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Re: Eclair ACL zoom lenses vs. primes ... the Angenieux 12-120

A Zeiss zoom is almost certainly better than cheap primes ... like the Angenieux primes. But all things being equal, a quality zoom simply can't be as good as a quality prime in 16mm when you're looking at Blow-up to either 35mm or HDTV (for regular 4:3 TV transfer, it may not matter as much). I once got away with a few quick inserts using the Angeniuex 17.5-68 ... but only with very close-up shots. Wide shots will easily reveal the lesser resolution. And sharpness aside, an older design zoom will generally breathe on a focus pull much more than a prime. Also to consider is the age of the Zoom design. Newer design zooms are probably exponentially better than a 60s or 70s era zoom ---- on the other hand a 30 year-old Zeiss Prime with good coatings is still a fantastic lens today. Mark. PS - When blowup is concerned, I've heard many DPs refer to using the Angenieux 12-120 as shooting through a coke bottle. I've seen many feature documentaries blown-up that were likely shot with that lens, and on a theatrical screen they look unsharp. On the other hand I shot an indie a few years back with Zeiss primes (under-rating the film stock by 1/3 stop for added shadow depth), and no one ever asked if it was a blowup.

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