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Anyone have any experience with the following 16mm lenses? I'm shooting a short on 16mm and these are the lenses available to me from the rental place. I have shot with the Ultras before and as lovely as they are, I think I'm looking for something with a little more character.


Angenieux 11.5-138mm T2.3

Cooke 10.8-60mm T3

Cooke 10-30mm T1.5

Canon 8-64mm T2.4

Zeiss Ultra 16s


Also, as a general rule, are there noticeable differences/traits in these lens manufactures across the board?

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I have the following lens kit for my Arri-S:


  • Cooke Kinetal 9mm
  • Zeiss Planar 16mm
  • Zeiss Planar 32mm
  • Zeiss Planar 50mm

I like them very much, but they are older lenses and most - with the exception of the 50mm (which I got new) and the 9mm - have a bit of a softer or more "vintage" look.


What exactly are you looking for?...

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The Ultra 16s are very modern, sharp lenses. The Canon zoom, depending on the generation, is a design that's at leas 25 years old. The Angenieux is around there, too. That said, they're great lenses that will give you results you'll be happy with. Many were TV workhorses until not long ago. It really just depends on your needs and the look you're going for.

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I have a Cooke 10.4-52mm, it was the first zoom to cover Super16. I think it's amazing. Really small compared to other zooms and minimum focus distance is really great, almost like a macro lens at 52mm. First time I used it I could not believe how good faces looked with it! Not sure about the 10.8-60mm you mention, is it a regular 16mm zoom? If I would guess I think it would have similar character as my zoom… but don't know.


The 10-30mm is apparently a huge lens. I'd love to get one some day for low light work! Here's two tests by another person with it on a digital Ikonoskop a-cam dII (a camera I used to have, but now sold to get a "real" S16 film camera):

and https://vimeo.com/77497706


Have a nice shoot!

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Kalle, thanks for the link and for sharing your experience with the 10.4-52 - that is also an option for me to use so I'll look into it a bit more! Do you have anything you've shot on it that you'd be happy to share? At the moment I'm leaning towards the 10-30 for the T1.5, as I'll be shooting 200T and don't want to risk struggling for exposure.

The description along with the 10.8-60 is just : Super 16 conversion of Cooke 9-50mm zoom lens

Kenny and Bill, again, thanks for your input. I'm not too sure the exact 'thing' I'm looking for, as I'm relatively new to the idea of being selective about lenses for a particular aesthetic. All I know is that the Ultra 16s are quite clean, and I'd like to explore a more characterful lens - whether this be Cooke, Angenieux, Canon, etc. I guess my basic intention is to just see if anyone has any thoughts on not just these specific lenses but lens manufactures in general, and what look they seem to give.

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Canon 8-64 is a nice vintage lens with personality. And it's small enough for handheld. It's warm in color, has a bit of pincushion distortion on the wide end, flares around light sources, with a bit of chromatic aberration. The focus marks are not great (no witness marks, just numbers) but that's pretty normal for lenses of that vintage.

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Don't have any footage online yet (with the 10.4-52mm), but plan to make a new little s16 collage later on… From what I understand it's based on the 9-50mm zoom. Can't tell you any scientific about it- I just like the look it produces. If the rental place got all those lenses you maybe could to a day of test shooting?


If you're working with a tripod and don't need longer zoom range I think the 10-30 would be great. When I've shot in low light I haven't even used the 10.4-52mm at all. Then I always use the Zeiss Super Speed primes. So I can see the point of the 10-30! Also shot a short tv-drama with mainly the 12,16 and 25mm primes, so that range would be covered.

Oh… actually used the zoom once in low light, with 500T and a diffused 300w readhead lighting a face from 2meters it actually was quite fine. From my experience 500T with at T1.3 gives a look similar to what my eyes can see in low light, so that's usually what I go for with natural household lights in the dark scandinavian winters! But now 50D season is starting :)

Edited by Kalle Folke
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