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Which lens for AF100?

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Jon Gianelli
Which lens for AF100?
on Jun 3, 2011 at 4:09:41 am

My partner and I run a video production company and do weddings, events, and commercial products as well as shoot shorts on the side. I was wondering, starting with a clean slate, what would be the best lenses specificually for the lowest prices to have? Lets say we have around $2-4,000. What would be the best lenses (including adapters, mattes, rails, etc) that we should get?


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Noah Kadner
Re: Which lens for AF100?
on Jun 3, 2011 at 4:26:24 am

Best lenses and lowest prices are opposite- but you knew that... Do you want zooms or primes? Because to be honest- buying this camera and then getting cheap zoom lenses is kinda pointless. You'd be much better served by getting a nice fixed lens zoom camera- like an HVX200 or an EX1. It will be much better suited to event videography and you won't need a bag of lenses just to cover the meat and potatoes a scene. Then you can supplement with a DSLR- such as a GH2 for those luscious shallow depth of field shots with a couple of choice prime lenses.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Canon 7D.


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Jon Gianelli
Re: Which lens for AF100?
on Jun 3, 2011 at 5:14:19 am

Zoom would be good. Is there any reasonably priced good zoom lenses I could use (even in the $3,000 range)?


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Matthew Romanis
Re: Which lens for AF100?
on Jun 3, 2011 at 8:22:40 am

We purchased the Olympus Zukio 14mm-35mm F2 lens with the Olympus doubler as an everyday utilty lens.
We are looking for suitable f1.7 - 0.9 primes in the 20-25mm, 30-35mm, 50mm, 85mm range to offer more of what the camera is capable of.
Any of these cheaper photographic zoom lenses do have restrictions such as aperture shift when zooming, noise from the aperture shift, no servo.
I use a varying combination of fader ND, filter wheels, and ISO setting to always keep the lens at F2.
When working with this camera, everything is slower. It takes longer to set a shot and shoot it than it does with a standard video style camera, so if you believe you can work with the operational differences this camera brings, then go for it.
But remember, one lens alone will never be enough or suitable for this camera.
Matthew.



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Uli Plank
Re: Which lens for AF100?
on Jun 3, 2011 at 9:03:31 am

Cine primes will be far beyond your budget, but you can still get pretty good photographic primes from the non-automatic era on Ebay. I use Minolta MC/MD Rokkors on our AF101 with simple adapters and a focus ring with the right pitch to attach a cine FF, plus a matte box and a set of NDs.

Only problem: there are no fast primes with enough of a wide angle among those. Get the 20mm/1.7 from Panasonic or the Voigtlander 25/0.95 if it fit's your budget in the end.

Plus, there's nothing like the 7-14mm from Panasonic for very wide angle (if needed), but it's not fast. BTW, all those photographic zooms can not really be considered video zooms, they should be regarded as 'variable primes' with all the negative sides Noah mentioned.

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


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Jon Gianelli
Re: Which lens for AF100?
on Jun 3, 2011 at 3:06:11 pm

What about something older, like http://cgi.ebay.com/Zeiss-Vario-16-10-100mm-T2-Zoom-Lens-B-Mount-Used-/3603...

Is there NO suitable zoom lens that somewhat fast that is under around $5,000?


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: Which lens for AF100?
on Jun 3, 2011 at 3:27:52 pm

The Zeiss Vario 16 10-100mm T2 won't cover the AF-100 sensor, it's made for 16mm cameras not 35mm. ( AF-100 needs 35mm cine lenses )

There are no low cost cine lenses for the AF-100, so most people are using DSLR lenses like the ones I listed previously. Keep in mind that most of these DSLR lenses are NOT parfocal, so you have to treat them like "variable prime" lenses because they will NOT keep focus as you zoom.

If you are willing to spend the money, you can by DSLR lenses that have been "cine-fied" like the lenses sold by Duclos.

Duclos Cine-Mod Lenses

...But this also means buying a good PL mount adapter for the AF-100 like the HotRod PL Tuner Kit.

Hot Rod PL Tuner Kit (for AF100 series)


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: Which lens for AF100?
on Jun 3, 2011 at 3:32:41 pm

...I made a mistake, you can buy "cine-fied" lenses from Duclos with the Nikon mount, so you will just need a good Nikon to Micro 4/3 adapter for these lenses.


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Uli Plank
Re: Which lens for AF100?
on Jun 3, 2011 at 8:40:21 pm

And those are cheap, try Rainbowimaging in N.Y.– I got mine there and they are OK.

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


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: Which lens for AF100?
on Jun 3, 2011 at 9:03:10 pm

[Uli Plank] "And those are cheap, try Rainbowimaging in N.Y.– I got mine there and they are OK."

Rainbow Imaging adapters are low cost adapters made in China. I would NOT recommend buying these adapters, as you risk both your lenses and possibly your shoot if they malfunction.

I recommend buying the NOT CHEAP Micro 4/3 adapters that are made from machined aluminum, brass, and stainless steel. These adapters are much better made, come with a warranty, and will still properly align your lenses after years of use.

Voightlander Nikon F to m4/3 Adapter : $200

Novoflex Nikon F to m4/3 Adapter : $300

MTF Services Nikon F to m4/3 Adapter : $350

Adaptimax Plus Nikon F to m4/3 Adapter : $400

Yes they are expensive, but I think they are worth the cost. ( I use the Voightlander adapter, and plan on buying the Adaptimax adapter later this year to use with Nikon G style lenses that do not have a manual aperture ring )


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Uli Plank
Re: Which lens for AF100?
on Jun 4, 2011 at 8:41:26 am

Of course there are better adapters, some folks think Novoflex are the best.
But given the budget of the OP, at least I've not yet seen a lens coming loose from a Chinese adapter sold by Rainbowimaging (but from others).

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


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: Which lens for AF100?
on Jun 3, 2011 at 3:15:41 pm

The zoom lenses with the best reputation for the AF-100 are:

Olympus 14-35 f/2.0 ( expensive but fast )
Tokina ATX Pro 28-70mm F2.6-2.8 Nikon Mount ( Angenieux design, find used on eBay )
Nikkor ED 17-55mm f/2.8G IF DX ( very sharp, even wide open )

The two Nikon mount lenses will need an adapter to mount on the AF-100, and you may want an adapter that can control the aperture. Adaptimax, MTF Services, Novoflex, and Voightlander make great lens adapters.

As for prime lenses, I would recommend:

Samyang 14mm f/2.8 ( fast, low cost, manual focussing, often sold under other names )
Voightlander 25mm f/0.95 ( expensive, but fast with great manual focusing )
Nikon 35mm f/1.4 AI-S ( still being made, fast with great manual focusing )
Samyang 35mm f/1.4 ( fast, low cost, manual focussing, often sold under other names )
Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AI-S ( find used on eBay, fast with great manual focusing )
Nikon 50mm f/1.2 AI-S ( still being made, fast with great manual focusing )
Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 ZF2 Nikon Mount ( expensive, but fast with great manual focusing )
Nikon 85mm f/1.4 AI-S ( find used on eBay, fast with great manual focusing )
Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 ZF2 Nikon Mount ( expensive, but fast with great manual focusing )
Samyang 85mm f/1.4 ( fast, low cost, manual focussing, often sold under other names )

There is a rumor that Olympus will announce a new 12mm f/2.0 wide-angle at the end of this month, which will be a great addition to a AF-100 kit, if this rumor is true. I am hoping it is.

...For myself, I own the Voightlander 25mm, Zeiss 50mm, Zeiss 85mm, and the Lumix 14-45mm zoom and 45-200mm zoom ( theses zooms are very slow, but sharp with good image-stabilization )


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Uli Plank
Re: Which lens for AF100?
on Jun 3, 2011 at 8:44:50 pm

I'm not that impressed by the older Nikon lenses on a AF100. I compared a Nikkor 50mm 1.4 with a Minolta Rokkor PG 50mm 1.4 and the latter had far more contrast wide open. Seems that the Rokkor had a better coating for the rear lens at the time.

But YMMV

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


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: Which lens for AF100?
on Jun 3, 2011 at 8:52:54 pm

The Nikon AI-S lenses I listed are modern fully multi-coated lenses with high contrast. I recommend Nikon because they are easy to find and some of these manual lenses are still being produced by Nikon. ( 35mm f/1.4 and 50mm f/1.2 for example )

I am sure that the multi-coated Minolta lenses are also very good, just like the Pentax and Olympus multi-coated lenses are great too.


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Jon Gianelli
Re: Which lens for AF100?
on Jun 3, 2011 at 9:02:43 pm

If I got a multi-coated nikon lens @ 35mm wouldn't that convert to something like a 60mm lens on the af100?


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: Which lens for AF100?
on Jun 3, 2011 at 9:10:18 pm

D[Jon Gianelli] "If I got a multi-coated nikon lens @ 35mm wouldn't that convert to something like a 60mm lens on the af100?"

If you are thinking of the 35mm Full Frame Still Photo camera, like the Nikon D3 or Canon 5D MK2, then yes a 35mm lens on the AF-100 camera would give you the equivalent angle of view as using a 70mm lens on a Full Frame 35mm Still Photo Camera.

You have to think like the AF-100 is a 35mm cine film camera, because the AF-100 sensor is very close to the size of the 3-perf 35mm Cine format.

AbelCine Field-of-View Comparator Tool


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: Which lens for AF100?
on Jun 3, 2011 at 9:47:40 pm

[Uli Plank] "I'm not that impressed by the older Nikon lenses on a AF100."

...Some frame grabs by a very talented DvxUser member for their 48-hour Film Race entry. Everything is shot with Nikon lenses on the AF-100 camera:

Frame Grabs - 48 Hr Film - AF102


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Uli Plank
Re: Which lens for AF100?
on Jun 4, 2011 at 8:52:44 am

Sure, I get great images from my Nikon too – but only if I stop down a step or two.

The poster at DVuser is not noting if they shot wide open (well, I didn't go through all the thread), but when adapting a 1.4 lens to the AF100 my main reason is having faster glass (and a nice bokeh). The lenses I compared were both quite old, about 30 to 35 years. I'm sure Nikon will have used better coating for the rear lenses in later production.

Just wanted to give a heads up if buying really old glass. Remember, film emulsion is less reflective than sensors (or the filters in front of them), so at the time there was not that much reason to take extreme care of coating rear lenses. BTW, the diffusion I get from the old Nikons can look quite nice an romantic portraits. But I'd rather add that with a diffusor under my full control …

One more hint: depending on the adapter you use, there may be some shiny metal exposed at the back. I got quite some improvement when blackening those parts not to have so much light bounced around there.

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


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Uli Plank
Re: Which lens for AF100?
on Jun 4, 2011 at 11:20:21 am

Ok, I read further and it seems he worked between 4 and 5.6, so that would explain the excellent contrast even with the lens I tested (or maybe better coating at the time his lens comes from).

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


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Jon Gianelli
Re: Which lens for AF100?
on Jun 4, 2011 at 3:57:52 pm

You've given me a ton to think about. How about this: my partner thinks we ought to purchase a zeiss compact prime lens like CP.2 50mm for around 4 grand. I was wondering, if we were to purchase something like the Voightlander 25mm f/0.95 or the Nikon 35mm f/1.4 AI-S instead for less than half the price would we really see a major difference in image quality for primes?


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Uli Plank
Re: Which lens for AF100?
on Jun 4, 2011 at 4:40:06 pm

I'm not sure you'd see a major difference in image quality on an AF 100. Not because those lenses aren't better, but because the resolution of the AF100 is limited (I've tested older Zeiss/Arriflex lenses on it against photographic glass). BUT there are big differences in operation:

- less breathing
– standardized coupling for follow focus
– length stays constant
– continuous aperture adjustment

You need to calculate the whole package, like adaptor rings for focus, rails, support for heavier lenses, matte box, will the dougnuts fit, follow focus etc. before you can really decide.

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


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: Which lens for AF100?
on Jun 4, 2011 at 7:13:51 pm

Why not buy Zeiss ZF2 primes? It's the same glass. Tests have shown that ZF2 primes produce the same image as the CP2 lenses. They are obviously not built like CP2 lenses, which is why the CP2 lenses cost 3-4 times more.

This is the route I've chosen: Voightlander 25mm, Zeiss ZF 50mm, Zeis ZF 85mm
( I plan on adding either a Voightlander or Zeiss 35mm later on )

You could also buy Zeiss ZF2 primes from Duclos which cost $250 more, but they have been "cine-fied" with tough durlon follow-focus rings, no aperture clicks, and feature a common 80mm mounting size. ( see my previous post, or just google Duclos Lenses )

[Jon Gianelli] "my partner thinks we ought to purchase a zeiss compact prime lens like CP.2 50mm for around 4 grand. I was wondering, if we were to purchase something like the Voightlander 25mm f/0.95 or the Nikon 35mm f/1.4 AI-S instead for less than half the price would we really see a major difference in image quality for primes?"


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Jon Gianelli
Re: Which lens for AF100?
on Jun 4, 2011 at 9:08:09 pm

This is some solid advice which I think I will take. Thanks a lot for your input


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Jeremy Cole
Re: Which lens for AF100?
on Jun 16, 2011 at 1:15:22 pm

I have an older Nikkor 50mm f1.4 and it is just fine, even wide open. I love the Nikkor 20mm f4 lens. Not very fast, but very sharp with good contrast. These are both manual lenses.

Also, I like the Sigma 10-20D zoom lens. Can't use it enough. It is slow, but lovely. I, also, use a 105mm Micro Nikkor f2.8 lens for closeup work on the AF100. Super lens!

Regards,
Jeremy


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Max Maier
Re: Which lens for AF100?
on Jun 22, 2011 at 7:15:23 am

Does anyone have experience with the panasonic micro 4/3 lenses?
I imagine them quite practical because of their automatic focus but what about their images? Are they comparable to Canons or Nikons?
And what do you think about their price?

Have you ever worked with:
Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25 mm f/1.4 ASPH Micro 4/3 Lens for Four Thirds System
Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm F2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. Lens for Four Thirds System
Panasonic 14-150mm f/3.5-5.6 Vario-Elmar Aspherical MEGA O.I.S. Lens for Four Thirds System

Greetings


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