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Dino
05-16-2012, 12:51 PM
Canon C300 PL camera? What was I thinking?http://ssvhd.blogspot.com/2012/05/canon-c300-pl-camera-what-was-i.html

richg101
05-16-2012, 07:17 PM
Your blog article finished before I was rewarded with any real usable information. I was waiting for a deep discussion/suggestion why one would go for PL mount (like it is some type of avant garde decision). please elaborate more on this article. an EF mount provides electronic control of affordable ef lenses. and will accept a ef-pl adaptor costing less that 250gbp of you really want pl mount. this blog post seems like a pointless marketing exercise

mcgeedigital
05-16-2012, 07:36 PM
Then you weren't reading the same article I did.

The OP clearly states:

"So the C300 makes sense, especially for rental, because it costs more to buy than a DSLR. The final question was, which lens mount? The C300 makes you commit to either a Canon EF mount body or motion picture standard PL-mount body. A bit of a conundrum. Clearly, if you are buying a C300 and own a bunch of modern Canon EF lenses, the choice is fairly simple--go for the EF mount.

However, if renting a C300, why not choose lenses that are made for motion pictures vs. still photography as long as there are affordable options? The PL-mount is more rigid than the Canon EF mount. A Cine zoom allows you to change focal length without having to refocus(many 35mm DSLR lenses are not parfocal, so require refocusing when changing focal length), has very precise control of iris and focus vs. no manual iris ring and auto focus optimized still lenses. Cine zooms and primes don't breathe when focusing, most don't ramp down when zoomed in, have precise lens markings for distance, gears for motors and follow focus, are very rugged and reliable and, of course look fantastic.

Sure, some Cine glass is VERY expensive to buy and even rent, but there are affordable solutions, like our RED 17-50mm T2.9 compact Cine zoom at under 4lbs. and $100 with rental of our C300 PL, or our amazing Arri Alura 18-80mm T2.6 Cine zoom, which offers a very flexible focal length range, negating the need to change lenses all day long. We'll soon be adding affordable Cine primes as well.

So, for under $475 per day, the Canon C300 PL with compact RED Cine zoom, offers a beautiful, convenient, flexible, reliable, post friendly, true video camera with Cinematic aesthetic not previously possible."

What is unclear?

Dino
05-16-2012, 08:31 PM
Your blog article finished before I was rewarded with any real usable information. I was waiting for a deep discussion/suggestion why one would go for PL mount (like it is some type of avant garde decision). please elaborate more on this article. an EF mount provides electronic control of affordable ef lenses. and will accept a ef-pl adaptor costing less that 250gbp of you really want pl mount. this blog post seems like a pointless marketing exercise

Thanks for the feedback. EF mount is the obvious choice for those that are migrating from DSLR's, and own lots of those lenses, no question. EF offers a wide range of DSLR lenses, Zeiss CP.2 lenses, and the new Canon Cine zooms and primes, plus they have electronic control, as you stated, and also image stabilization. With a Canon L series lens and the C300, you have iris increments of 1/3 stop, not bad.

However, IMO, nothing is better than a de-clicked manual iris. Zooming on a modern DSLR lens, just doesn't cut it, not in the same league as parfocal Cine zooms. Focus, well, this one should be obvious to anyone who has shot with or AC'd a modern DSLR auto-focus stills lens vs. a Cine lens. NO COMPARISON.
The Cine lens has so much more rotation, is incredibly precise, doesn't breathe, has detailed distance markings on both sides of the lens. It's about repeatability and reliability and precision--things just not possible with auto-focus stills lenses. They're designed for.....stills. If I'm shooting a narrative, there's no contest.

The EF mount is just not rigid enough. Even smaller prime lenses should be supported when using the EF mount. PL-mount is much more rigid, very important when exerting the torque of a follow focus.

Most stills lenses don't have as many iris blades as something like a Zeiss Compact Prime(yes, some Cine lenses only have 7 iris blades), aren't matched within a set, aren't as rugged, aren't the same size/weight, don't have the same outer diameter as a Cine prime set. Stills lenses often aren't parfocal, they ramp the light level downward when zoomed in.

It really boils down to one thing, in the end: stills lenses are for stills, Cine lenses are for motion pictures. There are exceptions to the rule and great things can be accomplished with the former and some examples of the latter aren't stellar.

For me, it's simple, once you've shot with Cine lenses, it's hard to go back to stills lenses. I do like older Nikon AIS manual primes, however, but they often have image shift when using a follow focus, plus clicked iris rings, focus breathing, focus the wrong direction and aren't as sharp as modern lenses, includig Nikon EF and Canon L series.

Final point I was trying to make was, if renting, why not rent the best? Motion picture lenses are acknowledged to be just that in most circles. The difference in day rate can be minimal or much higher. YMMV.

cowpunk52
05-16-2012, 09:46 PM
With a Canon L series lens and the C300, you have iris increments of 1/3 stop, not bad.

Just a small correction: with Canon EF lenses, you can actually use 1/8 stop increment adjustments via the "fine" iris control setting. Still not as smooth as a stepless aperture, of course, but it does allow for very precise exposure control.

J Davis
05-16-2012, 09:48 PM
Scorcese said at the c300 launch "they've made the camera's smaller, now if only they could make the lenses smaller"
re: PL

alpi69
05-17-2012, 12:06 AM
There is no doubt PL is the better mount if you want the best image/focus.
If I were in a neighborhood of a PL-rental-house I would have considered it despite my EF collection.

But for my work (sports, docs, and some commercials) the lighter, stabilized EF lenses are sufficient.

@richg101: I donīt think there is a PL-EF mount that really works with all PL lenses

David W. Jones
05-17-2012, 07:01 AM
I think Jeff explains it just fine.
If we were interested in the C300 it would be PL mount as well.

Dino
05-17-2012, 07:50 AM
Thanks for the correction Brian, forgot about fine control wheel on aperture, plus focus works for EF lenses using the WiFi dongle to a computer, right?

There are some small PL's, Zeiss CP.2's aren't that big and weight around 2lbs, RED RPZ 17-50mm compact Cine zoom(in picture) weighs under 4lbs, Duclos modified Tokina 11-16mm is small, Angenieux 14-45mm Rouge is small(and very expensive), Zeiss Super Speeds are quite small.

I think the key is in what type of projects are being shot. For narrative, PL lenses are very useful. Pretty much anytime there's an AC.

53649

Graemsay
05-29-2012, 04:30 AM
Jeff, you mentioned rigidity of the EF mount. I read a comment on Laforet's blog about EF lenses flexing when pulling focus. Have you encountered that at all?

Cooke Panchros are another relatively compact set of PL lenses. They weigh in between around 3.5 and 4.5 lbs / 1.5 to 2 kg. They're not cheap compared to DSLR glass (around Ģ25K / $40K for a set of six), nor are they that fast, but Scorcese used them on Hugo, so the quality's there.

David W. Jones
05-29-2012, 04:51 AM
There has always been a little slop in the EF mount system.

As far as the Panchro's go, if I remember correctly they used a couple for Steadicam shots, but most of the time they shot with 5/i lenses.

cowpunk52
05-29-2012, 08:08 AM
I don't know about other's experience with the C300 EF, but I have absolutely zero slop or play in my EF mount. It easily feels like the strongest and most secure EF mount I've ever used. I've got no flexing and focus pulls are easy and accurate; a nicely dampened FF with hard stops helps a lot, though.

Dino
05-29-2012, 10:19 AM
My experience is that neither Canon EF or Nikon F mounts are rigid enough for the torque of a geared follow focus. Not sure about a friction follow focus, haven't used them. While at the Arri booth at NAB, an AC who was working in the booth told me that she believes EF lenses should always be supported with a lens support due to a lack of rigidity. This is not the case with a PL-mount, except for large, heavy Cine zooms. YMMV.

cowpunk52
05-29-2012, 02:39 PM
I think the extra precaution would certainly do no harm, but I've also been using EF mount cp.2's for years now with no adverse effects when using a geared follow focus, whether they were on a 5dII or C300. I have not used them on a 60d or the like, though, so I can't make any comment as to the quality of the EF mount on those cameras. I also, like thousands of people over the last several years, use a geared follow focus with my L series glass on a near daily basis and have never had issues with rigidity or slop. I think the suggested precaution of always using support is has more to do with supposition than actual negative experience. I've yet to hear of an EF mount failing due to follow focus torque; of course, i don't mean to say it can't happen, just that I haven't heard of it.

Mark Smith
06-04-2012, 09:50 AM
After about a month of debating about whether to buy the EF or PL version of the C300, or whether to buy the over priced, sort of under featured C300 at all, I bought the EF version, and 3 lenses: 17-55, 24-105, and70-200.

I couldn't be happier with my choice. The C300 even with all its compromises is a great camera and with the IS lenses turns out to be a great hand held doc cam among other things. If I had bought the PL version I feel like th camera would have been condemned to a life on a tripod , which is ultimately why I chose the EF version.

Dino
06-04-2012, 11:07 AM
Yes, IS is nice for hand held, for sure. There are lightweight, albeit non-stabilized PL lenses, such as Zeiss CP primes, RED 17-50mm Cine zoom. C300 with RED zoom is 8.5lbs, so not too bad. Personally, I think ENG form factor cameras make for the best doc cameras, with a different DOF look, of course. If a shot is important to get right the first time, it's hard to beat 2/3", shoulder mount with one zoom that does all, IMO. One of the reasons our Panasonic HPX2700 P2 Varicam is still busy.

timbook2
06-04-2012, 11:20 AM
sorry to spoil but the red 17-50mm zoom not breathing? The ones I rented breathe heavily. And I must agree with Dino: 2/3 ENG style still beats most of the available cameras for doc work. I am still waiting for a real shoulder mount large sensor solution...something in the JVC form factor direction: smaller than the ENG beasts but with the VF at the right place.
The C300 is a great tool anyway and I would like to own one for its small size.

Dino
06-04-2012, 11:26 AM
Agreed on all counts, timbook2. The RED lens does breathe, and zoom element movement contributes, not just focus. But, it's parfocal, unlike some stills lenses, iris is manual and de-clicked, zoom ring is pretty smooth, focus rotation and precision so much better than stills lenses, with gears for follow focus and ready for an AC.

A low profile, large sensor ENG camera would be great, but critical focus will still be difficult vs. 2/3". 2/3", like 16mm, is perfect for DOC style, IMO.

timbook2
06-04-2012, 11:54 AM
Yes focus can be critical if you have to work with lo light and open iris, for this I actually prefer 1/3" :-)
Still: do none of these camera makers think about form factor and ergonomics except for those large eng beasts? I finally found an old 1960 arri shoulder mount with hip-support, but still....guess I will have to wait some more for my perfect tool. The C300 is pretty close in many points though.

Dino
06-04-2012, 04:43 PM
Yes, great to be able to shoot at f5.6 and raise the ISO in low light with the C300! Those 1/3" cameras aren't too fast and can't deal with much gain.

maarek
06-05-2012, 01:06 AM
The only cinelens I've used was the Red Zoom 18-50mm and it was actually pretty poor. I was amazed at how bad it was mechanically and zooming was no better than using a still lens. Maybe more expensive cineglasses are better then? When I first used it I was like "Is this is it?". And now back to my trusty still-lenses ;)

Ryan Patrick O'Hara
06-05-2012, 01:28 AM
The only cinelens I've used was the Red Zoom 18-50mm and it was actually pretty poor. I was amazed at how bad it was mechanically and zooming was no better than using a still lens. Maybe more expensive cineglasses are better then? When I first used it I was like "Is this is it?". And now back to my trusty still-lenses ;)

The Red Zoom 18-50mm is notorious in terms of mechanics. It was so bad, Red replaced it with the improved 17-50mm. You likely tried the worst modern cine zoom lens made. Although most cine lenses, even the worst, are of decent quality due to high standards, I can't think of one PL mount cine zoom made in the last couple years that is of worse quality. I'd say give them another chance. The 17-50 is nothing to throw in the trash, but compared to the quality of typical cine zooms, it wasn't that great... but it was much less expensive! :)

Dino
06-05-2012, 05:43 PM
The only cinelens I've used was the Red Zoom 18-50mm and it was actually pretty poor. I was amazed at how bad it was mechanically and zooming was no better than using a still lens. Maybe more expensive cineglasses are better then? When I first used it I was like "Is this is it?". And now back to my trusty still-lenses ;)

As Ryan noted, the RED 18-50mm is NOT the Cine lens to evaluate Cine lenses with. Please do yourself a favor and check out any Zeiss lens; Super Speed, CP.2, Ultra Prime, Master Prime, Light Weight Zoom, Cooke Panchro, Arri Alura, Angenieux Optimo, Fujinon Premiere, Schneider, whatever. Modern, auto focus, still lenses just won't feel the same again.

maarek
06-06-2012, 05:20 AM
As Ryan noted, the RED 18-50mm is NOT the Cine lens to evaluate Cine lenses with. Please do yourself a favor and check out any Zeiss lens; Super Speed, CP.2, Ultra Prime, Master Prime, Light Weight Zoom, Cooke Panchro, Arri Alura, Angenieux Optimo, Fujinon Premiere, Schneider, whatever. Modern, auto focus, still lenses just won't feel the same again.

Thanks for that piece of advice. Next time we will try out something different!