Saturday, November 30, 2013

35mm Cine Lenses vs. Stills Lenses

35mm motion imagery has been captured using PL-mount Cine lenses for decades. They are the standard of motion picture production. These lenses are designed with the highest quality, most efficient acquisition for Cine style shooting. It is for this reason that SSV offers Super 35mm digital Cine cameras with the PL-mount rather than still photo lens mounts and stills lenses.

Advantages of PL-mount Cine Lenses:

PL-mount stands for "Positive Lock", the most rigid, exacting and rugged lens mount available for digital Cine cameras. This is important for precise flange distance on sharp lenses, support of heavy lenses and eliminating frame movement due to torque exerted by follow focus systems and zoom motors.

PL-mount cameras can take advantage of any Cine lens built in the past 30 years, the lenses that Hollywood depends on everyday.

Cine lenses offer the highest quality available, are much more rugged and reliable than stills lenses. They are built especially for the image quality and rigors demanded by professional Cinematographers.

Cine lenses have fully manual, de-clicked, numbered iris rings for precise exposure setting and on the fly exposure changes, unlike most modern stills lenses. They also have gears for remote activation. Cine lenses often feature more iris blades for a more pleasing, circular "bokeh" when specular highlights are out of focus. These lenses are typically optimized for good sharpness and contrast when wide open.

Cine zoom lenses are Parfocal, meaning that when zoomed, they track focus, unlike many stills lenses that require refocusing every time focal length is changed. They feature smooth, dampened manual operation and precise markings on both sides of the lens(for operator and Assistant Camera) with gears for precision zoom motors. They usually feature constant aperture throughout the zoom range vs. low cost stills lenses that "ramp" downward in light transmission when zooming in. They typically have less chromatic aberration or soft corners than low cost stills lenses.

Cine lenses often have much greater focus rotation(throw) for much more precise, repeatable focus pulling. A typical stills lens has a focus rotation of around 100 degrees, whereas a Cine lens is often over 300 degrees.  The focus barrels have calibrated distance marks on both sides of the lens. They are geared so that follow focus systems can be used. Cine lenses are less likely to "breathe" while focusing. They are not optimized for auto focus, found on modern stills lenses, where manual focus is an after thought, and barely turning the focus barrel changes the focus setting significantly.

SSV offers full Cine lens focal length coverage from 11mm to 200mm with speeds of T1.5 to T3.0. Most of our Cine lenses rent for no more than a typical good quality stills lens(we offer some rehoused stills lenses that are modified in the above ways for Cine housings). Cine Support accessories include Arri, Elements base plates and rods, 12" dove tails, Arri, Chrosziel matte boxes and Arri, Zacuto follow focus systems for ultimate support and control of Cine style shooting.

 Our Cine Lenses:
• Arri Alura 18-80mm T2.6 PL-mount Cine zoom
• GL Optics 11-16mm f2.8 PL-mount Cine zoom
• RED 17-50mm T2.9 PL-mount Cine zoom
* AllStar Cine 50mm T1.5 PL-mount Cine prime
• RED 85mm T1.8 PL-mount Cine prime
• AllStar Cine 80-200mm T3.0 PL-Mount Cine zoom

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