Thread: Cine Zoom or Prime to up my game?

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  1. #1 Cine Zoom or Prime to up my game? 
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    I'm looking for advise from the community on spherical CINE zooms or primes that will help me up my game and help my images stick out a little more. I have a set of Zeiss ZF.2 lenses and Canon EF zooms that I like for some lower to mid-range productions as well as 2 new Atlas Anamorphics 40mm/80mm which are great. So I'm wondering what recommendations for spherical CINE zooms or primes I can look at in the 8K-12K price range. I've been looking at the many different CINE zooms in the 15-40mm range (Angenieux DP, Zeiss LWZ.2 etc) also Cooke mini S4 primes, Tokina Vista, Schneider Xenar-III etc. I could rent to test but don't think I can rent them all. Any advise? Will I see an improvement in my results? you'll have to assume I know how to get a great shot. Thanks!
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Nick Morrison's Avatar
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    Personally, I'd take a long look at the Sigma Cine Primes.

    The Sigmas and Tokinas are in a class of their own at their price point.

    The Sigmas are smaller, and a bit more affordable.

    The Tokinas are a smidge better, but also much larger/heavier and more expensive.

    Take your pick.

    Zooms are that price point are hard, because unless you spend a bit more it's hard to optically improve on high quality EOS Zooms, what you are mostly paying for is mechanics.

    The next step up is really the Angy Styles and Zeiss CPZ's.

    Alllthough the new Tokina 25-70 look affordable and interesting, as is the Laowa 25-100.

    It's a weird time in the lens market.

    A lot is about to change as filmmakers switch to larger formats...
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  3. #3  
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    Thanks Nick! Yeah I've been thinking about the Sigma 18-35mm Cine as well but thought a used Angenieux DP must be better to justify the price having never used either. I had a beat on a Cooke s4/i CXX 15-40mm T2 that I thought would be perfect but turned out to be a scam.
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member Alex Lubensky's Avatar
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    Canon recently vastly reduced prices on their s35 cine zooms. At a budget of ~10 grand you can look for Fujinon cabrio 19-90, or a Arri Allura Studio zoom. Also there are options of older Cooke zooms, and Sigma/Tokina already mentioned above.
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    I love that Fuji 19-90, cause it’s only like 4 pounds and 19-90 on s35 is quite the range. That said, it’s sharp/clinical... as are the sigmas, Zeiss, etc.

    The problem with most of the glass mentioned is they won’t make your images stand out from their stills/photography equivalents... they’re also all modern and lack what pundits call “organicness” or “character”, so again, tough to stand out.

    What about sticking to your current glass but explore filters if you haven’t already? Mainstays like 1/8 black promist or Hollywood black magic... new diffusion’s like pearlescents, etc. Just something to make (for example) EF Sigma Art or your ZF primes pop and/or soften roll-off a little, etc. It’d be a hell of a lot cheaper and look a hell of a lot more unique than buying rehoused stills glass.

    If you’re set on getting new glass, those cookes will stand out the most, but I didn’t think they were only 10-12k for a set.
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  6. #6  
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    Good options too thanks! I have been looking at 1/8 black pro mist as well and will likely do that path as well.

    Cooke have been on the top of the list with a few others. Just worried about the cost of getting serval primes. I think that’s the most expensive option I’m considering. Angenieux Optimo DP also high on the list because of the zoom flexibility but it does look from what I’ve seen online a little too clinical. I’ll have to do a little research on the Fujinon zooms as well.
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  7. #7  
    Senior Member Blair S. Paulsen's Avatar
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    Everyone has their own opinion, but the Angenieux Optimo DP zooms don't seem clinical to me. Would suggest you look for more footy or take one out for a day. Used the DP zooms on a feature and found them forgiving, yet clean enough to intercut with modern primes. YMMV.

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  8. #8  
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    Optimos are definitely less clinical/contemporary looking than the Sigma Art Zooms (or any photography-turned-Cine zooms/primes I’ve used for that matter). Like the Opitmos look nicer than the Zeiss LWZs in my opinion... granted not as sharp and depending on sensor size can vignette (whereas the LWZ are FF).

    Here’s a question for ya; when you say “up my game” and “make my images stand out” do you actually mean the captured image that ends up on screen, or your image on set (with producers and agency around)? I’m not being facetious; I’ve actually overheard non-technical people say some pretty outlandish things (e.g. a producer say “the image of the bigger camera (Ranger) looks much better” than a DSMC2 image, even though both were Gemini at same settings). Alls I’m saying is sometimes “bigger” (aka Cine-rehoused lenses) “look better” on set, and if that’s your aim, just go with the cheapest PL glass you can find... used RED Pro Prime sets are like ~$6k... same with Sony T2 mk1s... 18-85 RPzooms are even cheaper (granted that Fuji 19-90 is half the weight and from my limited 18-85 experience, the images aren’t too dissimilar).
    Last edited by Mike P.; 05-23-2020 at 04:14 PM.
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member Bob Gundu's Avatar
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    No amount of lenses will Up your game. Only you can do that.
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member Blair S. Paulsen's Avatar
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    Perhaps its more about having the right lens for a particular shot. Or having color consistency to facilitate seamless cuts. It is about craft first - but having access to particular optics to execute a shot the way you envision is certainly a part of the equation.

    Cheers - #19
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