Thread: Phil's Cine RF Mount & Adapter F.A.Q.

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  1. #1 Phil's Cine RF Mount & Adapter F.A.Q. 
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Los Angeles
    Quote Originally Posted by Jarred Land View Post
    So your next thread probably should be the same question but about adapters, and I know Phil is doing a shit-ton of testing there.
    I've been summoned :)

    Jarred is right. I haven't just been testing and experimenting with adapters since Komodo's announcement, but this started when the RF-Mount was announced. I'm a lens nut as well as a camera nut. Some of this advice has already been used in the field prior to Komodo's official release, which you've seen here and there via bts pics.

    Much like RED's initial offerings of multiple mounts and subsequent use of a adapters as well, Komodo inspires a great deal of creativity and flexibility with it's compact and forward thinking mount RF-Mount.

    But RF is new. So new, some don't even know about it in the world of motion picture production.

    Let's jump in.

    What is the RF-Mount?
    RF-Mount Canon's new shorter flange depth electronic mount introduced in 2018. Similar to the wildly popular and successful EF Mount, but with a flange focal distance of 20mm rather than the EF's 44mm FFD. And that means you can adapt nearly 70 of the about 85 mount standards to it. That's a lot of glass. It's a locking bayonet with a button release. If you've ever used an EF Mount, this will be super familiar to you.

    So what can you easily adapt to Komodo?
    - RF>Canon-EF (that's a given and Canon's electronic adapter is great and they make 3 of them)
    - RF>Leica-M (Simple mechanical as well as helicoid for closer focus)
    - RF>PL Mount
    - Anything you can adapt to EF Mount like Leica-R, Olympus OM, Nikon F, Canon FD/FL, etc. The sky if virtually the limit.

    What can't you adapt to RF?
    Focusing on the modern stuff, notably you can't mount:
    - Nikon Z-Mount
    - Sony E-Mount or FZ-Mount
    - Fujifilm's X-Mount

    Those all have shorter flange focal distances, so no go. Physically impossible and honestly you'd need new electronics anyways.

    Who is currently or will be making RF>PL Mount Adapters?
    - Metabones
    - KipperTie
    - Wooden Camera
    - Fotodiox
    - MTF Services
    - Vocas
    - C7 Adapters (ciecio7)
    - and others

    A special word on L-Mount and Unreleased Lenses
    Sigma, Panasonic, and Leica have formed the L-Mount Alliance in 2018. Something must have been in the air that year ;) I've spoken to Sigma as well as various newer and older manufacturers about RF Mount support. I personally would expect some of the L-Mount glass to come to RF-Mount as it in some cases wouldn't require re-inventing the wheel but rather swapping mounts and possibly electronics. Totally exploiting my relationship with a few lens manufacturers as well, expect much more RF glass incoming from the usual and unusual sources. Laowa for instance has some nice tiny wide angle primes coming.

    Some Canon RF-Mount Notes
    RF-Mount is the newest in Canon's lineup and it took them a few decades to flesh out their massive EF lens line-up to where it is today. However, they are focused and releasing some pretty kick butt newer lenses like very high speed zooms and extremely modern designed high speed primes, an avalanche more incoming. Also their new focusing motor system in RF glass is pretty rad for autofocus, still and motion. I suspect actually faster, more accurate, and more robust than anything EF actually.

    One thing Canon introduced with the RF-Mount is the new concept of a Control Ring. Really cool to see something new in the mix. For RF-Mount native lenses, this ring exists on the lens itself. On their cameras you can map it to do certain things. They also make an RF>EF Control Ring Adapter. I mention this because we don't know yet how RED and Komodo plans to tackle this, but the imagination runs wild. Iris control? ISO control? User configurable? Tune-able AF speed? We just don't know. Too early. But it does possibly give you a potential shortcut key/ring, which is cool.

    Behind the Lens Neutral Density (ND)
    One of the exciting things about this RF-Mount is we have some space to work with. Which allows for behind the lens ND and Variable ND solutions. Canon makes an official Variable ND, but there are others as well. Though I have their RF>VND EF adapter here, I prefer physical NDs as they don't have many of the pitfalls of VNDs. But if you are looking to save dough and work fast, these work.

    Notably and likely very useful will be KipperTie's upcoming Revolva-RF>PL which much like the DSMC2/DSMC model uses a mechanical rotating cartridge system with 4X physical ND windows that you can configure yourself. John's nearly done with the prototype as of March 2020. Expect it to drop likely around Komodo time. I think he is also working on a Revolva RF>EF, but I don't recall. Certainly possible.

    There's also more ND related stuff incoming. 2020/2021 will be fun on this front.

    Support Your Glass
    The RF-Mount is pretty robust, but it's still a thin mount in comparison to say PL. I personally would recommend lens support for glass 5-6lbs and heavier and certainly longer lenses that might even fall under the weight class I just mentioned.

    Many of the PL-Mount Adapters include a support foot. That is there for you to mount your base plate to for a very rigid and strong little package.

    Many lenses in the modern era also have a support foot for a rod support or plate support.

    In some instances, like long super-telephoto lenses, you might just be supporting the lens and letting Komodo dangle, that will work. I like to imagine a tiny Komodo with legs wiggling in the air :)

    Small or Big
    Komodo expresses itself as a mini-cinema camera, mini-utility camera, tiny-block cam, or whatever you want to call it. One of it's biggest strengths is just how small you can have a shooting package. I'm talking < 4lbs in some cases. Which is insane. But get creative. Use the big glass too. Use whatever it takes to make the shot. Komodo allows for that sort of mindset. Much like RED has displayed with it's modular compact cinema cameras, you can always make a small camera bigger, but you can nearly never make a large camera smaller.

    Komodo Specific Specs
    RED Komodo 6K is an S35+ sensor, which means it's format size is a bit larger than Super 35mm in width, but is actually within the Super 35mm 4-perf image circle spec.

    Here is a comparison of Komodo 6K FF and Kodak Super 35mm 3-perf

    And here is a comparison of Komodo 6K FF and Kodak Super 35mm 4-perf

    That means you can use VistaVision, Large Format, FF35, 135 Still lenses as well as Super 35mm and APS-C lenses on Komodo. And likely very good coverage on older Academy 35mm lenses. Especially at 6K HD.

    Komodo 6K RF + Speedboosters
    Yes Speedboosters (focal reducers) will work with RED Komodo 6K. Metabones has been sort of dominating here, but expect others to join in shortly. At the moment RF>EF Speedboosters are available. I'm expecting an RF>PL Speedbooster later this year.

    For those new to these things. In the case of a FF35<APS-C Focal Reducer/Speedbooster you traditionally have about 0.71X reduction of the FF35 image to the APS-C image plane, giving Komodo's 27.03mm wide sensor an effectove Field of View of a 38mm wide sensor with the added benefit of gaining about 1 stop of light. So your T2.8 lens becomes effectively as sensitive as a T2.

    Pros and cons to all of that. You are still adding more optics into the mix, and though mostly brag about higher center MTF, you might see enhanced distortion, CA, artifacts, etc. I still personally like to stop down a stop when using Speedboosters, pretty much my advice for all optical adapters. They are incredibly useful, but they don't walk on water. And remember if your lens tops out at T16 and you've boosted it, you now have a minimum aperture of T8. Plan for ND accordingly.

    Feel Free to Ask
    Komodo has brought a lot of new peeps to this corner of the internet and hopefully I can be an informative resource for you. I am in the rare position of owning, used, or have tested nearly lens ever made in the last 100+ years. If you have a question, I can likely answer it. I'm super excited about what this new RF-Mount brings to keeping Komodo small but also empowering the more common cinema-minded mount standards to be more flexible than ever.
    Phil Holland - Cinematographer - Los Angeles
    ________________________________ IMDB
    PHFX | tools

    2X RED Monstro 8K VV Bodies, 1X RED Komodo, and a lot of things to use with them.

    Data Sheets and Notes:
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