Thread: Docu zoom lens help (DZO Film - Angenieux - Fujinon ...)

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  1. #1 Docu zoom lens help (DZO Film - Angenieux - Fujinon ...) 
    Hi,

    I'm so stuck on deciding which lenses to take with me on a 12 episode travel documentary television show. The A cam would mostly film interviews, people talking and basic scenes, the B cam can take tele shots and very wide angles. I'm talking about the A camera in this post.
    I have the Fujinon 19-90 (first version), but it's just not sharp enough in my taste. They want to have the show future proof and finalize in 4K.

    What would you all prefer (if you don't consider budget for a second)?

    Angenieux was my first thought. The 28-76 optimo spherical in combination with the 15-40. Total of about 30.000 euro.
    But then I saw some comparisons between the DZO 20-55 and the 15-40 and the DZO actually look really good. They have a complete set with a bigger range: 20-55 and 50-125.

    The biggest problem seems the range. For doc style shooting I think 28-76 is a more used range than DZO's 20-55.

    What are your thoughts?
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  2. #2  
    Two of my friends bought DZO zooms. Both wanted to immediately return them as the focus scales where completely off / the lenses could not be colimated / shimmed to get the focus scales to match the actual focus distance. No major fault but basically the scales needs to be replaced / re engraved or use tape and magic marker or what ever. But yes they did not want to keep the lenses and DZO told them that the fault was within limits of their standards... When the lens focus at 7 meters the scale reads 15 meters... so not just of by a little. And that was after a good lens technican had gone though them. So yes, I guess DZO is nothing to count on if you want a lens that works well straight out of the box. Simply you need to modify it to make it work, not just shim it.
    Björn Benckert
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  3. #3  
    For doc style shooting, I think the range of the 20-55 is more useful than the 28-76. The extra range on the wide end means more to me than the extra tele. But that's my opinion, and it's really all up to personal shooting style... And the specific needs of the project.

    As for optical qualities,I haven't used the 20-55 but it looks good on the clips I've seen online.
    I have used the Angenieux 28-76 and it's a thing of great beauty. I would be surprised if the DZO can match the optical qualities of the Angenieux.

    I'm also surprised that your Fujinon 19-90 isn't sharp enough...
    Nils J. Nesse

    Epic-W Helium 8K in Bergen, Norway | Red Pro Primes | Tokina Cinema 16-28 & 50-135
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  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by Björn Benckert View Post
    Two of my friends bought DZO zooms. Both wanted to immediately return them as the focus scales where completely off / the lenses could not be colimated / shimmed to get the focus scales to match the actual focus distance. No major fault but basically the scales needs to be replaced / re engraved or use tape and magic marker or what ever. But yes they did not want to keep the lenses and DZO told them that the fault was within limits of their standards... When the lens focus at 7 meters the scale reads 15 meters... so not just of by a little. And that was after a good lens technican had gone though them. So yes, I guess DZO is nothing to count on if you want a lens that works well straight out of the box. Simply you need to modify it to make it work, not just shim it.
    Wow, that's obviously doesn't sound very good. This time it's the focus scales, the next lens might have a different flaw then... Very good to know!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nils J. Nesse View Post
    For doc style shooting, I think the range of the 20-55 is more useful than the 28-76. The extra range on the wide end means more to me than the extra tele. But that's my opinion, and it's really all up to personal shooting style.

    As for optical qualities,I haven't used the 20-55 but it looks good on the clips I've seen online.
    I have used the Angenieux 28-76 and it's a thing of great beauty. I would be surprised if the DZO can match the optical qualities of the Angenieux.

    I'm also surprised than your Fujinon 19-90 isn't sharp enough...
    About the sharpness. I'm comparing to a recent shoot where I used a combo of the fujinon and an arri master macro. That's where I noticed a big difference. But the difference will most likely not be as big as with an Angenieux off course... Need to do some lens tests once I know which direction to go.
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  5. #5  
    Those Arri Master Macros are probably the sharpest lenses on the planet...

    I would also consider the upcoming Tokina 25-75mm zoom (is it available yet?). Tokina is on a roll with their recent cine lens efforts. My guess would be that it sits somewhere in between DZO and Angenieux optical quality-wise, but possibly closer to the Angie... (I just wish it went to 21mm...)
    Nils J. Nesse

    Epic-W Helium 8K in Bergen, Norway | Red Pro Primes | Tokina Cinema 16-28 & 50-135
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  6. #6  
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    I've shot with the DZO zooms. I like them, but have to say that they're not super sharp-- they have a slightly more "vintage" feel, with gentler contrast. (I'd think they'd cut nicely with my Nikon AIS primes.) So if your Fujinon isn't sharp enough, then I wouldn't go to the DZOs.

    My limited experience with the Angenieux zooms is that they tend to be a little more "creamy" and have a little more "character" than the Fujinons, so it wouldn't be my first thought if you're missing perceived sharpness. The exception to this is the new Angenieux EZ series, which seem to me to emphasize sharpness more (and also feels a little more "clinical" to me-- more like the Fujinons)-- I'd recommend you check those out.

    I haven't shot with the 19-90 v1, but have heard that v2 is noticeably sharper. So I think that'd be worth auditioning as well, if you can. (And in fact, might be worth checking out the 20-120 t3.5 as well.) That said, I'd be surprised if a zoom were able to match the Arri macro lenses you're talking about. But I'd have no concern about shooting footage that is "future-proof" with any of these lenses.

    Nils suggestion of the Tokina 25-75 is a good one, but I don't think it's out yet. You could see how you like the ones that are-- the 11-20 and 50-135.
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  7. #7  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    S35 doc filming is an interesting lens landscape at the moment. I see much of the shorter zooms discussed, but things like the Zeiss 21-100 T2.9-3.9, moderately made for doc shooting to be lightweight should be mentioned.

    I'm keen on the Tokina 25-75mm T2.9 that's incoming. I'm expecting that design to be good and very useful as it's a smidge wider than the Optimo. But you'll need some glass to flesh out the long and wide end.

    To that point I think a no brainer to always have is that Tokina 11-20mm T2.9. There still really isn't anything like it on the market. It does exhibit CA, but if you need a wide through ultra-wide zoom for S35 with minimal breathing it's pretty much the thing.

    The trio with the Tokina 11-20mm T2.9 and the two DZO zooms of 20-55 and 55-125mm T2.9 is a nice little kit.

    From experience I don't know if the Optimos are going to provide much more than your Cabrio in terms of sharpness/resolving power. I would position Alura zooms in the discuss if that's the look you're after.

    Another consideration, though not parfocal are the Sigma and Tokina zooms. Sigma's 18-35 T2 has been popular due to it's cleaner look and speed.

    Though a bigger lens, I do own and use the Zeiss 28-80 T2.9 for larger format filming and I have been renting the Premistas. I don't find them too big to tackle a doc, but they are certainly in size and weight bigger than many of the lenses we're discussing here.
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  8. #8  
    Canon 17-120 and call it a day. It's THE workhorse s35 lens for this type of work(ENG/Doc). Or if you don't need it as wide on the back-end, the Canon 25-250. A friend demo'd it recently and said it's incredible.
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  9. #9  
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    What exactly are you shooting on?

    If you can wait (and get an LPL mount) Arri is releasing their 24-75mm Signature Zoom, which will almost certainly have the level of quality you're looking for. It's coming out later this year, though.

    It'll have around 45mm coverage, so the angle of view at full coverage is around the same or wider as the Canon 17-120 at it's native coverage.
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  10. #10  
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    There's also the Leitz 25-75mm, but it too is on pre-order. It'll have similar coverage as the Arri: 46.5mm.
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