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Old 08-22-2010, 02:01 PM   #1
Phil999
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Default what is 'breathing'

the term 'breathing' is sometimes mentioned in lens discussions, but I was not yet able to understand what it means. Can somebody enlighten me?
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Old 08-22-2010, 04:38 PM   #2
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when you focus the lens, it looks like it is zooming in or out slightly
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Old 08-22-2010, 05:29 PM   #3
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Zac is correct. This is also what usually sets apart cine glass from non-cine glass and why cine glass is so expensive - there is almost no breathing at all in cine glass. Having said that - I personally like subtle breathing, it helps to draw attention to the focus pull in my opinion. But 100 different people will have 100 different opinions about this one... In the end the good quality still glass (like the Canon "L" series) has a very minimal breathing...

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Old 08-22-2010, 11:21 PM   #4
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That's interesting, I thought breathing was the term used for describing the characteristic of a lens which can be in focus at one focal length and then out of focus at another. For example, zoom in, focus, zoom out and it loses focus. What is this called if it's not breathing?
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:50 AM   #5
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Andrew, the technical term for this is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parfocal_lens.

But people usually just say that the lens doesn't hold focus through zoom.
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Old 08-23-2010, 06:47 AM   #6
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thank you guys for fast and precise responses. I have until now only one lens, the kit lens of a D5000, and it breathes slightly. I could not say that I dislike it, but with this amateur equipment, pulling focus without follow focus knob is anyway a daring thing and rather for experimentation than for anything else. I happen to get a nice focus pull now and then, but that's more coincidence after repeating it again and again. Just training myself for the big day when I hold a digital cinema camera and professional glass in my hands.

Thanks again.
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Old 08-23-2010, 02:28 PM   #7
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Phil, You can get a gear-rings for Your DSLR lenses (average about $50 per ring) and then deploy follow-focus. Of course You won't be able to use markings as such, since most DSLR lenses do not have dead-stop at each focus end, but some follow-focus equipment allows You to put dead-ends on itself, which You have to set manually for each lens. In any case You will get the gearing option (with some FF) and even the ability to reverse the polarity of the rotations, since most DSLR lenses focus the "wrong" way when comparing with cine glass. And - surprisingly - it doesn't have to cost You arm and length - this one is $320,- USD:



http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...asic_Mini.html

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Old 08-28-2010, 04:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew View Post
That's interesting, I thought breathing was the term used for describing the characteristic of a lens which can be in focus at one focal length and then out of focus at another. For example, zoom in, focus, zoom out and it loses focus. What is this called if it's not breathing?
Andrew, a properly calibrated zoom lens should stay sharp throughout the focal range. There is, of course, a point when you zoom out so far from your point of focus you won't be able to tell but is should still be acceptable.

On the practical side it's always been called improper back focus by those who I learned from. You can fix the issue with a good focus chart and a bit of adjustment to the rear lens element ring. At least on the SD video and HD cine zooms I've worked with. Not sure about still lenses.
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Old 08-28-2010, 05:37 PM   #9
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I collaborate with a filmmaker quite a lot that purposely asks for a bit of breathing as he will argue it adds an organic edge. Persoanlly its not something I yearn for because i know what it is but I can see the plus side in certain conditions.

For a point of reference to anyone else who wants a visual representation of breathing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnGTK_7UyvA
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Old 08-28-2010, 06:38 PM   #10
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Phil, You can get a gear-rings for Your DSLR lenses (average about $50 per ring) and then deploy follow-focus.
thank you very much for that tip, but I prefer to wait for my Scarlet and put the money in Red accessories. The only thing I bought was a Zacuto LCD viewer and a Manfrotto tripod + head, things that I intend to use for the Scarlet. And I'm successfully making my own steady-, gunner- and shoulder rigs.

If you could recommend me a follow focus that would fit to Red lenses, I'd buy it right away. Would the one you posted from Cavision do? As you know, I have no experience in this area. It's even more difficult when I don't know much about the mini primes or zooms, or the fixed Scarlet lens. I still don't know yet what camera to buy, but I think the interchangeable will be the one. Maybe even an Epic.
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