NAB 2014: FotoDiox PowerLynx ENG Servo Zoom Lens Mount Adapter

Although it has always been possible to mount an ENG style Servo Zoom Lens to a mirrorless system (with a bit of fiddling), FotoDiox is developing the PowerLynx complete adapter kit to make this mod easier and more affordable.

The PowerLynx adapter we tested at the show was a working mechanical adapter with some vignetting at the wide angle. One version (currently in production) will have correcting optics built in to the adapter to eliminate vignetting and should be available in 2-3 months. I'm looking forward to trying this out with my GH3, BMPCC, as well as the new #GH4 when it arrives.

For more information about Fotodiox adapters and other products, check out http://Fotodioxpro.com.

FotoDiox PowerLynx ENG BroadCast B4 lens Servo Zoom Adapter Kit
FotoDiox PowerLynx ENG Servo Zoom Lens Mount Adapter

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12 thoughts on “NAB 2014: FotoDiox PowerLynx ENG Servo Zoom Lens Mount Adapter

  1. Dan

    The HDx35 adapter from Abelcine also adapts a B4 video lens, but only to the PL mount, so you have to adapt the PL to your camera mount using yet another adapter.

    It costs $5800 and loses 2 stops.

    http://www.abelcine.com/store/HDx35-Mark-II-B4-PL-Optical-Adapter/

    It does the opposite of a Metabones Speed Booster in that these adapters must enlarge the circle of the B4 lens to fill the Super35 sensor.

    I saw a video zoom lens mounted on a Canon C300 using this HDx35 and a PL/Canon adapter. The rig was about 2 feet long. But it gave the cameraman a way to power zoom and also hand hold using his shoulder mount, after it was rigged up to death (rails, external monitor, rear-mounted battery for balance, etc.)

    This Fotodiox PowerLynx looks interesting. One drawback of any "enlarging" adapter is that optical aberrations the lens may have are magnified the same way a doubler causes most lenses to go a bit softer. And I would expect some loss of f/stop as well.

    But if you have tens of thousands of dollars in Canon or Fuji lenses laying around from your HD video camcorder days, this might be very interesting.

    I'd like to try mounting to my GH4, just to see what happens.

  2. Alf Garnett

    Of course, you'll be the first to get this Emm as you get everything.....please don't boast! Many people are not as fortunate or wealthy as you are!

  3. cendrick

    I do wonder if the ENG lens you use is capable of a 1.4 aperture at say 85mm would it look the same as a prime 85mm with the subject framed up the exact same way in each case.
    Be a good test :)

  4. Emm

    Post author

    @cendrick - Depending on the lens, it can maintain the aperture value throughout the zoom so your exposure won't shift, and your focus will remain the same. Depth of field is perception and it will look different as you zoom in and out from your subject.

  5. cendrick

    Nice. Quick question that I'm finding various answers to. What happens to your DOF if say you are using one of these ENG lenses with a fs100. Seems to me that you would maintain your DOF unless the adapter kills it.

  6. Emm

    Post author

    @cendrick - Yes that adapter will work, but that is just to mount the lens. The Kit they are putting together will also include the correct cable, and the correct battery to power the servo zoom lens. Also because there are different lenses on the market, another adapter they are working on will have a glass element inside the adapter to prevent vignetting for certain lens + body combinations.

  7. Emm

    Post author

    @Josh - The Gh3 (possibly GH4) has a tele mode that punches into small lenses so they can be used without vignette. Similar to how people are getting it to work with CCTV lenses.

  8. Josh

    Looks interesting. If it vignettes on the blackmagic pocket, will it be useable on something like a GH3/GH4?

  9. Emm

    Post author

    @Ryan - To be clear this is an 'ENG (electronic news gathering) Lens' not a 'Cine Lens'. Most Cine Lenses are also prime lenses (not zoom) to get the widest possible aperture for that shallow DOF. Not something easily achieved with zoom lenses unless you pay big bucks.

    The benefit to using these ENG servo/zoom lenses is the smooth and consistent speed with zoom and focus when transitioning from one to the next. ENG lenses are also 'parfocal' meaning when you zoom in and focus, you can zoom back out and the subject will still remain in focus. With photography lenses as you zoom in and out to different distances, you will have to stop and readjust focus.

  10. Ryan

    Hmmm...am I missing something here?

    I would be one of thousands that would like to have an ENG style lens, but specifically a lens with the quality/specs for DSLRs. And while this product seems to be the answer to this, the lens optics of an ENG lens meant for a 2/3" sensor won't produce what we're looking for...smooth and delicious bokeh, sharpness, and sometimes low f-stop.

    You need lenses that can throw a optimized image on Full Frame/APS-C/Micro Four Thirds sensors to get the "cinematic" look that...90% of people are expecting when shooting video with these cameras.

    Instead, this product will be giving the image look/quality that a B4 mount ENG lens will give...great image, but not the kind of image most people are wanting in the first place...

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