Wednesday, December 26, 2012

DSLR lens for video and film: Nikon lens

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Finding right lens for DLSR video or filmmaking is a cumbersome process for many. Lens is the second most important kit for any photo or videographer. In fact it won't be wrong to consider lens as the first important kit as body changes in every few months, but not lens. Therefore your camera body may get out dated in few years time but the lens will remain valid and in use. Many professionals therefore consider investing more in quality lenses rather in camera body. However, finding right lens remains illusive for many. In this post, and couple more to come, I'll try to summarising what info is available already on the net so far.

For the independent or budget filmmakers there are few options. However, it all depends on your budget and affordability. You can also rent lenses if you are not planning to make your own lens kit or package. Here are some lenses most independent or budget filmmakers go for:

A. Compact Prime CP.2 lenses
B. Zeiss ZF lenses
C. Zeiss Contax lenses
D. Nikon lenses
E. Leica R lenses
F. Canon lenses

Nikon AI Series Prime Lens

In most cases prime lens is preferred than zoom lenses due to many aesthetic reasons and cinematic conventions. Now the question can be why Nikon. Well the reasons are many, but here are few:
01. easily adaptable to Canon
02. affordable
03. manual control
04. beautiful glass
05. well built
06. easy to transform to Cine mode

I'll dedicate a whole post on converting manual lenses to Cine mode later on. But for now on let's get more into Nikon Primes. Shane Hurlbut in a brilliant post mentions some of the Nikon Primes that can hold up to big screen.  But "the glass has a warmer tone...their focus range is short". Also you need to bear in mind that the focus rings turn in the opposite direction (counterclockwise) to many other lenses which can be daunting for focus pullers. The colour temperature, colour rendition, contrast, sharpness, IQ, focus throw, aperture control, distortion, focus breathing, contrast, how fast the lens is all depends and varies from lens to lens.

Recommended lenses:

A. NIKKOR 28mm f/2.8 AIS Manual Focus Lens
B. Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 AIS Lens

Cable Pike of DSLR Video Shooter has posted a brilliant video on Nikon AI Primes which I've found very informative.

Cable Pike posted video on the Nikon to Canon lens adapter which is very useful.

Cable Pike also made another video on Prime Lenses for video which is also informative.

I'm a fan of the video of Eyepatch Entertainment. Here are couple of videos on Nikon Primes.

Nice Lady Production has made a detail review on Nikon Lenses for the video. You can check it out in the following video.


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