September 30, 2014, 01:53:55 PM

Author Topic: Why are Cine Lenses so expensive?  (Read 4231 times)

pablo

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Re: Why are Cine Lenses so expensive?
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2014, 06:23:27 PM »
which leads me to the next (obvious) question

Is there any advantage for Still Photographers to use cine lenses?

The fact you can afford to buy cine lenses and do buy them to take Still Photography will satisfy an underlying mental need to compensate for other inadequacies you may have. Much the same as buying large white lenses will for some.

+1

It's a stupid thread and a stupid question.  Everybody else is trying to be nice and skirt round that fact.

Some people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.  These are excellent high performing lenses for a very specific purpose.  for a trained user they make life easier.

For an untrained amateur with deep pockets and a gnawing desire to have the best toys, most expensive toys in the playground, they will make your life harder.

This is a premise that we need to accept.... modern dslr technology can make the most rancidly untalented photographer turn out reasonable shots.   So some think the more you spend the better the better your photography will be.  And so the extension of that cod logic is that 'these cinema lenses must be the mutts nuts, and they will make my insipid flat boring anodyne inoffensive pictures slightly better'

They are the mutts nuts. But they aren't for you.  Most of you. 

I'm not saying don't hanker after, buy and enjoy using nice kit, just do a little research.  This is like buying an f1 mclaren for a trip to the mall.  There are better things for your needs. Most of you.

If you need to do a trumbone shot, you know, the raging bull shot, where you need shift the focal distance, focal length and perhaps shift the aperture slightly, all at the same time, without acutally touching the lens, and on a moving platform, where you know that the focus scale on the lens has been calibrated so that it matches your tape measure, so that you will hit the marks on your follow focus, so you know that the carefully worked out corelation between camera positions and lens movements won't be scuppered by unexpected 'breathing', so you know that having to bring your iris down a half a stop to counter-act the inverse square law as your camera moves towards your key-lit subject isn't going to click an aperture stop, is going to be visibly seamless and isn't going to affect your carefully set up focus marks then the money spent on hiring cinema lenses is good value.

If you just want more bifs, closer in at airshows, or just want the biggest great white because you can.  You really should make the step up to cinema lenses. 

And if you do, please please do come back and share your results.  I'm sure you'll be given attendant reverence.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2014, 07:13:41 PM by pablo »

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Re: Why are Cine Lenses so expensive?
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2014, 06:23:27 PM »

RustyTheGeek

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Re: Why are Cine Lenses so expensive?
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2014, 08:06:40 PM »
I gotta be honest pablo... kinda harsh, dude!  I have wondered the same thing about C lenses so I don't consider this to be a stupid question or a stupid thread.

Personally, I have spent way more money on photography equipment than I need to as an amateur.  It's embarrassing how much money I've spent to do what I could likely do with a Rebel and some kit lenses.  But that doesn't make me stupid, it just makes my bank account poorer.  I've taken thousands of images I probably wouldn't have taken with just the Rebel and kit lenses.  I've learned a lot more than I would have ever learned otherwise with all the extra experience of those 1000's of images than if I had just stuck with the Rebel and kit lenses and given up long ago due to boredom.  And ultimately, a lot of friends and charitable organizations have benefited from my obsession as a result of that spending.

So please, next time post something less condescending because your previous post does little to contribute to the discussion other than show everyone a side of you that isn't very considerate.  I mean, really, did someone with a cine-lens kick your dog, call you names or something?   :o
Yes, but what would  surapon  say ??  :D

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Re: Why are Cine Lenses so expensive?
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2014, 08:39:22 PM »
I'm wondering if we need a moderator to look at some of the posts on this thread.  This started as a friendly question, but some of the replies are hateful, bitter...

I'm all for freedom of speech in a political discussion, but lately, some of the replies are just venting anger that truly has no bearing on the topic.  This is a generally helpful forum for questions, rumors, speculations--not personal attacks.

Is this cyclical or a new low?
« Last Edit: August 04, 2014, 08:41:06 PM by YuengLinger »

pablo

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Re: Why are Cine Lenses so expensive?
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2014, 09:07:16 PM »
I gotta be honest pablo... kinda harsh, dude!  I have wondered the same thing about C lenses so I don't consider this to be a stupid question or a stupid thread.

So please, next time post something less condescending because your previous post does little to contribute to the discussion other than show everyone a side of you that isn't very considerate.  I mean, really, did someone with a cine-lens kick your dog, call you names or something?   :o

I stand by every word.  They are specialist tools.  I don't know how good or how bad, how rich or how poor the op asking the questions is.  I paint a scenario of where these lenses come into their own, what they are designed for, what no other type of product would do.  I think that goes some way to answering the question of why they cost so much...  sorreeeee.

I also stand by my other comments, and nowhere do I consider them a personal attack on any other specific forum user, I am critiquing the fairly recent trend in photography where everybody wants the latest and greatest and most expensive.  The technology has been static for 5 years as far as bodies go, and probably 10-15 years as lenses go.  Part of that trend is confusing cost with performance or value.  Simply put, a bright ring type USM lens will give a talentless photographer more keepers, but the photographs still won't be that great.  Obviously they would give the talented professional more keepers too, but the talent would shine through regardless.

If the question was, will these cinema lenses make my still photography better, then, apologies if the timbre of my reply frightens the horses, but no, they will not.  They will make your still photography worse.

There, I've just saved you 25k.

If anybody reading this has a spare 25k to drop on a lens, and will buy or not based on what somebody on a forum says... then I really consider that I'm doing them a public service.  Find a charity close to your heart or something instead.  It will be more rewarding.

Quite where you think I'm having a go a cinema lenses or cinema lens users, I fail to see.  Cinema lenses are great.   For cinema.   And in that regard, the answer is in the question, so maybe 'obvious' is kinder than 'stupid'.

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Re: Why are Cine Lenses so expensive?
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2014, 09:29:35 PM »
I gotta be honest pablo... kinda harsh, dude!  I have wondered the same thing about C lenses so I don't consider this to be a stupid question or a stupid thread.

So please, next time post something less condescending because your previous post does little to contribute to the discussion other than show everyone a side of you that isn't very considerate.  I mean, really, did someone with a cine-lens kick your dog, call you names or something?   :o

I stand by every word.  They are specialist tools.  I don't know how good or how bad, how rich or how poor the op asking the questions is.  I paint a scenario of where these lenses come into their own, what they are designed for, what no other type of product would do.  I think that goes some way to answering the question of why they cost so much...  sorreeeee.

I also stand by my other comments, and nowhere do I consider them a personal attack on any other specific forum user, I am critiquing the fairly recent trend in photography where everybody wants the latest and greatest and most expensive.  The technology has been static for 5 years as far as bodies go, and probably 10-15 years as lenses go.  Part of that trend is confusing cost with performance or value.  Simply put, a bright ring type USM lens will give a talentless photographer more keepers, but the photographs still won't be that great.  Obviously they would give the talented professional more keepers too, but the talent would shine through regardless.

If the question was, will these cinema lenses make my still photography better, then, apologies if the timbre of my reply frightens the horses, but no, they will not.  They will make your still photography worse.

There, I've just saved you 25k.

If anybody reading this has a spare 25k to drop on a lens, and will buy or not based on what somebody on a forum says... then I really consider that I'm doing them a public service.  Find a charity close to your heart or something instead.  It will be more rewarding.

Quite where you think I'm having a go a cinema lenses or cinema lens users, I fail to see.  Cinema lenses are great.   For cinema.   And in that regard, the answer is in the question, so maybe 'obvious' is kinder than 'stupid'.

This is kind of fair and kind of unfair.

The CN-Es are by all accounts pretty similar to the Ls, not different enough for the 2% improvement in coatings or whatever and 9-bladed aperture to make up for the vastly huge increase in price.

The majority of what makes movie zooms movie zooms (parfocal, lack of breathing, mechanics) are helpful only for movies... but who wouldn't want an 18-85mm f1.8 (for APS-C only) that's as sharp as the sharpest Canon prime. (Okay it's 15lbs and $90k but still Fuji makes such a lens.)

I know of someone who converted a Zeiss Master Prime to his 5D or 7D for astro photography. If you have the money go for it, but as most just cover APS-C (other than the CN-Es, which, again, are not that much different from the Ls) it seems silly to spend up toward a smaller format rather than a bigger one. (IMAX uses modified Hasselblad and Pentax 6x7 lenses is the rumor.)

Also there is a longer history of still lens conversion than people realize. There was a 70-200mm Nikkor I think on one of the Bourne movies, Panavision has a host of converted Leica primes, some of which I've played with... they're nice! But the cost is in the rehousing... although the 280mm f2.8 Leica is sick.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2014, 10:01:59 PM by Policar »

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Re: Why are Cine Lenses so expensive?
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2014, 12:03:10 AM »
The majority of what makes movie zooms movie zooms (parfocal, lack of breathing, mechanics) are helpful only for movies...

Actually, parfocal behavior is also useful for stills under the right circumstances.  With a parfocal (or nearly parfocal) lens, if something happens suddenly and you need to take a shot right now, you can grab the camera, slam it up to your eye, half-push the button, realize that you need to zoom in, zoom in, and push the shutter button the rest of the way down.  With a non-parfocal lens, you have to release the shutter, refocus, and take the shot.  There's a chance that the extra hundred milliseconds will make the difference between getting the shot and not getting it.

Also, it means that if you later realize you want to do movie shooting, you won't feel the need to buy all your lenses again.  :D

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Re: Why are Cine Lenses so expensive?
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2014, 01:05:13 AM »
I gotta be honest pablo... kinda harsh, dude!  I have wondered the same thing about C lenses so I don't consider this to be a stupid question or a stupid thread.

So please, next time post something less condescending because your previous post does little to contribute to the discussion other than show everyone a side of you that isn't very considerate.  I mean, really, did someone with a cine-lens kick your dog, call you names or something?   :o

I stand by every word.  They are specialist tools.  I don't know how good or how bad, how rich or how poor the op asking the questions is.  I paint a scenario of where these lenses come into their own, what they are designed for, what no other type of product would do.  I think that goes some way to answering the question of why they cost so much...  sorreeeee.

I also stand by my other comments, and nowhere do I consider them a personal attack on any other specific forum user, I am critiquing the fairly recent trend in photography where everybody wants the latest and greatest and most expensive.  The technology has been static for 5 years as far as bodies go, and probably 10-15 years as lenses go.  Part of that trend is confusing cost with performance or value.  Simply put, a bright ring type USM lens will give a talentless photographer more keepers, but the photographs still won't be that great.  Obviously they would give the talented professional more keepers too, but the talent would shine through regardless.

If the question was, will these cinema lenses make my still photography better, then, apologies if the timbre of my reply frightens the horses, but no, they will not.  They will make your still photography worse.

There, I've just saved you 25k.

If anybody reading this has a spare 25k to drop on a lens, and will buy or not based on what somebody on a forum says... then I really consider that I'm doing them a public service.  Find a charity close to your heart or something instead.  It will be more rewarding.

Quite where you think I'm having a go a cinema lenses or cinema lens users, I fail to see.  Cinema lenses are great.   For cinema.   And in that regard, the answer is in the question, so maybe 'obvious' is kinder than 'stupid'.


Nowhere did the OP say he is considering buying a CN-E lens. It could have been simple curiosity. You said it yourself, no one would be stupid to ask about CN-E lenses on a forum before dropping 25K. So it is unwise to assume that, isn't it?

Don't take out your pent up frustrations on others. I agree that expensive lenses do not make one a better photographer- the same as expensive cars don't make a better driver. Photography has become a fad among rich amateurs now that it has become more accessible to them- but trust me, it's them buying those 1Ds and L lenses
that contributes towards keeping the cost low for you professionals. At least, partly. They are not your competition, and they are not hurting you.
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Re: Why are Cine Lenses so expensive?
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2014, 01:05:13 AM »

pablo

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Re: Why are Cine Lenses so expensive?
« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2014, 02:56:31 AM »
The majority of what makes movie zooms movie zooms (parfocal, lack of breathing, mechanics) are helpful only for movies...

Actually, parfocal behavior is also useful for stills under the right circumstances.  With a parfocal (or nearly parfocal) lens, if something happens suddenly and you need to take a shot right now, you can grab the camera, slam it up to your eye, half-push the button, realize that you need to zoom in, zoom in, and push the shutter button the rest of the way down.  With a non-parfocal lens, you have to release the shutter, refocus, and take the shot.  There's a chance that the extra hundred milliseconds will make the difference between getting the shot and not getting it.

Also, it means that if you later realize you want to do movie shooting, you won't feel the need to buy all your lenses again.  :D

+1

unfortunately, most of the ef zoom lenses these days are not parfocal.

It's a symptom of canon designing their eos gear on the assumption that everybody will be using ef (the lack of micro-prisms on focus screens)

For stills my 7d + 70-200 will correct itself far more quickly and accurately than I could manually, to the point where the focus drift as you zoom would not have been a problem back in the days when folk only used their eos for stills.

I've abandoned the 70-200 for video use, or at least video interview use, as it caught me out on a couple of occassions, the near eye in focus becomes the far eye after a zoom, or worse, no eye, prefering a wide cam and close cam, the wide allowing enough dof to set and leave, the close constantly manually tracked.

Funny thing is that the early canon telezooms, the old push pulls had a better hit rate, i've had a few 70-210 f4,s, all been parfocal, the 100-300 f5.6 push-pull i had was parfocal, although terrifically soft at 300, and the 80-200 f2.8l (if you would drop this kind of money on such an old, now impossible to effect certain repairs on lens) is too.

I put this down to legacy of the fd manual lenses where parfocal was a definite boon.   With one touch af and cameras that discouraged mf, as in later film and most contemporary eos cameras, not so much.


pablo

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Re: Why are Cine Lenses so expensive?
« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2014, 03:12:27 AM »

Nowhere did the OP say he is considering buying a CN-E lens. It could have been simple curiosity. You said it yourself, no one would be stupid to ask about CN-E lenses on a forum before dropping 25K. So it is unwise to assume that, isn't it?

Don't take out your pent up frustrations on others. I agree that expensive lenses do not make one a better photographer- the same as expensive cars don't make a better driver. Photography has become a fad among rich amateurs now that it has become more accessible to them- but trust me, it's them buying those 1Ds and L lenses
that contributes towards keeping the cost low for you professionals. At least, partly. They are not your competition, and they are not hurting you.

+1/2

Unless you are shooting video in central Scotland, neither you, nor any rich amateur are my competition.

For 2/3rds approx of my shoots I hire in a camera to the clients soecification.  The BBC like XDCAM and SxS chips.  STV like DVCPRO on tape, or P2.  Some production companies still like Digibeta.  Some producers will only accept 4.2.2 on an SSD.

Although it's not unheard of for cameramen with a specific discipline to shoot primarily on one format (wildlife guys trained out of Bristol all seem to use Pannys, odd at the the bbc, but thats how it is, although recent shoots have been on red dragons...) and therefore be owner operators, for the jobbing guys like me, you shoot on what your client that day wants.   you can't own every format, not at £20k entry points for an hd eng body without a lens...

So really, the rich hobbyists aren't keeping the gear I use, cheap for me. 

I don't really have any built up frustrations.  I answered the questions, and supported a point somebody else made.

That's forums.

If anything I get frustrated by folk not doing even basic research.   Yep.  That one does annoy me.   Why go to a manufacturers website when one can just open their mouth and let their belly rumble....?

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Re: Why are Cine Lenses so expensive?
« Reply #24 on: August 05, 2014, 03:27:14 AM »
Roger Deakins shot "Shawshank Redemption" with Zeiss Distagon and Zeiss Planers..... just saying.

It's not what you put on the camera, it's how you point it, what you put in front of it and how you light what you put in front of it. The rest is just technicalities that can offer some efficiency and consistency production wise... they are not a gold standard.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 05:54:21 AM by leGreve »
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sagittariansrock

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Re: Why are Cine Lenses so expensive?
« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2014, 03:28:44 AM »

Nowhere did the OP say he is considering buying a CN-E lens. It could have been simple curiosity. You said it yourself, no one would be stupid to ask about CN-E lenses on a forum before dropping 25K. So it is unwise to assume that, isn't it?

Don't take out your pent up frustrations on others. I agree that expensive lenses do not make one a better photographer- the same as expensive cars don't make a better driver. Photography has become a fad among rich amateurs now that it has become more accessible to them- but trust me, it's them buying those 1Ds and L lenses
that contributes towards keeping the cost low for you professionals. At least, partly. They are not your competition, and they are not hurting you.

+1/2

Unless you are shooting video in central Scotland, neither you, nor any rich amateur are my competition.

For 2/3rds approx of my shoots I hire in a camera to the clients soecification.  The BBC like XDCAM and SxS chips.  STV like DVCPRO on tape, or P2.  Some production companies still like Digibeta.  Some producers will only accept 4.2.2 on an SSD.

Although it's not unheard of for cameramen with a specific discipline to shoot primarily on one format (wildlife guys trained out of Bristol all seem to use Pannys, odd at the the bbc, but thats how it is, although recent shoots have been on red dragons...) and therefore be owner operators, for the jobbing guys like me, you shoot on what your client that day wants.   you can't own every format, not at £20k entry points for an hd eng body without a lens...

So really, the rich hobbyists aren't keeping the gear I use, cheap for me. 

I don't really have any built up frustrations.  I answered the questions, and supported a point somebody else made.

That's forums.

If anything I get frustrated by folk not doing even basic research.   Yep.  That one does annoy me.   Why go to a manufacturers website when one can just open their mouth and let their belly rumble....?

Well, don't get so angry then. Some things annoy me, but I get a glass of water and calm myself down.
Regarding basic research- questions like this get many, many hits- but when I ask specific questions that I can't find on the net or even in books or manuals, only a handful of pros and some knowledgeable amateurs offer insight. The forums aren't really for edification, they are for pastime only.

FYI, based on what you do, I doubt you need to worry about any rich amateur even in central Scotland. I'm an amateur, but far from rich- although I'd love to visit Scotland one day...
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pablo

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Re: Why are Cine Lenses so expensive?
« Reply #26 on: August 05, 2014, 06:23:30 AM »
Roger Deakins shot "Shawshank Redemption" with Zeiss Distagon and Zeiss Planers..... just saying.

It's not what you put on the camera, it's how you point it, what you put in front of it and how you light what you put in front of it. The rest is just technicalities that can offer some efficiency and consistency production wise... they are not a gold standard.

Correct.  But like, say a micromotor lens versus a ring type lens, like say, an f2 versus an f4 lens, like weather sealing, like a tripod ring, like a fixed filter thread... they all make life easier the more demanding you are.

When you are paying actors, a crew of 15, hiring a sound stage and are up against a tight shooting schedule do you want to scrimp on lenses?  No you hire in dependable kit with predictable and consistent results and zero caveats.

That is the difference.

I shot an interview last week as a freebie for a charity, because despite the bluff and bluster, I'm not such an erse in real life.  The subject matter was parents coping with the suicide of a child.  Or not coping.  I came away questioning the definition of coping, or why people in such a situation should have to cope, for everybody elses comfort? anyway, I digress.

As it was a freebie I was single crewed (I never ask folk to work for free, it's my choice to donate labour / time) and so I had two cameras running (just the DSLR gear, as I say, freebie) locked moderate wide with moving tele, in this case the 100mm f2.0.   Wide open.

In this case I was expecting to use the wide shot only and cut to the tele only very very occassionally, but in fact, this cheapish lens gives such an intimate effect, the dof was razor thin, and even with half decent tracking by me, the speakers eyes drift in and out of focus, but hitting sharpness at key points and phrases, with beautiful fall-off.

I'm not against using cheap kit either.  I'll use the kit for the job.  Cinema lenses are not the kit for stills.  And it's been proven many many times since even 28 days later, that even cheap kit used with care can deliver exceptional results.

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Re: Why are Cine Lenses so expensive?
« Reply #27 on: August 05, 2014, 08:48:00 AM »
Roger Deakins shot "Shawshank Redemption" with Zeiss Distagon and Zeiss Planers..... just saying.

It's not what you put on the camera, it's how you point it, what you put in front of it and how you light what you put in front of it. The rest is just technicalities that can offer some efficiency and consistency production wise... they are not a gold standard.



I'm not against using cheap kit either.  I'll use the kit for the job.  Cinema lenses are not the kit for stills.  And it's been proven many many times since even 28 days later, that even cheap kit used with care can deliver exceptional results.

Exactly... I think that was what I was more or less trying to say.

I don't support the idea of getting high-end gear just because you can, but because you need it from a production point of view. I know a guy here in Denmark who is just like that.... raking in gear although it's just a hobby, and it hasn't really made he stuff a tad bit better, it's just different kinds of mediocre :D

Heck... if you want great landscapes shots OP why don't go invest in a large format Sinar and shoot film? That would blow gear out of the water in regards to landscape photography.

But in the end, it's not the gear that makes the photographer, it's the end shot that gets presented.
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Re: Why are Cine Lenses so expensive?
« Reply #27 on: August 05, 2014, 08:48:00 AM »

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Re: Why are Cine Lenses so expensive?
« Reply #28 on: August 05, 2014, 09:23:39 AM »

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Re: Why are Cine Lenses so expensive?
« Reply #29 on: August 05, 2014, 09:30:12 AM »
I would just like to suggest that if anybody wants to explore using a cine lens, then try this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Rokinon-CV85M-C-Aspherical-De-Clicked-Compatibility/dp/B00A61RWIG/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1407244772&sr=8-3&keywords=rokinon+85mm+f1.4

It's a great lens for a fraction of the cost of Canon cine lens and it will give you a good idea of the differences between a standard camera lens and a cine lens.  It's a lot of fun to play with this lens and then attempt to use it when doing a video.  It's a manual focus lens and the aperture can be smoothly changed. 

I also suggest watching the TV series "Murder in the First" from a purely technical viewpoint.  Those boys have their focusing and depth of field skills down pat.  It's truly impressive how they make smooth focus transitions between the actors and at the same time have a somewhat shallow depth of field to give the speaking actor more punch. 


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Re: Why are Cine Lenses so expensive?
« Reply #29 on: August 05, 2014, 09:30:12 AM »