Thread: Canon FD vs K35

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  1. #101  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satsuki Murashige View Post
    It all comes down to personal taste. There is no objective right answer, only what looks good to you.

    That said, I think a lot of common tastes come from our shared enjoyment of what has come before. If you love ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ or ‘Ben Hur’, then you’re going to have a certain understanding of ‘epic’ widescreen period cinematography that many other people share. Similarly with ‘The French Connection’ for gritty cop action film, ‘The Godfather’ for dark moody period drama, etc. The grainy pushed film texture, handheld camera, and active zoom lenses of ‘French Connection’ would seem counterintuitive for ‘Lawrence’. And so with lenses - distorted vintage Cineovision anamorphics with super blue lens flare would be great for a dark thriller, but might be odd for a beauty commercial or romantic comedy. Master Primes would be great for a clean sharp ‘thru the window’ look, but if you’re doing an ensemble drama with aging actresses, then the ‘bad performer’ Cooke Speed Panchros might be a better choice.

    Also, I think the ‘performance’ of a lens is only relevant criteria if you need that aspect for a particular shot. If you’re shooting an architectural project and your client absolutely cannot have any distortion, or if you have a movie with a lot of night exteriors and need good performance at T1.4, etc. Otherwise, it’s whatever looks good and sets the right mood for you. But if you want to own all of your own lenses rather then rent as needed, then this is going to be a problem. Unless you’re fabulously wealthy, I guess...
    I guess I was primarily responding to the increased popularity of vintage lenses and the increasing number of faux-vintage or revival lens series as sensors have grown sharper. There are obviously different forms of aberrations resulting from different design choices and I find certain faux-vintage (Blackwing 7, Panchro Classic) approaches subjectively better than others.

    I agree about renting and agree about different things for different jobs, but those are broader topics.

    (I didn't mean to get into financial discussions except specific ones: can I just buy a 14mm f2.8 EF L; is the 85mm f1.2 FD L optically identical to the 85mm f1.2 SSC; etc.)

    Anyway, I'll shut up about this and get back on topic. Maybe I'll rent the worst lenses I've ever owned and compare them with the "character" ones I've ended up with. My journey was sort of a bell curve with "good performance" in the middle and I'm wonder to what extent it's my camera that's changed, my tastes, or what.

    Regardless, I'm very curious what happens next in the faux-vintage field. I think there's a lot of room for innovation there. But I'll get back on topic. Sorry for the tangent.
    Last edited by Matt W.; 12-08-2019 at 10:56 PM.
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  2. #102  
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    Why the Zeiss CP hate? Just sort boring or actually bad?
    I just find them not particularly sharp, they have really nasty veiling flare when there is a bright thing like a window in the frame, and in general they just look a little sterile . Every time I have been forced to shoot with them, I find myself having to change the way I normally light shit because they don't handle extremes very well. I am a screaming hot spot, shoot a light right down the barrel, back light everything if at all possible kind of a guy ;-) I am sure they are right up some peoples alley, but they don't do it for me.

    Nick
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  3. #103  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Gardner View Post
    I just find them not particularly sharp, they have really nasty veiling flare when there is a bright thing like a window in the frame, and in general they just look a little sterile . Every time I have been forced to shoot with them, I find myself having to change the way I normally light shit because they don't handle extremes very well. I am a screaming hot spot, shoot a light right down the barrel, back light everything if at all possible kind of a guy ;-) I am sure they are right up some peoples alley, but they don't do it for me.

    Nick
    Do you like the Otus line? Standard Speeds? I had the same impression of the CP2s but after seeing footage shot well with them on a few Alexa spots I doubted my first impressions. That was mostly brightly evenly lit and probably stopped down but they looked fine. But I think they're not for me, nor are the ZEs from which they are derived. (?)

    I don't want to continue veering too far off-topic, but I find it interesting that the G35 lenses, marketed specifically as a cheaper K35 alternative, are purported to be rehoused Xeens.

    First impressions of the Celere lenses were excellent... also rehoused Rokinons apparently. The Rokinon designs do not even seem that different from K35s or late FD or early EF.

    I'm starting with 24mm f1.4 L, 55mm f1.2 aspherical, 85mm f1.2 L FD mount for use on full frame. I have a 0.6X Zeiss Mutar that should fit the fronts and am curious to try it out, too. Has anyone tried using diopters to compensate for the focus shift with Mutars and Aspherons? Most still lenses won't focus far enough into macro to work with the Mutar. Then again, it's designed for just two lenses and will probably look awful on these. Couldn't find a Panspheron...

    Regardless, the mechanics and size appeal to me. I owned an early 24mm f1.4 Rokinon and did not care for it, it seemed to have severe longitudinal CA that muddied the image, while the EF line's mechanics aren't as good for video. So it is hopefully worth the money to me, but these have gotten pricy and I hope they are okay. Excited to use them.
    Last edited by Matt W.; 12-09-2019 at 09:21 PM.
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  4. #104  
    Senior Member Satsuki Murashige's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt W. View Post
    I guess I was primarily responding to the increased popularity of vintage lenses and the increasing number of faux-vintage or revival lens series as sensors have grown sharper. There are obviously different forms of aberrations resulting from different design choices and I find certain faux-vintage (Blackwing 7, Panchro Classic) approaches subjectively better than others.
    I agree with you, I think lenses with modern highly corrected designs don’t look right when you just change the coatings. You have two clashing looks that don’t mesh aesthetically. The older classic lens designs and classic coatings produce pictures that look like the films we all grew up with. That’s why many faux-vintage lenses suck, sorry to say - they are neither clean and modern, nor funky and nostalgic. Who the hell wants that? And some sets are not cheap. I’d be curious to know what kind of designs are going into the Blackwings.

    At the risk of going even further off tangent, I may opine that there is a difference between modern ‘still photo look’ lenses and ‘cine look’ lenses. Sigma Cines and Otus fall into the former category for me - I think they were designed for the in-focus areas to be pleasing, while somewhat sacrificing the out-of-focus areas. I find the bokeh to be harsh and distracting on both, from my limited personal experience on a few projects. Maybe I was using some bad copies, but after recent shoots with Cooke 5/i and Zeiss Super Speeds (which I haven’t otherwise used in a very long time), I feel there is a subtle difference. The cine lenses have CA. They have some distortion and falloff. They are softer, with some slight halation. But the Cookes especially have a roundness and gentleness to skin, and a creamy bokeh that melts apart. And the Zeiss has a beautiful contrast and density, while also not being too sharp on skin. That’s what I want for my projects, not sharp, clinical, distortion-free images with big goofy lens flares on top...
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  5. #105  
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    I see a lot of hate to the CP2's but some of my favourite video's on vimeo are shot with CP2's.
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  6. #106  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satsuki Murashige View Post
    I agree with you, I think lenses with modern highly corrected designs don’t look right when you just change the coatings. You have two clashing looks that don’t mesh aesthetically. The older classic lens designs and classic coatings produce pictures that look like the films we all grew up with. That’s why many faux-vintage lenses suck, sorry to say - they are neither clean and modern, nor funky and nostalgic. Who the hell wants that? And some sets are not cheap. I’d be curious to know what kind of designs are going into the Blackwings.

    At the risk of going even further off tangent, I may opine that there is a difference between modern ‘still photo look’ lenses and ‘cine look’ lenses. Sigma Cines and Otus fall into the former category for me - I think they were designed for the in-focus areas to be pleasing, while somewhat sacrificing the out-of-focus areas. I find the bokeh to be harsh and distracting on both, from my limited personal experience on a few projects. Maybe I was using some bad copies, but after recent shoots with Cooke 5/i and Zeiss Super Speeds (which I haven’t otherwise used in a very long time), I feel there is a subtle difference. The cine lenses have CA. They have some distortion and falloff. They are softer, with some slight halation. But the Cookes especially have a roundness and gentleness to skin, and a creamy bokeh that melts apart. And the Zeiss has a beautiful contrast and density, while also not being too sharp on skin. That’s what I want for my projects, not sharp, clinical, distortion-free images with big goofy lens flares on top...
    How do you feel about Ultra Primes? I think the look is at least coherently modern, but I can't say I love it. I want to blame aspherical elements, but I think only the 8R has one among all Ultra Primes and yet they look far more modern to me than K35s, which are all aspherical.

    Primos I think look great, though.

    I'm tempted to say it's more a matter of modern vs vintage rather than still lenses vs motion picture, but there's surely also a different design philosophy with still lenses favoring sharpness over rendering, particularly in the digital age where sensors are ridiculously sharp and grain-free.

    Do you like K35s? The bokeh is very weird, strong onion ring.

    I also find the look of Mindhunter disturbing even though the pilot in particular is exceptionally well lit and composed. The digital anamorphic aberrations on a clean spherical image are a trip to the uncanny valley for me, and yet I think that's kind of the point.
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  7. #107  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt W. View Post
    How do you feel about Ultra Primes? I think the look is at least coherently modern, but I can't say I love it. I want to blame aspherical elements, but I think only the 8R has one among all Ultra Primes and yet they look far more modern to me than K35s, which are all aspherical.

    Primos I think look great, though.

    I'm tempted to say it's more a matter of modern vs vintage rather than still lenses vs motion picture, but there's surely also a different design philosophy with still lenses favoring sharpness over rendering, particularly in the digital age where sensors are ridiculously sharp and grain-free.

    Do you like K35s? The bokeh is very weird, strong onion ring.

    I also find the look of Mindhunter disturbing even though the pilot in particular is exceptionally well lit and composed. The digital anamorphic aberrations on a clean spherical image are a trip to the uncanny valley for me, and yet I think that's kind of the point.
    Again, I agree. The Ultras, S4s, and Primos are the first ‘modern’ lens sets. I’m pretty happy with the footage I’ve shot on Ultras, but they do not have a distinct personality. I think they work really well when what’s already in front of the lens looks good. They won’t alter that too much, you’ve got to provide that thru production design, costumes, lighting. It’s a simple, unfussy look that I can appreciate. You will get some halation on bright highlights wide open, but otherwise consistent contrast. And I suspect that the non-aspherical designs keep the bokeh from getting too funky. There’s some slightly ‘hard’ bokeh, not as creamy as Cookes. But I think that adds to the vintage character. The old Cooke Speed Panchros have them as well. Of course, the size/weight and the range of focal lengths are also a plus. Love the 14, 28, 40, 65, 180mm.

    Have not much experience with Primos or K35, I didn’t get my hands on much Panavision gear or oddball vintage stuff when I was camera assisting. I did get to shoot on the old spherical Kowas + Helium once, which was interesting. Very good combo, looked great. Assisted once with Panavised Super Baltars which were a huge pain to keep in focus. Don’t remember much about the look, other than being warm.

    You may be right about stills vs cine. A lot of old stills lenses look very cinematically vintage - my Contax f2.8 MMJ set look good, and enjoy the look of older (1960s-80s) Pentax, Minolta, Leica lenses. Nikkors were hit or miss for me, some good, some mush. Mechanics not really as good as Pentax or Leica. Again, no experience with the FDs since they were initially difficult to adapt to EF. My objection is mostly with modern stills lenses. Although I have a 10 year old 24mm f1.8 Sigma macro that I really like. Has just enough character to keep things interesting. Shot a whole mini doc on it, even the interview.
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  8. #108  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satsuki Murashige View Post
    That’s what I want for my projects, not sharp, clinical, distortion-free images with big goofy lens flares on top...
    I agree with pretty much all you are saying, but distortion is never a good thing in an image. Neither is vignetting. You can never improve an image by adding them. CA is also unacceptable.

    I would never demand maximal sharpness over everything else, but consistency is important across the image field, right to the corners. You can have both, but consistency comes first [Edit: a good example of this, from memory, is the Zeiss Contax 25/2.8, which wasn't the sharpest of its kind but the image field was consistent]. The 50mm APO Summicron M is an example of a lens that has both. Its size and performance embarrasses everything else, but it comes at a premium. You want selective focus? Forget the Noctilux, get the APO Summicron.

    Leica's new Summicron SL AF lenses are designed to sharply reduce contrast in defocused areas. I haven't seen many examples or comparisons but that sounds like a terrific way to design a lens.
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  9. #109  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satsuki Murashige View Post
    Again, I agree. The Ultras, S4s, and Primos are the first ‘modern’ lens sets. I’m pretty happy with the footage I’ve shot on Ultras, but they do not have a distinct personality. I think they work really well when what’s already in front of the lens looks good. They won’t alter that too much, you’ve got to provide that thru production design, costumes, lighting. It’s a simple, unfussy look that I can appreciate. You will get some halation on bright highlights wide open, but otherwise consistent contrast. And I suspect that the non-aspherical designs keep the bokeh from getting too funky. There’s some slightly ‘hard’ bokeh, not as creamy as Cookes. But I think that adds to the vintage character. The old Cooke Speed Panchros have them as well. Of course, the size/weight and the range of focal lengths are also a plus. Love the 14, 28, 40, 65, 180mm.

    Have not much experience with Primos or K35, I didn’t get my hands on much Panavision gear or oddball vintage stuff when I was camera assisting. I did get to shoot on the old spherical Kowas + Helium once, which was interesting. Very good combo, looked great. Assisted once with Panavised Super Baltars which were a huge pain to keep in focus. Don’t remember much about the look, other than being warm.

    You may be right about stills vs cine. A lot of old stills lenses look very cinematically vintage - my Contax f2.8 MMJ set look good, and enjoy the look of older (1960s-80s) Pentax, Minolta, Leica lenses. Nikkors were hit or miss for me, some good, some mush. Mechanics not really as good as Pentax or Leica. Again, no experience with the FDs since they were initially difficult to adapt to EF. My objection is mostly with modern stills lenses. Although I have a 10 year old 24mm f1.8 Sigma macro that I really like. Has just enough character to keep things interesting. Shot a whole mini doc on it, even the interview.
    I lack the experience to add more, but that makes sense to me re: Ultra Primes.

    There’s a video comparing Gecko Cam G35 with K35s. The look isn’t too different, or maybe it is, that's up to the viewer–apparently someone else had the idea that less expensive modern lenses (they’re alleged to be rehoused Rokinons) were a good substitute for more expensive vintage ones. But it’s the kind of flatly lit scene that complements technical quality over “character.” They cut to Ultras and imo it’s by far the best looking of the bunch for this set up, which illustrates your point:

    https://vimeo.com/233462508

    But maybe it’s not even as crazy a comparison as it seems. I had a 50mm f1.4 Sigma from the same vintage as the 28mm f1.8 and really liked it btw. I suppose older lenses complement higher contrast or natural lighting–I understand Jody Lee Lipes lights unconventionally and his lighting reads as naturalistic to me. Kaminski still blows my mind. Is his look basically high key soft light but with blazing hot backlights and lens diffusion resulting in a flat image that he then adds contrast with ENR? I wonder what one could use (affordably) to get a similar feel. I believe he favors Primos and the diffusion seems to be nets and Classic Softs but for his period pieces he favors (uncoated) Super Speeds. It all looks so incredibly good, I’m such a fan boy. My attempt to get a similar look will probably be single coated standard speeds and Classic Softs with hard light, mixed lighting, and large bounces. (Granted, this is basically for home videos, my professional work mostly comprises shooting vfx plates.) But asking how to do that digitally and cheap is like asking how to record digitally like Steve Albini, I suppose. I didn’t love the look of BFG. To me his work with Spielberg, and Spielberg's work in general around Catch Me if You Can is the apex of Classical craftsmanship reconciled with avant-garde emotional aesthetics. It's such beautiful, cutting-edge work but so accessible and refreshingly sloppy in a weird way, too.

    I got my first FD today. It’s a 1977 55mm f1.2 S.S.C. Aspherical. First impressions, coming from a 50mm f1.2 Olympus and various flavors of 50mm Nikkor, are that this is a Godzilla lens and not just because it’s radioactive. It’s enormous and very heavy. The focus ring is wonderfully smooth.

    Second impressions are that it’s starting to show some warmth from the thorium, presumably. Not too bad, but noticeable. Leave it out in the sun all day?
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  10. #110  
    Senior Member Satsuki Murashige's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karim D. Ghantous View Post
    I agree with pretty much all you are saying, but distortion is never a good thing in an image. Neither is vignetting. You can never improve an image by adding them. CA is also unacceptable.
    I guess we will have to agree to disagree then! In the right context, I think anamorphic barrel distortion and the protruding ‘bubble’ really adds to the impression of depth and the sense of ‘corners’ to the image. When the image is too flat and perfect across the field, it can feel like just a crop-in. Same with vignetting. To me CA is often objectionable, but it’s easily removed in post on a shot-by-shot basis. So I’d much rather shoot with Cookes and use a few power windows to fix the CA if necessary than shoot with lenses with harsh bokeh that can’t be as easily fixed in post. But anyway, different strokes as they say. :)
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