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    #11
    Senior Member puredrifting's Avatar
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    I have a set of the Nikon Ai and AIs lenses. The look nice, I used to use them a lot but their flaring, CA and low contrast in bright sun is really bad. Good for indoor shoots though.
    It's a business first and a creative outlet second.
    G.A.S. destroys lives. Stop buying gear that doesn't make you money.


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    #12
    Senior Member ahalpert's Avatar
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    I'm going to put a good word in here for the Rokinon Cine DS series. They're not vintage and they're currently in production, but:

    1. They're slightly softer than modern lenses so they have a vintage feel
    2. They have a nice amount of flare but generally they have modern coatings and maintain contrast way better than old lenses (which is either a good thing or a bad thing, but for wedding work there are lots of backlit situations and situations with a lot of practical lights or candles that will give you some strong veiling glare you can't control. May be a good thing but may be too much)
    3. The cine ds series has been color matched so they can intercut smoothly

    I don't know why people dont appreciate the Rokinons more. Maybe it's because they're cheap and have plastic bodies and they're modern and not vintage. I find them to have nice character and be very usable for broad purposes because their coatings can handle strong backlight without going crazy

    And if you really want a good deal you can buy the still photo versions. Only difference is no focus and aperture gears and no extra color matching effort.
    Last edited by ahalpert; 06-20-2020 at 06:26 AM.


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    #13
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    It worries my that Ai lenses are vintage.. it makes me vintage.

    But those lenses were current when I started working and I was buying for sharpness not 'a look' - I shot loads of slide film which I suggest is sharper than any old arri 65 and one could not see aberations.

    Yes maybe they flare, a french flag is the thing.

    Anyway good copies are IMO sharp enough and dont have vintage feel.

    A review should immediately throw up the focus spin direction which is a major pita. Thats why ive bought a few canon FDs.. similar but the spin goes the 'normal' way.

    As for focus friction.. a well oiled ones should have the perfect drag.. it is possible to find 'dry' lenses today (bad)

    Type Es were a pile cheaper and the wides can have a short throw.


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    #14
    Senior Member QuickHitRecord's Avatar
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    I like my AIS primes enough not to have switched them out. They flare but it's not unpleasant. They're sharp enough but still have slightly softer look to them that's hard to describe. Other than my Kern Switar set (16mm coverage), they are still the only prime set that I own. I did a lot of research before going this route. Here's what I settled on:

    18mm f/3.5
    28mm f/2.8
    50mm f/1.8
    85mm f/2

    I bought them back before Rokinon/Samyang was making cine lenses and spent a hefty sum at Duclos having them declicked and geared. They typically only come out for narrative work or when I need smooth manual pull (I have a reversible follow focus which helps with the pull direction). I've been leaning heavily on Canon lenses with DPAF for paid work lately so they haven't seen much action in a few years.
    Last edited by QuickHitRecord; 06-20-2020 at 11:36 AM.


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    #15
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    Sold my Nikon AI(S) set a while back, but the 35mm f/2.0 was my favorite Rock and Roll lens for "environmental portrait" stuff. Super sharp with amazing contrast.
    Try to find a Vivitar Series 1 90mm f/2.5 macro lens...arguably one of the sharpest lenses ever for 35mm photography. Used it on my Eclair ACL ll 16mm camera; also 35mm spots with an Arri adaptor.

    Ken


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    #16
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    My main set is Nikkors, all single-coated. 20mm f3.5, 28mm f2, 35mm f2, 50mm f2, 85mm f1.8. They're great.

    The only issue is there isn't a fast wide (16-20mm range), which you'd want on S35 or APS-C. With a speed booster or on FF, though, I could see them being even better.

    I'm surprised by the lack of enthusiasm for "vintage" lenses among the younger generation. For those in their 30s+ they seem to be preferred for the extra character.


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    #17
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    It takes work to get the vintage lenses cinemodded, many of the younger crowd want things right now. That and lack of coverage by the current YouTube influencers, therefore they must all be junk.

    I have FD converted to passive EF from 15mm to 200mm with the exception of 35mm because they all seem to be a bit fragile. Need to track down a good copy or a place that can fix them. My set also includes the 2 parfocal f3.5 zooms of 20-35 and 35-105.


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    #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcbob View Post
    The set is an Elmarit 28, Summilux 35, Summicron 50 and Summicron 90. I kind of lucked out and found them being sold off used at a local camera store right before Shane Hurlbut started blabbing and raising used R prices by 20x. They'd belonged to NatGeo photographer Bill Allard who told the shop he sold them to that he found them bumping around in his camper. The Summilux 35 in particular was externally beat to hell Glass and mechanisms were still good, though, and it's nifty to know that most of them were used on his extended "Vanishing Breed" series, amongst other projects.
    That's incredible. I'm happy that you found those gems!


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    #19
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    One tech consideration of older lenses is the sharpness and its relationshipp with moiree.

    I did a shoot on the FS7 where we started with some CNe glass, and I saw significant purple fringes on the moustach of a male actor (with the, doubtless sharper, CNe glass) for non technical reasons we switched to my nikkors at which point I no longer observed the purple 'tash.. apart from with my 50-300 nikkor zoom (a sharp lens?)

    My theory was that the ideal lens (nikkor prime in this case) would have a resolution just less than the OPLF in the camera, such a situation would make moiree impossible to generate (a good thing).

    ----

    One place I feel vintage glass may not be a perfect solution is using crop modes. I have noticed some softness when using my FS7 in high speed crop mode with older glass - although there are many reasons sony crop HFR is poor.


    ----

    Above it was mentioned the lack of fast wides. All of this 'vintage' glass was discontined before 'DX/APSc' was invented and designed for full frame - the available glass from FD and Nikkor 14/2.8 through to the Zeiss 21 when used on a FF camera offer all attributes, wide FOV, Some DOF effect and reasonable light capture.

    At the same time S35 motion picture film was in use and had lenses designed with the correct FOV and DOF for that film size. Various Zeiss 16/2 or 16/1.4 lenses.

    Clearly FF35 wide is not really the solution to get wide FOV thin foccus images on an S35 sensor. To meet that challenge one would need to persue the following routes..

    -S35 cine lens
    -FF35 wide lens with speedbooster
    -modern wide 'DX' lens (samyang do a 16/2??)
    -use a horrid modern 'DX' wide lens


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    #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_E View Post
    It takes work to get the vintage lenses cinemodded, many of the younger crowd want things right now. That and lack of coverage by the current YouTube influencers, therefore they must all be junk.

    I have FD converted to passive EF from 15mm to 200mm with the exception of 35mm because they all seem to be a bit fragile. Need to track down a good copy or a place that can fix them. My set also includes the 2 parfocal f3.5 zooms of 20-35 and 35-105.
    What lenses are popular with YouTube influencers?

    The 35mm f2 nFD is fantastic!


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