May 6, 2016 at 8:39AM

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Lens suggestions for cinematic look & feel for sony A7rii

Can someone suggest a few lenses to achieve a cinematic look and feel for a sony A7rii. This is a camera i use for generic work stuffs, but would like to play around with some videos - but trying to achieve something really easy on the eyes. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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Cinematic look comes first from lighting. If you don't light cinematically, there's no lens, nor is there any camera, that will make it look cinematic. Once you have cinematic lighting, then things get a little more subjective: nowadays, most cinematic looks involve constant camera motion. The beauty of the SONY is that it's small and light enough to fly on a small gimbal, which can save you lots of cost compared with traditional dolly platforms and tracks. But motion is another huge part of cinematic looks.

Once you have lighting and motion, then the lens question comes down to what range of fields of view do you want, how important is shallow depth of field (and do you have the tools to nail critical focus). Many, many people have found the Sigma 18-35 f1.8 with appropriate adapter to be a killer lens for its range of focal lengths and large aperture. Many, many others have done well with Rokinon primes. But these are secondary to lighting and camera movement for a cinematic look.

May 6, 2016 at 9:18AM

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Besides what my previous writer said... It depends on your budget what lens you want to use. Of course the cinematic look is lighting but there are some lenses that will perform better or worse for filmmaking. But that is the character of that specific lens.
If you are looking for some lenses that can be used very well on the A7R II for filmmaking you could look into the Rokinon Cine primes. They are completely manuell operative and there is a E-mount version available. They cost about $600-800 each I think and they have follow focus gear teeths build in.
If you want to spend some more money there are the Xeen lenses also by Samyang. They cost about $2.500 each. They are real cine primes completely metall build and heavy. But expensive as well.
I would not recommend using the riginal Sony lenses because they have no mechanical focus transfer from the focus dial to the lens itself. It's made by a servo motor. And that is not ideal in filmmaking because you probably want to use a follow focus and there you need clear defined focus dials. However, I would buy the Sony 24-70 f/2.8 because the A7R II is a great stills camera as well and having at least one native lens is good for photography.
If you don't want to use Samyang glass at all you could get a Metabones EF to E-mount adaptor and some EF-mound glass.
I would also recommend buying the Samyang glass, if you do, as EF-mount version and also get the Metabones because maybe you want to use a camera with a different mount in the future. EF is very versetile to adapt to different types of cameras.
Hope I could help you.

May 14, 2016 at 1:56PM

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Eric Halbherr
Director, DP, Editor, Creative Storyteller
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