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Lens mixing

Paul Daly

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Wondered what some of your expert opinions were on mixing lenses? A faux pas? An unwritten rule? If not, any examples out there of successful mixing?

I'm about to embark on a longterm 16mm documentary project, almost diarist in approach, and I will likely stay with my usual Bolex H16. Would Switars mix well enough with something like Zeiss 16mm Superspeeds? I have a wealth of 16mm Switar footage in archive that was unused in my previous film and would love the ability to utilise this in my new project without much distraction. I also have thoughts about segregating what would be general observational documentary/diarist shots using Switars and then using the richer Superspeeds on focussed and stylised portraits/vignettes of human subjects (this partitioning would greatly help the grade too). Again, if any filmic examples come to mind (traditional, experimental, anything) that use similar methodology then I would love to see.

Looking forward to your thoughts!

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OP...you gotta test them. If you like the results...you have your answer. No one can answer this but yourself. Assuming you like the color match, there are many other factors and variables involved such as the quality of post work, depth of field and I.Q.

Test em all! Soemone that says no problem may have quality post work that you don't have for timing. 




Selection from Press Photographer Archive




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20 hours ago, Gregory Irwin said:

In my opinion, there are no rules. Look at my lens package from JOKER. we had a total Frankenstein set and we earned an Oscar nomination for Cinematography!



When (and why) did you use CP2s? Was the 35mm Canon a K35? Why no 24mm K35 or lenses wider than 28mm? 

The movie looked great btw.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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3 minutes ago, Stewart McLain said:

@Gregory Irwin Thanks for posting that lens selection.  Just because I want to make sure I understand it, left to right is it showing focal length, manufacturer, maximum aperture, minimum focus distance?  Thanks!  

You’re welcome and you are correct!


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