Sonntag, 27. Mai 2012

From Russia with Love - Filming with Kiev88 Lenses on DSLR

This time I tried out some of my Kiev88 analog lenses on my Canon 5D MII for filming. Just to figure it out how they work out in the idea of style and colours.

First you have to find an converter that takes your thread mounted Kiev88 lenses to the EOS mount. There are some sources on the Internet but it´s kindly hard to get the right one, because the most of the providers of adapters will delivery the Kiev88C/M mount that´s actually like an pentacon-six-mount and this is not what you want for your thread-like lenses as such as the Kiev88. At last it takes me several trys and time to get nearly the right adapter. Here it is a Kiev88 to nikon adapter that I have to match with a additional adapter for Nikon to EOS. Once this work I could start filming with these lenses.

As you will surely regognize, this lenses don´t have any auto-capabilities at all. No autofocus, no autoaperture or image stabilizer... Pure manual working on this lenses. If you want to take pictures with that it could be a littlebit to soft in the focus and the colors are also very flat. The meter in the camera will also give you some strange settings that maybe caused by the badly coated lenses that reflect the light onto the meter... So, there are no reasons for photographers why they should try that kind of lenses. But... for filmers it could be a stylish tool to get some special kind of look.

So I tried two different lenses on a weekend joining three members of the famous Fotoclub Potsdam (Katja Gragert, Michael Schulze and Ralph Gräf )  in which Im also a member. For me it´s just fun and I was filming this guys as they´re looking for a motive in the southern Brandenburg County.

First lens is a  45mm/3.5 MIR - 26B wideangle (mediumformat 6x6 related). It has a six blade aperture and the nearest focus distance is 0,5 m. It is quite heavy and the stops are some kind of ridiculus. You have an open aperture, then it goes from 5,6 to 8 as the same light intesity and then the 22 f-stop is like a 11 f-stop, so you´re actually working with three f-stops... well... it old and it´s russian... what did you expect after all this time...
Second lens is a 80mm/2.8 MC VOLNA-3 normal lens (mediumformat 6x6 related). It has also six blade aperture and the nearest focus is 0,6 m. It´s quite similar manufactured as the 45mm and the f-Stop problem is not as much as at the 45mm. 

With the Adapter KI-88/N you got an adapter without lenses and you can take the 45mm and the 80mm as "real" 45mm and 80mm for smallframe kameras. On the Kiev88 the focal length is similar to 35mm and 50 mm but here it´s like a 45mm and an 80mm.

up: 45mm Lens,  Adapter KI-88/N, Nikon to Eos Adapter and DSLR on the edge the 80 mm lens. Down: 45mm with adapters attached to the DSLR

So, I take it down to a test on a very sunny and bright day. Open aperture on these lenses are a littlebit tricky. The lenses colors got flat and the focus could be a littlebit too soft. But it´s a matter of taste and could be like an old 60ties lens. If you got lensflare you could get a six-edged figure or some kind of strange lightrays by the 45mm in your picture. As you working without matebox or lens hood you got a nice orange coloration in your picture that really reminds to the 70ties or 60ties pictures. As you can see in the film.

On this test I didn´t use a follow focus but it should be no problem to attach some gear rings to the lenses and make it work. 
In matter of Image quality I can say that it´s quite good, although the lenses got blurry to the edge of the frame as you use the medium format 6x6. On a DSLR you got a crop effect and it takes the middle of the frame, so you got the best part of the circularforming. It´s also good in matter of sharpness while you using motion pictures. On still pictures I didn´t test it, but I don´t expect great results.

On the day of testing I got also the possibility to test a lensbaby and an old Diana lens on the DSLR. the Diana Lens is an old plastik lens  that actually make some saturated colors and light fisheye effect. It is the first colorshot after the black and white lensbaby effect, which I will test in a later project during this summer. 

In the end I could say that I have some lenses for old style filming  that´s quite good working in matter of focus and colors. They got nice lensflare effect but it´s not for people which prefer high-fashion-super-sharp-true-color-shots. Also the limitation to the focal length is a unfortunate thing, cause in this lens class you can just get an 30mm (ARSAT/ZODIAK 30mm/3.5 ). I also got an  250mm/3.5
JUPITER 36B which I don´t tested while I got no tripod with me on that day. It´s become quite heavy! So you got to figure out on yourself if you want to shoot like the sixties without a big wideangle and f-stops like 1.8 or similiar. I enjoyed it in the end and shurly give them a try in future.

Freitag, 4. Mai 2012

To the Sun & the Moon - a Super8 Film

For the first time I had an experience in filming with super 8 material during my trip from Vancouver, Canada to South Dakota, USA. One of the reasons for this trip was to fullfill my selfpromis to my deceased Dad, in which I continued the procedure of spreading a little piece of ashes to the favourite place of the deceased one. He did it for my mom as she died in October 2000 and after his death in 2008 I felt that I had to do the same thing for him. At this time he was quite enthusiastic about the history of the indians in north america. But unfortunatly his health and his enormous fear of flying prevented him from getting to this places like the battlefield of Little Bighorn or the holy place of the Black Mountains with the Crazy Horse Memorial.
So as the opportunity appeared to me and my girlfriend, who is currently studying abroad in Canada, we drove all the way from Vancouver via Little Bighorn to the Black Hills.
As a result, here you can see that though all the years, 8mm films have still the talent to change a trip that actually took place in 2012 into a 1970´s look. . Have fun!