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class="Paragraph" style="margin-bottom: 0">HD Lens On DigiBeta Cameras

Published : 17th May 2004

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A local camera rental company that I work with from time to time is thinking of purchasing a new Canon HD lens (4.7 mm Wide Zoom) to be used on their DVW-790 which is used mostly for low-budget commercial work. They are thinking of it an upgrade for their camera, but I am wondering if the glass in this lens would be worth a $30,000 upgrade...To me it seems like a bit of a waste of money, other than the fact that it might add some perceived value to the camera when they are competing with another rental company who also rents out DigiBeta’ s.

I know that this is a nice piece of glass, but I am wondering how much of a real difference it will give in the end compared to the Canon lens that they have which was designed for the camera.

Thanks,

Toby Birney
L.A., CA and Vilnius, Lithuania



Toby Birney writes:

>compared to the Canon lens that they have which was designed for the >camera.

No such thing.

A 2/3rd" B4 lens is good for any 2/3rd" B4 mount camera. If your friends decide to upgrade at least they'd be buying an HD lens which will help them future proof for future cameras. Except for lower cost industrial lenses, I don't think it wise for anyone to be investing in non-HD quality 2/3rd" B4 video lenses.

Mitch Gross
NYC DP



>They are thinking of it an upgrade for their camera, but I am wondering >if the glass in this lens would be worth a $30,000 upgrade...

As Mitch says, they're much better off spending $30,000 on an HD lens which will certainly hold its value better over the next few years - that's exactly what I did last year. I now have an HD zoom on my IMX camera, and when the time comes that there's enough demand for an HD camera in my market, I'll be one step ahead.

Before I made this decision, I asked the same question on CML, and now I can give (from my own experience) the same answer that I was given then - yes, you can see the difference when you put current HD glass on a modern, higher-end SD camera.

George Hupka
Director/DP
Downstream Pictures
Saskatoon, Canada



I'd say about 20% of our SD camera rental clients are now requesting HD lenses (mostly for SDX-900 & DSR-570 bodies.)

For what it's worth, as the one responsible for recommending all camera related equipment purchases at Moviola, my policy has been for the last 8-months not to buy another piece of B4 mount SD glass.

In January we took delivery of several new lenses, all are HD glass (The same type of lenses that were commonly used on the new Michael Mann film "Collateral.")

There are some very fine pieces of SD branded glass, but after testing some SD and HD lenses side-by-side the HD glass had some definite visible improvements, sharpness being the most obvious.

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



Illya Friedman writes :

>my policy has been for the last 8-months not to buy another piece of B4 >mount SD glass.

Does the B4 mount include user-adjustable back focus? ... or is that kept locked down, as it would be on most other SD lenses?

Dan Drasin
Producer/DP
Marin County, CA



Dan Drasin writes :

>Does the B4 mount include user-adjustable back focus?...or is that kept >locked down, as it would be on most other SD lenses?

I've never seen a professional video lens that didn't have adjustable back focus. It's a set screw mechanism for sure as it is something that you don't want accidentally shifted, but certainly every B4 lens ever made has it. The B12 lens on my little 1/2" JVC DV500 camera has an adjustable back focus as well.

Whether the user understands how to adjust back focus is another question altogether.

Mitch Gross
NYC DP



Mitch Gross writes :

>I've never seen a professional video lens that didn't have adjustable >back focus...

Sorry -- I meant conveniently user-adjustable, as with HD lenses.

Dan Drasin
Producer/DP
Marin County, CA



Dan Drasin writes :

>I've never seen a professional video lens that didn't have adjustable >back focus...

Sorry -- I meant conveniently user-adjustable, as with HD lenses.

Loosen set screw, turn ring. Pretty convenient and easy to me. You don't want to make it TOO easy, otherwise people will keep screwing it up!

Mitch Gross
NYC DP