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    So you have a Red-servation and $20K....
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    Senior Member evinsky's Avatar
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    ...and you want to put together a system capable of producing top notch imagery. That means you have approximately $2000 to spend on some glass (assuming the on board drive is $1K) and it's got to be good or else why buy the Red, right? So where do you start?

    I suggest e-bay and if you're a little hesitant about that then KEH
    http://www.keh.com

    I'd like to have this thread be primarily about affordable first option lenses
    that indies can afford but still produce big screen quality.

    But what mount and what lenses should you get? Mike Curtis mentioned in his article that Jim Jannard was recommending snatching up late series Nikkor lenses because they are cheap and high quality. I agree but have a little more to offer as to specific lenses that could make up a very comprehensive and capable optical tool set for most applications.

    I'm suggesting a total lens kit price of $2K because almost all of us (myself included) can probably afford this in addition to Red bringing the total price of the system to right around 20K. (not including tax)

    So where to start?
    Nikon has made two series of manual focus lenses that were made in different periods during and after the 70s. The AI series introduced with the F2 are for the most part optically identical to the AIS series that was introduced with the F3 and subsequently made into the 90s and even a few beyond. My recommendation is that when possible try to get the AI series, despite their older vintage, as long as the mechanics are good and the optics clean. I recommend this for two reasons, first they are generally cheaper than their AIS equivalents given the same condition and second they have a longer focusing draw. In other words it takes a longer rotation to achieve the same focus thus giving you more precision. The AIS lenses will still do the job, but with such an astoundingly high resolution sensor every bit helps.

    What about AF lenses? There are a few AF lenses that I would recommend over their MF equivalents but over all the used AI and AIS lenses are a better deal and are more rugged because of their all metal construction.
    With one exception...

    The AFS 17-35mm F2.8 Nikkor is the first recommendation on my list.
    This lens can be had for about $900-$1100 on E-bay, $750 if your lucky.
    It is one of Nikon's sharpest wide angle lenses, period. Even compared to primes. It's relatively fast, T3 probably, and gives you an equivalent 35mm still focal range of 26-55mm, enough to cover most of your wideangle to normal shooting. You could buy AI primes but you'd need to get at least five lenses... the 18mm F3.5, 20mm 2.8, 24mm f2.8 28mm f2.8 and a 35mm f2. Of these only the 28mm 2.8 out performs the 17-35 and only the 24 and 35 match it.

    If you can only afford one lens to start with, this may be the one.

    What other lenses to choose from comes down to a preference between more focal lengths of faster lenses. All of these are very sharp, proven designs so optically your not giving anything up. Of course the faster lenses will be slightly softer wide open but you can still make beautiful images with them.

    Short tele: 50mm= 77mm in 35mm still terms.
    First the 50mm f1.4 is a no brainier, $100 and a great performer.

    Medium tele: 85mm=132mm 105mm=163mm
    Faster 85mm F1.4 $350-$500 Fantastic all around
    Cheaper 85mm F1.8 $250-$350 Also great (AI or earlier only)
    Faster 105mm F1.8 $350-$500 Also great
    Cheaper 105mm F2.5 $100-$280 A classic in Nikon glass.
    Macro 105mm F2.8 Micro $200-$350 1/2 life size magnification.

    Long Tele: 135mm=210mm 180mm=280mm
    Faster 135mm F2 $400-$600
    Longer 180mm F2.8 ED $250-$350

    So I hope your ready to have some fun with glass. I know I can't wait.
    E.
    Last edited by evinsky; 08-05-2006 at 09:31 AM.
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    Senior Member Haakon's Avatar
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    Hey Evan,

    There's been a lot of talk about using Nikon glass as a cheaper alternative to the plethora of expensive cine lenses out there, but I'm still a little confused as to how this works. The camera ships with a PL mount, correct? Are PL to F mount adapters commonly available, or how is everyone supposed to mount these old Nikon lenses to the Red from the get go? I definitely like the prospect as I don't have a lot of extra cash myself, but I'm still not quite sure how this whole concept fits together. Thanks.
    you + are = you're.
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    Evin,
    As much as I love my 20d, this has me thinking of selling it and getting a d200 instead. If I swap out my existing Canon lenses for these Nikons, I could have a decent set for RED without spending much. Will all these lenses work on the d200? Do you think this is a good idea?
    Thanks,
    Adam
    "My subject matter always is and was just looking at people the way they are." - Mike Leigh


     

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    President/Founder Jarred Land's Avatar
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    there is a new Nikon coming in 4 days. I would wait on the D200.

    Without a doubt Nikkor beats Canon in glass so you wont be dissapointed.

    As for the mount question.. yes it ships with a PL mount. But that mount unless something changes, is Swapable.
    .


     

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    Red Leader Jannard's Avatar
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    There will be other mounts in addition to PL. Nikon is one of them. The EOS lenses are fine optically, but there is no manual aperture control. And we will NOT have controlling electronics for these type of lenses. I agree with Jarred on the older Nikon lenses. But older Canon manual lenses will do well also.

    We have shot footage using a Canon lens, a Nikon lens, a Zeiss lens and a Cooke S4. There is a difference. You just have to decide your pain threshold to your wallet.

    And remember, there are RED lenses coming. Even though our 300mm is not your typical "1st lens", it is wicked sharp, and Cine quality. Truly a great buy at less than $5k. Our zoom will be announced sometime soon.

    Jim


     

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    #6
    President/Founder Jarred Land's Avatar
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    Thanks Jim. I think you just made alot of people's day.

    It will be interesting to see how the Red lenses compare to the field of Cine lenses out there.
    .


     

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    #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by adaml
    Evin,
    As much as I love my 20d, this has me thinking of selling it and getting a d200 instead. If I swap out my existing Canon lenses for these Nikons, I could have a decent set for RED without spending much. Will all these lenses work on the d200? Do you think this is a good idea?
    Thanks,
    Adam
    That makes me think that there is the funny possibility of a market-shift towards Nikon cameras and lenses, from cannon photographers who also are interested in quality high-def and want to try the RED camera! Now imagine what will happen if Jim manages to drop the RED's price in a couple of years!


     

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    Senior Member evinsky's Avatar
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    I'm very excited about the Red zoom, if it is what I hope it is. Yes I do believe Nikon lenses offer the best of both worlds for the forseeable future. the new D80 that will be announced in a few days will be a very capable camera.
    10mp, under $1000, basically a D200 sensor in a D70 body. If you can do without the ruggedized body and 5fps shooting you'll be very happy.
    An intersting note, although Canon does have about 51% of the DSLR market right now they are actually losing it slowly to Nikon.
    Nikon gained market share in 2005 and are on track to gain more in 2006. I doubt they will overtake Canon anytime soon though.
    Unless they can get thier marketing division to wake up. However, I hear there are going to be some surprises from Nikon in the coming months, we'll just have to wait and see.
    Personnally I own a D2x, I still do professional still photography so I need something with a bit more bite. I just recently aquired the 18-200mm AFS VR (Vibration Reduction) Nikkor and I have to say, it's one of the sharpest, best all around lenses I have ever used! I was very surprised but it equalls all my best F2.8 "Pro" zooms and even comes damn close to some of my primes. I actually am on a road trip to Michigan for my best friend's wedding right now and this lens has been on the camera about 85% of the time. Here are some samples.

    Utah


    Wyoming

    Unfortunately this Nikkor will have the same problem the Canon Eos leses have because it requires an electronic connection to operate the aperture.
    Although I think there may be a mechanical work around for this. I'm working on that.
    Last edited by evinsky; 08-05-2006 at 05:37 PM.
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    #9
    President/Founder Jarred Land's Avatar
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    not bad for vacation photos evin.. jesus.
    .


     

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    #10
    Senior Member evinsky's Avatar
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    Hey man, it's a tax write off.
    Always beg forgiveness, not permission! http://www.evingrant.com http://www.evingrantdp.com http://www.evingrantphoto.com
    RED #199
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