Leica is known world-wide for their classic line of M lenses that have been a favorite of photographers for decades. With the worlds of still photography and motion picture becoming less and less defined as time goes on, it’s not uncommon to see a still photo lens being used for motion picture work. Leica took note of this with their extensive catalog of high quality M mount primes and decided to do a bit of blending themselves. Continue reading Leica Refocuses With M 0.8 Primes
Everyone is talking about the Rokinon line of lenses. Also known as Bower or Samyang depending on what country you reside in. They’re all the same lenses just different badges. Rokinon lenses are an excellent alternative to pricey cinema lenses mostly due to their cheaper, featureless construction. These lenses don’t come with any zippy auto focus motors nor do they offer camera controlled aperture functions. They still (as in non-motion) photography lenses with completely manual controls. Maybe a pain for those used to automatic lenses from Nikon or Canon, but great for those looking for an entry level cinema option. The lenses are commonly available in Nikon F or Canon EF mount. Continue reading Rokinon’s Intro to Cinema Lenses
Leica makes some great lenses. They always have. Even their defunct Leica R series lenses are still working hard all around the world. It would almost seem that Leica is incapable of making low quality products. I just finished our Cine-Mod on a Leica APO-Macro-Elmarit-R 1:2.8/100, or as I like to call it, a Leica 100mm Macro. This lens performs like a dream for motion picture applications. It’s close focus is 2.5′ from the film plane which puts objects about 1.8′ from the front of the lens. Keep in mind, this is 100mm. It’s not THAT close considering the Zeiss ZF.2 100mm f/2.0 cranks all the way down to 18″ from the film plane which is about 8″ in front of the lens. The only draw back, which both the Leica and the Zeiss exhibit, is the massive amount of telescoping from infinity to close focus. Both lenses go from a modest 5″ length to a maximum of about 7″ at close focus. Still, Leica made some amazing glass that still does it’s job quite well.
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… 😉
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
I receive dozens of emails everyday and I want to respond to them all but sometimes it just isn’t possible. I’m not a trade secret kind of guy. I like to spread knowledge and educate as many people as I can. So here is a quick little FAQ in regards to lens modification and a few other common questions I am asked… Frequently.
1) What lenses work well for motion picture?
2) I have a bunch of still lenses. Can they be converted to work for cinema?
3) What is a Cine-Mod?
4) Can my lens be Cine-Modded?
5) What lenses are well suited for a Cine-Mod?
6) Can the mount on my lens be changed?
7) I have Nikon lenses. Can the focus be reversed?
8] The focus throw of my still lenses is short, can it be expanded?
9) Can lens breathing be corrected?
10) Can my lens be re-housed for cinema use? What is the cost?
11) Can my lens be converted to PL mount?