What's So Special About Uncoated Lenses and Why You Might Want to Use Some
We often talk about lenses, but very rarely about the coating on a lens. In fact, this is one of the major factors affecting the performance of a lens, as coatings reduce internal reflections and flare, which increases contrast, and therefore improves apparent sharpness. You're not likely going to be able to buy a brand new lens uncoated (as this is an effect not everyone wants), but there are places that will remove the coatings on a brand new set of lenses. We now have some sample videos of some Samyang lenses that have had their coatings removed, as well as some more professional cinema lenses. Click through to check them out.
All of the lenses used were the Samyang Cine-Mod lenses, the 14mm T/3.1, 24mm T/1.5, and the 35mm T/1.5, and the camera used was the Canon 5D Mark III:
This effect is definitely not for every shoot, as flares can get downright ridiculous on uncoated lenses, but for a vintage or classic look, these will do a fantastic job of softening the harsh look of digital cameras. These particular lenses are available from Shoot Blue in the UK, and the front and rear element coatings were removed by Duclos Lenses. Many older lenses were made without coatings, so if you can find some vintage lenses, there's a good chance they will also be uncoated.
There is another reason you might want to try out some uncoated lenses, and that's because it's difficult to get that look any other way, and it will definitely make a video stand out. Here are some more sample videos of uncoated lenses.
Shot on the Arri Alexa -- Coated vs. Uncoated Cooke Panchro Lenses:
Shot on the Arri Alexa with Uncoated Zeiss Superspeed lenses:
Uncoated and Coated Lens Test:
You may not choose uncoated lenses on your next project, but it's certainly something to keep in mind if you're looking for a particular look, and you want some interesting flares. For more information, head on over to Cinescopophilia using the link below.
What do you guys think? Have you used uncoated lenses before? Have any examples? Feel free to share them below.