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View Full Version : Lens options for FS100 on a Steadicam



steditrak
07-31-2011, 06:15 AM
Hi guys.


I operate a Steadicam with an NEX-FS100 camera, and I need to find a non-extruding zoom lens. As you all know, balance is everything with Steadicam. I can't have a lens extruding forward every time I want to do a telephoto shot. It would completely throw off the balance, and force me to reconfigure the sled for every shot. Highly impractical at best.


I also need a wide angle of at least 18mm, auto focus, auto iris, and a reasonable zoom range.


It would be nice if this were available as an E-mount option, but I won't get my hopes up just yet.


I'm not above using an adapter if I have to.


What do you suggest?

legrevedotcom
07-31-2011, 07:07 AM
16mm with wide angle adapter... that makes it 18mm. But whats wrong with the zoom lens? Even if you had to change focal length with a prime you'd have to rebalance the rig, unless ofcourse you use expensive compacts.I had the 18-200 on the Pilot and it flys fine...Edit: i read.wrong... i dont know of any zoom that is non extruding and with full auto. Im sure theyll come though... Im waiting for the Birger myself so I can use my 70-200 Canon. That is non extruding...

steditrak
07-31-2011, 08:55 AM
​When I bought the FS100 camera, it came with the Sony E-Mount 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Zoom Lens

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/732292-REG/Sony_SEL18200_DT_18_200mm_f_3_5_6_3_Zoom.html (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/732292-REG/Sony_SEL18200_DT_18_200mm_f_3_5_6_3_Zoom.html)

This is what's wrong with it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3H1wghxnnmc
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3H1wghxnnmc)
It extrudes. This is not condusive to Steadicam work. Trust me on this one.

The only thing that comes even close to what I'm looking for is the Sony SAL-1635Z 16-35mm f/2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* AF SLR Lens:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/582764-REG/Sony_SAL1635Z_SAL_1635Z_16_35mm_f_2_8_ZA.html
(http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/582764-REG/Sony_SAL1635Z_SAL_1635Z_16_35mm_f_2_8_ZA.html)
At least this lens lets me zoom in without upsetting the Steadicam balance. The only problem is that it doesn't have much of a zoom range. I'd like to find something with more than 35mm.

You say that you had the 18-200 on the Pilot and it flys fine. Well of course it does. Mine does too. But the second I zoom in for a tight shot, the entire sled tilts forward. Try this on the pilot and see for yourself.

Any ideas?

Kraut69
07-31-2011, 09:12 AM
I don't understand how that Zeiss lens would work well when it is not auto-focus. One reviewer on B&H mentioned having to deal with a very narrow depth of field.

legrevedotcom
07-31-2011, 10:26 AM
What kind of follow focus are you using?

eric teotico
07-31-2011, 10:28 AM
I mount my FS 100 with it's kit lens on my steadycam. I have no problems with it. The kit lens has a lens lock at it's widest opening 18mm. It also has is a hard zoom system. It will not change zoom settings by simply moving around. Put it at 35mm and it will stay there. Of course I need to rebalance but it's no big deal for me. The lens you're looking at is expensive.

thxdave
07-31-2011, 01:58 PM
Hi guys.


I operate a Steadicam with an NEX-FS100 camera, and I need to find a non-extruding zoom lens. As you all know, balance is everything with Steadicam. I can't have a lens extruding forward every time I want to do a telephoto shot. It would completely throw off the balance, and force me to reconfigure the sled for every shot. Highly impractical at best.


I also need a wide angle of at least 18mm, auto focus, auto iris, and a reasonable zoom range.


It would be nice if this were available as an E-mount option, but I won't get my hopes up just yet.


I'm not above using an adapter if I have to.


What do you suggest?

I'm a bit confused by your question.....and PLEASE understand that I'm not asking this to be snarky or mean, but I've never owned a Steadicam so this question is coming from complete ignorance on my part. That said, why WOULD you want a telephoto lens on a Steadicam? My limited understanding of using these units always seems to show them being used with wide or short lenses. Telephoto almost seems to beg for a tripod, no? Just looking to understand this area better. ;-)

morgan_moore
08-01-2011, 08:59 AM
THX - steadicam and longer lenses can look amazing - just takes a level of skill and a big rig that is only really seen on top end productions

Steadi

I think the lens you want does not exist - maybe a RRP 18-85 or suchlike but that is 4.5KG so needs a biiig rig and is expensive glass

The 17-55 nikkor is fairily close but extends a little

S

Postmaster
08-01-2011, 09:09 AM
In the moment, the kit lens is the only one that really talks to the FS100,

Ryan Patrick O'Hara
08-01-2011, 09:12 AM
16mm with wide angle adapter... that makes it 18mm. But whats wrong with the zoom lens? Even if you had to change focal length with a prime you'd have to rebalance the rig, unless ofcourse you use expensive compacts.I had the 18-200 on the Pilot and it flys fine...Edit: i read.wrong... i dont know of any zoom that is non extruding and with full auto. Im sure theyll come though... Im waiting for the Birger myself so I can use my 70-200 Canon. That is non extruding...

How does a 16mm with a wide angle adapter make a 18mm lens?

Kraut69
08-01-2011, 10:51 AM
He meant it makes it a 12mm lens. Note that the hood on the Sony wide angle adapter is not removable, and there is no threads to attach filters to the adapter front.

legrevedotcom
08-01-2011, 10:57 AM
No... Its actually 18mm because of the crop factor. It would only be 12 on a full frame chip.

Ryan Patrick O'Hara
08-01-2011, 11:05 AM
No... Its actually 18mm because of the crop factor. It would only be 12 on a full frame chip.

37658

mico
08-01-2011, 11:25 AM
The Sony e mount 18-55mm gives you all auto/manual and only extends out about 3/4" when zoomed. I know the OP wants more telephoto, but really, telephoto isn't really a steadicam thing.18-55mm is a great range for most work. Its a good lens and very light except for aperture speed . Steadicam adjustment should be minimal.

Ryan Patrick O'Hara
08-01-2011, 11:30 AM
I don't want to be a bit negative... but the 18-55 isn't the best lens... however with the few E-mount options out there, I guess the decision of lenses is the best of evils/

It is very small and compact, yes. That is a positive trait. However, it does telescope when you zoom, and it does lose light as you zoom. It is a F/3.5 wide open at wide zoom, and a F/5.6 wide open at full telephoto. It also has some aberration issues I notice too often. If you don't demand much from the lens, it will serve you well. If you have discerning taste in optics, you'd be best to leave it on the NEX-5/3 it came on. However, considering someone wants to fly a steadicam with an all automatic focus and iris, I'd have to say discerning taste is probably on auto as well.

Kraut69
08-01-2011, 11:38 AM
Loved that, Ryan (video stuff IS hard to talk about sometimes, dang the manufacturers!)

mico
08-01-2011, 11:40 AM
No... Its actually 18mm because of the crop factor. It would only be 12 on a full frame chip.

Sorry I have to do this. 12mm. 12mm 12mm. In the S35 world we are playing in. Full frame cropping has nothing to do with this cam. Just like it has nothing to do with shooting a major motion picture where it would be 12mm also.

legrevedotcom
08-01-2011, 11:42 AM
37658
What?

nyvz
08-01-2011, 12:13 PM
Well... to bend it in neon and since I come from a world of still photography, the focal length I would be getting on the FS100 with the wide adap would be equivalent to 18mm on a 35mm camera, I don't care what you video guys call it :) Now why is that important to me? Because I know how wide a shot I can get with a 18mm on my 5D, but say if I wanted the same shot with the FS100 I would have to apply the wide angle adapter.

And Ryan... A comment like that...? You're a poo pooing pretentious moran, seriously.

Please try to be clear when you are talking about actual focal lengths and when you are comparing to the field of view of other focal lengths on other imager sizes, or else you will confuse everyone. If you state on a public forum that a 16mm lens with a wide angle will become an 18mm lens without any mention of comparisons or conversions to other imager sizes, you are going to be corrected because you are wrong and you are misinforming the person who opened the thread to get help on his question. This goes especially since you then mentioned the 18-200 as though it would look the same at 18mm as your 16mm with a wide adapter on it, which is clearly wrong and misleading.

As for the question of lenses, I'm not totally sure even non-telescoping zooms will not require some minor adjustments. Even for internal-focusing internal-zooming lenses, the internal elements may still get shifted around without counterbalance while focusing or zooming (more so for zooming). That said, they do probably maintain their center of gravity more than a telescoping lens. At the moment you do not have many options for lenses with AF on the FS100. I'd recommend a remote follow focus anyway since I'd hardly trust AF for an important shot. You'll likely get hunting and missed subjects if you leave it up to camera-controlled AF. For wide steadicam shots you may just want to stop down as much as is feasible and set the focus for hyperfocal if you really cannot use a remote FF. Or depending on the content, design your shots for a particular subject distance. No matter what, the shots you'll be able to execute will be quite limited without remote FF or a really small aperture. Anything other than a wide-angle lens may be wasted without remote followfocus capability on steadicam.

Ryan Patrick O'Hara
08-01-2011, 12:18 PM
Well... to bend it in neon and since I come from a world of still photography, the focal length I would be getting on the FS100 with the wide adap would be equivalent to 18mm on a 35mm camera, I don't care what you video guys call it :) Now why is that important to me? Because I know how wide a shot I can get with a 18mm on my 5D, but say if I wanted the same shot with the FS100 I would have to apply the wide angle adapter.

And Ryan... A comment like that...? You're a poo pooing pretentious moran, seriously.

The original poster said he wanted a lens that was at least 18mm for his FS100, which is S35mm sized sensor. He never said he wanted a lens with a FoV equivalent to that of 18mm lens on Full frame sensor.

You offered this:

16mm with wide angle adapter... that makes it 18mm.

Two issues with that statement...

1) Despite FoV crop-factors, you should never rename a lens from what it truly is, because then you start confusing people. If we keep one variable (the sensor size) things get less complicated.
2) The original poster never said he came from a full frame photography background. He never asked about full frame photography field of view. He wanted an 18mm lens for his FS100. You assumed he wanted an 18mm FoV equivalent to your full frame world. So you recommended the very confusing lens combo of "16mm with wide angle adapter... that makes it 18mm." By taking FoV crop factor and renaming focal length lenses, you created two variables in a conversation, one of which wasn't correct. Because of this mistake (you assumed he wanted FF FoV) and by changing the focal lengths accordingly, you in turn recommended him the wrong lens... it would have been the right lens if he wanted a FoV equivalent to a full frame camera, but since our OP never said that, you went and assumed wrong.

If he wanted an 18mm lens and 18mm FoV of that lens on his FS100, you just recommended to him something along the lines of a 12mm. Not what he wanted. Should he have followed your recommendation, he would have spent money on something he didn't want/need.



Now I offer you this last bit of advice: Stop renaming lenses. You should learn or know how different sensor sizes represent FoV differently and then simply call lenses by their one and only focal length. It helps keep things accurate and informative. The water gets cloudy when people start talking about the same lens with different focal lengths. You should know because you just recommended a 12mm lens to a guy who wanted an 18mm.

My goal is to step in and keep things accurate and clear. By renaming lenses to correspond with FoV, you have confused others and been inaccurate. I'm simply trying to keep everyone on the same page. I have no doubt that you understand FoV and what you are talking about, but you are presenting it in the wrong way. A way you may understand, but it's not clear to others, nor is it the right way to present that information.

thxdave
08-01-2011, 12:38 PM
Well explained, Ryan....for a "moran". :)

Seriously, I'm glad you took the time to catch that misinformation. You're right in that it confuses the heck out of newbies (like me) when you move from the FF world into the crop sensor world.

Duke M.
08-01-2011, 09:33 PM
Very few lenses talk to the FS100.

May I suggest the Nikon 17-35mm F2.8 ED lens as one of your best compromises. At 35mm you can use the narrow DOF at F2.8, while at 17mm at F8 and up most things are in focus.

Its a real beauty of a lens. Many people think its one of the best lenses that Nikon/Nikkor made. Sharp throughout AND it doesn't extend at all. It won't auto anything though unless birger decides to build a mount.

Duke M.
08-01-2011, 09:36 PM
Well explained, Ryan....for a "moran". :)

Seriously, I'm glad you took the time to catch that misinformation. You're right in that it confuses the heck out of newbies (like me) when you move from the FF world into the crop sensor world.

Just remember, a 50mm lens remains a 50mm lens. Its the field of view that changes.

Ryan Patrick O'Hara
08-02-2011, 10:30 AM
Just remember, a 50mm lens remains a 50mm lens. Its the field of view that changes.

^ Easy, right?! :)