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Lenses with character


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Thanks Andy.... how do they differ in sharpness? I guess the HFT ones are more clinical in that respect. 

 

Again thanks for all the info! 

no the older ones as sharp just alot less contrast - shades of grey not solid crushed blacks - and they flare very easliy

 

Zeiss made the 50mm and 35mm the 28 was Rolleinair made

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sounds like a good idea!   we are all in the middle of a massive Digital Film making revoltion right now - film is dying - it's almost gone for good (Christoper Nolan will have to start hording fil

the whole Carl Zeiss Distagon 'Hollywood' look is all referanced to Super 35mm film field of view (in dslr terms thats APSC or micro 4/3 WITH a speedbooster to give a Super 35mm Field of view)   The

Thanks for the great suggestions, Andy. :lol: I'll be taking these puppies for a couple of spins next few weeks.

Do you guys consider the lack of sharpness/resolving power a "charachter" point? I love my lens sharp, all the vintage high quality cinema lenses were extremely sharp contrary to modern belief, they are mainly just as good as the latest photographic lenses or sharper.

I think the lack of resolving power, and horrible characteristics like high purple fringing and chromatic abberations, strong distortion, etc are not factors in making a lens unique or give is character they just make it worse. Just my opinion.

 

I'd say there is no single right or wrong answer. Sharpness alone is just one factor. Character is a somewhat subjective term, and the bottom line is go with whatever suits you. Pick a lens. Shoot with it, then edit and grade it, and see how the end result looks. If it looks good and your workflow has been pleasant enough, great, go with that lens. Then try finding another one that matches the 'look' of it.

 

It's different with different cameras. Some cameras with no low-pass filters may benefit from lenses with less resolving power, even though sharpness is desirable. Cameras with strong low-pass filters may give a slightly different look and benefit from different kind of lenses. There are different colour casts, and out of focus blurs look slightly different among different lenses. Different sensor sizes are using different size portions of the lens circle. Some people are looking for a slightly different 'look' than some others. And so on. Whatever floats your boat.

 

No one likes strong purple fringing or chromatic aberrations, but that's another story. If it's a vintage lens, we can try working around the gotchas and enhancing the good bits. Or go with whatever lens gets the most votes in online forum acclamations, or the highest score in DXO photo lens tests. It's all up to you, anything goes.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

So do you think that some shooters like the lack of resolving power in lenses? Soft lenses as opposed to sharp? It's actually interesting.

And is shooting with a soft lens gives the same aesthetic as shooting with a soft camera (given they're soft to the same degree)? Is the aesthetic the same if you softened the image in post by the same degree?

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Thanks Andy.... how do they differ in sharpness? I guess the HFT ones are more clinical in that respect. 

 

Again thanks for all the info! 

 

I have a full set of rollei zeisses (25mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm and 135mm) as well as the 1.4x converter which is awesome with the 50mm f1.4.  All are non HFT's except for the 50mm f1.4.  I have the 50mm f1.8 version which is non hft and tbh i prefer it to the 50mmf1.4.

 

The 25mm f2.8 distagon is pretty much my favourite lens from that lineup.

 

The Non hft coated versions are really nice since they originate from the 1960's and were the best lenses available for 35mm SLR's at the time.

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So do you think that some shooters like the lack of resolving power in lenses? Soft lenses as opposed to sharp? It's actually interesting.

And is shooting with a soft lens gives the same aesthetic as shooting with a soft camera (given they're soft to the same degree)? Is the aesthetic the same if you softened the image in post by the same degree?

 

The golden ratio is a low contrast but with resolving power and no CA.  In order to get this you need to go for top quality lenses from an era before multi coatings became popular.  Old Zeisses, Schachts Munchens, and some ULMS (designed by an ex zeiss guy), Old Sankor lenses, rodenstock m42's, old tokinas etc.

 

A magical little 35mm lens in T Mount meaning it can be adapted to anything.:-

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Sankor-2-8-35-mm-Exa-Exakta-mount-287573E-lk044-/361114539012?pt=DE_Foto_Camcorder_Objektive&hash=item54141a9404

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Thanks Rich and Andy, very good resource of info. 

 

My view is on Ebrahim's point - for cinematic/narrative work, I'd strongly decide against not shooting with a lens such as the Panny 12-35mm. It's ultra sharp, high contrast and so clincal - it's insane!

 

With cameras now being so sharp out the box, HD and 4k, it certainly helps to offset that digital sharp look with a low contrast, vintage lens that can resolve an image with great detail, low contrast and able to flare nicely when you intend to. That's why I'm very interested in these types of lenses, they just FEEL better than their modern friends. 

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[..]

 

Has anybody used the Rokinon/Samyang cine lenses? How are these for "character"? I hear very good things about them, with cine housings and great quality for the price, but if they have that modern lens high contrast look, I'm likely not going to bother. Vintage lenses are flattering for talent ;)

 

they are modern clinical lenses

 

http://matthewduclos.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/duclos-lenses-introduces-rokinon%E2%80%A2raw-primes/

 

the fact that Matthew Dulocs is removing the coatings to give them more character speaks volumes!

Have you seen this? https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/665053329/veydra-m4-3-cinema-lenses-for-gh4-and-bmpcc

Just read about this, so I'm not sure if they have character... perhaps these are reworked Rokinons as well, but could be something to look into?

- Ah, key, apparently not.

Are these rehoused stills glass?

No these are purpose built optics. Accept no stills glass in cinema clothing! These are purpose built cinema lenses manufactured and designed by Veydra.

 

+ saw mister Caleb Pike is using the 28-70mm f/2.8 as well! Slowly starting to convince myself that this would be a great one to have combined with a Nikon focal reducer...

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These ones might be interesting too... http://www.bestmirrorlesscamerareviews.com/2014/11/17/the-zy-optics-mitakon-24mm-f1-7-and-42-5mm-f1-2-micro-four-thirds-mount-complete-review/

 

For video use however they can become more interesting for their bokeh rendering and the overall vintage look they give to the footage (if you like this kind of rendering of course).

 

 

Also check how they compare to the Panasonic/Leica and Olympus M.Zuiko. Little dreamy: less contrast and a bit soft wide open. Some might call it 'character'. ;)

I had ordered those myself when they were up for pre-sale around Photokina. Shipment was a bit delayed.

They're on their way now though and according tracking have just left China. Will take a week or two/three to get here.

 

those Kickstarter lenses look nice design wise - I wonder what the glass is like?

 

There were some answers on the Veydra comments-page.

 


  • Veydra optical elements all made of fine quality multi coated glass. The barrels are aircraft grade aluminum and the mounts will be plated brass.
  • The 16mm, 25mm, 35mm, and 50mm are all the exact same size. The 12mm is as lightly shorter but the iris and focus gears are in the exact same position on each lens for quick lens changes

 

  • Yes, we plan a custom hard case, it won't be on the Kickstarter but will be available for purchase.
  • These lenses are nearly telecentric so focus breathing or image size change is minimal to non-existent
  • We took some designs from an existing c mount lens and then modified or designed new optics for the m4/3 format. Veydra Mini Primes are purpose built cinema lenses with an all new design and manufacture.
  • We plan to post some sample footage and side by side comparison tests by next week.
  • These lenses are manufactured in China by Veydra
  • Matthew Duclos appeared in our video and was involved in the design specification for these lenses. Duclos lenses will offer these lenses for sale/service but is not involved in the manufacture of these lenses.

 

Sounds pretty cool. Not quite sure about the Kodak-colorscheme of the branding though (orangy red with the orangy yellow).

Do markings on cinema lenses really have to be orangy yellow?

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Those Veydra lenses look nice - I just need my lenses to cover Super 35mm (and full frame, sometimes). 

 

Have you seen the D16 Kish lenses though? Fixed aperture to keep cost down. 

http://www.digitalbolex.com/kish-lenses-on-sale-today/

 

The D16 is the "character" camera, I would get one but can't justify the financial outlay. 

 

Wide angle "macros"? Any recommendations? (wide angle with subject  in focus, very close to lens - like how the SLR Magic 12mm behaves on MFT). Sirius 28mm f2.8? 

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Sounds pretty cool. Not quite sure about the Kodak-colorscheme of the branding though (orangy red with the orangy yellow).

Do markings on cinema lenses really have to be orangy yellow?

 

Yes, they do, to identify/differentiate them clearly and visually from others, like Zeiss, Samyang SLR Magic, etc.

What's wrong with orangy yellow, anyway?

I've got nothing against some daddy Eastman-esque vibe in them, especially if they turn out to be good and 'Eastmancolormatic' enough.

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@Andy Lee
How do the Nikon 28-70 2.8 and the CZ 35-70 3.5 compare? Specially "pop" wise. I've always wanted to try that one but I don't know if it's worth when already haveing the nikkor.

The Nikon and Zeiss are very similar lenses optically both are warm and have strong blacks but the Zeiss 35-70mm is a push pull lens not as wide and slower too so you don't need it if you have a Nikon also I Prefer the Zeiss 28-70mm in c/y mount as its smaller wider and a two touch zoom but again the Nikon is better as its faster .at f5.6 both lenses have the same pop but at f2.8 the Nikon is king its great wide open and that's where I use it - on micro 4/3 on a lens turbo speed booster - that makes a big difference making it an f2 lens giving you a great look on micro 4/3 cameras that's very hard to beat in my book
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While we're at it, has anyone used these before?

 

http://www.motionsix.co.uk

 

Pretty interesting looking products.

 

Never heard of Motion Six but looks very interesting. 

 

Dog Schidt Optiks products are fascinating! would love some of those. (isn't the creator a regular poster on this forum?) ;) 

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Dog Schidt Optiks products are fascinating! would love some of those. (isn't the creator a regular poster on this forum?) ;)

 

Indeed he is, I had to triple check to make sure they hadn't already been mentioned! Joke aside, they look gorgeous, I only heard about them last week and I already know what I'll be ordering on payday! 

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Indeed he is, I had to triple check to make sure they hadn't already been mentioned! Joke aside, they look gorgeous, I only heard about them last week and I already know what I'll be ordering on payday! 

 

Seem like fantastic, unique products. Just the character I'm looking for. Need some invoices clearing first though, haha.  :blink:

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After following this thread with a high amount of interest, I decided to look out for the Canon FD 35mm f2.0 (the thorium version). According to Wikipedia, there exists two versions: the normal one and the SSC one.

 

If i interpret everything said above right, i should go for the non-SSC version, right?

 

Can anyone recommend a focal reducer for canon fd - m43? Is the Zhongyi one fine or should it be metabones?

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