Category Archives: Lens

Fujinon Cine Mk50-136 vs Tokina Cine 50-135

I like a well-done lens, camera, light shootout. I like them especially when they aren’t done in a way of saying one piece of equipment is better or inferior to the other because all production equipment has strengths and weaknesses.

Doing camera and lens tests also gives great insight into how you develop the look and feel of your film. And, let’s face it, watching a well-done comparison also saves you a heck of a lot of time because you don’t have to do it yourself! 😉

Shane Hurlbut has done a nice comparison on the Fujinon Cine Mk50-136 and Tokina Cine 50-135. I’ve been a member of his inner circle since he started it up a few years ago. Since I got in at the beginning I pay about $ 7.95 per month. It’s the best education for that money that I have access to.

Here’s a feel for what you get on that membership:

And here’s an article from NoFilmSchool.Com:


Fujinon MK50-135mm @ B&H – $ 3,999.00

Tokina Cinema 50-135mm T3.0 & B&H – $ 3,299.00



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Darious’s Fastest Way To Learn Camera Lenses

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

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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.


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


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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.


What is this thing: Canon EOS 8K Camera – Prototype
Article Link:
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.


What is this thing: Zeiss Announces New Line of Primes
Article Link:
Notes: Reasonably priced new line of primes that is 4K capable and targeted for S35 to Full Frame sized sensors.


What is this thing: SLR Magic Announces a set of 2:1 anamorphic cinema primes
Article Link:
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.


On Set Data Management

What is this thing: Data Wrangling…
Article Link:
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:

Stock Footage

What is this thing: Free 4K Stock Footage – yea, as in FREE
Article Link:
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:
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:
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:
Notes: Here’s a good article that discusses the role and responsibilities of a digital imaging technician.


 What is this thing: Make Clip Replacement Faster in Premiere
Article Link:
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:
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:
Notes: Good resource for shortcut memorization.

Color Grading

What is this thing: Premier Pro CC 2015 Lumertri Color Panel
Article 1 Link:
Article 2 Link:
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.

Filming Techniques

What is this Thing: 7 Hollywood Camera Techniques
Things Type: Educational
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:
Product 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
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
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
Notes: A little goofy, basic description of focal length.

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:
Making of:
Aerial Foot and Sound Design How To:


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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.


What is this Thing: Aerial Platform
Things Type: Aerial platform for video
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
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.


What is this Thing: Essay on Negotiating as a DP
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
Notes: Two part video on the common phrases used in the movie business.


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

What is this Thing: Chinese Lantern
Things Type: Equipment
Notes: FilmTools.Com has a boatload of equipment and supplies.

What is this Thing: Light Dimmer
Things Type: Equipment
Notes: Impact D1000 Dimmer.

Music Video of The Week

What is this Thing: Herschel’s MV Pick of the Week
Things Type: Music Video
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
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
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


image What is this Thing: KineMINI 4K Camera Review
Things Type: Equipment 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 to Demo Video:
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
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
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