Jump to content

Sean Cunningham

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Sean Cunningham

  1.   And I'm entitled to the opinion that your opinion makes no sense and everyone just wants what they want.  See, people have an opinion and the right to express themselves and in posting that in a forum they are inviting rebuttal and challenging ideas.  They can either rise to that challenge and offer additional support for their opinion or they can just repeat their opinion because there is no supporting information.  Because they just want what they want.     But under no circumstances does the freedom to express your opinion come with a freedom from commentary, criticism or other rebuttal.  I'm not defending a product so much as challenging ideas that I recognize as emotional and largely impractical or without historic parity.   It's just convenient that my desire for an upgrade to what I already have, something that improves IQ while sacrificing absolutely none of the superior functionality that I enjoy, is perfectly aligned with their evaluation of what product would be most useful to the most amount of potential customers.
  2. It definitely has the advantage of being able to use more economical ND filters, going between the ana and taking lens.  But my initial thought was wondering what, if any, impact this might have on IQ.  Is that fear unfounded?  I don't have any 52mm filters to check on my Century Optics to see if it matters.
  3. You can already buy a few LOMO or one of the more desirable Iscrorama 36 or 54 models for something like $3-5K, if you find someone willing to sell.  I'm guessing the rate of people willing to pony up that kind of cash looking for the classic stuff might have a similar rate of goods for money changing hands as someone buying a new product of similar price, quality and design from a cottage manufacturer.  If one existed.  That makes it a wash, IMO, until someone actually makes one of these mythological devices and offers it for sale to the throngs of 2X customers that are reported to exist and that aren't being served.   Also, Cine lenses are also complete lenses, not adapters.  Their pricing isn't relevant.  But quick math shows that if SLR Magic were to combine this adapter with one of their existing cine primes, bingo, you're at around $3-5K.   Regardless, the purchase price of high end products is based on what the market will pay and how few are likely to pay it.  High end items tend to have incredibly bloated mark-up built into their price versus consumer goods.  Their prices are not based on being proportionally more difficult or costly to make.  Goods and services aren't priced according to rational, proportionall, all-things-being-equal measurements.  I learned that very quickly working for Sony.   We know exactly what new cinema anamorphics cost customers.  They start at around 30,000 Euros each for wide(ish) and normal primes.  See the Zeiss website.     Don't conflate that issue with new adapters designed to be (hopefully) compatible with a variety of lens manufacturers at a variety of focal lengths which automatically assumes all sorts of caveats and design restrictions for folks not in the market for integrated cine solutions or who want something they don't have to rent to get ahold of.     Of course, a lot of these folks may also be some of the voices who somehow thought $400-500 was too much for an adapter that magically turned their MFT camera into an effectively larger than Super-35mm sensor with optics designed by rocket scientists.  And with that in mind maybe the smartest thing for SLR Magic and anyone else to do is to ignore this market completely because it's a no win.
  4. Yes, I'm aware, and it's quite amazing that these 16:9 adapters from the DV era, where most cameras couldn't even muster 500 lines of resolution, are useful at all with HD cameras.  My point is, no other companies have introduced products that approach the usability of the couple of LOMO or couple of Iscorama models.     You say no market but 16mm and Super-16mm shooting has been going on this whole time, and is still happening, and not even here do you find options for focusable or focus-thru like these prized LOMOs and Iscoramas.  Not adapters.  Just that dual-focus stuff which, however lovely the optics are, are useless to me and others who are not okay with shooting on sticks mostly or with a rigidly fixed relationship between camera and subject.  I'd sooner shoot spherical with a Vid Atlantic slap-on bokeh and streak filter.  Because 99% of the audience won't know the difference and I won't be tempted to smash the camera and lens into a million pieces.   So I don't think it's fair to just shit on something new, that's already showing a marked improvement in most respects over those DV era adapters.  I've already made peace with knowing I'll likely never own a set of LOMOs or an Iscorama 54.  The rest don't interest me at all because I'm not going to be limited to telephoto or fixed focus (that I have to do twice).  So there's these or rent the stuff priced like a car.   If you've got a shelved project better than this one, do it.  I double dog dare you ;)
  5. I'm having a difficult time thinking of any Kubrick films that were shot anamorphic.  He's more known for 65mm and deep-focus, spherical 35mm.  In fact, many of his films are in the more squarish 1.66:1 "widescreen" standard that was favored in the UK.  A quick google shows that he may have only ever done one film using an anamorphic process, Sparticus.   Anyway, @wondo is reacting to the reality that stopped down there is very little that distinguishes anamorphic photography from cropped spherical photography of the same field of view if you don't have a lot of z-space parallax.  You won't get to see any distorted bokeh unless you stack the ND to get to a larger aperture (ala Killing Them Softly).     However, he's being short sighted in the fact that opened up, night photography is patently useless for determining whether the adapter is no different than currently available options when it comes to sharpness (particularly at the edges) and chromatic aberration.  Dull charts would say definitively how good the lens is but charts don't tell the whole story and so I appreciate Andrew shooting in a way that would have highlighted these defects while giving a sense of the lens's overall character in situations where the shooter isn't purposely under-exposing.  His footage is rich in surface detail and texture, from edge to edge.   Really oval bokeh with a 1.33x adapter will be mostly reserved for close-ups because you need a CU diopter to get them.  The Tokina doublet sharpens up close and midrange shooting but it's not really good for wides, does virtually nothing for bokeh and stronger diopters aren't useable at all for wides.  So, for instance, you're not likely ever going to be able to achieve something like a Tony Scott wide, shot with a 200mm a block away, with really stretched, oval bokeh for deep foreground and deep background.  Lots of folks here shoot almost everything anamorphic with telephoto taking lenses either out of naivete or because they have no other option but it's not a realistic representation of how real motion pictures are made.   You can't have everything.  Slap on a Kowa or Sankor or Moeller and you can get that but you'll have to lock your camera down and can't do it while dollying forward towards your subject like Tony Scott might have, or track with them as they walk towards camera.  You can't have everything.
  6. A vocal few do not equate to sale figures.  This thing has to be bought by non-fanatics.  2X is ridiculous wide from 16:9 and 1.5x is bordering on too wide and offering a narrower range of practical uses.
  7. 1.5x and 2x adapters are suicide products until variable aspect ratio shooting is commonplace in the consumer/prosumer market.  Hacks aren't really a reasonable basis for new products that actually take real capital to develop.
  8. If Premiere can't load the DNG then the proxies aren't really linked to the online footage in a reliable, testable manner, are they?  So you're assuming a methodology that worked before, with formats you could load into Premiere would work.  This somehow who's fault?  It would have been nice if it just worked, sure, but you can't ever assume that when dealing with a new and unknown.   Knowing that you can't bring your online footage into Premiere, removing it from equation, means something like, oh yeah, XML, which I did mention.  That's why it's there.
  9. I hope they get the coatings worked out and the fragmentation worked out of the flare.  I remember the Apefos test footage on their un-coated prototypes having ugly flares as well.  Thankfully these guys are committed to doing something about it.
  10.   100s of variables the Germans weren't up for, or the Brits or French or any Americans or even the Japanese, apparently.  You have a couple LOMOs and a couple of Iscoramas, for focusable or focus-through options,  and in thirty or more years the only answer to these that anyone has brought forth are the DV era 1.33X adapters.     Dig a hole and bury all those projection lenses and dual-focus cop-outs created by companies that were likewise too afraid or unable to make something truly useful.
  11. I would blame fear of patent lawsuits more than anything.  There is no good reason at all to introduce a new dual-focusing product since the hipsters won't like it if it's both a pain-in-the-ass and new.  So what then is there left?   The LA7200 and Century Optics/Optex are the only variations on a theme that make a lick of sense.
  12.   I think this has more to do with the overly cautions manner and confusing language they're using in the information they're allowing to be released.  There's no reason, really, to expect it to behave any differently with any other 35mm prime compared to their's.  There's no "magic" apart from in the title of their company.  I bet the image of Andrew plugging it into the 20mm Lumix ruffled some feathers over at the company.   Over at personal-view they seemed almost annoyed that Andrew mentioned shooting it at f/2 in his article, because they've been careful to only claim f/2.8 so far and that's all Edwin Lee was allowed (I'm assuming) to post or comment on.  That's the official company line, currently, on acceptable lower threshold of sharpness.  But it's like any other lens.  Their hyper-primes don't perform at wide open like they do somewhat stopped down but the difference is they market and depend their lenses being able to open up that far even if IQ suffers.    They're just being overly cautious because the existing 1.33X adapters have such a bad reputation for sharpness and speed without diopters.  They're focusing only on its performance without additional help.  Likewise, they don't want to get into a situation where they have to contend with the vagaries of other lens manufacturers.  It's safer to just make sure their adapter works with their lenses and let end users work out any necessary step-up/down configurations or spacers for extra clearance with oddly bulbous front elements.
  13. Also, folks shooting with a 5D should likely (borrowing from a comment I made regarding 1.33x anamorphics) make peace with operating in a crop mode, effectively shooting at a Super-35mm or MFT effective sensor size.   What little precedent there is for motion pictures shot in horizontal, 8-perf 35mm there's less for anamorphic in this size.  Where large-format anamorphic exists the squeeze ratios get smaller (think 1.25x in the case of Ultra Panavision).  2x is the domain of 4-perf 35mm with an effective aperture that's smaller than APS-C.  "Filmed in Panavision" means you're looking at an aperture that's between that of a 7D and the GH2, and closer to that of the GH2 (21mm versus 19mm).   In a big way, due to the width and shallower depth of field you get with a 36mm sensor, it's the 5D user who's the best candidate for oval iris inserts and streak filters.       PS> an anamorphic speedbooster sounds terrible.  Just use a wider lens and crop.  All you get is width without character.  IMO, it's engineers creating an expensive, complicated solution to a problem that doesn't really exist (yay engineers).  It won't affect adapters like this in any way.  
  14.   They mix anamorphics in movies all the time, and mix anamorphic with spherical.  In fact, if you're shooting wide enough, like for an establishing shot, with most of the frame in focus there's little reason to not just shoot spherical and crop.  Wide scenics don't really play to anamorphic's aesthetic  unless you have objects in the foreground to cue its unexpected width for scale/depth character (and, of course, distorted bokeh).   You could, very realistically, since you're shooting on a 5D, shoot all or most of your non-CUs spherical but using ND to open up more than you otherwise would and then do dramatic CUs with an adapter, and maybe for compositions like overlapping medium 2-shots.     Panavision films, during the optical days and then still, for a better part of the first decade of digital film scanning for visual effects, would cut to spherical footage whenever there were effects involved, either Super-35mm, which would be extracted and eventually blown up to go back into the surrounding anamorphic or VistaVision, if they had more cash, which would hold up better, sharpness wise, when put back into the surrounding anamorphic footage.     Then, of course, you have last year's The Dark Knight Rises, where most of the big action scenes switched over to 65mm acquisition.  And somewhere in there was likely the odd 5D stunt shot.  Mixing cameras and formats is done all the time.  It doesn't really matter so much if you can detect the change looking at the transition from a macro perspective.  What's important is getting the shot and how it affects the overall flow.   The only time mixed formats really bothers me is if there's a really drastic drop in quality.  For instance, I recently saw Pain & Gain and there are, a few times, what appears to be (poorly enhanced) old model GoPro shots with Wahlberg and The Rock driving.  It goes from Michael Bay to an episode of COPs in the space of one cut.  Bad.  Plus, really unexpected since he is fanatical about photographic quality and not shy to spend time and money on complicated shooting.  There was no reason to be lazy with the little cameras in this case.
  15. Ah, well, no matter, it looks great.  The bokeh didn't look like it should be coming from an LA7200 but I was still curious.
  16.   Andrew states it has a 50mm rear element, comparing it to the Iscorama 54.  In the picture where he's holding it with the Panasonic 20mm pancake lens attached you can clearly see a 46mm->52mm step-up ring.  So the rear threads are 52mm, which makes this essentially the same size as a Century Optics adapter.
  17. You haven't seen the real look since the footage that's been posted doesn't have the coatings they'll be using.  Also, there's only one shot in the footage I've seen that really looks soft and the shooter has already said that was his bad, not the adapter.  He only had access to it a couple hours and wasn't comfortable with the close focus system yet.     Let's see what Andrew shoots as I'm curious to compare the other video to him shooting this latest model and see what f/2 looks like.  I don't know what you would have to be stopped down to on the LA7200 at 35mm for anything close to acceptable sharpness but on the Century Optics it's at least f/4 if you're not using something like the Tokina doublet or stronger diopter.  The doublet appears to buy about a stop or so.   It's already much faster than either the Century Optics or LA7200.  It's sharper than the LA7200 and sharper than the Century Optics at the edges with less CA.  And that's shooting naked.      Folks who can't make peace with the 1.33X pretty much made that decision well before this lens was introduced so it changes nothing for them.  They can have their tiny 8mm adapters and dual focus systems and then there's the lucky few with their LOMOs and big dog Iscroramas.  There isn't likely going to be any new product for them until mainstream cameras re-introduce 1.33:1 aspect ratio for video and they're going to need more of a reason to than some fringe anamorphic shooters with a bunch of old lenses.  Catch-22.  
  18. Rich, when I originally read the ASC Magazine article on Killing Them Softly I thought immediately of the FF58 when the article gets to the discussion of their acquiring Panavision's HS50, that special lens that was used for some of the extremely dreamy segments.  It's shown to its greatest effect in that sublime slow-motion shot of Brad Pitt walking through the street with all the fireworks and sparklers going off.     http://www.theasc.com/ac_magazine/October2012/KillingThemSoftly/page1.php   ...I'm re-reading it and it made me think of this topic (since you didn't chime in on the other topic here related to the film) that in addition to modifying the optics to exaggerate the background falloff they purposely exaggerated the extremity of its elongated bokeh.  Neat.  
  19. Rich, what was involved in your rehousing of the Century Optics?     Did you shift the elements to be more optimized for SLR shooting into a new, fixed position or is it adjustable like the SLR Magic and Letus adapters?
  20. They mention two or three different levels of multi-coating, with the fully multicoated having the highest resolution and still some nice flares and a single coat for the flare junkies.   And realistically, I could see, quite easily, shooting just about everything with two or three of these.  I would almost bet they intentionally made it so that you couldn't get one adapter to cover the 50-85mm range.   70mm seems like an odd focal to be designing around.  That third adapter should have been 35-85mm, IMO.
  21. Sounds like a rather killer product.  Integral matte box plus the focusing mechanic and what appears to be a large rear element...I'm thinking the market is going to be getting really soft on the ebay lenses.   edit: oh, if you go further through the links it looks like this isn't one adapter but a range of adapters based on focal length and not all of the adapters will have (or need) the near/mid/far focus adjustment.     ...makes sense since they're going for total quality.  Hopefully the $1700 represents the more complicated, longer lens versions and the short focal length models will be cheaper.
  22. Oh, sorry, I took a look at your sample and the style of shooting is one that's totally compatible with adapters like the Sankor or any other dual-focus adapter.  It seems like the sharpness, flare and bokeh characteristics of the smaller adapters would be far more important than focus tracking of objects moving relative to the lens or vice versa.   You just couldn't do shots like the one that begins at 00:37, where you rack focus at around 00:46 to the plants in the background and then to closer again.  There are mad scientists out there who have and are creating complex dual-servo systems that would allow something like this but as far as I know they're not products that you could actually buy and would likely be very expensive anyway, given a basic follow-focus rig can cost as much or more than a lot of lenses.
  23. Keep in mind the LA7200 and Century Optics are the only "reasonably" priced and somewhat easy to find focus-through adapters.  If you're doing music videos or shooting where your talent or subject doesn't move around much it may not be an issue.     The Century Optics will work quite well with the lenses listed in the first post with no vignetting on larger sensor cameras.  On the GH2, which has a much larger sensor, you can shoot as wide as 18mm with no vignette as long as you're not using one of the Century adapters with the smaller rear element.   Where these two adapters get you is that you need diopters to sharpen them up depending on the stop you're at on your lens.  This is often labeled as a sin specific to these 1.33X adapters but as you get up to larger and larger anamorphic lenses you have more caveats regarding stop and focus distance and diopters are part of the anamorphic cinema kit.  The tiny lenses meant for 8mm cameras tend to out-class much bigger glass in almost every way except the need for dual-focus, precluding run-n-gun or a host of dynamic types of shots, preferring all action plays out in a fixed plane of focus.    On the 19mm sensor of the GH2 a 24mm lens can be used effectively @ f/2.8 without diopters, getting sharper stopped down.  From there I know longer lenses need to be further stopped down as you increase focal length to achieve the same level of sharpness.  The iris of the 24mm @ f/2.8 is 8.571mm and so that seems to be the maximum iris allowed with the Century Optics adapter before diopters are necessary.      For an 85mm this means you're looking at f/11, since f/8 will likely be too soft, unless you're using a cinema style taking lens or one that's been de-clicked.  With diopters you can effectively shoot with an 85mm at apertures like f/2 but  with new restrictions on your focal range.     The smaller sensor size of a BMD may slide this range some in your favor.  You can likewise focus at less than a meter using a Century Optics adapter on wider lenses, with or without diopters.   edit: after looking at your example video I think it would be fair to say that you'll likely get along just fine with one of the dual-focus adapters.
  • Create New...