Struggles of a Prime Shooter

     Greetings once again to the blog. This week's post? Less of a tutorial and more of a confession. Like most art forms, there are tools that help us improve our craft. Be it newer/faster lenses, cameras, lights, microphones etc. Unfortunately, most of us (like myself) aren't fortunate enough to be able to purchase said gear. For the past year, I have been shooting with two lenses primarily. The Rokinon 14mm T/3.1 Cine and the Canon 40mm F/2.8 specifically. They're both fantastically sharp and perform pretty well in low light as well (being both are at F/2.8). However, just using these two lenses haven't been to my advantage.

One of my favorite shots with my 14mm prime. Yes, it's manual focus. Yes, it can be used at a location for amazing photos and video.

     Recently, I was assisting a photoshoot with a photographer and noticed one thing about my work... I HAVE to have the two lenses! There's no escaping it. I have to bring the 40mm and the 14mm lens. For slower events, this is no big deal. However, I wasn't assisting a slow event. I was moving around, and fast. I sometimes didn't even bring one of the lenses only because I feared dropping it while shooting. That would have rendered me literally "fixed."

     However, even with this hinderance I was still shooting in this system. Why? These lenses are sharp. Period. Nothing comes close to the 14mm at this price, and the 40mm has a legend all its own. But I know this can't last, especially since I'm going to be doing more shoots involving high action and a fast pace. I needed a new lens. That is why I recently picked up the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 Macro. After using it for a month, I can absolutely say it's my favorite walk-around lens.

This was taken with the Sigma 17-70 @ 17mm & f/3.5.

     Expect a full review on this lens once I get to know it better. Until then, this has been your dose of the Tem.Teen Studios blog post. I will see you back next time for a whole new post. Take care everyone!

Rokinon 14mm t/3.1 Cine Review

(I want to start off by saying I have no affiliation with Rokinon, or any product manufacturer for that matter. I'm not making any money from reviewing products, nor do I plan to. If I don't like the product, I don't review it. Simple as that.)

     Welcome again to your weekly installment of the Tem.Teen Studios blog! Time for another review. And what piece of gear will I be reviewing today? The Rokinon 14mm t/3.1 Cine lens.

Rokinon Studio Style

     I want to start off by saying that this is a hefty lens. Weighing in at around 20 ounces (570 grams) and being only 5" tall, it isn't a toy to be messing with. The plastic feels very good and high quality. The focus & aperture rings are very smooth and have a nice bit of resistance. The front lens hood is part of the actual lens and cannot be removed. That is simply due to the fact that the front element is sitting directly in the lens hood. I do not recommend dropping this lens (why would you drop it?) for fear of cracking the front element.

     In the industry, this is what is known as a cinema lens. There are a few things that make this different from the photo lens version. The first thing that makes them different is that this lens is measured in T stops instead of F stops (if you want to know the difference, click on this sentence) and the aperture ring doesn't click when turned. Second is that the focus markers are on the side of the lens. And the third thing that is different is that the throw (angle of rotation from closest focus to infinity focus) is well over 300º, perfect for a follow focus.

     Now I'll bring up the image quality of this lens. It isn't exactly the sharpest thing on earth at t/3.1. But at t/4 down, it's about as sharp as my Canon 40mm f/2.8 when set to f/3.2 and below: 

Shot at t/4

Shot at t/4

     This lens does have a heavy bit of distortion, but thanks to Lightroom's lens correction, I was able to find a profile that works and you can download it here (it is a full frame profile, but all you need to do to make it work on a cropped sensor is change the vignette setting to 25 as opposed to 100). 

Shot at t/8

Shot at t/8

     After posting a photo of this lens on Instagram, one of the first questions I got was "How is this lens compared to the photo version of this lens?"And I can honestly say... I have no clue. However, what I am told is that this & the photo lens are the exact same minus the differences I listed earlier. Now, this is just what I'm told. I could be 100% wrong and maybe the photo lens has less image quality. Like I said earlier, I have no clue.

     IMPORTANT: This lens took a decent fall when my camera bag wasn't zipped properly. The elements themselves are fine. No scratches, dings or focus misalignments happened as far as I know. However, one thing came up to my attention. This lens was connected to my camera when it fell and the lens came off the camera. Upon further inspection, I found that the ring that connects the main part of the lens to the mount (the part that connects to the camera) broke. What surprised me is that this lens is made mostly of metal and high quality plastic. The plastic that the ring was made of wasn't of that same quality. Fortunately nothing else broke, and I was able to fix it with some super glue. Is this a deal breaker for me? I honestly have to say... no. I didn't expect this lens to be made the way it was (i.e: robust, sharp, & hefty) in the first place. I still use this lens and love it a lot.

     In conclusion, I love this lens. It's fun to use, built like a tank, and the images that come off of it are really sharp. Should my experience with the mount stop you from buying this lens? Absolutely not! If you're looking for an affordable Ultra-Wide Angle Prime lens, this lens is probably your best option.

     That's all for now. Next week, look for my review of the Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens. Until then, ¡Adios!

M42 - EF Adapter Review

Time now for the long awaited review of the M42 to EF adapter.

     A few months ago I reviewed the Fotodiox FD-EF lens adapter (link to amazon), and it blew my expectations clean out of the water. You can read the review by clicking here. Now comes the next adapter on the roster, the M42 - EF lens adapter with AF Conform Chip (Note: it is no longer available from the seller I bought it from, but I found the same one under a different brand name you can purchase).

The adapter when connected to my Canon T1i & my Spiratone M42 135mm f/2.8

The adapter when connected to my Canon T1i & my Spiratone M42 135mm f/2.8

     This adapter is very basic, consisting of only a metal ring and an AF confirm chip. Now when I say AF chip (pictured below), I'm saying Auto Focus Confirm Chip. This doesn't auto focus your manual lens. Rather, it tells you where it's focused in the viewfinder by the little red dots you see. When shooting, that AF confirm chip definitely helps, but it doesn't work all the time. And sometimes it locks the newer cameras up. That's kinda why I took it off. You may choose to leave it on, either way, it does help.

AF confirm chip seen on the backside of the adapter.

AF confirm chip seen on the backside of the adapter.

Here are some images I shot with the Industar 50mm f/3.5. The smallest SLR lens I own/probably will ever own:

This particular lens is amazing. It's one of my favorite manual lenses and was my go-to lens before I got my Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM (Review coming soon).

     To sum up, this adapter is great. Well made and durable. Do I recommend it? Absolutely, and you can click here to purchase it.

That's all for now, expect a new post next week. Until then... Hej då!

My New Favorite Lens

   Hey guys... Sorry it's been so long since my previous post. I've been busy with multiple things, some in the film world, some not. And you'll get to hear about those events in the posts following. But right now I want to talk about my what I might call... my new favorite lens. My Canon FD 24mm f/2.8.

   Since I shoot on a Crop-Sensored camera, it's harder to get a wider shot. This lens isn't particularly wide on a crop. But at 38.4mm after the crop, it's wider than my new second favorite lens, Canon FD 50mm f/1.4, which equates to about 80mm on a crop. So it is a little bit wider, and that opens up things I could shoot vastly. I can be in tighter quarters and get a more pleasing shot, and since it's a wider lens, it a lot easier to manually focus.

Lights of Town

  This shot is amazing. And currently, I could have only gotten it with that lens.

   That's it for now. I'll try to update the blog more often and get you guys more current media to enjoy. This is George saying, ¡Adios!

New Lenses! Part Two

Hey George here!

   There are a lot of things happening over at Tem.Teen Studios right now, and I wasn't able to put up a post earlier in the day. But I'm here now for part two of my new lenses series. If you haven't read part one, you can do that by clicking this sentence. So here is the rest of the review.

   Canon FD 50mm f/1.4

   For starters, 50mm is THE standard lens focal length. I honestly love that I now have a lens that is of a large aperture & a standard focal length. Now since I'm shooting on a crop-sensored camera, it's really about an 80mm. But I'm hoping within the next year or two I'll be shooting Full-Frame or Super 35 (which is only slightly larger than APS-C, but you get what I'm saying):
50mm Sample Shots 1

50mm Sample Shots 2
I LOVE this lens. Super sharp, super crisp, super awesome!

   Canon FD 300mm f/4

   My favorite telephoto lens... HANDS DOWN! Take a look and you'll see why I love it:

   These are amazingly sharp, considering how easy it is to miss manual focus with this lens.

   So looking at these lenses, I have filled out two of the three requirements I wanted from the new glass. Sharpness, and being brighter. The third being autofocus, isn't possible because these are all manual lenses. So I have to control the focus, and aperture on the lens itself like a cine lens before I take a picture or shoot a video. But for free, what can you expect? :-) Now in the future, I hope to get some Rokinon/Sigma or Canon EF lenses to shoot with. But for now, this is what I shoot with. Maybe I'll add some more old lenses to the collection. Who knows...

   When I get the final adapter, I will review it alongside the M42 adapter. But until then, this is George saying, adios.