Author: Studio B Team

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14 Jan The Possibilities of Portrait Lighting – by the Perez Brothers

Cinematography is infinite in its possibilities… much more so than music or language. – Conrad Hall

The above quote by Hall (cinematographer of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, American Beauty, etc.) helps to illustrate the collaborative decisions a cinematographer and gaffer must make when it comes to lighting an actor. Whether you are filming a commercial in Silicon Valley or narrative feature, it is essential to have firm grasp of how lighting can affect the audience’s perception of your subject. The following clip from a music video produced for Heia Sun & Stellar Kinematics demonstrates how a single light source can dramatically change one’s perception of the human face:

As seen from the hypnotizing example above, light placement is everything. Placing a light below an actor’s eye-line for example, can offer an ominous or menacing look (imagine a film noir or a horror film). Conversely, placing a light above an actor’s eye-line provides a more natural and potentially beautiful aesthetic (imagine a high-key comedy or commercial). Whatever the cinematographer’s creative preference might be, as a gaffer, I am often asked to light actors in a portrait setting.

While every actor’s face is unique and every project requires a different approach, I have found myself continually returning to one streamlined lighting plan for my portraits.  Several years ago I had the pleasure of working with the McCoubrey Brothers on a series of NFL spots for their Thursday Night Football campaign. With limited production gear available, we devised an effective portrait lighting set up for the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers.  The following is a simplified sketch of the lighting setup we used for the shoot (created by Devon Perez):

Lighitng Plan

Pretty easy right? All that you need for the above lighting plan is three lamps: a key light (one 1K Arri with a Chimera), and two soft backlights (two 2×4 Kino Flos with tungsten bulbs). At the time of the production, I could not quite put my finger on why the setup made the players look so fierce. In retrospect, I realized that the intensity of the portraits came from the way the softback lights accentuated the jawlines of the athletes.

Jawlines are extremely important for both male and female subjects. Accentuating a jawline with lighting can help actors appear to have model-esque cheekbones, while simultaneously make an action hero look twice as sculpted. The following still shot was taken from an upcoming short film that I directed with my brother Devon, entitled The Weigh In (2014):

Weigh In Image

As you can see from the example above (which uses the same lighting setup illustrated in the diagram), the jawline is accentuated and there is a lot of contrast on the face, which provides “tough” looking portrait of our boxing character. Conversely, the portrait lighting plan can be modified to achieve a more natural looking aesthetic for your film. The following still was taken from an internal video for Google that I shot and lit with my brother:

Screen Shot for Google

As you can see from the example above (using the same lighting setup), we were able to achieve a totally different look, yet maintain a strong jawline on our subject. As mentioned previously, the portrait lighting plan can be modified to taste by adding an additional hard backlight or a fill light. For corporate shoots, I will often bring the key light directly over camera (which provides a nice even spread on the face) and compliment the key with an additional fill light or a piece of reflective beadboard.

In conclusion, there is no magic potion or simple formula for lighting every subject. Some portraits are lit with a single source, while others are lit with countless lamps, as Hall said, “the possibilities are infinite.”  However, my hope is that the above article and visual examples can help provide a jumping off point for making portrait decisions on your next project. As I my brother and I continue to make films, we have found it crucial to never stop learning and to continually find ways to push yourself both technically and creativity.  Informed lighting can lead to fantastic projects, never settle for less.

The Perez Brothers are award winning filmmakers and lighting technicians from the San Francisco Bay Area. They are best known for their work as co-directors on music video and narrative shorts.  As they continue their search for representation, their style has often been described as comedic, surreal, and always creative. @PerezBros

Perez Bros Promo

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09 Jan Sony F5 Firmware v3.0 Released

Sony recently pushed out the newest major firmware update for their Sony F5 and F55 cameras. This update includes a few major changes but mostly numerous minor additions to the ever-expanding functionality of the CineAlta line. Both cameras are finally living up to and surpassing the promises Sony teased us with when they were first announced, and proving to be great options for both studio and on-the-go filmmaking.

After updating our F5, the new features we’re most excited about are the additional S&Q (slow and quick) framerates for both 2k and 4k recording, the center scan mode for use with 16mm lenses, the activation of the AES/EBU digital audio inputs, and the ability to playback RAW 4k footage from our AXS-R5 recorder on set. Check out the Sony infographic here for a changelog of features throughout the past year.

Sony F5 Firmware Update

Other notable updates not mentioned in the graphic are additions to the Wi-Fi remote controls, new S-Log color grading space selections and white balance adjustments, and improved user LUT controls. A full list of changes, including both cameras and recorder firmware download links can be found on the Sony forums here.

The two features expected in this update that didn’t make the cut are cache recording and interval (timelapse) modes, which have been pushed back to March (firmware v4.0). Besides those, Sony has given us everything promised and more, and the Studio B production team is excited to continue shooting with the improved functionality of the CineAlta cameras. Call or email today to rent our Sony F5 package, fully up-to-date with the new features of firmware v3.0.

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02 Jan XQD Cards for Sony F5 & F55 – guest post by DP Dennis Hingsberg

XQD Cards

For those looking at alternative options to Sony’s SXS Pro Plus cards (recommended for best performance on the F5/F55), fortunately as of the October version 2.0 firmware release Sony added support for the Sony XQD memory card format. Not only do the XQD cards outperform traditional Compact Flash cards for image capture, but with read/write speeds of up to 180MB/s they support stable workflows at XAVC 4k Intra 4:2:2 (4096×2160/60p, 600Mbps) and mean super speedy transfer rates to your computer via PCIe interface.

To make things slightly confusing there are three series of Sony XQD cards; S-Series, H-Series, and N-Series. The S-Series comes in two speeds (168MB/s and 180MB/s) and the new N-Series is 125MB/s. The H-Series is now discontinued (was 125MB/s). According to Sony; “the S-Series features a Wear Leveling Function, Error Correction Code, Data Refresh Function and other new features to enable secure and stable recording of 4K content, helping to meet the rigorous demands faced by professionals. The N-Series gives consumers an affordable entry-level option that supports consumer 4K shooting.”

A Sony 64GB SXS Pro Plus card will set you back around $850 USD while a 64GB S-Series XQD card costs around $319 for the 180MB/s card and slightly less for the 168MB/s. For the F5 and F55 Sony has indicated that the XQD cards support all codecs: XAVC 4K, XAVC 2K, XAVC HD, HDCAM SR file, MPEG. An SxS to XQD card adapter ($33 USD) is needed to use the XQD card media in the cameras, and an optional USB3.0/2.0 XQD card reader can be purchased for around $38 USD.


I tested both the 168MB/s and 180MB/s XQD S-series on the Sony F55 using a resolution, codec and frame rate that would produce the absolute highest maximum data rate which is 600Mbps when recording 4096×2160/60p in XAVC. A quick look at the Sony F5/F55 data chart shows there is no other combination of resolution, codec and frame rate on the F5 or F55 that exceeds 600Mbps. So it would stand to reason that if the S-Series XQD cards can handle 4096×2160/60p that all other combinations of settings should also work flawlessly.


If there is still any doubt that these cards have adequate performance to work in various camera shooting modes I suggest that you ignore the codec, frame rate, and resolution, and strictly look at the bitrates you will be working with. For example 4k/60p and 180fps HD in HFR mode have the exact same bit-rate of 600Mbps, which is the highest data rate possible on the cameras. Remember the SR codec maxes out at 440Mbps in 30p mode, and MPEG even lower.

When you look at just how fast these cards are in Mbps equivalence, the XQD cards are up and around near 1440Mbps and 1340 for the 180MB/s and 168MB/s respectively, and although the data rates of the cameras don’t come anywhere close to the max rates of the cards, where you will find the benefit in speed is later during transfer of footage when off loading your footage to your computer or storage network device.

Unfortunately at the time I performed my tests the N-Series were not available yet so I did not have an opportunity to test them. They should definitely be fine for MPEG on the F5/F55 but from what I read they are more geared for consumer use on the newer generation of Sony 4k cameras. During my testing I also did not have a chance to test 4k XAVC and HD MPEG proxy simultaneous recording on the F55.

All and all I think the XQD cards can be a great alternative for the Sony F5 and F55 cameras for personal projects or the budget conscious.

Guest blog post by director/cinematographer Dennis Hingsberg.

Check out his website at:

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09 Dec Documentary Filmmaker Equipment Survey

PBS’s POV, which focuses on documentary films, has put together a survey of documentary filmmakers and their favorite gear to use when directing and editing. Although the sample size is relatively small, their answers appear to correlate pretty well with the equipment that documentary filmmakers are most often renting from us here at Studio B. As opposed to studio filmmaking, the documentary approach has always favored the lighter, smaller, and cheaper options for their portability and adaptability within the vérité style. We see this in the survey as Canon comes out on top of the favorite camera brands, due mainly to their line of DSLRs and lenses. Sony, Panasonic, and then Other rounded out the list in that order, and while the Sony EX1 is extremely popular, the Canon C300 took the top spot as most popular camera for doc filmmakers.

Canon also took the top brand spot in the lenses category, due partly to the popularity of Canon cameras, and partly to their affordability and versatility. Many other branded cameras are now shipping with EF mount options, or with the ability to adapt to one using a third party mount. The Canon L series zooms provide such a flexible and inexpensive solution to shooting nearly anything, that it is no wonder they are popular with on-the-go filmmakers. Sennheiser and Zoom were the brands at the top of the audio section, which is no surprise due to the industry standard Sennheiser MKH 416 shotgun mic and the Zoom H4n and H6 recorders.

Whether you are a documentarian or you prefer a different style, it’s definitely worth considering what kind of gear others in the industry are using in order to better your own filmmaking. It’s also worth checking out what gear they most often bought vs. rented. The doc style generally allows for cheaper gear and therefore more incentive to buy and keep it with you on-the-go, but we find it noteworthy that they still rent a large portion of their equipment. Check out the survey here, laid out in a useful infographic (click to enlarge):

POV Documentary Equipment Survey

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22 Nov New Arrivals: FS700 and Odyssey 7Q Recorder/Monitor


We’ve got some exciting new additions to our camera lineup but we’re most excited about the arrival of our new Sony NEX-FS700. While this camera has been out for over a year now, firmware and hardware updates have had time to be released enabling a myriad of new functions to the FS700 including the ability to shoot in 4k Raw @ a continuous 60 fps or 120fps in burst mode. While the FS700 is more widely known for its ability to shoot at a buttery smooth 240fps in 2k, this function only becomes available with an external recorder.


This is where the Odyssey Recorder comes in. With its integrated monitor, the 7Q compared to Sony’s own IFR-5 Recorder has the added benefit of shaving off weight and bulk off the rig enabling it to be more compact for whenever the need for a shoulder/ hand held shot arises. While this isn’t the most scientifically accurate size comparison between the two recorders, you can gauge from the photos below just how much of a difference this could potentially make. The body is almost an exact clone of the older FS-100 so anyone familiar with that camera will feel right at home with it’s younger, more able-bodied brother.

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 10.12.26 AMO7QBracket1


While the camera stumbles a bit in low light, its ability to shoot continuous 2k footage at 240fps allows the user to do what they can’t on other mid level professional cameras. Another thing to be weary of is the slight bit of aliasing that is introduced while shooting at the highest frame rate. I wouldn’t go as far as saying these are shortcomings: more so tiny nuances that are eclipsed by the camera’s unique features. The built in ND filters and insane frame rate should keep this setup as the go to choice for anyone doing sport/outdoor shooting or anywhere the high fps required/desired.

We now have both the FS700 with EF mount for Canon glass and the 7Q External recorder available for rent at Studio B Rentals. Call today to reserve a camera package!

External Links:

A nice little video showing off the varying rates of slo-mo available on this camera: 

More technical breakdown of the Odyssey 7Q:


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04 Dec Sony is fully in the digital cinema game with new PMW-F5 & PMW-F55

Sony is stepping up to the plate in a big way with their new PMW-F5 and PMW-F55 Digital Cameras ready to fully compete with Canon C500, the Red Epic, and Arri’s Alexa  at competitive prices .  It’s an exciting time to be alive, especially if you’re an independent filmmaker.

Sony — a little late to get into the game with the Sony F3 — originally looked as though they were focusing more on the traditional broadcast market and the super high end (Sony F35) than the digital cinema filmmaker. In my opinion, they dropped the ball while Red, Cannon and Arri ate their digital cinema lunch. But now things are changing, and it looks as though Sony isn’t going to roll over and play dead.

What’s so great about these new Sony cameras?
Well, based on the specs that have been released it looks as though Sony is going after the affordable 2K and 4k market in a big way. The image sensor promises  “a superb dynamic range, the widest color gamut, and pristine image quality” whether you shoot in HD, 2K or 4K. With the optional AXS-R5 recorder, you can even make the jump to incredibly precise 16-bit Linear RAW in both 2K and 4K. Sony says the F55 cameras will have a color gamut very similar to their top tier F65, which will have all of the color aficionado’s drooling.








Camera Body Design and Function

In a design that mimics the best of Arri Alexa body, with a side view screen and a similar array of buttons, both cameras are following the trend of a modular design with as much packed into the real estate of the camera as possible.

Lots of good Lens Options
The F5 and F55 come loaded with a PL mount and Sony’s FZ mount, which you can easily pop off and attach a variety of lens mounts (Nikon, Canon EF, etc.) so you can use any lens under the sun. Sony is making a line of Zoom lenses that will fit on the FZ mount as well, providing zoom control and auto focus communication with the camera. So, unlike the Canon c300/500 or Red Cameras, the F5 and F55 can be operated like a cinema camera or a more traditional broadcast camera, perfect for events and concerts, with the benefit of beautiful 4k or 2k RAW Video.


Huge exposure latitude

The ability to render tones from deepest shadows to brightest highlights is a crucial test of any digital camera. The F55, with an impressive 14 stops of exposure latitude, has extraordinary low-light sensitivity and extremely low noise in the blacks.

The Sony F55 also employs a Revolutionary electronic global shutter

Here what Sony has to say about their new shutter: “The traditional CMOS image sensor uses a “rolling” shutter that can result in images with unwanted distortions like motion skew and flash banding. That can be annoying, especially when shooting visual effects or 3D. Anything but typical, the F55 sensor incorporates electronic global shutter. Rolling shutter distortions aren’t minimized, they’re completely eliminated.”

So What are the difference between the Sony F5 and the Sony F55?
• The F55 allows you to record 4K, 2K or HD internally to SxS Pro+ Cards, have electronic frame image scan, and have the same type of color filter array technology used in Sony’s F65
• The Sony F5 is less expensive to buy and rent, it can record 2K or HD internally to SxS Cards and will be able to record 4K externally.  The F5 has a F3 type of color filter array.
• F55 has internal 4K recording: up to 60 fps
• F55 records HD to 180 fps
• F5 records HD to 120 fps
• F55 has 4K output via SDI connections
• F5 does not have 4K output
• F55 is rated at ISO 1250 (in S-Log 2). Other figures lurk.
• F5 is rated at 2000 ISO (in S-Log 2)

And what’s Common to both cameras

  • Both the F5Exposure latitude is 14 stops.
  • 5 and F5 record 4K (and 2K) RAW onto a modular onboard AXS-R5 recorder that uses a new AXS Memory Card.
  • Both cameras have a Super 35mm 4,096 x 2,160 single CMOS sensor (11.6M total photosites, 8.9M effective) — Super 35mm
  • 3-perf format size, 24 x 12.7 mm, 27.1 mm diagonal.
  • The camera weighs about 4 lb 14 oz (body only), and measures 7 ¼” long x 4 ⅞” high x 4 ⅞” wide.
  • It consumes 12 V DC (11 V – 17 V) at about 25 W in 4K at 60P.
  • There are 3 behind-the-lens optical filters: clear, ND 0.9 (3 stops) and 1.8 (6 stops).
  • Electronic shutter angle is variable from 4.2 – 360 degrees.
  • Shutter speeds adjust from 1/24 – 1/6000 second.
  • White balance choices are 3200, 4300, 5500K, Memorized, and ATW (Auto).
  • There are 6 standard Gamma Curves, and 6 HyperGamma
  • Curves: HG1, HG2, HG3, HG4, HG7 and G8. The last two have 800% range, the difference is where middle gray is 33% and 42%respectively.

From what we’ve heard and seen, the F5 and F55 cameras make beautiful pictures and give you a big bang for your digital camera buck.  Studio B Film is planning on purchasing a couple of each for our rental department when they are available, hopefully early in 2013, and we will be excited to use them on our own shoots.  As soon as we get our hands on one, we will post some test footage in a future blog.

About Studio B FIlms Rentals
Studio B Films is a full service digital video camera rental house.  You can check out our full compliment of cameras and other gear on our web siteStudio B FIlms Rentals

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10 Apr Canon 5D Mark III Unboxing Video

The new Canon 5D Mark III just arrived at our doorstop last night! We couldn’t wait to open it up and get our hands on it.

See us unbox it:

In the coming week we are going to put is through the paces and see if it lives up to the hype. We will be posting a review for it shortly.

In the meantime, you can check out some picture comparisons of the Mark III and Mark II bodies:

The button arrangement has been slightly rearranged. Most notably the power switch has shifted up to the settings wheel on the left. The video button has also received it’s own designated button. You can’t see it from the pictures but the mkIII has a bit more heft to it.

If you can’t wait to get your hands on the new 5D mkIII, you can rent it immediately here at Studio B Films!

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03 Mar Canon 5D Mark III-next step in DSLR Revolution or just another camera?

Wowzers! It’s here, the long awaited Canon 5D Mark III! Once rumored to have 4k recording capabilities, xlr inputs and a built in espresso machine, the final specs of this much anticipated ‘uber-hyped’ camera have now been released! The Mark II has become a staple for Studio B shoots.  It’s fairly rare these days that we go out on a shoot without it. If nothing else it’s a great second camera when we are shooting on the Red Epic or Arri Alexa, and we often use it simply for production stills. Lets see if the Mark III Can replace the Mark II as our go to DSLR.



Looks like they took what worked so well and stuck with it. Definitely a good thing.

So, in the end, why do we care? Lets break down the features.

New features include:

  • ISO sensitivity range from 100 to 25,600 (50 to 102,400 extended)
  • Digic 5+ Processor and 22.3-megapixel full-frame CMOS Sensor
  • 1080p recording @ 30/25/24fps and 720p recording at 60/30fps
  • Close to 30mins of uninterrupted record times w/automatic file splitting at 4GB files
  • Duel Compact Flash Type I/UDMA and SD/SDHC/SDXC Card Slots
  • Built-in headphone jack
  • Manual Audio Level Control with 64 levels (which you can adjust during movie recording) ZOINKS!
  • New 61-point autofocus system (same as the one found in 1D X)
  • HDR and Multiple Exposure modes
  • In-camera RAW processing
  • Comparative playback function (view two images side-by-side on LCD)
  • Scene Intelligent Auto mode
  • Support for high-speed UDMA 7 Compact Flash memory cards
  • 3.2-inch, 1.04 million-dot LCD
  • Optical viewfinder with 100% coverage

In video mode, it also has better noise reduction, so when you are at your crazy high ISO it won’t look as grainy as you think it should. It also claims better file compression and better overall picture quality, thanks to the digic 5+ processor. This camera is set to ship in late March and will retail for $3,500 smack-a-roo’s, over 1k more then its predecessor.

As for Still only options, I know there are a bunch but I’m not a still guy so I couldn’t tell you what they mean. If this is important stuff, post a response letting everyone know why still shooters would care about the Mark III.

So, now is the 5D Mark III a replacement to the Mark II or just another option in the world of DSLR? And, is it worth the extra cash? It’s really going to come down to image quality, if there is really that big of an improvement and if all these little features add up to a whole lot in the work that you do.

To single out the audio improvements, most people won’t be needing audio features for their DSLR anyways and without the inclusion of at least duel mini inputs, its not a feasible audio recorder anyways.

Even better low light recording? Well, more of a good thing is an even better thing, so if that does all it is supposed to, I can see that being a major factor. Longer record times, yes please. Time code, its about time. So yeah, there are improvements, but does that warrant a $3,500.00 price tag?

Soooo, whats my final take? We will get a couple of Mark III cameras in the studio so we can have it as part of our arsenal. Although the new features aren’t revolutionary, they are welcome additions, and since we’re already big fans of the 5D Mark II, I say ‘bring it on.’

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31 Jan Studio B Rentals in 2012: New Gear Rundown 2011 (Part 2)

Hello again, I’m back with part 2 of our new gear run down. We’ve got a lot on our plate over here, so I am going to get right to it.

But before we get back to the list, here is our first piece of new gear for 2012, drum roll please……

RED Epic Camera Package

This is the big one for 2012, we have finally received our RED Epic Camera Package here at Studio B. This camera is currently one of the hottest camera systems in Hollywood, having been used on the upcoming Spiderman film, Alien prequel and the long awaited prequels to the Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit.

We have it outfitted with all kinds of fun toys to make the camera has easy to use and streamlined as possible. For more details of our package and the specs of the camera, click here.

Ok, now back to the 2011 list.

Sachtler Cine 30 Tripod System

The most heavy duty tripod in our collection, the Cine 30 head can handle payloads up to 77lbs, this is the tripod you need when you are really maxing out your camera rig or using a massive lens that really needs the support. It can also be a great answer for an average camera setup, offering super smooth camera moves for any shoot. Specs here.

Matte Boxes

Arri LMB5 Clip on 2 Stage 4×5.65 Matte Box

This is a really hot item that has been getting a ton of use since we got it in our hands. This simple but ultra effective matte box allows any 80mm, 95mm or 114mm lens handle a matte box without rods. If you are going handheld or if you are trying to keep your kit light, this is the perfect item to make that happen.

Chrozsiel Super Wide 2 Stage 4×5.65 Matte Box

A standard Mattebox, it will attach to 15mm rods at either narrow or studio spacing, it comes with step down rings to fit 114mm, 110mm, 95mm and 80mm lenses. It comes with a single eyebrow and 2 4×5.65 lens trays, which also fits 4×4 filters. It works great with any of our camera systems, as long as you are using a lenses that matches the above specifications. Click! for more info.

Keep your eyes peeled for more content on this blog in the next week or so.

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21 Jan Studio B Rentals in 2012: New Gear Rundown 2011 (Part 1)

Hello camera junkies and non junkies!

First off, let me introduce myself, as I am new to this blog. I am Alrik Bursell, the Rentals and Equipment Manager here at Studio B Films.

Last year was a rush and a blast. We were slammed with so many different jobs, so many different shoots and so many different wonderful people coming in and out of the office all year round. We were also bestowed with a plethora of ‘fancy pants shining new gear’, that I am sure most people don’t even know that we have. Almost all of it is on our website (the rest will be shortly) but I am going to do a run down of all the shiny new toys we have in rentals that we acquired over the year. So, lets begin!

New Gear in 2011

Arri Alexa Digital Film Camera

Bam! Is this a big one or what? One of, (if not the number 1) top digital film camera working in the business today, and we got one here in our humble little office. We have used it to shoot a number of our latest videos and its always out of the office on rental. Please check our website for more info. But to summarize: Shoots to Apple Pro Res Files (in a variety of flavors), has 11 stops of dynamic range and it has one of the best sensors out there. But don’t trust me, the super awesome Roger Deakins who shot pretty much all of the Cohen Brothers Films, The Shawshank Redemption and countless other classic films says “[T]his camera has brought us to a point where digital is simply better”. And thats not just a fancy sound byte, he is currently shooting the latest Bond Movie Skyfall on the Alexa Studio Camera with Master Prime Lenses, using a Codex Deck to record in ARRIRAW, presumably at 4k, thank you very much IMDB.

Sony F3 Camera

The hot camera this time last year (and still hot in my opinion) the Sony F3 basically took the excellent pmw-EX1 chopped off the lens and threw on a pl-mount, at a very reasonable price tag. The dream camera for indie film makers and on a budget DP’s/Camera Ops, the F3 offers a great looking super 35mm sensor which captures very beautiful images with the ease of use of an EX1. Add the fact that you can send an HD-SDI signal out to a variety of digital recording decks, like the AJA KiPro or KiPro Mini to record directly to Apple Pro Res, then you have got your self quite a package. I am going to do a blog post about the F3 in the next week or so, so keep your eye open for that. For more details on the F3, guess what, click here!


Arri/Zeiss Ultra Prime Lenses

Another major addition to our arsenal, we use these almost on a daily basis. We have a 6 lens set, which includes a 18mm, 24mm, 32mm, 50mm, 85mm and 100mm lens. You can find all the lens specs here. These are not quite at the level of the Master Primes, but from our tests, the quality jump versus the price jump from the Ultra Primes to the Master Primes, is not quite worth it, especially if your final video is not going to exceed a resolution of 1920×1080. These are the top lenses that we have to offer here at the Studio and they would be a perfect match for the F3, Red Epic, Arri Alexa or any PL Mount camera.

Zeiss ZF and ZE Cine Modded Prime Lenses

(Please note, the lenses in this pic are not cine modded!)

More lenses! We already had a handful of the Zeiss ZE Primes for our 5D’s and 7D but we decided to go ahead and flesh out the set to a full set of 6 lenses: 18mm, 21mm, 32mm, 50mm, 85mm and 100mm macro. We then had local DP Jason Joseffer take them into his lab and add custom delrine gears for our line up of follow focuses and we slapped step up/step down rings to make the front diameter of the lenses uniform at 80mm.

We also have a near identical set in the ZF .2 series from Zeiss, including: 18mm, 25mm, 32mm, 50mm, 85mm and 100mm macro. The main difference between these two sets is the aperture control. On the ZE series it is electronic and speaks directly to the camera, giving you your iris control through the camera display. The ZF series uses a manuel iris ring, which you control on the lens barrel and there is zero electronic communication with the camera. Jason also did the cine modding on this set, but in addition of adding the gears, he ‘de-clicked’ the manual iris ring, allowing for a smooth exposure adjustment, on the fly. For more info on these baby’s, check out the ZE Lenses here and the ZF lenses here.


Like I said, we had a really big year, and there was a lot more gear that we got our hands on which I still need to get to, but I want to get this out in the world so I’ll be back with part 2 next week.

Thanks for reading and keep your eyes on this blog, as I intend to bring a new post to you guys and gals on a more regular basis.