Posts by MNS1974:
- Variable Color Temperature: 2500 – 9000K
- Variable Color Correction: + – GREEN
- Full Color Output With Hue and Saturation Control
- Precise Readout with Rear Control
- Fully Dimmable 100% – 1
- RGB Color Mixing with Long Life LED’s
- DMX or Wireless Operation
- Optional Softbox & Mounts
- Made Production Tough in the USA
- No Correction or Color Gels to Buy
- No Gels to Carry
- No Spare Bulbs to Buy or Carry
- Low Maintenance Cost
- Low Power Draw
- Extremely Versatile Light
- CineSkates™ are a set of three wheels that quickly attach to a tripod and enable filmmakers to capture fluid, moving video footage without lugging heavy gear. CineSkates with Focus can support cameras up to 2.3kg (5 lbs). SkatePlate attaches to increase the weight capacity to 5kg (11 lbs).
- CineSquid™ suction cups attach to contoured, multi-level surfaces, and can be manipulated after the suction cups are mounted. The triple suction cup design ensures CineSquid will not lose its grip. CineSquid can support cameras up to 2.3kg (5 lbs).
- SkatePlate™ is a frame for products with Cinetics Connect, like CineSkates and CineSquid. It has a retractable quick-set-up design that can support the heaviest cameras.
- GorillaPod Focus™ is a flexible tripod with aluminum construction. It supports camera weighing up to 5kg (11 lbs).
- Ballhead X™ is a solid ball mount with an Arca style quick-release plate. It supports camera weighing up to 5kg (11 lbs).
Its still not here…..
Neither is the Red Laser projector….
Neither is this.
and where is our firmware for C100,300 & 500 Canon????
Probably one of the best things about the digital cinema movement is the fact that we all get the benefit of prime lenses. The days of using lens adapters like the Pro35, the Letus Extreme etc are pretty much dead as we can add a S35 or full frame lens to most digital cinema cameras. Back in the day there was not a lot of choices and the prices were extremely high even for super 16 glass. It was not uncommon to drop $50-80K on a set of glass and there was few choices with Zeiss and Cooke being the most used. Now we have a lot of companies making 35 glass, some ok, some good and others great. There are now options for prime sets for under $50K and even the option to buy primes and zooms with interchangeable mounts (we had zooms with universal mounts but not primes). 20 years ago glass needed to be fast. Superspeeds were king with T1.3 apertures. They were made for film cameras and film outside of Kodak Vision stocks did not have remotely the same sensitivity as the digital cinema cameras of today. Back when I was shooting exclusively film in the mid 90′s Kodak released VISION Color negative film. The stock rated ISO’s of 200T, 250D 320T, 500T and 800T all for 16mm/S16/35mm & S35. So lenses had to be fast. Times have changed. Now we have cameras like the C100/C300/C500, F5/F55, Alexa, etc with ISO’s baselining at what even the best film stocks were rated at. So now if we light a scene the same way we did to get an T4/5.6 10 years ago, we are looking at a at least a T8/11 split due to the sensor sensitivity. So we don’t need lenses with T/1.3 as much these days. Are they nice, sure, but they are very expensive to design, manufacture, etc. This opens up the doors for other lenses to come into the mix as options for todays shooter. You probably are not going to be shooting anymore film from this point on so its time to broaden your horizons and stop hunting down that old school set of SuperSpeed Mark III lenses. Those lenses were designed for film, not for todays sensors and not optimized for video. Lenses have gotten much better over the past two decades as well. They are sharper, resolve higher resolutions, have better corners, consistency, contrast and mechanics.
Enter one of the leaders in lensing Schneider Optics. Schneider has been around forever. Since 1913 in fact. They make film lenses and now digital cinema glass. I had a few of their lenses from the 70′s for my Eclair ACL, NPR, and a Optivaron 6-66MM C-Mount on my Bolex cameras. Schneider bought world famous lens manufacturer Century Optics back in 2000 which added even more cache to the brand. Century made one of the best swing shift systems for professional cinematography ever made as well as a lot of problem solvers like periscopes, low angle prisms, etc.
This year Schneider Optics released the third generation of the Cine – Xenar line the Cine – Xenar III’s. I have had the privilege of using these lenses a lot over the past few weeks and they are a massive step up from generation 2. Xenar III’s are all aluminum barrels with stainless steel interchangeable mounts (PL & EF). Right away when you hold one you can feel the build quality is better. What Schneider has done is made a set of primes that do not change in volume, have gears in the same place (so you do not have to re-rig your focus motors, etc), consistent 270 degrees of rotation on focus with tons of focus marks, consistent front diameters, a highly visible focus index marks, and extremely close focus capability. These are not full frame lenses but that is a plus not having to deal with crop factor etc on set.
The Xenar III’s do not have a consent aperture but they are all reasonably fast for the cameras of today. The 50mm, 75mm, and 95mm are all T2.0, the 35mm T2.1, and the 18mm & 25mm are both T2.2 Again, with camera ISO’s starting around 800 this is not as much of a real issue today as it would be five years ago. The lenses are sharp and consistent and you can pick up a complete set for about $48K which is a fraction of the price of Cooke S4′s, Master Primes, Leica’s etc. I would put the Xenar III’s on par with Arri Ultra Primes in regards to feature set and build which is remarkable since the Schneider’s are less than half the price and there is not a six month to one year waiting period to get them. You can also buy Xenar III’s individually which allows for a slow build in set for financial reasons or maybe your a 25, 50, 75mm type of shooter.
Also new this year from Schneider is the much anticipated Xenon FF full frame lenses. The 35, 50 & 75mm have been announced so far. I had my hand on these at NAB and found the size, the mechanics and build quality to be significantly better than Zeiss CP.2 lenses of comparable price. Like the Xenar III’s the FF’s have consistent marks, front diameters, gearing placement etc. The lens was about 2lbs which is very light weight. I can already tell after using them that theses will be very popular lenses and the set of three will be around $10,500. You can also buy them individually. They will be available in PL, EF, and Nikon F mount. If you are looking for a set of full frame primes you owe it to yourself to demo these lenses as I am positive you will be sold over the competing products currently on the market.
Its refreshing to see a company with some deep roots and history in the film world address the needs of today’s cinematographer with quality, well built products. The Xenar III’s and Xenon FF’s take on that challenge and stand out in a lens market that frankly is over-saturated with crap. Both models are also reasonably priced and Schneider probably could have charged more. I am glad they didn’t because it opens up the door to great glass to a crowd that is used to seeing extremes of low quality cheap junk lenses or high quality unattainable glass. This is a great middle mark and makes for a great investment for anyone catering from low budget to studio quality productions. If your in New England and are in the market from primes, feel free to reach out to me for a demo.
There are literally hundreds of LED lighting companies catering products in the film, video and photographic market place today. Those of us who are shooters know that at least 90% of them are crap. The good ones are built tough, are bright, consistent, have a nice even wide spread and feature controls. These controls are often color temperature and dimming. Some LED lights only have dimming. Others are only on or off. A few have the ability to change from tungsten to daylight or the ability to mix the two. Many of these color temp controls are inaccurate especially in cheaper brands. Just because an LED says 5600 or 3200 doesn’t mean anything. Take a color meter to most of the knockoff 1×1’s and you will see they are not what they say they are. This is a problem because you then find yourself adding gels that can knock down intensity and waste time on set. Some LED lights have dimming switches or rotary knobs but are already on a low output light to begin with. Others have no provisions for diffusing the light to soften it. Reason being that they know cutting down the light by diffusing makes it almost useless for fill if it only has a 4-6 foot throw to begin with. That would chop it down to 2 to 3 feet, which is unusable. ZyLight is very bright and there is even a Chimera Softbox option specifically made for the IS3
It is clear that LED lighting is replacing most lighting under 250watts in our field. Even Kino Flo is getting into LED technology as it uses 70% less energy, lasts ten times longer than fluorescent, thirty times longer than incandescent and has over 50,000 hours of life. Not having bulbs break or the need to swap them out is a big deal when you’re on set. The other main advantage is the fact that LED lights put off very little heat. This is very important in a litigious society and also allows for fast pack ups and breakdowns. No more waiting 15 minutes for a light to cool to move to another location, etc. Another big value is that your talent’s makeup will not melt off their face in a scene. No more sweaty actors dying under hot lights. No burn injuries and no worries with kids on set. The fact you can turn off air-conditioning units for the entire shoot is great. No more cooling down breaks on the set on long shoots. Less power draw also allows for use of house power on standard outlets. No more suicide pins into the power mains!
Now for more detail on my favorite manufacturer of LED lighting, Zylight. I was first introduced to Zylight about three years ago at NAB. There were several LED manufactures represented there but nowhere near the amount as there is today. Zylight always stood out from the pack and even more so today, as there are so many crappy LED light offerings. So why is Zylight so great and why am I writing a post singling out this one brand specifically? It’s really quite simple. Unlike most LED manufacturers Zylight has truly engineered an almost perfect line of fixtures. A few of these features stand out as revolutionary in this arena and its made in the USA.
Both the IS3 (18”x11”x2”) and the Z90 (5.3″ x 3.0″ x 2.0″ on camera or on stand, palm sized light 7-24v)
Both the IS3 and the Z90 have a digital readout on the back of the light with a very simple user interface. You will not need a manual to figure out these feature packed lights. Some of my favorite features of the IS3 and Z90:
Full color output adjustment, meaning you can dial in almost any color and use it as a color wash or color edge. This is incredible, as normally you would need to take a light with two to four times the output to blast through a color gel and still get the intensity you were looking for on your meter. Also because using the color mode does not reduce the intensity you can dial in almost any color you want without altering any part of the throw. Tweaking color is a dream on these lights as you can adjust the hue and saturation of the color. This is a DP’s dream and your gaffer will thank you for it.
You can also dim ZyLight IS3 and Z90 without any shift in color temperature. Most LED lights will not hold color on dimming so this is an important detail that most overlook when choosing a fixture.
ZyLink wireless technology is built into both lights and works up to approximately 60 feet away from the controller. ZyLink allows you to remotely control all of the features on the light including On/Off, color fill and color temperature. For example, this is perfect for remote applications where you might want to hang the light on a grid or boom arm. Keep in mind that the IS3 also features built in DMX connections for permanent installations or video event operations. The Z90 can also be DMX controlled via the ZyLink controller which has a DMX interface on the back.
What I really like about the ZyLink control is the fact that you can put several Zylight IS3’s, Z90’s or a combination of them onto one channel and control them all together or on separate controllers, utilizing the 10 channels of wireless. You can orchestrate some amazing lighting setups this way and do things you would never be able to do with other lights. Example: You are shooting a crime drama and you want the mood to shift with color representing emotion. The woman sees a dead body, she looks down and notices she is holding the murder weapon. The scene washes completely red. Normally you would use a separate light for the color wash and would need to kill or dim some of the tungsten or daylight balanced lights you were using. That would take a few people to pull off, the timing would have to be just right, the red gel filtered light would have to be very intense, etc. That same scenario could be done with one or two IS3’s and a Z90 all ZyLink’ed together and you could simply go from daylight to color mode without loss of intensity and with perfect timing. Also the simple ability to remotely turn off a kicker, fill, key, hair light etc, is huge. No more building rheostats or having someone throw/unplug a switch, etc.
Think about green screen applications. Taking a white wall and splashing it with green light rather than painting it. Or using it to knockout shadows on a green screen without changing the color of screen and without gels (which would be hard to match to green screen paint)
Why make ZyLight your LED light of choice? Simply put, in a time of smaller crews, lower budgets, etc ZyLight allows for a scalable set of lighting tools that will save you money and manpower in the short term and long term. It allows for more creative options that are simply not found in other lights. Innovations that stand out like a wide spread remote capability, color adjustments, reliability and performance that far exceeds any of the top brands.
There are many reasons why you should not buy a cheap LED light. If you’re a DP then light is your paintbrush and paint. You need consistency and dependability. It is worth every penny to have the proper tools to begin with rather than band-aiding a cheap solution that you know will make your job harder, will not last, does not have a decent throw and does not feature on-board tools to make your job easier. ZyLight can fix that for you. Once you try one I know you will be hooked. I am.
Back in 2011 I remember seeing a lot of my twitter friends mentioning a product called CineSkates. It was an interesting idea taking a Joby Gorilla Pod and adding skateboard wheels to it making for a highly adjustable moving dolly for DSLR’s and light weight cameras. The kickstarter campaign was highly successful and they exceeding their funding goal on the very first day. This showed that there was clearly a market for such products and the company grew to offer other related products.
I met with Justin Jensen of Cinetics in Austin, TX where the company is based. I was there for Masters In Motion where I was presenting High-Speed cameras for one of the workshops. Each of the presenters was given a Cinetics CineSkates system which was a very nice gesture. Looking at the system online does not do it any justice in comparison to actually getting it into your hands and putting a camera on it. I will testify that it is a lot stronger than it looks and I was able to put a C300 camera on the system with confidence although I am sure it was originally intended for DSLRs.
A great feature of the system is the quickly removable feet options. You can go from Suction cup feet (CineSquid feet), to CineSkate wheels, to CineVise feet in seconds. Each has its own application and extends the Gorilla Pod’s original design with the various application feet. I mounted all three CineSquid suction cup feet and stuck it to my counter top expecting that they would not hold very well. A good of force is required for this to fail. I was unable to dislodge the system by pulling on it from almost every direction which says a lot. Now mind you, I did not mount this system to a windshield or on a car hood, but I am considering trying it with a DSLR. The CineSquids are rated at 5lbs each but this is grossly underrated based on my tests, especially on clean flat glass. Applying a small amount of moisture on the suction cups also completed a well bonded seal on most non porous surfaces.
Normally on auto spots we use a hostess tray for driver or passenger door shots. For hood shots its usually a custom rig involving industrial 6-10″ suction mounts with a lot of webbing tethers, etc. I have been using Kessler CineSlider’s with Manfrotto or FilmTools suction cup mounts for the past two years for moco hood shots however I can see a few applications for using the CineSquid system with some braided tethers for simple easy last minute shots, etc. I will do a few tests this spring but It looks like it will work fine.
The CineVise claps are a prototype but after testing them I can’t imagine they will change much if at all on the release version. The benefit of extending the feet as mounting options instead of using the legs of the Gorilla Pod to wrap around an object you can use the CineVise clamps or CineSquid suction cups and keep all the articulation you need. They feature kip levers so tightening them to the Gorilla pod is quick and easy. The vise surfaces feature a rubber on all contact points so you will not mar or ruin whatever you are clamping too. This is a nice feature and I am glad they did this rather than just notching. These also have a bit more than 2.5″ of clamping surface to work with so you can mount them to almost anything like a railing, countertop, 2×4′s, etc.
The Cinetics SkatePlate is a small compact folding micro dolly that has allows you to mount the CineSkate system to it to basically give you a mini tripod and dolly. This is great for counter-top shots and low angle ground shots if the terrain is applicable. Personally I have not found a product like it in the price range. Normally a skate type dolly is at least a thousand dollars so this is a great option for anyone who likes to travel light and is on a budget. There is indexing marks on the wheel connections that show you which way the wheels need to be aligned to get a rotation, left to right and forward to back shots. Nice an simple. There is also a 1/4-20″ mount in the middle of the SkatePlate allowing for the mounting of the Joby ball head or other third party accessories like quick release or cheese-plate.
Overall I think the Cinetics system is pretty fantastic for low budget shooting and problem solving. You really can’t find anything close to it for the money and its a fairly complete system for an unheard of price. They have a few different bundles for your needs but I would definitely consider looking at the CineSystem bundle as it gives you the most for your dollar. Here is what it contains.
Cine System is the whole Cinetics package for your camera mounting and dollying needs in one ready-to-roll kit. The system can support cameras up to 5kg (11 lbs) and includes: CineSkates, CineSquid, SkatePlate, GorillaPod Focus, Ballhead X
You get all this for $469.95 on the Cinetics store http://store.cinetics.com/cine-system/ and its a great value, especially for if you are just starting out.
If you have any questions on the system or would like to see any tests for an application you might have feel free to email me ( mike at MNS1974 dot com ) or catch me on twitter https://twitter.com/MNS1974
Michael Sutton @MNS1974
I got an email back in the summer from good friends Jon Connor and Cristina Valdivieso of www.shooteditlearn.com asking if I was interested in becoming a part of Masters In Motion 2012 in ATX. Of course I jumped at the opportunity, as last year was a blast. Rule Boston Camera was a sponsor last year as well as for the NYC presentation this summer right after NAB. I knew this would be a great event to network, meet with good friends, talk with filmmakers of varying disciplines, styes, etc. It was also a good opportunity to get the Phantom Flex and TS3Cine high-speed camera into the hands of people who would not normally get the chance to use them.
As the week progressed, Jon and Cristina kept introducing new educators and workshops. I was blown away with what this event was becoming right before my eyes. Now, last years were great but I could tell that this year they outdid themselves. More educators, more sponsors, more workshops, more everything.
Shane Hurlbut ASC, Vincent LaForet, Alex Buono, Philip Bloom, Erik Aadahl, Ian Vertovec, Joe Simon, Tatjana Green, Konrad Czystowski, Ondi Timoner, Eric Kessler, Preston Kanak, Jon Bregel, Khalid Mohtaseb, Sean Steigemeier, Justin Hamilton and myself all were heavily involved in making this event more than memorable. Every part of the pre-pro, production and postproduction was covered. These were not re-hashed presentations, and everyone came with something fresh to the table.
Day 1, Monday. First up at Masters In Motion was Tatjana Green presentation was: Creating Concepts, Credibility and Cash. Its focus was starting with an idea and touched a lot on branding and building a name.
Next up was Joe Simon on Creating Development of Commercial Work. Joe has a great background in what I like to call Million Dollar Wedding Videos. Basically Joe’s videos look like they were shot with insane budgets. Joe is also well known for his BMX videos that incorporate insane glidecam shots. Joe has since branched out with a new launched company called The Delivery Men, which focuses on commercial work.
Third on stage on opening day was Alex Buono. Alex DP’s for SNL short films and has some great documentaries under his belt with Bigger, Faster, Stronger standing out. Alex got up on stage and threw away his Canon playbook. In fact he threw out everything that related to camera talk and kicked it old school by cramming 4 years of film school into a few hours. He did this in a way that kept everyone drawn in and attentive to the subject matter. Alex brought the science of space, lines, shape, color, tone, rhythm and movement in film making to MIM 2012. Alex’s presentation was very well received and unexpected.
The last presentation for Monday was by Vincent LaForet. Vince did something different than his previous presentations and covered Deconstructing The Demo: How to Stand Out in a Saturated Market. He provided some great insight for start up filmmakers who are looking to break into the business as well as for seasoned filmmakers who need to adapt to an ever-changing market.
Tuesday, day 2: Shane Hurlbut’s presentation and hands on sessions were fast and furious. His presentation was Act of Valor: A Case Study in Out of the Box Filmmaking. Shane clearly does not give an F’ about what the establishment is doing or is mainstay. The guy is a beast, making his own lighting rigs, using DSLRs and crazy configurations to get the shot. Every he does is unconventional but all successful in getting the shot, with invigoration. He showed up with a 3 ton truck loaded with gear and I don’t think I ever saw him sit down for a second. It is clear that he believes in his methodology and has basically built a brand around it. It is fascinating to watch him work and I can see why people pay a lot of money to go to his workshops. Masters In Motion allowed a view into this madness for a fraction of the price and based on the feedback it was worth every penny.
Next up was Ian Vertovec of Light Iron. Ian’s presentation was on Color. Very fitting as he is one of the best colorists in the business. Talk about what you know. He knows color. Ian has numerous credits as a colorist with some of the standouts being The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Timescapes and Hitchcock.
Tuesday afternoon consisted of the hands on sessions with Tatjana Green doing “Set Design”, Philip Bloom covering “The Interview”, Konrad Czystowski on “Maximizing Your Coverage”, Preston Kanak & Eric Kessler covering “TimeLapse”, Shane Hurlbut ASC “Storytelling with Light and Composition”, Joe Simon and Sean Steigemeier on “Utilizing Natural Light”, and Justin Hamilton and myself “The Phantom Flex and TS3Cine High-speed”. There were six rotations of 45Minutes each so that everyone who attended was able to experience each workshop without feeling rushed.
Wednesday, Day 3:
First up on Wed was Konrad Czystowski on: Art & Science of Storytelling. Konrad covers camera movement and how to use it based on whether or not it drives the story forward. The basics of Konrads presentation was that shots were like words in a sentence and sequences are like the paragraphs of a story. Use them wisely and if they are not pertinent to the story then loose them. Example if a shot looks cool but doesn’t have any real benefit to the message then don’t bother. RUN, JUMP, KNEEL, BEND, DANCE, FLY, FRAME, SHOOT, FAST, SLOW, TWIST, SHOUT, CLICK, EDIT, CUT, CUT, CUT, SHOW, PACK FRESH SOCKS, RINSE AND REPEAT. This is his motto and after meeting Konrad it is clear why he was voted one of DV Filmmakers top 25.
Next up was Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner Ondi Timoner. Ondi talked about creating characters, engaging the audience and grabbing their attention during the first few minutes of the film and ideally during the opening credits. She also talked about her new film Mapplethorpe as well as showed a few clips from her documentary films. Did I mention she won the Grand Jury Prize twice?!! Ondi is the only filmmaker to win that category twice in Sundance’s history.
Third up Wed was another presentation that got raving reviews by sound designer Erik Aadahl. Erik did the sound design on films I, Robot, Transformers, Kung Fu Panda, Tree of Life to name a short few. As one of Hollywood’s most sought after sound designers, I learned that Erik is booked solid till 2016 with jobs. That is pretty impressive. Erik showed crazy amounts of audio tracks and how to assemble sound to make a completed scene as well as how to add or remove suspense, etc. Great stuff that most people do not get to see often outside of behind the scenes specials.
Last up on the final day was Philip Bloom. Philip’s presentation was Navigating The Road to Success: Strategic Marketing in the Digital Era. This presentation was new and something we had not seen before from Phil. He covered everything from Social media to leverage yourself, chasing the right project and doing what you need to stand out from the crowd. As always Phils, presentation was peppered with humor and whit.
Overall the event was a big success for everyone involved and I was glad to be a part of it again this year. I can see Masters In Motion becoming something even bigger. I my opinion I think it is probably the go to event for filmmakers outside of NAB, and perhaps even more important. Both Jonathan and Cristina did an amazing job putting this event together. I have no idea how they managed to coordinate everything and everyone. They did a stellar job and it’s clear that know the secrets of success when pulling off something as grandiose as this. I would like to thank all the presenters and workshop instructors for giving it there all and keeping it fresh and interesting for all. Thank you to all the attendees and friends who made it out.
We made a fun high-speed video again this year after hours called “Operation BullRide 2″ shot on the Phantom Flex and TS3Cine camera. Here is a link to one of the edits: https://vimeo.com/55405723
Hope to see you all next year!
Michael Sutton Twitter & Facebook @MNS1974
Twitter accounts of presenters, workshop instructor’s, sponsors, assistants, etc:
@alexbuono @freshsox @joesimon @philipbloom @onditimoner @vincentlaforet @thisisbtyb @erickessler @hurlbutvisuals @khalidmohtaseb @jonathanbregel @nickmidwig @seansteigemeier @justinphamilton @jaredlevy @joelgraves @prestonkanak @karenabad @jonconnorfilms @cristinavaldivi @shooteditlearn @dustinbennett76 @mimvideo @dstewart126 @jognmiller @melissaransdell @cinevita @gametavern @mrs_h_bomb @ryan_connolly @cinetics @editshare @mashallusa @letusdirect @hivelighting @annieraydotnet @rodemics @zacuto @themusicbed @manfrotto_tweet @redgiantnews @lensprotogo @kesslercrane @TS3Cine @rulebostoncam