1080p to 4K in Full-Frame with Nikon 28mm f/2.8 AI-s lens

We've come a long way from the days when we were shooting 640x480 SD (Before 720x480). Do you remember? Then we all transitioned to High Definition, got the first HD camcorders and put 35mm DOF adapters on them, because we couldn't get narrow DOF from small sensors with fixed lenses.

For the last few years, just like most filmmakers, I've been shooting High Definition Video. I've owned HD camcorders that have all been designed with the typical video form-factor. When everyone else decided to shoot DSLR's I resisted.

From the Panasonic AG-HVX200, ( I had a Redrock DOF adapter for this one) and the Sony NEX-VG10 camcorder, to the Full-Frame NEX-VG900, all of them "video form-factor." The latter two NEX's were designed to use interchangeable lenses. Goodbye DOF adapter! The VG10 was the first of its kind.

It was challenging making the switch from SD to HD and from linear editing to NLE, but who doesn't like progress, specially when it comes with better quality and higher definition? Now we are ready for another leap forward, 4K is here!

The difference between TV 4K and Cinema 4K is about 256 pixels

I've never liked the idea of shooting DSLR for video, but at the moment there is no video form-factor camcorder with a full-frame 35mm sensor that will shoot 4K without breaking the bank. In fact, I don't think anyone makes a 4K FF camcorder?? Oh yeah, I always forget Canon's EOS-1D C, true Cinema 4K (4096x2160) full-frame DSLR, but at a cost of around $8000.

Most video form-factor 4K camcorders are not full-frame. The latest "flavor" is the old Super 35mm which is smaller than FF, but allows filmmakers to use PL mount lenses - those finicky, overpriced film lenses nobody can afford.
Set of seven Zeiss CP.2 PL lenses will cost about $26K

I use old manual Nikon lenses as my "prime lenses." I get the full-frame, with all of the extra sensitivity and NO crop factor of a full-frame 35mm sensor.  I happen to like the look of vintage Nikon glass. See my other blog's post on Nikon lenses I recommend for video: Have to Have Nikon Lenses.

I highly recommend the use of 35mm photo lenses for video. You can use your Canon, Nikon, Leica lenses - you name it, just buy the appropriate adapter and go. PL mount lenses are expensive. Good sharp 35mm photo lenses are easy to find and reasonably priced. Check eBay. BTW you can also get a PL adaptor to use a PL mount on a Sony a7s if you wish.

One of the first 4K recordings I made was to test my Nikon 28mm f/2.8 AI-s lens on the Sony Alpha a7s. This 28mm is considered one of the sharpest lenses ever made by Nikon, and we all agree we want to use sharp lenses with 4K video.

Sony a7s with a Nikon 28mm f/2.8 AI-s manual lens (UHD 3840x2160 4K)

I set up the camera with an Atomos Shogun recorder, hooked up the HDMI, broke out my life-size carved wooden skull and hit record. You be the judge, remember to view full-screen, and select the highest resolution, 2160p 4K, to view at its best.

I don't know about you, but I am impressed with the sharpness of this un-touched footage, straight from the camera without grading or sharpening. IMHO Nikon's 28mm f/2.8 AI-s lens is indeed an amazing lens. I even like the Bokeh. See more about this lens: Nikon Wonder Lens.

I'm so glad we now have interchangeable lens FF sensor digital acquisition in 4K!