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Cheapest parfocal lenses

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There are a number of them listed here on a Pentax forum.

PK mount is easily adaptable to other mounts but a number of the lenses listed from 3rd parties would be available in other mounts anyway.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/201887-list-parfocal-zoom-lenses.html

If you are looking for a cine lens then the RED 18-50mm PL zooms do pop up not far off that price point from time to time.

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Depending on what camera you're using, some modern lenses act like they're parfocal because the camera compensates throughout the range.  The XC10 is like this and it works quite well as long as you're zooming slowly.  If you do anything fast then it struggles to keep up.

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7 minutes ago, newfoundmass said:

Aren't a lot of B4 lenses parafocal? Depending on the sensor size / crop that might be an option. 

I would think most all of them are. But they really only will cover a m4/3 sensor if they are a 2/3 lens and have a 2x doubler. A few, very few will cover close to s35.

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17 minutes ago, webrunner5 said:

I would think most all of them are. But they really only will cover a m4/3 sensor if they are a 2/3 lens and have a 2x doubler. A few, very few will cover close to s35.

ETC mode might also be enough to cover the sensor. Or if you have the LS300 you can adjust it accordingly :)

Some of the results I've seen on YouTube look good in 4K, though I've heard mixed results from some people. I've had very limited experience with B4 lenses, but I've heard that the older ones don't look too great in 4K because they were built with SD in mind and the optics aren't there. I know my friend still shoots with a hacked GH2 and a B4 lens and loves it. I should ask to use it on my GH5. 

If you're shooting in 1080p though a B4 lens might be one of the more affordable options. I know eBay has tons of them ranging from $300 and up. 

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Well the biggest problem I have encountered with B4 lenses is they are so damn long zoom wise.  It is pretty hard even on a tripod to use them extended which is tempting to be honest. With the crop factor they are super long millimeter wise on paper. Like nearly 1000mm on a m4/3 camera! ETC you are taking 2000mm! You really can't use a 2000mm lens to be honest. Even 900mm is pushing it. Atmospheric pollution, let alone camera shake is deadly at that length. I have tried to shoot birds at 1000mm and even just shallow beating is a disaster! 750mm seems to be my limit. YMMV

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1 hour ago, newfoundmass said:

ETC mode might also be enough to cover the sensor. Or if you have the LS300 you can adjust it accordingly :)

Some of the results I've seen on YouTube look good in 4K, though I've heard mixed results from some people. I've had very limited experience with B4 lenses, but I've heard that the older ones don't look too great in 4K because they were built with SD in mind and the optics aren't there. I know my friend still shoots with a hacked GH2 and a B4 lens and loves it. I should ask to use it on my GH5. 

If you're shooting in 1080p though a B4 lens might be one of the more affordable options. I know eBay has tons of them ranging from $300 and up. 

Well even the old lens are better than you think. ENG cameras have 3, 2/3 sensors which end up to be bigger than a m4/3 sensor combined. So they are really able to do nearly 4K on the newer style ones, and I am talking 20 year ago lenses. So don't write them off even though they are old. We are talking Broadcast stuff here. Pure color 4.4.4.. $10.000 Dollar lenses and more 20 years ago price wise. No breathing, and Parafocal lenses. The best you could buy hands down. The new ones are 4K rated but that is more marketing BS than reality. Sure the newer the better but.

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36 minutes ago, webrunner5 said:

Well the biggest problem I have encountered with B4 lenses is they are so damn long zoom wise.  It is pretty hard even on a tripod to use them extended which is tempting to be honest. With the crop factor they are super long millimeter wise on paper. Like nearly 1000mm on a m4/3 camera! ETC you are taking 2000mm! You really can't use a 2000mm lens to be honest. Even 900mm is pushing it. Atmospheric pollution, let alone camera shake is deadly at that length. I have tried to shoot birds at 1000mm and even just shallow beating is a disaster! 750mm seems to be my limit. YMMV

+1 for there being limitations to focal lengths, or at least if you're using them to look at things that are far away.  I started having difficulties around 1000mm equivalent, so similar experience.

This may or may not apply to the OPs situation..

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B4 lens are optically designed to pass through a prism, which splits the light waves into Red, Blue and Green light waves, one for each of the 3 monochrome 2/3" CCD sensors of the B4 Camera. Each color light wave has a slightly different arrival time, which the B4 lens optics are designed to compensate for. Without a prism in the optical path of the B4 lens, they do not perform well wide open at the wide end and are too soft. If you are stopped down then they can look OK especially at the long end of of the lens without an optical adapter.

B4 lens can be adapted with an optical lens adapter that is designed to correct the arrival times of the Red, Blue and Green light waves so that shooting it wide open and at the wide end the of lens performs well. Depending on the camera it is possible to shoot 4k with a B4 lens.

For example the the USRA Mini Broadcast comes with a 4k B4 adapter standard and expands the image from 2/3" by ~1.5x to cover the 4K 1" sensor.

The GH5 in EXT Mode (~1.4x crop) with an Abakus 132 (~1.32x crop) adapter should cover the 4k cropped sensor EXT mode depending on the lens.

Blackmagic also sells a 1.1x B4 adapter for the USRA Mini Pro. If you have a 2x extender on your B4 lens you should be able cover about a m4/3rds sensor crop depending to the B4 lens, so if you shoot 4.6k,  your resolution is about 3k with the B4 lens and 2x extender.

There are other B4 lens adapter options as well, just don't get the B4 Magic by Fotodox - you have to stopped down or it is soft, so what it the point?  It's not magic to say the least.   

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The Angenieux 35-70mm is parfocal & is vintage loveliness - also, is about the price range you mentioned, but can be had cheaper.

NB: the 28-70 isn't, nor is the cheaper Tokina ATX Pro version of the 28-70mm (some people say that it is, but that is BS - so beware).

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I will add the Lomo Foton 37-1400mm to the mix. One of my favorite lenses, it has a vintage look and a softness that balances out some of the sharpness of digital. It is very small and relatively light weight, considering it is all metal, and can be found for under $1K. It has an interchangeable mount that you can get several mounts for I know PL and EF for sure. It's biggest issues are that it is not very fast T4 and covers s35 so no full frame. Also they are from the 70's and 80's so condition varies.

One thing to keep in mind is that it doesn't matter if the lens is parfocal if your FFD isn't correct.

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What camera?   I wish all brands had a lossless (or virtually) digital zoom like Sony does.    Means you can use any lens as a zoom including Canon EF primes.     When I had a working A7s I even used my Canon  f4 L 17mm TS-E as a 2x zoom.    Wish I could do that with my Canon camera.

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The Sigma Art 18-35mm F1.8 is parfocal. Same glass as its Cinema cousin. Buy a gear set from followfocusgears.com and you're ready to go!

https://www.amazon.com/Sigma-18-35mm-F1-8-Lens-Canon/dp/B00DBL0NLQ/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=sigma+18-35&qid=1553964868&s=gateway&sr=8-3

https://followfocusgears.com/collections/sigma/products/seamless-follow-focus-gear-ring-for-sigma-18-35mm-f1-8-sigma-art-lens?variant=21512634400851

I just got one a month or so ago and can confirm it's parfocal.

Here's a short piece with video about it:

https://eriknaso.com/2013/11/02/sigma-18-35-parfocal-test/

You should know the lens does not have IS though.

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