Cinematography Mailing List - CML

16mm Lenses & Super 16 Format


Hey everyone,

I've got my first Super16 project coming up in a week, and the rental house is swearing that we can use the school's lenses (Arri Bayonet mount) with his Aaton LTR by using a bayonet adapter, and sure enough, the Bayonet lenses he had fit perfectly. However, the school's equipment manager insists that our 16mm Zeiss SuperSpeeds (9.5, 12, 16, 25) won't cover the Super16 image area, and the rental house swears they will.

Who is right? Does anyone know for sure?

Hopefully I can get down there this week with some of the school's primes, but if anyone knows one way or the other, I'd love the assurance.


Will Beckley
Cinematography Senior
Northwestern University

There was a version of the 9.5mm Zeiss that had a slight vignette - I can't recall right now if it was the earlier or later model. It can be compensated for in TK if you have to and you have no choice.

There's a nice aspheron you can rent for very wide shots ... makes it a 5.6mm if I recall correctly.

Set it up and see what happens,

Best regards,

John Babl

The Zeiss 12, 16 & 25 SuperSpeeds will cover S-16 no problem, although the edges of the 12mm can be a little fuzzy depending on the individual lens. Some 9.5mm will cover, some won't. Some will cover when the aperture is wide open but will begin to clip the corners as you stop down. All of this is easy to determine by simply looking through the eyepiece with the lens mounted.

But another issue is the lens mount. The school's lenses are calibrated to the proper depth of the school's camera (Arri SR?). That is if they are calibrated at all. When using a different camera and then adding an adapter in the mix, I would want to check the depth on a collimator to be sure. This is especially a problem with wide angle lenses where you won't know that the depth is off until you get your footage back and everything is a little soft.

But yes, the school's lenses will mount to your friend's Aaton no problem.

Mitch Gross

The only lens that may be a problem is the 9.5mm. Some cover, some don't. I think it's caused by manufacturing tolerances, some may be 9.4mm - some 9.6mm. Check on the camera stopped down, or use the rental house lens projector.

The 12mm may be soft in the corners, but Hey, only you will notice that. Who watches TV just looking at the corners? ( apart from a few from this list ) A bit of stop on this lens will solve this problem.

The Bayonet adapters, in my experience, can vary in depth, but if its a adapter that "lives" with the Aaton then it should be fine.

Check to see if the lenses scale up wide open.

Andy Taylor
Camera & Lens engineer
Arri Media

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