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Lenses for RED Scarlet

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Terry Nutkins
Lenses for RED Scarlet
on Aug 29, 2012 at 3:16:33 pm

Hi there,

I am about to purchase a RED Scarlet for a feature length documentary I am working on (and for subsequent projects with my production company)

In regard to lenses for this project, I would ideally like to get a RED Prime and a RED Zoom but this is beyond my budget. While the film will largely comprise static interviews, a zoom would be ideal (and perhaps necessary) for other shots. I'm dissuaded from getting a RED Zoom as my sole lens due to its weight making handheld work difficult (correct assumption?) and possibly producing a less sharp/generally worse image than the prime (correct assumption?)

At this point I feel my options are:

1 - Purchasing a RED Prime and getting a cheaper zoom lens for shots that require higher magnification. In this case I would be very interested to hear what PL mount zoom lenses would produce satisfactory results (and would be a fitting companion to the RED Prime) in a lower price range.

2 - Purchasing two less expensive lenses (both lenses with the same mount type) - that would produce similar results to a lens of the quality of the RED primes but in a lower price range.

Any suggestions or other ideas/solutions to this problem would be greatly appreciated!

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Noah Kadner
Re: Lenses for RED Scarlet
on Sep 3, 2012 at 5:39:23 pm

Canon lenses would be the cheaper alternative if you can't even afford the RED lenses. Have you budgeted for the rest of your package though- like your matte box, battery system, tripod, filters, etc. Don't get in over your head if you haven't specced out a full package.


Call Box Training.
Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Panasonic AC160/130.

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Thomas Pohl
Re: Lenses for RED Scarlet
on Sep 8, 2012 at 4:56:38 pm

I agree with Noah. Still lenses could be a good alternative. Especially if you use the smart mounts focusing with a fingertip on your LCD. By the way: The smart Nikon Mount is available since a couple of days.
Thomas. - RED footage and more available in HD, SD and RED RAW R3D

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David Battistella
Re: Lenses for RED Scarlet
on Sep 10, 2012 at 7:56:16 am

It's hard to match the image quality of RED glass, they rival master primes in corner to corner sharpness and color and contrast.

The tradeoff is that they are heavy, especially the larger zooms. The 17-50 would take you a long way in a documentary, but the other two zooms are huge and heavy and maybe not ideal for lightweight documentary work.

You have so many options with stills glass.

Nikon (i have a set of 8)
Canon (I have a set of three)
Leica R (i have a set of 9)
Leica M
BNCR mounts

You can put just about any peice of glass you want on the Scralet.

Pick one brand and pick two fast zooms. Lenes are a good investment and if you buy Nikon, Leica or Canon they tend to hold their value and have multiple uses.

For your situation it might be best to go with two fast zooms to give you a variety of focal lengths that will allow you to film in a variety of situations. F2.8 through the zoom range should be your goal. The investment is worth it.


The shortest answer is doing.
Lord Herbert

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Bob Cole
Re: Lenses for RED Scarlet
on Nov 2, 2012 at 7:11:12 pm

Interesting that you can use so many different lenses.

Can you use the EF Canon lenses, whose apertures are controlled through the camera? How do you set the aperture, and can you change the f/stop during a take smoothly?

Bob C

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Gregory Sheffer
Re: Lenses for RED Scarlet
on Sep 23, 2012 at 1:09:13 am

I love the CP.2s!

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