View Full Version : Need help choosing a lens for ENG
03-09-2007, 10:56 AM
Call me stupid if you want, but I am having a hard time getting information on an available ENG style zoom lens (with rocker) that will work with the Red One.
I have the funds available to order everything right now. I know I can't order the camera yet, but I want to be sure that I won't be stuck trying to run and gun with the massive 18-85 lens. While it looks like a really nice lens, I only plan to shoot in 2k windowed anyway, so the ability to use the entire sensor is a moot point for me.
From what I have read on the forums here I can get a Super 16 MM PL mount lens and it will work, my question is, does anyone have any suggestions of a lens with a servo zoom with rocker that I can currently purchase? Or will the B4 adapter be the only way to attach such a lens, and if so, what B4 lens would be a good choice.
By the way, I don't really need to go as far as the 9 - 144 MM Fuji that I currently have on my BetaSP camera, but I do need a decent amount of zoom available.
Thanks in advance for any advice you may have for me.
03-09-2007, 11:31 AM
The only stupid question is the one that isn't asked...
The RED 18-85mm zoom will not be "massive". In fact, the RED Team has described it as “compact”. That said, as a cine lens, it obviously does not have a zoom servo. I think it will be a great 35mm cine lens (I've reserved one), but you said you are interested in an ENG lens for use on RED.
You'll need a B4 adaptor to use B4 EFP/ENG lenses on RED One. RED's B4 adaptor is projected to be available later this year. Perhaps we'll see some 3rd party B4 adapters earlier than that. RED is currently testing the Abakus B4 adaptor on Spike. Search this forum and you'll find an active thread on that. RED is reporting good results with the Abakus.
RED has confirmed 12-volt auxiliary power on RED One, so power to zoom servos is enabled. The remaining uses of an HD EFP/ENG zoom used on RED One will all be manual.
You didn't say what your budget was for a B4 2/3" lens, or whether you're looking for new or used. If you do a Google search for "used 2/3" HD ENG zoom lenses" you should get a lot of returns. You'll find basic used Canon 18x HD lenses, without doubler, for as little as $6k USD. For new, state of the art 2/3" HD ENG zoom lenses, expect to pay a range of $16k USD to $45k USD. Check the Fujinon, Canon, and Angenieux web sites for info.
Hope this helps...
I see this is your first post Timothy...welcome to RED User!
03-09-2007, 12:25 PM
If you are looking for an HD lens make sure to get one that has a decent
wide angle. I have heard from folks that have a 16x7.8 fuji or canon and are
disapointed in the wide angle side. check out fujis 16x6.3 it is the best of both
worlds as far as HD lenses are concerned or for real wide angles a 13x4.5, but those are very expensive in HD
03-09-2007, 12:39 PM
I have budgeted for the 18 - 85, servo, controller and incidental cables/hardware. My total budget for the lens and hardware is $14,650. (I had called Abel when I was writing up the request for funding and asked what it would cost to set up the Red 18 - 85 for ENG shooting.)
But yeah, I don't want or need a 35 MM lens. I have to regularly run and gun, and having a 4k image is nowhere near as important to me as being able to lug the thing around on my shoulder through crowded auditoriums and the like for hours, and make sure I get the important shots.
I don't need a massive zoom, but I am fairly accustomed to my current Fuji 9 - 144 on my Sony BetaSP camera. So something relatively similar would be nice if it falls within my budget.
I am also guessing that I will need to buy either the LCD or viewfinder (would opt for the viewfinder) and was too rushed to get the funding request out to remember to budget for that. Any chance they will be including one of the above in the base price for the Red:) Any money I can save here and there on the lens or other gear may make the difference in what I can afford in terms of the viewfinder...
03-09-2007, 12:42 PM
I forgot to mention that the adapter will also have to come out of the budget I mentioned above...
03-09-2007, 12:47 PM
I am also guessing that I will need to buy either the LCD or viewfinder (would opt for the viewfinder) and was too rushed to get the funding request out to remember to budget for that. Any chance they will be including one of the above in the base price for the Red
The 720p LCD is included in the base price for RED One. If you want the viewfinder, that is optional. No price has been published for the viewfinder, but I feel it will be in line with RED's "good quality for a very good price" business philosophy.
Phaz is right...in many EFP/ENG situations, a wide angle is really needed. If you ended up buying a used 16x or 18x that wasn't wide enough, then also buying a Century .8 full zoom-through wide angle converter to put on the front of your zoom is an option...about $1,200 for that. If you didn't need full zoom through you could get by with a partial zoom wide adapter on the front of the lens...less expensive than a full zoom-through converter.
03-09-2007, 12:53 PM
That is good to know. I have a feeling my boss might be "kinda" pissed if he realized I was too stupid to plan for a way to see what I am shooting:)
So now that you know that I am looking for a zoom and will also need the abakus or similar adapter, do you think I will be able to manage to come in under budget?
I don't need a super high-end lens, in fact I'd sacrifice quality for a bit more zoom (up to a point), but I don't need as much as I have now. Say, 60% of that would be good enough.
Also, will only HD lenses work, or is it possible to use the lens from my old BetaSP camera and take a vacation to Tahiti with the remaining lens funds:tongue:
03-09-2007, 12:58 PM
Not sure about the wide angle needs. I am still learning, and have only been out of grad school and in my job for 6 mos. Most of what I shoot is interviews and the accompanying b-roll, and occasional campus scenics (I work for a university)
I plan to eventually get the proper adapter to use still lenses and will borrow lenses from our in-house photographer to go shoot campus scenics in 4k for archival purposes. But like I said above, 90% of what I do is going to be news style shooting. I just need flexibility because I also have to shoot the occasional commercial, etc.
03-09-2007, 01:00 PM
Oh yeah...seeing what you're shooting is nice!
Yes you could come in under your stated budget with a used HD ENG zoom, adapter, and even a wide angle converter for the front.
Only an HD lens will work. IMO an SD ENG zoom, even if it was a real good one, simply wouldn't resolve well enough for even 720p shooting on RED One. No worries though...set the camera up right and do some real good work, and the boss will probably give you a vacation to Tahiti for a bonus!!
As you mentioned, borrow the 35mm still lenses and shoot some 4k REDCODE RAW footage too. Don't forget though....I think the RED 18-85mm zoom will be a great S35mm cine lens. If you go the B4 2/3" ENG zoom route, when the boss is able you, should seriously consider adding in the RED 18-85 zoom and perhaps by then RED will also have some other good lenses for what you do.
Have fun with your work...each day is a chance to learn something new!
03-09-2007, 01:17 PM
You rock... I had been getting very stressed out about this little wrinkle in my plan, and my boss was starting to ask if there were any other cameras that we could buy instead. (I of course told him no, because there is just nothing that can touch this in the price range.)
All of your points are well taken. I hope that the historical library people here do a write up on what a visionary I was to leave them usable footage in 4k 20 years from now or further out;)
I am very excited about the camera, and can't wait to place the order the second they open it up again (assuming right after NAB?)
So now that I am resting easy knowing this can be done, do you have any specific suggestions for a good multi-purpose zoom for me to buy? And also, do you know of a link where I can find info about the wide-angle adapter you were talking about?
Oh, and yes... I do plan to get the 18- 85 eventually and probably will move to shooting 4k exclusively. That is, once I have a computer that is about 4x faster than the Octo-core Mac Pro I am waiting to see released at NAB, and hard drive prices drop about another 75%. Those are the two things that keep me from planning much 4k work for now, aside from the run and gun concerns that I mentioned earlier.
Thanks so much for all your help Gibby. You were just the man I had been needing to talk to...
03-10-2007, 10:59 AM
Glad to help Timothy! Others helped me earlier in my career, so I'm passing on the good Karma...
The used HD ENG zoom lenses that will fit within your budget can be found via Google searches. Camera rental companies periodically roll over their stock of lenses (and everything else). Since you're on a budget, and pristine quality footage isn't a priority, you should be able to score a used HD ENG zoom fairly easily. Go to the web sites of large camera rental companies, and television networks/stations and see what you can find. I'd suggest that you have any used lens that you plan to buy checked out by an independent lens technician. If a company or individual selling the lens won't agree to that - don't buy it.
Make sure that the used HD ENG zoom you're buying is for 2/3" cameras. There are now a growing number of 1/2" HD cameras on the market, and lenses made for them. 1/2" HD lenses won't work on RED One - they won't cover the sensor. In Fujinon lenses an "HA" on the front of the nomenclature means it is for 2/3" HD cameras. An "HS" means it is for 1/2" HD cameras. With Canon HD ENG zooms, a "HJ" at the front of the nomenclature means the lens is for 2/3" HD cameras.
The first generation 2/3" HD ENG zooms, made by Fujinon about five years ago, obviously won't give you as good an image as the latest (and more expensive) lenses. But for the work you described, and the budget you're on, they should be fine. I don't have the model numbers in front of me, but they were 18x and 17x zooms, without any extender. In Google searches I've seen them recently between $5,500 and $6,500 on the used lens market.
Here's some lens manufacturer links so you can educate yourself on current 2/3" HD ENG zoom lenses, and wide converters/adapters:
Schneider Optics (Century)
http://www.schneideroptics.com/century/broadcast/addons.htm (Wide converters and adapters. Remember, converters are full zoom through, and adapters are only partial zoom through. Thus, adapters cost less than converters)
Red Eye Wide Angle Adapters
http://www.studiodaily.com/studiomonthly/reviews/f/rproduction/7289.html (My Studio Monthly review of them)
You mentioned waiting to get the RED 18-85mm zoom and shooting 4k until you get a mega-speed processor computer. Unless you’re shooting uncompressed RAW with RED One, super computer speed to edit is not a necessity, according to the statements of the RED Team. Pay close attention to RED’s announcements at NAB (and online on 4/16), as RED defines equipment recommendations and workflows. I think you’ll find that the computer system you have now, which you described, will be more than adequate to edit the RED resolutions you will be shooting – all the way up to 4k REDCODE RAW acquired files.
03-11-2007, 06:05 PM
hot swappable drives on the back of the RED. maybe a summary IMO
1. for very long recordings... ie all day events
2. for shooters who are in remote areas, and have drive failure
2. for shooters trying to save a few bucks
4. for news and other shooters who want to give the client the original drive.
5. for doc situations where the 15min interview is becoming 40 minutes and
the shooter was too near the end of the digital magazine.
Hot swappable drives on the back of the RED will be bad for.
1. fools who cannot read drive specifications on the packaging.
2. Folks in RED tech. support who don't ask as a first question.
Did you buy a non certified drive? Have you tried running the camera with
a certified drive?
3. Red if they include modifications and aftermarket additions in areas of their
responsibility in the warranty. Which seems strange as this company has
access to legal counsel.
My humble conclusion:
There is a demand for such a product.
Eithere RED will make one or some aftermarket company will.
03-11-2007, 06:23 PM
Thanks for starting this thread Timothy -- I am in a similar situation as you in terms of lens needs. Up until now I had mostly been looking at used S16mm zooms, but I feel that I should probably also be looking at used HD zooms, as well.
A quick question regarding this: will an HD lens have the same windowed coverage (and same DOF) on the Red as a B4 mount lens? Thanks guys as always for your excellent advice. Can't wait till tomorrow's announcements!
PS I wonder if the Red team has thought of releasing their own ENG/EFP type lens, as it seems there will be quite a bit of demand for it. That would be awesome.
03-11-2007, 07:11 PM
First thanks so much to Gibby for all of the excellent in-depth advice. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.
Thanks to everyone else for the comments also.
In regard to the hot-swap drive issue, I'll post something in the other thread on that one.
In regard to lenses though, I totally agree that it would rock if Red announces an ENG lens, preferable sooner rather than later, because I frankly have a limited time that I will have the funds available, and have to have my purchases set in stone very soon.
An ENG lens from Red would be the perfect fit for me, because I'm sure it would come in around the same or less than a standard 2/3 HD lens, and would not require an adapter. Therefore saving me from carrying the extra glass and having a camera that is a couple of inches longer than it needs to be.
Here's hoping they announce such a lens tomorrow or at NAB!!!