Thread: Converted SLR tele lenses

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  1. #1 Converted SLR tele lenses 
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    A variety of used Canon F super-tele SLR lenses (I'm interested in the 400-800mm range) converted to cine use (PL mount, FF gears) are available at fairly reasonable cost from on-line retailers.

    Obviously these are older lenses of unknown condition, but does anybody have experience of using these lenses, and have an opinion on their suitablity for the Red camera in terms of optical quality?

    I'm thinking of use for both 4K and windowed format, to take advantage of the extra crop factor / DOF where useful.

    Are the primes significantly better, optically, than the 150-600mm zoom?

    Thanks
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  2. #2  
    Red Savant Steve Gibby's Avatar
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    With PL mounts, and a reasonable follow focus, these could be decent lenses for RED One. I used some of them awhile back for film still photography, with good results. They will cover the 4k, and obviously the 2k formats. They have good glass. If you find one that has been well taken care of, and have it professionally checked out, and the price is right, and you shoot a lot of sports and nature, then you may want to pick one up. Many currently made zooms, both cine and 35mm still, are nearly as good, or as good, at many of their focal lengths as corresponding primes at those lengths. But when the lenses you're talking about were made, rare was the long zoom that could equal a prime at any of their focal lengths. Compared to today's zooms, you'll find them long, heavy, and slow, but again, if all the cautions I listed above are satisfied, it could be a good acquisition for you. I shoot a lot of sports and nature, so I wouldn't hesitate to buy one if the price was right and I had it checked out closely by my lens tech guy.

    Note: the Century conversions for those lenses were good.

    Hope this helps...

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  3. #3  
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    I agree with Gibby.

    The 150-600 zooms that I've used were just OK compared to the Canon primes or to Cine lenses, like an Angenieux HR with a good 2x extender. These lenses will vary quite a bit due to condition. The Flourite elements while low dispersion don't necessarily age all that well in humid conditions. I think it comes down to how much gear you can transport to your shooting location. a 300, 400, and 600 is 2 more cases than a 150-600... Consider an Angenieux HP or HR, it's small and lightweight and with a doubler about as fast / sharp as a 150-600.

    If you need the fastest sharpest possible and aren't on a budget, check out the Elite 120-520 or the Hawk 150-420 both T2.8, huge expensive and killer!

    Matt Uhry
    www.mattuhry.com
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  4. #4  
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    Many thanks for the responses, which are very useful. Unfortunately I have spouse-imposed budgetary constraints and "expensive and killer" could well be applied to my wife if I push it too far!

    My intended use is for wildlife, and I guess it boils down to trying to find a nice used prime.

    I've never used PL mount lenses: is it possible / desirable to use extenders (say 1.4x or 2x) with a PL mount?

    Thanks again!
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