Inexpensive, fast glass for Epic/Scarlet

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    Tyler Garn

    I work in a specialized field of vfx/video production creating interactive training simulation content for military and law enforcement (in stereo). Having rented a RED one package for a few projects I decided that Scarlet is the way to go for future projects and I’m in the cue for a set of Canon-mount Scarlets destined for a SBS 3D rig. Because of the special nature of the projects a SBS rig works fine for me and I’ve been shooting stereo projects with a set of Sony v1u’s in a SBS rig for 2 years. All of the simulations are filmed with a locked-off camera set-up and at a fixed wide focal length. Often these scenes are filmed in available-light conditions (or with minimal lighting set-ups) and I will be shooting at 30 fps in quad 4k or 2k.

    My question is this: I need a set of low cost (we’re maxing the budget with the camera purchase) canon lenses that will serve my specific purpose. So, wide, fast, stills, primes are what I’m looking at. Does anyone have suggestions or have any experience using these kinds of lenses on the Epic?

    Shervin Shoghian

    Hey Tyler, sounds pretty interesting. Why Scarlets may i ask?

    Also do you need manual aperture control or just electronic control of iris is ok? well you cant go wrong with Canon glass tho I’m also a fan of the Zeiss ZE’s, more metal construction and hard stops on the manual only focus. they can be cheaper than the canon L glass and in my opinion are probably closest to the old Zeiss super speeds


    A few reasons I think Scarlet is the way to go for me…

    1) Lots of cropping freedom. We display in 1080 and having the ability to crop and re-size without noticeable quality loss is a huge plus. Especially with a SBS rig for 3D this is going to be important.

    2) RAW, FLUT, RED colorspace. I’ve been shooting with HDV cameras for 5 years at this job. I’m sure I don’t have to explain the frustrations of trying to tweak color issues and tricky exposure conditions with that format. I’ve been holding out for an acquisition system up-grade that was a true leap ahead and not just a moderate improvement (I mean one that my budget would actually allow).

    3) Chroma Key work is going to become a big part of what I do and extra spacial resolution and lots more color information is going to help tremendously.

    4) Flexibility, I will be creating a very specialized rig for a very specialized purpose. I love the modular design that RED has embraced.

    5) Price point!

    … Truly the 2/3 fixed lens idea was pretty perfect for me (in theory) because shallow focus is something I actually don’t desire (for the simulation stuff at least) and for 3D having two identical cameras down to the lens would make things easier, but I’m not complaining. Especially since now I will have the ability to do other really cool things with the cameras should the need arise.

    Manual or electric is not really a big deal for this work. It’s set at the beggining of the scene and doesn’t change until the next set-up, same with focus and tow-in or inter-ocular spread.

    I am a little worried about focus distance “breathing” between the two lenses and creating trouble for stereo shooting…


    I have found the Rokinon (Samyang) 35mm f1.4 to be one of the best still lenses for the epic/scarlet. I use it all the time. They just released a 24mm f1.4 as well that I hear is also quite good. I will be getting that lens very soon.

    What I like, is the larger than average focus throw for a still lens. Full manual operation. And they are cheap compared to their counterparts.

    I expect the line to continue to grow, and they even just released a cinevised version of their 8mm. It has a declicked iris and focus teeth. I’m hoping they release a whole cinevised set this year or next.

    Slevin Kelevra

    I think I saw that material when I was browsing Renogy’s page looking for my Inverter chargers, so it is possible that they have it since I read that it is good for solar cell roofs. In general, I love how modern industries are rapidly moving to new materials that are greener or more workable.

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