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Tuesday, 10 March 2009


I wonder who actually makes these lenses???

There's a set of Cooke lenses for Red too: http://www.cookeoptics.com/cooke.nsf/secondary/cookeredset

Actually you can see that the 300mm is the one the right, and the zoom on the left. Or at least it says "RED 300" on the barrel of the right one...

Those things look so... menacing. If Darth Vader has a camera, it's sure to be a RED.

Seriously awesome. Not only does each lens cost more than a new car, they're bigger too! When you're hauling your RED around Ansel Adams style (with a pack animal), everyone will know you're a real man.

They look very cool, very heavy and very, very expensive...

Lens baby one day, uber Red lenses the next. What a roller-coaster ride around here.

There's a good reason for using T-stops in film and video -- when you want cut from a shot made with one lens a shot of the same scene made with another, you want the same exposure in both shots. Of course, Red, by offering to shoot raw will make all things possible in software, but still not having to correct is a big productivity enhancer.


As fotomik points out, the lens on the right does seem to be the 300 mm. That means that those are some massive lenses -- all of them, and the 18-85 mm zoom even more so. (They would already have been pretty hefty even if you had been right, Mike.) I'm guessing that price is commensurate with size and performance; designing high-performance lenses in a hurry may not be a problem these days, if there are no limits on size and price. I wonder if any of them have image stabilization.


As can be seen here, RED can also produce some bargains: a high-end fixed-zoom videocam under $4000. There's also a line of mini-primes for their non-fixed model starting at 6.5mm T1.9 (!!). No price found.

I use the term 'bargain' advisedly: way beyond my current means; cheap for an aspiring filmmaker.

I'm wondering if the size is due to the available sensor sizes touted for the Scarlet and Epic. In that case, maybe the imaging circle has to be huge to cover the medium format sensors. Although I can't see a set of lenses for thier 16x6 cm sensor also being used on their 5x1 cm sensors - seems like massive overkill. Maybe they're just 35mm sized, but big for other reasons...

This is a CG render, not a photo...

So who knows when these lenses will actually exist.

Jim Jannard makes a lot of noise, but I just don't see the "DSLR killer" happening with the RED system. Way too expensive for us amateur types. And he's been making all this noise for so long now, it's time a real photographer actually got his/her hands on one, if it even exists.

What an unfortunate time to try to sell new boy toys.

The price... hold your breath.

hold it some more.

About 4k each. United States Dollars. And you have to buy the set of 5 or 6. It's in the thread around page 10 somewhere (one of the Jannard posts). 20k for the primes minus the 300mm, just under 25k for the primes plus the 300mm.

And then they do not cover full frame 35 mm sensors. Just Super 35 (I think), which is roughly APS-C.

Mind you, this is quite *cheap* for cinema lenses. The thing with cinema lenses, is that they're not just about the optics. The zooms especially, but the primes too is the smoothness of their mechanisms. The zooming is a visually continuous thing, which is generally not true for still-camera lenses. The same thing is probably true for the focus mechanism in primes, just focus, no change of framing.

Oh, and one more thing, which is actually the title of the thread:

they're actually T1.8 lenses. They exceeded their expected manufacturing spec, and all came out at T1.8.

Red says on page 3 of their FAQs that the lenses are made by "experts in optical design." I'm going to guess Sigma, because many of the focal lengths match what they already make.
Nothing wrong with that, of course. There's a big difference between what Sigma can make when they are trying to undercut OEM lenses and what they can make in a "cost is no object" scenario.

Part of the reason why the the lenses are so big is so that they can all use the same accessories (follow-focus, zoom control, mate box, etc). They also have to be serviceable, which means that you can't pack stuff in as tight as for "disposable" consumer lenses.

On page ten Jannard says:
"Yes to 18mm in development... no to FF35 coverage. Yes to incredible resolution (center to edge) and lack of aberrations. We hope people will put these on lens projectors and compare..."

Call me a mulligrub if you must, but I'm skeptical of this whole RED enterprise. There's been a distant scent of BS around it, ever since the start. I've been wrong before - there was that time back in '63 when I predicted that Pop Tarts wouldn't sell -- and maybe RED is for real, but it looks to me more like a rich guy's hobby. We'll see.

Not exactly "pancakes", are they?

It is a rich guys hobby. This is why Red came into being. Make the best cinema camera money can make, then set a good price on it. After that, become profitable. If that makes it BS?

Along the way, they figured they could also try to shake up the stills industry. I'm not so sure about that one, but hey.

The thing is, the hobby turned out a real camera (the RED ONE) which is actually being used for mainstream movies and TV shows you may have seen. You probably weren't aware they were shot on Red. But then, when was the last time you noticed that a photo was taken with a Canon or Nikon or whoever.

They're a strange bunch. The only manufacturer I know of who is serially numbering their camera bodies. They're around #5300 now. Now why would they be doing that...

I think Red rock, but I'm just observing from a distance. The only way they could be better is to use more Captain Scarlet references in their products.

Nerd alert: the lenses are L-R: 18-85, 50, 35, 85, 25, 100, 300. All focal lengths are on the barrels.

It's real products, the RED One has been out for a while now and used in several professional movies.

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