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How to get bargain 16mm cine lenses for the upcoming Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and Digital Bolex


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#1 EOSHD

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 04:34 PM

Bolex H16

Above: EOSHD picked up this Bolex H16 for under 400 euros - it came with a complete set of Schneider Xenon lenses

I love the 16mm and Super 16mm format and there are two cameras on the horizon that could offer very exciting images. Digital Bolex with their global shutter, raw and extensive feature set then Blackmagic with their diminutive Pocket Cinema Camera which shoots ProRes and raw.

With only weeks to go until the expected Pocket Cinema Camera shipping data I've been stocking up on c-mount lenses. Here's a guide to which ones work, which ones don't, and how to spot a bargain.

Read the full article here
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#2 Shane Essary

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 05:03 PM

Also, even with factoring in the cost of the adaptor, the Kinor 16cx lenses can be had at great prices, as well. I've got a few primes and a zoom and I like them a lot, although I have to admit my c-mounts are generally faster (and smaller).  We've got a thread in the BlackMagic forum, and Julian helped out a ton by overlaying the BMPCC crop on my test footage using my GH2 and the Kinor 6mm,10mm, 20mm, 25mm, and 12-120mm zoom.  They're not going to be as fast as a lot of those little c-mounts (and, frankly, I love my little fujians, too), but it's always good to have options.  It's an exciting time to be a filmmaker.



#3 mattuhry

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 07:13 PM

I'm glad I've finished my Kern Switar hoarding program before you wrote this article.   There's one important things you should include.   The lenses designed for a RX Reflex Bolex were built to correct for the optical problems induced by the 9.5mm thick prism that was used to split the light path to the viewfinder and film gate.    These RX lenses don't resolve very well and suffer from significant spherical abberation without the presence of the prism, it's most severe on the wides and when at the wider open stops.    

 

Kern lenses that have the designation AR were designed for non reflex cameras and function like normal lenses, in most cases they offer very good performance... think 60's vintage leica M's... yeah that good.     I'm excited to try them on the Pocket. 

 

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#4 Bruno

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 08:59 PM

Ok, now they won't be cheap for long... :)

 

Don't forget the Angenieux 5.9mm, an amazing wide angle lens.

 

It's also worth considering quality cine zoom lenses, like Zeiss, etc. They will be more expensive, but for $2k-$3k you can get a lens whose S35 equivalent would cost you over $30k.



#5 Caleb Genheimer

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 04:00 AM

I'm still confused as to why so many people are so excited about the Pocket Cam. The tiny-ness of the body really throws me off for some reason, as does the sensor size. In certain situations, yes . . . the tiny body comes in handy. But more often than not (for my uses), this thing is impractically small. I have a GH2, which has a sensor slightly bigger (due to multi-aspect) than other M4/3 cams, and even then I'm frustrated with the crop factor about 30% of the time. And this is all coming from someone who has never had a S35mm or full-frame photographic camera (I went straight from my first camera . . Canon GL2 . . . to the GH2). I'd be all over the pocket cam except for in the back of my head I feel the move to a smaller sensor would not be smart. Say what you will about shallow depth of field being overused and whatnot, but it has its place and should be controlled properly. You can't control what isn't there, though. You can always stop down a larger sensor cam for deep depth of field, but the smaller sensor cams can't do the reverse. In my mind, the 4K Production cam is the real incredible camera, and the one I've got my eye on. It is more expensive, but in the grand scheme of things, not radically so. I've still (perhaps foolishly) got hopes that they'll come out with a version of the 4K cam that has a short flange focal distance mount, because EF is just plain limiting.

 

There are so many incredible and cheap used photographic primes out there that would jive with the 4K cam, but that would act like small telescopes on the Pocket. I suspect that to really get stellar glass for the Pocket, you'll end up paying the difference between the Pocket and the 4K cam. So much of the stuff out there seems to be 16mm, not S16mm. 



#6 andy lee

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 08:48 AM

I shot on 16mm film for about 15 years - I also had 2 Bolex h16 cameras I used alot -  carted them all over the world during this time.

You really need to consider the BOLEX PRISM before you rush out and buy lenses

 

please read this carefully

http://www.city-net....olex/truth.html

 

The Bolex H16 RX cameras and the more recent Bolex models utilize a beam-splitting prism for reflex viewing and still allow lens interchangeability. This leads to optical complications. The prism being between the taking lens and the film must be regarded as an optical element of that lens. Even though it is a very simple element with no curvatures, it has optical significance.

 

 

Lenses for the Bolex are designed to work with the prism it alters the light path to the film

Black Magic Pocket camera has NO PRISM so your lenses will not be working as they where designed to properly

Please make sure you understand the principles first before you buy as some lenses are affected more that others.

 

 

and then read this to undertand the prism more

http://www.bolexcoll.../h16reflex.html

 

 

this is the intersting bit from the above link......

 

The Bolex H-16 Reflex was also designed with a 20% more powerful motor than earlier models. On a full wind, it was possible to run the camera for 40 seconds at 16 frames per second. [1]

The camera could accept three C-mount lenses (1 inch thread diameter). However, the glass of the reflex prism between the lens and film plane affected the optical correction of focal length lenses equal to or less than 50mm. To solve this problem, Kern introduced a line of "RX" mount lenses which were distinguishable by red letters engraved on the front of the barrel. (More on RX and standard C mount lenses.)

It was still possible to use standard C-mount lenses of 50mm or less, but for best results it was recommended they be stopped down to at least f/5.6. [2] However, it was later suggested that non-RX lenses of 50mm focal lengths and less would likely produce satisfactory results only when stopped down to f/8 or smaller. [3]


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#7 Bruno

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 03:18 PM

I'm still confused as to why so many people are so excited about the Pocket Cam. The tiny-ness of the body really throws me off for some reason, as does the sensor size. In certain situations, yes . . . the tiny body comes in handy. But more often than not (for my uses), this thing is impractically small.

 

You can rig any camera to make it large and heavy if that's what you need, but you can't fit a RED Epic in your jeans pocket, no matter what.



#8 odie

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 10:16 AM

waiting to test pocket cam before buying lenses



#9 Petri Krohn

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 03:31 AM

In February I decided to build a digital cinema camera around an Angénieux Type 10x12B 12-120mm f/2.2 lens. They were going on eBay for under $200, even cheaper. I bought the "introduced in January 2012 – discontinued by January 2013" Nikon 1 J1 at discount from the local camera store for €129, minus lens. Tested it out with the cheapo "25mm 1:1.4 TV LENS". The results were terrible :-(

It was only this week that I finally got my hands on the Angénieux 12-120mm. It was available locally at the leading Finnish retailer of second hand manual focus lenses (Kameratori). I bargained the price down to €150 –  cleaned and serviced.

I have uploaded a image circle test on the Nikon 1 to YouTube:

(Note, that the Nikon 1 has a crop factor of 2.7, slightly larger then the super 16 sized sensor on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera)

 

Unexpectedly the image circle is most effected by the focus distance. The lens has a rotating front element for focus that extends when focusing to near, introducing vignetting. 

The lens is usable on all focal lengths from 12mm to 120mm, when focused to infinity – even on the Nikon 1, but not necessarily so if focused to 1.4 meters.

Some more raw test shots at full f/2.2 aperture here.

Pulling focus manually and accurately without an external monitor or peaking is not easy. The Nikon 1 J1's 460,000 dot LCD monitor is of little help in bright sunlight. (I opted for the J1 instead of the V1 because there is no way to force it to use the LCD instead of the electronic viewfinder. The V1 will automatically switch to the EVF if you put your head too near the camera.)

 


 

 

 

 

 

 



#10 jlev23

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 02:16 PM

what about those angeniuex zooms with a built in finder that were for non reflex bolex's?

it would be pretty cool if these worked and you could actually see through the lens optically!



#11 andy lee

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 05:28 PM

and the Som Berthiot 17-85mm a great lens f2 constant apperture

I had 2 of these for 15 years great versatile lens with a prism side finder


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#12 gh2sound

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 09:28 PM

Drunk edit :)



#13 Jocelyn Deguise

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 01:51 AM

The 16mm lenses would also fit the Pocket 5K Panavision Camcorder.

 

(Yeah: I made that one up. Just like that other made up camera, the Digital Bolex).



#14 Lee Mullen

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 09:28 AM

For those of you  very interested like me with C mount cine lenses, please consider joining our vibrant Facebook Group 'C Mount of M4/3'.

 

https://www.facebook...oups/cmountm43/



#15 zoltax

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 04:34 PM

I shot on 16mm film for about 15 years - I also had 2 Bolex h16 cameras I used alot -  carted them all over the world during this time.

You really need to consider the BOLEX PRISM before you rush out and buy lenses

 

please read this carefully

http://www.city-net....olex/truth.html

 

The Bolex H16 RX cameras and the more recent Bolex models utilize a beam-splitting prism for reflex viewing and still allow lens interchangeability. This leads to optical complications. The prism being between the taking lens and the film must be regarded as an optical element of that lens. Even though it is a very simple element with no curvatures, it has optical significance.

 

 

Lenses for the Bolex are designed to work with the prism it alters the light path to the film

Black Magic Pocket camera has NO PRISM so your lenses will not be working as they where designed to properly

Please make sure you understand the principles first before you buy as some lenses are affected more that others.

 

 

and then read this to undertand the prism more

http://www.bolexcoll.../h16reflex.html

 

 

this is the intersting bit from the above link......

 

The Bolex H-16 Reflex was also designed with a 20% more powerful motor than earlier models. On a full wind, it was possible to run the camera for 40 seconds at 16 frames per second. [1]

The camera could accept three C-mount lenses (1 inch thread diameter). However, the glass of the reflex prism between the lens and film plane affected the optical correction of focal length lenses equal to or less than 50mm. To solve this problem, Kern introduced a line of "RX" mount lenses which were distinguishable by red letters engraved on the front of the barrel. (More on RX and standard C mount lenses.)

It was still possible to use standard C-mount lenses of 50mm or less, but for best results it was recommended they be stopped down to at least f/5.6. [2] However, it was later suggested that non-RX lenses of 50mm focal lengths and less would likely produce satisfactory results only when stopped down to f/8 or smaller. [3]

Uh-oh!

Hello everybody.

man... So does that mean my RX C mount Kern Lenses will not work well with the BMCC?
I have a 16mm, 25mm and 50mm RX lenses.

:(






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