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Camera-Lens incompatibility (or just really bad karma)?

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Den Raphaely
Camera-Lens incompatibility (or just really bad karma)?
on Jan 21, 2014 at 3:00:35 am

I recently bought a BMD Cinema Camera MFT. This is intended for a single application (camera sits in one place in a room) and for this I purchased a Olympus PEN M. Zuiko 17mm f1.8 MFT lens. Both items from B&H Photo Video. Camera and lens arrive, and the camera simply wouldn't focus. That is, it is in focus at about 3 inches from the camera, but that's all. B&H decide the lens must be defective, and I obtain a replacement -- only, same problem with the second lens. Both BMD tech support and B&H tech support confirm that the lens should work with camera. I do a sanity check with a local pro and he can't see any reason why the camera won't come into focus. Everyone then concludes the camera must be faulty. Back it goes, and the replacement arrives today, and... same problem! This has all taken nearly 4 weeks...

It is at times like this one appreciates the three day lag in buying a gun. Other than such radical measures, your sage counsel will be appreciated.


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John Fishback
Re: Camera-Lens incompatibility (or just really bad karma)?
on Jan 21, 2014 at 3:47:12 pm

Have you tried a different lens on the camera?

John

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Den Raphaely
Re: Camera-Lens incompatibility (or just really bad karma)?
on Jan 21, 2014 at 4:07:18 pm

Unfortunately, I have no other lens to try, and there is no camera shop in 40 miles (courtesy the online stores we all patronize). Actually, I am prepared to drive to anywhere in the SF Bay Area if someone has a setup I can try this against. BMD is in Fremont -- is there anyone there who can help do you think?


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Peter J. DeCrescenzo
Re: Camera-Lens incompatibility (or just really bad karma)?
on Jan 21, 2014 at 9:10:36 pm

Perhaps there's a misunderstanding?

The Olympus PEN M. Zuiko 17mm f1.8 is a digital MFT lens, right?

If the camera you're referring to is the BMCC-MFT, it has a passive MFT lens mount, so you can't use most digital lenses with it.

Most digital lenses require power and electronic communication from the camera to focus and set aperture, even in "manual" mode.

The BMCC-MFT has no electrical connectors on its lens mount. It's designed for use with fully-manual (mechanical only) MFT or adapted lenses, not digital lens.

Is this your issue?

---

http://www.peterdv.com
Blog: http://herefortheweather.wordpress.com


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Den Raphaely
Re: Camera-Lens incompatibility (or just really bad karma)?
on Jan 21, 2014 at 11:27:03 pm

This lens appears to be an entirely manual affair. According to BMD it works with pocket camera, but now (today) they are not sure if it works with BMCC MFT. Like B&H, they still can't think of any reason why it shouldn't work, but are now forced to conclude that it doesn't.

The support person at BMD that I spoke to this morning could not lay his hands on a list of lenses that would work this camera. He promised to email and call me. That was 5 hours ago...


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Peter J. DeCrescenzo
Re: Camera-Lens incompatibility (or just really bad karma)?
on Jan 22, 2014 at 2:01:03 am
Last Edited By Peter J. DeCrescenzo on Jan 22, 2014 at 2:06:17 am

In general, if a lens has electrical contacts on its mount, it's a digital lens and can't be used on the BMCC-MFT.

Especially MFT lenses made by Olympus & Panasonic because they are designed for use with their digital MFT cameras that feature auto-focus, auto-exposure, etc. To the best of my knowledge none of their MFT lenses can be used on a BMCC-MFT -- not even if the lens is switched to "manual" mode.

There are certain expensive cine lenses that are fully manual (true manual focus & aperture) but which have electrical contacts to communicate meta data to some cine cameras. Because these lenses are true manual lenses they can be used on a BMCC-MFT.

There are of course less-expensive, fully-manual, native MFT lenses available. Alternatively, many types of fully-manual lenses can be mounted on the BMCC-MFT via lens mount adapters.

---

http://www.peterdv.com
Blog: http://herefortheweather.wordpress.com


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Den Raphaely
Re: Camera-Lens incompatibility (or just really bad karma)?
on Jan 21, 2014 at 11:30:52 pm

Follow up: BMD support tells me that they test on one wide angle lens - Voigtlander Nokton 17.5mm f/0.95 Lens for Micro 4/3 Cameras. It's priced at $1,149.00 on B&H


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Peter J. DeCrescenzo
Re: Camera-Lens incompatibility (or just really bad karma)?
on Jan 22, 2014 at 2:02:05 am

That's an excellent lens.

---

http://www.peterdv.com
Blog: http://herefortheweather.wordpress.com


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Bill Bruner
Re: Camera-Lens incompatibility (or just really bad karma)?
on Jan 22, 2014 at 1:46:50 pm

Hi Den - sounds really frustrating. Glad you decided not to get the gun :)

You might want to trade your Oly in for a manual lens such as the $499 Rokinon 16mm T2.2 for micro 4/3. It costs about the same as the Olympus, and a lot less than the Voigtlander.

Alternatively, you can keep the lens, send the $1995 BMCC MFT back and get a $995 BMPCC. I have one, and it works just fine with Olympus auto lenses.

Good luck!

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution


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Matthew Sonnenfeld
Re: Camera-Lens incompatibility (or just really bad karma)?
on Jan 23, 2014 at 7:47:00 pm

The Rokinon's are good options though take a look too at SLR Magic. the 12mm HyperPrime is a true wide angle lens on MFT, is fully manual, and is excellent glass.

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Bill Bruner
Re: Camera-Lens incompatibility (or just really bad karma)?
on Jan 24, 2014 at 11:24:05 am

I agree, Matthew. The 12mm T1.6 is a terrific lens for Blackmagic cameras - but I didn't recommend it because it is such a challenge to actually find one in stock.

They are pretty much on continual backorder at Adorama and Amazon.

If you are patient, you can find one occasionally on eBay, but they're often direct imports from Asia (here's one in Hong Kong for $595, for example).

Cheers,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution


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Den Raphaely
Re: Camera-Lens incompatibility (or just really bad karma)?
on Feb 7, 2014 at 3:16:02 pm

Thanks to everyone who weighed in. Having lost a month already, I went with the only wide-angle lens that BM actually tests on for this camera -- Voigtlander Nokton 17.5mm f/0.95. $700 more than the Olympus, took a week from Hong Kong, but it works fine. :/


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