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Eclair Cameras: Price/Performance ratio

I found out about Kiev Camera back in the fall of last year. I knew it was a heck of a deal to get these lenses for so little considering the cost. Personally, I think the price of most film equipment is a complete rip off--and you would save yourself thousands of dollars by simply waiting for a great deal to come your way. Look at Ebay every now and then and type in key words like Aaton, Eclair, Arri or Angenieux. Also, I think Kiev sells the 8mm for $1,547.00. I got mine for $800.00. But that was before they knew what they had their hands on. The big question that I have is whether the Zeiss 12-120 is just as good or close to the 11-110 that is the S-16 version designed by Zeiss. No one seems to know the answer to this question, and because this information is not widely available, a lot of dealers can take advantage of the situation and probably sell a lens that is just as good as an adapted zoom for thousands of dollars more. But I am just postulating. Without the firsthand knowledge of running practical A/B tests of the 11-110 vs. 12-120 there is no way to tell for sure.

It seems that the 12-120 or 11.5-115 zoom by Van Diemen would be the best bang for the buck considering the long zoom range and the low T stop 2.3, 2.4. The Cooke that goes from 10.8-60 seems less suited for difficult zoom and lighting situations with its low T stop of 3.0. But, in the end, I can't tell you for certain what lens is the best, because I haven't tried any of them. You can get an idea of what the Cooke 10.4-52 looks like by watching "The Draughtsman's Contract." There was also a Cooke 10.4-52 that sold on Ebay recently for $3,200.00. That was quite a deal considering the lowest price I've seen for that lens is $5,800.00.

Mike Welle

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