I had a rare lull during my lunch break today so I thought it would be a good opportunity to take out my GH1 and to test out how the indiSYSTEM SNAP! Gear and Collar work using the Kodak Ektar II 25mm f/1.4 c-mount lens. It’s a very small cine c-mount and with the new SNAP! Gear and Collar you can even pull focus on this little lens.
The footage is basic street scenes near my work in Center City Philadelphia. I wanted to basically test wide open at f/1.4 just to see the lens sharpness and light fall off as well as how well you can pull focus with this system.
I had a 52mm homemade B+W variable ND filter which I was able to use on the lens with a step up ring to help control my exposure.
For those who want to play with this Ektar II 25mm you’ll definitely need a 30mm step up ring for this lens
I literally tried several filters to find the right size and after several months and several returns later I lucked out and found out that 30mm is the filter size for this Ektar II 25mm lens. There’s no info. on the web at all on this so I had to figure this out on my own. I’ll soon post a listing of filters sizes for the c-mount lenses that I currently own to help those who want to try this similar setup with their own c-mount lenses.
I’m very pleased and surprised that you can even pull focus with this little lens. Once you set it up properly the SNAP! Gear and Collar is fairly secure and it really allows you far more control allowing you to achieve repeatable focus pulls. One thing that I noticed is that it takes about one to two full rotations to actually go from close focus to infinity depending of course where your subject matter is so that’s something to consider when using this particular ektar lens. I’d also recommend that you tighten the camera down to whatever plate you are using in order to prevent the camera from moving and your SNAP! Gear from slipping from the follow focus gears.
In general, the Ektar II 25mm has a unique character to it. Sure it has your usual light fall off and c-mount vignetting but it does give you the old school feel. It’s corner sharpness is rather so so to me but for those who are looking to use this lens to invoke the nostaligic past that may not be so bad. Again, I was shooting everything completely wide open so that would change of course by stopping down.
I do want to do a few more tests with this lens just to see if the step ring and ND filter is creating that extra light fall off. For a first test I’m really impressed that this could even be a possibiloity. It’s not bad. And really, it’s so lowprofile and lightweight that it makes it fun to shoot. The fact that we have something like the SNAP! gear and collar to be able to do this fairly economicaly is also quite attractive. You can buy a 70mm SNAP gear and then have a number of SNAP! Collars depending on the lens you are using. I look forward to more c-mount movie makers in m4/3!