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.
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).
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.
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.
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!
Camera setup, reviews, tutorials and information for pro camcorder users from Alister Chapman.