Category Archives: Lens

Darious’s Fastest Way To Learn Camera Lenses

Darious Britt entertains and educates you on the Fastest Way To Learn Camera Lenses

https://youtu.be/hpL24HuX5v4

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Filed under Eductation, Lens, Tutorial

Things for Today

Equipment: Lens

Next to cameras being my favorite piece of equipment, I really dig lens’s! A lens is the eye to the soul of humanity. And, unlike the human eye, a lens can be used to concentrate all focus on one element of our existence.

The problem with lens’s is that the good ones are freaking expensive. Luckily, as with camera technologies, there are more options coming onto the market for us struggling cinematographers. Although I’d love to have an affair with a set of Zeiss Compact Price CP.2’s, I’ve been slowly buying “economical” glass from Rokinon.

Over the past few year Rokinon has emerged as a lower cost alternative to the high priced cinema (cin) lenses. Matthew Duclos has some good write-ups on the state of Rokinon.

Start here: Are Rokinon Primes Right For you?
Then here: Rokinon, Cine, Cine DS, and Xeen – What’s the Difference?
And then Rokinon announced two new lens in their Xeen Primes.

Xeen24-35

But I’ll hold out for a set of Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2’s… One Day!

ZeissCompactPrimeCP2

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Filed under Equipment, Lens

This Week’s Things: 09/10/2015

Sorry, I’ve been AWAL in posting to this site. It’s not for lack of material. I’ve been busy and just have a backlog of items to post.

Equipment

What is this thing: Canon EOS 8K Camera – Prototype
Article Link: http://www.canonrumors.com/first-photo-of-the-cinema-eos-8k-camera/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+canonrumors%2Frss+%28Canon+Rumors%29
Notes: This is a monster of a prototype. Canon is showing off an 8K EOS based camera. This prototype has a teeny tiny use case… Most productions could use it as it sits. I’m sure over the next year or so Canon will reduce the size and make it more useful. In today’s technology driven camera market, Canon has to throw this out to the perspective camera buyers to entice the customer to “wait” for the 8K camera to come out. It’s an old, but effective strategy (ploy) to keep a perspective buyer from going with say a Red Weapon Dragon.

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What is this thing: Zeiss Announces New Line of Primes
Article Link: https://matthewduclos.wordpress.com/2015/09/10/zeiss-announces-new-milvus-line-of-lenses/
Notes: Reasonably priced new line of primes that is 4K capable and targeted for S35 to Full Frame sized sensors.

 Zeiss-Milvus-Primes

What is this thing: SLR Magic Announces a set of 2:1 anamorphic cinema primes
Article Link: http://www.eoshd.com/2015/09/slr-magic-announce-set-of-21-anamorphic-cinema-primes/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+EOSHD+%28EOSHD.com%29
Notes: For certain project anamorphic is so cool. Remember those 70mm western from the 60’s? That’s the kind of cinematic effect we are talking about. these lens are optimized for micro 4/3rd sensors. There are some options out there for Super 35MM.

slr-magic-anamorphic-primes-702x820

On Set Data Management

What is this thing: Data Wrangling…
Article Link: http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/5-on-set-data-management-tips-for-blackmagic-camera-users/
Notes: The article specifically discusses 5 on set data management tips for Blackmagic camera users. However, tip #5 really is a great piece of advice for everyone and so I copied it here.

The data from a shoot is the most important bit. That’s what you are paid for. If it’s lost or damaged, all the other costs would have been money thrown away. So it’s really important that the data is backed up and verified. Simply using the Explorer (Win) or Finder (Mac) to copy the files is not secure enough. Data could be lost in the process.

You really want to do CheckSum verification on any back-up you make and make multiple back-ups. Three copies is ideal, two is the minimum. Give one copy to the Producer before you leave the set so that all the data is not in the same place.

I use Imagine Products ShotPut Pro on the Mac. They now offer a Windows version too. You could also use Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve’s Media Clone tool, as it too does CheckSum verification (added in Resolve 11). Other tools you might want to consider: RAW 4 PRO with Backup Champion (PC) or Pomfort ClipHouse (Mac). Both of those also offer tools to color correct and transcode your RAW files.

Red Giant also has a product for offloading video: http://www.redgiant.com/products/offload/

Stock Footage

What is this thing: Free 4K Stock Footage – yea, as in FREE
Article Link: http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/thousands-of-clips-all-in-4k-almost-all-for-free/
Notes: Sometime things are not “too good to be true.” Mitch Martinez is indeed providing access to 1500 free 4K clips. And then there’s other free 4K stock footage as well.

Visual Special FX

What is this thing: Prolost Handcrank for After Effects
Article Link: http://prolost.com/store/handcrank
Notes: You never know when you need to dirty up and crazy out the footage to disorient your audience. Here’s a very reasonably priced plug in – $ 14.00. And the fellow at the Prolost site is a Visual FX artist and has a few other very reasonably priced plug-ins.

Cloud Storage – Project Collaboration

What is this thing: A cloud-base storage, transfer and collaboration service
Article Link: frame.io
Notes:
I do a lot of collaboration. The problem with file transfer is I mostly transfer rendered finish drafts or final edits. Here’s another service to help do more collaboration and not just transfers. I haven’t used the service so I can’t say if it is worth the monthly cost to get enough storage to matter. If I had a lot of volume I might look into this service as an option. For now, I’ll stick with Dropbox, WeTransfer and Youtube to do all these activities..

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Filed under Cameras, Data Management, Equipment, Lens, Production, Special Effects, Stock Footage

This Week’s Things: 08/03/2015

Filmmaking Jobs

 What is this thing: what is a Digital Imaging Technician?
Article Link: http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/the-evolving-role-of-a-digital-imaging-technician/
Notes: Here’s a good article that discusses the role and responsibilities of a digital imaging technician.

Editing

 What is this thing: Make Clip Replacement Faster in Premiere
Article Link: http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/premiere-pro-tip-make-clip-replacements-and-revisions-faster-than-ever/
Notes: Short cut tutorial on how to replace clips fast in Premiere.

What is this thing: 8 Audition Tutorials Every Editor Should Watch
Article Link: http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/8-adobe-audition-tutorials-every-video-editor-watch/
Notes: Audition is a powerful sound editing package and for video editors it can be daunting to get started with. Here are eight tutorials that can help you get started with Audition.

What is this thing: Print Your Own Premiere Pro Keyboard shortcuts
Article Link: http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/print-your-own-premiere-pro-keyboard-shortcuts/
Notes: Good resource for shortcut memorization.

Color Grading

What is this thing: Premier Pro CC 2015 Lumertri Color Panel
Article 1 Link: http://www.retooled.net/?p=1647
Article 2 Link:http://nofilmschool.com/2015/06/premiere-pros-new-lumetri-color-panel-super-powerful-intuitive
Notes: This is a great time in the NLE market. Adobe and Davinci are putting more and more features into their products to win the heart and minds of the film and video makers. Here’s a 16 minute tutorial on the new Lumetri Color Panel in Premiere Pro CC 2016.
image

Filming Techniques

What is this Thing: 7 Hollywood Camera Techniques
Things Type: Educational
Linkhttp://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/7-iconic-hollywood-cinematography-techniques/
Notes: The Dolly Zoom (Trombone Shot), The Low Angle Trunk Shot, Dutch Angle, The Close Up, The Whip Pan, One Point Perspective, Long Tracking Shots

Equipment Review

What is this Thing: Self Leveling Ball Head Adapter
Things Type: Equipment – Tripod
Product Link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MVNBTDG
Product Review: http://dslrvideoshooter.com/tripod-leveling-base-review/
Notes: Although I don’t own one of these at the moment I will be buying one for one of my older tripods that don’t have a leveling ball.image

Visual Special Effects

What is this Thing: 8 Ways to Create Digital Distortion in After Effects
Things Type: Educational
Link: http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/8-ways-to-create-digital-distortion-in-after-effects/
Notes: Sometime you need to distort your footage to tell the story. This article discusses eight ways to do it.

Stock Video Effects

imageWhat is this Thing: Video Effects
Things Type: Stock Video Effect
Link: https://digitalfilms.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/rampant-design-tools-2/
Notes: I don’t buy stock effects or stock video unless I really have a need and then I go out and look through available content. Although I have to write down suppliers so that I can review their type of work so when the need arises I can go and find what I need.

Lens Basic

What is this Thing: Basics of Focal Length
Things Type: Tutorial on focus lengths
Linkhttp://nofilmschool.com/2015/07/basics-focal-length
Notes: A little goofy, basic description of focal length.
image

Video of the Week

Portal– a short film by Ryan Connolly and his Film Riot team created this short film to show off the abilities of the Hit Film editing application.
Short Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6znipZ9dK9A
Making of: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Js0638735ck
Aerial Foot and Sound Design How To: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0I5YYqtYoE

image

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Filed under Camera Support (Tripod, Gimbal, Steady Cam), Color Correction/Grading, Data Management, Editing, Equipment, Lens, Production, Special Effects, Tutorial

This Week’s Things: 4/20/2015

The North American Broadcaster’s 2015 Show has come and gone and there are tons of announcements and new gear and software that every filmmaker needs! I’ve been real busy so it will take me a while to catch up the blog on everything I reviewed.

Equipment

What is this Thing: Aerial Platform
Things Type: Aerial platform for video
Linkhttp://hexoplus.com/
imageNotes: I have a DJI Phantom 2 + GoPro 4. I’ve been flying it now for about six months. I’ve gotten better and better at flying and controlling the quad-copter so I know there’s a great place for the tool in the filmmaking tool-kit. It seems that every month there’s a new “Drone” being planned, crowd-sourced or released by a major company (GoPro). The cursed problem with Technology is that once a market is established there’s comes a lot of options. Figuring out what to buy and when to buy becomes a tough proposition. Here’s a link to a new “Drone” that will be released in September of 2015.

What is this Thing: Lens
Things Type: 100mm Samyang/Rokinon Cine-Style Lens
 Linkhttp://nofilmschool.com/2015/04/samyang-just-announced-affordable-cine-style-macro-lensimage
Notes: I have a Rokinon 85mm Cine-Style lens and I’m happy with it, especially for the price. If you’re budget conscious these lens’ are worth the money.

Cinematography

What is this Thing: Essay on Negotiating as a DP
Link: http://www.dvinfo.net/article/pre_production/business_models/ready-what-little-i-know-about-negotiating-as-a-dp.html
Notes: Cinematographer Art Adams discusses negotiating and finding the right project as a Cinematographer.

Production Etiquette

What is this Thing: How to Speak Movie
Things Type: The Movie-Maker’s Phrase Book
Link: http://filmmakeriq.com/2015/04/how-to-speak-movie/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+filmmakeriq+%28Filmmaker+IQ%29
Notes: Two part video on the common phrases used in the movie business.

Lighting

What is this Thing: What is negative fill?
 Things Type: Tutorial > Negative Fill
Link: https://vimeo.com/122843323
Notes: Ryan Walters discusses negative fill – a good 5 minutes for anyone learning negative fill.

What is this Thing: Chinese Lantern
Things Type: Equipment
Link: http://www.filmtools.com/ligdep/lighting-equipment/light-fixtures-kits/30whitpapchi.html
Notes: FilmTools.Com has a boatload of equipment and supplies.

What is this Thing: Light Dimmer
Things Type: Equipment
Link: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/755346-REG/Impact_D_1000_D1000_1_000W_AC_Dimmer.html
Notes: Impact D1000 Dimmer.

Music Video of The Week

What is this Thing: Herschel’s MV Pick of the Week
Things Type: Music Video
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHg-PR0Q4BQ&feature=player_embedded
Notes: While doing lunch with a friend he showed me a music video that was directed, shot and shot by a friend of his. Watching it at lunch peaked my interest. The MV is totally something I wouldn’t do. However, it is so 21st Century and has a lot of production put into it. Again, it’s so not what I would do, but hey, there’s a big crowd of people that are into this type of material. As for the technical’s of the video – I give it a solid 8.8. I love the dialogue by one of the bad members at the end of the video.

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Filed under Cinematography, Eductation, Equipment, Lens, Lighting Techniques

This Week’s “Things” – Week of 2/2/2015

Production Etiquette

imageWhat is this Thing: How To Work a C-Stand
Things Type: Training
Link: https://vimeo.com/118548655
Notes: You would be surprised as to how many people don’t know how to work a C-Stand (“Century”-Stand – look it up on Wikipedia). In this video Shane Hurburt demonstrates how to use it.

Software – Production

What is this Thing: Web Based Production Software
Things Type: Software
Link: http://studiobinder.com/
Notes: Studio Binder is a pre-release web based software production management tool. When it launches it will provide the ability to do schedules, call sheets and other yet announced features. It will be provided as “freemium” model which means a lot of features will be free, while other features will cost dollars. image

Equipment

image What is this Thing: KineMINI 4K Camera Review
Things Type: Equipment Review
Link: http://www.eoshd.com/2015/02/kinemini-4k-raw-cinema-camera-review/
Notes: What are camera’s in the “Digital World”? In my opinion, from a simplistic point of view today’s cameras are a computer with software and a lens attached. This is changing the landscape and allowing more competitors to create camera equipment. The KineMINI 4K is manufactured by Kinefinity, Inc., a Chinese company. For me, I would have reservations about buying this camera as it is a 4K RAW camera and for independent film makers, the whole 4K pipeline is a lot of extra work. Plus, part of my reservations center around what type of support do you get from Kinefinity in the U.S.? This review does a good job of discussing the post-production pipeline issues that you need to consider before shooting 4K Raw.

imageWhat is this Thing: CAME-8000 Gimbal
 Things Type: Equipment
Link: http://www.came-tv.com/came8000-3-axis-gimbal-for-lots-of-different-size-camera-p-566.html
Link to Demo Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u41KwXw4Jhw&feature=player_detailpage
Notes: Here’s another gimbal on the market. Came-TV – a Chinese manufacturer – has a line of Gimbals for all sizes of cameras. The image8000 series is their largest capable gimbal. With the price at $ 1,980.00 they are about $ 500.00 less than what I’ve seen the DJI Ronin sell for. As I’ve  told some of my filmmaking buddies I think for long shooting, you will actually need a vest and arm to go along with the gimbal. While at a seminar a few months ago I shot with a Movi M10 and after about 10 minutes you start to become fatigued. Hence why I think you’ll need a vest and support  arm to shoot with a stabilizer for long periods of time. Came-TV also sells a Vest/Arm that can be used on this gimbal unit. AS a side note, I sent a note to Came-TV to see if the 8000 would work with my FS-700 and they told me that it would not.

imageWhat is this Thing: Remote/Robot Camera Operator
Things Type: Equipment
Link: http://shop.soloshot.com/
Notes: Something to put on the radar – especially one man shooting people  like me. Here’s a Remote/Robot controlled camera operator. Looks interesting, but the documentation says it can’t be used indoors. It would be a great addition to my live music shooting equipment arsenal. I guess I’ll wait until the indoor unit comes out before I take more of a serious look at it.

What is this Thing: Lens Technical Review – Canon NE-E Primes
Things Type: Equipment – Lens
Link: https://matthewduclos.wordpress.com/2014/11/21/canon-cn-e-primes-an-in-depth-look/
Notes: Matthew Duclos does an in-depth review of Canon Prime lens technology. If you are technical and want to learn more about these prime lens’s, this is a great resource. He talks to Canon about the development of the primes and then talks to ASC DP’s David Klein and gets their view on the primes.image

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Filed under Camera Support (Tripod, Gimbal, Steady Cam), Cameras, Equipment, Lens, Lighting, Production

This Week’s “Things” – Week of 1/26/2015

Films/Projects on The Internet

What is this Thing: Amazing Low Budget Film – Anomalyimage
Things Type: Short Film and Interview with Producer
Short Film Link: http://vimeo.com/115329271
Link: http://noamkroll.com/the-indie-film-anomaly-just-took-the-internet-by-storm-learn-how-the-filmmakers-pulled-it-off-with-my-interview-with-producer-jens-jacob/
Notes: Noam Kroll interviews Anomaly producer Jens Jacob on the ins and outs of bringing the short film Anomaly the small, small screen.

image What is this Thing: Star Trek, the original series, Fan Project
Things Type: Fan Film/Project
Link: http://www.startrekcontinues.com
Notes: I sent and email out to my friends and the title of the email was “Fan film gone all crazy and shit.” I’m not exaggerating here. The team that is doing this has nailed the look and feel of the original series. They’ve even managed to get some famous actors from the Star Trek world to participate. Worth looking into!!

Show Running

What is this Thing: How To Create a TV Show from the Ground Up
Things Type: How to… TV Show
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIdZEZ2rCo4&x-yt-ts=1421914688&x-yt-cl=84503534#t=164
Notes: This is a long video, but a good one. Join Jay Kogen (THE SIMPSONS) as he interviews Chris Brancato (FIRST WAVE), Doug Ellin (ENTOURAGE), Andrew Marlowe (CASTLE), Margaret Nagle (SIDE ORDER OF LIFE) and Larry Wilmore (THE BERNIE MAC SHOW) at a Writers Guild Foundation event.

Equipment

image What is this Thing: Sony FS7 Camera Review
Things Type: Equipment Review
Link: Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6xfOmTxXzw
Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6M7upQVWRPM
Notes: The Camera Store TV does a review of the Sony FS7.

imageWhat is this Thing: C100 Mark II Camera Review
Things Type: Equipment Review
Link: http://revision3.com/filmriot/c100-vs-c100-mark-ii/
Notes: Film Riot does a review of the C100 Mark II.

What is this Thing: Moza 32Bit 3 Axis Gimball
Things Type: Equipment imageAnnouncement
Link: http://www.supamods.com/product/moza-3-axis-gimbal-system/
Notes: It seems that a new 3-Axis gimbal is coming on the market ever month and here’s another one. It is good to see that the prices are dropping on these gimbals as the market becomes more competitive. This gimbal is priced at $2,245.00 and can support up to a 10lb. camera.

What is this Thing: Prime Lenses for the “up and coming” professional
Things Type: Lens Equipment
Link: https://matthewduclos.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/2013-cine-prime-lens-buyers-guide/
Notes:
Let’s face it… aspiring Cinematographers realize at some point that to get really great images, you have to have 1) skills 2) a camera and 3) great optics! Bumping up to the cine-primes is a big cost – more than or equal to the cost of a really good camera! Unlike cameras, the lens’s will be a lifetime investment. Matthew Duclos reviews cine-primes for the beginner! 😉Cooke Mini S-4i • Zeiss CP.2 Compact Prime • Canon CN-E Prime

Editing

What is this Thing: The “Rule of Six” in Film Editing by Walter Murch
Things Type: Editing
Link: http://vimeo.com/13583958
Notes: In this short, three minute video, Walter Murch (Oscar winning Editor and Sound Designer) discusses his six rules of video editing.

Camera Techniques

imageWhat is this Thing: 5 Easy Camera Tricks
Things Type: Camera Techniques
Link: Quick Tips- 5 Easy Camera Tricks! – Film Riot
Notes:
Film Riot, Ryan Connolly goes through 5 easy camera tricks that add production value with little cost or effort.

Color Correcting/Grading

What is this Thing: Using the blend mode in Adobe Premiere Pro
Things Type: Color Correcting
Link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IEdehRjX9A&x-yt
Notes: Good 8 minute video that covers the blend mode in Premiere Pro. The techniques covered might help you recover an over-exposed shot. No, I did not just say “fix it in post.” What I said is that IF you need to fix it in post, this technique “might” save you – might.

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Filed under Business, Cameras, Color Correction/Grading, Directing, Editing, Equipment, Films to Watch, Lens