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Zeiss Compact Primes - swapping mounts

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Eric Hansen
Zeiss Compact Primes - swapping mounts
on Jan 17, 2011 at 6:28:01 pm

hey all

we have a set of Zeiss CP.2 compact primes with PL mounts. these mounts can be swapped out to Nikon F and Canon EF. Zeiss also includes shims for the mounts in case they need to be offset. a few questions:

- how quickly do you think these mounts can be swapped? would it be something you could do on set?
- if i set the shims for my 7D, is it now set for all 7Ds, or is it set for all EOS cameras?
- lets say it takes 2 specific shims for PL and 3 specific shims for 7D. can i then swap the mounts in the future using these specific shims and not have to retest with a chart? or will the shims drift (compress?)?
- has anyone had to use different shims for different PL mount cameras? for example, we're using Phantom HD, Arri 235 and a RED One for PL.
- it seems like all of our cameras (except the 235, AFAIK) can use a Nikon F mount. would it make sense to put F mounts on all the cameras and switch our CP.2s to F mount? or would i still have to have different shims for different cameras?

thanks

e


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john sharaf
Re: Zeiss Compact Primes - swapping mounts
on Jan 17, 2011 at 6:45:35 pm

Eric,

While the interchangeable lens mounts might sound like a good idea, they are really for the convenience of the manufacturer who can now sell essentially the same lens to many different lens mount users.

For the user who wishes to change the mount for different cameras, it's another story. To do so properly, meaning to preserve the accuracy of the backfocus and therefore the lens focus marks, means you need skill, the proper equipment (collimator) and patience, as it can take quite some time to do so correctly. as I have said before, it's not for the faint of heart, especially when your precious project is at stake. Remember that to be perfectly accurate (and I think you know this already) both the lens and the camera's mount must be nominally correct, this requires two different calibration devices which might cost as much as the lens set itself.

For camera assistants, who are definitely required when using 35mm imagers (or larger) where critical focus is required, having accurate lens markings is an absolute must. Without them they cannot work as fast or as accurately and the work product will definately suffer.

Finally I think it's a fallacy to think that any two still camera mounts will match. It is not common practice in still photography to measure focus with a tape, nor are the focus marks on the barrel of a wide enough range for such a process to be useful, so I don't believe the manufacturers pay much attention to calibrating their lens mounts to match camera-to-camera. For this reason I would not recommend using Nikon or Canon mounts on all your cameras (like Red, Alexa, Phantom etc.) to eliminate the need to remount lenses. For my own piece of mind I have purchased all my lenses in non interchangeable PL mounts to eliminate one of the many possible pitfalls.

JMHO,

JS



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Eric Hansen
Re: Zeiss Compact Primes - swapping mounts
on Jan 17, 2011 at 6:55:20 pm

thanks john

so, taking this one step further. we already have a set of 5 Zeiss primes. we also have a few from other manufacturers. considering that investment, and what we've already invested in our PL cameras, would it make more sense to buy 7Ds with PL mounts, than to deal with putting EF mounts on our CP.2s?

thanks

e

Eric Hansen - http://www.erichansen.tv


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john sharaf
Re: Zeiss Compact Primes - swapping mounts
on Jan 17, 2011 at 7:15:42 pm

That's exactly what I'd recommend. You'll be very happy and sleep better at night too!

JS



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