Tag Archives: box

Cinegear and Samy’s 3D workshop.

IMG_0624-300x224 Cinegear and Samy's 3D workshop.
Manfrotto Booth at Cinegear

Hello from Culver City, LA. I spent most of this week up in Hollywood showing of the Genus Hurricane 3D rig on the Manfrotto booth at Cinegear. It’s the first time I have ever gotten sun burnt at a trade show! Most of the show is outside on a back lot at Paramount Studios and the weather was just beautiful. The booth was swamped most of the time, sadly not because I was selling lots of 3D rigs but because we were giving away free ice cream! As usual there was good interest in the rig and it was good to meet some of the people already out there shooting stuff with it. I took a little bit of time out to go and mooch around the show… I’ve never seen so many sliders in one place, almost every booth appeared to have one! I also got a sneak peak at the new Cineroid EVF with HDSDi inputs. Looks promising and it’s made of metal rather than plastic so has a very robust feel.

 

IMG_0619-300x224 Cinegear and Samy's 3D workshop.
Genus Elite Matte Box

Genus were also showing their new Elite matte box which can take 5.65 x 5.65 filters as well as 4 x 4 and 5 x 5. It comes with a nice folding top flag as well as side flags. If you need a matte box for bigger lenses and bigger filters you should definitely take a look. The build quality is very good. Another nifty Genus product is the new lens support bracket for 15mm rods. This can support long or heavy lenses and has a 1/4″ screw to bolt to the lens or a pair of rollers that will support a big lens allowing the focus ring to rotate even if the lens does not have a proper attachment point. Clever stuff! Hopefully I will be able to get one to review properly (and the matte box).

IMG_0623-300x224 Cinegear and Samy's 3D workshop.
Genus Lens Support for 15mm rods.

Today I was at Samy’s Camera in Culver City running the first day of a 2 day 3D workshop. It was really busy with some well know DoP’s in attendance including Geoff Boyle, I think we had about 50 students in total. It was a fun day (apart from an LG 3D TV that refused to play ball), with some very intelligent questions being asked by the group. Tomorrow we have the second more advanced part of the course with a slightly smaller group. As soon as the class finishes I’m dashing off to the airport to fly to London to meet a courier with my  F3 camera kit and then on to Berlin to shoot the Duran Duran gig at the Tempodrom on Wednesday.

What do you think of the new look to the website? I was getting bored with the old look. This is a little more interesting. Any issues or problems do let me know. Coming soon I will have a review of the Vinten 100 tripod head (big thumbs up) and a SxS to SD adapter card from Sonnet, plus hopefully the full Duran Duran story.

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Genus Matte Box, Rails and Shoulder mount on PMW-F3

DSCF9051-1024x576 Genus Matte Box, Rails and Shoulder mount on PMW-F3
Genus kit fitted to an F3

So here is my current set up. As you may know Genus are making the 3D rig that I designed, so I get to play with the latest Genus bits and pieces. This is my F3 with a pre-production universal riser and base plate. The base plate will fit most camcorders and incorporates mounts for a pair of 15mm rails. Up front I have a Genus Wide 4×4 matte box. I’m really pleased with this light weight matte box with added top flag, it is a good match for the Nikon DSLR lenses that I will be using and is much, much lighter than my old Petroff matte box. It fits lenses up to 105mm  diameter so I will need a bigger matte box for many PL mount lenses (and bigger filters) perhaps I’ll get one of those nice TLS Raven Matte Boxes. For smaller lenses though the Genus 4×4 is really nice. Behind the matte box I have a Genus Superior follow focus. This is a silky smooth FF unit and on this lens it’s driving one of Genus’s clever flexible lens gears. This is a little bit like a hose clip, a thumb screw tightens it up so that it fastens snuggly around the lens. It will fit a much larger range of lenses than a traditional rigid lens gear.  The lens in the pictures is a Tokina ATX-Pro 28-70mm parfocal zoom. This is a great lens, plenty sharp enough for HD video and it doesn’t telescope when you zoom. Breathing is minimal. To match the lens to the camera there is one of Mike Tapas (MTF) excellent Nikon to F3 adapters.

DSCF9055-300x168 Genus Matte Box, Rails and Shoulder mount on PMW-F3
Genus hand grips and Follow Focus

Underneath the lens I have a pair of hand grips from the Genus shoulder mount kit. The shoulder pad is right at the back behind the camera. For a little bit of extra convenience I have a Genus GAP adapter plate that allows me to use a quick release VCT-14 tripod plate.

The only thing left to sort is a loupe for the LCD screen. I’ve experimented with a Hoodman DSLR loupe that I have and this almost works. It doesn’t cover the full width of the LCD, but does allow me to use the LCD as a viewfinder when using this shoulder rig. I guess I need to get the Hoodman Hood Riser and Hood Strap to make the loupe fit the LCD correctly. I’ve read elsewhere that it does not fit the F3, but my experiments with the loupe alone suggests it will fit. Anyone else tried it yet? I’d rather go this route than getting a Cineroid viewfinder.

The tripod is a Manfrotto 509. This one of their new silky smooth “bridge” style heads. The 509 is a mid weight head with a pretty high payload capability, true fluid action and variable counter balance. I’m going do a separate write up on the tripod, it’s really rather good, especially considering the price!

EX3 With NanoFlash Camera rig.


I have been asked to show how I mount my NanoFlash on my EX3 so below are a couple of pictures of the full rig with some details of some of the various items that I use.

EX1-left-side-small EX3 With NanoFlash Camera rig.

1. This is my Petroff 4×4 matte box with bellows hood. I love the old fashioned style bellows lens shade as you can adjust it in and out very quickly to eliminate stray light. A french Flag can be added if desired, but I find in most cases that the bellows shade is fine. Stray light causes reflections both between filters and within the lens, this can reduce contrast in the image so a good lens hood is essential for getting the best pictures. The Matte Box has 2 rotating filter holders. I often use some very gentle blue or grey grads to help with bright skies.

2. The standard EX3 lens. This lens is a remarkably good lens. Keep it between F8 and F2.8 for best results. The sweet spot is F4. Never use the Iris at F16 or F11, your pictures will be soft due to diffraction limiting. This is not a lens fault but something that would happen with any lens and 1/2? sensors (it’s even worse with smaller sensors). The beauty of the standard EX lens is that it incorporates automatic chromatic aberration correction which means no nasty blue or purple fringes around areas of high contrast.

3. SxS Cards. Even though I was one of the first people to work out how to use low cost SD cards with the fabled Kennsington Adapter I still use SxS cards. The reason is simple: reliability. If you look around the forums you will find lots of people having issues with SD cards. For example a wedding videographer that lost a large part of a service he had shot. If he had used SxS then that just would not have happened. I am a professional and my reputation is vital. That reputation could easily be destroyed if I came back from a shoot with nothing but corrupt data because I had tried to cut corners.

4. Kata Camera Glove. Protects the camera from everyday knocks and bumps as well as unexpected rain or dust.

5. The Cheek Pad. I know many EX3 users don’t fit these. It looks flimsy, but in use it’s strong enough and it really helps to stop the cameras tendency to want to tilt to the left. It makes the camera much more stable and really is worth trying.

EX3-right-side-small EX3 With NanoFlash Camera rig.

6. Convergent Design NanoFlash. This incredible little box allows me to record from the HDSDi output at upto 160Mb/s long Gop. At 100 Mb/s you can’t tell the compressed from the uncompressed. By shooting with this I can grade and color correct my footage, make dubs, go multi generation without seeing any drop in quality. It also means my footage is accepted for HD broadcast by the BBC and the majority of other HD broadcasters. The EX 35Mb footage is good, don’t get me wrong but the 100Mb is sweet. It uses inexpensive Compact Flash cards and by recording to both SxS and the Nano at the same time I can be sure that even if I were to get a card failure I have a backup.

7. IDX V-Lock batteries. One of these will run this rig for around 5 hours. I am also looking at getting some of the Swit EX batteries with the Power-Con/D-Tap out to run the EX and NanoFlash, but by putting the battery out behind the camera the overall balance of the rig is improved. In fact without this larger battery the matte box tends to make it very front heavy.

8. Quick release shoulder pad. This is a home brew affair that incorporates a shoulder pad the V-lock battery adapter and NanoFlash or Radio Mic mount. It can be removed without tools in seconds. Perhaps one day I will get some Zacuto rails or similar, but they are rather expensive and this setup works very well for me.

9. Sony ECM-680S. This is a nice Stereo/Mono switchable gun mic. It is great for capturing nice stereo ambience and effects sound. Flick the switch and it becomes a useful interview mic.

10. DM accessories EX3 reinforcement plate. This is a MUST HAVE item. It provides you with a much stronger tripod fixing with both 1/4? and 1/2? threads as well as a host of other threaded holes for various applications. It makes the camera feel so much more solid on a tripod. I really can’t recommend it enough. below this is a cheap, Indian made Matte Box rail kit. It works, but again I could really do with some Zacuto rails or similar.

11. Chamois leather viewfinder cover. Much nicer against your skin than hard rubber. Also absorbs sweat and moisture which helps prevent the viewfinder from fogging. Another option is a small sweat band.