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What is the downside to using lenses designed for Super35 on Super 16mm?

Christopher Campa

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Recently bought an Aaton LTR that is PL mount and Super 16, and am currently looking for lenses to use with the camera. I came across a Zeiss 12-120mm on Facebook that I'm keen on buying, but I was also reminded about the Tokina 11-16. Being that this lens can cover a wider field of view on Super 16, what are the potential downsides to using a lens with a far greater image circle than the sensor or film plane in terms of image quality? Does anyone have examples or experience shooting with larger format lenses on Super 16?



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Larger image circle may cause flares due to light bouncing around within the camera.

Bigger issue is, however, that a (consumer) lens made for full frame might not be as sharp as a lens made specifically for S16.

Edited by Heikki Repo
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The Tokina 11-16 is not a full frame lens, it was made for APS-C sensors, so S35 size frame.

I've checked over a few examples of this lens, including the Cinema version.  They are actually pretty good lenses, quite sharp in the centre for a S16 crop. A little bit of chromatic aberration is probably the worst aspect. If you don't need the much greater           range of a dedicated S16 zoom, and only want a wide angle option it's not a bad choice.

Apart from the issue of stray light bouncing around inside the camera due to a larger image circle (which can be a problem whenever you use 35mm lenses on 16mm cameras - just make sure there are no shiny reflective surfaces in the mirror cavity near the gate aperture) the only other possible issue with this zoom is parfocality. While the Cinema version is better than the stills versions, I have found there is the potential for the zoom mechanism to have internal play that can cause focus drops in one direction of the zoom barrel. You also need to have the back focus very accurately set, which can be a bit hit and miss. Ideally shoot a test or have it checked by a technician before using one on anything important.

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