lenses with difficult scenarios. We began with the widest lens from each set and rolled with the same settings, position, angle, etc., and moved on to the next focal length, moving the camera back just enough to keep the frame consistently relevant for each focal length.

_MG_6135
Zeiss Master Prime mounted for testing. (Photo by Phil Holland)
hslt2013_CanonCNE
Tested: Canon Cinema Eos Primes (Photo by Phil Holland)
hslt2013_CanonK35
Tested: Canon K35 Primes (Photo by Phil Holland)
hslt2013_Elite
Tested: Optica Elite Primes (Photo by Phil Holland)
hslt2013_Illumina
Tested: Illumina S35 Primes (Photo by Phil Holland)
hslt2013_LeicaSummiluxC
Tested: Leica Summilux-C Primes (Photo by Phil Holland)
hslt2013_ZeissCP2SuperSpeed
Tested: Zeiss CP.2 Super Speeds (Photo by Phil Holland)
hslt2013_ZeissMasterPrime
Tested: Zeiss Master Primes (Photo by Phil Holland)
hslt2013_ZeissSuperSpeedMKII
Tested: Zeis Super Speeds (Photo by Phil Holland)
All the lens sets laid out and ready for testing.
All the lens sets laid out and ready for testing.
Shooting the test setup at RED Studio Hollwyood
Shooting the test setup at RED Studio Hollywood, Matt Hayslett and Ryan O’Hara operating.
Will Kier, watching over the SALT III test.
Will Kier, watching over day one of the SALT III test.
Matthew Duclos shooting Matt Uhry, Shooting Matthew Duclos
Matthew Duclos shooting Matt Uhry, Shooting Matthew Duclos
Stephanie sitting in for our portrait setup using the telephotos of each set.
Stephanie sitting in for our portrait setup using the telephotos of each set, day two at Duclos Lenses
DIT station and the rest of the crew wrapping up day two.
DIT station and the rest of the crew wrapping up day two.

Results will be posted on reduser at the end of this week.

Published by

Matthew Duclos

A connoisseur of fine motion picture lenses, Matthew has spent over half his life servicing, refining, selling, manufacturing, and collecting cinema lenses from around the world. Chief Operating Officer of Duclos Lenses and Founder of TheCineLens.com, Matthew has been contributing to the motion picture industry for over 15 years, and to this site for over 5 years.

13 thoughts on “SALT III “WFO” (updated)”

  1. What an exiciting test!! I’am kind a missing Cooke S5, cause Ultra Primes and S4s make significantly different representation (flare/ghost) against strong back light and I’ve been curious about comparison between T1.5 league. But thank you for this very interesting test. Can’t wait for seeing the result!

  2. It’s a pity the cine xenars III didn’t make the test. It would be nice to see how they hold up against top competition. I guess they are a little on the slow side to make the test.

  3. It’s like a rap video bts. Instead of gold chains and fast cars, you have expensive fast lens that are worth their weight in gold.

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