For many indies, shooting a film project usually requires still camera lenses. Sure, a set of cine primes would be nice, but usually, DSLR lenses are pretty much all a cash strapped filmmaker can afford. But what if I told you that you can get a complete set of primes, and deliver some cinematic qualify footage for under $300? And it’s all thanks to eBay.
This find comes from YouTuber Caleb Pike (aka DSLR Video Shooter), who did some searching on eBay and found this complete set of prime lenses. Pike built the kit based around a series of Chinon lenses from the 60s, which were then adapted to EF mount by using either an M42 to EF or PK to EF lens adapter.
Here’s a fast breakdown of the lenses:
- Chinon 28mm F 2.8
- Chinon 35mm F 2.8
- Chinon 50mm F 1.7
- Chinon 50mm F 1.9
- Chinon 135mm F2.8
- Chinon 200mm F3.5
Pike also picked up a Chinon 55mm F1.7, which though a lot more expensive, offered some pretty buttery bokeh for the money, and some of the listings also come with an old Yashica 35mm film camera included.
Pike then “geared up” the lenses by attaching 3d printed lens focusing gears, and found that the Chinon lenses had a focusing range of about 240 degrees, which is very impressive. Total price for all seven lenses was $256. That’s an incredible bargain. But then you’d have to add the lens adapters, and any focusing gears you’d need in order to really fine tune your image sharpness.
Pike then tested the lenses wide open to find out just how good the lenses would be at their “worst” setting, and found that even though the lenses did present some softness, which he managed to do away with by stopping down a few. Not perfect, but they will certainly yield a usable image which can be adjusted, even when shooting full frame. Check out the video above for sample video on each lens in action.
Pike also warned that there are copycats out there called “Chinar,” which he also bought a few to test for comparison and found their quality to extremely poor, yielding a terrible image. So pay close attention to your listings and get yourself the CHINON brand, not the Chinar.
But for under $350, you can pick up a complete set of what Pike calls Cinema quality lenses, which for the money will certainly up your game.