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$5,000 Cine Lenses vs. L-Lenses - WOW


jasonmillard81
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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Canon CN-E lenses? I've only tried the 24mm T/1.5 once, and found the image quality identical to the 24mm F/1.4 L stills lens. Though they have beautiful construction, actual step-less aperture ring, proper focus ring with a huge 300 degree throw

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Anyone using FD L lenses for video?

 

Older and not as good sure but still good lenses and they have hard stops and should last for years.    The 24 and 85 at least have the same filter size.

 

Is it worth it to get them declicked?

 

Regards the Cine vs EF, just curious but Is there much sample variation between normal EF L lenses?

If not why select the glass for the cine lenses- and if there is, doesn't that just mean they (cine lenses) MIGHT be better but also might not if you get lucky with the normal stills lenses?

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

I personally couldn't really see any difference in the image neither in my 24mm test, nor the video in the link above, not in sharpness, contrast, vignetting, color, they have the same optical quality. The only difference in the image is that the Cinema lenses have more iris blades (11) which results in more rounded out of focus areas, but that has nothing to do with optics. I have no proof of it but I strongly believe the CN-E lenses are rehoused Canon L primes, which isn't a bad thing, when you couple the fantastic L quality with high-end cinema construction and mechanics, you have one of the best sets of lenses ever made. If I ever choose to invest in a set of primes, these will be the ones, they're just beautiful. Their Cine zooms however don't have photographic equivalents, and are even built from the ground up to cover motion picture frame of s35, whilst the cine primes cover the photographic full frame area like the L primes.

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Well if you look at the image I think it speaks for itself...also have yourself a read if you think Cine lenses and L lenses are the same in terms of aesthetics:

 

http://nofilmschool.com/2013/01/canon-cn-e-cine-prime-vs-l-series-lenses-c300-jonathan-yi/

 

 

In regards to the 50mm 1.2 L I don't think anyone says it blows the 50mm 1.4 regular lens out of the water in terms of sharpness.  I don't think that was ever the point of owning the 50mm 1.2 L.  I'll have to look for a link to a lens test for you.  Anyway I could get more detailed shots by investing $5,000 into a better camera, other accessories, and a more modestly priced lens.  It's all about trade offs when money is tight.

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The Canon cine lenses are sharper and have better color rendition. I've seen the tests literally right in front of me at a top post house, and it wasn't close. All lighting conditions are superior.

 

Would the average guy eating popcorn while watching a movie notice? No. However that does not make a good argument if you demand the best/for price.

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Thanks guys I appreciate the feedback and new knowledge!

 

I wonder then, why does this guys 5d3 raw footage look as amazing as it does, especially compared to about 95% of the other raw footage coming from comparable cameras?

 

 

I am not saying the Cine lenses aren't sharper, better, whatever.  I have no idea.  But would it really surprise you if 95% of what you saw on the internet was incompetent?  So much goes into making the final picture it is hard for me to tell what has gone wrong with people's productions.  All the awfulness I see on the internet can't just be blamed on people being "cheap" and just using L lenses.

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So more pertinent to this video...what are people's thoughts about how well this guy was able to make the 5d3 in ml raw mode look?  I could see this being on a big screen and being completely happy with the aesthetics of it.  I can't say that for most of the gh4, a7s, or even much of the other raw footage.

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This is a full production with lights, crew, make up, dolly, focus puller. Nice job but I'm not seeing anything I wouldn't expect to see from this type of setup.

 

If you put these lenses on and start filming your cats in your lounge room in whatever light you will get a much different look :P

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I personally couldn't really see any difference in the image neither in my 24mm test, nor the video in the link above, not in sharpness, contrast, vignetting, color, they have the same optical quality. The only difference in the image is that the Cinema lenses have more iris blades (11) which results in more rounded out of focus areas, but that has nothing to do with optics. I have no proof of it but I strongly believe the CN-E lenses are rehoused Canon L primes, which isn't a bad thing, when you couple the fantastic L quality with high-end cinema construction and mechanics, you have one of the best sets of lenses ever made. If I ever choose to invest in a set of primes, these will be the ones, they're just beautiful. Their Cine zooms however don't have photographic equivalents, and are even built from the ground up to cover motion picture frame of s35, whilst the cine primes cover the photographic full frame area like the L primes.

 

Really? I felt the difference in contrast and color was rather apparent. Check 1:25, 1:35, and 3:20 again. The cine primes hold the hot spots on the windows way better, particularly when they blow-out to bokeh, and same on the faces. Although I think at 3:20 her makeup is really helping diffuse hotspots on her face, where as he might not have any powder. Regardless, far from a rehoused L, I think.

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BTW this is not shot at T1.3 and T1.5 or only their noses would be in focus , this is more like 2.8 - 4 region (or even 5.6 as this is full frame 5D ) in reality or the focus puller would not be able to track them at all! (Act of Valor shot on 5D had to stick to 5.6 of they could not keep pulling focus accurately enough on full frame , they scrapped all the 2 weeks they shot at f2.8 at the start of the filming schedule as it was all too soft!)

 

I'm not seeing anything here I couldnt do on the Nikon 28-70mm f2.8 Bourne lens with a speedbooster at a fraction of the cost too,

its a full production you are watching here not just the lens , set design , lighting design , costumes props , atmosphere and acting all add to the final look as does the grade , the glass is nice but its not creating the look the Director is creating the whole look with all his choises to make this happen.

 

Just buying these lenses will not suddenly make your films look like this!! 

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Well if you look at the image I think it speaks for itself...also have yourself a read if you think Cine lenses and L lenses are the same in terms of aesthetics:

 

http://nofilmschool.com/2013/01/canon-cn-e-cine-prime-vs-l-series-lenses-c300-jonathan-yi/

 

 

Here is the link to the review of the 50mm 1.2...

 

 

 

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Lens is the low end 50. It delivers very good image sharpness - especially for the extremely low price. It is even slightly sharper than the f/1.2 from f/2.8 through f/8 or so. It is very light (4.6 oz/130g) and very small (2.7" x 1.6"/68.2mm x 41.0mm - WxL). CA is minimal.

 

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-50mm-f-1.2-L-USM-Lens-Review.aspx

 

So it is hardly surprising that $5,000 lens could be sharper than a $100 lens.  Basically the 1.2 is faster than either the 1.8 or 1.4.  It is better built and it has better bokeh.  But no claims of superior sharpness were ever made that I know of.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hello there (Sorry for my bad English)

I'm the director of the film embedded above. To clarify many question talked about in this forum. I would have to explain how we shoot this.

For the equipment, we had 3 5D Mark III with 1.2.3 Magic Lantern firmware installed with 3 Canon Cine Prime Lenses (28, 50 and 85mm.) few L lenses (50 F1.2, 24-70mm F2.8, 28-300 F3.5-5.6 and 70-200 F2.8) and Samyang (Rokinon) Cine 35mm.

In term of optical quality most lenses have pretty good sharpness (to the point that most of the audience will not notice the different unless you are working in this field) as long as you keep the F/T above 4 (and less than 11). If you want to work on 2.8 or 3.5 (less than that are totally not recommended by any chance even you sharpen it up in post. If you want the soft look, it's better to use Black Pro-Mist filter or Fog instead of using lower F/T Stop) then you'll probably see a some different between each lenses. At 1.2-2.0, it'll probably be used only in certain situation and I never recommend anyone using this T/F range as it always hard to focus and the overall sharpness is bad.)

for color rendition, Samyang and Canon Cine are on par with the color representation. We found that 70-200 and 28-300 have less saturation and luminance than the rest. But it's still manageable in Post-Production to get the color to match the rest. I prefer trying best to use the primes one rather than the zoom unless it's for the sake of fast background movement or really soft background.

The good thing about Canon Cine comes to the 300 Degree focus ring which helps a lot in such a complicated shots (like 10-15 focus shift in one shot while dolly back and forth and do a 360 camera turn) Even that (with F3.5), My Focus puller cursed a lot (in Thai) !!

For those who look for a cheaper alternative to Canon, I would suggest you to get Samyang (Rokinon) as it has a full range of lens (with 50mm coming up soon). For my point of view, Canon Cine Prime are mostly for rental companies to own and rent it out (in cheaper price than Ultra Prime/ Cooke i5 or Master Prime) and still give a good optical quality for lower budget type of film.

this should help answering all the question about lenses.

For 5D Mark III with magic lantern. How we lit the scene is that we trying best to lit it in the camera's histogram range. Most of the people I knew of normally didn't do a proper testing to see how far the camera can go in terms of dynamic range and color the sensor can recorded. Everything you see in the frame is designed to take the full advantage of the camera CMOS sensor (blood color, skin mock up, on set smoke to tame the contrast down and bring the dark part up and at the same time lower the highlight down, cloth and set color etc etc.)

Most of the DPs wouldn't go that far to workout with the rest of the crew to bring the best out of camera and therefore don't get what they deserved to after long hard working day shooting it.

and last the Post-Production Workflow. We work on CinemaDNG all the way from the onset DIT to the lab. Using MLRawviewer to check each and every footage after we change the CF card (Sandisk Extreme Pro 128GB, we have 2 of them). Then break the MLV down into CinemaDNG and send it to Davinci at the lab (which required a fast set hardware to work on it at 2K DCI)

We did tried blow it up to 4K and the result is stunning as it still contain all the sharpness. I asked some dude from Canon Thailand to come and see this footage (in 4K) at the lab on the big screen and they were stun of how there little old camera are capable of. I'm pretty happy with the result though (as long as you put a lot of hard work in it to make sure you squeezed every bit of their capabilities out of the camera)

Oh .... we shot our film in Thailand .... it's pretty humid and it's 37-42 degree Celsius most of the time. The camera got heated up to the point that we were worry that we might cooked it for our next meal break, but it didn't get any damage though.


Hope all this information help : )


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Hopefully I can post more of the stuff soon. Still 2 more days to go til I finish the film. After the lab work, I'll probably come up with the trailer that I can post once more to see the end result.

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