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ARRI Alexa cheap enough to own now?


Dave Maze

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On 5/8/2019 at 9:08 AM, zerocool22 said:

Did anybody test this out? 

Im looking into buying an alexa, but def not interested in buying a lot o sxs cards. 

Just seeing this now; my work happened to have both a 16gb SxS and an SD SxS adapter for use in the EX1. So a year back, I did test them out, and found it did not work. I had assumed my Sandisk Extremes would be better than the SxS, but the Arri is very picky; everything is very locked down. For example, I wanted to look into Arriraw and thought maybe a Shogun might do. But with the Classic, only the Odyssey 7Q with raw license would do (because of the proprietary T-Link standard)

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A year ago, I was contemplating picking one up when it hit the 12.5k mark. I priced it out at time, and looked at what I would need to get it in motion (all that I shoot), and decided to hold off. Tha

https://noamkroll.com/building-a-more-affordable-alexa-with-arri-cpo-leica-r-lenses-the-leitax-mount/   Exactly what I've been talking about in the past!   Arri Alexa Classic + Aff

Those were quite gorgeous 10 years..  

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On 5/12/2019 at 8:53 PM, Sage said:

Just seeing this now; my work happened to have both a 16gb SxS and an SD SxS adapter for use in the EX1. So a year back, I did test them out, and found it did not work. I had assumed my Sandisk Extremes would be better than the SxS, but the Arri is very picky; everything is very locked down. For example, I wanted to look into Arriraw and thought maybe a Shogun might do. But with the Classic, only the Odyssey 7Q with raw license would do (because of the proprietary T-Link standard)

Okay so i’m guessing only one person did a small test with the SxS adapter test. I just purchased a used Alexa plus and was looking into trying the adapter thing 

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But shooting on Alexa can be just as economical, and will deliver superior quality – as long as ultra high resolution isn’t your thing. Yes, renting the latest Alexa 65 or SXT is going to run you more than a RED, but the Classic’s are now incredibly affordable at rental houses, and deliver the same incredible images they always have.

It comes down to personal preference, but for me, I’ll take 2K on an Alexa Classic over 8K on a RED any day. I don’t mean this as a knock on RED – they make some badass cameras that have served me well on many shoots… Not to mention they’re doing their part in pushing the technical boundaries of digital cinema, so I have to respect that!

But from a purely aesthetic standpoint, I want the most organic, filmic, image I can possibly get while shooting digitally… And that’s exactly what the Alexa delivers. I couldn’t care less what resolution the camera shoots in, all that matters is what the final image looks like to my eye.

I’ve been watching back our 2K footage on my 5K monitor all week, and it looks amazing – Never for a second did I regret not having more pixels.

 

https://noamkroll.com/playing-against-filmmaking-trends-on-our-feature-with-arri-alexa-classic-2k-prores-hq-43-aspect-ratio/

Why Shooting 4K Is Becoming Less Important + The Resurgence Of The Arri Alexa Classic

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Not to mention, the 4K rush drove down prices of HD/2K cameras so much, that true DIY filmmakers now have access to some of the best cinema cameras ever made on the used market.

I had a narrative filmmaker ask me recently if she should buy mid-range cinema camera like the Canon C300 II or a used Arri Alexa Classic. Her primary consideration was overall image quality, and both cameras were going for almost the exact same price.

I didn’t even have to think about the question before giving my answer – Alexa Classic.

The Arri Alexa line still offers the best image quality and color science on the market, and that includes the original EV model. The fact you can pick them up on the used market for what a high end Canon DSLR with a lens will run you, is absolutely astounding. And the going rate is purely a result of the Alexa Classic’s inability to shoot 4K.

That’s not to say everyone should run out and buy an Alexa Classic. They are still not going to be optimal for lots of productions – namely due to size and weight issues. But the fact that buying a used Alexa is a viable option in the sub $10K market is absolutely amazing.

I’ve heard from friends that work at rental houses, and owner/operators of Alexa Classics that there has been a big uptick in interest for the camera over the last year. I only imagine it’s part of the overall trend of filmmakers breaking the 4K spell that was once cast on them, and focusing more on other aspects of the craft.

This mentality has trickled down to consumer level cameras too. Right now, you can pick up a used Lumix GH2 for as little as $200 – that’s crazy! I remember when stores couldn’t even keep them on the shelves just a few years ago… It may be a couple generations old now, but for an up and coming filmmaker without any money and who doesn’t “need” 4K, it’s an incredible gift.

At the end of the day, 4K is just a resolution format. It’s a great tool to have, and one that I use on many of my own projects – but it’s almost never mandatory.

So for any filmmakers out there weighing their options with regards to camera choice, I hope this has put things in perspective for you. Color quality, low light sensitivity, stabilization, and dozens of other variables matter so much more than 4K… So don’t forget to keep an open mind next time you’re camera shopping, and see what the used market has to offer – you might be surprised what you come up with.

https://noamkroll.com/why-shooting-4k-is-becoming-less-important-the-resurgence-of-the-arri-alexa-classic/

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On 12/29/2017 at 7:53 AM, majoraxis said:

The F23 has a B4 mount so a B4 to PL mount is not required. If you have B4 lenses like the Digi Primes they can be used with the GH5 in 4k EXT TEL mode with a number of optical B4 to PL adapters and then a PL to m4/3 non optical adapter. The Abakus 132 is and example of one such a B4 to PL optical adapter.  Here's the product info on BH Photo https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/580779-REG/Abakus_120_132_Converter_Lens_B4.html

The Abakus 132 sells for about $1000 on ebay when they come up.

So the question is for about the same price do you go with a F23 at 1080p without rolling shutter due to the CCD's and 444 12 bit color 12 stops of DR or do you go the GH5 with 4k 60p 10bit 422 color and rolling shutter with ? stops of DR - both requiring an external recorder...  thoughts?


The perfect set of very high quality lenses to pair with a F23 on the cheap:
 

 

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Unlike other HD B4 prime lenses (Fujinon and Canon) the Zeiss DigiPrimes are readily availability depending on the focal length and at discounted prices compared to a few years ago.  That said the DigiZooms are great as well and the 6-24 is cheaper than previous in ebay, when they come up. The 17-112 DigiZoom is still at a premium and a fantastic lenes none the less.  What’s nice about the Zeiss DigiPrimes and DigiZooms are they are designed to be shot wide open, so they are sharp enough wide open without the added contrast you get when stopping then down.  These are true cinema lenses with a long focus throw, cinema gears and Zeiss cinema glass and design.

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7 hours ago, majoraxis said:

Unlike other HD B4 prime lenses (Fujinon and Canon) the Zeiss DigiPrimes are readily availability depending on the focal length and at discounted prices compared to a few years ago.

The Fujinon and Canons are at massive discounts too! Even a bit cheaper than DigiPrimes. 
But yes, the DigiPrimes seem to be more common, easier to get a full set, why is this, where the DigiPrimes more common themselves back in the "B4 Cinema Era"?
 

7 hours ago, majoraxis said:

The 17-112 DigiZoom is still at a premium and a fantastic lenes none the less.

What non-DigiZoom cinema zoom B4 lenses would you recommend looking out for?
 

7 hours ago, majoraxis said:

What’s nice about the Zeiss DigiPrimes and DigiZooms are they are designed to be shot wide open, so they are sharp enough wide open without the added contrast you get when stopping then down.


I've read a review though which says the DigiPrimes show a colorshift between wide open and stopped down?

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4 hours ago, IronFilm said:

But yes, the DigiPrimes seem to be more common, easier to get a full set, why is this, where the DigiPrimes more common themselves back in the "B4 Cinema Era"?

I've asked myself the same question - it seems that there are just more DigiPrimes made in the first place, but that is anecdotal, I do not have numbers to prove it,  just experience.  I thinking is the rental houses bought the DigiPrimes and DigiZooms and maybe Zeiss was first to market, but who knows...

 

4 hours ago, IronFilm said:

What non-DigiZoom cinema zoom B4 lenses would you recommend looking out for?

At the moment, a DigiZoom 6-24 for $1,565.99 and $1,650.00 on ebay are hard to beat.  For about half the money the Canon HJ11x4.7B KLL-SC $749 and CANON HJ21x7.5B-III KLL-SC $775 on ebay are also good deals if they are in good condition.  They are kind of like the a DigiZoom set but by Canon and are not constant aperture, they are slightly slower to begin with and are (alittle?) softer than the DigiZooms. The Canons are each comparatively longer, however. The Canon 11x4.7 is a nice size, not too big, not too heavy. The 21x7.5B is large and heavy in comparison,  but a very long range zoom: 21x. There is also the Fujinon HAc15x7.3 $2500, which is currently not cheap on ebay right now but they come up from time to time for less.  This is a 15x constant aperture fast zoom lens with great resolution, little breathing, good illumination from edge to edge and a contrast level that is just right IMHO.   It's great for live events and with nice bokeh at the long end. It is not for everything, as it is not wide enough to cover all situations, and it is too heavy to run and gun. The Canon 21x7.5 and DigiZoom 17-112 will also throw the background out of focus at the long end.  There is also the Fujinon HAc13x4.5 4.5-59mm $899 on ebay. It's faster, longer, wider, has more contrast and is more resolved than the Canon 11x4.7, but the comparatively lower amount of geometric distortion and the lower amount breathing of the Canon makes you have to choose based on your priorities.

So there you have it, the 3 wide and long lenses sets (Fujinon also makes an 18x but it is not constant aperture so I prefer the 15x) from Zeiss, Canon, and Fujinon.  The clear winner is many of these lenses for under a grand or less if you have a compatible optical adapter and/or camera.

 

4 hours ago, IronFilm said:


I've read a review though which says the DigiPrimes show a colorshift between wide open and stopped down?

I don't do a lot of stopping down, but when I have, I preferred the DigiPrimes wide open or almost wide open,  as I like slightly less contrast and I think it is slightly softer as well, wide open, which hasn't bothered me.  So I can't confirm or deny the color shift based on aperture changes with the DigiPrimes. I can confirm an increase in contrast when stopping down with the DigiPrimes.

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12 hours ago, heart0less said:

Those were quite gorgeous 10 years..

 

Thank you.  That's probably the best source of high-quality colour grading reference images yet posted online!

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From the older lower resolution to this new higher resolution versions, all of the ARRI cameras have beautiful color rendition and excellent dynamic range.  Just goes to show resolution should not be a dp's number 1 priority.  That said if you can afford it, why not have it all and that pretty much sum up ARRI - you can have it all - for a price.

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Still such a beautiful  skintone and the dual-gain sensor is lovely.

But ya know, the associated grip and batteries and so on... it'l all massive. 

TBH if I have a production hwere i can have crew i just hire it. If I don't I'll use the S1H, and turn up with nearly everything in a Peli 1510,  it's pretty close in footage looks.

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1 hour ago, jgharding said:

Still such a beautiful  skintone and the dual-gain sensor is lovely.

But ya know, the associated grip and batteries and so on... it'l all massive. 

TBH if I have a production hwere i can have crew i just hire it. If I don't I'll use the S1H, and turn up with nearly everything in a Peli 1510,  it's pretty close in footage looks.

Yeah, to me the main price is the size and form-factor, not the $$$$, but it depends on what you shoot.

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