Super Telephoto Video With RED's New Canon Lens Mount

There is no doubt that the RED's Epic video camera produces some of the most crisp and surreal footage you are likely to see at a reasonably "budget" price point. Up until now, the only lenses you could use with the Epic had to have the PL lens mount found on cine lenses. Recently, photographer turned videographer Vincent Laforet was able to demo the new Canon lens adapter which allows the RED cameras to use most of the EOS mountable lenses. In the video below, Vincent shows what the RED/Canon combo can do out in the field. One particularly interesting combo is the Canon 600mm f/4 L lens mounted with the 2x Canon Teleconverter. Some estimates give this combo a 35mm equivalent of 3400mm with the crop factor but I think it's actually a bit less than that (RED should have around a 1.2x crop factor depending on the file output). Either way, the footage is pretty amazing and super exciting if you dream of using RED gear down the road with your existing Canon lenses. Any idea how he shot the video in low light? Looks like the lens would be at least at f8 which is almost unusable in anything but bright light.

One Degree from Vincent Laforet on Vimeo.

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I'm pretty sure that lens would be @ 5.6, the 2x converter introduces a loss of one stop which would bring an f4 lens down to f5.6.

Patrick Hall's picture

Usually the 1.4x has 1 stop of light loss and 2x have 2 stops.  Here's what BH says about this combo:

"ISO ranges from 800 ASA to 2000 ASA" - I think that is the key. Shot at f/4 with teleconverter, that would be f/5.6, with that ISO rating, it shouldn't be a problem...

Patrick Hall's picture

Have you ever tried shooting video in low light at anything less than 2.8?  Even at 3200 it's pretty rough

Well, I did. It was definitely not shot in complete darkness... 

Squeamish Ossifrage's picture

This is correct, the f/number changes linearly with the TC power, so a 2x TC gives 2x the f/number = f/8 on that lens.

I don't see any math that would lead to 3400mm equivalent, though. 600 x 2 = 1200mm. If the EPIC has a 1.2 crop factor we're still "only" at 1440mm. For a 3400mm equivalent it would have to be a 2.8x crop factor, which is a tiny sensor.

Kishore's picture

Its the mode too, if shooting in a tighter mode less of the sensor will be used so a crop is induced.
e.g. in gopro 1080 vs 720 modes, crop is done on the sensor so 3400mm is achievable

for the sharp bright images, we have to keep in mind that he could have used exposure to make the whole scene look dark, underexposing gives a dark evening feeling so he must have picked up a bright evening and underexposed it.

overall a good video but I still feel he could have shot something else with that setup, something that would make sense and not look like kittens laughing

Patrick Hall's picture

True I guess but there are photos of him clearly out at dusk.  I dunno about the crop though...I haven't seen anything about the RED getting the 2.5+ crop factor required.  Maybe it's possible; anyone here shoot RED?

Even at 5.6 on a 600mm the video quality and the compression is amazing!!!! Wish i could afford me that set up... Great video!

Amazing equipment, I wish they hosted it elsewhere to show a higher quality detail. 

If they shot at the normal 5k or 4k 16:9 setting in camera the effective focal length of the 600 plus a 2x would be close to 1800mm. The Red has an approx crop factor of 1.5x when shot in 16:9. You'd have to use anamorphic lenses and be in the anamorphic setting in camera to get a 1.2x crop factor.

It is possible to get an effective 3400mm by dropping the resolution to 2k 16:9 in camera though. When you switch to 2k res on any Red it masks the outer part of the sensor, so get you an increase in effective focal length. It's similar to the crop functions on the Nikon D3 series. I'd say the actual number would be closer to 3500mm with a 2.9x crop though. The reason they have such a feature is to allow 16mm cine lenses to be used as well. The Red is one of very few cameras that can actually use 16mm, 35mm, and 35mm anamorphic cine lenses natively.

sinisterbrain's picture

I'm not used to seeing /that/ much compression on video.  Pretty cool.  :-)

Jacob hit it right on the head. To expand a bit:

First off you need to know that the RED 35mm sensor is considered an academy sized sensor, Not a Nikon or super35mm size(Google Academy sized sensor). For anyone that didnt know Nikon and Canon do not put the right mm on their gear. They round UP. The 300mm is actually ~295 the 400mm is ~395 and so on. They are wider because of the sensor.

Also, to get a 1.2x crop factor you must be using a cine(anamorphic) lens. So when you mount a canon or nikon lens you need to crop it to a 16:9 format not full frame. Then you have the 4k to 2k crop and then crop in editing yes 3400 to 3600mm is possible.