December 17, 2011

Seven Sets of Prime Lenses Go Head-to-Head: Choose Your Favorite in this 'Blind' Video Shootout

What have we here? A nice addition to the roundup of lens options for the new breed of Super35 cameras. Indent Studios in Oregon hosted a shootout between seven different PL lens sets: the Cooke Panchro /i, Luma Tech Super 35 Illuminas, Red Pro Primes, Unique Optics Kenji Suematsu Series, Leica R Cine-Mod, Schneider Cine-Xenar II, & Zeiss Compact Primes v1 & v2. Shot on a RED EPIC at 5K, they've released the tests initially as a "blind" test -- meaning, go ahead and watch them and pick your favorite lenses. Then, a week later, they'll label the tests so you know which is which:

Before you watch, keep in mind the order was randomized for each test -- so you won't be able to say "I like #3 all the way through." Choose your favorite each time -- if this is your kind of thing, that is. This won't be ultra-exciting unless you're interested in optics and know what you're looking for! Personally, I'm waiting for the labels -- I don't mind losing objectivity if it means I know what I'm looking at:

This was just a taste -- a full writeup has been promised by Tim Whitcomb and Ryan Walters, along with downloadable .R3D files, in a week. Stay tuned to Ryan E. Walters' blog for more -- there are also some BTS details on Matthew Duclos's blog -- and I will also re-post the tests here once the lenses are labeled and conclusions are drawn.

So -- not knowing which is which, any favorites?

[via REDUSER]

Your Comment

23 Comments

Oustanding tests, thanks for sharing such high-quality and useful testing. Great operating too!

December 17, 2011 at 5:10PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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* awesome test, thanks for posting this!!
* my eyes are not well trained for this, lack of experience is still evident; but I'll give it a go
* knowing that my lenses (leica R) are in that set makes this even more interesting

December 17, 2011 at 8:11PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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*off topic*

Hey Koo, I'm posting this here because I think its the fastest way to give you info.

Here is a very long short film shot on the c300 and commissioned by Canon, its 30 mins of all c300

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4z72UYCTmY

Here is the behind the scenes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1okOV4Q_ZYA

I personally hate the llok, but...useful for others I guess.

*on topic*

That test was confusing as hell to me lol, I'll just wait till next week.

December 17, 2011 at 10:55PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Nagato

Ummm... Sorry?

What "look" did you hate? That looked fantastic.

December 18, 2011 at 1:54AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Fred

I take that back...don't hate the look

December 17, 2011 at 11:04PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Nagato

This site has become the Red Blog. I'm cool with that. The website name should be called "No Film School For RED USERS"

December 18, 2011 at 9:15AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Wilbert Thomas

maybe the comments section should be comments by unhelpful people

December 18, 2011 at 11:16AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Ryan

It's true. These lens tests are only valid for RED cameras. The optics have no bearing whatsoever on any other PL-mount digital camera, like the ALEXA, F3, or C300. None.

December 18, 2011 at 11:56AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

The sarcasm is strong with you Koo

December 19, 2011 at 2:13PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Alam

Since when does "indie" mean broke? And since when does filmmaking revolve around the brand of camera. your filmmaking skills are in no way connected to the quality of your camera.

December 22, 2011 at 2:56PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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I concur. :)

December 23, 2011 at 12:33PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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All this complaining about inequity is truly getting old, for years NFS has covered all the bases in indie filmmaking technology. That means there's been hundreds of posts about 5d, 7d, gh2 and like. Now, red has finally entered the relevance of true indie, it has become an important topic, and NFS is covering it just as doggedly and with the same objectivity it always has with every piece of technology. The 5d has been out for over three years people, there isn't a lot left to say, new technology=new information that needs reporting. The only individuals that can be accused of fanboyism are those who can't accept that new technology demands new focus.

December 18, 2011 at 2:00PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Progman

Thank you! For that matter, there are roughly as many posts about the C300 here as there are the SCARLET. And the C300 isn't even on sale yet...

December 18, 2011 at 3:19PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

well said

December 19, 2011 at 6:01AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Wow, an hour and a half of lens tests. I love a good nerd out but I'm not sure I can stomach all that! Would be awesome if they had done a short version. Someone let me know which are nicest. :) Thanks for sharing Ryan, will bookmark if I need to make this kind of decision down the line.

December 18, 2011 at 7:21PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Oli Kember

I'd like to see some really low end lenses in there as well. I'm talking about kit lenses for DSLR's, etc. Add a few L lenses into the mix as well. I'd like to see how different they are.

December 19, 2011 at 5:35PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Alec Sprinkle

obviously they're not interested in that, and watching the test I can see it was a lot of work to run it

you can consider the Leica-R the underdog in this test: if you go for vintage and are mildly lucky with what you get, you can build a set of those for a very reasonable price (in my case, well under $2K for 35+50+90+135+180; they're not so stellar on the wide end, I'd rather go samyang for the 8+14+24)

but, as always, vintage is risky
http://www.similaar.com/foto/lenstests/lenstestsc.html

December 20, 2011 at 9:27AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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By the way, the videos have been replaced, and the write has been posted: http://www.ryanewalters.com/Videos/Tests/tests.html

December 23, 2011 at 12:35PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Just reposted! Thanks Ryan, such an amazingly helpful test. Agree with your results -- really like those Cookes. For the price I thought the UniqOptics did very well...

December 23, 2011 at 1:55PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Hmmm "blind" test for lenses 8-) ...

THANK YOU Koo for posting this!
There's no better way to evaluate the invaluable realities essential for real, objective choices.
Apart form the obvious techie aspects of course.

December 23, 2011 at 5:17PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Ramachandra

I'm new to this indie thing, but am facinated by the tools that are available to satisfy our needs to express ourselves and tell stories...hopefully that will sell. I have been shooting stills for over 40 years and have converted some of my 35mm camera prime lenses to fit my 7D. I can't afford a 5D, but have friends who do have them.

These lenses work quite well as my arena for showing my video will be iPods, Android tablets, laptops and smart phones. There are over 3 billion smart phones in use today. This market will only grow. So........I'll leave the really expensive cameras and lenses to the "Hobbit" shooters and stick to my market. This way I can make my images and some how figure out how to sell into the Indie market place of people who want to watch really nice movies, shorts, docs and information pieces.

Koo, good luck with your film and keep the info coming on new technology. Who knows, I may win the lottery and be able to afford a Red.

Rachael.

December 28, 2011 at 11:50AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Can someone tell me what happened? I got a little dizzy. So I took my rifle and shot the little blue lights, now I have no monitor. All I am trying to find out is:
which lens is better? Canon or Red Pro Primes? I am 11 years old and shoot on an HVX 200, and if I keep working hard my dad will buy me a Scarlet X in 3 years.

September 21, 2012 at 2:23PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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I happen to think Christians are far more toranelt than many Jews I know, but the ones that just hate Israel are senseless.>>>>I have yet to meet any Christian who can explain to me how they believe their savior who IS a Jew and preached about the God of Israel, yet they hate both the land and people The truth does not abide in them.

March 18, 2014 at 11:10AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Ian