Lenses - still versus video

Discussion in 'Filmmaking' started by TheBambooRonin, May 26, 2013.

  1. TheBambooRonin

    TheBambooRonin Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    May 26, 2013
    Seattle, WA
    How does f/stop & shutter speed (and other variable features with regard to lenses) differ between still photography and video?

    Do the principles in handling carry over from one to the other or are there finer nuances between the mediums, at least as far as said factors pertain to aperture control on the lenses?

    To take this a step further, when it comes to choosing lenses for shooting video, are there any lenses that are fundamentally incompatible?
     
  2. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Yes and no!

    As a general rule you don't want to use various shutter speeds for video. The rule is to double the frame rate{or as close as possible}. For instance if you shoot at 30fps then you use a shutter speed of 1/60th of a second. If you use faster or slower it will look funny. You can do it for special effects.

    f-stops are f-stops. BUT cinema lenses, true cine lenses at least use t-stops instead which are a bit different in that they are measured and not a mathematic formula. They do this so the light level on one lens matches another exactly. Also cine lenses use clickless apertures so if you change f-stops while shooting it is smooth.

    The other factor that you did not ask about is ISO or more properly for video, gain. Since shutter speed is dictated by the frame rate you are limited to f-stop and gain for varying exposure. Often your f-stop will need to set to a given value for DOF reasons so that only leaves gain to be adjusted.

    The last thing is AF, it is very different for video from photography. This is made worse in that lenses and bodies designed for photography don't AF for video very well. Even $25k video cameras have trouble with AF under certain conditions, this is why pros almost always shoot manual focus. Pro video cameras that AF are slow and smooth but photography cameras nail AF very quickly. I have not seen a photo camera that handles AF like a true video camera does.

    To answer your last question - all of the lenses that you can use on your m4/3 camera for photography will also work for video. Just keep in mind the AF issues I already described.
     
  3. TheBambooRonin

    TheBambooRonin Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    May 26, 2013
    Seattle, WA
    Lenses - still versus video (reply)

    Thanks for the advice! I guess after coming out of DLSRs the overlap in features has left me a bit confused when it comes to parsing out the finer points of cinematography.

    But what about non-dedicated cine lenses? Are t-stops only applicable for such lenses or is the functionality of the body at issue when it comes to gauging gain & speed?

    I've pre-ordered a Black Magic M43 (passive). After all the research I've done, I'm thinking of focusing primarily on FDs and Nikon F adapters. That said, while I can appreciate the passive mount for pushing me in a more manual direction - is it advisable (or even possible) to adapt an EF/EF-S (or other like-minded AF lenses) to such a body?

    I know all of the features will be lost on a passive body but I just want to see what kind of options I have. I've turned to M43 specifically for its versatility and adaptability but I'm still not entirely sure of its capabilities as a mount.

    If it is possible to adapt the EFs, what kind of things should I account for so that I wouldn't damage the lens in-use (seeing as the contacts are essentially grinding up against nothing...)?
     
  4. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Which Black Magic camera? The full size Cinema or the new Pocket Cinema?

    The full size one can NOT use m4/3 lenses at all!!! It has a m4/3 mount but you have to use manual lenses with aperture rings. Or use adaptors that allow use of lenses without aperture rings such as Canon EF and Nikkor G lenses.

    The Pocket Cinema camera can use m4/3 lenses although it can't AF them.

    f-stops are a mathematical formula. To be exact, ratio of the lens' focal length to the diameter of the iris. One lens may let in as much as a 1/3 stop more or less than a different lens. This used to be a serious problem back in the old film days. Today with editing software it is an easy fix. Unless you are working on a feature film then t-stops are not important.

    Unless you already have Canon EF lenses then I wouldn't mess with them, the same goes for Nikkor G lenses. It is possible to adapt EF and G lenses BUT aperture control is tricky at best. If you want good lenses that will work great look at the SamYang{Rokinon} lenses. They are even making them in Cine versions now with t-stops, geared focus rings{very important for shooting video well! - get a follow focus} and clickless aperture rings. SLR Magic also makes a few good manual m4/3 lenses as does Voigtlander.
     
  5. TheBambooRonin

    TheBambooRonin Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    May 26, 2013
    Seattle, WA
    I suppose I'm just a bit confused that a M43 body wouldn't work for M43 lenses. Or, at the very least, won't readily work with them.

    Just to get a clearer idea of what you've mentioned regarding using the manual lenses with aperture rings, does that mean a lens like this---

    Amazon.com: Voigtlander Nokton 17.5mm f/0.95 Manual Focus Lens for Micro 4/3 Mount: Camera & Photo

    or like this--

    Amazon.com: Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.8 Lens for Micro Four Thirds Cameras: Camera & Photo

    --won't work without adjustments? Even if I'm using the passive mount Black Magic M43 and the lenses is being used purely in a manual sense?

    What about Nikon F mount adapters?
     
  6. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The BlackMagic cameras use the m4/3 mount but are not m4/3 cameras! If you want a video camcorder that is m4/3 then you have to get the Panasonic AF100. Great camera BTW. We have two of them at the church where I work, we film a weekly Bible study.

    The Voigtlander would work great on either BlackMagic camera, the Olympus would work only on the Pocket Cinema camera but will have to be manually focused. The Voigtlander has an external aperture ring and the Olympus does not. On the big BM camera there would be NO way to change the aperture. It would fit onto the camera and could be used fully open but again the aperture can not be adjusted.

    Any Nikkor lens can be adapted for use on either BM camera. The newer G Nikkor lenses have the aperture controlled via the body. To adapt these you have to get special adaptors that don't work very well. They have a built in adjustment ring that opens or closes the iris BUT you have no clue what f-stop it is at, except for fully open or closed .

    Now I am the one who is confused! You are buying a BlackMagic Cinema camera but have little knowledge of cameras. What are you wanting to do with it? The BlackMagic cameras are designed for professional video production. They record in professional video formats that require professional software and computers. They are not for the home user.
     
  7. TheBambooRonin

    TheBambooRonin Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    May 26, 2013
    Seattle, WA
    Lenses - still versus video (reply)

    I have little working technical knowledge which is the reason for all my questions. I'm currently a student working towards a career in film production and I've had some experience with DSLRs but I'm trying to move in a more "dedicated" direction with the Cinema Camera.

    That said, I can appreciate the high learning curve but that also means I'll be scrambling to figure things out a lot more than I would if I started with something a little more remedial.

    I've got more experience in the pre-production side of things so now I'm simply trying to build on those foundations by acquiring my own camera.

    I opted for the M43 as a basic mount because of its versatility and range of choices.

    I really appreciate all the advice you've proffered so I hope this doesn't come off as too amateur-ish. :smile::smile:
     
  8. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Pre-production? Writer? Producer? I spent my time as a student film maker. Right now I work for a church doing the audio/video for the children's ministry. I run the sound board, design graphics, shoot events and do some video{shooting and editing}. I have also done some script writing and like it. I also tried doing my own producing but I suck as a producer!

    As I have already stated if you ordered the full size BlackMagic Cinema camera it will not be able to use any of the Olympus or Panasonic m4/3 lenses{except for the Olympus 15mm bodycap lens}. They designed it so you can use all the various full frame and APS photo lenses plus 35mm cine lenses via adaptors. I think you may have misunderstood what BM meant by "passive m4/3 mount". I personally am planning on getting one of the BM Pocket cinema cameras. I prefer the smaller size and the ability to use lenses designed for 16mm film or 2/3 video.

    Good luck with your cinema endeavor.
     
  9. TheBambooRonin

    TheBambooRonin Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    May 26, 2013
    Seattle, WA
    The pocket camera looks too good to pass up. Especially given the active option. I just recently went on a trip to Japan and I had so many situations where I could have shot dynamite footage with a small hand-held like that....

    I just hope they ship sooner rather than later :-S

    But yeah, most of my education had an emphasis in prose and screenwriting so I'm pretty versed in those matters. Last few years I've really amped the learning curve - made my first serious short film last year with a crew of about 25 on a trio of T3is.

    Right now I'm mostly working as a producer and AD but I'm really trying to bust out in a technical direction (as that's the skill I've honed the least over the years). Who'd have thought I'd have a knack for logistics :p
     
  10. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Just hope you don't end up as Craft Services! I know several guys, one who is a very good writer, who have tried to bust into the industry only to end up serving food. I dropped out of it, at least making movies because I got so tired of all the crap. I get a few little video projects from work and occasionally help out others.

    So are you getting the full cinema or the pocket cinema{or both}???
     
  11. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    That Black Magic Pocket Cinema is really intriguing. I took a long hard look at it myself, but I'm going to wait a little while for it. There are a number of things holding me back:

    1-Super 16 sized sensor is smaller than Micro Four-Thirds, and requires 3x instead of 2x to get 35mm equivalents. Thus the very nice Olympus 12mm is a 36mm long wide on the BMPCC instead of a wide 24mm on a M43 camera. In order to get true wides on the BMPCC, I'd have to research S16 lenses and other options.

    2-Even if you do use a M43 lens, particularly a Panasonic lens, I've heard that they won't be doing any in-camera corrections for distortions and whatnot. May not be a big deal with the smaller sensor, but I'll wait and see

    3-Video RAW with 13 stops of DR is really cool, but I'd likely have to buy a new Mac and more HDs to handle it well.

    So until it's released and some of the issues are worked through, I'm going to stick with my GH2 for video. If you do get one, please share the results of your work!
     
  12. Artorius

    Artorius Mu-43 Regular

    I have one on pre-order! Hopefully come August, I can give my first impressions with the Pocket cam!
     
  13. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Yes, please do. I want one but I will wait until I rear reviews and hear for others. Even though it is very affordable{for what it is} it is still $1000. I have access to 2 AF100s so I can wait.
     
  14. TheBambooRonin

    TheBambooRonin Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    May 26, 2013
    Seattle, WA
    Response

    Sorry for the late response! Was occupied with a shoot this past weekend so I spent time keeping the crew in line. Funny that you mention catering because the food element is a big part of the production I try not to undersell. Especially considering that everyone is volunteering their time. Figure if I keep people happy they'll keep coming back!

    That said, I'm not losing track of the end-goal. I'm making strides on the writing front and I'm still shoring up on cinematography but the logistical matters come more naturally so it's just icing on the cake.

    As for the full-body MFT and the pocket camera, I might end up getting both - but I'm probably going to hold off on the pocket camera until I actually get my hands on the full-body.

    I saw an article last week that announced the shipment of back-ordered products from BMD but I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high...I imagine I'm pretty low priority on the wait list :-S
     
  15. TheBambooRonin

    TheBambooRonin Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    May 26, 2013
    Seattle, WA
    @ SAS

    @ SAS:

    I also had another quick question, as long as we're on the topic of the full-body MFT: I have a couple of old Soligor lenses - all manual - a 100 and 150mm if I'm not mistaken.

    They were adapted for use on an old Nikon FE series SLR from the 70's and after doing a bit of light research I found out that it's essentially just an F Mount.

    So really, my question is: can you use a Nikon F-to-M43 adapter on the Black Magic if I wanted to use those Soligors? :confused:
     
  16. TheBambooRonin

    TheBambooRonin Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    May 26, 2013
    Seattle, WA
    @ John Flores

    @ John:

    I totally agree with you on the S16 front. I'm looking for decent wides that will compensate for the 2.3 crop factor but I'm having a helluva time finding anything that's readily in stock.

    Trying to build up a kit has been difficult in those regards.

    Are there any options I can look for, any names that might offer some affordable options when it comes to 17mm or larger?
     
  17. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I think the Soligors used a t-mount type adaptor. This way they made one lens and then different adaptors for each camera mount. If you have Soligors with a mount adaptor set up for Nikon F then what you need is the F to m4/3 adaptor. I don't have any Soligors but I do have some Vivitars that use a similar adaptor. They were for Nikon F and so they work fine with my m4/3 adaptor.

    Looking for wide angle lenses - for the BM Cinema camera? That isn't too hard. There is a good 12mm available for m4/3 from SLR Magic. It is a cine lens{well kind of}, it is marked in t-stops and has a clickless aperture. It would come out to a 29mm in FF. There are several wide zooms that could be adapted such as the Sigma 8-16mm or 10-20mm. Tokina and Tamron also have nice wide zooms.

    Here is an article I found on adapting wides for that camera.
    A guide to the best wide angle lenses for the Blackmagic Cinema Camera | EOSHD.com

    I will give some extra bits of advice for wides and video. #1 don't use them for closeups!!! Wide angle lenses distort and it will make things look funny. It is especially unflattering for people but even an object will be oddly distorted. #2 try to avoid panning or tilting with wide angles. Again, they distort, but this time the distortion will be in motion. Objects on the edge of the frame will be curved but as you pan they suddenly straighten. TV shows of the 70s and 80s were real bad about using wides and then panning/tilting or both.

    As for wides for the Pocket Cinema camera I would use c-mount 16mm film or 2/3 inch video lenses.
     
  18. TheBambooRonin

    TheBambooRonin Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    May 26, 2013
    Seattle, WA
    Reply

    Thanks, SAS! I've had a few people mention the SLR Magic so it's good to see some consensus on that front. I resisted on the 50mm 1.4 Zeiss for now because I'll effectively get a 100mm lens whereas I really need a good prime with a middle-ground focal length.

    That and a wide...found some interesting options but I'm thinking I might have to go for something like an 8mm fisheye and hope the crop factor takes care of the edges...

    But I digress.

    It's also good to see that I have options. I'll definitely be needing Nikon F adapters for the full-body Black Magic. But what you mentioned earlier has me a bit worried about it's compatibility with Olympus-related products.

    For instance, would using a T-mount adapter for M43 Olympus work on a Black Magic? (Amazon.com: Fotodiox 10TMMicro43 Lens Mount Adapter, T-Mount Lens to MFT Micro 4/3 System Camera Mount Adapter for Olympus: Camera & Photo)

    If memory serves, you lose electronic capabilities with said adapters anyhow so using a T-mounted vintage lens like a Zeiss Sonnar Jena that's fully manual should -- in theory -- work on the Black Magic, correct?
     
  19. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    That T mount adaptor will not work! It is a good adaptor, I have one for an old Vivitar. That is a T2 which was the first type used. It is a simple screw mount very similar to the M42 screw mount used by Pentax and several German brands. However unless your Soligor has screw threads it will not work. The best way to adapt a T4 or other improved bayonet type mount is to fit it for one of the SLR mounts and then use a SLR to m4/3 adaptor. There were several different T mount adaptors each specific to a brand or several brands. Vivitar had the T4 which I think had two versions itself and then Tamron and Sigma had their's and obviously so did Soligor. Please note that the term "T mount" is being used generally as different brands called it different things.

    I don't think Ziess ever used a T mount but I could be wrong. They tended to be some sort of screw mount or later ones were fitted for SLR bayonet mounts.

    As for a fisheye it is very usable but even with a cropped sensor you will still have a high degree of distortion. There are apps that can correct for this distortion in your video. I have not shot any fisheye footage so I can't advise beyond that on this one.
     
  20. TheBambooRonin

    TheBambooRonin Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    May 26, 2013
    Seattle, WA
    Reply

    My Black Magic MFT has arrived! :cloud-9-039:

    I decided to bite my lip and wait to have the camera in-hand before I try anything out with it or purchase any lenses.

    Even so, good to know about the T-mount. The degree of detail and variability is a little overwhelming but I think I'm getting the general idea. I was told, thru another forum, that focusing on Canon FDs, Nikon Fs, Pentax K (etc) would be best.

    There's a really nice Voigtlander Nokton I'm looking at too but the problem is I'm still a little shaky when it comes to pricing. I can't really distinguish between what's a decent deal and what's not.