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  • Native ZF mount or only with adapter?

    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/pre...eleaseID=28603

    Yet, the BMD spec page says EF and ZE (Canon only):
    http://www.blackmagic-design.com/pro...era/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!

  • #2
    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.
    -Michael Beck

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    • #3
      Zeiss 'ZF' lens have Nikon F-mounts. Fortunately you can easily get quite cheap Nikon-EF adapters, so they'll work perfectly.

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      • #4
        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?
        Last edited by mico; 05-06-2012, 07:47 AM.

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        • #5
          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.
          Randy Walters
          boundlessinformant.com

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          • #6
            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...81000-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
            My YouTube channel

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mico View Post
              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)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Kingswell View Post
                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

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                • #9
                  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?

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                  • #10
                    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!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kingswell View Post
                      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.

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                      • #12
                        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.

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                        • #13
                          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.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mico View Post
                            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.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Barry Green View Post
                              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.
                              Last edited by mico; 05-07-2012, 08:11 AM.

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