Better lenses for Focus/Zoom controllers w/ Studio Camera

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Patrick Cody

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Better lenses for Focus/Zoom controllers w/ Studio Camera

PostFri Aug 11, 2017 7:09 pm

I just set up my new BMD Studio Cameras and have a real light issue. In a fully lit studio, in order to achieve proper exposure, I need to set the gain to +12dB, and even +18 dB depending on the focal length. I am amazed by the lack of light sensitivity. Part of this is being caused by the lens, so I am looking into an upgrade there. In short, I need a better lens for using with an external focus / zoom controller.

I am using Panasonic Vario lenses, which is 1 of the 4 lenses recommended by BMD that support use with an external focus/zoom controller via the LANC connection. However, this lens is only f/3.5-5.6. I would like to find a faster lens that will allow me to get more light into the camera, but I also need the external focus/zoom control. BMD Tech Support informed me that there are other users out there who are using lenses OTHER THAN the 4 that they specifically recommend. Unfortunately, they had no record of exactly which lenses those are.

Has anyone out there been using a decent, fast lens (f/2.8 or better) with the studio cameras and an external LANC controller? (For what it's worth, I am using the Manfrotto MVR901EPLA controllers).

Thanks!
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Denny Smith

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Re: Better lenses for Focus/Zoom controllers w/ Studio Camer

PostSat Aug 12, 2017 5:36 am

Al, if the Panasonic Leica zooms will work. The fastest, is the Olympus 14-35 f/2 zoom will support Iris, focus (push to focus via LANC), but not zoom (which requires a zoom servo) This is also a Four Thirds lens, so the Oly or Panny FT/MFatbadapter is required, and it is the only zoom in this category that is Parfocal.
Cheers
Last edited by Denny Smith on Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Denny Smith
SHA Productions
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Robert Niessner

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Re: Better lenses for Focus/Zoom controllers w/ Studio Camer

PostSat Aug 12, 2017 12:18 pm

Patrick Cody wrote:I just set up my new BMD Studio Cameras and have a real light issue. In a fully lit studio, in order to achieve proper exposure, I need to set the gain to +12dB, and even +18 dB depending on the focal length. I am amazed by the lack of light sensitivity.


Could you define "a fully lit studio" in terms of which and how many lights have been used and what is the reading on the light meter?

With the studio and live stage work I have done in the past we could easily close the aperture to f4 or f5.6 at 0dB or even -6dB on small sensor cameras.
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Kim Janson

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Re: Better lenses for Focus/Zoom controllers w/ Studio Camer

PostSat Aug 12, 2017 12:59 pm

There is not many Electrical zoom lenses, and the Olympus 12-50 mm I have does not provide very good zoom, it is not parfocal, the image is not stabile when zooming and it supports pretty much just one zoom speed. (it supports 3 but they are very close to each other)

That is why I build this

Screen Shot 2017-08-12 at 15.52.10.png
Screen Shot 2017-08-12 at 15.52.10.png (308.31 KiB) Viewed 618 times


http://www.levitezer.com/blog/files/c59 ... 79-52.html

Servo is not really great for this, but for many uses pretty ok. This is on Canon 24-105 f4.0 with 0.71 SpeedBooster f2.8 + it is made electrically parfocal.

Planing to do the same for Sigma 18-35 1.8 and 50 - 100 1.8 , with 0.58 SpeedBooster, so around f 1.1, plenty of light also for not perfect studio environment.

The Sigma 50-100 f1.8 should also support smooth Iris, I have not tested yet, will get the lens next week. Here is testing with an other supported lens Canon 100 mm f 2.8 Macro viewtopic.php?f=2&t=62555

Ps. LeViteZer will soon have full control for BMMSC over SDI, all the color settings etc.
LeViteZer Smooths the movement, www.levitezer.com
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Denny Smith

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Re: Better lenses for Focus/Zoom controllers w/ Studio Camer

PostSat Aug 12, 2017 6:39 pm

Kim, well spotted with the Oly 12-50 power zoom, the only real choice in a MFT servo zoom lens, but as you pointed out, it is not that great with its remote servo zoom control.

Since the OP has an operator running the lens, a remote add in servo control could be used on any of the MFT Pro zooms, and get a f/2.8 Iris setting. Have the LANC on one tripod handle, and the zoom controller on the other, but I agree, LANC control on the Studio cameras is not that great to start with, given the slight delay with some lenses when using LANC to focus. Doable, but not great. Your controllers are much better, precise and easy to use. However, on,ymthe Micro Studio supports SBus, unfortunately.

A new controller for the Micro Studio to set color, Knee and Detail settings! Count me in, I would be interested in trying it out, and buying one! I know a couple of other Pro videographers what would be interested also. :mrgreen:
Cheers
Denny Smith
SHA Productions
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Patrick Cody

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Re: Better lenses for Focus/Zoom controllers w/ Studio Camer

PostMon Aug 14, 2017 5:48 pm

Thanks, everybody. Yes, I am looking for a parfocal lens that has been proven to work with an external electronic focus / zoom controller. I know it is not the *best* solution, but it is the set-up I need right now, as I experiment with configurations on the Studio Camera HD, using the Manfrotto controller.

@Kim- Your LeViteZer look great, but are they limited toithe Micro Studio Camera?

@Robert- by "fully lit", I mean with all of my lights on, faded all the way up. It is the exact same lighting set up I have already been using, with different cameras. Never had any light issue shooting between f/2.8, up to f/6.7. It is a small (approx. 400 square foot) studio, using 3 95w LED fresnels as key lights, 3 fluorescent 110w fixtures as fill, and 3 of the same fluorescent fixtures for back light.

My light meter readings in these conditions, at ISO 800 and 1/60 shutter:
color temp- 3750K
shutter- f/5.6
At f/5.6 and no gain, my BMD Studio Cameras are under-exposed. I need to be at +12dB gain to get decent exposure (using Zebra setting at 80%).

Does anyone know if the focus / zoomer controller would still work with a Metabones speed booster?

Thanks

Patrick
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Kim Janson

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Re: Better lenses for Focus/Zoom controllers w/ Studio Camer

PostMon Aug 14, 2017 7:43 pm

The LeVIteZer SBUS controller works with both Micro cameras. Just got the Sigman 50-100mm 1.8, pretty awsome lens with SpeedBooster. Based on first testings it seems to be pretty parfocal, Iris is smooth if changed fast enough, but at very slow change speed steps comes visible. It has very smooth zoom control, I will look into making a good electrical Zoom control for it as well as for the Sigma 18-35mm 1.8.
LeViteZer Smooths the movement, www.levitezer.com
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Denny Smith

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Re: Better lenses for Focus/Zoom controllers w/ Studio Camer

PostTue Aug 15, 2017 5:08 am

Yes, but only with the BMPCC EF Speed Booster. Their are no native MFT lenses, with Power zoom that are Parfocal. Most still camera auto focus/zoom lenses are not Parfocal either, as they do not need to be. To get Parfocal and power servo zoom, you are going to need to invest in Pro Cine zooms like the Canon CN-E lenses.
Cheers
Denny Smith
SHA Productions
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Robert Niessner

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Re: Better lenses for Focus/Zoom controllers w/ Studio Camer

PostTue Aug 15, 2017 9:17 am

Patrick Cody wrote:@Robert- by "fully lit", I mean with all of my lights on, faded all the way up. It is the exact same lighting set up I have already been using, with different cameras. Never had any light issue shooting between f/2.8, up to f/6.7. It is a small (approx. 400 square foot) studio, using 3 95w LED fresnels as key lights, 3 fluorescent 110w fixtures as fill, and 3 of the same fluorescent fixtures for back light.

My light meter readings in these conditions, at ISO 800 and 1/60 shutter:
color temp- 3750K
shutter- f/5.6
At f/5.6 and no gain, my BMD Studio Cameras are under-exposed. I need to be at +12dB gain to get decent exposure (using Zebra setting at 80%).


Patrick, I have just looked up the Studio Camera's user manual - the lowest dB setting is 0dB and goes up to +18dB. Adding 6dB is equivalent to raising the ISO one step.

That means:
At 0dB the camera is rated ISO200, at +6dB = ISO400, at +12dB = ISO800, and at +18dB = ISO1600

So running your camera at +12dB is pretty normal.
The Canon XF305 for example has ~ISO200 at 0dB. Your lightmeter reading would require it to be set to +12dB too at f5.6.

A 95W LED fresnel is not quite bright, studio lights used to be 2000W tungsten fresnels. For example the Rayzr7 daylight LED with 330W would be more adequate to those tungstens.
Robert Niessner
LAUFBILDkommission
Graz / Austria
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Blackmagic Camera Blog (German):
http://laufbildkommission.wordpress.com

Read the blog in English via Google Translate:
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Kim Janson

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Re: Better lenses for Focus/Zoom controllers w/ Studio Camer

PostTue Aug 15, 2017 11:27 am

Some new lenses to test, just received them and have not much tested, but they seem pretty parfocal. the 50-100 provides smooth Iris the two other not so. the electrical focus on these is somewhat noisy, but focusing is reasonable smooth.

20882218_1215223005290841_1774894405531816596_n.jpg
20882218_1215223005290841_1774894405531816596_n.jpg (144.57 KiB) Viewed 528 times
LeViteZer Smooths the movement, www.levitezer.com

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