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Which lens should I purchase?


Wedookayfilms

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Hello! I am new to this forum. I finally joined after years of reading through many threads and really enjoying all of the information. Thank you!

But I need help deciding on a new lens to take my films to the next level; Image quality wise.

I currently use a gh2 HACKED with an SLR magic 25mm .95 CINE I lens and edit in FCPX.  I also have an SLR magic 12mm and some Canon FD old lenses. I really love the SLR magic lenses but I want to get a lens that is even sharper and smoother. My budget is $1,000. I was looking at the Carl Zeiss 45mm F2. But what can you all recommend me to get for a new lens? That goes well with the gh2?

This is my first short comedy film and that is what I will be filming primarily: shorts films and sketch comedies. I would love some feedback! I want to get some better quality overall.. I mostly used slr magic 25mm .95.. Should I stay in the slr magic family? What about Carl Zeiss?  Thanks for all the help. Share the video if you like it!

 

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for utmost resolution you wont really gain anything better than the slr magic lenses you currently own. particularly from 135mm format lenses like the contax g series.  this is because the contax leses are designed to deliver their resolution onto a 35mm frame so you'll only be using a small proportion of that area.  a good investment would be a speed booster since this will compress more of the optical capabilities of contax zeisses into the smaller area.  -and will equal a higher resolving power onto your m4/3 sensor.  the resolution benefits depend on the quality of the optics in the speed booster so I would suggest waiting for the ultra version in m4/3.  this in combination with a zeiss 50mm f1.4 will outdo the contax G 45mm in resolution terms, and will allow you to run at f2.8 rather than wide open for the same light transmittance and with a slightly wider fov than the 45mm on its own.  £1000 should just about buy a 50mm f1.4 contax and a speed booster ultra..

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You can't use a focal reducer from m4/3 to m4/3, that is just nonsense! As you need to have different mount lengths, so you can use that gap to put the glass for the focal reducer in there. 

​i was not talking about a m4/3 to m4/3 speed booster.  I thought it was a given that a speed booster needs to be adapting from m4/3 to an SLR mount like Contax/Yashica.  the reason I brought up the speed booster + contax 50 is that the thread starter suggested the 45mm f2 contax g lens (reputed to be one of the finest resolving lenses within an accessible price range.  the problem is, the g series does not allow use of a speed booster and thus wont allow any gain in resolution from the process of focal reduction.

 

Thanks Rich! I guess I'm still a little confused about the speed booster... Can I use a speed booster with the SLR magic 25mm? and what do you mean "I would suggest waiting for the ultra version in m4/3"? Has it not come out yet?

Thanks again for the help.

​generally the best option is to get a m4/3 to ef mount speed booster.  then adapt lenses to ef mount.  SLR magic lenses tend to be native m4/3 lenses - usually based on other lenses but with additional optics sitting behind them to do focal reduction.  ie.  an slr magic 25mm lens for m4/3 will likely be a 50mm lens for full frame, with some optics on the back to make the image circle smaller, causing a focal reduction + a gain in speed.

I suggest reading up on focal reducers and their purpose.  TBH its not that any of your slr magic lenses lack the resolving power to deliver the 1080p signal the gh2 needs.  even getting an otus wont show much of an improvement on the m4/3 sensor since 70% of it;s image circle is cropped away and lost.

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Good ambition.  You're onto something, you just need to refine it. I also did sketches (a looong time ago) for fun.  My ideas and my comedy were pathetic, but the process of making mistakes while filming was invaluable. 

My advice is this:  you're trying to fix the wrong problem.  If you want your work to look better you need to worry about a bunch of other things before lens selection.

And, honestly, a slightly wide lens is ideal for comedy stuff.  You're already set.

I'd fret most about lighting and knowing how to create strong balanced exposures on subjects.  Your lighting is uninspired and kind of distracting.  If you can't learn to do it well, maybe hire someone that can...or is at least willing to try hard to figure it out.  It's heavy lifting, so you need to love the challenge or find someone that does. 

I can't emphasize it enough.  The thing that separates good shooting from bad shooting is not the gear, it's using whatever gear you got with the right light.  Good shooters chase good light or make good light.  They combine it with numerous others imaging skills to make something special.

This is why, in filmmaking, you'll see a talented 17 year old kid with an old Canon Ti making films incredibly better than some camera-gear-head with a brand new [insert latest expensive and popular technical camera here] and every lens at his/her disposal.

The deal is simple, if you want to get better than everyone else running around with a great camera these days (aka: everyone with a vague interest in DSLR/mirrorless video), then get better where it actually makes the most difference.  No lens can salvage a poorly lit frame.  And in case it needs saying:  exposure is not about pumping enough light into a shot, it's knowing how to place or remove the right amount of light where it needs to go for pleasant shots to result.

It's like music.  You don't make nuanced music by playing a cacophony of relentless sound.  Good music happens in the space between notes.

Lenses?  A very important tool, however they're only a part of everything --And this only addresses the simple technicalities of production!  Governing the artistic performance side of it all is another consideration altogether...and your camera is one of the main characters!  

 

...Of course, you could be like many and just buy camera gear as a catalyst to some creative motivation.  I've done it...

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haha you are right. Thats what Im trying to do- just buy something for motivation. I just want another lense to go with the SLR magic but i guess in reality- I dont NEED a new lens.. Some day I hope to upgrade the resolution/quality! But you are right! I know nothing about lighting and the lighting was done by someone with not too much skill in the field. Next shoot I will have more LED lights and hopefully someone with a little more knowledge.. But you are totally right fuzzy and I thank you for showing me. Maybe I don't need a lens. I just had the extra cash. Thanks again for the wise words.

 

 

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Well, good lighting is not incredibly difficult. I find its more about knowing what not to do than anything else.  

 

Theres lots of online tutorials to pick up the basics. 

 

Once you actually start to "see" light and get confident to manipulate it to your advantage, it gets pretty easy. 

 

You have the lens and camera right now to make images with impressive quality and resolution. I wouldn't worry about that. 

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I just wish the usual stuff they show here on TV would be as half as funny! Altough I did not understand everything it was very funny and good idea.

For the average watcher maybe a tiny little bit shorter would/could be better. Too many people expect/prefer very short cuts - especially when watching on a PC.

I also agree on the lens recommandations: I use Canon FDs for years and are happy with them. I also like them more then Contax Zeiss (Zeiss for Rolllei was sharper in my case). The GH2 is still great and would prefer less sharp lenses.

I found it very intresting what Rich said: about Speedbooster and gain in sharpness. I use a cheap RJ Reducer for m4/3 - Canon FD but never compared sharpness.

However if I adapt my Canons (which are not known for being soft) to my Leitz Super-8 they are nearly unusuable because they are very soft compared to Leitz/Schneiders which are made for that film/size...

Keep on with your good work ! :)

 

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Thank you Rudolph and thank you fuzzy! I appreciate the feedback , honestly, I don't have a good outsource of film makers so it's hard to get any feedback on the production side of anything. The lighting needs to improve but also, I think it could have been shorter as well. Just a tad tighter. You are right!

 

But it I really appreciate the feedback and would love some more! I need it. Keep em coming! I guess I'll stick with my slr magic and gh2 for now.

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I found it very intresting what Rich said: about Speedbooster and gain in sharpness. I use a cheap RJ Reducer for m4/3 - Canon FD but never compared sharpness.

However if I adapt my Canons (which are not known for being soft) to my Leitz Super-8 they are nearly unusuable because they are very soft compared to Leitz/Schneiders which are made for that film/size...

 

 

​up until recently the argument has always been that using a crop sensor on a lens designed for a bigger format is advantageous due to the fact that a crop sensor uses the best portion of the image circle from the lens, cropping away any edge problems that might have been visible on the original larger frame size. However since we're now seeing crop sensors with very high mpx counts it's important to factor in LP/mm ratings (if obtaining the most from your high mpx count is important to you).

a really good piece about the value of LP/mm ratings is this:-  https://www.schneideroptics.com/pdfs/Digitar.pdf

This pdf refers to high resolution medium format lenses vs large format lenses, but the theories translate into our discussion.

 

 

 

 

 

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Nowadays, for my corporate stuff I use three modern m43 primes 12,20,45. They're all f2 or faster.  They're crisp and clinical, so effective for that realm of work  

 

Aside from that I have Canon L24-70 2.8, and a sigma 10-20. 

 

Also a bunch of random goofy c glass, Pentax, Nikon, and Russian stuff. But it's all for personal play, mostly. 

 

I still carry a Nikon 50 1.4 and an old 5d with me though.  Sometimes a savior for an easy good looking interview shot  

 

Also, I rent as needed. Used a m43 14-150 and 100-300 for my last travel gig. 

 

I tend to work in the down and dirty run/gun side of things, so a modest collection of "working" glass suits me well.  If you see the clips I've put up on my Vimeo page you can see how it fits. 

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Nowadays, for my corporate stuff I use three modern m43 primes 12,20,45. They're all f2 or faster.  They're crisp and clinical, so effective for that realm of work  

I tend to work in the down and dirty run/gun side of things, so a modest collection of "working" glass suits me well.  If you see the clips I've put up on my Vimeo page you can see how it fits. 

​Cool thanks. Yeah now I just have a BMPCC and GH4 I'm tempted to swap my manual Nikkors + Speed Booster for M43 glass. To be honest it's the focus rings on my AI-S lenses that I love more than anything.

I'm going to buy a zoom next I think (I only own Nikkor primes and the Tokina 11-16) so may go for the Panny 12-35 for the IS and compact size.

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Hey OP,

Here's something that's not terribly funny (IMHO) as the comedic timing editing is way too off for my tastes --and I'm guessing the director/actors weren't willing to "kill a few babies" In order to land the jokes a lot quicker and just land the gag, but.... you really get a sense on how the lighting is a viable character of the comedy.  Plus you get a breakdown tutorial on how they did it.  The production is clean and considered.  http://nofilmschool.com/2014/03/lighting-tutoral-capture-9-visual-styles-without-moving-your-camera

 

Also, here's the down-est and dirty-ist trick I know to quickly determine if you're lighting your stuff somewhat effectively:  Squint super hard while looking at your setup.  If your subject(s) details disappear into silhouette you got some work to do.  Only works if you're NOT trying to obscure the subject, of course.

 

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This pdf refers to high resolution medium format lenses vs large format lenses, but the theories translate into our discussion.

Very interestring but honestly... I am not very clever and this could cause a bad headache... therefore I couldnt't read the whole thing ;)

But still I learnd something - thanks a lot!

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