Zeiss 85mm Plays Nice With Sony FS100

A perfect example of the versatility of the Zeiss ZF.2 series. This 85mm f1/.4 comes in a Nikon mount from the factory. With a few upgrades and modifications, it’s perfectly suited for motion picture use. I performed the standard three part Cine-Mod which includes an 80mm front ring (77mm filter thread), 32-pich (0.8 module) seamless focus gear, and of course the de-clicked, dampened aperture ring. In addition to the standard Cine-Mod, I also added one of our semi-permanent Canon Eos mounts. This mount conversion physically attaches to the body of the lens and essentially takes the place of the original Nikon mount, effectively making the Zeiss ZF.2 a native Canon Eos mount lens. An excellent mount modification for use on a 5D or 7D. I just happened to have received a Canon Eos mount for my FS100 that I thought I would try out with this lens and it worked great. There is a little bit of play between the mounts, but no more motion than I would expect from a Canon lens attached to a Canon camera. The focus and aperture movement on this lens are like soft butter, creamy smooth. With a Super 35mm sized sensor on the FS100, the bokeh from this f/1.4 85mm is simply dreamy. I love it! I’ll be shooting some test footage in the near future with a few different lens makes and models. I just need to find an interesting topic and create some decent content. I’m tired of test charts… 😉

Zeiss ZF.2 Cine-Mod Set

This post is a little self serving in that I’m touting a product that Duclos Lenses sells. However, I love the product and use the product myself on a daily basis. The product I speak of is the Zeiss ZF.2 lenses. I have raved about these lenses ever since I started using them years ago on my Nikon DSLR. I’ve had several posts detailing their use in the motion picture industry and the modifications that make them cinema work horses. Duclos Lenses has been modifying and selling the Zeiss ZF.2 lenses as an official Zeiss distributor for several years now. Zeiss announced that they would be offering a set of five lenses at a reduced price which included a swanky custom foamed transportation case. I thought the idea was great. That is, until we ordered a few and realized that the lenses offered in the set were not the lenses I personally thought performed the best. On top of that, after our Cine-Mods, the lens barrels were expanded to at least 80mm due to the additional front ring and focus gear, the lenses didn’t fit in the case. So we thought, why not make our own set and offer a similar discount. We hand-picked the particular lenses to include in the set, mostly for their overall quality and range from wide to tele.

 

The set includes a 21mm f/2.8, 28mm f/2.0, 35mm f/1.4, 50mm f/2.0 macro, and of course, the gorgeous 85mm f/1.4. Between these five lenses, 21mm-85mm, just about every shot is covered. The set comes in our own custom foamed flight case, a Pelican Storm iM2600 to be specific, foamed by the fine folks at Innerspace Cases (the same guys who do the RED cases). Each lens is hand selected and features our complete Cine-Mod including a standard 32-pitch focus gear, 80mm front with 77mm filter thread, and of course, a de-clicked, buttery smooth aperture ring. I love this set! It’s every focal length I would want in a portable set of primes. I think the Zeiss ZF.2 lenses appeal to a wide range of cinematographers due to their light-weight, budget conscious nature. On top of that, their image quality is excellent for the price and the image size the lenses produce covers anything from a micro four thirds AF100 to a RED Epic, and all the way up to the 35mm full frame sensor of the 5D MkII. Like I said, this post is a little self serving, but I really do enjoy using these lenses. For more information head on over to www.DuclosLenses.com

Showdown: Rokinon Vs. Zeiss

If you frequent my website, you are surely familiar with the Zeiss ZF.2 line of lenses. They are considered the high end of DSLR lenses in terms of quality and price, unrivaled german engineering. But recently, a new crop of cheap-o lenses have made their way across the ocean and are really giving Zeiss a run for it’s money. Continue reading Showdown: Rokinon Vs. Zeiss

Photo Collection of NAB 2011

It’s that time of year once again. Duclos Lenses closes up shop except for those few unlucky employees who stay behind to keep the wheel turning. This year everyone is flying from LA to Vegas… What a waste. I prefer my loyal automobile to get me there in about the same amount of time as those flying fools. I’ll be snapping photos the whole way there and while at the show whenever I find something cool or interesting worth sharing. A virtual photo tour, as it were, for my guests to enjoy. I’ll do my best to utilize my plethora of Apple and Nikon/Canon toys to show as much as I can, as quick as I can. Please feel free to ask questions or request specific photos and I’ll do my best to accommodate. Now onto the photos!

 

UPDATE: Between WordPress’ irritating interface and the Hilton’s sluggish (at best) wifi, I’ve decided just to upload all to Flickr via my 3G iPad connection. Click the link below for the gallery. Enjoy!

click here: NAB 2011 GALLERY

 


Hitting the road, Vegas bound.
Duclos Lenses mobile command center. Fully operational.
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Duclos 70-200mm prototype arrives from LA just in time to show around tomorrow.

 

Doing a a few practical tests before heading down to the show. (Duclos 70-200mm and Zeiss 21mm ZF.2 Cine-Mod)

 

 

 

 

NAB 2011, Here I Come!

I’m not sure what to expect this year from NAB. However, it should be exciting. RED has a lot of big announcements that they’ve been teasing on the forums. Sony has a few new cameras up their sleeve as usual. But there aren’t really any big optics announcements to speak of. I’ll just have to go to the show and find them for myself. I have high hopes for something new from Angenieux or Cooke. Zeiss is still rolling with their CP.2 lenses that everyone loves yet nobody can get so I don’t expect much from them. I’ll be sure to swing by all the other vendor booths and check out the new goodies. Hopefully I’ll have a fully functional pre-production Duclos 70-200mm to flaunt while walking the show floor. Regardless of the news, it should be a good time at NAB this year. I’ll be live updating from the show with tons and tons of photos. Keep checking back on April 11th and 12th for news. I’ll start a new post then. See you in Vegas!

Here are some snaps from last years NAB.

 

Redrock iPod follow focus at NAB 2010
Band Pro's Leica Summilux C Prime lens from NAB 2010

Tokina’s 16-28mm Prospect

We have been considering several lenses for our next conversion process after the 70-200mm is complete. We started with the Tokina 11-16mm that did very well and thought it would be nice to stick with Tokina. However, Tokina didn’t have any other lenses that met our criteria. Certain specifications had to be met, such as constant, fast aperture, lightweight, internal focus and zoom, optical quality, and a somewhat decent platform to start with mechanically. When I heard about Tokina making a new 16-28mm f/2.8 lens I thought it would be a bit of a short range but still fit well. Then I saw the first photos of the lens and got really excited since it looked almost identical to the 11-16mm. In my head this meant that we could save a ton of time and money on research and development for the conversion parts and simply use the existing parts from our 11-16mm conversion. One step further, Tokina was planning to make this new lens a full frame “Pro” lens, perfect for the 5D. Continue reading Tokina’s 16-28mm Prospect

Duclos 11-16mm Plays Nice With Sony F3

The infinitely knowledgeable Jason Wingrove sent me a snap shot of a Duclos Lenses 11-16mm on a brand new Sony F3 camera. If you haven’t heard of Jason Wingrove or a Sony F3, you need to spend some more time on the interwebs because they are both a staple in the motion picture industry. Jason was able to shoot with one of three Sony F3 cameras in the world at the time. He notes that the camera is very light which makes lens selection in regards to weight critical. Looks like the Sony F3 and the 11-16mm are a match made in heaven. By the way.. If you haven’t listened to Jason’s Red Centre Podcast along with Mike Seymour you’re missing out. Thanks to  Nathan Rodger for snapping the photos on location. Now if I can just get my hands on one of them Japanese moving picture things…

Photos by Nathan Rodger http://www.nathanrodger.com

Continue reading Duclos 11-16mm Plays Nice With Sony F3