The Zeiss ZF.2 primes are among the most suitable still photo lenses to be adapter for motion picture use with the Cine-Mod. Their fully manual design and high quality materials makes them ideal. Converting the ZF.2 primes from Nikon F to Canon EF allows the all manual operation of the ZF.2 lenses to be used on a wide range of cameras. The ZE version of these primes offers a factory standard Canon EF mount but lacks the manual aperture of the ZF.2 primes. This makes the ZE variants less desirable as the iris can only be operated with a Eos camera smart mount. One of the greatest benefits of the Zeiss ZF.2 and ZE primes is that they can be purchased brand new with factory warranty.
Nikon primes have an excellent heritage with options ranging all the way from the early 60's Nikkor-S lenses up to modern AF-S G primes. Somewhere right in the middle you'll find the Nikkor AI-s series with fully manual controls and very pleasing glass. The Nikon AI-s primes won't be as well corrected or controlled as the Leica R primes and will have a "backwards" focus rotation, but their build quality and character more than make up for what they lack. Almost all Nikon AI-S primes can accept the full Cine-Mod as well as a Leitax Canon EF conversion. There are some exceptions. The Pre AI Nikon primes have an unaccommodating mount hole pattern that cannot be converted to EF easily. Newer Nikon primes such as the AF-S G series lack a manual aperture ring.
Leica has several series of lenses, of which the R series is the most well suited for the Cine-Mod. With proper focus rotation and a very desirable "vintage" look, the Leica R series primes are a very popular choice for cinematography. These primes can accept the Cine-Mod very well including the Leitax Nikon F or Canon EF conversion. With dozens of focal lengths produced over a range of many years, the Leica R series lenses are among the most popular still lenses for motion picture work. Certain lenses cannot accept the 80mm front ring due to uncommon filter thread sizes such as Series VII, and VIII. Other focal lengths cannot be used on cameras with a reflex mirror such as the 5D due to interference with the rear element.
There are few zooms that work well for motion picture application and therefor few that will benefit from the Cine-Mod. Nikon's AF-S 17-35mm, 28-70mm, and 80-200mm work well, but not without their drawbacks. The problems with using still photo zooms for cinema work include consistency, accuracy, stability, and plenty of other zoom related occurrences. Most zoom lenses lack a manual aperture ring and may require additional support due to their heavier design. For zoom that do work well for cinema, a zoom gear can be installed similar to the focus gear. This can be helpful for remote operation or motor driven setups. There are very few Leica R zooms that work well with the Cine-Mod. Modern Canon EF and Nikon F lenses can greatly benefit from focus and zoom gears.
The Zeiss Contax (C/Y) primes are a good blend of features including fully manual operation and "proper" focus rotation. Their optical design is very similar to that of the more modern ZF.2 primes in certain focal lengths, and inferior in others. As with any lens produced over a decade ago, caution should be taken when searching for pre-owned lenses - their condition should be carefully evaluated prior to purchase. The Contax/Yashica primes can accept a Leitax Canon EF mount adaptation similar to the Zeiss ZF.2 and Leica R primes, but require specific mounts for different focal lengths. These mounts can be purchased directly from Leitax.com.
There are plenty of other options out there. Parts of the Cine-Mod can be applied to so many different lenses. A few tips to keep in mind: A gear can be affixed to just about any surface that doesn't have an obstruction; including scalloped, rubber, metal, or plastic rings. Different surface patters and materials work better than others. Access to the surface where the gear is to be installed must be the largest diameter from the front or the rear of the lens. If the diameter of the scale is smaller than the front and the rear, a gear cannot be installed. Lenses without an aperture ring cannot be de-clicked for obvious reasons. 80mm front rings are installed using existing filter threads. Uncommon threads cannot accept 80mm front rings. Contact Duclos Lenses today about your lenses.
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