Thread: Aesthetics of Zeiss Superspeeds vs CP.2

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  1. #81  
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    Quote Originally Posted by M Harvey View Post
    I'm in that 30s-40s set myself, Matt. But you're not wrong that there's a big taste for vintage-- the last thing I worked on for a younger director was on Speed Panchros (we were explicitly going for "vintage Hollywood"), and a horror short for 20-somethings a year ago was Alexa with Super Speeds (partially for the nod to 70s/80s horror). I believe that a lot of young filmmakers making music videos and short films like to mix it up with vintage glass, 8mm, 16mm--the works.

    But as the larger format sensors come in, I know the kind of producers and directors who are just gonna want it, and that means different glass, too. I worked on something last summer that was Venice with Tokinas and Angenieux EZs. And I'd bet that the producer of the web series I shot last year with Ultra Primes (which I like to think are somehow neutral but not sterile) on Scarlet W and Epic Dragon would now want to do "full frame" if we were starting to plan it today-- it would just feel like a reachable version of the next big thing.

    I might be wrong about this, because I'm not a commercial director or producer, but I'd imagine that a lot of those pitch books for ad campaigns for hip brands include a line like "new large format cameras (as seen on big movie/TV show X) immerse the viewer in the world..." next to a medium shot where the character really pops out of the background. (And which could have also been achieved on an 85 on super 35...)

    Oh god I'm getting old. I have not worked with Venice, Tokina, or Angenieux EZ but two of those three sound like they probably look fantastic even if they are not my style. I wouldn't know.

    To me the unaddressed factor with lens choice is lighting. The last few shows I worked on with ultra primes and 24-290mm or master primes were literally made-for-tv movies or just lit really high key. A K35 or Cooke will look washed out and fuzzy under those same high key circumstances, but that same washed out/fuzzy look can salvage something shot in harsher natural light or complement something lit less conventionally. Imo. As someone whose personal work has a catering budget at best, you can guess what I gravitate toward. Vintage all the way. (Although actually my favorite style is probably Kaminski's which is modern lenses, high key lighting, insane diffusion filters, and ENR and whatever. Anyone been on a Spielberg set? Does the lighting feel high key or high contrast or is it in between like high key with also weird blown out hotspots? I think this might be the hardest look to emulate on a budget, though.)

    Interesting point about pitch books. For someone who works so closely with people who write them, I've managed to stay far away.

    I'm curious about this new S35 4k+ Alexa, though. I think it would probably pair better with Cooke than Zeiss but will possibly renew/maintain interest in the S35 format and I have a suspicion a lot of these younger directors growing up on S16 will start exploring 35mm rather than switching to digital. The generation growing up more on YouTube might gravitate toward the cleaner higher res look, but the question is whether they will just stay on YouTube, given it probably pays better at this point. I should start a vintage lens channel but shoot it on Sigma Art.
    Last edited by Matt W.; 06-10-2020 at 02:29 PM.
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  2. #82  
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    I think this is a fascinating discussion. As someone that has leaned towards vintage lenses a long time, I certainly appreciate their uniqueness.

    However on studio jobs with controlled lighting, having modern color matching glass can save a lot of time (especially in the final grade, where old glass can be hard to match even with in a set). And while older glass is lowcon (and more forgiving of highlights), it also bakes in more artifacts and imperfections.

    As many have said, depends on the job and look/feel of project - and sometimes even the post workflow (a VFX heavy project vs. a period piece, for ex).
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  3. #83  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt W. View Post
    To me the unaddressed factor with lens choice is lighting.
    You're absolutely right. The speed panchros were great for the music video partially because they worked with our dramatic, low key lighting-- kept contrast on skin gentle, interacted with our lighting via glowy highlights and the occasional flare. A friend had warned me against them after finding they looked soft and flat-- but that was with something in the high key style you're talking about.

    Nick's right, too-- I'm glad the post work wasn't left to me, as the lenses were all over the place in terms of color. (Especially the 75, as many can attest.) You just don't have to think about it with the modern stuff, as long as you stick to one line.

    So: once we're all shooting the forthcoming $599 8k/120fps Blackmagic LF, is it gonna be nothing but Sigmas and Fujinon Premista zooms-- and vaseline-covered optical flats in the mattebox?
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  4. #84  
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    Quote Originally Posted by M Harvey View Post
    You're absolutely right. The speed panchros were great for the music video partially because they worked with our dramatic, low key lighting-- kept contrast on skin gentle, interacted with our lighting via glowy highlights and the occasional flare. A friend had warned me against them after finding they looked soft and flat-- but that was with something in the high key style you're talking about.

    Nick's right, too-- I'm glad the post work wasn't left to me, as the lenses were all over the place in terms of color. (Especially the 75, as many can attest.) You just don't have to think about it with the modern stuff, as long as you stick to one line.

    So: once we're all shooting the forthcoming $599 8k/120fps Blackmagic LF, is it gonna be nothing but Sigmas and Fujinon Premista zooms-- and vaseline-covered optical flats in the mattebox?
    I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way!

    Of course the other unaddressed factor is mechanics. Recently started working with some Mk1 standard speeds, Schneider Cine-Xenon, and Lomos. Trying them out now with a 6K sensor S35 camera. Instantly in love with the look. The mechanics on all three are SO BAD. The coverage is poor, too.

    I'm storing them in a humidity-controlled locker while I save up for rehousing. :/
    Last edited by Matt W.; 06-10-2020 at 04:04 PM.
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  5. #85  
    Senior Member Aaron Lochert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Morrison View Post
    I think this is a fascinating discussion. As someone that has leaned towards vintage lenses a long time, I certainly appreciate their uniqueness.

    However on studio jobs with controlled lighting, having modern color matching glass can save a lot of time (especially in the final grade, where old glass can be hard to match even with in a set). And while older glass is lowcon (and more forgiving of highlights), it also bakes in more artifacts and imperfections.

    As many have said, depends on the job and look/feel of project - and sometimes even the post workflow (a VFX heavy project vs. a period piece, for ex).
    Definitely agreed there. I think another one of the motivations these days behind shooting vintage glass is that it's slowly becoming one of the last choices you can make as a DP that will actually make its way to delivery.

    With high res, high bit depth, high dynamic range sensors and shooting wider on purpose for reframing or stabilizing, the doors are opening wider and wider to change a choice you made during pre-pro/production. Which can be both a good thing and a bad thing. Ideally it gives more options to polish the project up for the better, but on the contrary, someone can come along and change everything that was originally planned for. There's a whole discussion there that I don't need to get into, but you get the idea.

    So I think as technology marches forward, there's always this hearkening back to the "old days" when everything was "so simple."
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  6. #86  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt W. View Post
    Recently started working with some Mk1 standard speeds, Schneider Cine-Xenon, and Lomos./
    That's gonna be a lot of fun! Never had a chance to try Lomos myself. Keep us posted on how they work out...
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  7. #87  
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    Quote Originally Posted by M Harvey View Post
    That's gonna be a lot of fun! Never had a chance to try Lomos myself. Keep us posted on how they work out...
    I doubt I'll be shooting much with them for a while unfortunately. But I just shot this bokeh comparison:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/k2ty2l8kzl...7CZ_1.mp4?dl=1

    The 24mm standard speed I think was back focused a bit and is a bit sharper wide open than it looks, it's pretty good. Lomo is mislabeled and should read t4, not f4.

    (Yes, I recognize that there are no super speeds or CP2s in this comparison, but I don't own or have access to any right now.)
    Last edited by Matt W.; 06-16-2020 at 04:12 PM.
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  8. #88  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt W. View Post
    I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way!

    Of course the other unaddressed factor is mechanics. Recently started working with some Mk1 standard speeds, Schneider Cine-Xenon, and Lomos. Trying them out now with a 6K sensor S35 camera. Instantly in love with the look. The mechanics on all three are SO BAD. The coverage is poor, too.

    I'm storing them in a humidity-controlled locker while I save up for rehousing. :/
    I have a set of Lomos for 18mm to 150mm for good 20 years now. some of then i changed for better copies over the time but over all i love them. Mechanics ware not good when they ware new, not to mention 40 years later. but they are workable. i had really good set of Cooke S2/S3 along side the Lomos. Finally Lomnos are only Vintage S35 lenses i have aside form fast Nikkors for VV. this is why i prefer Lomos over S2: 1) for the same money or even less you get the 1.4 lenses. 2) no Thorium involved so no yellowing or balsam issues. 3) Lomos usually match better across the set then Cooke S2 4) it was relatively easy to find unmounted NOS lens cells for rehousing project... 5) even going for budget rehousing like Kimcamera you can park a set of 6 Super 35mm, matching vintage and rehoused lenses for under 15K.

    Over all "Lomo Look" is different. High Speeds are really close to Zeiss Super Speeds in over all look. some Standards look more like Kinoptiks but foremost they hold there ground. i am big big fan of Lomo Standard Speeds form H35 Kinor era at the end of 1980s. just my 2c
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  9. #89  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt W. View Post
    I just shot this bokeh comparison
    Great little test-- I find the Lomo and the standard speed both very appealing. (And I have some Nikons myself, always pleased when they demonstrate that they can mostly hang with the fancier vintage stuff...)
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  10. #90  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt W. View Post
    I doubt I'll be shooting much with them for a while unfortunately. But I just shot this bokeh comparison:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/k2ty2l8kzl...7CZ_1.mp4?dl=1

    The 24mm standard speed I think was back focused a bit and is a bit sharper wide open than it looks, it's pretty good. Lomo is mislabeled and should read t4, not f4.

    (Yes, I recognize that there are no super speeds or CP2s in this comparison, but I don't own or have access to any right now.)
    Matt this is a fun test - thanks for making and sharing.
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