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Messages - Policar

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301
Lenses / Re: Lenses for 1DC?
« on: September 01, 2012, 05:54:16 PM »
They're comparable to the Canon L equivalents (well, the 35mm outperforms the 35mm L wide open and the others are not far behind) and, in my experience, they outperform the Cooke S4s and Zeiss Superspeeds as well in terms of sharpness and micro contrast wide open.  Granted the mechanics and "look" are worse, but just because you CAN spend more money doesn't mean you need to, especially when the rest of a decent package (tripod, camera support, matte box, filters) can add up so fast.  I know a lot of Scarlet users are using these lenses, and that's the same price range (though I'd much prefer the 1DC!).

That said, if money is no issue, the Canon cinema primes seem like the best things going; the selection is just very limited and the prices are high.

First off, the CP.2 Super speeds aren't even available until October 14th, so how you're qualified to say the Samyangs outperform them is beyond me.  Maybe you're talking about the older Super Speeds, but that would be just as ridiculous.  And are you seriously trying to say that the Samyang outperforms (as in are better than) $20,000+ Cooke Primes?  Are you out of your mind or just joking? 

I mean don't get me wrong, they're great for the money and if you're on a budget, but you're giving them way, way, way, way too much credit.  Yes, the Samyang 35 is comparable to the 35L in terms of performance, but that's the exception, the rest of the Samyangs have gotten pretty mediocre reviews.  So let's say he does get the Samyang 35, what about every other focal length? 

How you can slam Cooke's and Zeiss CP.2's yet be cool with the Canon's are beyond me, since the Canon Cine's aren't even available, how do you have any idea how they perform? 

And OP was clearly interested in the Canon Cine's and the CP.2's, I suggested the Duclos modded ZF.2's which are reasonably priced cinema lenses.  But if a guy says he wants a Lamborghini and you think it's too much, try talking him down to a Corvette or something first, not a Geo Metro.

What are you talking about?  Super speeds are all time classics.  I am referring to the Mark IIIs.  They're super35 only, of course.  They are a bit older (1980s and 1970s) but still command $35,000 used for a a good set.  Divisive lenses due to bokeh, harshness, coma wide open, and poor close focus but they are my favorite cinema lenses in some respects...so small and fast.  But not as sharp as the Samyang 35mm!  I am also dead serious that this lens is as sharp if not sharper than the Cooke S4 primes, but the Cookes have a beautiful dreamy effect (that actually reduces resolution) and gorgeous bokeh and no breathing--all I'm saying is, resolution isn't everything!

Fwiw, I have the 85mm Samyang and it's pretty close to the best of the best fast 85mms.  There's a bit less resolution, but micro-contrast is still excellent and bokeh is fine.  Build quality is just okay, but your comparison is ridiculous.  Maybe MPs to kit lenses is Lambo to Metro, but MPs don't even cover APS-H reliably (though they are probably fine from 14mm+)....this is more like Benz to Bentley...you pay for fit and finish, performance is better but with diminishing returns....  Worth it to some, of course, but diminishing returns is key and performance and utility wise they are in the same category as the CPs.  Not MPs or Cookes, of course, though performance is surprisingly close in terms of sharpness alone.  If you put a high end cinema lens on a still camera and shot it against still glass I think you would be surprised--performance is not that much better.  The reduction in breathing is something, but the CPs breathe a bit and aren't even true cinema lenses.  (Which aren't really options for the 1DC, anyway, because of its oversized sensor.)

Canon cinema lenses haven roughly the same designs as their L lenses except better coatings and different aperture blades and build quality is better...so speculating on their quality is easy and they will trump the CPs for the price.  24mm f1.4 II is a great lens and I can't imagine the Zeiss lenses are worth it by comparison when price is taken into account.  They are pretty sharp but slow for the money and the super speed CPs should be expensive for a $10,000 kit.  Modified ZE lenses seem like a better idea, but again performance won't beat Samyang or Canon to a field significant extent.  (Canon L is a bad choice, though, only since there are no hard focus stops!).  Zeiss lenses do have nice coatings and good micro-contrast and flare control, so that is worth something.  Whatever you can afford is best, though--having the right focal lengths, filters, and useable mechanics is 1000X more important than a little resolution at stops you will almost never use--who shoots wide open (except David Fincher) and gets away with it?  t2.8-t5.6 are the stops that count--all these lenses will be great at those stops.

The 11-16mm will be fine if you don't mind soft corners with a little CA and zooming in to 14mm or so before using it.  It works great on the Epic, usable with major vignetting even at 11mm, and kind of works at 16mm on full frame.  I wouldn't recommend it if you can afford better, but I wouldn't recommend the 17-40mm f4 L, either, which is optically poor.  These are extreme UWA focal lengths of course, cool for music videos and cramped locations but not classically useful.

Btw, a normal cinema kit needs to cover the 18-85mm on super35 (approx 24-110mm on APS-H) range and then wider or tighter or zooms as needed for the specific project...no one wants one or two good lenses if they don't have the proper focal lengths and in terms of IQ you will not be able to detect a difference between any of these lenses at normal stops.  You are paying for build quality; yes it is worth it but not to the exclusion of having the right focal lengths.  It is worth it if you plan to rent, though.  A Zeiss CP kit with appropriate focal lengths will rent over the alternatives, I would wager, because of the name recognition, important to less experienced shooters who don't realize they're just expensive Cosinas, not that there is anything wrong with that.

Also get a full complement of NDs: .3 .6 .9 1.2 1.5, a polarizer, a set of diffusion filters if you can afford it, a .6ND hard, soft, and attenuator, a follow focus (not cheap) with whip, and tripod of course...

302
Lenses / Re: Lenses for 1DC?
« on: August 30, 2012, 10:34:29 PM »
For the money the Samyang lenses can't be beat.  If a little breathing (not that bad) doesn't bother you and flare isn't an issue they are really on par with the best of the best and super inexpensive.

24mm f1.4 on APS-H "feels" like 18mm on super35, 35mm feels like 25mm, etc.  So a 24m, 35, 50, 85 kit at f1.4 would cover things great.

Optically these lenses are more than up to the task, too.

He's buying a $10k camera and the first lens he seemed seriously interested in is $5200, the Samyangs are great if you're on a budget but clearly he's not.

They're comparable to the Canon L equivalents (well, the 35mm outperforms the 35mm L wide open and the others are not far behind) and, in my experience, they outperform the Cooke S4s and Zeiss Superspeeds as well in terms of sharpness and micro contrast wide open.  Granted the mechanics and "look" are worse, but just because you CAN spend more money doesn't mean you need to, especially when the rest of a decent package (tripod, camera support, matte box, filters) can add up so fast.  I know a lot of Scarlet users are using these lenses, and that's the same price range (though I'd much prefer the 1DC!).

That said, if money is no issue, the Canon cinema primes seem like the best things going; the selection is just very limited and the prices are high.

303
Lenses / Re: Lenses for 1DC?
« on: August 30, 2012, 10:27:02 PM »
For the money the Samyang lenses can't be beat.  If a little breathing (not that bad) doesn't bother you and flare isn't an issue they are really on par with the best of the best and super inexpensive.

24mm f1.4 on APS-H "feels" like 18mm on super35, 35mm feels like 25mm, etc.  So a 24m, 35, 50, 85 kit at f1.4 then a big zoom or optionally an UWA zoom (depending on needs) would cover most things great.

The typical "cinema" package is 18mm to 85mm at f2.8 or faster (in APS-C/super35 terms).

Optically these lenses are more than up to the task, too.

304
Third Party Manufacturers / Where did you read this nonsense?
« on: August 30, 2012, 08:28:35 PM »
Also: when was the last time you shot film side-by-side with digital?

IMAX is close to 6x7 film, which is perceptually about the same as the 5D Mark III--at best.  Scans are done at that resolution to avoid aliasing.  And film has more detail before extinction than digital in this case (due to the larger sensor), but the mtf falls off to <50% or so pretty fast whereas digital stays sharp to extinction.  I've seen 6x7 prints (Velvia) side by side with 5D Mark II prints....it's close.  Really close.  The area under the mtf curves, assuming excellent lenses, is similar with high end full frame and IMAX--and that's the closest measure we have for perceptual sharpness.

Color negative film has more highlight detail but less shadow detail.  At best we're talking 14 stops total....cameras are now 14 bit and getting close, they just clip highlights faster for much cleaner shadows (and thus much higher perceived resolution--6x7 is way grainier than FF digital!).

And who shoots IMAX?  Like no one.  Most people who are shooting on motion picture film (which is still way out of the price range of the average amateur) shoot 35mm, and the Alexa beats 35mm in every possible category except maybe it has about .5 stops less highlight detail.

Film is pretty terrible, technically.  That you need to invoke IMAX, a little-used format, testifies to this.  (Though 6x7, a very common format, has virtually the same frame size, which confuses me.  And 4x5 actually does beat most digital, excepting the 80MP backs maybe.  8x10 trumps everything!).

That said, it still looks really, really great.  But of all the arguments to support it, this is one of the most ridiculous I've read, sorry.

305
As this problem is solved I have another riddle: how to avoid such phenomenons?



Shot @F4, 24mm, ISO 3200, 1/30s.
Hint: it's guessable by looking at the picture :)

Don't shoot through a windshield.

Yes, that's a correct answer!

As a reward you can choose one of:
1. 1dx
2. 5d3
3. EF 400 F2.8
4. d800

You have 5 seconds to make a decision...

sorry, time is over :D

What I really wanted was a D800E, anyway (and a 1DC!).

I think the correlation between aperture blades and sunstars is that if there's an even number of blades you get that many rays, if there's an odd number of blades you get twice as many and that the sharpness of the angle dictates the brilliance of the rays.  Maybe?

I think Tree of Life was shot on Master Primes, which have rounded blades, but it still had beautiful sun stars.

306
As this problem is solved I have another riddle: how to avoid such phenomenons?


Warsaw by marekjoz, on Flickr

Shot @F4, 24mm, ISO 3200, 1/30s.
Hint: it's guessable by looking at the picture :)

Don't shoot through a windshield.

307
Lenses / Re: Choice for a landscape lens
« on: August 16, 2012, 10:31:33 AM »
Since cost is not an issue

17mm TSE or 14mm wide prime....

Why would you shoot landscapes that wide?

The OP only said he/she is in the market for a landscape lens. Who knows what is a "landscape" lens? As Aglet has said it can be any focal length. Correct.

You can also shoot portraits at 14mm, but wouldn't want to.  Maybe he does want a 14mm, but, tbh, I have never seen a good landscape shot with a lens wider than 24mm.  I get that the thinking is "wider is more dramatic is better" but it's just not true.

That said, of course it's a matter of taste.  In that case, I'd choose first between 17, 24, 45, and 90mm and then get the TSE lens of that length.

308
Lenses / Re: Choice for a landscape lens
« on: August 16, 2012, 01:15:51 AM »
Since cost is not an issue

17mm TSE or 14mm wide prime....

Why would you shoot landscapes that wide?

309
Lenses / Re: Choice for a landscape lens
« on: August 15, 2012, 10:49:59 PM »
24mm T/S-E II.  (Which I've never used, admittedly, but I've read up on it extensively.)

Sharp and with very little distortion or CA (important for a T/S lens since you can't correct this easily in post with one).

You can't consistently shoot decent landscapes without T/S.  Rise/fall and scheimpflug are totally necessary.  So that means the 17mm, 24mm, 45mm, and 90mm T/S lenses are your only choices for decent landscapes.

24mm on FF is too wide for my taste (I prefer 35mm-70mm range for lanscapes) but it's not "tacky" wide like the 17mm, which is more useful for real estate photography.  And if you want to go tacky wide you can always stitch.

45mm T/S looks nice, too, and I like that focal length--but optically should be much worse and the trend toward WA for landscapes is pretty aparant.  UWA is bad if you like polarizers because the sky gets wonky and it kind of forces you into bland or cheesy near/far compositions.

310
Lenses / Re: Landscape Question
« on: August 14, 2012, 01:39:19 AM »
I cannot decide between the 17 and 24 at this point.
I have both.  Both are sharp, but the 24 is by far my sharpest lens.  You may want to try that one first, as it is easier to see in LiveView that you are getting tack sharp focus across the entire shot.

+1 for the 24 but for different reasons.  The 17 is much wider, so you either need a strong foreground element to make it interesting or you end up cropping it to get rid of large boring sections (i.e. sky).  If you need a wider lens for landscapes, a quick shift panorama would satisfy most situations.  The 17 is handy when space is confined (indoors) or the object is really large (i.e. skyscraper) and you can't move back.

Agreed.  17mm and the like can get you a big feeling that is dramatic and very cool (plus easier deep focus) but it's kind of a cheap trick that results in a lot of boring photos unless you go for a really "near/far" look.

I asked a photographer whose work I really like what focal lengths he uses--99% 150mm-300mm (and then crops) on 4x5.  So that's like 35mm to 70mm or so on full frame.  But it's harder and your subject must be a lot better to shoot at these focal lengths.  24mm has a nice wide feel without the extreme linear perspective distortion (and t/s will take care of converging verticals) you'd get from a wider lens.  And you can always stitch if you want to go super wide.

I make almost no money and am about to make a lot less so the TSE lenses are out of my price range by far...but I have heard some rumors about a T/S Samyang lens that will be announced in a month.  Might be worth waiting on if the $2000 price is hard to stomach.

311
What kinds of video do you want to produce?

The normal "cinema" kit is 18,25,35,50,85mm with longer (100mm+) and wider (<16mm) optional.  For videography as long as 300mm equivalent is not rare...  This is in super35 (APS-C) terms, so 28-135mm would be the "normal" range for full frame digital.

You can do 24-70mm and get a really nice portion of that range (and shallow focus equivalent to about f1.8 or f2 on super35) and add a longer prime or 70-200mm if you want....personally I am a wide angle enthusiast so 24-70mm would be my "one lens" of choice.  Decent bokeh, not so sharp, but great for video.  But the 24-105mm f4 can still get shallow focus and it has IS.  Not a bad choice at all, but there's more distortion and worse bokeh.

The above post is right on, though, MF nikons are great for the money and the long focus throw and hard infinity stops are excellent.  The 14mm f2.8 II is also a totally fantastic UWA with minimal distortion, phenomenal for stylized video but hard to use well because it imparts such a distinct style.  The new Rokinon cinema lenses (and Rokinon lenses in general) are pretty great for the money so consider picking up a 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm kit composed of their three primes and a 50mm of your choice for a super fast "modern" kit.

As for shooting stops, don't fall into the shallow focus trap.  f4 to f5.6 when there's light looks great.

IS is controversial.  5D III has significantly reduced skew.  IS is less important on a heavier rig with better camera support and if you have steady hands you might not need it.  If you do lots of vfx and have shaky hands better get it.

50mm f1.8 is great if you can pull focus on it and don't mind five-bladed aperture.  Not my favorite but amazing for the price.  As a part of a "serious" kit it might get some frowns.

312
Lenses / Re: Landscape Question
« on: August 12, 2012, 08:57:38 PM »
Get a T/S lens and use Scheimpflug.  You're also losing resolution from correcting for converging verticals in photoshop.  Shooting landscapes without tilt/shift is a recipe for bad photos, one which I follow myself with consistently bad results.

Even with a tilt shift lens in some cases you will need to stop down, though.  The perception of depth imparted by deep focus is much more significant than diffraction limits except in extreme cases (or terrible light where there's no contrast anyway).  Lots of 4x5 is shot at f64 and it can still be enlarged to 40x50'' just fine even though diffraction would have you believe otherwise.  Give hyperfocal technique a try, too, although it's very controversial if it works as well as some would claim.

313
Lenses / Re: Rokinon 35mm T 1.5 CINE LENS FOR CANON VDSLR
« on: August 09, 2012, 11:40:42 PM »
Do the compact primes address breathing?  Or Canon's cinema primes?  I'm not sure there's much in this price range that does.  Granted the focus ring might not be in the ideal place and the aperture isn't geared, but this isn't entirely standardized across cinema lenses, anyway.  For the price, how much can you ask for?  How many dSLR shooters have the camera team necessary to ride the aperture and focus ring, but don't have the budget to rent better lenses?

Yes the CP.2's address breathing, and at $7k/lens I'd hope the Canons do too.

Are the compact primes optically different from Zeiss' line of ZE/ZF primes, then?  Or is it just a matter of those lenses having relatively little breathing to begin with?  I'm genuinely curious, although breathing really doesn't bother me for something as low end as dSLR video.

314
Lenses / Re: Rokinon 35mm T 1.5 CINE LENS FOR CANON VDSLR
« on: August 09, 2012, 01:19:56 PM »
Which cost-neutral design prevents breathing?  The one implemented in the master primes, primos, and summiluxes, which are $20,000-$40,000 per lens and enormous?  A non-standard focus barrel width (and there really is no standard for this; all sorts of cinema lenses have different widths) is hardly a big deal and there's no way a company is going to re-engineer a lens to reduce breathing if even Canon and Zeiss can't do it on their $5000 lenses.

I get that it would be nice, but it's so far from a deal breaker.

315
Lenses / Re: Rokinon 35mm T 1.5 CINE LENS FOR CANON VDSLR
« on: August 09, 2012, 12:57:47 AM »
Two of the objectives of cine lenses are 1) reduced focus breathing and 2) standardized focus/aperture ring diameters and placements so lens interchange is effortless.

Neither of these factors are clear from what we've seen from Samyang so far.

I have to wonder whether the low-rent manufacturer either can't find anyone versed in the art to talk to, or simply ignores them when they do, in the interest of expediency.

But if it's a good lens for the money and doesn't require a $10 rubber strap for gears then OK, do what you wish.

Do the compact primes address breathing?  Or Canon's cinema primes?  I'm not sure there's much in this price range that does.  Granted the focus ring might not be in the ideal place and the aperture isn't geared, but this isn't entirely standardized across cinema lenses, anyway.  For the price, how much can you ask for?  How many dSLR shooters have the camera team necessary to ride the aperture and focus ring, but don't have the budget to rent better lenses?

What would you recommend instead that fulfills those two requirements?

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