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AF-100 Zooms

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John CummingsAF-100 Zooms
by on Feb 2, 2011 at 1:21:02 am

While I wait for my AF-100 to arrive, I'm trying to figure out what zoom would best fit my needs. Since I've decided to go all PL mount, it looks like the two RED-branded zooms are reasonably priced (for PL zooms anyway.)

Curious to see if anyone here has had any experience with the 17-50mm or 18-85mm REDs? With the M43 crop factor, either of these two lenses would seem to be a good fit for the AF-100....any thoughts?

J.Cummings
Cameralogic Inc.
Chicago/Cleveland
HDX-900/HDW-730S/Nanoflash



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Noah KadnerRe: AF-100 Zooms
by on Feb 2, 2011 at 2:59:15 am

Bit of overkill- I'd prefer Zeiss .ZF2s or Compact Primes.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Canon 5D Mark II and 7D.


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John CummingsRe: AF-100 Zooms
by on Feb 2, 2011 at 3:25:42 am

Well Noah, the question was about zooms. z-o-o-m-s.
A $6-9K PL zoom doesn't seem like overkill when you compare it to an Optimo...

I want a nice zoom and the two offerings from RED seem like pretty decent deals.
I assume they're re-housed and re-worked stills lenses...question is, how do they look?

J.Cummings
Cameralogic Inc.
Chicago/Cleveland
HDX-900/HDW-730S/Nanoflash



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Uli PlankRe: AF-100 Zooms
by on Feb 2, 2011 at 9:52:47 am

Even the cheaper one is very good in optical quality, just the mechanics are not as super smooth as the better one.
Plus, if you ever consider an Epic too, the cheaper model doesn't fully cover 5K on the wider side. But it's a very good deal for the AF100/101, IMHO.

Director of the Institute of Media Research (IMF) at Braunschweig University of Arts


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Guy McLoughlinRe: AF-100 Zooms
by on Feb 2, 2011 at 3:59:58 pm

If I was going to invest $9K in a couple of RED zooms, I would try and rent them before committing to a purchase. The comment I keep hearing is that these inexpensive RED zooms are mechanically not well made, but optically are fine.

On the DvxUser webiste, one of the AF-100 users invested in an ARRI Alura 18-80mm T2.6 zoom which he is very happy with. I think it's a $20K zoom: ARRI Alura Zooms


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Noah KadnerRe: AF-100 Zooms
by on Feb 2, 2011 at 4:48:39 pm

Yup- I would concur with that. Definitely rent those before you buy. The RED zooms are solid but haven't exactly been burning up the airwaves with their awesomeness.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Canon 5D Mark II and 7D.


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Uli PlankRe: AF-100 Zooms
by on Feb 3, 2011 at 10:09:35 am

No, they haven't. But price vs. performance is quite allright.

Director of the Institute of Media Research (IMF) at Braunschweig University of Arts


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Jeff ReganRe: AF-100 Zooms
by on Feb 4, 2011 at 3:55:53 am

That's me with the Arri Alura for our two AF100's in rental inventory. The lens is certainly rather large and heavy, a bit pricey at $25K, but a set of low cost Cine primes costs a similar amount and the Alura offers good focal range and speed and at 11" long and 10 lbs, it's not that big and heavy.

It's great not having to change lenses all day long, a lot of clients like changing the focal length during interviews--harder to do with primes.

Proper rod and lens support is essential, but a Sachtler Video 18 or 20 fluid head handles camera, on-board monitor, lens, matte box, follow focus, Hot Rod Cameras AF100 Tuner Kit(w/PL-mount adapter) and Element Technica Dove Tail and Base Plate quite well.

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
http://www.ssv.com


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John CummingsRe: AF-100 Zooms
by on Feb 4, 2011 at 2:18:49 pm

[Jeff Regan] "It's great not having to change lenses all day long, a lot of clients like changing the focal length during interviews--harder to do with primes."

Exactly my situation. I rarely spend all day in a studio. I shoot a lot of interviews with mutiple b-roll setups in the field all day...I'm always moving. That's why I'm looking for a short, small and light zoom to compliment a couple PL primes. As tasty as an Alura or others like that are, the price for one of those equals my entire budget for lenses and lens support.

The AF is a plastic camera and requires serious support for big, heavy lenses. Add in wireless, Nano, VF, monitor, rails, mattebox and a battery system, suddenly you have a frankenstein camera on your tripod. A 10 pound zoom would just add to the misery, regardless of how great it works.

I'm hoping the RED 17-50 will be fast enough to give me decent shallow focus with the ability to change up focal lengths on the fly, and be flexible enough to use for b-roll. I'm told it also does a good job as a macro for product shots and tabletop situations...a good all-round workhorse lens at a decent price...not the best by any means, but not too bad, either.

Fact is, the AF100 is just another tool in my box and will be expected to earn it's keep right away. I don't have time to deal with multiple lens adapters and fiddling with jog-wheel exposure settings. I fully expect the AF will actually be a pain to work with and will never be as efficient or as comfortable in the field as my 2/3" cameras. I see it as a temporary fix to mollify my clients that like the idea of shooting with a DSLR but haven't got a clue about the drawbacks involved. When Panasonic or somebody else releases a real shoulder-mount version at a price half of an Alexa, I'll be first in line.

Thanks to all that have shared their thoughts here and elsewhere...I appreciate it.

J.Cummings
Cameralogic Inc.
Chicago/Cleveland
HDX-900/HDW-730S/Nanoflash



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Guy McLoughlinRe: AF-100 Zooms
by on Feb 4, 2011 at 11:46:03 pm

...For those of us that have to live with a much more restricted lens budget, DvxUser Scott Nelson had a very interesting post about shooting wtih the Olympus 12-60mm f/2.8-4 ED SWD Zuiko Zoom Lens with his AF-100.

Check out the picture link first to get an idea of his set-up...

Picture of Scott Nelson's Olympus 12-60mm / AF-100 set-up

Start of Scott Nelson's 12-60mm Olympus posts


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Malcolm MatuskyRe: AF-100 Zooms
by on Feb 5, 2011 at 4:20:24 am

http://ducloslenses.com/Duclos_Lenses/Main.html

Try still lenses, re-housed in new barrels for cine use. May be a savings if the mechanics are good enough for you. If you are using the lenses in a "rental" situation go for the top notch glass that will last, otherwise...look to alternatives


M

Malcolm
http://www.malcolmproductions.com


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Bruce GreeneRe: AF-100 Zooms
by on Feb 7, 2011 at 11:31:35 pm

I'm currently color grading a movie I shot with the 18-50 and Red primes.

To my surprise, I can't tell which shots were shot with what lens. So I would say that the little Red zoom (maybe Sigma still lens) is quite good and very presentable. I often shot with the lens wide open.

I do think I remember that the zoom gets darker when zooming in at wide apertures though. I can't quite remember...

Varicam/Steadicam Owner
Los Angeles, CA
http://www.brucealangreene.com


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Matt GottshalkRe: AF-100 Zooms
by on Feb 13, 2011 at 3:36:06 am

I have both the RPZ 17-50mm Zoom as well as the RPZ 50-150MM zoom.

Until I get the HotRod tuner kit I ordered from Abel I won't be able to use them, but from using them both on rental REDs I look forward to using them.

McGee Digital Media Inc.
24P HD Production and Post
http://www.mcgeedigitalmedia.com


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Matt GottshalkRe: AF-100 Zooms
by on Feb 13, 2011 at 3:39:51 am

I will also add that I just picked up a fantastic Tokina (Nikon mount) 28-70mm F/2.6 that is an Angenieux design and works great for interviews.

McGee Digital Media Inc.
24P HD Production and Post
http://www.mcgeedigitalmedia.com


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Dan DavisRe: AF-100 Zooms
by on Feb 14, 2011 at 4:51:07 pm

I know what you are saying about the RED lens. They are ok for a good price, what about the ole' canon s16mm 8-64mm I love that lens. It gives you wider coverage on the 4/3m sensor, it's just not good if you are looking to go to a bigger sensor in the future.


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