I need help in choosing the right order of buying

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Daniel Bănică

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I need help in choosing the right order of buying

PostWed Jan 24, 2018 7:12 pm

Hi @,

I would like to know your suggestions regarding the choice I have to make for my bmpcc.
For the time being I have:
  • bmpcc
  • metabones speedboster
  • sigma 17-50mm f2.8
  • HOYA IR-UV Cut
  • Vary-ND filter
  • Tilta cage with handles, shoulder pad and LanParte LANC Start / Stop
  • Proaim H1000 Follow focus
  • Davinci Resolve Studio
  • Ultra Studio mini monitor
  • PC for grading

I need for my camera:
  • grading monitor (I'm thinking of EIZO CG247x)
  • lens (I'm thinking between sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 or Samyang 24mm and 35mm T1.5 VDSLR AS IF UMC II Cine)
  • external display (I need something good for focusing and LUT capability)

I don't know what is the order of buying for those 3 things (due to limits of my budget).
Could you please advice me?
I want to master the use of the camera and to get knowledge about the cinematography.
In case of the lens which set is better (sigma or samyang) and in case of external display which model is the best for me? As for the grading monitor I'm for EIZO for sure.
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Denny Smith

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Re: I need help in choosing the right order of buying

PostWed Jan 24, 2018 7:48 pm

Daniel, the Sigma 17-50 is only going to give you a normal to long tele lens, no wide shots, and any focal length past 20mm is too hard to hand hold without lens stabilization. I went the Speed Booster, large lens route on my Pocket camera, but discovered this setup was counter to the entire concept of a small camera setup like the Pocket camera. The Sigma Zoom is also probably not parfocal either, which is another issue with still camera zooms, and will require refocus every time you change (zoom) the focal length. The “normal focal length on the Pocket is 17.5mm. With a Metabones BMPCC SB you will get a 10-29 however, but with a heavy setup that is best left on a tripod, and will need additional support.

You will need the Canon EF version to get OIS, and add a $600 Speed Booster to a $300 lens, adding up to $900 to make it useable on the Pocket Camera. The Nikon version is less, so is the BMPCC/Nikon SB, $300-400, but no OIS, auto iris or push to focus via the camera. The Sigma is large, with a 77mm front and weighs almost 2 lbs.

I ended up going back to native MFT lenses, like the Panasonic Leica primes and the new PL 12-60f/2.8-4 Zoom, which has excellent IQ, is parfocal and was designed for videography in addition to still photography. The auto focus is fast, and manual focus by wire is almost like using a real manual focus, very responsive. The servos are dead quiet and will not record any noise.

Another larger, and a little heavier option is the Olympus 12-40 f/2.8 zoom and the smaller and lighter Panasonic new version of the 12-35 which also has OS, constant f/2.8 like the Oly 12-40, but smaller than the PL or Oly. A 12-35 or 12-40/60 Zoom range is much more useful on the camera than a 17-70 (I also have the 17-70 Angénieux Zoom, and only us it for outdoor work, when I need the longer focal lengths, like nature shooting).

Many early Pocket camera shooters started out with the Panny 12-35 Zoom, due to is compact size and light weight, it’s excellent IQ and ease of use. Using native MFT lenses, eliminates the awkward adapters and Speed Boosters. Which need a rail setup or other means of supporting them in the MFT mount to eliminate lens mount play, which translates to yiur image jumping when you move the lens focus or zoom.
Native MFT lenses fit the camera tighter and do not have this issue, as their focus is not dampened as much as manual lenses.

Food for thought...
Cheers
Denny Smith
SHA Productions
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Daniel Bănică

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Re: I need help in choosing the right order of buying

PostWed Jan 24, 2018 8:10 pm

Denny Smith wrote:Daniel, the Sigma 17-50 is only going to give you a normal to long tele lens, no wide shots, and any focal length past 20mm is too hard to hand hold without lens stabilization. I went the Speed Booster, large lens route on my Pocket camera, but discovered this setup was counter to the entire concept of a small camera setup like the Pocket camera. The Sigma Zoom is also probably not parfocal either, which is another issue with still camera zooms, and will require refocus every time you change (zoom) the focal length. The “normal focal length on the Pocket is 17.5mm. With a Metabones BMPCC SB you will get a 10-29 however, but with a heavy setup that is best left on a tripod, and will need additional support.

You will need the Canon EF version to get OIS, and add a $600 Speed Booster to a $300 lens, adding up to $900 to make it useable on the Pocket Camera. The Nikon version is less, so is the BMPCC/Nikon SB, $300-400, but no OIS, auto iris or push to focus via the camera. The Sigma is large, with a 77mm front and weighs almost 2 lbs.

I ended up going back to native MFT lenses, like the Panasonic Leica primes and the new PL 12-60f/2.8-4 Zoom, which has excellent IQ, is parfocal and was designed for videography in addition to still photography. The auto focus is fast, and manual focus by wire is almost like using a real manual focus, very responsive. The servos are dead quiet and will not record any noise.

Another larger, and a little heavier option is the Olympus 12-40 f/2.8 zoom and the smaller and lighter Panasonic new version of the 12-35 which also has OS, constant f/2.8 like the Oly 12-40, but smaller than the PL or Oly. A 12-35 or 12-40/60 Zoom range is much more useful on the camera than a 17-70 (I also have the 17-70 Angénieux Zoom, and only us it for outdoor work, when I need the longer focal lengths, like nature shooting).

Many early Pocket camera shooters started out with the Panny 12-35 Zoom, due to is compact size and light weight, it’s excellent IQ and ease of use. Using native MFT lenses, eliminates the awkward adapters and Speed Boosters. Which need a rail setup or other means of supporting them in the MFT mount to eliminate lens mount play, which translates to yiur image jumping when you move the lens focus or zoom.
Native MFT lenses fit the camera tighter and do not have this issue, as their focus is not dampened as much as manual lenses.

Food for thought...
Cheers
Denny, the sigma I own has OS and has Cannon mount which in connection with speed booster gives me quite wide angles. The size and weight is not a problem because I use the camera on the shoulder rig as I described.
Nevertheless thanks for your advice but it doesn't answer my main question. What would be the order of buying?
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Denny Smith

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Re: I need help in choosing the right order of buying

PostWed Jan 24, 2018 8:23 pm

OK, Since you already have the lens (this was not clear in your original post) and you have the camera, just add the other bits in the order you have listed, IR cut and ND filters will be a must outdoors, and IR cut needed under tungsten or daylight. I would get a good tripod before the shoulder rig, however.
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Denny Smith
SHA Productions
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Daniel Bănică

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Re: I need help in choosing the right order of buying

PostWed Jan 24, 2018 9:36 pm

Denny Smith wrote:OK, Since you already have the lens (this was not clear in your original post) and you have the camera, just add the other bits in the order you have listed, IR cut and ND filters will be a must outdoors, and IR cut needed under tungsten or daylight. I would get a good tripod before the shoulder rig, however.
Cheers
I think my first post might not be clear. Sorry for that. The order I'm asking for is for the grading monitor / new lens / external display like smallhd for example. The rest I already own.
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Denny Smith

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Re: I need help in choosing the right order of buying

PostWed Jan 24, 2018 10:09 pm

OK, in that case get the Small HD Monitor first, you need to see what you are shooting, and a good tripod with a fluid head, if yiu do not have one. I have the SmallHD 501, but the newer Small HD Focus is a little lighter and also very good match for the Pocket camera.

The grading monitor can wait until last. Since you have the 17-50, I would give the 18-35 f/1.4 a miss, as it duplicates the 17-50 in terms of focal length coverage, and get a good prime, which a 25mm would be my first prime choice. The Sigma 18-35 with the Speed Booster was problematic on the Pocket Camera’s Small sensor, adding additional moire’ issues and other optical artifacts. The 17-50’s f/2.8 is going to equal a f/1.2 with the Speed Booster, so no real advantage to getting the faster 18-35.
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Denny Smith
SHA Productions
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Daniel Bănică

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Re: I need help in choosing the right order of buying

PostWed Jan 24, 2018 10:49 pm

Denny Smith wrote:OK, in that case get the Small HD Monitor first, you need to see what you are shooting, and a good tripod with a fluid head, if yiu do not have one. I have the SmallHD 501, but the newer Small HD Focus is a little lighter and also very good match for the Pocket camera.

The grading monitor can wait until last. Since you have the 17-50, I would give the 18-35 f/1.4 a miss, as it duplicates the 17-50 in terms of focal length coverage, and get a good prime, which a 25mm would be my first prime choice. The Sigma 18-35 with the Speed Booster was problematic on the Pocket Camera’s Small sensor, adding additional moire’ issues and other optical artifacts. The 17-50’s f/2.8 is going to equal a f/1.2 with the Speed Booster, so no real advantage to getting the faster 18-35.
Cheers
Thank you very much. Very useful information.
Isn't the 5' smallhd Focus to small for focusing? I'm asking because I never had a chance to test such an external display with the bmpcc.
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Keith Babineaux

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Re: I need help in choosing the right order of buying

PostWed Jan 24, 2018 11:15 pm

Daniel Bănică wrote:
Denny Smith wrote:OK, in that case get the Small HD Monitor first, you need to see what you are shooting, and a good tripod with a fluid head, if yiu do not have one. I have the SmallHD 501, but the newer Small HD Focus is a little lighter and also very good match for the Pocket camera.

The grading monitor can wait until last. Since you have the 17-50, I would give the 18-35 f/1.4 a miss, as it duplicates the 17-50 in terms of focal length coverage, and get a good prime, which a 25mm would be my first prime choice. The Sigma 18-35 with the Speed Booster was problematic on the Pocket Camera’s Small sensor, adding additional moire’ issues and other optical artifacts. The 17-50’s f/2.8 is going to equal a f/1.2 with the Speed Booster, so no real advantage to getting the faster 18-35.
Cheers
Thank you very much. Very useful information.
Isn't the 5' smallhd Focus to small for focusing? I'm asking because I never had a chance to test such an external display with the bmpcc.


If it has focus peaking, 5' shouldn't be a problem.
Keith Babineaux | Film Student | Full Sail University
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Denny Smith

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Re: I need help in choosing the right order of buying

PostThu Jan 25, 2018 1:33 am

I have no issues with the 501 either, both offer zoom focus, and various focus peaking display features as well. Both have a much higher resolution than the Pockets LCD.
Cheers
Denny Smith
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Steve Holmlund

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Re: I need help in choosing the right order of buying

PostThu Jan 25, 2018 1:41 am

Re: external display, Denny do you have any thoughts on this one? I think it's just now in stock at B&H.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... right.html

Steve
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Denny Smith

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Re: I need help in choosing the right order of buying

PostThu Jan 25, 2018 6:15 am

Looks promising Steve, but more of a field production monitor than a camera monitor with its beefed up heavy build. Price is good, under $1K, while SmallHD super brights are $1200 to $1500.
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Denny Smith
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Armen Amirkh

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Re: I need help in choosing the right order of buying

PostSun Jan 28, 2018 11:08 pm

1. External monitor
2. Lens
3. Grading monitor
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Johan Cramer

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Re: I need help in choosing the right order of buying

PostMon Jan 29, 2018 3:03 pm

Opposite advice: DON'T buy an external monitor for the BMPCC, and avoid using the HDMI connection as much as you can - since it's the known weak spot of the camera, prone to damage that will damage your camera, too.

If you need external monitoring, buy the Micro instead of the Pocket.
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Daniel Bănică

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Re: I need help in choosing the right order of buying

PostMon Jan 29, 2018 3:08 pm

Johan Cramer wrote:Opposite advice: DON'T buy an external monitor for the BMPCC, and avoid using the HDMI connection as much as you can - since it's the known weak spot of the camera, prone to damage that will damage your camera, too.

If you need external monitoring, buy the Micro instead of the Pocket.
Am I exposed to such damage even if I use the HDMI clamp lock included with tilta cage?
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Re: I need help in choosing the right order of buying

PostMon Jan 29, 2018 3:31 pm

Daniel Bănică wrote:Am I exposed to such damage even if I use the HDMI clamp lock included with tilta cage?

Yes - the clamp alleviates the issue, but doesn't remove it. As soon as a strong-enough force is pulling the cable, the camera's motherboard can be irreparably damaged. I would rather avoid using HDMI monitoring, especially in the field (vs. the studio), since it's the no. 1 cause of defect BMPCC cameras.

Right order of buying, IMHO:

1) Camera + lens (+ lens adapter if necessary) + IR cut + ND filter
2) PC for grading
3) Ultra Studio Mini Monitor + reference Rec.709 monitor
4) Cage (maybe save money and buy a simpler SmallRig cage)

I'd drop follow focus (clunky, overkill for a small camera) and Resolve Studio - the Studio version makes little difference when you're only editing 1080p files.

And don't forget SD cards and extra batteries. I'd even make an external power solution (such as: SmallRig NP-F adapter + NP-F clone batteries) a priority over a cage, but that depends on what and how you shoot.

If external monitoring + a better battery solution is important for you, buy the Micro instead, and choose a field monitor that uses the same Canon batteries as the camera.
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Anatoly Mashanov

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Re: I need help in choosing the right order of buying

PostMon Jan 29, 2018 5:04 pm

You should buy the equipment that allows you to shoot a good footage NOW. All the equipment for postprocessing could wait indefinitely until you decide to study grading. So you need additionally:

1) A good viewfinder (LUTs are NOT needed at this moment). It's good that you already have a cage (BMPCC HDMI is very fragile and not repairable). Or, as bare minimum, a piece of black cloth to cover the BMPCC screen.

2) A good tripod with a fluid head and/or some lens with image stabilization builtin.

3) A good microphone or, better, audio recorder.

4) A big fat external battery and cable.

Also, study a lighting problem.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional cinematographer.
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Denny Smith

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Re: I need help in choosing the right order of buying

PostMon Jan 29, 2018 5:56 pm

I agree with Anatoly, a good tripod should be first. As for the ca era cage, I had very good luck with the Wooden Camera Pocket cage, with its HDMI and power cable lock system. The HDMI lock kit includes a short Micro to standard HDMI adapter cable, so the connection to the Pocket Camera is not being plugged/unplugged al, the time. Taking care and keeping strain relief on the camera cables, will reduce the risk of damage, but it is still a risk.

If you do use an on camera external monitor, keep it small and light, like the Small HD Focus, and attached to the cage securely to reduce cable movement issues.

Down the road, you might want to get a Micro Cinema Camera, more robust with its camera connections.
Also the Micro has a better video processor, faster read out times and reduced artificers, like moire’.
Cheers
Last edited by Denny Smith on Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
Denny Smith
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Tommaso Alvisi

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Re: I need help in choosing the right order of buying

PostWed Jan 31, 2018 12:21 pm

I'd say probably don't buy an external monitor for the pocket as others have said and skip the Sigma 18-35 since you already have the great 17-50 OS.

Sell Resolve Studio and get the Eizo imho. You won't regret it one bit.

BTW Not to derail the thread, I just got an UM so I'm about to sell my Micro Cinema if you're interested and I'm in Europe.

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