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Mark Kenfield

Premium Member
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Profile Information

  • Occupation
    Cinematographer
  • Location
    Australia/Wherever The Wind Takes Me
  • My Gear
    Arri Alexa Studio, Zeiss CZ.2 Compact Zooms
  • Specialties
    I'm makin' movies, singin' songs and light'n round the world.

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    http://www.dreamsmiths.com.au

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  1. I spent January/February shooting a narrative series over in the Middle East, so I can offer a few tidbits (documentary is probably a bit different, and I assume you're bringing your own camera kit, rather than relying on local rentals - but nonetheless, most of these points will probably hold...) WHERE in the middle east you shoot will make a big difference. Richer countries like the Emirates with have photo/video stores that you can source some gear from if needed. But on the whole (and especially in the more remote or poorer middle eastern countries) don't expect to be able to source niche parts or equipment without shipping them over from Europe. Redundancy for cables and battery chargers would be a big thing for me (two dual-battery chargers over a single quad-battery charger for example, and duplicates for ALL of your cables). All the necessary tools/allen keys you need - and NEVER forget to pack them in your check-in luggage (lest they get confiscated from carry-on). Lighting is tricky, because it's impossible to carry grip gear that's as strong as you'd like it to be (the baggage cost is just too high), so make those decisions based around how much you expect to do outdoors vs. indoors, and bring kit that you feel you're going to be able to setup securely enough with the grip gear you can travel with. I actually think something like a 3-head Dedolight kit, with one or two compact stands and a couple of cardelini clamps (to rig the lights when the stands won't suffice) can be a great way to go - you'll just want to factor in some kind of diffusion or bounce material, to soften your key light - lighting umbrellas are the easiest option there.
  2. In that price-bracket it's really all a much of a muchness. All of those cameras will produce excellent results, and few of them will stand out (in terms of overall image quality) compared to any of the others. The Komodo makes lovely pictures, but has a single (seemingly quite fragile) video output, which makes it problematic for conventional camera duties. The FX9 has a terrific 6k full-frame sensor, and lovely colours - but a horrendous raw workflow (the worst of the bunch), and it's beaten in several key areas by the FX6 that you already have (though it does offer a locking lens mount and dual SDIs, which is important. The Canons (C300iii and C500ii) are probably the most well-rounded of all of those cameras (with internal raw recording, sufficient video outputs and internal NDs), but they have some painful limitations (like not being able to shoot slower than 12fps, not being able to monitor anamorphic desqueeze properaly at above 24/25/30p, and ND filters that jump 2-stops at a time in density). Personally, I'd probably suggest sticking with the FX6 - it seems to be far and away the most popular of that group of cameras, and none of those alternatives will improve your appeal to commercial producers in any significant way.
  3. There's also "silent" grid cloths (compared to the regular ones) which rustle less apparently. In India they call it "GC".
  4. Jarin, any chance you could share with us how you approached lighting all of those big night exteriors? Were they largely day-for-night with sky replacements? Or BIG big fixtures up on the hills around the village? I loved the sense of space you got into those night scenes, everything didn't just vanish into blackness beyond the foreground.
  5. Buy good-quality equipment, that will actually last. I made the mistake of nickle-and-diming some of my first equipment purchases, and almost all of that gear was broken beyond repair within 12 months of getting it. Which means you're not just paying for the gear once, you're paying for it twice (once for the cheaper stuff, and a second time at full-price for the better quality stuff that you need to replace the useless cheap gear with). So the overall cost ends up being significantly higher, than if you'd just copped to purchasing the good quality gear in the first place. So "Buy once, cry once." rather than "Buy twice, cry thrice."
  6. Buy once, cry once. That was the first and most important lesson I learnt when I began acquiring gear.
  7. Expect conventional S35mm 4-perf coverage, but nothing more. I used them with the Alexa Studio (which has a healthy amount of look-around in the optical viewfinder) and I'm pretty sure I remember seeing some hard vignetting in the look-around space (though I can't remember on which lens/lenses specifically). You'd need an optical expander to use them on full-frame (and even that might not be possible, depending on the optics of the expander, and how far out the rear of the Ultrascopes project).
  8. The only other scopes I can think of to add to Dom's list are the Xelmus Apollo anamorphics (also out of Ukraine). Options like the Sirui and upcoming Laowa lenses, I think fall into a different catagory. Similar to the home-made anamorphic options they're mostly being used on mirrorless cameras, and only offer a small number of focal lengths. So whilst they're still scope lenses, they're not really "lens sets" in the way we think of sets conventionally.
  9. I'm afraid it's simply part and parcel of the grind. I've heard academy award winning DPs speak about the uncertainty of start dates and projects falling through (suddenly emptying months of work, that they haven't looked for alternate bookings for), and their stories (even in their positions) have sounded REMARKABLY familiar at times. So take some comfort in the fact that it's like this for everyone at times, and perhaps listen to this very insightful bit of advice from Mr. Tom Hanks:
  10. Hey Karim, Feel free to shoot me a PM with your mobile number/email, and I can pass them on to the producers the next time I have something suitable pop up in Melbourne 👍 Cheers
  11. This happens with basically any image that recieved the TEAL/ORANGE grading treatment. It's a result of the colour gamut being condensed down, which leads to more uniform blocks of colour - skintones lose their rudiness and complexity and become a more uniform "warm" tone, and blues all bleed together and spread out - this almost always leads to the whites of people's eyes taking on a cooler blue tone.
  12. I think you're making absolutely the right move there DorSinai. Good luck with it 👍
  13. This is a Fujifilm X-T3 rigged up for conventional narrative prodution, with all the basics (EVF, Monitor, Mattebox, Wireless Video, Follow Focus, v-mount power distribution, and some lightweight bracketry out the back end, to stop the whole thing tipping over whenever you set it down): Did it work? Yes. And (to be fair) it worked reasonably well because it was so intricately rigged out to provide all of the functionality we'd normally need on set. Would I ever do it again? I certainly hope not. You're reliant on a single, tiny, Micro-HDMI output for all of your video outputs (which even reinforced with a cable clamp on a camera cage, still isn't all that sturdy), and trying to access the camera's internal menus and controls (with all of that gack around the body) is fiddly at best. On the plus-side? You get a lovely 6k sensor, downsampled into a crisp 4k image - with decent dynamic range, and 10-bit recording (at 4:2:0 internally, and 4:2:2 if you record externally). So there's little to complain about with the image quality you can muster with the camera, no one will question the results on that front - it's really just a question of form and function. A little mirrorless like this will bring you a lot of grief if you're trying to work within a conventional production style. That said, if you're working differently - pulling your own focus, doing everything handleheld, running the camera solo effectively, well then maybe it'll be fine. There's plenty of people out there doing beautiful work with barebones mirrorless cameras - it all just comes down to the workflow and the needs of the specific production you're working on.
  14. Very underwhelmed by that LOTR trailer, it looks like the cutscenes from a video game.
  15. Hi guys, I remember being told that light meters were safe to pass through airport security x-rays, but does the same go for a spectrometer like the C-800? They’re bloody expensive, so I don’t want to risk damaging it. Cheers, Mark
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