Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wanted

The place for questions about shooting with Blackmagic Cameras.
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Owen Davies

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Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wanted

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 8:04 am

We are currently in negotiation with a number of leading lens manufacturers regarding the design and manufacture of custom made lenses for the Blackmagic Cinema Camera.

Initially as a set of prime lenses in 12mm, 28mm and 50mm focal lengths (Approx 20, 50 and 90mm Super 35 - 28, 60 and 115mm full frame) and rated at T2 or lower, we have also set the challenge of being able to retail these lenses at an extremely attractive price.

If this project is successful we will also look to introduce a zoom lens and further prime lenses based on market demand.

Lenses will have a consistent front diameter for use with matte boxes, with geared rings for focus and aperture control. The iris control will also be non-clicked as in cine lens design. All lenses will be colour matched and calibrated to the BMCC sensor - no more cropping, no problems with infinity focus.

We hope to offer the lenses in EF and MFT mounts.

What we need in order to move forward is an indication of interest from the market. As the BMCC is only just shipping in regular numbers (even if these are still small), there is little information on actual sales/orders.

Lenses would be able to be purchased individually or as a set with a custom made hard case.

Would you be interested in these lenses if we made them? If so can you indicate your potential interest on this thread (don't worry. You're not committing to buying anything ;) )

Many thanks. We appreciate your comments.

Owen.
Last edited by Owen Davies on Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:35 am, edited 2 times in total.
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adamroberts

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 8:20 am

Not sure the 80mm would be that popular. With the crop factor that produces a FOV close to a 200mm on Full frame 35mm or 135mm on Super35mm.

You might be better off exploring the wider end.

I'd be interested in a set like this (all focal lengths available from Carl Zeiss):
15mm, 18mm, 21mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm
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Scott Pultz

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 9:12 am

I would like something wider than 20mm if possible.
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Owen Davies

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 9:58 am

Sorry guys. I should have mentioned in the post above that the 20, 50 and 90 mm lenses were Super 35mm equivalent focal lengths. The true focal lengths would be far shorter to achieve the desired fov. Approx half that.
Last edited by Owen Davies on Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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adamroberts

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 10:03 am

Owen Davies wrote:Sorry guys. I should have mentioned in the post above that the 20, 50 and 80 mm lenses were 35mm equivalent focal lengths. The true focal lengths would be far shorter to achieve the desired fov. Approx half that.


Probably better to quote the actual focal lengths rather than the equivalent FOV as the focal length of 80mm has a very different "look" to a 35mm (80mm FOV on a BMCC). It also enables people to make a "like for like" comparison.
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Remo Pini

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 10:20 am

Pending the price and reviews by independent professionals, I would be interested...
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Owen Davies

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 10:36 am

adamroberts wrote: Probably better to quote the actual focal lengths rather than the equivalent FOV as the focal length of 80mm has a very different "look" to a 35mm (80mm FOV on a BMCC). It also enables people to make a "like for like" comparison.


Done.
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jeffo

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 11:22 am

i have a stack of good nikon lenses, can i use with the bmc, would i go for a nikon to 4/3 adaptor, has anyone tried nikon glass on the camera
thanks
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adamroberts

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 11:26 am

jeffo wrote:i have a stack of good nikon lenses, can i use with the bmc, would i go for a nikon to 4/3 adaptor, has anyone tried nikon glass on the camera
thanks


Search is your friend. :-)

This has been discussed in various threads on this forum.

Yes you can used Nikon F mount on both the EF and MFT mout BMCC. The work well.
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CaptainHook

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 11:27 am

I'd like:

• 10mm
• 15mm
• 21mm
• 35mm
• 50mm

All at T1.5 or faster, especially the first two. :)
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Phil S

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 12:01 pm

I would like a good wide angle with Iris/focus rings, thats wider then the EF Samyang 14mm The only option I can see is the 8mm fisheye from Samyang & using one of those anti distortion plug-ins designed for GoPro footage....
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Steve Lee Jean

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 12:21 pm

If we're speaking in 35mm equivalents..... Let's cover the basics and I'd be super interested:

-24mm
-35mm
-50mm
-85mm
-105mm
-Zoom
-80-120mm range macro.

Sign me up.
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Trevor Roach

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 2:04 pm

Count me as interested.
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Steve Lee Jean

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 3:26 pm

As this thread develops, (cause I think its just downright awesome that there's plans for optics designed specifically for this camera) I just wanted to put in my personal .02

I hope it doesn't sound too cheeky or demanding, I'm just stating, how I, as a consumer would like to see a product of this awesome-sauce potential to come about...

When ya'll outlined the product and price point, the first thing that popped into my mind was: Rokinon/Samyang. A cine lens set at an affordable price point. I've owned these lenses and they're simply superb for the price point, but they don't resolve the best on the big screen. Image is just soft. Now its obviously not fair to compare the Samyangs to a Zeiss ZF/ZE, Leica R-Series, or Canon-L (not even these so much) series glass, but I feel its important that the lens suit the purpose of the camera. Marco Solario has actually done a test comparing the Rokinon and Canon L series, and actually showed that the softer Rokinon helped deal with the moire issues, but that was a straight video test, and doesn't really help us to determine if they'll hold up on the big screen. (which in my experience, they didn't. Passable, but definitely not something you'd like to invest a production budget short/feature with)

I, and I'm sure others, intend to use the BMCC as a Cinema camera. As the name implies obviously. The clarity/sharpness at 2-2.5k resolution will be very important to this market.

So.... if ya'll do plan to release a set, I wouldn't mind paying more for quality at that level. $500-999 and these lenses would be awesome.

MOAR Manual Focus/Manual Aperture cine lenses please! Super stoked.
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Christopher Kaspar

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 4:25 pm

Wow! Please do this and I'll grab the lot!

Your biggest competitor is Rokinon. Beat them in optical quality and/or price and you've got a deal. Most of their lenses are great but my most used lens, their 24 (which is their most expensive as well) is soft at the lowest apertures. Here's what I would want (in priority order) if I were to limit myself to 4 lenses. (I could use more, but these would do 98% of anything I want/need.

8mm aspherical--For landscapes, unusual, inside/tight spaces, vastness, steadycam/dolly, just wide.
12mm --Widest possible to shoot people without unusual artifacts/stretching
24mm --Cropped equivalent to the nifty 50mm. Dialogue. My #1 lens
50 or 85mm -- Allows for good compression of subjects (can't get from other lenses) & intimacy. Trick shots.

Also, I know you're looking straight at making these usable for the BMCC, but do consider their usability on other cameras as well (that may be a tall order). I have other EF mount cameras and may want to use it on that as well. If you make it too specific, when the camera phases out, the lens loses significant value. Basically, in 5 years when you guys release a new amazing camera with a larger sensor, will this lens still hold it's value in the same way my other lenses have?
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Adrian Musto

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 4:48 pm

How about Image stabilization with the EF mount version with an option to turn it off?
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Marshall Harrington

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 4:51 pm

I'd be very interested in a pretty basic set. I also agree just use the focal length as it applies to the BMCC.

My most used focal lengths will start with what's similar to my eyes. So for the BMCC that's centered around 24mm. Based on that I could see wanting a 10mm and a 17mm. On the short long side I'd use a 40mm fairly often. A true macro would get use as well.

For the really long I'm not sure replacing the existing manufacturers is worth the effort. There are so much great glass already made.

But the basic set all in the same size housing with the same opening and pretty fast/low cost, I'm in.
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Owen Davies

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 5:05 pm

Thanks for the replies so far.

I just thought I’d give a little bit more detail on the project so you know who we are and what we hope to achieve.

We're not lens designers, fabricators or manufacturers. We are film makers just like you.

Also just like you we were blown away by the BMCC when it was announced at NAB last year. However, the odd sensor size did pose a problem. What to stick on the front of it to get good results.

Yes you can use pretty much any kind of 35mm cine lens on the front of it, but realistically, other than renting some S4s or MPs we were stuck with second hand glass or lenses designed for DSLR or Compact System Cameras and possibly adapted for use in the 'video camera' market.

Having seen the quality of good glass on a good camera, we wanted to emulate what Blackmagic had done with the BMCC and produce a stunning product that was in reach of you and me - to own for ourselves, not just rent.

This led us down the path of all the usual suspects, the Rokinons the Samyangs, Tokinas, Voigtlanders, Noktor, Canon etc etc etc - how did they look on other cameras, and more importantly, how did they stand up when used together. But we couldn't really find a set that gave the same aesthetic results across the focal range. I should add that our research has been based on other cameras not the BMCC. We've not had our camera yet :|

So why not build our own we thought. However custom lenses come at a cost.

We started to investigate a number of months ago and eventually contacted virtually every lens fabricator we could thing of, and some that just popped up on Google, giving our requirements and asking if they would be interested in becoming a manufacturing partner for us.

We had more replies than we thought we would and have so far narrowed to three potential partners. Two of which are known for manufacturing Cine glass and one a bit more leftfield.

Sorry innerspark but we are looking at a price point a little higher than your $999 max. We want to make a product that matches up to the BMCC in quality and cost. We want them to be both optically and mechanically pleasing and not made of cheap plastics. They will reflect the price that the BMCC sells for and within reach of the vast majority of users.

We hope to have chosen our preferred partner soon and will commence with prototyping. Hopefully by then we will also have a better idea on what we can sell the lenses for.

In the meantime the more of you that reply, the better we can understand your needs.

Sorry for the length of the post.

Owen.
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Lorenzo Straight

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 5:12 pm

Absolutely would be interested! All focal lengths mentioned above.
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Owen Davies

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 5:16 pm

Adrian Musto wrote:How about Image stabilization with the EF mount version with an option to turn it off?


Sorry Adrian. This would cost an astronomical amount in R&D. Way in excess of our means. These lenses will be entirely manual. Gizmo free.
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Sean

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 5:53 pm

Owen Davies wrote:a little higher than your $999 max.

Keep in mind that (in a general sense) your target audience would be that of the independent film maker (usually low budget).
The BMCC is popular because there's nothing of similar quality at an even remotely similar price point (a LOT of people would have jumped ship if there was).
Rokinon/Samyang produce great images at an affordable price, so you're going to have to be optically sharper and even cheaper than them.
If you're not sharper AND cheaper, people will gravitate to the already tried and trued brand.

With that being said, pending the price point, I'd be interested.
Sean Scannell
Ordered EF mount from B&H on 08/19/12. Received on 04/12/13.
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c.carlos.n

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 6:12 pm

Sean wrote:
Owen Davies wrote:a little higher than your $999 max.

Keep in mind that (in a general sense) your target audience would be that of the independent film maker (usually low budget).
The BMCC is popular because there's nothing of similar quality at an even remotely similar price point (a LOT of people would have jumped ship if there was).
Rokinon/Samyang produce great images at an affordable price, so you're going to have to be optically sharper and even cheaper than them.
If you're not sharper AND cheaper, people will gravitate to the already tried and trued brand.

With that being said, pending the price point, I'd be interested.


I am interested. I understand you can not quote price yet, but are u planning on selling these as a set?
Carlos E Núñez
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Sean

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 6:20 pm

c.carlos.n wrote:I am interested. I understand you can not quote price yet, but are u planning on selling these as a set?
Owen Davies wrote:Lenses would be able to be purchased individually or as a set with a custom made hard case.
Sean Scannell
Ordered EF mount from B&H on 08/19/12. Received on 04/12/13.
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Owen Davies

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 6:24 pm

Sean. I agree with you. But. However much bang for the buck you get from the Rokinons, they are let down by the materials used in their construction. I have seen 1st hand the state that £50,000 lenses get in on a shoot and I can't help but think that the Rokinon lenses won't last too long, much as I like the image they produce.

We are probably looking a couple of rungs further up the ladder.
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rick.lang

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 7:13 pm

Owen Davies wrote:We are currently in negotiation with a number of leading lens manufacturers regarding the design and manufacture of custom made lenses for the Blackmagic Cinema Camera.

Initially as a set of prime lenses in 12mm, 28mm and 50mm focal lengths (Approx 20, 50 and 90mm Super 35 - 28, 60 and 115mm full frame) and rated at T2 or lower, we have also set the challenge of being able to retail these lenses at an extremely attractive price.

If this project is successful we will also look to introduce a zoom lens and further prime lenses based on market demand.

Lenses will have a consistent front diameter for use with matte boxes, with geared rings for focus and aperture control. The iris control will also be non-clicked as in cine lens design. All lenses will be colour matched and calibrated to the BMCC sensor - no more cropping, no problems with infinity focus.

We hope to offer the lenses in EF and MFT mounts.

What we need in order to move forward is an indication of interest from the market. As the BMCC is only just shipping in regular numbers (even if these are still small), there is little information on actual sales/orders.

Lenses would be able to be purchased individually or as a set with a custom made hard case.

Would you be interested in these lenses if we made them? If so can you indicate your potential interest on this thread (don't worry. You're not committing to buying anything ;) )

Many thanks. We appreciate your comments.

Owen.


Amazing opportunity for the community to contribute so thanks for this direction. There are a few variables that likely should be considered before you go too far and you may have already included them in your negotiations since they appear to be underway. One a personal note, I had already decided to purchase SLR Magic hyperprime ciné manual lenses as they are available once I get the BMCC MFT camera. If BMD is serious in following the lead of some other vendors who offer their own branded lenses for their cameras and the BMD specifications meet or exceed SLR Magic's stated goals, I'll order a set and more from BMD. Who knows maybe SLR Magic will be your lens designer!

For the initial set of primes, I would build matching 15mm, 25mm, 40mm, 60mm. Later add 10mm and 90mm but their size and aperture may not be a perfect match given your price point. The reason for 40mm and 60mm is that your proposed 50mm seems like a compromise, a little too long for most close-ups and not long enough for extreme close-ups and medium telephoto. But if you are convinced one 50mm is the way to go, that may work.

As well as the specifications mentioned regarding consistent glass colour and front diameter, I assume you want to have an initial set of primes that exhibit virtually no focus breathing.

Focus throw should be large as typically associated with a ciné lens rather than the short focus movement for a typical auto-focus stills camera.

Your note implies the lenses will be rated in T-stops and that should be an explicit requirement.

All lenses in the initial set should also have the same maximum aperture but this may not be feasible for an extreme wide-angle lens. All lenses need to be rectilinear with virtually no distortion.

Ideally the initial set of primes should be the same length for ease of use with a matte box with all gears aligned identically so the follow focus can also be kept in the same position (but if that isn't feasible due to cost, not a deal breaker).

Construction should not include plastic, go with steel or similar quality and durability.

Your note mentions no worries about infinity focus and crop factor. But not sure what you imply regarding crop factor. Do you mean the image circle for 'EF' lenses would only just cover the current active sensor size and not be compatible with APS-C or larger sensors? I at least would think BMCC EF and MFT lens image circles should cover the current physical sensor (more than the current active sensor area) giving you flexibility in the future to use the entire physical sensor with the same lenses. Whether or not you actually build future cameras with larger sensors, lenses can represent a lifetime investment and your success will be enhanced if the BMD lenses work with the largest sensors you are considering in the foreseeable future. Let me be clear, you are not required to build a Super35 equivalent camera but if you think you might one day do Super35, make your image circle fit that now! If you have no intention of exceeding the current physical sensor size, then it's fine if the image circle fits that.

Future zoom lenses should be parfocal.

There is no mention of an anamorphic lens or lens adapter, but you know that would be of interest to many. What would be your target aspect ratio if going anamorphic? If the active sensor will remain 16:9, then a 1.35x anamorphic would result in a modern widescreen deliverable aspect ratio of 2.4:1. If you intend in the future to offer a 4:3 active sensor area, then a 2x anamorphic would make sense with an aspect ratio of 2.66:1 or be unique and develop a 1.8x anamorphic to give a 2.4:1 deliverable.

And any aperture designed needs to consider the use of the Metabones Speed Booster for EF lenses on the BMCC MFT camera. That makes me think you might want to develop a larger size of lenses for the EF mount that would assume the Speed Booster is going to be used which will open the effective aperture one stop. In that scenario a T2 or better a T1.5 lens may be useful. But the lenses designed for the MFT mount can be smaller and the aperture could be T0.95 for the initial set of primes; that aperture would greatly enhance the low light capabilities of the camera and would match the SLR Magic hyperprimes.

Rick Lang
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adamroberts

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 8:03 pm

Owen this project sounds better and better with each post.

I would love a serious set of cine primes. Have been looking at the Carl Zeiss CP.2 for some time and have almost pulled the trigger on a few occasions.

Rick makes some very valid points.

For my, if the price point moves above $1500 I'd want a few things in place or I'd not be interested.

No focus breathing
Consistent colour across the range
Metal body with geared focus and aperture ring
Long focal throws (220-300°)
8 blade aperture or greater with near round opening
All lens fronts, focus rings and aperture rings the same diameter across the range

I would also love a lens set that can be used in multiple mounts. That is one of the key selling point on the CP.2s.
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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 9:28 pm

Apart from some good suggestions above, the other thing to consider is manufacturing consistency. People put up with variations at the cheaper end with Samyang/Rokinon/etc, but if you're looking at $1500+ customers will be less forgiving. Also, i have the EF mount BMCC so my focal lengths request was aimed toward that:
• 10mm • 15mm • 21mm • 35mm • 50mm - all at T1.5 or faster. :)
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Steve Lee Jean

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 10:05 pm

The $999 ish ballpark is the range I gave was to.make sure these new lenses could remain competitive. On the higher end, Indie makers like myself are using Zeiss ZF and Leica R series glass with Cinemods. And they range from 950-1900. They resolve well on the big screen and the Zeiss Zf glass uses the same optics as the CP.2. Using these lenses with metabones only increaases their value. Imo these will be the lenses to compete with.
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Jeroen van Bruggen

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 10:17 pm

Interested for sure. Where can we look to stay informed?

Jeroen
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metaljesus

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostTue Feb 26, 2013 10:44 pm

I think there is a lot of room in the market for primes in the focal range and speed you're talking if priced $600 to $1000, depending on quality.

I'd certainly consider it.
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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostWed Feb 27, 2013 2:20 am

I'd be interested. Have a full set of the Rokinon cine lenses. Here's what I don't like about them in practice:

- mismatched speeds
- built in, non-removable hood on the 14mm (the newest 8mm has a removable hood)
- mismatched diameters (the 85mm is smaller than the 24mm and 35mm)
- mismatched overall lengths
- focus gears are in different spots on each lens (aperture gears are more or less the same)
- mismatched focus throw amount

They're great for the money. But...

The length and gearing location differences are annoying. I use a dzoom geared lever for the aperture and a couple of these lenses are short enough that I can't use it at the same time (or on the same side) as the follow focus. Not the end of the world, but I'd prefer as matched a set of lenses as possible. Pop one off, pop the next one on, no adjustments needed. I'm fine with a little extra size and weight.

In an ideal world, I'd want the only thing that's different from one lens to another to be the focal length.

Frankly, I would *love* a couple affordable cine zooms as well. Manual gearing with no changing length during zoom or focus. There's not much out there sub $20K that I've seen...and for the number of times I'd want them over primes, I'm not spending $40K-$80K for a pair of zooms. The Canon 24-70 (or 17-55) would be okay if it didn't extend when zooming. I've looked at some used S35 zooms and haven't seen anything yet that's caught my eye while being semi-affordable.

Bonus if any of this stuff covers more than the BMCC sensor - I'd pay more for a set I could also use on a S35 sensor if it didn't drive the price up beyond the existing options out there in the $4K-$5K range (CP2, Canon CN-E). Keep it under $2K a lens for primes and do sets of 5 for $6K-$9K and I would think there would be buyers.
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Bill Rich

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostWed Feb 27, 2013 2:43 am

I would definitely be interested if the price and was right.. and by that I mean under $1K
Bill Rich
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Owen Davies

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostWed Feb 27, 2013 7:56 am

rick.lang wrote:As well as the specifications mentioned regarding consistent glass colour and front diameter, I assume you want to have an initial set of primes that exhibit virtually no focus breathing.

Focus throw should be large as typically associated with a ciné lens rather than the short focus movement for a typical auto-focus stills camera.

Your note implies the lenses will be rated in T-stops and that should be an explicit requirement.

All lenses in the initial set should also have the same maximum aperture but this may not be feasible for an extreme wide-angle lens. All lenses need to be rectilinear with virtually no distortion.


Hi Rick. All these aspects have been considered in our specification. Although the wider we go the more difficult it gets to stick to a specific price point with regard to a consistent maximum aperture. At the moment that looks to be around 12mm.

Ideally the initial set of primes should be the same length for ease of use with a matte box with all gears aligned identically so the follow focus can also be kept in the same position (but if that isn't feasible due to cost, not a deal breaker).


Gear positions will be consistent. We will try to make the lenses the same length but again this will be down to cost.


Construction should not include plastic, go with steel or similar quality and durability.


Only high quality durable materials will be used in construction.

Future zoom lenses should be parfocal.


We have not submitted our specs for a zoom lens yet, but this would be one of the criteria.

There is no mention of an anamorphic lens or lens adapter...


We have not considered anamorphic lenses yet. This may be one to consider when we have completed this project.

Regards,

Owen.
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Owen Davies

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostWed Feb 27, 2013 7:58 am

Jeroen van Bruggen wrote:Interested for sure. Where can we look to stay informed?

Jeroen


Hi Jeroen,

For the time being all information will be posted on these forums.

Thanks,

Owen.
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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostWed Feb 27, 2013 8:05 am

Mike Halerz wrote:Frankly, I would *love* a couple affordable cine zooms as well. Manual gearing with no changing length during zoom or focus. There's not much out there sub $20K that I've seen...and for the number of times I'd want them over primes, I'm not spending $40K-$80K for a pair of zooms. The Canon 24-70 (or 17-55) would be okay if it didn't extend when zooming. I've looked at some used S35 zooms and haven't seen anything yet that's caught my eye while being semi-affordable.


Hi Mike,

We have a specification for a zoom lens, but we want to get the primes sorted first. Zoom lenses are inherently more complex than primes so it would be more expensive to manufacture and therefore sell on. Our target price for a cine style zoom which is parfocal and has a constant aperture would be significantly less than $20k.

Best,

Owen
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Jeroen van Bruggen

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostWed Feb 27, 2013 10:21 am

Owen Davies wrote:
Jeroen van Bruggen wrote:Interested for sure. Where can we look to stay informed?

Jeroen


Hi Jeroen,

For the time being all information will be posted on these forums.

Thanks,

Owen.



Hi Owen,

I hope the lenses will come in MFT?!

Thanks,
Jeroen
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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostWed Feb 27, 2013 11:04 am

Interesting idea you have going on.

I also wonder how you plan to deal with different mounts?
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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostWed Feb 27, 2013 5:14 pm

Margus Voll wrote:I also wonder how you plan to deal with different mounts?


Possibly design either a PL mount that will work with most cinema cameras, or design a proprietary mount and a set of adapters for standard mounts like MFT and PL?
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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostWed Feb 27, 2013 5:21 pm

Last option sounds good to me as CP2 has. Then it dose not matter so much which body you want to use.
Universal solution possibly more sales.

And you could throw in passive EF also.

Just my 2 cents
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rick.lang

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostWed Feb 27, 2013 6:56 pm

Owen Davies wrote:Hi Rick. All these aspects have been considered in our specification. Although the wider we go the more difficult it gets to stick to a specific price point with regard to a consistent maximum aperture. At the moment that looks to be around 12mm.

Gear positions will be consistent...
We have not submitted our specs for a zoom lens yet...
We have not considered anamorphic lenses yet...

Owen.


Owen, thanks for the response. What you have mentioned is encouraging and what you have not commented upon is also interesting as I am sure it's also under consideration. Anyone planning on using an EF lens on an MFT mount camera will surely want to know if it will be compatible with the Metabones Speed Booster. And anyone wanting the BMCC MFT camera, will be interested in knowing if the MFT lens set will be identical to that offered for the BMCC EF camera or if you will take advantage of the smaller flange distance to design an alternate set of smaller lenses for it. Who knows, maybe you have a surprise up your sleeve and will design a manual PL mount lens set compatible with both camera versions.

I have seen the posts that are very concerned about price for the individual primes and the set of primes. We understand to meet your specifications, lenses of different focal lengths may not cost the same to manufacture. For example, a 50mm lens is likely much cheaper to make than a 12mm or 15mm lens. I didn't get the impression you expect each prime to sell for the same price but you have a given price point in mind for each prime you propose to build. I am comfortable if the price for some lenses exceeds $999 but hope they stay within $1,500.

But the market will have to see what you eventually deliver and their quality before the market decides if you are successful in doing for cinè lenses what BMD has done for a professional cinema camera body, i.e. setting a new price standard for a quality product. I don't think your goal is to compete at the low end mass market to drive prices lower and lower at the sacrifice of many aspects of quality and utility; and it won't likely be completely competitive with the high-end market which is apparently shielded from costs by adequate budgets for any camera lens the director and DOP require. What your goal will be is bringing many of the quality features of the high-end to a lens that is affordable to purchase by the vast market of filmmakers.

The parallel here is the Alexa, which I think most agree is a superb digital camera, but will often be rented due to cost versus the BMCC 'baby Alexa' that is frankly so affordable it will be purchased in far greater numbers than rented; yes it's a compromise in several aspects and not suitable for every purpose under Heaven, but it will do the job for many. The same has been true of lenses with some very famous brands costing as much as a new sports car but they are a delight to use on a rental basis. But introduce a significantly less expensive set of ciné primes with very good characteristics that will stand up to 2K cinema projection and some filmmakers will buy them to take them for a spin. And then the market of HD sales is open to you determined by your price points. Good luck.

Rick Lang
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Marcel Beck

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostWed Feb 27, 2013 7:16 pm

I love this idea,

Keep me informed!
Marcel Beck
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Owen Davies

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostWed Feb 27, 2013 8:16 pm

rick.lang wrote:What you have mentioned is encouraging and what you have not commented upon is also interesting as I am sure it's also under consideration.


There are many things that are being considered. Lots and lots and lots. Trust me my head starts to hurt after a while with all of the new things I've had to somehow stuff in my head ;)

The little metabones gizmo is a fab little bit of optical magic. However we keep asking ourselves whether we want to push the manufacturing price up by adding various compatibility options however cool it would be.

Our number one goal is optical excellence at a reasonable price. If we have to sacrifice one or two 'nice to have' options along the way then we will because at the end of the day we want you picking your jaw up off the floor when you see what our lenses will produce matched up to the camera.

I'm sure that given the choice of bells and whistles you'd take them. But what if this added an additional $350 dollars or more to each lens? Or meant that the overall quality wasn't as good as it could have been? R&D costs are frankly quite scary!!

As for mount choices. Our initial thought was for fixed EF and MFT designs. The MFT essentially having a modified casing to allow for the lens to sensor size. But this hasn't stopped us investigating alternatives with all the pros and cons that go along with them.

In terms of overall size. These won't be 5lb monsters. Bigger lenses = more materials = more cost!

I'm really pleased at the responses so far. Even after just a couple of days. Thank you.

Please keep 'em coming and I'll try and answer all of your questions as best I can.

Owen.
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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostThu Feb 28, 2013 3:33 pm

Have you thought of using incorporating the "speedbooster" to the lens design? I know that I would be interested in lenses. I'm new to cinematography as the BMCC will be my first cinema camera. I have owned lots of video cameras but nothing with interchangable lenses.
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Joseph Ciccarella

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostThu Feb 28, 2013 4:23 pm

Sounds like a great idea, looking forward to seeing what you come up with.
Thanks,
Joseph Ciccarella
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Christian Schmeer

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostThu Feb 28, 2013 4:58 pm

metaljesus wrote:I think there is a lot of room in the market for primes in the focal range and speed you're talking if priced $600 to $1000, depending on quality.

I'd certainly consider it.


I agree, but please no plastic fantastic à la EF-S.
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Tom Sefton

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostThu Feb 28, 2013 6:37 pm

Yes I'd be interested.

How much money and what sort of quality are we talking (closer to zeiss, or closer to Rokinon?)

Will you be shipping to Europe?

When will they be released?
Tom Sefton
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Pollen Studio
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Owen Davies

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostThu Feb 28, 2013 7:01 pm

Pollenstudio wrote:Yes I'd be interested.

How much money and what sort of quality are we talking (closer to zeiss, or closer to Rokinon?)

Will you be shipping to Europe?

When will they be released?


Hi Tom.

Haven't fixed a price yet. This depends on soooo many factors. Think Zeiss or better!

If it's viable to manufacture these lenses we would ship worldwide.

Timescale - months not years.
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rick.lang

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostFri Mar 01, 2013 2:37 am

Owen Davies wrote:Our number one goal is optical excellence at a reasonable price. If we have to sacrifice one or two 'nice to have' options along the way then we will because at the end of the day we want you picking your jaw up off the floor when you see what our lenses will produce matched up to the camera.

Owen.


Thanks so much for your post. Keep your focus on that goal. Sounds great and we eagerly await the results. Who could ask for more from a company that's never made a lens?

What are you going to try next, a popcorn maker that pops every kernel? Okay, I know that's just beyond anyone's capabilities but I can dream, can't I?

Rick Lang
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Christopher Kaspar

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostSun Mar 03, 2013 7:18 am

"Timescale - months not years."

You guys have good heads on your shoulders and clear sense of priorities. Thank you soooo much for these updates, the questions, the interactions etc. Keep us posted and put me first on the list because if you can produce even your barebones priorities: good optics, good price, let me be the first to order the set of them!
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Max Manning

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Re: Custom Lenses for the Blackmagic Camera - Feedback Wante

PostSun Mar 03, 2013 9:03 am

This is huge~
Definitely interested in Ultrawides (In the 8-16mm range, effectively bridging the gap in the current lens market to the BMCC and standard wide/ultrawide angles currently used in many cinema/video applications today.
Keep us informed, the price point seems dead on!
Max Manning
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Tempt Media/Media Revere
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