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Mark Kenfield

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Everything posted by Mark Kenfield

  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
  16. Actually, focussing a fresnel into it's tighter "spot" beam, makes the shadow cuts LESS sharp. You get more lumens, but shadows become softer. Full flood is where you get the sharpest cuts.
  17. Sony FX3 or Canon C70 are the two obvious candidates. Both have a single full-sized HDMI output and swivel screen. The Sony has better AF and the larger sensor, but the Canon has internal NDs. There's a size penalty with the Canon if absolute tininess is the goal, but the internal NDs would be a big help for general usability. The FX3 has multiple 1/4"-20 mounting holes on it, which means (unlike every other tiny mirrorless camera in existence) you can actually attach a cage to it rigidly. To which you can then actually attach a baseplate or tripod plate RIGIDLY (a hugely underated feature that's basically essential for any real motion picture work). The C70 is a tiny video camera, so it has multiple holes on the bottom by default. Those are the two I'd be looking at, both hugely impressive with your particular goals in mind.
  18. Who wants to deal with a single micro-HDMI output in this day and age? Such a significant headache for almost everything. So it strikes me that there are far more appealing options in the mirrorless space at present.
  19. And be absolutely sure that you want to shoot 500 ISO stock outdoors in the daytime. Unless you want to stop down the lens a lot and work with a very deep depth of field, the amount of ND you're going to have to put in front of the lens, is going to make looking through the viewfinder really hard. It's difficult even with 250D at times.
  20. Perhaps try reaching out to the Mexican Society of Cinematographers (AMC)? They might have a Facebook group, or some other forums for local chat about the craft.
  21. It's not the perforations of the film that you're seeing flicker, it's the mirror reflex of the shutter passing across the gate. As for seeing the flicker, contrast is the main thing that makes it apparent. So outdoor, with bright skies in the frame, it will be much more apparent than it is on a dimly-lit (or even just normally lit) interior. I've never known anyone to use a video tap just to avoid the flicker. Personally I think the flicker is a very reasonable trade off for the HUGE BOON to the camera operator, of looking directly through the lens (with no miliseconds of electronic delay, like we face with digital). It may be a subtle difference for many (or even most things), but anytime to need to follow and actor's motions precisely (standing up quickly, jumping, things like that) realtime viewing makes a huge difference to how effectively an operator can operate.
  22. 100% go with a PL-mount for manual glass. A simple adapter and you can use them with your Sony camera, but they'll also adapt to any other camera you might encounter these days - if you go e-mount you'll be stuck. So definitely stick with a PL-mount, it's the only sensible option. As for the Xenons, they certainly wouldn't be high up in my personal choices, but they're perfectly decent lenses (they have a fair bit of CA, but some CP.2 focal lengths have that too, and the DZO appear to as well). Xenon's will be much easier/safer to service from France than the DZOs I'd imagine, so that should certainly be a consideration. At the same time, the Xenons are so rare, it might be worth calling Schneider directly to enquire about the availability of spare parts for the lenses (to check that you'll be covered for years to come). That's one area where the CP.2s would hold a lot of appeal to me over the other options. 2500 euro per lens does sound like a very reasonable price for Xenons, though if you are willing to buy used, you can absolutely find CP.2s for that sort of money (or less) particularly if you buy them in a set.
  23. A fan with straight stripes on it is another common test to measure the comparative skew from different cameras.
  24. I own Dehancer's halation plugin and have trialed their full software, and I compared it side-by-side with Filmbox, and (frankly) it wasn't even close. And that's comparing the various effects (colour, grain, weave, dust) both individually and combined. While Dehancer is certainly a step up from what we had earlier in Filmconvert, Filmbox stomps all over it. You play the clips back to back and one looks like film, and the other looks like film emulation (and that's even if you neutralise the colour differences entirely, by excluding them from the comparison). Borrow a Mac and try out the free Lite version. I think you'll see what I mean.
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