So I got my 120mm Zeiss Jena in a neat package wrapped in twine from the Czech republic. It looks to be in good shape and mounted easily to the 5D with an inexpensive adapter.
Last weekend I took it out on a shoot and used it for the interview with a photographer.
Really happy with how it looks. The next step would be to put it up against a comparable modern lens to see how different it really is. It still has the limitations of a still lens for filming motion like clicked stops and and the focus rotation. I’m already looking at others that would be a good match. maybe a 65mm? An 80mm for sure.
This week I got my hands on the Speed Booster by Meta Bones. The production company I am shooting for switched out the lens package for the Sony FS700 and went with the Canon EF mount lenses. Previously we had used a Nikon lens adapter. It is really a pretty cool adaptor for use with mirror-less cameras. I had heard about them but had only Canon or PL mount cameras so no real need for them. The white paper published on the Meta Bones site is pretty interesting and a very clear explanation of how it works. Through optical design and physics the device actually makes your full frame lens faster and wider. It is called a focal reducer. Basically the doubler or teleconverter in reverse. This is great on a mirror-less camera. The only downside is if you want to have your telephoto you have to get an even longer lens. With the abundance of new cameras coming out this might be something to add to the gear list.
Ever since I was in film school most professionals would say how important the glass you shoot with is more important than the camera or format. I’ve always held on to that idea even when shooting with a crappy kit zoom. Sometimes you just need a 300mm and the only one available is, well, embarrassing. Anyway I remember shooting with Pentax 6X7 SLR cameras back in school and they had these beefy lenses to cover the medium format. I was thinking about those lenses and sure enough Zeiss Jena, the East German lens maker made lenses for the commie version of that camera and others with the same mount. So after a little looking I took the plunge and sprung for a zebra 120mm Biometar 2.8. Of course the Chinese will make an adaptor for every mount, so we’ll see what this lens has to offer photography and cinema on a 5DmkIII. The later Jena lenses offered an MC or multi-coated lens and these look more like the leica R lenses, at least from the outside.