Home of Professional Cinematography since 1996

DigiPrimes vs Pro35

Published : 28th August 2003


I am about to shoot for 30 days on a feature with the F900. Just want to hear if there is anything I should know before using the Pro-35 adapter. We had the choice to shoot with the DigiPrimes but decided against due to limited availability with the rental house we're using.

Just curious what you all might think about either the Pro-35 or the DigiPrimes.

Thanks
John Chester DP/Director
Maryland
www.johnchester.com



John said:

>Just curious what you all might think about either the Pro-35 or the >DigiPrimes.

Two completely different worlds - that really shouldn't be compared.

One increases optical resolution and gives you a sharper cleaner image…the DigiPrimes of course.

The other - in my opinion - is purely for "effect". The Pro-35 adapter is only half about enabling a B4 mount to accept PL mount lenses. At least 50% of it's 'function' is the Depth Of Field shift which then adds the ground glass factor (for better or worse).

One is about upping the quality, and the other is about adding an effect. I had fun with the P&S adapter and thought it made a pretty cool image, but I would choose it when appropriate and never in lieu of shooting with DigiPrimes.

If you are ending up on video - then it can be an interesting look, but be prepared for some lighting. I was constantly baffled at how much 'more' I needed to light things to compensate for the adapters absorption – very hungry. If you are going for projection - it's gonna be grainy methinks.

So there's that.

Roderick
Az. D.P.
www.restevens.com
12 On / 12 Off!



The Zeiss DigiPrimes have the look and feel of standard 35mm cine lenses (one aspect of the "film look"), unlike some HD zooms out there, and they are very sharp. Wide-open or near wide-open, you get the equivalent depth-of-field of a f/2.8-to-f/4 split or so.

So the only reason, in my mind, to use the P&S Technic Pro-35 would be if you want the really shallow depth-of-field from shooting wider than f/2.8. Having had some focus-pulling problems on my last 35mm feature from shooting some Steadicam scenes at f/2.0, I'm not so enamoured of the shallow-focus approach right now... that's just to say, hire a really good focus-puller if you're going to use the P&S Technic Pro-35 and shoot at really wide-open apertures, just as you would in 35mm. But if you normally prefer the depth-of-field of f/2.8 to f/4 in 35mm, you might as well use the Zeiss Digi-Primes.

I guess another reason to go with the Pro-35 is if there are a number of lenses you wanted to use that are available in PL-mounts, from tilt-focus lenses to special macro or even scope lenses. If you already owned a set of PL-mount lenses and wanted to use those. I guess the best approach would be to test, test, test and see the results recorded out to film and projected (if the end goal is a 35mm print.)

I haven't used the P&S Technic Pro-35 but I did use the Zeiss DigiPrimes for Dale Lauer’s feature and was very happy with the quality.

David Mullen
Cinematographer / L.A.



An additional factor to consider with the Pro 35 adaptor is how to support the lens you put on the front of it. Put a heavy enough lens on it without a good rod system and it will quickly deflect far enough to send the image plane out of normal, affecting focus from top to bottom across the image plane.

Dave Stump ASC
VFX Supervisor/DP
LA,Calif.



>Just curious what you all might think about either the Pro 35 or the >DigiPrimes.

We had that discussion recently so that might sound like I am repeating myself anyway...

I have never tested the Pro35 but in my opinion adding glass elements and a "pseudo" ground glass in the optical path is not the way to increase sharpness/definition (whatever you want to call it). It could be a cool device for work that stays on tape but I would be wary for film out stuff. But then again I confess I have never tested it nor was I interested to.

I have shot a feature with DigiPrimes and they are stupendous, amazing lenses. Tremendous definition, great design, nearly impossible to flare. Nothing else as far as other HD primes and zooms can even pretend to be in the same class. I did extensive testing of those. I just saw the film out of reel 2 last week and it looks great.

We were lacking for something between 20mm and 40mm but now this gap has been filled with a 32mm. A 70mm covers the long end better.

Daniel Villeneuve, c.s.c.
Directeur-Photo/Director of Photography
Montréal, Canada
demo à / at: http://pages.infinit.net/davil



Geez guys and gals I have to it's like shooting fish in a barrel...

John wrote:

We had the choice to shoot with the DigiPrimes but decided against due to limited availability with the rental house we're using.

John please note: There is never a shortage of DigiPrimes for those who choose to shoot with them. Me thinks thou should contacteth me on thine own offeth thine list.

Michael Bravin
Chief Technology Officer
Band Pro Film & Digital
www.digiprimes.com



John,

Lets look at another aspect or your Problem.

Its a Given that the DigiPrimes Completely dominate the lens issue. Quality is unsurpassed and all that is great but where do you get A set.

This is your bigger problem than what to shoot.

Now I highly recommend calling Michael Bravin and finding out…


1) Who in your Area has a set and might be willing to part with them.


2) Who in the World has a set and might be willing to part with them.


3) See if Michael has any for you to Demo even for a Time.


I shot an entire USMC Commercial with a 7 mm and a 40 mm (which matches my 2 favourite 35 mm film focal lengths 24 mm and 100 mm) I also shot 1 week a BG Plates in DC using the 14 mm and 40 mm. That might not be realistic to you but ALL of "Touch of Evil" was shot on an 18 mm Lens.

I would rather have 1 Incredible Lens than 3 cases of Bad Glass.

B. Sean Fairburn SOC
Director of Photography
Castaic CA



Sean said:

>That might not be realistic to you but ALL of "Touch of Evil" was shot on >an 18 mm lens.

HEY! I didn't know that! I shot one of my features last year entirely on the 18mm lens. In fact that lens has come to be known as the "Linda lens" among
my crew (Linda was the Producer/Director on that 18mm feature).

Wasn't "The Last Picture Show" shot entirely with the 40mm?

Sorry about the change in topic.

I agree however, that I would rather have ONE DigiPrime to shoot with than a full set of mediocre lenses or zoom. I think the limitation is fun to work with as well.

Roderick
Az. D.P.



B. Sean Fairbairn writes:

I would rather have 1 Incredible Lens than 3 cases of Bad Glass.

A quote for the ages.

ScottB



Forgive the epic posts. Lyris didn't like the length (damn AOLextra nonsense) so I have to break this into four posts).

Part One :


Well I'm the one who started this thread last month, so I should chime in about now. Greg Gilliam and I just wrapped a Varicam feature in Denver. We went back & forth for a while about the options for shooting with the Pro35 v. the DigiPrimes. The project called for a softer, romantic look, and I thought the Pro35 "look" with it's built in diffusion factor might be appropriate.

I tested the Pro35 and we were generally happy with the artefacts it creates up to a point. But in the end we went with the DigiPrimes. I found that the Pro35 had a very narrow range for using the lens aperture and a very narrow range for using the internal rear diaphragm for controlling light level. Using Zeiss SuperSpeeds, I found that I could go from 1.3 to 2.8/4 split before the jiggling ground-glass of the Pro35 would become apparent. The rear diaphragm could be used up to .6 (two stops) before it created a "false sharpening" that I found unpleasing and also would not match the wider diaphragm (sorry I can't put this into more precise terms). Also beyond .6 I began to notice some darkening of the corners. This meant that we'd need to use ND filters to control exposure all the time. When light hits the jiggling ground-glass it has a scattering effect, which alters contrast, color depth and to a small degree sharpness.

I found that I really didn't like the look of the Zeiss SuperSpeeds wide open on the Pro35, as they were very washed out. Stopped down to about 2/2.8 - 2.8 the contrast and color returned for a much richer image. Another odd artefact of the Pro35 is how it alters exposure. Stopping down .6 on the rear diaphragm cut two stops of light but stopping down two stops (1.4 to 2.8) cut maybe 3/4 of a stop of light. I talked to a tech at ZGC who attributed this again to the light scattering effect.

End Part One.

Mitch Gross
NYC DP



Part Two :

I tried various combinations of T-stops and diaphragm positions as well as jiggle speeds for the ground-glass. I found what I thought to be a pleasing combination but when Greg saw the test tape I FedEx’ed him, he noticed jiggle artefacts at ALL speeds and combinations. We know that people have used the Varicam/Pro35 combination successfully so we were sure that we simply had not found the right combination of adjustments, but it was unnerving and we were afraid that it would not only hamper us severely on set but would also be a big risk as we did not have time to test a film out of any footage before going into principle photography.

That jiggle could've ended up all over our image.

I did really like the look of the Pro35. It lent a slight bit of diffusion similar to a weak ProMist or Diffusion F/X. There is the shallow depth of field concept but there's also the compression factor of the larger imaging format. A 25mm in 16 may have the same field of view as a 50mm in 35, but it does not have the same compression effect. That's probably the most pleasing artefact of the Pro35 to my eye. The Pro35 is also constructed quite robustly, much more so than the little Mini35 for the XL-1 and other MiniDV cameras. The Pro35 also comes with an integral frontrod system for follow focus, matte box, handgrips, lens support, etc.

Given more time to test the Pro35 I would have no issue using it in the future, but I do feel that I'd really need to extensively test with it before I'd shoot a paying job with one.

Next post is my thoughts on the DigiPrimes, which is what we shot with.

Mitch Gross
NYC DP



Part Three :

Here's what we felt about the DigiPrimes.

THEY'RE LOVELY!

Very sharp, with clean, snappy contrast and no color fringing. They hold resolution from corner to corner and hold color, contrast and resolution all the way open. They were almost impossible to flare although I was able to notice a slight bit of veiling when placing a subject by a bright backlit white curtain. Of course video doesn't like this sort of lighting anyway so it wasn't much of an issue.

They are built like proper film lenses, not flimsy video news zooms. Their visual and physical characteristics are much like UltraPrimes. They were solidly built and the focus scale was huge, something like 350 degrees of turn. I could turn my hand on the follow focus three times without running the whole scale. The SharpMax was quick and easy to use for setting the back focus, which was a huge and well-marked scale. I did notice that the back focus could shift as the camera heated up in the Denver sun, so we'd shut down the camera in between long set ups and check it with the SharpMax every now & then to be safe.

Two possible faults in the SharpMax design:

The power button can be easily depressed in the case causing the battery to drain dead.

We went through a number of 9v batteries until we came up with a little pad to protect the switch. That and the 9v battery connector is the old rectangular clip-on type with two short leads. These can easily stick on the battery and be a real pain to pull off. Twice we needed to perform quick soldering surgery after tearing out a lead.

The modern way to connect a 9v is to make a slot in which it can only enter one way and have it press against the contacts. This should be updated in the SharpMax. But for these to be the only complaints speaks highly of the device otherwise.

End Part Three.

Mitch Gross
NYC DP



Part Four :

The 5mm & 7mm do create of image distortion, although not as much as I see with HD zooms that reach those same focal lengths. We only did a couple of shots with the 7mm and just one with the 5mm. The 10 & 14 were our hero lenses, regularly followed up by the 20 & 40. We didn't have the 32 or the 70 and we sorely felt that wide gap between the 20 & 40. We put on Greg's zoom for some telephoto shots on the last day and the change was painfully apparent. The supplied clip-on matte box has two combo 4x4/4x56 trays, one of which rotates. I was surprised to find that a 4x4 filter would cover the DigiPrimes, even the 5mm. Greg purchased a set of frontrods for his Varicam and I put on my Chrosziel follow focus and my handgrips from my Aaton, which made for a very comfortable, balanced camera with the DigiPrimes. While large they are not particularly heavy.

There were a couple of shortcomings of the DigiPrimes. For a couple of scenes we just could not get the compressed, shallow depth of field look that we wanted and knew we'd get in 35mm format, even when shooting at a T1.6 on the DigiPrime (which is where we stayed almost the entire shoot), and when we tried any diffusion it always felt a little too much, even in the weakest of grades. The weakest diffusion seemed more than the "built-in" diffusion effect of the Pro35. But the DigiPrimes were generally a joy to work with. Beautiful glass and well designed and built housings.

Sorry for the epic posts.

Mitch Gross
NYC DP (in Denver)



>Just curious what you all might think about either the Pro 35 or the Digi >Primes.

Back around 1972, I got to use what was probably one of the first adapters made for putting a film lens on a video camera. It was made by Warren Smith to adapt the ubiquitous 25-250 zoom to an Editel MKIII handheld camera. I think I still have the adapter around here somewhere, because I never throw anything out...

For the record, it had all the same issues as are being discussed here, which
brings two thoughts to mind:

1.) It never ceases to amaze me the amount of pain and image degradation people are willing to endure just to be able to look over at a video camera and get that warm fuzzy feeling seeing a known film lens on it. This is exactly the same thought I had in 1972 when I first saw the adapter working.

2.) Remarkable how little the laws of optics have changed over the last three
decades.

Bob Kertesz
BlueScreen LLC

ULTIMATTE® compositing.
http://www.bluescreen.com



>Remarkable how little the laws of optics have changed over the last >three decades

They were stalled in a Senate Subcommittee for years before finally being killed by the House.

Jessica Gallant
Los Angeles based Director of Photography
West Coast Systems Administrator, Cinematography Mailing List
http://www.cinematography.net



Bob Kertesz wrote:

>2.) Remarkable how little the laws of optics have changed over the last >three decades.

But at the same time it must be said that it is remarkable how much the sciences of lens design and lens coatings HAVE changed over the last three
decades!

Dave Stump ASC
VFX Supervisor / DP
LA, Calif.



> Personally I thought 7mm going in close at 1.6 was pretty cool

You should see the 70 mm DigiPrime that focuses to 1 foot now that’s Nice, and to help out with Distortion on the extreme edges I recommend shooting a Framing Chart and lining up the 90% Safe Area as your working Frame let the rest be waste.

This will improve the edges of the end product, and it helps Camera Operators rescue shots and Sound has some room for a Boom, plus Post can make minor adjustments to the frame if needed and Film out is going to loose 5% anyway this way you decide what 10% gets cut off.

There is much practicality to shooting this way.

B. Sean Fairburn
Director of Photography
Castaic Ca



Mitch Gross wrote:

> The 5mm & 7mm do create of image distortion

I sure didn't notice much if any with the 7mm (haven't seen the 5) it seemed more of a perspective issue to me. Personally I thought 7mm going in close at 1.6 was pretty cool....

-Sam Wells



>,,,I shot an entire USMC Commercial with a 7 mm and a 40 mm


The 40mm in HD does share a typical field of view with a 100mm lens in 1.85:1 35mm production, but a 7mm HD lens is NOT a match to a 24mm in 1.85:1/35mm.

As far as I can tell, you need to be at about 9mm in an HD lens to have the same field of view as a 24mm on a 1.85:1/35mm camera.

If one of your favourite lenses is the 24mm (in 1.85:1/35mm) why didn't you select the 10mm DigiPrime? This would be an almost perfect match of field of view.
David Perrault, csc



Hello everyone,

I've seen some very good responses to the question "Pro35 vs DigiPrimes".

For all out resolution, contrast and colorimetry, the DigiPrimes would win "hands down" over the Pro35. HOWEVER, the Pro35 has enabled not only the use of 35mm primes and zooms, it can be used with any of the 35mm specialty lenses that we, i.e. Clairmont Camera, have in our inventory.

This could be a 'squishy lens, revolution, T-rex, swing & tilt', etc. etc.

The Pro35 is simply a "tool" to produce a desired image on an HD camera as opposed to a 35mm motion picture camera. IT IS SIMPLY A TOOL! One particular tool is not necessarily 'the best tool' for every job.

Cinematographers are artists and this 'tool' simply gives them another look available for their creative palette. I think too much value is being given on specific performance of these optical tools. After all, how often have we gone to our lens manufacturers wanting the sharpest, most pristine images, and then gone and muddied it all up with diffusion, nose grease, etc.

IT'S JUST A TOOL...We have both of these systems available to test, subject to rental demands.

Sincerely,

Michael Condon SOC, HD/Electronics Dept Manager
Clairmont Camera - Hollywood



Good Point Dave

First of all it wasn't Invented Yet when I shot the USMC commercial this was in the VERY early stages.

Second Remember I use the 90% Safe Area which chops off 10% of the edge
of the frame creating a smaller or narrower FOV I agree its not an exact match but its closer than anything else I had.

And To be completely specific I use the 105 mm as my favourite long lens in 35 mm shooting a Nikon FA, SLR Camera. I said 100 mm before, but I guess I should have said "Closer to" my favourite focal lengths instead of an exact match without my Lawyer present with a disclaimer.

The Point still is that you can still get a lot of good work done with only 2 Great lenses

B. Sean Fairburn
Director of Photography
Castaic Ca



It makes me laugh to know that Michael Bravin is getting red in the face every time this subject line (which I first launched many moons ago) crops up.

As you may have read, Mitch and I just wrapped a feature -

Varicam with DigiPrimes, but it was ALMOST Varicam with Pro35 and super speeds. So as much as Michael hates to see the "vs" in the subject line - it's a real dilemma. A dilemma that is obviously not mine alone. The fact is, if you like the visual attributes of primes (who doesn't?), and you like to have a lot of control over your DOF (not just shallow DOF, but CONTROL) then you need a relay like the Pro35 that simulates a 35mm film plane, or a 2/3" lens that looks good when it's wide, wide, wide open.

But - tricky - you can't open up the pro35/superspeed combo too much because of light scattering which washes out the image. This means shooting at least 2.8 - still more DOF control than a DigiPrime at f1.6, BUT - with the Pro35 eating about 2 stops you can see that you are quickly operating in a very different place with lighting than if you shoot wide (1.6) with the DigiPrimes. Since we had a limited lighting package, the speed was a BIG advantage for us. We achieved a lot more with a lot less. Man, do DigiPrimes look good at 1.6. BUT that said, we did have times when I wanted to lash out at the gods of 2/3" because we could not achieve the kind of focus control that one can with 35mm format lenses. It wasn't often. This was a romantic drama comedy type thing and it didn't demand really tight DOF control, but on those few shots where it bugged - it REALLY bugged. When you can't build your sets to suit, when you are locked into the geometry of the location, the limitations of 2/3", even at 1.6, are painfully evident from time to time. We were often able to juggle variables to solve different situations, some just can't be solved. Human geometry is what it is.

The Pro35 "look" is really cool. I wouldn't hesitate to use it on an SD project. It's a unique sort of glowing halo thing. But the DigiPrimes are perfect 2/3" workhorses - especially if you predict the DOF issues and choose your locations and sets accordingly. The clarity of the image is very reassuring and I'm sure we'll enjoy having a clean slate to work with in post.

Now, may I appeal to the DigiPrimes gods to end ANY debate by pricing the DigiPrimes a lot lower so the average Joe could buy a set to match his or her Varicam or F900. Personally, I would suggest a set comprised of the 7, 14, 28 and 70 for $35,000. Yeah - that sounds nice. And while Zeiss is dropping it's prices, can we get a 35mm CCD upgrade for the Varicam? Thanks.

Greg Gillam
Producer / Director
Red Sands Production Co.



Greg Gillam wrote:

>…Man, do DigiPrimes look good at 1.6.


Would the decreased DOF of S16 be much of an improvement? After all,
it's about a 1.28:1 size ratio...

Jeff Kreines



Jeff Kreines writes:

>Would the decreased DOF of S16 be much of an improvement? After >all, it's about a 1.28:1 size ratio...

I can definitely see the difference. Owning an Aaton, I've shot so much Super-16 that I reference all my visual cues off of that medium as opposed to 35mm or any video format. The sense of depth in HD with DigiPrimes wide open is still not quite that of S-16 with fast primes. It may have to do with the resolution of the formats, but having just done two HD features nearly back to back (one on the Sony and one on the Panasonic), I can still feel the difference from Super-16.

Mitch Gross
NYC DP



David Mullen writes:

>The Zeiss Digi-Primes have the look and feel of standard 35mm cine >lenses (one aspect of the "film look"), unlike some HD zooms out there,

At a recent Panasonic demo in San Francisco, one the presenters insisted that prime HD lenses have *effectively* less depth of field than film or video lenses of the same focal length -- for the simple reason that their circles of confusion are appreciably smaller, so a given increment of deviation from perfect focus will have a greater softening effect.
Has anyone here done an A-B comparison and found this to be true?

Dan Drasin
Producer/DP
Marin County, CA


Prime HD lenses have *effectively* less depth of field than film or video lenses of the same focal length -- for the simple reason that their circles of confusion are appreciably smaller, so a given increment of deviation from perfect focus will have a greater softening effect.

In a perfect vacuum perhaps, but let's not forget that they are projecting their images onto much lower-resolution sensors than their film counterparts, so the true "effective" DOF is probably far greater. If the COC is much, much tighter than the pixel resolution, at a certain point it doesn't make a difference.

Mitch Gross
NYC DP



>The Pro35 "look" is really cool. I wouldn't hesitate to use it on an SD >project. It's a unique sort of glowing halo thing.

I remember when this was considered a major optical defect.

Now it's a feature?

Bob Kertesz
BlueScreen LLC



I remember when this was considered a major optical defect.

Now it's a feature?

Just like anamorphic lens artefacts are considered by some to be features. An artefact is an artefact, and it should not necessarily be considered a defect or an attribute. Just an artefact. These should all be duly noted and commented upon, but it's up to the user as to whether they are considered favourable or not. For the particular project in question, we really liked the "halo-ing" diffusion effect built into the Pro35.

Horses for courses.

Mitch Gross
NYC DP



Michael Condon wrote:

>I think too much value is being given on specific performance of these >optical tools.

Here Here! and well said!

I get requests for Digi Primes all the time, especially for SD work. I encourage anyone who hasn't done a side-by-side sharpness test with "HD" and "SD" lenses to do so, it's very informative. I think the marketing of lenses (and film stock) these days is very interesting, Kodak's "high definition" film anyone?

Illya Friedman
Senior Camera Rental Agent
Moviola
Hollywood, Ca
www.moviola.com



>An artefact is an artefact, and it should not necessarily be considered a >defect or an attribute. Just an artefact.

Why can't an artefact be considered both a defect AND an attribute?

Dale Launer
Writer/Filmmaker
Santa Monica



I. Friedman wrote:

> I encourage anyone who hasn't done a side-by-side sharpness test with >"HD" and "SD" lenses to do so, it's very informative.

For those of use in the hinterlands, what did these tests reveal?

Jeff Krines



You can compare & test all the lenses that you want, and I encourage everyone to do so, but I can tell you that after weeks of shooting on the DigiPrimes, when the HD zoom went back on the camera the difference was palpable.

I can just imagine Mike Bravin's smile as I type this...


Mitch Gross
NYC DP



Mitch Gross wrote:

>I can just imagine Mike Bravin's smile as I type this...

I see a new BandPro ad, with Mitch's smiling face...

Jeff Krines



Mitch Gross wrote:

>But I can tell you that after weeks of shooting on the DigiPrimes

Sounds like Zeiss needs to start working on a DigiZoom or a DigiVariable Prime. I'm curious were was the difference most noticeable, contrast, sharpness, flaring, focus breathing?

Tom McDonnell
DP
New Orleans, La



Tom McDonnell writes:

>I'm curious were was the difference most noticeable contrast, >sharpness, flaring, focus breathing?

Yes.

The contrast was the first thing I noticed right in the viewfinder.

The image seemed to lose it's snap. I didn't really get a chance to check the sharpness, although that could have been part of the snap feeling. I avoided flaring on the zoom as I do all lenses, but I did notice that the DigiPrimes were extremely flare-resistant, and they don't breathe in focus at all (or practically at all), which is so not true for any video zoom I've ever encountered.

How do the Optimo, Cooke or Digital Primo zoom compare? I've played with them at trade shows but have never had the pleasure of a rigorous test.

Mitch Gross
NYC DP



Tom wrote:

>Sounds like Zeiss needs to start working on a DigiZoom or a >DigiVariable Prime.

Tom
D'ya Think?!

Smiling Michael Bravin
Chief Technology Officer
Band Pro Film/Video, Inc.
www.digiprimes.com



Tom McDonnell writes:

>Sounds like Zeiss needs to start working on a DigiZoom or a >DigiVariable Prime

A variable HD prime (aka "varifocal") sounds like a *great* idea. It would be lighter and smaller than a zoom, and would allow intermediate framings -- but
of course it would make zooming impossible. (No biggie. Zooming ought to be banned in feature films anyway)

Dan "zooming is for docs, music videos and home movies" Drasin
Producer/DP/Closet traditionalist
Marin County, CA



Dan Drasin said:

> Dan "zooming is for docs, music videos and home movies"

Don't forget Soaps! And Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Robert

Rodriguez, and
Michael Bay movies.

Roderick
Az. D.P. (occasionally zooms a little during dolly, jib arm, or crane shots)
www.restevens.com



Michael Condon wrote:

>I think too much value is being given on specific performance of these >optical tools.

I have to respectfully take a different tack here. I believe You can never put too much emphasis on performance when EVALUATING an optical tool. A perfect optical tool has NO distortion and NO aberration and NO existence in reality, but clearly if you start with a near perfect pristine image you have much more room to muddy it up with the "look" you want.

If you start out with an optical device that has a built in "look" it limits where you can go creatively. I think a near perfect lens need not ONLY make pristine near perfect images, the point is it CAN if that is the choice of the DP.

I am known as a strong advocate for choices and a wide range of them. I am
uncomfortable with anything in HD being "JUST" anything. Heck part of your and Clairmont's reputation is about giving the client any and all of the tools they ask for, even pristine ultra sharp contrasty mechanically well designed "digital" lenses.

Thanks to all of you with the "testimonials".

Smiling Michael Bravin
Chief Technology Officer
Band Pro Film & Digital



> A variable HD prime (aka "varifocal") sounds like a *great* idea.

How about replacing those pesky gear rings and confusing focusing scales marked in meters and feet ("let's see now, it's about a foot from my elbow to my palm, right ?") with a small plastic knob marked with an arbitrary set of numbers ?

-Sam Wells



Bravin:

I think Zeiss should make a relay system that allows the use of PL mount zooms on HD cameras. The thing can make the camera much larger and heavier [which is inherently cool]. It could be like the Ferrari body kit for a Pontiac Fiero. Pure Sweetness. Think about it.

.....Patiently waiting for the classic Bravin response.

Since this topic makes a return every couple of months [or weeks], maybe it could be its very own forum. We could compare good and evil and evil and good all day... with the same FREAKING result every time.... USE THE TOOLS AVAILABLE TO YOU, AS YOU SEE FIT FOR THE PROJECT AT HAND.

Different projects. Different looks. Different toys.

Carlos Acosta
Modern Movie Machines



Michael Bravin wrote:

> I am known as a strong advocate for choices and a wide range of them.

You and I are good friends (and friends are entitled to disagree at times) but this time I agree with you 100%. Let me rephrase my statement..."IT'S A TOOL". Is that better? I'll leave out the 'just'. Maybe the proper wording would be "It's only a tool"... You tell me!

Sincerely,

Michael Condon SOC
Clairmont Camera - Hollywood



Carlos Acosta wrote:

>I think Zeiss should make a relay system that allows the use of PL >mount zooms on HD cameras. The thing can make the camera much >larger and heavier

[which is inherently cool].

Carlos- They did, the CLA35HD Cine Lens Adapter marketed by Angenieux

http://www.angenieux.com/pages/308.php?URL_Id=93&URL_Page=/

pages/03.php#

Classic enough...

Michael Bravin
Chief Technology Officer
Band Pro Film & Digital



Hello :

I've been used Optimo in a feature Film " La flaqueza del Bolchevique" and it was excellent.

I did several technical test you can see on www.revistasprofesionales.com in the magazine Shooting.

On the test we saw definition, contrast, color reproductión, aberrations, etc. In order to see the characteristic of Angenieux Zoom we compare with a Canon HD zoom. In the same way we have just tested Cooke S4 HD Zoom and compare with Optimo Zoom, the article will appear on Sept/Oct. To me the two Zoom are excellent in definition and contrast, while Optimo have a better resolution, the color corrections for Cooke are excellent. Optimo is a little more soft in contrast than Cooke. On the other hand the two Zooms have geometric aberrations (pincushion and barrel) and they have a very good correction for flare. The two Zoom are really good for digital cinematography.

Alfonso Parra (A.E.C.)
Spain



> They did, the CLA35HD Cine Lens Adapter marketed by Angenieux

I'm sorry I forgot the "Just Kidding" line. Without the sarcasm, the post would read something like..."We've been here before [years ago now] and the technical differences and limitations of 'film' lenses is plainly visible. If you like those differences, fine, there is an adaptor for you. If you want a clean, sharp, color accurate picture - there are lenses dedicated to that too. Whichever one you choose, be prepared to stick with it."

HD is full of 'adaptors'. They all seem to be focused on making things work, not really making things better.

Carlos Acosta