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View Full Version : Native ZF mount or only with adapter?



CraigFPG
05-06-2012, 09:03 AM
Tried searching the forum but did not find anything specific yet.

Have a set of Zeiss ZF mount lenses all modified by Duclos and love them. So much of the early coverage on other forums and blogs all mentioned ZF mount and even the BMD press release specifically states compatibility with both EF and ZF mount lenses:
http://www.blackmagic-design.com/press/pressdetails/?releaseID=28603

Yet, the BMD spec page says EF and ZE (Canon only):
http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/blackmagiccinemacamera/techspecs/

So is this camera a Canon EF mount only and one needs a EF to F mount adapter for Zeizz/Nikon F mount lenses?
Not that it matters in the grand scheme of things but just unclear based on what I've found online.

Thanks!

mbeck
05-06-2012, 09:20 AM
You will need An adaptor. They rere confused when they were first quoting specs. They meant to say that it is EF and ZE... Not ZF.

Grug
05-06-2012, 09:21 AM
Zeiss 'ZF' lens have Nikon F-mounts. Fortunately you can easily get quite cheap Nikon-EF adapters, so they'll work perfectly.

mico
05-06-2012, 10:06 AM
Whats the consensus? Is it better to go ZE or ZF with this camera if you also think a Canon camera like the 1D C is also in your future?

randyman
05-06-2012, 10:23 AM
About those inexpensive Nikon-EF adapters... I had a pretty fair collection of eBay Nikon AI-S prime lenses left from when I was using a Letus DOF adapter.

When I got my Canon 7D, I thought I'd try the inexpensive adapters; since all of my Nikon lenses were completely manual, there was no reason for me to spring for the $200+ versions that would transfer aperture info. I bought a handful for $12 or so each.

And guess what - they worked perfectly. Rock solid, with none of the looseness or wiggling I read about online. I think the key is to put the adapter on the lens, and *leave it there*, instead of swapping it from lens to lens or moving from Canon body to Nikon body.

Some of the wider primes, like the 20mm and 24mm f/2.8s, should adapt well as "normal" lenses on the BMC. I also recently picked up a Nikkor-H 50mm f/2 for one reason; it has a 6-bladed aperture, and produces hexagonal bokeh like I've been seeing on "Game of Thrones". (Some people HATE it, but I think it can look pretty interesting.)

At any rate, if the inexpensive adapters will fill your needs, look for some that have generally decent feedback, and give 'em a try. They've worked out well for me.

Samuel H
05-06-2012, 11:21 AM
so far there is only one mount on the BMC, and that is canon EF mount

BlackMagic created a lot of turbulence with their initial typo of a ZF mount, which has now been corrected (it says "ZE mount", meaning "a mount for Zeiss ZE lenses, i.e., Canon EF mount")

quite silly from their part, as there is no such thing as a ZF or ZE mount, those are lines of lenses made by Zeiss, for Nikon-F and Canon-EF mounts

http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?281000-ZF-mount

anyway: it only has canon mount, and if I was buying Zeiss lenses I'd get them on the Nikon flavor and stick them to the BMC with a cheap, dumb adapter

Kingswell
05-06-2012, 11:24 AM
Whats the consensus? Is it better to go ZE or ZF with this camera if you also think a Canon camera like the 1D C is also in your future?

I'd go with ZF Nikon mounts. Manual aperture which the ZEs don't have, and you can pretty much adapt it to any format (eos,m4/3,nex)

Macalincag
05-06-2012, 11:38 AM
I'd go with ZF Nikon mounts. Manual aperture which the ZEs don't have, and you can pretty much adapt it to any format (eos,m4/3,nex)

+1

mico
05-06-2012, 12:16 PM
I was thinking of getting the Duclos Zeiss ZF's and this EF adapter to get the focus scales on the side:

http://www.lockcircle.com/xcircle/

So electronic features on the ZE lenses on EF mount cameras like auto iris (for quick iris set), auto focus (for quick focus check only), possible electronic facial focus tracking (on cameras that offer it), and anything else I might be missing are not important enough to sway anyone away from the ZF's?

StephenM
05-06-2012, 12:57 PM
I too use Duclos Cine-modded ZF.2's. I could not be happier with them. I shoot narrative movies, so I'm not concerned with any auto features. Given the long flange distance on the F mount, I can mount them on most anything. I use them with an AF-100, Scarlet & Epic, Canon 5D, Nikon DSLRs - you name it. For mounting to EF mounts, I've be using Fotodiox Pro Adapters.

The Duclos mod removes the aperture click and adds a focus gear and a common front diameter for use with a matte box. Highly recommended!

AndreS
05-06-2012, 03:07 PM
I'd go with ZF Nikon mounts. Manual aperture which the ZEs don't have, and you can pretty much adapt it to any format (eos,m4/3,nex)
I agree, manual aperture is great! Despite ZF focusing the wrong direction.

mico
05-06-2012, 04:55 PM
So blackmagic cam uses ef, canons use ef, sony nex have adapters that can use Ef, af100 with redrock adapter uses ef, RED cameras use EF. With ef you get to keep all electronic functions present and future. So all you get from Zf's are declicked aperture and wrong way focusing. Playing devils advocate here. I'm seeing more pluses for the ZE's.

StephenM
05-06-2012, 05:18 PM
I personally don't see electronic control of the aperture as a plus. Much rather control it myself. Adapters can then be 'dumb', and less expensive. I've had an AF100 since day 1 and I've been able to use my ZF.2s since day 1. Didn't have to wait a year for an electronic adapter.

Barry Green
05-06-2012, 09:22 PM
I'm seeing more pluses for the ZE's.
The only "problem" with the ZE's is that there's no manual aperture ring. At all. Aperture can only be set by the camera body. And that will (assuredly) work just fine on the BMC. But what else do you plan on using them for? They won't work on any adapter to any other camera, unless you have an "intelligent" electronic adapter, such as the oft-wished-for Birger.

Well, the other issue with ZE's is they can't be used on Nikon bodies, if you ever plan on going with Nikon lenses.

As for face detection and autofocus and stuff like that -- won't work with ZE's. These are manual focus lenses, period. No difference there between ZE and ZF.

If you are only ever going to use them on genuine Canon-mount bodies (Canon or BMC), definitely get the ZE's, you'll have access to potential auto-iris as well as focusing the "right" direction.

For future-proofing, ability to use on Nikons as well as any other bodies, and manual aperture ring, get the ZF's. That's the way I went when I bought a set of the Zeiss lenses. ZF's focus backwards, but other than that they are truly universal lenses.

mico
05-06-2012, 10:21 PM
The only "problem" with the ZE's is that there's no manual aperture ring. At all. Aperture can only be set by the camera body. And that will (assuredly) work just fine on the BMC. But what else do you plan on using them for? They won't work on any adapter to any other camera, unless you have an "intelligent" electronic adapter, such as the oft-wished-for Birger.

Well, the other issue with ZE's is they can't be used on Nikon bodies, if you ever plan on going with Nikon lenses.

As for face detection and autofocus and stuff like that -- won't work with ZE's. These are manual focus lenses, period. No difference there between ZE and ZF.

If you are only ever going to use them on genuine Canon-mount bodies (Canon or BMC), definitely get the ZE's, you'll have access to potential auto-iris as well as focusing the "right" direction.

For future-proofing, ability to use on Nikons as well as any other bodies, and manual aperture ring, get the ZF's. That's the way I went when I bought a set of the Zeiss lenses. ZF's focus backwards, but other than that they are truly universal lenses.


Understood about the manual aperture ring on the ZFs.

There are EF smart adapters for NEX, RED, AF100, F3. Canon and Blackmagic can accept Ef as standard. Except for Nikon it seems 99% of cameras can support smart EF with the requisite adapter. This is not a year ago when there was nothing available for these cams. The fact that Blackmagic put a Ef mount says that the lenses are ubiquitous enough that to not support Ef would be a mistake.So the future holds good for EF.

I can see myself sticking with Canon cameras and never going to Nikon. As I mentioned in an earlier post maybe a Canon 1D c might be in my future and since all the other cams have smart adapters for EF lenses, other than no manual aperture ring and no Nikon use there doesn't seem to be any other downsides to ZEs. Especially when the 1Dc or and other video DSLR's can also shoot stills because these lenses can be used for dual purposes. Stills and video. Electronics come in real handy for stills. I accept that for some a manual declicked iris is crucial but I just don't see myself pulling iris as a common habit.

According to Zeiss: The manually focusable ZE lenses (for EF mount) feature electronic shutter control and additional electronic contacts to the camera. All existing exposure programs (P, AV, TV, M) and the AF confirmation function of the camera are supported; lens information (focal length and speed) is passed on to the camera.

Never wanted to use autofocus but I like I can get AF confirmation and lens info in metadata might be helpful for reshoots.

Like all things lately its a plus here a minus there.

pcenginefx
05-06-2012, 11:44 PM
I have the cheap-o Nikon>Canon adapters, but might spring for this bayonet kit and not worry about the mount... http://www.lockcircle.com/xcircle/index.php

yoclay
05-07-2012, 01:10 AM
The other reason for EF lenses is not that they have autofocus, it's that with a LANC controller, you can focus them remotely or change the iris very quickly while filming with something like the Okii mini, at the level of a handle. In a double hand configuration like the handles they are showing, it would be very destabilizing to make changes otherwise.

Samuel H
05-07-2012, 08:22 AM
I put a lot of value on "future proof", and the Nikon mount has more of that than the Canon mount - plus ZF have manual iris, ZE only auto - still, I went even one step further: lenses for Nikon mount won't work on cameras with Sony A or Pentax K mounts, but there's a very-high-quality option that works on them too: vintage Leitz for Leica-R mount http://www.similaar.com/foto/lensmount/lensmount.html - because you don't know who will release the next killer camera, and Canon and Sony have a high-end market to protect, but Nikon and Pentax don't

Erik Naso
05-09-2012, 03:37 PM
I'm pretty sure Image Stabilization with EF lenses will also work.

pcenginefx
05-09-2012, 03:44 PM
I'm pretty sure Image Stabilization with EF lenses will also work.

This is still being worked on however.....not verified yet.

Barry Green
05-09-2012, 09:25 PM
The other reason for EF lenses is not that they have autofocus, it's that with a LANC controller, you can focus them remotely or change the iris very quickly while filming with something like the Okii mini, at the level of a handle. In a double hand configuration like the handles they are showing, it would be very destabilizing to make changes otherwise.
Definite advantage for the EF lenses, but let's be clear here -- that's for actual Canon lenses, not for ZE's (Z lenses using an EF mount). The ZEs are strictly manual focus lenses, as are the ZFs; getting them in a different mount won't suddenly make them auto-focusable.

If you think you're going to need autofocus or remote focus, the EF lenses would be what you'd want to look at rather than the Zeiss.

laco
05-10-2012, 03:43 AM
Definite advantage for the EF lenses, but let's be clear here -- that's for actual Canon lenses, not for ZE's (Z lenses using an EF mount). The ZEs are strictly manual focus lenses, as are the ZFs; getting them in a different mount won't suddenly make them auto-focusable.

If you think you're going to need autofocus or remote focus, the EF lenses would be what you'd want to look at rather than the Zeiss.

yes, but the Iris is still electronic. Might be a good thing to have if using LANC

Willian Aleman
05-10-2012, 01:49 PM
To go with manual vs autofocus lenses depends more on the shooting style that the script requires. If shooting live events,
specially multicamera concerts, live events, etc; then autofocus would be ideal, if shooting dramatic forms, where we can retake and
reposition the camera or lenses as many times as the budget allows, then, manual focus would be ideal.