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Lens tests on the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera (BMPCC)
  • I think it's appropriate to start a new thread here and not to add it to the main BMPCC thread. Might apply to other S-16 alike cameras too in the future…

    First the Lumix 7-14mm 4.0 zoom, since so many of you are hunting down a wide angle covering that sensor with it's massive crop factor (2.88 compared to photographic FF). The question was: what do we have to expect without in-camera corrections? Well, at 7mm we have massive barrel distortion, good sharpness "wide" open and minor CA in the corners. Distortion improves considerably at 10mm and is gone at 14mm. CA disappears too. Please excuse the bad lighting, but our studio is busy and so this was very improvised (camera goes to the next reviewer tomorrow).

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  • As we all know, the Lumix 12-35mm might be a very attractive lens for this camera, since it other than the 7-14 it has IS and is one stop faster. The observations are very similar: massive barrel distortion at 12mm, but sharp even wide open and just a hint of CA. Distortion improves quite a bit at 16mm already and is replaced by minimal pincushion distortion at 35mm without visible CA. If you check it on 35mm only at video resolution it is hard to see a difference against a Zeiss C/Y 35mm 2.8. Left at 12mm, right at 16.

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  • And now the famous Lumix pancake 20mm 1.7. Surprisingly, it shows some softness in the corners, minor CA and some barrel distortion. Stopped down to 4.0 it get's really sharp. A Zeiss C/Y 28mm with SpeedBooster, which is very close in viewing angle, is sharp from the start (about 2.0).

    Please excuse me if I don't post all my chart shots. They are boring and eat space. If you want a specific one posted or sent, tell me. This is the Zeiss plus SB, which I consider my reference for this test (the different color is mainly due to the sun going down, not only the lens).

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  • Thank you for sharing info, it's appreciated. Would you by any chance happen to have a eng lens you could mount and test, both with and without the x2 engaged?

  • Nope, sorry.

  • Thanks @nomad. Very informative.

  • I hope they can add lens-corrections to the firmware down the road. Since it is only 1080p, I suppose it would be hard to adjust in post without losing resolution. Do you have a Olympus 9-18 to test with? Wondering how bad it is without lens-correction..

  • BMPCC with Computar 12.5-75mm f1.2:

    Tried out yesterday some of my lenses on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera.

    1) Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 works flawlessly with it.

    2) Computar 8.5mm f/1.3 for 2/3" C mount unfortunately vignettes, so unless you're cropping it then it is no good (say reduced down to 720 for instance it would then be fine, although I don't think you'd need to go quite that far).

    3) my current favourite lens for my GH1 (which needs a 2x tele-extender on my GH1, or ETC mode with a GH2) is the Computar 12.5-75mm f1.2 C mount lens & in my personal opinion works fine with the BMPCC to my tastes. And would be out of all my lenses the preferred lens for me to use with the BMPCC (unless I was to get a Metabones Speed Booster for my Vivitar 1 Series 28-90mm F2.8-3.5, then just maybe I might prefer that instead). Others on the web have reported this working with S16 in the past too (before the BMPCC existed).

  • Interesting. I'm looking forward to seeing some basic footage shot with that Computar 12.5-75. I also used that lens on a GH2.

    Thanks for the update.

  • @IronFilm Doesn't the Panny 14mm distort too?

    @tosvus I doubt it has the computing power for realtime corrections. Plus, the resolution of the sensor stays limited, so you'll loose some either way. It's a very different situation with a photo sensor.

  • @IronFilm Is the 12.5-75mm parfocal, and is backfocus good-to-go with a standard C-mount adapter? Thanks.

  • @TheNewDeal The Computar 12.5-75 vignettes in the GH2?

  • Any C-mount lens will need careful shimming on a C-mount adapter. I have not yet found a single one that is right from the start.

  • Thanks for lens update. I was wondering about the Lumix lenses w/o correction.

  • @tron ha, it is very very very very far from being parfocal! I used a 99c C-mount adapter from eBay, same as I use with all my other ones.

    @nomad I use heaps of C mount lenses, many many of them work great without modification. In fact, I've never modified one yet! (if however you get a CS mount lens... then you'll likely run into serious trouble. C and CS mount lenses look the same though with their screw)

    @MarcioK you'd have to either use a 2x tele-extender (what I do with my GH1) or ETC mode with your GH2. But on a BMPCC it doesn't need any of that help, due to the 3x crop factor vs the roughly 2x for most other m4/3 cameras.

  • Sure, they work – apart from some needing modification of the rear diameter. But I never found one that is spot on regarding distance scales. They go all beyond infinity, some quite a bit, and the rest consequently isn't correct either. I found this with cheap Chinese no-brands for less than 10 € all the way to shiny Metabones adapters. And, yes, I know the difference regarding CS ;-)

    It's no big thing for primes, you'll just loose some NFD, but no zoom will ever be parfocal that way.

    If you found a C-mount adapter that is spot on, please tell us the source. BTW, all the top brands I tested like Schneider, Kern, Arri etc. were correct on a 16mm camera.

  • How does the auto focus do with the 14mm?

  • Being a TV lens, the Computar 12.5 - 75mm should be parfocal when shimmed correctly.

    But does it vignette at the wide end or not?

  • Thank you for sharing info @nomad :-)

    I hope they can add lens-corrections to the firmware down the road.

    Great idea, @tosvus, why not actually- the BM should really consider to do that.

  • They won't add lens correction because that would make them slaves to Panasonic's system, and BM is about independence and breaking the existing paradigms.

  • You can't add lens correction to a native 1080p sensor without reducing its resolution. (It's besides the point of a raw camera anyway.) If you want corrected MFT system lenses, grab a GHx.

  • Thanks. Is that possible to do a test on 8mm FE lens? I am thinking about using this combination underwater. Many thanks.

  • Sorry, I don't have access to that lens and the camera is going back now anyway.

  • Thanks.

  • @cantsin you're right, I tought instinctively after years with the GHxs that the BMPCC also uses macroblocking- but it is indeed native 1920x1080 sensor :-/

  • A few observations on AF and IS:

    Tested with various Panny and Oly lenses: AF is slow and tends to overshoot nevertheless, only useable for focusing before a shoot. Finally, it's spot on, though.

    IS is great on the Lumix 12-35mm, no obvious side-effects like 'sticking' pans I know from some still lenses. This seems to be the best lens for handheld work until now.