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Angenieux Zooms for 16/s16?


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Hi everyone;

i originally posted in “Bolex” but there’s been no replies; I figured I should have posted the topic here! 

my first post here. Very excited to join the community!

i just bought a digital bolex d16 I’m picking up soon—I don’t have too much experience with 16/s16 and older lenses.

Im looking into the either 

Option A: Angenieux 10-150 T2.3 

or

Option B: Angeniuex 17-68 f2.2 + a 10mm lens (kern paillard or Angenieux)

I’m not sure if the 10-150 would vignette at 2K 🤔 there doesn’t seem to be enough info online about that lens. the 17-68 is great, fast, and more compact— but it becomes a bit of a tighter zoom after the crop factor (closer to 50-200mm?) so combined with a fast 10mm prime...it seems like a good kit.

What would you guys/gals buy for glass? I’m not as experienced as you lot yet, so I hope to learn here 🙂

 

thanks again;

cheers,

-Mo

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Hi Mo,

Not sure I can help much, it’s been years since I assessed and worked on C mount zooms like these, and old Angenieux zooms can vary a lot in quality. The low con look they often produce doesn’t suit every project.. in the end you just need to try them out yourself I think, and see what you like.

The 17-68 was Angenieux’s first 16mm zoom, and one of the very first mechanically compensated “modern” zooms, designed back in the 50s, so it’s pretty long in the tooth. Depending on when your example was made it might not be in great shape. But a shorter range means it didn’t have as many compromises as say a 10x zoom like the more common 12-120. It’s quite compact, handy if you’re going to be carting the camera around a lot.

The 10-150 is a much newer design, from the late 70s I think, so although the large range comes with a few compromises, it would have better coatings and contrast and probably be in better shape. With vintage zooms you never quite know what you’re getting though, it could have sat in a cupboard for 40 years or been worked hard by a news team or trashed by a film school. Ask the seller lots of questions to avoid nasty surprises. The long end is pretty long at 150mm, handy if you wanted to do nature or surf photography etc, depends what you want to shoot. 

I believe the Digital Bolex has a sensor only a little larger than standard 16, so you might find the 10-150 covers it, or only the very wide end vignettes.

 

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Hi dom!

 Thank you for your insight, it was super helpful! Great advice too with checking lenses before buying on eBay blindly and such. 
 

only thing about 10-150; it looks a bit too long for run and gun/practical purposes, especially on a d16 🤔 range is awesome though; all-rounder for sure.

im not interested in TV zoom lenses but I’ve seen some examples on Vimeo where the users really used them to their advantage on the d16. Hmmm. But better to stick with cine glass I would think.
 

where did you get all that awesome knowledge about these old Angenieuxs’??

cheers!

-Mo

Edited by Mo Barrett
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I have the 17-68 and it's a pretty decent little lens. I've shot quite a bit with it and my Bolex, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it because 17mm on the widest, is not wide enough for super 16. Since it doesn't have good close focus or macro mode, it's really hard to use it sometimes. However, I like it because it mimics the look of a super 8 zoom lens pretty good. I use my Bolex for "home movie" work quite a bit because super 8 looks so bad and is tricky to get right, but 16mm can be made to look bad very easily. So I generally shoot on 16mm and then degrade it if I want it to look like super 8.

For the Bolex, I prefer to have something with a minimum of 10mm at the wide side.  

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The Ang 15-150 is sharper than the 12-120. There were a few early Ang zooms in C mount. A lot were Arri-S mount. Another candidate zoom might be the Zeiss 10-100 T3.1, normally in Arri-B, sometimes Arri-S. Really sharp. And sometimes cheap, though I don't know what the servicing costs will be like.

Edited by Gregg MacPherson
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On 1/30/2020 at 10:20 AM, Tyler Purcell said:

I have the 17-68 and it's a pretty decent little lens. I've shot quite a bit with it and my Bolex, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it because 17mm on the widest, is not wide enough for super 16. Since it doesn't have good close focus or macro mode, it's really hard to use it sometimes. However, I like it because it mimics the look of a super 8 zoom lens pretty good. I use my Bolex for "home movie" work quite a bit because super 8 looks so bad and is tricky to get right, but 16mm can be made to look bad very easily. So I generally shoot on 16mm and then degrade it if I want it to look like super 8.

For the Bolex, I prefer to have something with a minimum of 10mm at the wide side.  

Thanks Tyler;

I was thinking to go with the 17-68 and a kern switar 10mm prime; good combo I think 🙂

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On 1/30/2020 at 11:42 AM, Webster C said:

From what I have read and experienced, the Angenieux 17-68 and 15-150 cover S16, whereas the 12-120 does not.

Interesting; 

i also hear the 10-150 covers the d16; if that’s the case then that’s the perfect All around zoom 😲

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  • 6 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

The Angenieux 10-150mm will vignette on Ultra 16 and Super 16.  The 17-68mm will also vignette on U16 (and prob S16), but not at 17mm on U16 and not at the longer focal lengths.  The 17-68mms were made from the 50's through the 70's - I have one from the 70's that produces quite good images.

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  • 5 months later...
On 8/19/2020 at 11:37 AM, Mo Barrett said:

Just an update:

I bought a

15-150 T3.1 Angenieux. 

Great lens, except it is not Parfocal :C 

I just got one of these too and it sure seems parfocal. Is there a way to test this?

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All cine zooms are designed to be parfocal (except in cases where stills zooms have been re-housed or otherwise marketed for cine use). 

Angenieux zooms are all definitely parfocal designs, but of course any lens needs to be properly calibrated to function as it was designed.

The most common issue is back-focus. If the back-focus is off, a zoom will not retain focus through the zoom range. This is easy to diagnose because the focus will deviate in a linear fashion through the range, getting more out of focus as you zoom to the wide end. (Always begin by focussing a zoom at the long end). The back-focus could be off because the lens is out of calibration, or because the camera flange depth is out, or because an adapter is not accurately seating the lens relative to the sensor/film plane. The solution is to get a lens tech to check everything and calibrate as necessary. 

The other reason a cine zoom might not be parfocal is because of wear. This usually manifests as the focus being accurate for most of the zoom range (including the wide end) but dropping out at particular spots in the middle. Some high end zooms have adjustable zoom cams that allow the zoom curve to be calibrated back to acceptable parfocality, but for most zooms, this is not repairable without replacing major parts. Other issues might be play in the zoom mechanics, causing a slight loss of focus in one zoom direction but not the other, or image aberrations caused by un-centred or cocked optical elements which might cause softness that is more pronounced at certain parts of the zoom range.

It can be hard to properly judge focus just through a viewfinder, or even on a monitor while filming, especially at the wide end of a zoom. Sometimes the softness is only apparent when viewing the footage back, or when specifically shooting focus test charts. A professional technician will have access to tools like an auto-collimator and a test projector which allows them to assess the optical quality and focus of a lens very accurately, and diagnose what issues there might be.

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I'm sure I have the first problem you listed Dom. My Angy 17.5-70 is not parfocal and I am sure it's the Standard Arri to Pl adapter I am using. It's probably not machined precisely.  

If I find myself, after getting good focus with the 70mm end, needing to increase the focusing distance in order to achieve focus on the 17.5mm end, does that mean that I need to get the lens closer or further away from the sensor? Or, is there no rule about this? because I could either move adapter away (increase distance from sensor) or file the adapter a hair (decrease distance to sensor) to try to get parfocal. The adapter is very cheap. 

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On 8/19/2020 at 11:37 AM, Mo Barrett said:

Just an update:

I bought a

15-150 T3.1 Angenieux. 

Great lens, except it is not Parfocal :C 

Oops, 

So it actually IS parfocal haha.

I just didn't do a proper test. 

Love the lens.

Only gripe is the mins distance.

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Some otherwise identical lenses of which some are parfocal and some are not may depend on whether they were coillimated for a camera which shot striped film, the stripes being magnetic tracks. There were two tracks, one being the sound recording media and the other a narrow strip called the "balance track" which ensured the film rested flat in the gate. These tracks set the film emulsion very slightly rearwards. Bare film used in a camera with a lens or camera mount collimated for striped film may rest very slightly forward of the image plane of the lens. The image plane of a lens collimated for a striped film may in a digital cam rest sllghtly rearwards of the sensor plane. Whilst you can focus must fine with a live view digital camera screen, the zoom movement may no longer be parfocal if this condition exists. Thinner shims may be needed between the mount tail of the lens and the lens body. Shimming and collimating lenses and camera mounts to a common standard is a dark art best left to the skilled artisans who do it for a living. 

Edited by Robert Hart
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