Today’s test is something I’ve been playing with for a while and that is finding a solution to pull focus with Contax G lenses.
Today I’m using the Contax G 90mm f/2.8 and it is a verrry sharrrp lens!
I like to do my tests in Chinatown, Philadelphia because the community is so rich and diverse and I have a connection to the place and the people. Through the din and circling movement of people, its somehow always been a comfortable spot for me to take out my camera and just be a fly on the wall. Also, I get to compare my footage a lot easier when I’m in a familiar place. One of the great things about shooting near the Chinatown Arch in Philadelphia is that the arch and the various neighborhood shop signage are really beautiful and I can assess the detail and sharpness of the Contax G 90mm lens really well.
Even in the H.264 codec and the safe GH13 settings of the Vimeo clip, you can see the crisp detail of the Chinatown Arch and all the signs. They just pop. I’m shooting completely wide open for most of the shots and there is edge to edge sharpness. There’s only a few shots where I stopped down a stop. Everything else is really wide open. Some people may not like this look because it’s so sharp but for the right narrative film or documentary I could see these lenses working really nicely.
This test footage was shot with a GH13 (MarekV settings from DVXUser) in 1080/24P mode. No native 24p on the hack. No tripod just the indisystem indiRAILSpro mp. I also used a homemade variable ND filter created with one B&W CPL filter and one B&W Linear filter.
I need a matte box for sure! You’ll see the lens flares just off left of center in a few shots. To be able to pull focus with these lenses with the Metabones adapter and SNAP! Gear combo is really fantastic. You have more control, it’s smooth and the distance between infinity and close focus is very small. It feels like I’m literally rotating the follow focus three quarters of the way through and I’m at infinity or at close focus already and I really like that a lot. I also love the compact nature of rangefinder lenses. They work perfectly with the GH1 making the camera very light weight which allows me to have more steady control with my MP.
I’ll be doing some more testing with this combination. So stay tuned.
It’s very exciting to be able to use these beautiful lenses in a film context and I hope other indy filmmakers will try this unique combination.