By technical editor Matt Allard:
Many TV shooters have been looking for ways to use their existing HD broadcast lenses on large sensor cameras since the early days of DSLR video. The broadcast zoom lens is sometimes more useful than shallow depth of field 35mm glass because of speed of operation, servo motor and all-in-one design. But the look of 35mm became very popular and so shooters started to crave both on the same camera. However until the advent of the Sony F5 and F55 (and now the 4K Panasonic Varicam), adapting B4 lenses has required large light losses.
German company IBE Optics have just announced the new HD 1.4X optical extender that allows the use of Broadcast B4 ENG lenses on the Sony F5 and F55, when used in HD centre crop mode. The centre crop mode records a 2K or HD crop from the centre of the full 4K image, and is approximately the same as a Super16 frame. The 2/3” frame is smaller than Super16 and therefore a 1.4x extender is required to make the image cover the frame. There is no indication of the light loss at the moment but it should be less than one stop.
The cheaper way to have a B4 lens to cover Super16 is to use the built-in range extender of the broadcast lens, but this is generally lower quality with too much of a crop and greater light loss.
A similar B4 to F5/F55 adapter has already been launched by British manufacturer MTF Services. It will be interesting to compare the results from the two. There is also currently no pricing information for the HD 1.4X but we look forward to seeing it at NAB.
Also launched is the PLx1.4 optical extender that fits between lens and camera body and extends the focal length of a Super 35mm format PL-mount lenses 1.4 times. According to IBE Optics the PLx1.4 features high-index, low-dispersion glass to ensure the highest possible resolution and contrast with minimal optical degradation. The optical design is optimized for digital cameras with telecentric ray path at the sensor.
While most extenders can only physically fit on a limited range of lenses, the design of the PLx1.4 allows it to accommodate the widest array of PL mount lenses of any doubler. Compatibility is achieved with a deep-set optical assembly that accepts lenses with deep protruding rear elements. The PLx1.4 is designed to mount to any digital cinema camera with a native PL mount. It will also clear the spinning mirror on Arri and Aaton 35 mm movie cameras. Optically, the PLx1.4 projects an image with a diameter large enough to cover all regular Super35 sensors and even the slightly larger RED Dragon 6K frame. For the technically minded the maximum image circle projection is 34.5 mm. Max. input aperture is F1.8.
Their new Universal Mounting System (UMS) allows the mounting of the adapter onto PL, Canon EF, Sony NEX E, Sony FZ and MFT mount without reshiming. Sadly Nikon F Mount can NOT be used with the PLx1.4,
The PLx1.4 fits on the following cameras:
– ARRI ALEXA, all models including the Studio
– ARRI 35 mm film cameras with spinning mirrors
– Aaton Penelope Delta
– Aaton 35 mm film cameras with spinning mirrors
– Phantom High-Speed Cameras – all models
– Sony F3/F5/F55/F65
– Canon C300/C500 (PL Mount)
– RED EPIC DRAGON/Epic/One/Scarlet
The PLx1.4 is compatible with the following lenses:
• Cooke Mini S4/i Primes longer than 32 mm
• Cooke S4/i Primes longer than 35 mm
• Leica Summilux-C
• RED Pro Primes
• Schneider Cine-Xenar Primes Mark III
• Sony CineAlta PL Primes
• Zeiss Standard Primes Mark II
• Zeiss Compact Primes (including Super Speeds)
• Zeiss High Speed Primes longer than 50 mm
• Zeiss Master Primes
• Zeiss Ultra Primes longer than 28 mm
• Angenieux Optimo Cine Zooms (non-DP series)
• ARRI/Fujinon ALURA Zooms
• ARRI/Zeiss 16.5 – 110 Master Zoom
• Canon CN-E Zooms
• Cooke Zooms
• Focus Optics 14 – 24 Zoom
• Fujinon Cabrio Zooms
• Fujinon Premier PL Zooms
• Zeiss Zooms
The IBE Optics 1.4x Extender will retail for 4500 Euros.