LUT Download Issues when using Chrome – Fixed

Some of you may have been having issues downloading my LUT’s and some other content. This was occuring due to Chrome blocking the download of any files it deems unsafe. I have installed some upgraded tools on my server and you should find that downloads will work again now. Do let me know if you ever encounter issues with the site. The sooner you let me know the sooner I can look into them. Thanks.

Sony FX9 Error Codes.

Fortunately issues with Sony’s cameras are rare, but should you encounter a serious issue with your FX9 it will more often than not display an error code on the LCD screen. This will typically start with an E12,  E91 or  E95 prefix followed by 3 more numbers or letters.

E12 errors are normally related to the ND filter or the mechanism that moves the ND filter in and out of place (there is a screw accessible from the underside of the camera body that can be used in an emergency to wind the ND filter – DO NOT USE THIS – except in a get me out of jail at all costs situation).

E91 errors are generally related to the cameras main DPR394 board and in particular the main video and audio Input/output  and coded chip. Or communications between the main board and other sub units within the camera.

E95 errors are generally related to the cameras CPU/DSP and PCIe bus (again on the main DPR394 board).

Sometimes a non Sony lens or Lens adapter can cause the camera to throw up an error code, so one thing to try if you see an error code is to remove the lens or lens adapter to see if the error goes away. 3rd party batteries can also sometimes lead to an error code. 

Unfortunately other than lens/lens adapter or battery issues an error code will typically mean the camera needs ro be looked at by Sony or an authorised service center, but there are a few error codes that you might be able to deal with yourself:

E91:1D0 : This error is a communication error between the main board and the GPS unit in the cameras handle. Check that the handle is correctly attached and not lose. If you remove the handle you will get this error unless you turn off the GPS in the menu.

E91:360, E91:367, E91:36C are caused by faults in the XDCA-FX9, so if you have an XDCA-FX9 on the camera, removing the XDCA will normally clear these error – but your XDCA will need to be repaired.

Why Do Cameras No Longer Have PAL/NTSC Options.

PAL and NTSC are very specifically broadcasting standards for standard definition television. PAL (Phase Alternating Line) and NTSC (National Television Standard Committee) are analog interlaced standards specifically for standard definition broadcasting and transmission. These standards are now only very, very rarely used for broadcasting.  And as most modern cameras are now high definition, digital and most commonly use progressive scan, these standards are no longer applicable to them.  

As a result you will now rarely see these as options in a modern video camera. In our now mostly digital and HD/UHD world the same standards are used whether you are in a country that used to be NTSC or used to be PAL. The only difference now is the frame rate. Countries that have  50Hz mains electricity and that used to be PAL countries predominantly use frame rates based on multiples of 25 frames per second. Countries that have 60Hz mains and that used to be NTSC countries use frame rates based around multiples of 29.97 frames per second. It is worth noting that where interlace is still in use the frame rate is half of the field rate. So, where someone talks about 60i (meaning 60 fields per second) in reality the frame rate will actually be 29.97 frames per second with each frame having two fields. Where someone mentions 50i the frame rate is 25 frames per second.

Most modern cameras rather than offering the ability to switch between PAL and NTSC now instead offer the ability to switch between 50 and 60Hz. Sometimes you may still see a “PAL Area” or “NTSC Area” option – note the use of the word “Area”. This isn’t switching the camera to PAL or NTSC, it is setting up the camera for areas that used to use PAL or used to use NTSC. 

New Tech That will Change The Way We Work – Media, Production and Technology Show London.

Screenshot-2022-05-05-at-17.12.26-600x278 New Tech That will Change The Way We Work - Media, Production and Technology Show London.

 

Next week I will be giving a presentation on new tech including 8K cameras, stabilised cameras, lighting, colour managed and cloud based workflows that may change the way we do things in the future. Come and join me in London on the 12th of May at 13:00 at the Media, Production and Technology show at Olympia to find out more.

 

Sony Alpha A1 and the 24mm f1.4 GM lens.

Every January I run tours to northern Norway in the hope of seeing the Northern Lights. Over the years I have been incredibly lucky and to date, every single tour I have run has seen the Northern lights. I’ve taken all sorts of cameras on these tours, everything from optical disc camcorders (PDW-700), solid state camcorders including the original Sony EX1 and most of Sony’s large sensor video cameras from FS100 to the FX9.

All of these cameras are fairly bulky and require larger tripods and battery systems. In addition, I have always taken a stills camera to shoot timelapse of the Aurora. This year I decided to downsize the equipment I was taking, so instead of taking a full-size video camera I decided to take 2 small cameras.

I already have an FX3, which is a great camera and extremely good in low light. Being part of the Sony Cinema line, it has Sony’s very nice looking Venice based colour science as well, can shoot using S-Log3 as well as the handy what you see is what you get S-Cinetone gamma curve. I know this camera well and I knew it would be a good choice for the challenges I would encounter in Norway. To compliment the FX3 I also decided to take a Sony A1. The A1 (or Alpha 1) is Sony’s flagship compact mirrorless stills camera. As well as amazing photo performance the A1 also promises much as a video camera. It’s 50.1 megapixel sensor allows it to shoot high quality video at 8K. Like the FX3 the A1 can record using S-Log3 and offers similar dynamic range to the FX3.

Screenshot-2022-05-04-at-14.48.46-496x500 Sony Alpha A1 and the 24mm f1.4 GM lens.
Sony Alpha A1

Need for Speed – fast lenses.

For many years my main lens for shooting the Northern Lights has been the Sigma 20mm f1.4. This is a great lens, but it is quite heavy and I’ve never found the autofocus on this lens to be all that good. I already have Sony’s 20mm f1.8 and this is a great lens for the money. But for the Northern Lights you really want your lenses to be as fast as possible.So for this trip I decided to take Sony’s 24mm f1.4 GM lens to see how that performed.

24f1.4-600x411 Sony Alpha A1 and the 24mm f1.4 GM lens.
Sony 24mm f1.4 G Master lens – I really like this lens.

The other lens that I use extensively on trips like this is the much-underrated Sony 24-240mm zoom lens. This is a 10x zoom giving a huge range of focal lengths from pretty wide to nice and long. The aperture does ramp, going from f3.5 to f6.3 as you zoom in. But for the kinds of shoots I use this lens on this is rarely an issue. Todays cameras are so sensitive that f6.3 is plenty fast enough for all daytime applications. In northern Norway in the winter the temperature is typically -20c, often getting down as low an -35c. Changing lenses is not something you want to do unless you really must when it’s this cold, so a zoom lens is what I like to use when I’m out and about on the show scooters.

Shooting 8K with the A1.

Wherever I could I shot with the A1 in 8K. I recorded internally to CFExpress type A cards using the XAVC-HS codec. When shooting 8K at 24fps the file size is 7860×4320. It is 10 bit 4:2:0 and the bit rate is 400Mb/s. When you shoot 24p at 4K using the XAVC-SI codec the bit rate is 240MB/s, so you might wonder how it’s possible to record frames that in 8K are 4 times larger than 4K with a codec only half the size. The XAVC-HS codec is based on the latest H265 codec. H265 is an ultra efficient long GoP codec. Long GoP codecs can be very efficient as they record a master frame called an “I” frame and then for the next group of frames they only record the differences between the first “I” frame and the next “I” frame. The GoP (group of pictures) can be anywhere up to 180 frames long (but is typically 24 to 60 frames long). This method of compressing moving images is very effective and very efficient. But it can sometimes struggle with very complex images where there is a lot of random motion. Random motion cause issues for the motion prediction algorithms in the codec. In my own footage from Norway, I did notice some minor artefacts in the rippling water within shots across the Fjords.

mountain_1.3.1-600x338 Sony Alpha A1 and the 24mm f1.4 GM lens.
Filming water can be a real challenge for long GoP codecs, but the A1 did very well.

Moving water is always going to be tough for a Long GoP codec, But I suspect that unless you were actually looking for the artefacts most people wouldn’t notice them. When I graded the A1 footage I also found other very minor artefacts if I pushed the footage hard during the grade. But having said all of that, overall, I think the footage from the A1 looks pretty amazing.

One thing you really do need to consider if you are thinking of using the A1 to shoot 8K is that the XAVC-HS HEVC codec requires a lot of extra processing power to decode. So, your computer needs to be a fast one. Preferably one made in the last couple of years as the most recent processors and graphics cards now include special optimisations for the HEVC codec that will really help.

The sensor in the A1 uses Sony’s latest multi-layer stacked technologies. It is surprisingly sensitive and very low noise. It has excellent dynamic range, around 14 stops which is typical of most current large sensor cameras and very pleasing colour response.

dog-sled_1.11.1-600x338 Sony Alpha A1 and the 24mm f1.4 GM lens.
Frame grab from the Alpha A1.

 

The camera performed better than I expected in low light and while for me at least the A7SIII/FX3 and FX6 remain the kings of low light, the A1 isn’t actually all that far behind. This is particularly impressive when you consider that the pixels in the A1 are much smaller than the pixels in the A7SIII. Having said that, it does appear that the A7S3/FX3/FX6 sensor combines 4 photosites under a single colour filter to create a single “pixel”  – could they both be based on a very similar sensor? The A1 sensor is 8640 x 5760 while the A7S3 sensor is 4240 x 2832, the numbers are close enough to believe the underlying sensor could be the same.

For a camera with so many pixels the A1 has a very low level of rolling shutter, you are highly unlikely to encounter any significant rolling shutter issues thanks to the 16ms readout time at 8K. Again, it is interesting to note that the 8.7ms readout of A7S3/FX3/FX6 at 4K is almost exactly half that of the A1 – further pointing to sensor similarities.

Golden Hour = Golden Day.

One of the great things about Norway in the winter is that when the skies are clear the very low sun means that you get golden hour light almost all day. The A1 did an excellent job of capturing the rich colours and deep shadows, especially that deep orange light that seems to make objects glow. Rather than going for a film style grade I chose to use a high contrast and vibrant grade for the sample video. I edited the footage in DaVinci Resolve using ACES colour management. The initial grading was done in HDR and I have uploaded an 8K HDR version for those of you that have an HDR TV or monitor.

sunset_1.15.1-600x338 Sony Alpha A1 and the 24mm f1.4 GM lens.
Beautiful golden hour colours captured by the Sony A1



The days in northern Norway in January are very short and brutally cold. You only have to look at the shots of the dog sled driver to see how well wrapped up he is. It got down to -34c the day we went dog sledding. Even without a cover the A1 performed very well in the cold. There was some loss of battery life but this is to be expected. If you do find yourself shooting somewhere very cold, try to keep your batteries in an inside pocket until you need them to keep them warm.

At night I decided to use the A1 to shoot time-lapse of the Aurora while using the FX3 to video the Aurora. The A1 has a built in intervalometer so it’s very easy to shoot timelapse with it.

The 24mm f1.4 GM lens.

A1_06304-600x400 Sony Alpha A1 and the 24mm f1.4 GM lens.
A frame of the Aurora taken with the A1

 

Shooting stars at night with a wide angle lens is very challenging. You have to be very careful to ensure that your stars and in good focus. I use the cameras built in image magnification to check and double check my focus.  One thing that many wide lenses suffer from is an optical defect called “coma”. Often stars that should be a tiny round point of light will take on a slightly elongated appearance, looking like a comma sign or comet rather than a dot, especially towards the edges and corners of the frame. My Sigma 20mm has very little coma and it’s one of the reasons why I like it so much. But the Sony 24mm f1.4 has even less, in fact it is almost completely non-existent. The 24mm is also very, very sharp even wide open, there is no need to stop down to sharpen the image as with some other lenses. It is also a very compact lens and yet despite its small size and low weight it manages to fit in a proper iris ring as well as the large focus ring. Like most of Sony’s most recent lenses the 24mm GM has a linear focus ring. Linear focus means that the amount you turn the focus ring for any given focus change remains completely constant. As a result, you can manually pull focus from one object to another very easily as each time you shift the focus back to your starting point the focus ring will return to exactly the same position each time.

While not quite as wide as my 20mm the clarity and lack of distortions in the images from the 24mm GM means that this lens is now easily my favourite lens for shooting the Aurora or star fields. Of course, it is also very competent for shooting during the day as well. The autofocus is very fast and completely silent due to the use of linear focus motors. The extra assignable button on the lens body is also very handy.

trees_1.5.1-600x338 Sony Alpha A1 and the 24mm f1.4 GM lens.

Together the A1 and the 24mm GM were a delight to use. I have to admit that I am wondering whether an A1 could replace my FX3 or FX6. The richness of the 8K images from the A1 are impressive to say the least. I have done a few 8K projects for clients already, But I am not yet regularly delivering in 8K and I don’t think it will be something that I will be asked for regularly for a couple years yet. Besides, most of my clients that do want 8K are really going to want me to shoot on a Venice 2 rather than the A1. I also don’t think I can push the A1 8K images in post quite as much as I can the XAVC-S-I or XAVC-I from the FX3/FX6. Plus, when you do start to do any heavy image manipulation at 8K even my MacBook M1 Max starts to bog down (I actually find it easier to work with the 8K XOCN from Venice 2 than the 8K XAVC-HS from the A1). The FX3 will remain my main camera for my Aurora shoots for the next couple of year but perhaps I will need to start saving some pennies to add an A1 to my camera collection, it certainly impressed me and it would be nice to start shooting some of my stock footage in 8K.

NOTE: To watch the video in 8K you will need a monitor, TV or device capable of 8K playback. To view in HDR you will need to be using an HDR TV or HDR monitor. If you do not have an 8K or HDR TV/Monitor then YouTube will detect this and instead send you a standard dynamic range verison of the video at the highest resolution that your device can support. For the best viewing experience please watch using a HDR device that supports HDR10 ST2084/Rec2020.

Camgear Elite 8 Mini Tripod

 

Tripods are very important but often a secondary consideration when putting together a camera kit due to their relatively high cost. But a good quality stable tripod with a decent fluid head can make a world of difference. All too often I see people struggling with tripods with low quality fluid heads or wobbly legs.

Buy a good tripod and it will likely outlast any camera that you buy, so really it makes a lot of sense to get the best you can afford. Most of you are probably already familiar with premium brands such as Miller, Sachtler or Vinten etc and you will never go far wrong with a tripod from them, but they are not cheap. So what about something similar but a bit more affordable, without sacrificing performance,  features or quality? 

Let me introduce you to the Camgear Elite 8 Mini, which was launched at NAB 2022

This is a lower cost alternative to a Sachtler tripod. The design is in fact based on a Sachtler design and a lot of the parts such as the camera base plates are interchangable. It is made in China, but is well constructed.  In order to reduce costs Sachtler tripods are no longer made in Germany (I believe they are now made in Costa Rica). 

The kit features a nice counterbalanced fluid head that can take a camera up to 10Kg. The carbon fiber tripod legs have a 75mm bowl and feature a single high level locking lever for each leg, so there is no need to bend down to reach a low lever at the bottom of the legs. The kit comes with everything you need including rubber feet, mid level spreader and pan bar.  Weighing in at 5.7kg this tripod provides a very reasonable balance between stability and portability. Heavier tripods will always tend to be more stable, but no one really wants to carry more weight than necessary.  The fluid head is very nice, it has 4 stages of damping for pan and tilt (off plus 3 different damping levels) with a very smooth action and none sticking that is common with cheaper tripod. The head will counterbalance up to 10kg and the counterbalance adjustment is in 1kg steps.

There are some nice little touches beyond the original Sachtler design such as a revised and easier to use release lever for the quick release plate, a built in tool for undoing the base plate screws and it even comes with spare screws attached to the tripod head.

I feel this tripod is a great match for cameras such as the Sony FX6 or perhaps a lighter weight FX9 kit.  Take a look at the video for more details or check them out at your local dealer. 

www.camgear.tv/el8mini

Disclosure: I was assisting Aspectra, the European distributor for Camgear at the NAB2022 show.  But, I really do think this is a nice tripod for the money and the views above and in the video are my own honest opinion based on the time I spend testing the tripod in Las Vegas.

Sony FX9 DPR-394 Board Failures, my thoughts.

We all fear the failure of any expensive electronics, especially if it is out of warranty. So when a user reports that their FX9 has failed, seemingly for no reason and that it is the very expensive to replace DPR-394 board it causes a lot of concern for not only the unfortunate owner, now faced with a huge repair bill but also for other FX9 users.

Failures are not common.

The first thing I will say is that there are thousands and thousands of FX9’s out there being used every single day.  Over the last 2.5 years, across all of the user groups I monitor I have probably seen less than 20 instances of people reporting the unexplained failure of their FX9 ( I think I’ve seen about 15 that I can remember). But, it must be said that the most common unexplained failure does seem to involve the DRP-394 board. But, this isn’t really all that unexpected as the DPR-394 is the heart of the camera. It manages everything the camera does, performs all of the image processing, manages the power supply, provides the signals that go to the HDMI, SDI and VF.

A problem we have today with modern camera repairs is that repairs are normally done by swapping out faulty boards. Because the majority of service centers only ever go so far as to determine which board is faulty it is nearly impossible to understand what caused the problem.

Some things I have observed:

Amongst the reported failures some appear to be directly related to the use of D-Tap connectors to power monitors or other accessories. D-Tap connectors can very easily connected the live side of the connection before the negative side and this leads to power surges through the HDMI/SDI  that has quite likely taken out the DPR-394 board. There is also what appears to be a higher instance of cameras powered by V-Lock adapters that suffered DPR-394 failures. It might be that this is also related to D-Tap power issues as I think a big reason why many use V-lock batts is to power not only the camera but also accessories, most commonly via the dreaded D-Tap plugs, but it could be many things and unless you isolate exactly which bit of the board has failed it’s impossible to say why it has failed.

Because the DPR-394 board does virtually everything and represents most of the cameras electronics, it is not a surprise that it is also the most common point of failure. While any failure is unwelcome, the number of failures I have seen is not in my opinion an indication of a design issue. If there really was a design flaw I believe we would be seeing a lot more failures given the thousands of cameras in use. I suspect that in many cases some external factor may have led to the failure of the board.

My advice is to take great care when using D-Taps to power accessories off the cameras battery. Always do all your power connections first, then check any accessories power up correctly before finally connecting the SDI or HDMI cables. And then do the reverse when disconnecting, SDI/HDMI disconnected first, power down the camera and accessories properly, remove the power connections  last. It’s worth pointing out that many cameras from many manufacturers, including Arri, Canon etc have suffered damage due to power surge issues related to D-Tap connectors.

Additionally always power the camera up from the on/off switch and then switch it off and allow it to power down properly. Never remove or restore the power to a camera that is turned on. The cameras power switch does not connect/disconnect the power, it is a switch that instructs the camera to boot up or power down in a specific order and it needs the power to the camera to be correctly connected and stable to ensure this all happens in the right order. If using a V-Lock adapter you really need to avoid the camera suddenly losing power when the battery shuts off without warning.


EDIT: Quite a few people have been commenting about failures of boards in other cameras including Venice, failures that are often directly attributed to the use of D-Tap or other power cables powering externally attached devices off the same power source as the camera. This is not a camera design issue, it’s a connector design issue. It should be noted that Sony don’t make batteries with built in D-Tap sockets for this very reason and that Sony don’t include D-Tap sockets on their camera bodies. There is one on the XDCA-FX9 but this is a current and voltage limited, protected socket with current and voltage limiters and trips and many connected devices will cause this to trip.  The one common thread across a very large number of these failures is the use of D-Taps. The issue with D-Taps is that very often the positive power pin makes contact before the negative pin and this causes power to run the wrong way through various circuits trying to find a way back to the missing ground/negative causing havoc with the sensitive electronics inside the camera. 

This is an issue for Arri, Panasonic, Canon and just about every camera manufacturer.

 

More on Adobe’s new color managed workflow.

I’ve written about this before, but the way Adobe have changed the way they manage colourspaces has changed, it hasn’t been well documented, and it’s causing a lot of confusion.

When importing Log footage into the latest versions of Adobe Premiere instead of the log footage looking flat and washed out as it used to, now it looks contrasty and well saturated. If it has been exposed correctly (according to the manufacturers specifications) then it will look like normal Rec-709 footage rather than the flat look that most people associate with log. This is confusing people, many assume Adbe is now adding a LUT to the footage by default, it isn’t. What is happening isd a fundamental change to the way Premiere handles different colorspaces.

NOT ADDING A LUT.

Premiere is NOT adding a LUT. It is transforming between the captured colorspace and the display colorspace so that the footage looks correct with the right contrast, colour and brightness on your display. Your footage remains in its native colorspace at all times (unless you force it into an alternate and possibly wrong colorspace by using the interpret footage function).

Your display could be 709, HDR10, HLG, SGamut3/S-log3 and in each case the footage would, within the limitations of the displays format have the same basic contrast and colour etc, the footage would look the same whether viewing in SDR, HDR or Log because Premiere maps it to the correct levels for the output colorspace you are using to view your content.

OLD BROKEN WORKFLOWS.

The issue is that previously we have been using very broken workflows  that are normally incapable of showing capture colorspaces other than Rec-709 correctly. This has made people believe that log formats are supposed to look flat – They are not! When viewed correctly they should  have the same contrast as 709 etc. Log is not flat, but we have been viewing it incorrectly because most workflows have been incapable of mapping different source colorspaces to our chosen working/viewing colorspace.

LUTs ARE A QUICK FIX – WITH LIMITATIONS.

Up to now to fix these broken workflows we have added LUT’s to convert our beautiful, high dynamic range, vast colorspace source formats into restricted, reduced dynamic range display formats. Once you add that 709 LUT to you S-Log3 footage it is no longer SGamut3/Slog3 it is now Rec-709 with all the restrictions that 709 has such as limited dynamic range, limited colorspace etc and that may limit what you can do with it in the grade. Plus it limits you to only ever outputting in SDR 709.

But what we have now in a colour managed workflow is our big range log being displayed correctly on a 709 display or any other type of display, including HDR or DCI-P3 etc. Because the footage is still in its native colorspace you will have much greater grading latitude, there’s no knee added to the highlights, no shadow roll off, no artificial restriction to the source colorspace. So you can more easily push and pull the material far further during adjustment and grading (raw workflows have always been color managed out of necessity as the raw footage can’t be viewed correctly without first being converted into a viewable colorspace).

HERE’s THE RUB!

But the rub is – you are not now adding someone else’s carefully crafted LUT, which is a combination of creative and artistic corrections that give a pleasing look combined with the Log to Rec 709 conversion.

So – you’re going to have to learn how to grade for yourself – but you will have a much bigger colour and contrast range to work with as your footage will remain in it’s full native capture range.

And – if you need to deliver in multiple formats, which you will need to start doing very soon if you are not already, it is all so much easier as in a colour managed workflow all you do is switch the output format to change from 709 to HDR10 or HLG or DCI-P3 to get whatever format you want without having to re-grade everything or use different LUT’s for each format.

HOW LONG CAN YOU STAY JUST IN REC-709?

And when you consider that almost all new TV’s, the majority of new Phones and Tablets all have HDR screens and this is all now supported on YouTube and Vimeo etc how much longer do you think you will be able to cling on to only delivering in SDR Rec-709 using off-the-shelf SDR LUTs? If you ever want to do stuff for Netflix, Amazon etc you will need to figure out how to work in both SDR and HDR.

IT’S HERE TO STAY

Adobe have done a shockingly bad job of documenting and explaining this new workflow, but it is the future and once you learn how to use it properly it should improve the quality of what you deliver and at the same time expand the range of what you can deliver.

I have to deliver both SDR and HDR for most of my clients and I’ve been using colour managed workflows for around 6 years now (mostly ACES in Resolve). I could not go back to the restrictions of a workflow that doesn’t allow you to output in multiple colorspaces or requires you to perform completely separate grades for SDR and HDR. The great thing about ACES is that it is a standardised and well documented workflow so you can use ACES LUT’s designed for the ACES workflow if you wish. But until Adobe better document their own colour managed workflow it is difficult to design LUT’s for use in the Adobe workflow. Plus LUT’s that work with the Adobe workflow, probably won’t work elsewhere. So – it’s never been a better time to learn how to grade properly or think about what workflow you will use to do your grading.

The bottom line is the days of using LUT’s that add both an artistic look and convert your footage from its source colorspace to a single delivery colorspace are numbered.  Color managed offer far greater flexibility for multi format delivery. Plus they retain the full range and quality of your source material, no matter what colorspace you shot it in or work in.

Tokina 16-28mm t3.0 Cine Zoom Review.

DSC_0334-copy-600x450 Tokina 16-28mm t3.0 Cine Zoom Review.

After being lucky enough to have shot with the really rather beautiful looking Tokina Vista prime lenses with Sony’s Venice II (see here), I decided to take a look at the generation 2 Tokina 16-28mm wide angle cine zoom. This lens is available in a variety of mounts including PL, E-Mount and many others and is really very good value for the money.

The lens is parfocal, has minimal breathing and minimal chromatic aberration.  To try it out, I took a PL mount sample  to Windsor to test it out with my FX9 using a Vocas PL E-Mount to PL adapter. 

I often find it difficult to write about lenses because when a lens performs well, there is little to write about without being gushy. The 16-28mm from Tokina does what it should, and it does it well. I didn’t find any particular flaws in the images from the lens and overall, they look really good. At 16mm on a full frame camera the lens gives a very wide field of view with very minimal distortion. It remains sharp into the corners and there is no significant vignetting.

It is well constructed and the 300 (ish) degree of travel focus ring has a very nice weight and feel to it. The zoom ring is a bit heavier but this prevents the zoom moving when you don’t want it to.

A few people have commented about why use a larger bulkier lens like the Tokina over a more compact and lighter photo lens. I think a lot depends on the type of project you are working on. Being realistic, if you are running around on your own, trying to quickly grab footage on a lower budget production then a photo lens with auto focus might be the better option. But when you need maximum control over focus a proper mechanical long travel focus ring is what you want. If you want to zoom during the shot, the lens needs to be parfocal. So for a more controlled shoot, perhaps for drama or other scripted productions a true cine lens like this is often preferable.  so, it’s a case of picking the right lens for the type of production you are shooting. The Tokina 16-28mm t3.0 cine zoom is absolutely worth looking at for any movie style wide angle applications. 

See the video below for some example footage and a closer look at the lens.