[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Eclair Cameras: Eclair + Nikon

Hi Vic.

My tests aren't conclusive, so I don't want to come off as some expert. I will, however, share my results thus far. If your lens is the newer plastic auto-focus variety, I can't say for sure if the build quality would be up to standards. The "hellicoid" for focusing, or however you spell it, is looser on the auto focus Nikons. Your results may vary, but unless is was operator error, my test came back with the footage unsteady, alas, sharp. Again, these were just my simple tests. Also, as stated below, the "AI" manual focus lenses have a "throw" that is around 180 degrees from close focus to infinity. You have a much better chance of getting in-focus shots. These, along with all manual focus Nikon's, have a nicer "drag", too. It is a bit stiffer like a cine lens.

You can pick up a Nikon 50mm f1.4 "AI" manual focus lens on ebay for around $100. This is about the sharpest Nikon (and luckily a bargain, as well) I suggest you pick one up and use this as a basis for all your tests to compare what is possible with your camera. See how it compares to your zoom, as well as other primes. Just make sure you shoot some tests at a f4, which would probably give best results.

I'm sure this has been said a hundred times before on this board, but the older Angenieux are a bit soft and grainy, especially at the wide angle end. I love the look of these lenses with b+w stock at the telephoto end (very kind to female faces), but I would only use them if that was the look your material asked for. Of course, everyone has a budget, so if that is all you can afford, go with it. Just don't expect a "glossy" look, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I have a Angenieux 9.5-57, which is the sharpest of the older Angie zooms, as well as a 12-120. You may also want to try to get a arri-standard mount, too. There are a lot of prime lenses for that mount-- Cooke, Schnieder, older standard Zeiss. A lot of people rave about the switar's, too. These lenses go for a couple hundred dollars and you'll need to find a solution for the wide angle end of your kit if you decide to use the Nikon's from 24mm and up.

It should also be said that I've noticed that extraordinary results can be had in 16mm when the exposure and lighting are just perfect. I know this seems like a given, but it seems in 16mm, everything is that much more critical. Blacks get grainier quicker in the underexposed areas, and the detail in highlights can go soft quickly if overexposed. I've had unsatisfactory results even with my Zeiss's and Nikon's with overexposure footage that was telecined. I know that it is best to error on the side of overexposure with negative stock, but in my findings, the telecine can have trouble with this as well, if more than a stop.

Anyhow, I'm just sharing the knowledge I've acquired. Only test will give you the answer you are looking for.

On Friday, March 7, 2003, at 01:58 PM, Vic Alexander wrote:

Hi, Todd

I have a Nikon lens. It's a 28-50mm Soligor that I've used for stills and
that I'm sort of happy with. I'm thinking of using it on my ACL. Do you
think a short zoom like that will give me better results than the 12-120
Angenieux zoom that I have?


----- Original Message -----
From: "Todd Anderson" <tanderson@alainjamar.com>
To: <EclairACL@topica.com>
Sent: Friday, March 07, 2003 11:17 AM
Subject: RE: Eclair Cameras: Eclair + Nikon

Hey Mark.

I haven't seen you post in awhile ( I remember you as a fellow Beaulieu
R-16 to Eclair ACL  shooter) I've just been shooting 100ft daylight
loads, so I can't help you with the a-minima loads. What I can say,
though, is just like the Beaulieu, it just takes a few times to master
loading. Anyhow, I saw your lens question. If you have a good Nikon
adapter, you'll be MUCH happier with your results using the Nikons. I
have some Zeiss superspeeds and Nikon's, and the Nikon's are as sharp,
and in some respects better--in the few tests I've done. There's a
catch, though. They do not perform as well wide-open as the Zeiss's,
and more importantly, you can only use the Nikon's from 24mm and up.
Otherwise, there is too much glass since you are using a superwide
fish-eye Nikon--the contrast is not going to be good. Also, make sure
that you get "manual focus" Nikon's. The loose build quality on the
Auto focus lenses can make the image jump like a jack-rabbit. Also, and
this is very important, Nikon makes "AI (older)" and AIS (newer)"
manual focus lenses. Get the "AI" lenses. The reason is that the
focusing scale on the the "AI" lenses is closer to 180 degrees, verses,
90 degrees, just like on cine lenses. Meaning, it takes twice as long
on the "AI" lenses to focus from 1ft to infinity. Why is this
important? It means that you have finer control in focusing. Twice as
much space between 2ft and 3ft etc.

So I would suggest getting Nikon's from 24mm and up, and maybe one or
two wide angle primes (what ever you can afford). I like the look of
the older Angenieux's with B+W film stock With color I think the look
is a bit dated and grainy, in my opinion.

I'm finally sending one of my ACL's to get converted to Super16. I
can't wait.


On Thursday, March 6, 2003, at 04:23 PM, Marc Syp wrote:

Hi all.

I tried to search the archives but had trouble logging in to Topica
(or getting a new password, for that matter).  Anyway, I know you all
have discussed this before but I'd love to get a few tips.  I'm
planning, finally, to test out my ACL with film.  I have 2 rolls of
the new Vision2 500T that are on 200' A-Minima rolls.

1) First things first... I don't have any core adapters.  Is that
going to kill me?  Here's what I do have:

(a) Two complete 200' daylight spools, which I could use for takeup if
absolutely necessary.  I hear that this can add to the camera noise,
though, so I"d like to look into an alternative.

(b) On disassembled 200' daylight spool and an assortment of cores.
Unfortunately the cores don't just slide down the spindle of a 200'
spool, so I'll have to work something out with the flat flange side. I
have contemplated glueing the core to the flange, but I don't want to
lose the whole apparatus when I get it processed. Perhaps I could ask
the lab to return the spool/flange assembly?

2) Could some kind soul give me some tips on loading a 200' magazine
in general, and also more specifically the A-Minima loads? I do have
an ACL manual and a changing bag.  However, I think I read a while
back that the A-M loads have the emulsion facing the opposite
direction of regular loads?  Please send me any tips.

3) P.S. I'll be using an Angenieux 10-150 in excellent condition. Or
should I get some good 35mm Nikon primes (I do have an adapter)?


Marc S.
(can't wait to shoot)

Protect your PC - get McAfee.com VirusScan Online

This email was sent to: elroro@propagandaindustries.org

EASY UNSUBSCRIBE click here: http://topica.com/u/?a84xYK.bdbHPA.ZWxyb3Jv
Or send an email to: EclairACL-unsubscribe@topica.com

TOPICA - Start your own email discussion group. FREE!