What’s in a Name? A Guide to Zeiss Super Speeds

One of the most frequentΒ questions we receive at Duclos Lenses from all over the world is in regards to the different versions of the Zeiss Super Speeds. Sticking to just the 35mm format (not 16mm format) version of Zeiss’ high speed primes, we’ll discuss some of the basic differencesΒ in an attempt to clarify some common misconceptions around the heritage of illustrious prime lenses. Continue reading What’s in a Name? A Guide to Zeiss Super Speeds

Quick Look: Canon 50-1000mm Close Focus Performance

In this post, we’re going to take a quick look at the Canon 50-1000mm Cine-Servo – a lens that some may consider impractical or unnecessary. I disagree! A few weeks back I had a client that was considering adding Canon’s new super zoom to his kit. He does a lot of wildlife and nature documentary work but didn’t think that 1,000mm was a reasonable range. If you asked me that same question six months ago I probably would have agreed. However, after some hands-on time with the lens here in the shop, I’ve definitely found the silver lining. Continue reading Quick Look: Canon 50-1000mm Close Focus Performance

P+S Technik Conveys Challenges of Rehousing Vintage Lenses

In a recent newsletter,Β P+S Technik Managaing Director, Alfred Piffl, felt it prudent to bestow a bit of knowledge upon cinematographers keen on having some vintage lenses re-housed – something that I feel is necessary coming from one of the largest lens re-housing operations. There’s no doubt about it; vintage lenses have made a huge resurgence in the motion picture world. It’s not a fad that I have a solid explanation for. Perhaps it’s the fault of modern cameras being so crisp and sharp, a rather clinical look in a world of romance and beauty. Or maybe it’s just the hipster trend to use an old lens that would otherwise be off limits. Regardless of the reason, vintage lenses are being refurbished and re-housed in large numbers. But users expectations must be brought back down to earth and kept reasonable. Continue reading P+S Technik Conveys Challenges of Rehousing Vintage Lenses

Zeiss CP.2 & CZ.2 Video Showcase

A lot of folks want to see actual footage instead of just numbers when it comes to the practical look and feel of a particular lens. And as usual, Zeiss delivered. Here is a small collection of short videos that feature different primes and even a few zooms that Zeiss currently offers. The first video is a “Sizzle Reel” with a lot of quick takes from different scenes using different lenses. Zeiss used a range of focal lengths including the 15mm T2.1, 21mm T2.9, 25mm T2.1, 28mm T2.1, 35mm T2.1, 50mm T2.1, 85mm T2.1, 100mm T2.1 CF, 135mm T2.1, and lastly the 70-200mm T2.9 and shot a nice panning shot and a static rotating shot with each focal length. Take a look and gather all you can from this collection of results.

CP.2 Sizzle Reel – Β© 2012 Carl Zeiss AG

Continue reading Zeiss CP.2 & CZ.2 Video Showcase

SALT III – High Speed Prime “WFO” Results

Welcome to the 2013 Southland Alternative Lens Shootout “Wide F%$@*^G Open” Edition. This was a coordinated effort between the following individuals: Will Keir, Phil Holland, Matt Uhry, Matthew Duclos, Jeff Whitehurst, Evin Grant, Ryan Patrick O’Hara, Luke Edwards, Charlie Pickle and myself. I’d like to begin by thanking our Sponsors who not only donated their time, but their facilities, insurance services, and their lens sets: Continue reading SALT III – High Speed Prime “WFO” Results

Do Your Speeds Need to be Super?

I’ve touched on Zeiss’ success over the past decade, all based on their old Zeiss ZF and ZE line of lenses. The ZF lenses started to become extremely popular with the VDSLR revolution and low point of entry into the world of motion picture acquisition. The ZF lenses were updated and replaced with the ZF.2 line which made using them on modern Nikon cameras easier and more feature rich. Zeiss proceeded to take those same internals and implant them into bigger better housings in the form of Compact Primes, their first new cinema lens in quite a while. The compact primes were good but they had a few problems. The speed from one lens to another was inconsistent and the mounts were fixed. Zeiss addressed both of these issues by limiting the entire range to T2.1 with the exception of the already slower 18mm, 21, and 25mm and introducing their interchangeable mount system. This pleased most users that wanted a versatile set with consistent aperture throughout the set. But where did those faster primes go? Continue reading Do Your Speeds Need to be Super?

Sensor Size Vs. Sensor Resolution

Everyone knows that bigger is better. Kinda… Larger sensors are often associated with lower noise levels and generally higher quality photos while smaller sensors are associated with lower data loads and higher transfer rates but noisier and generally lower quality images. It’s a trade off at this point in technology. What a lot of folks need to remember is that there is a fundamental difference between sensor size and sensor resolution. In particular when it comes to Red cameras and their wonky formats. A lot of people including Red staff will describe lens coverage in regards to a specific resolution such as “4K” or “5K”. That’s great since they pretty much own the names and if someone is asking if a lens covers 4K, they’re usually referring to a Red One or 5K on an Epic. But that’s where things get confusing.

Continue reading Sensor Size Vs. Sensor Resolution