Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The DSLR Filmmaker's Guide to Zeiss Optics

David Flores has written a guide to Zeiss options for DSLR filmmakers. Zeiss makes a range of nice lenses for Canon, Nikon and Pentax mounts. Note that none of these support auto-focus, but for filmmakers they may actually work better because of the feel and operation of the focus ring - and note that auto-focus doesn't work when you're in Live-view/video mode anyway.

An interesting comment that he made caught my attention:
The Zeiss Z-series offers powerful imaging and control features to the DSLR filmmaker. Subjects are rendered faithfully, with clean natural color and quality contrast. This is important-especially on the back end of production. Pumping up or pulling down colors with Magic Bullet Looks or Final Cut Studio requires a neutral starting point. I love Canon's 50mm f/1.2L. With its warmth, sharpness, and zippy AF, it's probably my favorite "photography" lens of all-time. But when I'm shooting video, I prefer the Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 T*. Footage shot with the lens is extremely neutral and much easier to color grade. These characteristics are consistent with the entire Z-series line.

Okay, I get that neutral is the ideal (if you're going to post process) but I would have thought that applied to still photography too (assuming you're post processing in Photoshop or something like that.)

On the other hand, I'm sure that if I was primarily doing still photography, I'd want auto-focus...

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