Let's face it: Lenses are expensive. Depending on the brand and the quality of the build, it inflicts a huge scar on our bank accounts. Thank goodness we're not stuck with one option just because other content creators have them, and you can thank Isco for this....or right now.
Like we've discussed on this website, filmmakers crave that "film look." Whether or not they're doing it correctly is one thing (most of them don't), but for those who already know what they're doing, mark this review as a Godsend because we'll be seeing a lot of these on cameras.
Upon receiving the lens, you can tell this was custom-crafted out of projection lens that's designed to work as manual lenses. Starting things off: This is not a zoom lens, as it is a fixed prime lens. The focus ring is very smooth and is Follow Focus ready. The focus ring on my copy broke off but I have extra focus rings I can attach, no problem. The filter thread is 52mm and is ready for any filters you have on hand.
Depending on your copy, since it is custom built, the pieces could fall apart putting your lens at risk of dropping off the camera. What I strongly suggest is to use strong adhesives to stick the pieces with the lens so it doesn't fall apart. Be careful when gluing them together as the focus distance of the lens may be too far for the camera to see, causing nothing but a blurry picture. It was a hassle putting them together, but I was able to do it, and you can too. If it does fall apart, but you're afraid to do something to it, I recommend either exchanging it or finding your local camera lens repair shop and have them professionally fix it.
As for the images, it's a beauty. Whether you're using custom color profile settings on your camera or using a flat color picture to do some serious color correcting, it handles both excellently. Here's a video sample taken at the Knapp Baseball Ranch Park in Woodland Hills, CA:
The video was shot guerilla style on a tripod, and was downscaled to 720p24 for streaming purposes. The original source is available by request. The ISO set at 200.
A 5% deduction was resulted due to the wonky quality of the build (at least for mine, it was). Your copy may be better built and more solid, but despite our experience, we wanted to mention it in case some of you run into the same fiasco. Had the build been more sturdy without the worry of falling apart, it would've had a perfect score (image quality, however, is excellent and incredibly sharp).
Another thing about these lenses are since they are custom built, there aren't numerical prints of the focal length/aperture. This may concern those who are strict with using numbers in the f-stop ring in terms of focusing, so the operator is forced to rely on their camera's information or to eye-ball their shots.
Lastly, this lens DOES NOT have auto focus. Personally, I dislike auto focus and have been practicing and perfecting my skills in manual focusing. I understand a few of the situations where auto focus is key, but for me, I'm taking the strict challenge in shooting photos/videos on manual without backup (my experience with auto focus back in high school was awful, wanting for me to go full-out manual). If you're into auto focus, you may be inclined to give second thoughts about this lens. If you're like me and love shooting manual all the way, well, here you go!
This lens' quality is enough to hold up against the crazy-expensive lenses of today. Heck, shoot a mini-series or a [short] film with this lens and you'll fool so many people into thinking you invested in a huge budget, when really, it didn't break the bank too much. At times, you don't always need expensive equipment to produce something great. Excellent items are within your reach and it's time we all start recognizing them. Enough cries about wishing we could own an $80,000 film camera to create something "good."
Go out there and start filming; Go and grab these lens! Thank you, Isco!
|Description||Isco/Schneider cinema lenses are the hidden gems of prime lenses. Built with German build quality, these small, fast, and light lenses render tack sharp images and won four Academy Awards for technical achievements in optics. Our lenses are modified for modern DSLR cameras from NEW OLD STOCK - received in original packaging and cleanly modified for adapting to modern cameras. With 11 lens elements and multi-coatings, the character and optical quality are comparable to Leica or Zeiss primes. We have modified this lens with a custom focusing system to allow it to work with modern camera mounts. We have built this lens in the compatible M42 format.|
|ISBN / Bar Code number||????|
|Lens Type||[Cinema] Prime|
|Item Release||July 28, 2017 (????)|
|Item Specification||Camera Lens|
|Product / Item Number||????|
|Other||Lenses are made in Germany.|