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Phil Cooper

Celere HS primes - Yay or Nay

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Posted (edited)

Hey all - perhaps late to the party but I've had my eye on a 2nd hand set of Celere HS's and wonder if any DP's out there have experience shooting on them, and what their thoughts are good and bad. I'm specifically interested in image quality, skin tones, character, how they handle highlights etc. Links to work welcome!

They've got a lot going for them, FF, T1.5 throughout, robust design etc but rumours too they are essentially re-housed Xenon's / Sigma Cine's. Then there's the fact the company got sold and so draws questions for any after-care. 

Lot of hearsay out there, so I thought I'd find out some more!! Cheers

Edited by Phil Cooper
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Looks like they are rehoused Samyang

Really?! That's surprising. They must have changed the coatings too... they have a milky look in my experience.

I used them once, and really liked the look.

I'll show you the edit, but it's not very helpful as a) they made it black and white in the grade, b) I wasn't able to use any proper lighting, c) it was quite a rushed shoot. It's the actuality moments of this... the meeting, the designers... and the guy working with the foam prototype (not the product/beauty shots or factory shots): 

 

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On 4/23/2020 at 4:13 PM, Günther Göberl said:

I think this will answer your questions: http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?163197-SALT-VV-VistaVision-Lens-Shootout

 

Make sure you read the comments on reduser. Looks like they are rehoused Samyang. I have to say I have a set of the XEEN and I am very happy with them. Maybe worth for you to take a look at the new XEEN CF

 

that's really helpful Günther. Especially the reduser post, a lot of Q's answered. Thanks! 

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On 4/23/2020 at 4:24 PM, Nezih said:

Really?! That's surprising. They must have changed the coatings too... they have a milky look in my experience.

I used them once, and really liked the look.

I'll show you the edit, but it's not very helpful as a) they made it black and white in the grade, b) I wasn't able to use any proper lighting, c) it was quite a rushed shoot. It's the actuality moments of this... the meeting, the designers... and the guy working with the foam prototype (not the product/beauty shots or factory shots): 

 

Cheers Nezih. Good to see that, thanks

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I'd steer clear.

They're simply rehoused XEEN lenses, with the "18.5mm" being a rehoused 20mm Sigma Art prime.

They're out of business now, so there's no one to source parts from for repairs - plus I'd just be cautious in general of a company whose people can so confidently lie directly to people's faces (which is what happened when I asked the owner about the optics when he brought the lenses down to Australia on a "road show").

You can get the same glass in Xeen's new (and improved) carbon fibre housings, for equally cheap money (and for even less money if you go with the original housings) - with the benefit of having an actual source for service and repairs down the line.

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My sentiment is the same as Mark's. Even if they were still in business the lenses are far from anything special. I've only encountered them in production once and I don't feel they're anything special. Investing in a lens set where the manufacturer is out of business does not make sense if they're not popular and widely supported by service providers. 

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On 7/23/2020 at 9:34 AM, Mark K said:

I'd steer clear.

They're simply rehoused XEEN lenses, with the "18.5mm" being a rehoused 20mm Sigma Art prime.

They're out of business now, so there's no one to source parts from for repairs - plus I'd just be cautious in general of a company whose people can so confidently lie directly to people's faces (which is what happened when I asked the owner about the optics when he brought the lenses down to Australia on a "road show").

You can get the same glass in Xeen's new (and improved) carbon fibre housings, for equally cheap money (and for even less money if you go with the original housings) - with the benefit of having an actual source for service and repairs down the line.

Wow! I had no idea!

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Posted (edited)

I own the set, purchased a few years ago.

I was really wanted something with swappable mounts and then the potential to swap the front elements to uncoated intrigued me. I also wasn't looking for anything too slick and sharp. The impressive close focus was also a big thing for me too. 

I spoke directly with the lens maker (Lars) when I purchased, very nice guy. Spoke in depth about the sourcing of the glass, he was very upfront about things with me. They're a bit of a frankenstein lens, with glass sourced globally as well as in Germany.

I look at prime sets in this price bracket as an owner operator kit. Nothing in that budget is going to be a master prime or cooke, so just go for something you enjoy shooting on. These lenses are fine, I don't regret picking them up. The company was actually bought out, by another company, so not quite the negative connotation of the went out of business. I am still looking to get the uncoated front elements if anyone has a lead on them. 

I'll post a few more images. 

TOTO_TEST_COLOR.00_00_28_07.Still015.jpg

Edited by JMG

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Hey Phil,

Not sure if you are still looking but I have used multiple different sets of the Celere's across a variety of projects. I was fond of the softer feel and found them a usable budget friendly option when we couldn't afford something like the cooke S4s. Image wise they were nice, very different wide open to being stopped down even half a stop. Rehousing questions aside I felt I could create nice images with them.

I am on the hunt for lenses as well and a couple experiences I have had whilst using the Celeres stop them from being a purchase option for me. On 2 seperate occasions with 2 different sets I have had the focus ring of the 85mm become so stiff/stuck it was almost unturnable through 6ft-20ft... Both times this made the lens unusable. I have had the lenses switched out by a hire company because their 85mm was out of order due to focus issues. I have also had an 18.5mm with a slipping iris ring. The only way to get it to engage was to point the lens at the sky... Again it was pretty much useless. I have other anecdotal stories from owners and users but I will stick too first hand experience. Find it a bit of a shame as I felt they provided something different in the lower end price bracket.

Cheers,

Kurt

 

 

 

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On 8/3/2020 at 12:56 PM, Kurt Riddell said:

Hey Phil,

Not sure if you are still looking but I have used multiple different sets of the Celere's across a variety of projects. I was fond of the softer feel and found them a usable budget friendly option when we couldn't afford something like the cooke S4s. Image wise they were nice, very different wide open to being stopped down even half a stop. Rehousing questions aside I felt I could create nice images with them.

I am on the hunt for lenses as well and a couple experiences I have had whilst using the Celeres stop them from being a purchase option for me. On 2 seperate occasions with 2 different sets I have had the focus ring of the 85mm become so stiff/stuck it was almost unturnable through 6ft-20ft... Both times this made the lens unusable. I have had the lenses switched out by a hire company because their 85mm was out of order due to focus issues. I have also had an 18.5mm with a slipping iris ring. The only way to get it to engage was to point the lens at the sky... Again it was pretty much useless. I have other anecdotal stories from owners and users but I will stick too first hand experience. Find it a bit of a shame as I felt they provided something different in the lower end price bracket.

Cheers,

Kurt

 

 

 

Thank you for your experience. I will tell you mine with the XEEN. I dropped my Xeen 50mm t1.5 after 2 years of using it. I was thinking about buying a new one or getting them repaired. I called the German distributor of the Xeen lenses. I told him that I dropped the lens. EF mount is broken and one element inside the lens is loose and if he thinks that it makes sense to send it in for repair. He replied that this is no problem as I am still under warranty!!!!!! They provide 5 years warranty. I just had to send the lens in and after 3 days I got a brand-new lens with a new mount. As you can imagine I was pretty surprised!!

 

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