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Recommended c-mount lenses for Canon EOS M

Andrew Reid

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So it just dawned on me that you can ape the Digital Bolex raw look for £100 with an EOS M + Magic Lantern.

Yes, it's an APS-C sensor, so you'd need to go to about 1536x518 for a 1.8x crop 16:9 to avoid vignetting on 25mm lens.

GH2 was 1.8x crop and I've had Super 16mm stuff work fine on it.

So has anyone actually tried a bunch of c-mount lenses on the EOS M and has any recommendations? Also for decent adapters? Arriflex S16 adapter also would be handy.

And before anybody says "just get a Blackmagic pocket cinema camera", remember the EOS M is £100 used body only and does 18MP stills :) Way more fun!!

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3x crop mode offers a lot of opportunities for wide angles. At full sensor, 35mm would be the widest that will work. I have used the old Cosmicar 12.5-75mm 1.8 and it is so low contrast and milky. The zoom lever really helps to do smooth zooms. A really cool lens.

The problem I had with it is that I could never get rid of the pink dots. I tried every program available at the time... that I knew of and they were still there. The only thing that worked was chroma smoothing but it softened the image so much, it wasn't really worth it. Cantsin on that DIY Film Look thread has a bunch of EOS-m Raw videos posted and he has had great success with chroma smoothing... I am going to test his method. 

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The Fujian 35mm definitely covers the entire APS-C sensor, and there don't seem to be any reports that the "no-brand" 25mm f1.4 APS-C lens vignettes on APS-C.


Here is a video shot by our own @maxotics on the EOSM and the Fujian 35mm with its exceptionally peculiar focal plane (which would likely frustrate the forum's staunch "DOF calculators").


Here is footage from an A7S in APS-C mode.  The description of the "no brand CCTV C-mount" lens matches the 25mm f1.4  APS-C lens reviewed in the link I posted above.


Regardless, there certainly are a few C-mount lenses that cover APS-C.

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Yes.  Those kids are talented.


I have never recorded raw on the EOSM, and I don't know the answer as to whether or not H.264 has to be recorded while raw is recording.


On the other hand, I have run Tragic Lantern with All I-frames, Full HD on the EOSM with boosted bit rate -- while using the Fujian 35mm f1.7!  The All I-frames along with boosted bit rate gives more robust frames/files.

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Chiming in with two short videos shot with Canon EOS-M raw crop mode and adapted c-mount/cine lenses under my belt:

In MLV raw crop mode, the EOS-M's effective sensor size is equivalent to Normal (/Double) 8mm film (4*3mm) when filming in 960*720p and Super 8 (5.5*4mm) when filming with 1280 pixels horizontal resolution.

So the best-fit lenses are those from old Super 8 cameras - with the caveat that only few Super 8 cameras had interchangeable lenses. The above video was shot with a Schneider Variogon 6-66mm/f1.8, an M mount lens originally designed for the Leica Leicina Special (one of the best Super 8 cameras ever built). I used it with a cheap Leica M-to-EOS-M adapter but am upgrading to a Novoflex since the lens isn't parfocal with the cheap adapter. (It is on the Leicina, like practically all Super 8 camera zooms.)

The c-mount options include Angenieux zooms built for Beaulieu Super 8 cameras and a 7.5-75mm/1.8 Fujinon built for the Single-8 Fujica ZC1000 (another great camera) - however, many if not most of them will require mechanical modification to fit EOS-M adapters.

The bulk of Normal 8 camera lenses (which include Taylor-Hobson/Cooke, Kern Switar, Cine Nikkor, SOM Berthiot and many more) are still out of reach because they're made for d-mount, with smaller diameter and shorter flange distance than c-mount, and there are no adapters for EOS-M (yet...).

Oh yeah, and the EOS-M doesn't require h264 recording parallel to raw in resolutions under 1920p.

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@cantsin aren't there d-mount to c-mount adapters floating around?

Also there's a Russian Super 8 camera that comes with a c-mount lens... unsure if it will focus to infinity like the ones you've tested though. I have it in storage, I'll give it a test one of these days. 

Does anyone know if any of the subsequent eos-m models have the digital crop? I think M2 has it, but it doesn't have focus peaking. I would actually enjoy using c-mounts with original Canon firmware and focus peaking... Downscaling to 720p should look pretty organic... not as good as Raw but at least you could have audio without the camera freezing on the second take. 

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@mercer, there are c-mount to d-mount adapters but not the other way around. (Which would be as difficult or even impossible as adapting rangefinder or mirrorless lenses to SLRs.) 

- The subsequent EOS M models don't support MagicLantern. Except perhaps for the M2, they aren't likely to ever run it since they're not based on EOS, but on lower-end PowerShot firmware.

The EOS-M almost never freezes or stops if you restrict the raw video resolution to 720p.

EDIT: I found this: http://www.calkovsky.com/d-mount-to-c-mount-lens-adapter-convert-d-mount-to-c-mount/
...but it will effectively turn adapted d-mount lenses into macro lenses since d-mount has a flange distance of 12.29 mm whereas c-mount has 17.526mm. (In other words, a better-made adapter would have to recess the d-mount lens 5.236mm into the camera body.)

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@cantsin okay thanks, I thought with the crop alone it may work, didn't know it needed the flange distance.

I wasn't talking about Raw on the newer EOS-M models, just the 3X crop mode. I'm pretty sure the M2 was released from Canon with the crop just like the t3i and the 80D were. In fact with the original EOS-M, you can use ML to turn on the crop and then it stays on if you return to the original Canon firmware. ML just made the crop accessible but it was there all along to be turned on, Canon just chose not to. I shot some 3X crop with the factory  firmware last year with the Cosmicar 12-75mm f/1.8 lens and I think it looked better than the original Canon factory eos-m footage. I was hoping that some of the later models, that have focus peaking, might have the crop as well. I'll check when I get home from work.

Thanks for the 720p heads up... didn't know that. 

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You can't go wrong with Fujinon TV (c-mount) lenses. You can build a really nice matching set from 8mm to 75mm.

All Fujinon Tv Cf will cover since they are for 1 inch sensor. I already have the 35,50 and 75. 

The 12,5mm 1.4 will cover for sure. And you might experiment with 8mm or 9mm for smaller sensors. One should work. 

All of my fujinon lenses are sharp even wide open. People used to compare them with the Zeiss Tevidon. 

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I've given up on MLRAW on the EOS M. As was said above, the bitrate hack is better. RAW has too many issues with the *oh my god please go away why wont you go away* pink/focus dots - and horrible aliasing/moire with anything other than 3x crop mode. I've tried 10 bit and it's not any better. I've tried a load of different resolutions, aspects, etc but between all the artifacts, the low resolution if you want longer than 4 sec clips, etc, it's pointless. The image just doesn't deliver anything very exciting IMO. The bitrate hack on the other hand gets rid of the horrible macroblocking, ups resolution slightly and seems to improve moire quite a bit. 

As a stills camera I like it but AF is awful. The 22mm f2 is great though. 

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