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Max Field

Cameras You Own

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Very interesting James. As someone who's finally made his way over to owning an Arri (after having owned a bunch of Sonys), I'm very intrigued by what sent you in the opposite direction?

Well, what initially drew me to the Sony F65 over the Alexa XT, was the 2014 Palme d'Or winning film; Winter Sleep, I really fell in love with texture and colors that the camera delivered. Before that point, I was on the fence.

Now having owned the both F65's for a couple of years, and having often faced a total lack of support from Sony when things go awry with their camera systems, I'm again on the fence as to whether to jump ship for the SXT or wait for Sony's next flagship announcement...

Which I've heard through a valid source will be 4th quarter 2017 with release in early 2018.

Edited by Zsigmond James

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I currently only have the A7S II, quite enjoying it.

 

Previously owned:

 

Sony F900

Sony F35

Sony F65

Sony HDR-FX1 :D

 

ARRI D-21, 435, 535, SR3

Moviecam Compact & SL

I had no idea that you had gotten rid of your F65. Going in for a Non-Sony Camera?

Edited by Zsigmond James

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Wow, I really don't own much at all! I have a BMPCC and a Bolex EBM.

 

Grand total spent on camera gear thus far is probably less than $2000. But I'm happy with both and they're both great tools for learning basics.

Edited by Brenton Lee

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I don't do camera lists but I am restoring and modifying my old Soviet 35mm Soyuz US3N camera at the moment, it is working with a pwm controlled battery drill at the moment while I'm waiting a Chinese dc motor to arrive which I will modify to work with it later by machining a custom axle and using angle gears to get the motor to the side for more practical form factor ^_^

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77lahNpFzOE

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I have a Leica M8!

 

Does that count? :D

No, I'm afraid owning a Leica makes you elitist and a rich man Miguel. So we're going to have to kick you out of the group! :p

 

Well, what initially drew me to the Sony F65 over the Alexa XT, was the 2014 Palme d'Or winning film; Winter Sleep, I really fell in love with texture and colors that the camera delivered. Before that point, I was on the fence.

Now having owned the both F65's for a couple of years, and having often faced a total lack of support from Sony when things go awry with their camera systems, I'm again on the fence as to whether to jump ship for the SXT or wait for Sony's next flagship announcement...

Which I've heard through a valid source will be 4th quarter 2017 with release in early 2018.

Ah! Well if anyone is going to convert a person to Sony it's Bilge Ceylan. All of his stuff on the Cinealtas has been spectacular. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia was exquisite too!

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Used to own an old Konvas and Lomo Anamorphic set. All sold now. I regret selling the Lomo anamorphics. Bought an Aaton 35III this summer on a fire sale. Shot a little short with it, but it's just for fun, not really to use professionally.

 

Professionally, I rent. Stuff moves so quick these days I could never make the money back on a camera. Besides, two main problems with owning cameras:

 

1. You don't want to be the DP they get just because you throw in your gear. You want them to hire you for your talent.

2. I want the camera that's right for the production. Not always trying to shoe-horn my camera onto it.

 

That said, I did see a complete Arricam ST package the other day for not much money. Would be fun to have, just to have. I feel like the faster digital moves, it's nice to have something that will still be able to do great images in 10 years time. What digital camera can you say that about?

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although arri alexa is into its 7th year.. anyone who bought one in 2010, and who works around 100 days a year or so..is probably driving an Aston Martin by now.. or retired !..

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No, I'm afraid owning a Leica makes you elitist and a rich man Miguel. So we're going to have to kick you out of the group! :P

 

 

 

Haha, I thought that group was reserved for people with Digital Hasselblads!!! :D :D (by the way, I have a M6 too! :D)

 

 

Used to own an old Konvas and Lomo Anamorphic set. All sold now. I regret selling the Lomo anamorphics. Bought an Aaton 35III this summer on a fire sale. Shot a little short with it, but it's just for fun, not really to use professionally.

 

Professionally, I rent. Stuff moves so quick these days I could never make the money back on a camera. Besides, two main problems with owning cameras:

 

1. You don't want to be the DP they get just because you throw in your gear. You want them to hire you for your talent.

2. I want the camera that's right for the production. Not always trying to shoe-horn my camera onto it.

 

That said, I did see a complete Arricam ST package the other day for not much money. Would be fun to have, just to have. I feel like the faster digital moves, it's nice to have something that will still be able to do great images in 10 years time. What digital camera can you say that about?

 

 

 

I owned a Redone MX, a set of Schneider Vintage lenses and a set of Lomo anamorphic lenses for 1 year.. I sold everything because of what you said Adam, don't regret it and will never regret selling everything.

 

There are 2 other points that I would like to add to yours:

 

- Insurance for the gear is very very high.

- If something happens to your gear on a job and you can't replace it.. the production company will be pissed off, that's the reason why renting is better, any rental company can give you any replacement in no time.

 

Have a good day!

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Super 16

Aaton LTR-54

Aaton LTR-7

 

Ultra 16

Beaulieu R16 Automatic

Canon Scoopic

 

Regular 16

Eclair NPR (I'm going to sell it)

Arriflex 16.S w/Tobin motor and Angenieux zoom

Bolex H16 Rex-1 w/Tobin motor, Yvar zoom, and two primes

Bolex H16 M5 w/Tobin motor and Som-Berthiot reflex zoom (I'm going to sell it)

Bolex H16 in Bolex-Paillard underwater housing (I'm going to sell it)

Bolex H16 (I'm going to sell it)

Krasnogorsk 3 (I'll probably sell it)

 

Super-8

Beaulieu 4008 ZM II

Beaulieu 4008 ZM ii

Beaulieu 5008

Elmo 1000.S

 

 

 

 

Let me know if you are going to sell that :

Bolex H16 in Bolex-Paillard underwater housing (I'm going to sell it)

 

-Ian

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Let me know if you are going to sell that :

Bolex H16 in Bolex-Paillard underwater housing (I'm going to sell it)

 

-Ian

 

I'm just waiting for nicer weather so I can get some good photos of it. The housing itself is in excellent shape -- unlike some I've seen that have most of the paint worn off. It's in its original wooden case, which is missing the carrying handle. I thought about getting a new handle for it, but decided not to in case a buyer wanted everything to be original. The blue filter has some scratches, but I think those won't matter underwater. There's the viewfinder screen, two wrenches, and some sort of mount that can be seen in the lower-left of this photo. (Note: That is not my kit.) The camera is non-reflex, s/n 125,###, making it from 1956. I haven't tested it with film, but it does run. The lens is a 10 mm Angenieux Retrofocus R21 like this one, f 1.8. The aperture ring moves smoothly. I'm not familiar with this lens. I assume you can focus it, but there is no knurled ring for focusing, so I don't know if it's set-focus, or if it's stuck. Glass looks clean and clear. Overall condition of the camera is good. The little pointy bit of leatherette trim just above the spring motor disengage lever has lifted, but the rest is great. Interior is clean, with no visible corrosion.

 

Since this is a complete kit, and is in excellent condition, I'll have to ask $1,200 for it. But I may be open to another offer. The whole thing weighs about 20 kg/45 pounds, so USPS ground shipping will be approximately $68 from NoWA to SoCal. (I see you're in L.A. Man, I miss Tito's Tacos and Sorrento Italian Market!)

Edited by John R Woods

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The lens is a 10 mm Angenieux Retrofocus R21 like this one, f 1.8. The aperture ring moves smoothly. I'm not familiar with this lens. I assume you can focus it, but there is no knurled ring for focusing, so I don't know if it's set-focus, or if it's stuck. Glass looks clean and clear.

 

Too late to edit: Actually, now that I think of it, there's a toothed plastic ring for the lens. Looks like it was super-glued on, but it has come off and will need to be re-glued. The ring is for adjusting the aperture, and there was no focus adjustment; so I think it's fixed-focus.

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I have a Canon C300 and 1DXII. I have a 5D III DSLR converted into infrared. It helped me regain my love for photography again. Also have a Go Pro Hero 4 Black.

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I owned a Redone MX, a set of Schneider Vintage lenses and a set of Lomo anamorphic lenses for 1 year.. I sold everything because of what you said Adam, don't regret it and will never regret selling everything.

 

Hi Miguel,

 

I'm curious about your thoughts on camera/lens ownership in order to get your foot in the door for narrative projects. Was that helpful for you when you got started? Seems like you're doing very well now career-wise, so I thought I would ask.

 

I must admit, I have been struggling to break out of the commercial/corporate market into more regular and sustainable narrative work and am looking for different perspectives on how to get started again on the right foot. Many thanks!

 

Updated personal camera list:

 

Moviecam SL 4-perf

Arri 3C 4-perf (on semi-permanent loan)

5D Mk3

7D

Canon Scoopic 16M

Hasselblad 501C

Fujifilm TX-1 (XPAN)

Pentax MX

Canon Cine Zooms

Contax Zeiss primes

re-housed Iscorama 36

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Hi Satsuki!

I bought the camera and the lenses after considering it very carefully... and I never got anything out of them.

 

The equipment never helped me get a gig and on the two jobs that I had lined up while owning the camera and the lenses I ended up not using them because one of them never happened and I had sold the camera by the time the other one happened (I still used the lenses) so I rented the Panavision Primos and an Epic Dragon that I used together with the Schneiders and the Lomos, so it ended up being much better than if I had shot it with a Redone!

 

Hence as I have always liked using different tools each time I decided that it didn't make any sense for me to own a kit and I sold it.

 

I am starting to work on tv commercials in Spain and production companies never ask for a personal kit because they rent out the equipment I ask for and if the equipment I like is not available or it is too expensive (as in asking for Cooke anamorphic SF lenses), then they give me several options to choose from.

 

The movie I just shot, we rented the equipment (Alexa + Super Speeds) from a fantastic camera rental house in Dublin (Vast Valley) and for the movie I'm shooting in Croatia later in the year, the equipment comes from the production company, which owns an Alexa and Cooke S4s and I'm very happy with that! :D

 

Three commercials I shot in January in Spain, I shot them with an Alexa Mini and Cooke Panchros for one of them and Super Speeds for the other two.

 

I shot a short-film for a friend in October and we just rented the equipment too (Alexa + Super Speeds)

 

There is a short film I am shooting at the end of the year, funded by the city council, and I'm renting the equipment from either Panavision Ireland or Vast Valley again, hopefully the Mini + C Series if the budget allows for anamorphic lenses :D or else I will have to settle for the Pvintage or Summilux!

 

I do think that if you own a kit, 99% of the time you are trying to make money out of it and trying to put it in the productions you are going to work on... and while that makes sense in a business way, it doesn't make any sense in an artistic way because the equipment you might own might not be the right one for the project you are going to work on in the future.

 

And unless you are rich you will have to make a ROI with your equipment so you will have to work on jobs that you might not like just to make sure that you make ends meet and you know, I value the people and the jobs I work on and I don't want to work on something I don't like or with somebody I don't respect!

Sure it makes things a bit harder but that way I can make sure that I commit 500% to the project I'm working on and I'm not doing it just because I have to get money.

However, I have to say that owning the camera and the lenses for a year made me progress in the way I am photographing things now because if I saw something that I liked, I just turned on the camera, saw how it looked through it and recorded it in several ways.

 

Hence, I think that there is value in owning a camera for that purpose but I just bought a Sony A7s and it is as good as a redone for that! and I can take photos with it!

 

Again, I am a very bad businessman and I'm pretty new in the cinematography career (I started last year as you know!) I just want to work without worrying about insurances, deals and all those things, just give me a camera and lenses and I'm the happiest person in the world :D

 

Would I want to have an Alexa M SXT at home with a set of Super Speeds?? I would love to but just because I would be recording every single thing I see and taking it with me everywhere :D and then I would end up renting other cameras and lenses for paid projects :D :D

 

The above said is something that is working for me at the moment but I know several people in both, Ireland and Spain, who own their kits and work non-stop on commercials, corporate and features.

 

All in all, I don't know if owning a high end camera and lenses is something that might help or not nowadays, every Joe has an Alexa at home!

 

Hope it helped!? :)

Have a lovely day!

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Cheers Miguel. If you're a bad businessperson, then I'm clearly a terrible one. :)

 

I have avoided buying a digital camera (not counting the DSLRs) so far for the same reasons, and have wondered lately if I made a mistake in doing so. I've seen it help a lot of my peers get opportunities with prod companies, directors, and producers, even without much of a reel in some cases. It can be rather discouraging at times.

 

I have rental houses and owner-op friends near by, so it's never been a problem getting gear. If they had 35mm packages as well, I probably wouldn't bother owning the film cameras either. But aside from a few Aatons, there are no film camera packages for rent in my market anymore.

 

Anyway, I'm glad you are finding funded narrative projects! They seem to be increasingly rare these days, I hear even some ASC guys are trying to land these relatively low-budget jobs. Not sure what chance the rest of us have if that is the case...

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Anyway, I'm glad you are finding funded narrative projects! They seem to be increasingly rare these days, I hear even some ASC guys are trying to land these relatively low-budget jobs. Not sure what chance the rest of us have if that is the case...

 

If it makes you feel any better, I put my name up for a tiny little indie film (shot down here at the end of the world) last year, and although the producers loved my work, and said they'd be very keen to chat if their first choice fell through - their first choice didn't fall through...

 

And who was cutting my lunch at the pond-scum end of the low-budget indie pool... just an ASC and ACS accredited Academy AwardTM Winner :o

 

...until this bloody old guard dies out, we're all stuffed! :D

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I have avoided buying a digital camera (not counting the DSLRs) so far for the same reasons, and have wondered lately if I made a mistake in doing so. I've seen it help a lot of my peers get opportunities with prod companies, directors, and producers, even without much of a reel in some cases. It can be rather discouraging at times.

 

 

Unlike many or most of you, I don't make my living as a cinematographer. About a decade ago I worked at a local studio, and bought a digital video camera (miniDV). Of course, it was 'obsolete' within a year, as 'new and improved' cameras came out. It occurred to me that the reason I avoided buying a video camera for so long was that they all seemed outdated within six months to a year.

 

I'm a cinematographer when my best fiend -- I mean friend -- makes a film. He opted to shoot on super-16 for his latest production specifically because he wanted the film to look like film. We used my Aatons. He has since bought an Arri SR3. In both of our opinions, film equipment doesn't really become 'obsolete'. A wind-up Bolex still moves film past the shutter at 24 fps, just like the newest cameras do. Of course, the new cameras are much more capable. But when you have a micro budget, an Aaton LTR-7 or LTR-54 does just fine. (But yeah, I'd really like to have an XTR Prod. ;) )

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I resisted buying my own high end camera for a while, but since most folks here are more interested in the kind of camera you own rather than on your work, I finally gave in.

 

(I sent my link to a producer who replied saying that he liked my work, but wanted to know what kind of camera I owned so that he could be sure that I knew what I was doing. Seriously.)

 

Anyway... I did get myself onto a low budget feature film to be shot this summer purely by networking. He saw one of the films I'd shot at a film screening and recruited me based on liking my work. Nothing to do with what kind of camera I had... because he's more interested in what I can do than in what toys I have. :)

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Cheers Miguel. If you're a bad businessperson, then I'm clearly a terrible one. :)

 

I have avoided buying a digital camera (not counting the DSLRs) so far for the same reasons, and have wondered lately if I made a mistake in doing so. I've seen it help a lot of my peers get opportunities with prod companies, directors, and producers, even without much of a reel in some cases. It can be rather discouraging at times.

 

I have rental houses and owner-op friends near by, so it's never been a problem getting gear. If they had 35mm packages as well, I probably wouldn't bother owning the film cameras either. But aside from a few Aatons, there are no film camera packages for rent in my market anymore.

 

Anyway, I'm glad you are finding funded narrative projects! They seem to be increasingly rare these days, I hear even some ASC guys are trying to land these relatively low-budget jobs. Not sure what chance the rest of us have if that is the case...

 

 

You're more than welcome!

 

Regarding 35mm cameras.. I was thinking about shooting something on film again just for fun but it is just so time consuming, I can't wait for, at least, 2 days to receive dailies.. and I like digital!

 

If at some stage for some reason I can't make a living as a cinematographer I have no problem going back to work in an office.

 

I have shot a movie with the best director I have ever worked for and I'm really happy with how we shot it! in fact, I think that everything should be shot the way we shot it! and I have shot some commercials with Spanish directors I have always liked so every single thing I shoot from now is an extra! :)

 

But I understand what you're saying and hopefully we will all get a lot of work in 2017 and onwards! :) I can't wait to work 365 days per year for the next 40 years!!!! :) :)

 

Have a good day!

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Digital

Sony NEX FS-100

Canon 7D

 

Analog

Sony VX 1000

for shooting skateboarding :-)

 

Super 8

Canon 814 XL-E

 

Next Investment (I am still struggling on which one to buy next)

- Black Magic Pocket Camera

- Black Magic Micro Camera 4K (along with BM Video assist)

- Black Magic Production Camera 4K

- Panasonic GH5

- Sony FS5

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Super 8

Canon 814 XL-E

 

That was my favorite Super-8 camera! It is fairly easy to convert to SD-8 with minimal vignetting, the variable shutter it great and it's probably one of the sharper fixed-lens S8 cams. I sort of regret selling mine.

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