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Mr. Deakins (and all),
If you may humor and imagine these three fictional conditions & two questions:
- You are the operator and DP for a minimalist crew, a passion project, an international documentary
- You are covering an intimate story of a survivor of a mass-scale crisis (say climate or war-related) on location
- The director wanted to shoot on a single prime
- Without further context, which S35/FF prime(s) would you consider or choose?
- What do you think about the 25MM MP as a choice, assuming a budget of about 15K for a single?
bnjmn.org & deltree.com
*Very optional, no need to read* Additional context & why these two questions:
- I direct 1-2 budgeted small crew docs a year. I’m a single-lens shooter. I never travel or shoot with a set or even two lenses.
- My real weekly use case and reason for owning is documenting my family and my life in the most artistic and aspirational way possible. It’s my legacy & gift- and I want to be inspired as I do it. It’s chasing around my 1-year-old while hand-pulling focus. I love it.
- Creating mini-docs that feel like Tree of Life would be a fast and loose way of describing what I want to make.
- I prefer a spherical ~24mm S35 to ~35MM FF, aka 60-70 degree FOV, for z-axis handheld movement & scene storytelling ability.
- I would go Chivo wider, but I also love 35MM compression/curvature for its realism/complementary balance on the human face- and my most prominent work is at that focal length exclusively. (thus, my compromise is 40mm 2x Anamorphic)
- I own a variety of 24-28MM still lenses (28/f2 Nikon AIS, 24/1.4 Sony GM, Rokinon 24/1.8), but most often use the Atlas Anamorphic 40mm Orion.
- I never use the stills because I love my special relationship with the Orion due to its world-class image, weight, manual focus, and distinct look.
- Now I’m looking for one more entirely different look, distinct from the Orion/anamorphic. Goal: to have the ultimate 1-2 stylistic single punch between the Orion and this new lens.
- Why a new/expensive lens when I have other stills and an anamorphic I love?
- To borrow from your recent post about why you would not shoot with Ultra or other vintage lenses, It would be primitive to step back to “less” lenses.
- I want to be inspired every time I pick up my camera. I don’t want a few lenses I like. I want one or two I adore. One that becomes part of my artistic expression, my little legacy.
- I have an instinct that the world-class, historical engineering of an Arri/Zeiss collaboration in MP and the distortion-free 25MM would give me the best of both worlds while rendering a cleaner but still gorgeous image that distracts the viewer less with anamorphic artifacts.
- Over time (months/years), this would allow me to understand and drift toward my true style and inner vision/preference.
I recently stumbled upon an opportunity to purchase a 25mm Master Prime at a good deal.
I’ve rented MPs for one project in the past, and while it was a commercial project, I loved the lenses, and I’m considering it for my next single lens purchase.
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