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Messages - JasonATL

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EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Canon or Zeiss lenses?
« on: September 02, 2012, 08:49:22 AM »
I don't think that I have enough experience with the lenses with stills to give you an very informed answer about the CA or fringing on stills. However, I don't think that it is a video-only characteristics of the lens. I have not used any Zeiss under 50mm, but I hope to soon!  ;)

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Canon or Zeiss lenses?
« on: September 01, 2012, 01:56:20 PM »
Edit: I had replied on the previous thread and hadn't noticed that you had posted both threads. So, some of this is rehash of what I said on that thread.

I'm a fan of Zeiss for video for both the look you get and the mechanical operation of the lens.

Having the Zeiss 50mm 1.4 and 85mm 1.4, you really don't want to shoot these wide open if you have a high contrast setting. If you do, you'll get quite a bit of purple fringing where dark objects are against bright objects (see sample video below). This is a fairly well known characteristic of these lenses (i.e., I've read others' comments along these lines). You can get rid of it in photos and less easily in video. In my experience, the fringing is gone near f2.0. Something to consider, however is that the depth of field is so shallow on the 5D3 at f1.4 that you are likely to lose focus on your subject in video anyway (I'm assuming that, since it is video, your subject is moving). Of course, this applies equally to the Canon and Zeiss. Still, I admit that 1.4 or 1.2 is nice to have. Finally, the Zeiss 50mm 1.4 is not as sharp at 1.4 as at 2.0. I can't say about the Canon 1.2L, as I haven't used that one, but usually...

I also have the Canon 24mm 1.4L II and I personally don't care for it for video. The objective part of that statement is the mechanical operation of the lens, with my primary complaint being the focus throw and lack of hard focus stops. Zeiss lenses are generally better in both regards. Subjectively, I simply feel the look of the 24mm 1.4 is not as compelling as what I get with either Zeiss lens. This could be a focal length issue, but I'll be selling my 24mm 1.4L soon to get a Zeiss 25mm or 28mm.

I shoot mainly video. My wife shoots photos. She finds the manual focus of the Zeiss to be fine, given the focus confirmation that you get (she shoots a 5D3). But, she doesn't shoot fast-moving subjects. She also really likes the weight of the Zeiss 50mm 1.4 and feels that it balances well with the 5D3.

If you can't live without autofocus for stills, you might consider the Canon 50mm 1.4. We also have that and it is a very nice lens and, in my opinion, simply a great bargain. Regarding manual focus for video, it has a long focus throw, but still doesn't have the hard focus stops. I would actually rate it as sharper at f1.4 than the Zeiss, but not necessarily so at f2.0.

Here's an example of the purple (and sometimes pink) fringing that I've experienced with my Zeiss lenses (in this case, the 85mm 1.4). See examples 0:58 (purple) and 2:04 (pinkish). As you can see, you can address this in color grading, but... https://vimeo.com/40356472

Thank you for the replies. Here is my compiled understanding of the factors that do, or at least probably do, contribute to much higher prices for cine lenses compared to still lenses.

- Uniform size
- Manual iris
- Number of iris/aperature blades
- Geared iris rings
- Continuous (or declicked) iris control
- Calibrated T-stop marks that account for light loss through the lens elements
- Geared focus rings
- Detailed calibrated focus marks
- Elimination of focus breathing
- Glass is optimized for cine circle of focus
- Minimization of distortion of field of view
- Economics of market (production scale, market size, price sensitivity of demand)

I might have missed some important or subtle reasons here, so feel free to add to the list.

These make a lot of sense. In some cases, I should have thought of them. For example, the breathing issue has bitten me in video that I've shot with my DSLRs. I'm no pro, so most issues aren't things that I would have run into, but I can see how important and valuable they would be in a production. I would classify nearly all of these as mechanical and not necessarily things that are related to superior optics (excepting, perhaps, the circle of focus, distortion, and breathing). But, I think I had been way too hasty to dismiss mechanical issues as trivial to both the cost and the resulting moving picture image. They are not. I can see how valuable they would be.

Thanks again for the education!

Perhaps someone here an explain something and things that I've always wondered about. Just to be clear, I'm genuinely curious and uneducated about this and not at all trying to argue one side or another.

How can a lens be very good at taking a 22 megapixel still image, but not be good at an 8MP (4k) video image?

Accepting that a cinema lens would be better, then would that same cinema lens produce better 22MP stills?

In short, what is different about moving pictures that requires a different lens compared to stills (other than the mechanical operation - I'm thinking optics here)?

I appreciate in advance those who will tolerate my ignorance and try to explain this.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Does Zeiss glass ever go on sale?
« on: August 30, 2012, 02:53:30 PM »
Woohoo! My Zeiss 50mm 1.4 just showed up! Bought a used one from LensRentals. Looks like it is exactly as described by them (actually, it nearly looks brand new, aside from one or two visible specs of internal dust - which I doubt will be a big deal). It came with a return shipping label, just to assure my satisfaction. Will shoot some tonight.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: More Analysis of the C100
« on: August 30, 2012, 07:54:43 AM »
For me, it all comes down to the price and how this camera's value stacks up against an FS100, which has almost all of the positives that the C100 does, except built-in ND and a built-in EF mount. I already have ND filters for use in DSLR video and a metabones adapter can be had for $500 - plus the FS100 has 50p/60p.

If the C100 has the same image quality as the C300, then it will beat out the FS100 at the same price (including adapter) in my eyes and might even justify a premium over FS100+adapter. But if the street price is USD8000, then I'll probably go with an FS100. Or, if I talk myself into spending USD8k, then the FS700 might be my choice. But, at that point, I really lose the form factor and might just decide that the 5D3 has a plenty good enough picture for me (which it currently does!).

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: 50mm f/1.2L good for video?
« on: August 30, 2012, 07:28:55 AM »
The 50mm 1.2L is, no doubt, a great lens. I also have the 5D Mark III and use it for video. I do not have the 50mm 1.2L, but I do have the 24mm 1.4L, Canon 50mm 1.4, and the 70-200mm 2.8L IS USM II (among others).

I and others prefer Zeiss lenses for video. The advantages of Zeiss lenses over the Canon lenses are mainly in usability for video, noting that most video users manually focus:
1. Zeiss lenses have hard focus stops. The focus ring will stop at infinity and at the minimum focus distance. The Canon's that I have will rotate past infinity and min (you can feel it, but the ring still moves easily).
2. Zeiss lenses have long focus throws. My Zeiss 85mm 1.4 will go about 270 degrees from min to infinity (my Canon 24mm 1.4L has about 180 degrees or a little less), and the 70-200 feels even less, making precise focus manually a little difficult (not impossible, just not as easy).
3. Zeiss have all metal build, including most of the hoods. For some, this may be a negative, as Zeiss lenses are heavy - though it isn't clear that this isn't due to the glass.

Finally, the image quality is arguably better on one or the other. I personally prefer the look of the Zeiss lenses, which makes the decision easy for me. In fact, our Canon 24mm will be going on the selling block soon, to be replaced with a Zeiss.

Now, for photos, that's possibly a different story, as the Zeiss are manual focus. Having said that, the 5D Mark III will confirm focus with the Zeiss ZE lenses.

I want to love this camera. But, a this price, I think I'll have to love it from afar.

I do like the form factor. It looks very close to the size of a DSLR, and perhaps easier to use with video. I suspect the image will be beautiful.

At a small premium over the Sony FS100, this camera would probably keep me away from the FS100. But, at nearly twice the current price of an FS100, I will have a hard time justifying the C100 over the FS100.

If I read this right, you can use these new lenses on crop cameras. Another good reason to buy the 650D. Also, 15,5-47 is a really nice span for a crop.

Thanks for giving me a good laugh this morning! A $24,000 lens on a sub-$1000 DSLR. Reminds me of some cars I see around my neighborhood with wheels worth more than the car. Whether you meant this tongue-in-cheek or not, it is quite a good commentary on what Canon thinks this market will buy into.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Does Zeiss glass ever go on sale?
« on: August 26, 2012, 03:42:44 PM »

Thanks for posting the link to the comparisons. I downloaded the blind comparison (part 1) before watching the second. I'm glad that my preference for Zeiss held up to the blind test. I preferred the Zeiss in each test.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Does Zeiss glass ever go on sale?
« on: August 26, 2012, 02:35:31 PM »
The reason I am be-laboring all of this, is to remind folks: Please reward good customer service with your repeat business! 

I agree. I'll stay a little off topic here, but since I started the thread...  ;)

I have taken the advice on this thread and sought out a used Zeiss lens from LensRentals.com. I'm almost sure to buy one from them in the next week or so - just deciding exactly which one(s). I e-mailed them Friday with a question and they replied within a couple of hours. I had rented from them before and was very pleased with their approach. This prompt response to my query further increases my confidence in them.

But, the experience with Helen/Adorama on this thread got me to thinking just now. I've not shopped with Adorama, though I've known of them and even thought of them as a company I'm willing to do business with. The reason I haven't shopped with them is that I've always had great service and an excellent experience with B&H. Given how much I shop with B&H, I'm even willing to forgive a minor slip-up - but to be clear, I've not ever had one slip up frpm them. (side note: B&H had a used Zeiss for sale on Friday that someone was apparently quick to snap up). No business is perfect and all suffer from the unforeseen circumstances, growing pains, third party restrictions, etc.

My point is, I feel fortunate that I think we actually enjoy quite a bit of good service/selection in this industry (photo and video). There is no other industry that I must deal with regularly in which I feel as though I have several good retail providers from which to choose. I think the reasons for this are probably pretty clear. The margins are decent. The retailers understand that we are a demanding (I almost said, "needy") bunch, we're passionate about what we do, and we're loyal to those who treat us with respect and fairness. In short, like any relationship, both parties bear some responsibility for its success.

Therefore, I'll echo Michael's sentiment. Reward good service with your loyal business. It is what maintains the incentive for such service.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Does Zeiss glass ever go on sale?
« on: August 24, 2012, 08:05:37 PM »
Thanks for the replies. I think I'll probably go for a used Zeiss. I have the 85mm 1.4 and it is built like a tank. From a reputable dealer, I suspect that a used lens will work quite well for my purposes. I shot video with a Zeiss 50mm 1.4 on a 5D Mk III recently and fell in love with the lens. I had been satisfied (not exactly happy) with the Canon 50mm 1.4. But there is just something about the Zeiss that feels good and looks good. I have the Canon 24mm 1.4L II that is beautiful for photos, but I don't love it for video. I hope I haven't just developed a Zeiss fetish.  :-\

Thanks again, Paul!

Paul, et al. Thanks again for the comments and tips. Keep 'em coming. Very helpful as I continue to learn.

We were using a Sony ECM-673 (shotgun) on a boom and, as suggested, getting as close to the talent as shots permitted. The problems we had were with the settings on and between the 5D3 and the Beachtek. The tips here will undoubtedly help fix those issues.

Since the 5D3 has manual audio control, I'm not going to address AGC in the below.

Not disregarding the suggestions for mic placement, etc... Just focusing on settings, here is my understanding of the suggestions for settings so far (I'm even listing the rather simple ones, just to make sure - I know, this all looks like common sense to many here).
- Connect the Beachtek to the 5D3 via the Beachtek's line out (not the headphone out)
- Monitor using good headphones from the 5D3 headphone output, with headphone level set high
- Set the Beachtek to stereo mode (as channels can be isolated in post to be made mono or panned, if desired)
- Set the Beachtek mic levels as hot as possible (unless there is clipping) (if there were just an "11"! :) )
- Set the 5D3 pre-amp audio levels as low as possible to get a good signal at about -12db (or perhaps even -18db with gain added in post)
- If 5D3 is at its lowest setting and the signal is still too hot (i.e., clipping is likely), back off on the Beachtek mic levels

I agree that the internal recording sounds very good with the proper signal and settings... Good enough not to need to bother with an external recorder. I'm getting there!

Would the NTG-2 be a worthwhile step up from the Sony? The Sony uses phantom power (supplied by the Beachtek, of course). Does the use of phantom power usually result in less signal? In other words, is it better to have a mic that has its own power supply, as a general rule?

Axilrod - thanks for the helpful reply and information. I agree that setting the levels low seems to reduce the noise significantly and result in very nice quality sound. At this point, I don't need to attenuate the signal from the line out of the Beachtek. Rather, I need the boost in it that I get from the headphone out so that I can keep the 5D3's levels set low.

John - as always, thanks for the information. Question: are you using the aux out or the headphone out from the Sound Devices?

The thing I'm still unsure of is whether there are any "gotchas" that I might be missing by resorting to using the headphone out from the Beachtek rather than its  line out. Using the line out just requires too high a setting in the 5D3, which brings the 5D3's pre-amp noise in. So, I'm hoping that someone can say to me, "It is okay to use a headphone signal into the 5D3." Again, it sounds on my tests like it is fine, but I wonder if I'm missing something.

If that's kosher, then I'm thrilled, because the tests in the video really sound great to me at this configuration.

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