Author Topic: Cine lenses  (Read 271 times)

MEPER

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Cine lenses
« on: May 23, 2020, 15:34:24 »
I watched a couple of interesting cine lens videos.
Like we do it seems old cine lenses are also converted so they can be used on modern digital cine cameras:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_nY2kv_oO0

The "Godfather" lens could be fund to try on a Nikon Z?
It seems that it is in the cine industry the money are to develop near perfect lenses. The cost of lenses are small compared to a film budget.
What do you think about the "look" of the old lenses compared to the modern Zeiss?      ….at least the model is good to look at... :-)
The old has a quite "warm" tone and I think I like it.

When we adapt lenses we also seek a lens that has a kind of personality.

Here some talk about the development of a good prime lens for cinema. Apart from the stupid introduction I found it interesting. The 40/1.8 may also be a fine lens for a Z-body.....maybe Z50 if it can't cover full frame.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1n2DR6H7mk
It seems the lens has all the qualities we also seek in a still photo lens. I wonder how close the Z 50/1.8 is in quality.





rosko

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Re: Cine lenses
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2020, 16:43:56 »
Interesting...

Poor model ! She looks like very bored. ???

Anyway, I like the difference of rendition between contemporary and vintage lenses, although any rendition can now be tweaked with software.

I think all the lenses displayed are certainly not cheap.
Francis Devrainne

pluton

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Re: Cine lenses
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2020, 18:37:05 »
It is interesting to note that for the first 100 years or so of cinema production, there was no way to preview the image being recorded. They didn't even have reflex finders on the big silent-running studio production cameras until the end of the 1960's! The cinematographer had to trust that the focus marks and T-stop scales were dead accurate, and that, to the greatest extent possible, the lens would deliver an image unspoiled by lens defects.
When digital cinema hit big in the 2000's,  there was a mad rush by the lens companies to create entire new lines of lenses, because the digital sensors could "see" many of the aberrations on the existing lenses which were much more ignorable when film was the recording medium.  Mainly chromatic aberrations.
Then, toward the 2010's, the old, aberration-rich old lenses were rediscovered, seemingly as a reaction against the super clean "perfect engineering" look that lens companies seem always to be pushing.
'New and Improved' gave way to 'Old and Not Improved'. 
I think that if the audience is watching the bokeh or chromatic aberration, the movie must not have a very good story!
Keith B., Santa Monica, CA, USA

MEPER

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Re: Cine lenses
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2020, 19:40:24 »
The "adapter fun" we have using old lenses is to try to find a kind of "unique" lens.....a perfect sample that does a little bit of what the famous old cine lenses could like the "Godfather" lens?
Just using the nearly perfect Z-lenses would be so much easier. But also a bit more expensive so cost saving may also be a part of it.

MFloyd

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Re: Cine lenses
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2020, 00:11:01 »
Prices are not the same neither: about €50’000 for a Zeiss ARRI 50mm T1.9 Master Anamorphic Lens. And most pro ciné lenses range around 25k.
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Akira

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Re: Cine lenses
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2020, 00:48:11 »
It is interesting to note that for the first 100 years or so of cinema production, there was no way to preview the image being recorded. They didn't even have reflex finders on the big silent-running studio production cameras until the end of the 1960's! The cinematographer had to trust that the focus marks and T-stop scales were dead accurate, and that, to the greatest extent possible, the lens would deliver an image unspoiled by lens defects.
When digital cinema hit big in the 2000's,  there was a mad rush by the lens companies to create entire new lines of lenses, because the digital sensors could "see" many of the aberrations on the existing lenses which were much more ignorable when film was the recording medium.  Mainly chromatic aberrations.
Then, toward the 2010's, the old, aberration-rich old lenses were rediscovered, seemingly as a reaction against the super clean "perfect engineering" look that lens companies seem always to be pushing.
'New and Improved' gave way to 'Old and Not Improved'. 
I think that if the audience is watching the bokeh or chromatic aberration, the movie must not have a very good story!

With the release of the lens lineups like Sigma Classic, Canon Sumire Primes and Zeiss Supreme Prime Radiance last year, 2020s seems to the beginning of the "Classic and Improved".  :)

By the way, I'm curious when the focus breathing became an issue and the lens manufacturers started to offer the lenses that addressed it.  Did the legendary lenses like Zeiss' so-called "Super Speeds" suffer from the focus breathing or not?
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pluton

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Re: Cine lenses
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2020, 01:47:28 »
With the release of the lens lineups like Sigma Classic, Canon Sumire Primes and Zeiss Supreme Prime Radiance last year, 2020s seems to the beginning of the "Classic and Improved".  :)

By the way, I'm curious when the focus breathing became an issue and the lens manufacturers started to offer the lenses that addressed it.  Did the legendary lenses like Zeiss' so-called "Super Speeds" suffer from the focus breathing or not?
Yes, the lens manufacturers are offering "flawed" newly design lenses.  Current fashion.
Yes, the original Zeiss Super Speeds (c.1973) breathed.  The old zooms did also.  Focus breathing was a fact of life.  An annoyance that was grudgingly tolerated or sometimes disguised amidst the on-screen action. The adding of optical sub-systems within a given lens to 'correct' breathing is relatively recent development...probably started in the late 1980's with Panavision's luxurious Primo series lenses(made by Leitz Canada), and seems to have really accelerated in recent years. Lens design is much faster now, thanks to greater computing power.
Keith B., Santa Monica, CA, USA

Akira

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Re: Cine lenses
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2020, 05:16:05 »
Yes, the lens manufacturers are offering "flawed" newly design lenses.  Current fashion.
Yes, the original Zeiss Super Speeds (c.1973) breathed.  The old zooms did also.  Focus breathing was a fact of life.  An annoyance that was grudgingly tolerated or sometimes disguised amidst the on-screen action. The adding of optical sub-systems within a given lens to 'correct' breathing is relatively recent development...probably started in the late 1980's with Panavision's luxurious Primo series lenses(made by Leitz Canada), and seems to have really accelerated in recent years. Lens design is much faster now, thanks to greater computing power.

Thank you, Keith, for sharing your observation from inside of the industry!
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

"Limitation is inspiration." - Akira

MEPER

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Re: Cine lenses
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2020, 09:26:30 »
I liked the way out of focus CA was delt with to either make the image a bit warmer or cooler in OOF areas.
It seems to be hard to make a lens that is very sharp and free from CA at focus also has no or very low CA in OOF areas.
I wonder which glass that cost more than gold (measured by weight).
I remember from a Hasselblad catalog that the same was mentioned for the 250 and 350 mm Zeiss SA lenses. The 250 SA had very good measurements on paper.

Toby

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Re: Cine lenses
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2020, 23:27:28 »
I watched a couple of interesting cine lens videos.
Like we do it seems old cine lenses are also converted so they can be used on modern digital cine cameras:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_nY2kv_oO0

The "Godfather" lens could be fund to try on a Nikon Z?
It seems that it is in the cine industry the money are to develop near perfect lenses. The cost of lenses are small compared to a film budget.
What do you think about the "look" of the old lenses compared to the modern Zeiss?      ….at least the model is good to look at... :-)
The old has a quite "warm" tone and I think I like it.

When we adapt lenses we also seek a lens that has a kind of personality.

Here some talk about the development of a good prime lens for cinema. Apart from the stupid introduction I found it interesting. The 40/1.8 may also be a fine lens for a Z-body.....maybe Z50 if it can't cover full frame.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1n2DR6H7mk
It seems the lens has all the qualities we also seek in a still photo lens. I wonder how close the Z 50/1.8 is in quality.

It would be kind of stupid to buy that 40mm f1.8 for use in stills. No matter what they say, the actual performance of cine lenses is no better than that of good stills lenses. Cine lenses, however are very carefully matched in sets so that each lens performs pretty much exactly like all the others, and light transmission is very carefully matched using T stops instead of F stops. And as they mention, the best cine lenses are designed not to have any focus breathing for "rack shots".

The Godfather was shot with Bausch and Lomb Super Baltar lenses specifically for the look of the lenses, which is a bit warmer than Zeiss and Cooke lenses. They are not particularly good optically, being old designs without the use of today's high refractivity, low dispersion glasses. They still used thorium doped glass in some of the lenses apparently.

Cinematographers know the looks of different lenses and often choose lenses based on the atmosphere they want to achieve. One would not, for instance, use new Zeiss primes for a romantic glow. Here is an interesting article on Super Baltars:

http://cinematechnic.com/optics/super-baltar