Topics

New Primes

Freek Zonderland
 

It’s an interesting topic with all these new options, thanks for starting the conversation!

Having used a lot of the low-end cine lenses and some of the higher ends, I think I can put in my two cents.

I own a full set of CP2’s, and all the Tokina Vista’s. They are all well performing lenses, great for their price and is good that you can actually own them, so you can sponsor them on low-budget or passion projects and still have a decent lens.
The downsides for me are mainly: a lot of these sets don’t feel like a set. Individually they perform fine, but once you start comparing them they turn out to perform fairly different. For instance: my Tokina 25 is a bit cooler than the rest of the set. I have tested one other set and it had the same problem.
Second, sometimes you need more focal lengths. A 5 or 6 lens set becomes pretty limited sooner than I expected. I’ve heard Tokina is working on more focal lengths, so that would be nice, but that’s probably a couple of years away.

Freek Zonderland
Cinematographer
The Netherlands

John Brawley
 

On Jun 5, 2018, at 10:31 PM, Joshua Atesh Litle via Cml.News <joshlitle=yahoo.com@...> wrote:

Hello, John (Brawley), what was the series you shot with SLR Magic APOs ? Thanks, Josh
Hi Josh,

I shot the SLR Magic APO Primes a great deal on the first season of the Fox series The Resident, especially the later episodes as I grew more confident with them.

JB


John Brawley
Cinematographer
Atlanta Georgia

Jean-Marc Bouchut
 

I also second Matt and Geoff’s comments.

There was a discussion around the look of the lenses between S35 and FF during the panel hosted by James Mathers at Cine Gear. Snehal from Zeiss argued using FF lenses on a S35 camera gives a great result because you are using the center of the image also referred as “sweet spot”. Les from Cooke argued some cinematographers like the fall off of the lens in the edges in order to give specific look to the image so it’s better to us a lens design for FF on a FF camera and a lens designed for S35 on a S35 camera. Testing the lenses on the camera you are planning to use is a key way to select the proper optics and achieve a specific look.

 

Jean-Marc Bouchut

Angenieux US

Piscataway, New Jersey

 

From: cml-glass@... [mailto:cml-glass@...] On Behalf Of Erik Schietinger
Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2018 11:56 AM
To: cml-glass@...
Subject: Re: [glass] New Primes

 

I second Matt and Geoff’s comments.   Given many of the criteria to evaluate lenses are subjective, the best way to determine which lens and what characteristics appeal to you are to test the lenses thoroughly.  

 

Erik Schietinger

Principal at TCS (camera rental house)

New York

 

From: cml-glass@... <cml-glass@...> On Behalf Of Geoff Boyle
Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2018 11:36 AM
To: cml-glass@...
Subject: Re: [glass] New Primes

 

Totally agree with Matthew

Test test test

Trust no one

Make up your own mind

What I find a problem you may love.

But please bear in mind, lenses generally perform best and as the manufacturer intended on the size of sensor they were designed for.

Just as lenses designed for S35 are unlikely to be great on FF, lenses designed for FF may lose destinctive characteristics when used on S35.

Geoff Boyle NCS

cinematographer

no fixed abode

 

From: Matthew Duclos

Sent: Tuesday, 5 June, 07:29

Subject: Re: [glass] New Primes

I've shot with and tested all of the new lenses mentioned in the original post. Happy to share thoughts on some. However, several were pre-production which I'll reserve judgement for until I can see a final version - just to be fair. 

Overall, there's a lot of get-rich-quick folks out there who saw an opportunity in cinema lenses. Some are marketing better than others, but the real lens manufacturers are the ones that will stay on top of the market.

If there's any advice I can give that encompasses all of the new AND old lens manufacturers, it would be to TEST TEST TEST. DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT SOME YOUTUBER SAYS. DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT I SAY. DO YOUR OWN TEST. Find a reputable dealer or lens shop that can facilitate a proper lens test. Spend a few hours comparing lenses side by side. Don't just believe what you read on a forum or see on Vimeo. 

--

- Matthew Duclos

Lens Tech/Geek

Los Angeles, CA

 

Erik Schietinger
 

I second Matt and Geoff’s comments.   Given many of the criteria to evaluate lenses are subjective, the best way to determine which lens and what characteristics appeal to you are to test the lenses thoroughly.  

 

Erik Schietinger

Principal at TCS (camera rental house)

New York

 

From: cml-glass@... <cml-glass@...> On Behalf Of Geoff Boyle
Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2018 11:36 AM
To: cml-glass@...
Subject: Re: [glass] New Primes

 

Totally agree with Matthew

Test test test

Trust no one

Make up your own mind

What I find a problem you may love.

But please bear in mind, lenses generally perform best and as the manufacturer intended on the size of sensor they were designed for.

Just as lenses designed for S35 are unlikely to be great on FF, lenses designed for FF may lose destinctive characteristics when used on S35.

Geoff Boyle NCS

cinematographer

no fixed abode



From: Matthew Duclos

Sent: Tuesday, 5 June, 07:29

Subject: Re: [glass] New Primes

I've shot with and tested all of the new lenses mentioned in the original post. Happy to share thoughts on some. However, several were pre-production which I'll reserve judgement for until I can see a final version - just to be fair. 

Overall, there's a lot of get-rich-quick folks out there who saw an opportunity in cinema lenses. Some are marketing better than others, but the real lens manufacturers are the ones that will stay on top of the market.

If there's any advice I can give that encompasses all of the new AND old lens manufacturers, it would be to TEST TEST TEST. DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT SOME YOUTUBER SAYS. DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT I SAY. DO YOUR OWN TEST. Find a reputable dealer or lens shop that can facilitate a proper lens test. Spend a few hours comparing lenses side by side. Don't just believe what you read on a forum or see on Vimeo. 

--

- Matthew Duclos

Lens Tech/Geek

Los Angeles, CA

 

Ben Rowland, Yonder Blue Films
 

Anyone used the Atlas Orion anamorphic lenses much? The footage has a mix of older anamorphic and modern. A lot of character in a modern housing. Curious if anyone has experience with them - I know that they are very new to the market. I have only looked at them for a few minutes at NAB (I was too busy working to really get a feel for them).  The gentlemen behind them were very nice. 

Thanks for the excellent discussion. Always great to hear folks opinions on glass. 

All the best,
Benjamin Rowland 
Director, USA (I call Georgia home)


On Tue, Jun 5, 2018 at 1:35 PM Matthew Duclos <Matthew@...> wrote:
question on the xeens - do they have consistent feel on the focus ring ? at NAB I poked at them ( their booth was really lame -  one or two cameras, not powered up, no monitors ) and just spinning the focus one lens was on the firm side while another was much looser. maybe adjustable, maybe not.

A quick note on this topic. You'd think that lens manufacturers would bring the BEST copies possible to trade shows to impress attendees. You'd be wrong. Lens manufacturers can't afford to pull brand new stock off the factory floor. Every single piece of demo gear you saw at Cine Gear is well worn after being shipped all over the country or worse, all over the world to be put on display for the masses to wiggle the focus ring and ohh and aww on the show floor. The only exception here would be brand new lenses like the Zeiss Supreme Primes because they're quite literally fresh off the assembly line. 

Don't judge optics, mechanics, performance (anything, really) from a trade show floor sample. They're almost always well worn and not representative of a brand new, well cared for unit.

That said... Yes, the Rokinon Xeen primes do vary in the tension of the focus movement quite a bit from lens to lens. Hahah. (sorry for the rant). 
In this particular case, the cause is a result of varying focus cam slopes as well as the actual weight of the glass varying from one to the next. 
If the slope is relatively steep at one point and the glass is heavy, it will struggle more than a lens with a shallow slope and light-weight glass. 
It's not uncommon to compensate (to a degree) by using heavier grease to mask the inconsistencies throughout the focus movement.

--
- Matthew Duclos
Lens Tech/Geek

--
Ben Rowland

Matthew Duclos
 

question on the xeens - do they have consistent feel on the focus ring ? at NAB I poked at them ( their booth was really lame -  one or two cameras, not powered up, no monitors ) and just spinning the focus one lens was on the firm side while another was much looser. maybe adjustable, maybe not.

A quick note on this topic. You'd think that lens manufacturers would bring the BEST copies possible to trade shows to impress attendees. You'd be wrong. Lens manufacturers can't afford to pull brand new stock off the factory floor. Every single piece of demo gear you saw at Cine Gear is well worn after being shipped all over the country or worse, all over the world to be put on display for the masses to wiggle the focus ring and ohh and aww on the show floor. The only exception here would be brand new lenses like the Zeiss Supreme Primes because they're quite literally fresh off the assembly line. 

Don't judge optics, mechanics, performance (anything, really) from a trade show floor sample. They're almost always well worn and not representative of a brand new, well cared for unit.

That said... Yes, the Rokinon Xeen primes do vary in the tension of the focus movement quite a bit from lens to lens. Hahah. (sorry for the rant). 
In this particular case, the cause is a result of varying focus cam slopes as well as the actual weight of the glass varying from one to the next. 
If the slope is relatively steep at one point and the glass is heavy, it will struggle more than a lens with a shallow slope and light-weight glass. 
It's not uncommon to compensate (to a degree) by using heavier grease to mask the inconsistencies throughout the focus movement.

--
- Matthew Duclos
Lens Tech/Geek

Steve Oakley
 

question on the xeens - do they have consistent feel on the focus ring ? at NAB I poked at them ( their booth was really lame -  one or two cameras, not powered up, no monitors ) and just spinning the focus one lens was on the firm side while another was much looser. maybe adjustable, maybe not.

their weakness seems to be lens to lens consistency on the same models. I have a rokinon DS 24 and have no problem with it wide open.maybe we are ok with different things though... build quality would never survive rental, but  its fine for my singular use.

meyer optik is also making glass again. while not cine glass, they are building new vers of their classic vintage still lenses. bought their trioplan 75 reissue and expect delivery in a few months. very interesting look, lively bokeh ( I don’t like  mush aka cream bokeh as I find it boring visually ) modern lens w/o the potential problems or cost overhaul  an older one has. the 1930’s vers are also stupid expensive if you can find one.

use what works for what you are trying to do.

Steve Oakley
DP / Editor / Colorist / VFX Artist
Madison & Milwaukee WI
920 544 2230

On Jun 5, 2018, at 11:23 AM, Jimmy Reynolds <jimbaloosh@...> wrote:

I've got a set of Xeens, 16, 24, 35, 50, 85

16 amazing, really amazing, sharp, minimal distortion, i love it.  only thing i dont like is that my 4x4's are too small to use in my mattebox with it.  i have to tape them on to get proper coverage. shooting on helium.
24 at t.15 its bad, t2 its ok t2.8 its fine.  
35 (closer to 40)  its a great lens and i use it lots.
50 great lens.  exactly what you'd expect from pretty much every $2k 50
85 this thing is gold, really happy with it.

Overall, they work, they give pretty pictures.  are they as good as primos and all the other posh glass.  hell no.  are they are lifelike as all the hipster old glass, hell no.  but they do give reliable clean images every day and don't have any massive flaws that would make them a no go on any shoot.  (except for the 24 wide open.I wish i got the 20 instead, but then the gap would be too big to 35)

Next on my list will probably be SLR magics or Celeres because they are smaller and so much of our stuff these days is shot on a stedicam/ronin/ some other strange rig.  

But to give credit where its due.  if LOVE my 24 and 40mm canon pancakes...

Would buying a 5dII and a set of fancy lenses been a better option.  Hell no, the reality of our game is that you have to sell yourself however possible and having a Red and a set of Cine primes does a hell of a lot for your street cred in a small beach town with a tiny industry.  
And yes id rather have a red and hire a set of hawks when i get that dream job...

Every lens is fun.  so go out and enjoy shooting.

Jimmy 

Jimmy Reynolds
 

I've got a set of Xeens, 16, 24, 35, 50, 85

16 amazing, really amazing, sharp, minimal distortion, i love it.  only thing i dont like is that my 4x4's are too small to use in my mattebox with it.  i have to tape them on to get proper coverage. shooting on helium.
24 at t.15 its bad, t2 its ok t2.8 its fine.  
35 (closer to 40)  its a great lens and i use it lots.
50 great lens.  exactly what you'd expect from pretty much every $2k 50
85 this thing is gold, really happy with it.

Overall, they work, they give pretty pictures.  are they as good as primos and all the other posh glass.  hell no.  are they are lifelike as all the hipster old glass, hell no.  but they do give reliable clean images every day and don't have any massive flaws that would make them a no go on any shoot.  (except for the 24 wide open.I wish i got the 20 instead, but then the gap would be too big to 35)

Next on my list will probably be SLR magics or Celeres because they are smaller and so much of our stuff these days is shot on a stedicam/ronin/ some other strange rig.  

But to give credit where its due.  if LOVE my 24 and 40mm canon pancakes...

Would buying a 5dII and a set of fancy lenses been a better option.  Hell no, the reality of our game is that you have to sell yourself however possible and having a Red and a set of Cine primes does a hell of a lot for your street cred in a small beach town with a tiny industry.  
And yes id rather have a red and hire a set of hawks when i get that dream job...

Every lens is fun.  so go out and enjoy shooting.

Jimmy 

-Jimmy Reynolds
D.P. Filmmaker
+27 72 340 9668
jimmy@...
www.jimmyreynolds.co.za




On 5 June 2018 at 16:29, Matthew Duclos <Matthew@...> wrote:
I've shot with and tested all of the new lenses mentioned in the original post. Happy to share thoughts on some. However, several were pre-production which I'll reserve judgement for until I can see a final version - just to be fair. 

Overall, there's a lot of get-rich-quick folks out there who saw an opportunity in cinema lenses. Some are marketing better than others, but the real lens manufacturers are the ones that will stay on top of the market.

If there's any advice I can give that encompasses all of the new AND old lens manufacturers, it would be to TEST TEST TEST. DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT SOME YOUTUBER SAYS. DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT I SAY. DO YOUR OWN TEST. Find a reputable dealer or lens shop that can facilitate a proper lens test. Spend a few hours comparing lenses side by side. Don't just believe what you read on a forum or see on Vimeo. 

--
- Matthew Duclos
Lens Tech/Geek
Los Angeles, CA




--

Geoff Boyle
 

Totally agree with Matthew

Test test test

Trust no one

Make up your own mind

What I find a problem you may love.

But please bear in mind, lenses generally perform best and as the manufacturer intended on the size of sensor they were designed for.
Just as lenses designed for S35 are unlikely to be great on FF, lenses designed for FF may lose destinctive characteristics when used on S35.

Geoff Boyle NCS
cinematographer
no fixed abode



From: Matthew Duclos
Sent: Tuesday, 5 June, 07:29
Subject: Re: [glass] New Primes
To: cml-glass@...


I've shot with and tested all of the new lenses mentioned in the original post. Happy to share thoughts on some. However, several were pre-production which I'll reserve judgement for until I can see a final version - just to be fair. 

Overall, there's a lot of get-rich-quick folks out there who saw an opportunity in cinema lenses. Some are marketing better than others, but the real lens manufacturers are the ones that will stay on top of the market.

If there's any advice I can give that encompasses all of the new AND old lens manufacturers, it would be to TEST TEST TEST. DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT SOME YOUTUBER SAYS. DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT I SAY. DO YOUR OWN TEST. Find a reputable dealer or lens shop that can facilitate a proper lens test. Spend a few hours comparing lenses side by side. Don't just believe what you read on a forum or see on Vimeo. 

--
- Matthew Duclos
Lens Tech/Geek
Los Angeles, CA


Matthew Duclos
 

I've shot with and tested all of the new lenses mentioned in the original post. Happy to share thoughts on some. However, several were pre-production which I'll reserve judgement for until I can see a final version - just to be fair. 

Overall, there's a lot of get-rich-quick folks out there who saw an opportunity in cinema lenses. Some are marketing better than others, but the real lens manufacturers are the ones that will stay on top of the market.

If there's any advice I can give that encompasses all of the new AND old lens manufacturers, it would be to TEST TEST TEST. DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT SOME YOUTUBER SAYS. DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT I SAY. DO YOUR OWN TEST. Find a reputable dealer or lens shop that can facilitate a proper lens test. Spend a few hours comparing lenses side by side. Don't just believe what you read on a forum or see on Vimeo. 

--
- Matthew Duclos
Lens Tech/Geek
Los Angeles, CA

Paul Curtis
 

On 5 Jun 2018, at 05:13, Jeff Kreines <jeff@...> wrote:
I suspect that the name SLR Magic is going to scare people away from these lenses — heck, it makes Spiratone sound high-end. (That one’s for the old folks.)
Yes, i'd agree with that 100% which is a shame, i try to refer to them as HyperPrime APOs for that reason. I just suggest that if you can, try them out or look at various samples posted (i have some on reduser and there are others too)

As Jay suggested, everyone has their own opinions as to what looks good and these are mine.

But, speaking of names that make one wonder, has anyone tested the XEENs?
I have tried those, as i understand they're the samyangs with different coatings. They're nice but in my experience there was quite a bit of rendering variation across the range - like the 16mm better than 14mm and so on. They're a bit bigger than the HyperPrime APOs but perfectly workable. Mechanically rotation is around 180 (at least from the 16mm in front of me) and the aperture is quite short as well. Not sure if mechanically they're that different in terms of rotation than their photo siblings.

cheers
Paul

Paul Curtis, VFX & Post | Canterbury, UK

Joshua Atesh Litle
 

Hello, John (Brawley), what was the series you shot with SLR Magic APOs ? Thanks, Josh

Joshua Atesh Litle
Filmmaker
NY, USA

herman@...
 

I agree with all the technical comments that are given, there is one thing not mentioned. That is investment, the high end lenses mentioned tend to keep up their value for a long time. 10+ to 15+ years. If you can rent out lenses for 15 years and then sell them for more or less the same price as purchased or more, I'd say that is a good deal. Unfortunately it is hard to tell in advance which exactly will do that.

Herman Verschuur
Amsterdam
Lenses and camera's person

Jeff Kreines
 


SLR Magic APOs 

I know I got into a lot of trouble making fun of lens names that were based on genus names — biology was not my subject.

I suspect that the name SLR Magic is going to scare people away from these lenses — heck, it makes Spiratone sound high-end.  (That one’s for the old folks.)

But, speaking of names that make one wonder, has anyone tested the XEENs?

Jeff Kreines
Kinetta
jeff@...
kinetta.com


R


Jeff Kreines
 

On Jun 4, 2018, at 3:27 PM, John Brawley <john@...> wrote:

I own the CP’s (all lengths) and the SLR Magic APOs and I absolutely think the SLR Magic is a much nicer image, better geometry and rendering.
Hi, John:

How are things in Atlanta?

Curious about one thing. Since all of these lenses were designed in the digital age, was any thought given to clearing rotating mirrors on 35mm cine cameras?

Asking for a friend. ;-)


Jeff Kreines
Kinetta
jeff@...
kinetta.com

Sent from iPhone.

Ben Allan ACS
 

Well said Jay. 


On 5 Jun 2018, at 4:44 am, Jay Holben <jay@...> wrote:

Lukas -

There's a gargantuan difference between all these lenses. I have not seen the Nisi or Spirit Labs yet - but just asking if there's a reason to invest in Cooke, Zeiss and Leica - of course there is. Just within the Zeiss family, alone, there's massive differences in look, build quality and robustness between the CP.3s and Supreme Primes. In the Leica world big differences between Summicrons, Summilux and Thalias. Look, aberration control, flare control, speed.

That's not to say that inexpensive lenses like the Tokinas or Sigmas are bad. In my opinion there is no such thing as a "bad" lens - it all depends on that you're looking for - but you have to do your homework to understand not just MTF of lenses, but the amount of over/under correction for spherical aberration, chromatic aberration, breathing, distortion, shading - how's the falloff on the edges? Maybe it covers your full frame imager, but is there CA in the edges that you're not happy with? Resolving power is one thing - but are you happy with the contrast or microcontrast? Maybe it's too much? How's the flare control? How's the color and skin tone rendition? A bigger issue with more inexpensive lenses - how is the mechanical build and what is maintenance like? What are the thermal tolerances? How quickly might you encounter loss motion? What imager are you shooting on? Do you need a more telecentric optical design?

There's a LOT more questions that have to be answered when you're looking at lenses than just price. Not every 50mm is the same - in fact rarely are two lenses ever the same.

Higher end lenses will have (generally) more robust optomechanical design, better maintenance options, better thermal control, less issue with loss motion over time, more repeatable consistency in accuracy of marks, more consistent accuracy in transmission levels (T stops), more accuracy in focus marks, smoother operation, etc.

You're going to see a lot more manufacturers coming into the game - optics are super hot right now and the demand is only increasing. The only way to know the difference is to test.

I defer back to a great quote from Bill Bennett, ASC - "One cinematographer's door stop is another cinematographer's Academy Award."

All the best,

Jay Holben
Director/Producer
Chair of the Lens Committee, ASC Motion Imaging Technology Council
Adakin Productions
Los Angeles, CA
www.jayholben.com
Instagram @jayholben


On 6/4/2018 10:05 AM, kronsteiner.lukas@... wrote:
There are many new manufacturers of primes showing up right now, Nisi, Spirit Lab, Mavo, SLR Magic. They all claim to cover FF and larger, they claim that their asph design reduces chromatic aberrations, they claim high resolution edge to edege, focus throw is 250° plus, well built housings, minimum breathing, T stops around 2,0. Has anyone an overview over these lenses? Has anyone had a chance to test them against Sigma, CP3 and Tokina VV. Is there still a reason investing in high end Primes like Cooke, Zeiss, Leica? Is this there a difference visible justifying this difference in price?

Paul Curtis
 

On 4 Jun 2018, at 19:44, Jay Holben <jay@...> wrote:
There's a gargantuan difference between all these lenses. I have not seen the Nisi or Spirit Labs yet - but just asking if there's a reason to invest in Cooke, Zeiss and
The difference for me is own vs rent and that decision is becoming harder, in a good way.

As a confirmed lensaholic and as an owner most people tred the same roads from modified stills lenses (Contax, Leica R and so on), to the lower budget cines. Certainly i've been down that road and explored most options available. Then there's the whole vintage thing which i've also done (old Cookes, Lomos and so on). But actually i found that market crazy priced for what are basically lenses that don't perform very well - 'but they have character...'

Not sure anyone has seen the Spirit Labs yet but the Nisi/F3 are the bokellux lenses as John mentioned, they look good from what i have seen, but not used them.

A lot of the modern lenses are all very well corrected, fairly compact and amazing performers but IMHO i do feel lack a little character in places.

But i'm going to echo John in saying that for me, i've found the SLR Magic APOs my sweet spot, they are beautiful performers, compact and the rendering is wonderful, especially for the price. The nearest comparisons (IMHO) are the Otus lenses that are also APO. The APO design means much better controlled CA, specifically the magenta fringing but also the magenta/green colouration that often happens just before and after the focus plane and also present in bokeh circles in the back. I think some refer to APO rendering as buttery, which kinda makes sense. In terms of trade offs they are *only* T2.1 (i rarely shoot wider) and MFD are not as short as some others. But i love 'em to bits (and don't have any shares in SLR Magic either!). This sounds a bit like an ad, but they're a set that i don't often seen spoken about - perhaps to do with the current limited focal lengths.

And that's the nice thing about where we are with lenses, the fact that these designs can come out of a small company that can focus on certain characteristics and have a distinct voice is wonderful for us. There's lots of interesting anamorphic designs out there as well.

cheers
Paul

Paul Curtis, VFX & Post | Canterbury, UK

Mitch Gross
 

On Jun 4, 2018, at 1:27 PM, John Brawley <john@...> wrote:

the Nisi / Kinfiniety primes are also really the bokelux primes.  All the same.

To be clear, Bokelux was bought out by Nisi. And Nisi will offer the lenses under its own brand as well as thru Kinfinity as a rebadge. 

Progress in cine optics used to be glacial. Now it’ll make your head spin. And I find it interesting that five or so years ago so much of the industry was moving to short, lightweight T2.8 zooms that could be used as variable primes. While there’s still much progress in this this from several companies, it’s interesting to see all of the primed coming to market. 


Mitch Gross
Cinema Product Manager 
Panasonic Systems Solutions Company of North America
New York


John Brawley
 

Not much to add to Jay’s great post.

I did see a lot of lenses at cinegear.  But what I think I learned was that the Nisi / Kinfiniety primes are also really the bokelux primes.  All the same.  This seems to be happening a bit with the same lens being re-branded by others.

I saw some great new Anamoprhics, from Atlas.  

I also did a test a little while ago between the Zeiss CPs, Panavision Primos and the SLR Magic APOs.

It’s a blind test so watch it and then read the description to see which you like.


I have had a little bit to do with the development of the SLR Magic APOS, and I can say they have been working on them for some time.  They’re frustratingly dribbling them out a lens at a time, but now at least there’s almost a set, the 25, 32, 50 and 85 with an 18 and 135 to come.

I like them a lot and for the money they’re incredibly well built.  I used them day in and out on a epsodic series and they were very pretty.

I own the CP’s (all lengths) and the SLR Magic APOs and I absolutely think the SLR Magic is a much nicer image, better geometry and rendering.  They’re also doing some interesting anamorphic adaptors, they had a new 1.3X adaptor that holds focus though zoom on a fujinon zoom.  

The only advantage of the CP’s is lighter weight and data if that’s your thing.  

JB

Jay Holben
 

Lukas -

There's a gargantuan difference between all these lenses. I have not seen the Nisi or Spirit Labs yet - but just asking if there's a reason to invest in Cooke, Zeiss and Leica - of course there is. Just within the Zeiss family, alone, there's massive differences in look, build quality and robustness between the CP.3s and Supreme Primes. In the Leica world big differences between Summicrons, Summilux and Thalias. Look, aberration control, flare control, speed.

That's not to say that inexpensive lenses like the Tokinas or Sigmas are bad. In my opinion there is no such thing as a "bad" lens - it all depends on that you're looking for - but you have to do your homework to understand not just MTF of lenses, but the amount of over/under correction for spherical aberration, chromatic aberration, breathing, distortion, shading - how's the falloff on the edges? Maybe it covers your full frame imager, but is there CA in the edges that you're not happy with? Resolving power is one thing - but are you happy with the contrast or microcontrast? Maybe it's too much? How's the flare control? How's the color and skin tone rendition? A bigger issue with more inexpensive lenses - how is the mechanical build and what is maintenance like? What are the thermal tolerances? How quickly might you encounter loss motion? What imager are you shooting on? Do you need a more telecentric optical design?

There's a LOT more questions that have to be answered when you're looking at lenses than just price. Not every 50mm is the same - in fact rarely are two lenses ever the same.

Higher end lenses will have (generally) more robust optomechanical design, better maintenance options, better thermal control, less issue with loss motion over time, more repeatable consistency in accuracy of marks, more consistent accuracy in transmission levels (T stops), more accuracy in focus marks, smoother operation, etc.

You're going to see a lot more manufacturers coming into the game - optics are super hot right now and the demand is only increasing. The only way to know the difference is to test.

I defer back to a great quote from Bill Bennett, ASC - "One cinematographer's door stop is another cinematographer's Academy Award."

All the best,

Jay Holben
Director/Producer
Chair of the Lens Committee, ASC Motion Imaging Technology Council
Adakin Productions
Los Angeles, CA
www.jayholben.com
Instagram @jayholben


On 6/4/2018 10:05 AM, kronsteiner.lukas@... wrote:
There are many new manufacturers of primes showing up right now, Nisi, Spirit Lab, Mavo, SLR Magic. They all claim to cover FF and larger, they claim that their asph design reduces chromatic aberrations, they claim high resolution edge to edege, focus throw is 250° plus, well built housings, minimum breathing, T stops around 2,0. Has anyone an overview over these lenses? Has anyone had a chance to test them against Sigma, CP3 and Tokina VV. Is there still a reason investing in high end Primes like Cooke, Zeiss, Leica? Is this there a difference visible justifying this difference in price?

Timur Civan
 

Over all quality of mechanics will be higher and longer lived on top shelf glass. 

Optically I think the sigmas, Tokinas are punching well above their weight, and nearly on par with everything at the top. 

On Mon, Jun 4, 2018 at 10:24 AM <kronsteiner.lukas@...> wrote:
There are many new manufacturers of primes showing up right now, Nisi, Spirit Lab, Mavo, SLR Magic. They all claim to cover FF and larger, they claim that their asph design reduces chromatic aberrations, they claim high resolution edge to edege, focus throw is 250° plus, well built housings, minimum breathing, T stops around 2,0. Has anyone an overview over these lenses? Has anyone had a chance to test them against Sigma, CP3 and Tokina VV. Is there still a reason investing in high end Primes like Cooke, Zeiss, Leica? Is this there a difference visible justifying this difference in price?
Lukas from Austria
Camera

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Timur Civan
Director of Photography 
www.timurcivan.com
917-589-4424

Lukas Kronsteiner
 

There are many new manufacturers of primes showing up right now, Nisi, Spirit Lab, Mavo, SLR Magic. They all claim to cover FF and larger, they claim that their asph design reduces chromatic aberrations, they claim high resolution edge to edege, focus throw is 250° plus, well built housings, minimum breathing, T stops around 2,0. Has anyone an overview over these lenses? Has anyone had a chance to test them against Sigma, CP3 and Tokina VV. Is there still a reason investing in high end Primes like Cooke, Zeiss, Leica? Is this there a difference visible justifying this difference in price?
Lukas from Austria
Camera