View Full Version : RED nikon mount on EPIC?
05-24-2008, 04:07 PM
JUst wondering if the Nikon mount for my RED will also screw into the EPIC's body? i know its early but thoughts are welcome :nerd:
05-24-2008, 04:21 PM
I remember reading somewhere that the "accessories" of Red and Epic are supposed to be highly compatible. I'm sure Jim and Team are very aware and sensitive to how Red users will feel if a lot of their investment in a Red One is made obsolete and non-useable on Epic. That's just my thought. Like you, I am curious too, though, of the few items that may not be useable/transferable. Hopefully I'll still be able to use my Birger mount.
05-24-2008, 04:28 PM
As they seem to share the same PL mount...
05-24-2008, 04:45 PM
you might wanna move this to the EPIC section. And while i have a very limited understanding of these things, my guess would be that it would be compatible.
05-24-2008, 05:24 PM
I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that the mounts will be the same, hence the Nikon and other similarly installed adapters / mounts will be compatible.
Yes, this belongs in the EPIC section.
cinemano, can you start thinking about proper location before you post. I seem to be moving several of your threads lately.
05-24-2008, 05:40 PM
I sure hope they stick to PL and PV... or that they at least don't sacrifice any functionality of the PL mount by enabling the Nikon mount.
05-24-2008, 05:53 PM
Agreed on the functionality. Most EPIC users probably won't have a need for Nikon or Canon mounts, but I'm sure a few will still want it. Nice to have the ability.
Personally, I would place the ability to use both /i and LDS lenses on the same mount as a very ideal feature. Since we're talking about mounts here...
05-24-2008, 06:20 PM
I'd imagine there's more than a year before EPIC ships. I'm sure that RED will approach Arri to enable full LDS support in the EPIC in that time. Since the Cooke /i system will certainly be integrated... why not integrate both systems? Even if there's a small licensing fee built into the camera's price, as a truly professional-market cinema camera... I think people will be willing to pay.
I hope that RED returns to a shim-based mount for the EPIC. I don't mean to knock the current RED ONE mount - the adjustable mount on the RED ONE is fantastic when you consider the camera's market. Most RED ONE camera owners do not have access to proper collimation tools to keep their camera in order. You won't hear me knock that mount for a moment with regards to the camera's market.
But when you consider the pros of a shim-based mount [more stable collimation when proper grade and quantity of shims are used, more accurate collimation, the ability to "square up" the lens mount to the sensor and the elimination of the frustrating lens mount throat] on a high-end professional camera, the question answers itself. They've already announced that the mount will be stainless steel [In publicized print this time :)], so I hold high hopes for its design. If the mount is stainless steel, built into the front of the camera [rather than out on an easy-to-snap-off throat] and shim-based, I'll be happy.
As for the Nikon and Canon mounts... I'm sure Birger will come up with something! I just hope that the PL and PV functions of the mount [the most important lens mount functions on a professional narrative-style camera] aren't limited at all.
05-24-2008, 06:34 PM
A universal mount could be interesting, therefore not limiting the camera's modularity. Although, I agree that for a lot of Epic users, Nikon and Canon lenses may be low on the priority list, I have to admit that I'm incredibly thankful it exists on RED ONE right now, because it allows me to own more lenses, therefore allowing me to have more creativity for my own tests/projects. Now, in terms of big jobs, sure PL all the way, but the mount swap takes about 10-15 minutes, not too bad.
05-24-2008, 08:09 PM
I can't fathom why anybody with an epic would want to put nikons on it. I would hope that efforts would go towards a top notch, thermaly stable, pl mount.
05-24-2008, 08:47 PM
People who shoot stock footage might be interested in doing it. I'm the first one to defend cine lenses for situations where you need the mechanics to function in a way only cine lenses can achieve. But why eliminate the option unless there is something being compromised by doing so? If the PL mount would have to be compromised to make it possible to put on another mount, then sure I'd rather see them get the PL mount the best it could be. But I'm still curious as to what can be done to integrate a universal mounting system. That to me would give the greatest flexibility, and even a high profile, narrative film may want to throw on an SLR lens every once and a while if it fits appropriate for the shot. There may be some challenges to having a universal mount, and again if it means it would affect PL mount design negatively, then I side with keeping with PL cine lenses a priority.
05-24-2008, 11:25 PM
If the PL mount would have to be compromised to make it possible to put on another mount, then sure I'd rather see them get the PL mount the best it could be.
The thing is, the RED ONE's PL mount was compromised to enable the mount interchangeability. At least as far as I can tell. The lens mount "throat" that they added [the part that moves the lens mount ~1.5" away from the body itself] is a major source of performance and ergonomic problems on the RED ONE. Performance-wise, it created a weaker lens mount that has been known to snap off at times [though extremely rarely and generally in a very extreme situation]. Ergonomics-wise, it moved the CG of the camera awkwardly and left no room for the interface controls to live in a proper place on the sides of the camera.
Furthermore, the adjustability of the mount [while FANTASTIC for the RED ONE market] meant that it is never "truly" collimated. There's always the slightest amount of play in the flange focal depth.
Since the EPIC is a truly professional camera with a higher price and a significantly more limited market, I personally feel that it should be made to the most stringent professional standards... even if it means losing the less-than-professional non-cinema mounts.
Now none of this is a shot at the RED ONE... it's just forward looking towards what the EPIC can be. These aren't debilitating problems for the RED ONE... but opportunities to improve upon for EPIC. Twice the price... twice the fun!
05-25-2008, 03:11 AM
Huh? I think your smoking Crack. PL is a deeper mount than Nikon so the logic of the Nikon mount being why there is a potrusion on the front of the camera doesn't make any sense. I don't see how a ability to swap mounts on the camera has effected the integrity at all. The variable flange depth mount was born out of the fact RED couldn't shim every single camera perfectly and it made a lot more sense to redesign than it did to keep shimming. It seemed to have nothing to do with the multiple mount options. I don't think the Nikon faceplate vs the PL face plate have any major advantages/disadvantages over one another mechanically. The intermediate surface stays the same. I've swapped mine out probably 15 times by now, and it seems totally robust.
I have an ARRI 2C under my desk right now with a Nikon mount on it. I put a Nikon mount on my Red when I'm not on a serious job, and it kicks ass! Why wouldn't you want it? It's actually blew me away how much fun it is to grab the camera and run around with the Nikon mount.
If collimation is your worry, you need to find a better AC or rental house. Every time I prep for a job I reset my flange depth to make sure it's spot on. Then I test each lens to make sure it's behaving, EXACTLY LIKE I WOULD ON A FILM CAMERA PREP.
I'm getting ready to do a long form travel-ish show, and currently I'm planning on doing the whole thing with the Nikon mount. I'm going to be pretty much alone the whole time as the sole shooter, limited budget, limited amount of physical storage, etc. It just makes sense, no other mount option could give me the same price/performance ratio.
05-25-2008, 04:15 AM
Huh? I think your smoking Crack.
Yes, Mike, I was smoking crack. That must explain it, thank you.
Now, the day that the first RED ONEs shipped, Nikon mounts for the original camera mount must've been around. The first public image of the Nikon mount was publicized on September 5th, 2007.
The mount was delayed time and time again as the technical complexity increased. It was originally a complete replacement mount, replacing everything from the tip of the PL collar all the way back to the body, throat and all.
The logic behind the mount was that there would be a fixed plate approximately 20mm from the sensor inside of the camera; this was the front of the camera body. Every other mount would be collimated separately. The PL mount would have its own separate shims to match the proper flange focal depth. The Nikon mount would have its own separate shims to accomplish the same. That way one could have two calibrated mounts that could be swapped easily without having to worry about re-collimating the mount itself. Since the mount swaps would require no re-shimming, the system seemed simple enough.
It was this concept of interchangeable mounts that led to the lens throat [unless somebody from RED jumps in and proves me wrong here]. Longer FFD, shorter FFD, it doesn't matter. It was the design that led to that throat.
The delays on the Nikon mount started stacking up as it become clear that this mount system wouldn't work. My understanding is that they were working on a way to maintain collimation during a mount swap, but it wasn't working too well. With the issues people were having with the OEM PL mounts in the field, the swap came about.
The new adjustable lens mount requires a throat by the nature of its functionality. If there is no throat, there's nothing to adjust. The sensor's location was also rather locked in by that point... it's not like they were going to redesign the whole body around the lens mount swap.
After the introduction of the mount, RED had to go back to the drawing board for their Nikon mount. They bumped the price to $800 as they admitted to increased complexity to deal with the new adjustable throat. It wasn't until Doug whipped up a simple solution in his machine shop that they dropped the price back down to $500 and started pumping out the very simple Nikon plates that we have today.
So while the final solution may be a simple plate swap [and the solution for your film camera may be similar], the original solution was a much larger, more complex solution that required the lens throat... shorter flange focal depth or not.
As for my collimation concerns regarding the current adjustable mount, they have nothing to do with the abilities of my ACs or my rental houses. I have put both an old and new RED body onto the only collimator that can read both properly without being confused by reflections off of the additional pre-sensor elements. The old mount and new mount both have their pros and cons. The old mount was weak, self-marring, thermally unstable and too tight. The new mount doesn't lock its FFD perfectly and - most importantly - never squares the mount to the sensor perfectly and has no way of fixing that.
Ultimately, going to the new mount was a great decision for RED. Why? Because of the ~5,000 orders that RED has taken, probably 1,000 of those people had even heard of the word "collimation" before it started popping up on these boards. Not every person with a RED lives in a city where they have instant access to top-notch rental houses with $50,000 collimators. And while I have my rental house and/or AC check the collimation of every camera I take out on a job, not everybody has that luxury. That mount is one of the little things that makes the RED so appealing and functional for such a broad range of people and situations.
But as Epic comes of age, it's time to think long and hard about its market. At $40,000 for the camera body [probably $60,000+ for a good body package], the camera is geared towards professionals in narrative cinema and similar fields. Few people will make the jump from the HVX to the Epic . Fewer people will buy Epic than the RED ONE and - with its price point and target market - owners will expect more. The word "Arri" comes to mind.
So when they design the mount, the throat, adjustable mount and anything that goes with it can disappear in my mind. Give me shims, give me stainless steel and invar, give me thermal stability and give me a mount that is built directly into the front of the machined camera body for strength. Make this camera have the best PL mount ever.
Killing the lens mount throat also opens up a bevy of other great ergonomic bonuses... like moving the camera interface to the smart [and dumb] side of the camera in a location that's far enough forward to not interfere with the operator's face.
And you know what? If in their PL mount design process they find a way to have a swappable plate to enable a Nikon mount... do it! That's great! Just don't sacrifice an ounce of PL magic to enable a mount that the camera doesn't "need". I don't want an 80% PL mount and an 80% Nikon mount if I can have a 100% PL mount and nothing else.
So [i]that was my point, Mike.