First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Lens

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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostThu Oct 08, 2020 8:52 pm

Continued from the previous post, more photos of the Hawk-Woods battery and charger...

Note the vents on the side of the charger...

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Vents on the bottom, slightly elevated, as well as the sides. I prefer this to a fan, but it does mean being mindful of dust and liquids...

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Top of the charger on the left and the bottom of the battery on the right. When mated, they lock. There's a latch, visible just to the right of the charger's power cord, to release the battery.


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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Oct 09, 2020 2:02 pm

This morning I tested how long the Hawk-Woods 50Wh battery, when fully charged, will power my Pocket 4K when the camera is standing by.

Blackmagic says in the Operation Manual that the camera “requires 16 Watts when in standby”. With a 50Wh battery, this suggests that the camera should run for about 3h 7m (50Wh ÷ 16W = 3.125h).

I got 4 hours, but by the skin of my teeth. As the table below shows, power delivery falloff started to accelerate at 3h 30m. The voltage display went red at 4h 1m, and the camera shut down at 4h 3m. Blackmagic doesn’t define standby, but for me it includes the following settings:

1. LCD display: 75% brightness
2. Tally Light: off (I don’t use this light)
3. BlueTooth: off (I don’t use BlueTooth)
4. Audio: “None” (I don’t use the camera to record audio)
5. Recording Medium: CFast 2.0 card in the camera

As Blackmagic recommends when using an external battery, the Canon LP-E6 battery compartment was empty. I used a Blueshape 1m (39”) power cable to connect the Hawk-Woods P-tap port to the camera’s DC Wei-Pu port. The battery remained cool to the touch throughout the test.

The camera’s LCD display shows volts in the upper right corner. I don't know how accurate these numbers are. However, I only care how long the camera runs, and when, and how rapidly, power delivery starts to fail. I should note that I accidentally had the camera on record for about one minute during the test. I doubt that this made a meaningful difference. The table below shows voltage readings that I recorded until the camera shut down.

Later today, I'll post how long it takes to re-charge the battery with Hawk-Woods's VL-MX1 charger.


[EDIT: The post five down has a table that includes both the data in this table and data from a "Filming" test.]
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Last edited by robedge on Sun Oct 11, 2020 8:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Oct 09, 2020 7:30 pm

This post will be more understandable if one has a look at the five posts immediately above.

The bottom line is that I'm a very happy camper, with both Hawk-Woods's battery and its charger.

I used the VL-MX1 charger to recharge the 50Wh battery after using the battery to power my Pocket 4K until the camera shut down. According to the camera’s voltage display, the battery initially provided 16.4V. When the camera shut down four hours later, the camera display said that the battery was providing 9V, with power delivery dropping rapidly. The table in the post just above shows how the battery behaved from the moment it started to power the camera to camera shutdown.

For context, Hawk-Woods says that its 98Wh battery charges “in just over three hours”. It does not provide that info for the 50Wh battery. My experience today…

According to the charger, the battery was “80% Charged” (charger light alternating between yellow and green) in 1h 15m. It was “Ready” (charger light showing solid green) in 1h 25m. The battery’s own lights, activated when one presses on the word “Press” on the battery, showed solid green in 1h 30m. Prior to that, the battery’s lights blinked green. Over the course of charging, the charger got mildly warm, but not hot. Due to the use of air vents rather than a fan, it also didn't make any noise (although I'll make sure that I don't set down a large coffee beside it).

I plan to phone or write Hawk-Woods to get clarification on three points. When the 50Wh is generating 9V and rapidly falling, just how discharged is it? From the perspective of battery life, need I concern myself with discharging it further? Secondly, when the charger and the battery say that the battery is fully charged, does the charger shut off or does it start to “saturate” the battery? As I understand it, some lithium ion chargers, including two that I own for Sony L-series batteries, will proceed to saturate. Finally, why do some retailer specs suggest that an alternating yellow and green light on the charger means 90% charged rather than 80%? Given that a full charge only takes another 10 to 15 minutes, this last question is just one of curiosity.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Oct 09, 2020 9:26 pm

Having the fan-less charger is convenient as you could have it close to your camera while operating the camera and it will charge a second battery while you’re shooting using the first battery.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSat Oct 10, 2020 12:19 am

rick.lang wrote:Having the fan-less charger is convenient as you could have it close to your camera while operating the camera and it will charge a second battery while you’re shooting using the first battery.


Hi Rick,

Despite initial reservations for cost reasons, I now have no doubt that purchasing Hawk-Woods’s own charger, instead of a generic charger, was the right decision. It’s well-made, well-designed, compact for travel, gives helpful feedback on charge state and gets the job done fast. I also like the air vents and the resulting silence. I say that as someone who once brought a laptop to a premature end by knocking over an open can of Coke onto the keyboard. Lesson learnt, I hope. It’s a small thing, but I also appreciate that the charger came with a 2m/79” power cable.

Experience with Hawk-Woods has been very good. Its U.S. distributor arranged to get me the battery and charger despite the fact that the two resellers in my area were closed for nine days for Succos, and Hawk-Woods responded within a few hours to an e-mail question about another product. According to the HW web site, like Bebob it will recondition/re-cell its batteries. Although it’s probably mostly of interest to people in the U.K., the company also makes cables to order.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSun Oct 11, 2020 12:45 am

Yesterday, I tested how long the Hawk-Woods 50Wh battery would run my Pocket 4K when the camera is on standby. The result is four posts up.

Tomorrow, I’ll test how long the battery will run the camera when I’m filming. In the Pocket 4K Operation Manual, Blackmagic gives an example. It says that the camera consumes 22 Watts when it does all of the following:

1. powers an external solid state storage drive such as a Samsung T5;*
2. communicates with an electronic lens;
3. maintains full screen brightness;
4. maintains full tally light brightness; and
5. records at a high frame rate.

In Blackmagic’s hypothetical example, the arithmetic says that a 50Wh battery should run the camera for: 50Wh ÷ 22W = 2.27h = 2h 16m. That is 51m less than Blackmagic's standby estimate, which works out to 3h 7m. As the post four up shows, I got 4h on my standby test, barely, but with accelerating falloff in power delivery starting at about 3h 30m.

For this second test, I’ll use settings that I think will be useful for me as rough guidance. These settings are different from the ones that Blackmagic uses in its example:

1. Recording Medium: CFast 2.0 card, Blackmagic approved, 256GB (when the camera display warns that the card is almost full, I’ll stop record and reformat the card);
2. Lens Communication: I use, and only have, manual lenses;
3. LCD Brightness: For the test, I’ll use 75% as an average; also “On” for Zebra, Focus Assist, False Colour, Frame Guide and Status Text;
4. Tally Light: “Off”, I don’t use this light;
5. Frame Rate: 24fps will do for the test, I rarely use high frame rates;
6. Audio: “None”, I don’t use the camera to record audio;
7. BlueTooth: “Off”, I don’t use Bluetooth;
8. Resolution: 4K UHD 3840 x 2160; and
9. Codec: ProRes 422.

When I've finished the test, I'll post a table like the one four posts up, showing the battery's performance from when it first powers the camera to when the camera shuts down.


* I interpret Blackmagic’s reference to “recording to external media” as a reference to SSDs. The full Operation Manual passage is in the following screen capture:


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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSun Oct 11, 2020 8:31 pm

Further to the above post, today I tested how long the Hawk-Woods 50Wh battery will power my Pocket 4K when the camera is filming.

In the Pocket 4K Operation Manual, Blackmagic says that the camera “requires 22W” when being used to film in accordance with example settings. With a 50Wh battery, arithmetic says that with the example settings the camera should run for: 50Wh ÷ 22W = 2.27h = 2h 16m.

The post above this one discusses Blackmagic’s example settings and the settings that I chose to use, having regard to my own equipment and what settings I wanted to test.

I got 3h 20m, but barely. As the table below shows, power delivery falloff started to accelerate before that. The voltage display went red at 3h 26m, and the camera shut down at 3h 29m.

I’ve now done both a “Standby” test and a “Filming” test. The post four above this one reports on the Standby test. The table below consolidates the results of both tests. I last charged the Hawk-Woods battery two days ago. However, I don’t think that “topping up” the charge would have added more than a minute or two of runtime to today’s test, if that.

For both tests:
    1. In accordance with Blackmagic’s recommendation when using an external battery, the Canon LP-E6 battery compartment was empty;
    2. I used a Blueshape 1m (39”) power cable to connect the Hawk-Woods P-tap port to the camera’s DC Wei-Pu port;
    3. The battery remained cool to the touch throughout the tests.


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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostMon Oct 12, 2020 11:58 am

My conclusions about the Hawk-Woods 50Wh Mini V-Lok battery and 3 Amp charger...

The battery is equivalent, as a practical matter, to five genuine Canon LP-E6N batteries in terms of runtime, and is US$65 less expensive than five Canons.

Given that the battery weighs 300g/10.6oz and fits in a shirt pocket, it can easily be used from a pocket, belt pouch/clip, camera rig or tripod.

The 3 Amp charger fully charges the battery in 90 minutes. That's clear from the runtime test discussed in the post immediately above, which was done two days after a 90 minute charge from near empty. Generic chargers are quite a bit less expensive, but if one can spare the funds I think that the Hawk-Woods charger is worth its price. See posts above for photos of the charger and my reasons.

From an American and Canadian customer perspective, I think that Hawk-Woods and its U.S. distributor, both well-established companies, are reliable suppliers. More on this three posts above. Being big and being "local" aren't everything. More than two weeks after sending a simple pre-sales question to a major U.S. maker of V-Mount batteries, located 28 miles/45km from me, I'm still waiting for a response.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Oct 14, 2020 4:18 pm

Sounds like a good deal. Thanks for doing those tests, always good to get real-life data on these things.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Oct 14, 2020 8:53 pm

Chris Leutger wrote:Sounds like a good deal. Thanks for doing those tests, always good to get real-life data on these things.


Doing the tests was easy and I learned a lot about how the camera and battery interact. My conclusion is that I'm living on borrowed time when the camera's voltage display shows about 13V. I expect that to happen at about three hours of recording time, which is more than enough for my purposes. Like you, I have a background in large format photography, and I tend to ask, before pressing record, whether I really want to spend time processing and watching what I'm about to film :)

I've put my camera settings for the tests, and the table showing the results, on my phone. I think that this information will be useful for planning, and I want to see how the data stand up to experience over time. It's also good to know that it only takes 90 minutes for the battery to charge from nearly empty. That also makes planning easier. I'm looking into getting a power inverter to use the charger in the car.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Oct 14, 2020 10:30 pm

I can't imagine ever needing three hours worth of time so that's got me covered. After seeing the cost of the H-W charger, I'll be one of those guys getting a wall wart D-tap charger for $50. At this point I'm thinking about getting the H-W for my Video Assist and continuing to use my Juicebox for the camera. But first I'm going to contact the Wooden Camera guys about my dilemma of wanting to use one battery for both devices. From seeing your chart I can see that power dips a lot over time, so I can see where even getting the 98 Wh battery might not be enough power for both. I mean, sure to power, but safely? Not sure.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostThu Oct 15, 2020 2:12 am

Chris Leutger wrote:I can't imagine ever needing three hours worth of time so that's got me covered. After seeing the cost of the H-W charger, I'll be one of those guys getting a wall wart D-tap charger for $50. At this point I'm thinking about getting the H-W for my Video Assist and continuing to use my Juicebox for the camera. But first I'm going to contact the Wooden Camera guys about my dilemma of wanting to use one battery for both devices. From seeing your chart I can see that power dips a lot over time, so I can see where even getting the 98 Wh battery might not be enough power for both. I mean, sure to power, but safely? Not sure.


The charger was an impulse purchase while speaking with the reseller. Now that I have it, I'm not about to give it back, but a generic charger will no doubt do the job for a lot less money.

I'm interested in what Wooden Camera tells you. As I understand it, their plates, which were designed in consultation with Anton/Bauer, have what is analogous to a fuse. I'm curious about what triggers the fuse and what it protects. As you know, there are plates that regulate power delivery, but they are expensive. I'm curious about who in the camera world buys plates that actively regulate power and why. As a practical matter, how do the Wooden Camera plates differ?

I find it interesting that all three of the plates on the market that feed power to a MixPre via a Hirose connection, including Sound Devices's own, regulate how much power is going to the recorder. Is that just overkill? Is it because the MixPre is not designed to regulate power coming from the battery compartment? Is it related to the fact that sound recordists who use that plate are typically powering more than one device from a single battery?

At the recent (October 1-2) Sound Devices/Lectrosonics Virtual Sound Summit, Sonosax presented this video. Like a lot of professional location sound recordists, this guy is using a power distribution box. The tall, rectangular external battery that he doesn't identify (01:05) is made by a French company called Audioroot. His power distribution box may be Audioroot as well. You won’t find Audioroot products at B&H. In the U.S., Audioroot devices are sold by specialist vendors like Gotham Sound and Trew Audio:


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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostThu Oct 15, 2020 11:02 pm

Trew Audio also in Canada.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Oct 16, 2020 12:11 am

rick.lang wrote:Trew Audio also in Canada.


Right, Trew Audio has offices in Toronto and Vancouver as well as Los Angeles, Atlanta and Nashville.

Gotham Sound is in New York and Atlanta.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Dec 30, 2020 11:55 am

Anton/Bauer and Core SWX have now released V-mount/Gold-mount batteries to compete with Hawk-Woods and Bebob on battery size and weight.

Anton/Bauer's series is called Titon Micro and comes in 45, 98 and 140 Watt hours. Core SWX's Nano Micro comes only as 98Wh. These join Hawk-Woods's Mini V-Lok batteries (50, 98 and 150Wh) and Bebob's Micro batteries (43, 98, 147 and 196Wh).

Core SWX undercuts its competitors on price. If one is happy with the size, weight and output of its 98Wh Nano Micro, at US$245 it is significantly less expensive than the competing 98Wh batteries from Anton/Bauer ($310), Bebob ($325) and Hawk-Woods ($345). Indeed, it is priced within a few dollars of those manufacturers' 43Wh to 50Wh batteries.

The Hawk-Woods batteries have a Power Tap port. The others add a USB-A port. When I purchased Hawk-Woods's 50Wh, I didn't have a use for a USB-A port and saw it as just another thing to go wrong. Bebob's USB-A port is 5V, 1A, which will not deliver enough energy to power, for example, a Sound Devices MixPre audio recorder, which needs 7.5W. I am not interested in using a V-mount battery to charge a smartphone. In any event, if I came across an actual use for 5V, 1A, it's likely that I'd be mounting the battery on a V-mount battery plate that would itself have a USB port.

That said, the USB-A port on Core SWX's new Nano Micro 98Wh is 5V, 3A. This should support a draw of up to 15W, which some people may find useful.

Anton/Bauer's data sheet says that the USB-A port on its Titon Micro batteries is 5V, but is silent on amperage. An Anton/Bauer support person was unable to say what it is. She said that she'll get back to me after consulting Anton/Bauer's engineering department after the holidays. I'll update this post when I receive an answer.

The Power Tap ports on these batteries vary on maximum sustained draw, which may matter to some people, depending on use.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostMon Jan 04, 2021 1:59 pm

As noted in the above post, Anton/Bauer's data sheet for its new Titon Micro batteries does not say what the amperage is for the USB-A port. This morning the Vitec Group, which owns Anton/Bauer, told me that it's 2A. See e-mail below (personal info deleted). So:

Hawk-Woods Mini V-Lok: No USB port
Bebob Micro USB-A: 5V 1A
Anton/Bauer Titon Micro USB-A: 5V 2A
Core SWX Nano Micro USB-A (available only as 98Wh): 5V 3A

Watts = 5V x A


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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Jan 06, 2021 9:18 pm

I’ve had a Wooden Camera UltraArm for a few years, but I wanted to try a different approach to supporting a monitor, microphones and other devices.

I’ve settled on Bright Tangerine’s Titan Arm, demonstrated in the first 1m 25s this Nino Leitner/CineD video. Note the arm’s graduated tension:




Probably on the weekend, I’ll post some photographs of the arm in use with my Pocket 4K. I plan to use it with a monitor and microphones, and possibly with an Easyrig Minimax. I think that it would work well with the Minimax, or indeed with an electronic viewfinder.

For me, the Titan Arm has three main attractions. First, it's rock solid in use. Secondly, unlike other articulating arms, tension in the arm is graduated rather than on/off. See the video above. This makes it easier to change or fine-tune the position of the monitor or other device that it is supporting.

Finally, I think that the Titan Arm is probably less susceptible than most articulating arms to performance degradation with use. The arm has now been on the market for about four years. There are many complaints on the internet about articulating arms failing, but not about this one. Rick Lang, a participant in this forum who uses a Titan Arm, has quite positive views on it.

I also considered the somewhat heavier Matthews’s Infinity Arm, and was able to try both arms before purchase. The Matthews appears to be extremely well-built. Its advantage is that tips are easily interchanged. Want to hang a light fixture? Just change the tip(s). With the Titan Arm, a change in tip requires surgery with a heat gun or kitchen blowtorch, Loctite, an Allen Key and a 10mm wrench. See video below. For my needs, I decided to go with the lighter weight and graduated tension of the Titan Arm.

Speaking of weight, that was my main reservation. Although lighter than the Matthews, the Titan Arm is still 570g (20oz). I’ve decided that that’s acceptable, and in some cases may actually help with balance of the camera. I can use the lighter UltraArm when it might be a better choice from the perspective of weight.

This is one of six videos showing what’s involved in changing a Titan Arm tip, this one on how to remove the 1/4” male thread in order to install another tip. Not something I anticipate doing on a regular basis, if ever :)

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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostThu Jan 07, 2021 12:36 am

I have this option with two quick release points.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1446612-REG
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostThu Jan 07, 2021 3:07 am

My suggestion for you (and all BMD Pocket shooters) is to invest in a viewfinder. I use mine mounted on a SmallRig cage and SmallRig dual rail swivel. My viewfinder is a cheapo $259 form B&H, but it does what I need, AND, gives me a third point of contact for stability. I use it most when handheld, but with my cine zoom (I went with the DZO 20-70mm) on a nice tripod, it makes it far easier to see - both in bright light and because I can tilt the viewfinder easily for higher and lower shots.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Jan 13, 2021 1:36 pm

Having now used the Titan Arm (three posts up) for over a week, I'm sold on it. Used to support a monitor, the arm's graduated tension/drag makes setting up a monitor and changing its orientation between shots easier, and the setup feels rock solid.

I also like the fact that the arm gives me a lot of options about where to place my monitor in relation to my camera cage. The arm has up to 28cm (11") of extension. I'm considering an Easyrig, in which case I do not want to mount a monitor, as is often done, on a short, compact support on the cage top handle. The Easyrig line that supports a camera is itself attached to a camera's top handle and would get in the way of an unobstructed view of the monitor. Probably for this reason, Evan Bourcier, who has made two of the better Easyrig videos on YouTube, uses the Titan Arm with his Easyrig setup. See the screen captures below. I also think that the weight of the Titan Arm could help balance an Easyrig setup when the camera is used with a zoom lens and is front heavy.

I purchased the basic version of the Titan Arm, which is US$245. Bourcier is using the basic version in these screen captures. I don't doubt that Rick Lang's super deluxe version with quick release (two posts up) has its advantages, but I'm just not there financially. If I recall, Rick got an attractive price on that version :) His version also comes with an anti-twist plate, but twist has not been an issue for me, either at the camera cage end of the arm or at the monitor end.

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Last edited by robedge on Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:59 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Jan 13, 2021 1:40 pm

This screen capture is from a recent video by Easyrig "ambassador" Brad Walker. While he and his partner aren't using a Titan Arm, note that like Bourcier above they are using an articulating arm that gives the operator a good deal of flexibility over monitor placement.


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This is a good overview of the Easyrig Minimax, but I think that the compact mount for the monitor is quite limiting and that viewing the monitor past the Easyrig support line would be annoying.





In this screen capture from the video, the Easyrig support line is directly in front of the monitor and inches away from it. The gentleman who made this video uses the standard Easyrig connection throughout the video, except in the clip that the screen capture is from. In that clip, he clearly uses the fairly new, lower profile Easyrig quick release connection. There is a popular method of rigging the standard connection (the method is shown in the photos of Bourcier's rig one post up) that I suspect would make this type of monitor mount even more undesirable, if not unworkable. The gentleman may have changed to the quick release connection - he doesn't talk about the apparent change - precisely because of this problem.


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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostThu Jan 14, 2021 1:57 am

Good summary. Evan looks very comfortable with his setup.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostThu Jan 14, 2021 5:05 am

Videoguy16x9 wrote:My suggestion for you (and all BMD Pocket shooters) is to invest in a viewfinder. I use mine mounted on a SmallRig cage and SmallRig dual rail swivel. My viewfinder is a cheapo $259 form B&H, but it does what I need, AND, gives me a third point of contact for stability. I use it most when handheld, but with my cine zoom (I went with the DZO 20-70mm) on a nice tripod, it makes it far easier to see - both in bright light and because I can tilt the viewfinder easily for higher and lower shots.

What's the exact Smallrig rail swivel did you get?
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Jan 27, 2021 8:45 pm

Here are some additional photos showing the Bright Tangerine Titan Arm in use.

In these photos, my Pocket 4K is on a tripod and I'm using the arm to support an external monitor (Video Devices PIX E5H). The external monitor has aids - waveform and vector - that the camera's LCD lacks.

As the second photo shows, the arm is mounted on my fluid head's accessory block rather than on the camera cage. This gives me a clear view over the camera. The placement of the monitor does not interfere with access to the door containing CFast storage.

As the third photo shows, mounting the arm and monitor on the accessory block also keeps the monitor level if I tilt the camera up or down.

There's a Kondor Blue 16" HDMI cable running from the left side of the monitor to the HDMI port on the left side of the camera. The other Kondor Blue cable on the left side of the camera runs from the camera's Weipu port to a Hawk-Woods Mini V-Lok battery (50Wh).


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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Jan 27, 2021 9:02 pm

The Titan Arm has a locking nut to doubly secure the arm's platform to the bottom of the monitor. For these photos, I didn't use it so that it would be easier to see. In the photo below, it's in the centre of the green oval in the upper left.

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The locking nut can be tightened with an open wrench or a pliers wrench. The pliers wrench in the photo below is part of my motorbike toolkit, and I also use it with camera gear. It's very well made and only 150mm (6") long - great for small parts.

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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Jan 27, 2021 9:04 pm

The arm looks rock solid, especially the side fixed on the video head.

The plier looks good, I need one like this in my toolkit too. I just saw the reference on the picture, I'll check it out.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostThu Jan 28, 2021 2:44 pm

ClaudeChiarot wrote:The arm looks rock solid, especially the side fixed on the video head.

The plier looks good, I need one like this in my toolkit too. I just saw the reference on the picture, I'll check it out.


Ciao Claude,

I've had the Titan Arm for almost a month. I had reservations about the cost, but I'm satisfied now that it's worth the money. It really is rock solid, and I especially appreciate the graduated drag.

I got a 150mm (6") Knipex pliers wrench for my motorbike (Moto Guzzi, being a sucker for Italian bikes) about three years ago. It's perfect for my bike and camera portable toolkits. Made in Germany, it has a deserved rating of 4.9/5.0 on Amazon U.S. from 4,400 purchasers: https://www.amazon.com/KNIPEX-86-03-150 ... ref=sr_1_1

A linguistic diversion...

As you know, the Italian alphabet doesn't have the letter K. There's a debate on English internet sites and in videos about whether the "K" in Knipex tools is pronounced or silent. In German, it's pronounced, as it is at Knipex's U.S. office in Chicago. In modern English, this sounds wrong, but the letter "K" is also pronounced in the word knight in this line from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales: "He was a veray parfit gentil knight". Yeah, a long time ago the letter K in the English word knight, and indeed in the word knife, was not silent, but rather was pronounced :)
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostThu Jan 28, 2021 3:04 pm

Hi Rob,

As I'm a French living in Italy, I won't be picky with K pronunciation. But i'ts nice you have thought about it!

About the arm, being able to adjust the stifness is a nice feature, I like it.

Grazie Mille!
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostThu Jan 28, 2021 8:51 pm

Good news on the Fujinon MK lenses...

Fujinon is releasing them in RF mount with the designation MK-R:

18-55mm: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... _lens.html

50-135mm: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... _lens.html

Current owners can already have MK lenses converted to L-mount (see earlier in this thread) and X-mount, and Duclos offers conversion to RF mount. For people who purchased their MK lens from Duclos, the price is US$455, otherwise $495:



This is a long video in which Matthew Duclos does the modification:

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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostThu Jan 28, 2021 9:09 pm

Further to the above post...

This video about using the Fujinon MK lenses with the RED Komodo was made with lenses modified by Duclos.

Hands-On with FUJINON MK CINE ZOOM LENSES | Shot on RED Komodo



Timestamps from the YouTube Description:
0:00​ Intro
0:24​ FOOTAGE SEQUENCE - Shot on FUJINON MK
1:51​ FUJINON MK Review
2:33​ Physical Specs
4:28​ Optical Performance
7:47​ Price
8:44​ Verdict
9:32​ What's Next?!
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Jan 29, 2021 8:03 am

I like that block on the Miller that holds the arm, that's pretty swanky. Did that come on the head or is that extra?

Nice to see Fuji getting ahead of the curve with their stuff.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Jan 29, 2021 2:24 pm

Chris Leutger wrote:I like that block on the Miller that holds the arm, that's pretty swanky. Did that come on the head or is that extra?

Nice to see Fuji getting ahead of the curve with their stuff.



Unfortunately, the Miller accessory mount is extra, and it ain't cheap: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... mpass.html

Cartoni also makes an accessory mount that it calls a Candy Bar. The U.S. distributor doesn't stock it, but can get it: https://www.cartoni.com/products/access ... s-focushd/

The Fujinon MK lenses can now be used with Sony E, Micro Four Thirds, Canon RF, Leica L and Fujinon X mount cameras. I think that this is good for owners as well as for Fujinon. In my case, I'm likely to move to RF or L-mount if I sell my Pocket 4K. If I sell the lens at some point, the Canon RF, L-mount and X-mount conversions broaden the market for the lens.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Jan 29, 2021 6:21 pm

Ouch, no wonder Benro is selling so many units. When I was in New York in December I went to B&H to see that new Sachtler head but they didn't have one on the floor. I did play with the Miller and I really like it, but the extras like the T-plate and that block are too expensive. I'm hoping to come out to NYC in the spring and I'll check out the Sachtler then.

Thanks for sharing that arm setup. I've been using a Small Rig tilt monitor mount which works great but there are situations where the setup is a little high and I'm tilting it down towards myself which makes for a uncomfortable angle. Because I use a cage I might be able to mount to the side so I'll think about that. Those Titan arms are a little spendy so I'll see if I can find something cheaper.

I would love to get one of those Fuji zooms but something like the DZO would be a better match for my budget.....
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSat Jan 30, 2021 1:53 pm

Chris Leutger wrote: I'm hoping to come out to NYC in the spring and I'll check out the Sachtler then.
...
Those Titan arms are a little spendy so I'll see if I can find something cheaper.
...
I would love to get one of those Fuji zooms but something like the DZO would be a better match for my budget.....


If I were purchasing a fluid head now, I would definitely check out the new Sachtler heads. There's an earlier post in this thread (February 17, 2020) that says why I removed Sachtler from consideration. The main reason was that I didn't want to purchase a fluid head that I thought was at the end of its product life, which turned out to be the case:

robedge wrote:At this point, I would not consider Sachtler’s FSB 6, which is the same price as the Miller, has less capacity (topping out at 8kg/17.6lbs) and is a ten year old product. I think that the Sachtler is now on marketing life support, and will be replaced this year or in 2021.


It might be worth keeping an eye on B&H's daily "Deal Zone" to see if Sachtler FSB heads show up in the next while. There was a very attractive 24 hour price on Sachtler Flowtech tripods a few months ago.

If you want to check out the Titan Arm, B&H has it on display in the Video department. The competing Matthews Infinity Arm is on display in the Lighting/grip department. That department also has less expensive articulating arms on display by Matthews, Manfrotto and Noga. If you try out the Titan Arm, have a B&H staff member who has used it show you how it works. I think that it really is worth the price, but the graduated drag is not intuitive and it took me awhile to understand how the arm works.

I understand your reservation about the Fujinon MK lenses, but I'm going to try to sell you on them anyway :) They aren't the cheapest option, but note that Fujinon has occasionally priced them lower. I paid US$3300, which is $500 less than the regular price, for the 18-55mm (see screen capture from Duclos). The video four posts up has some brief comments comparing the Fujinon and DZO zooms, and some differences (e.g. backfocus adjustment and macro) are implicit in what the video says about the Fujinon specs and features. In the U.S., the Fujinon lenses are supported by Fujinon's Broadcast Division in New Jersey, which I've found is great to deal with. I'm also really happy that these lenses will now work with five different camera mounts.


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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSat Jan 30, 2021 5:05 pm

I'm supporting Rob about the MK's.
I have the combo for two years. Bought them in E-mount then converted myself in M43 with the kit from lensadaptor.com, which has now the L and RF mount options.
They weight less than 1kg, due to the pastic body. The plastic feels very good actually, it doesn't feel cheap or weak, on hands they are very nice. There is also a macro switch that is very useful for some shots.
I would not trade them for the DZO, even with additional money. I can't say about the DZO rendering but physical they are bigger and heavier than the Fujinon. I think Fuji made a good choice going plastic, as they are tagetted for small cameras, it make senses to have them as light as possible.

Of course if price is a factor of decision, the DZO is the way to go.

There is another pair of zoom we don't here much about, the Canon CN-Es, the 18-80mm and 70-200mm T4.4. The shorter zoom is covering S35, but the longer one covers FF. Unfortunately, they are even more expensive thant the Fujinon.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSun Jan 31, 2021 12:54 am

ClaudeChiarot wrote:I have the combo [Fujinon MK lenses] for two years. Bought them in E-mount then converted myself in M43 with the kit from [MTF] lensadaptor.com, which has now the L and RF mount options.


MTF's Fujinon MK adaptors:

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Here are Duclos's prices for new Fujinon MK lenses in RF mount (just launched by Fujinon), and Duclos's fee to convert an existing MK lens to RF mount:


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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostThu Feb 18, 2021 2:56 pm

I live in a busy city where setting up a tripod on sidewalks and other public places is illegal. Quite apart from that, I don’t want to interfere with pedestrians, and I’m not interested in an encounter with someone in a bad mood who has decided that my tripod is in his way. That's one reason why I use a monopod, sometimes mounted on a ground tripod that has a small footprint. There are photos of that setup earlier in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=105319&start=200#p603487

I think that an Easyrig Minimax is another good way to support a camera when a tripod isn't an option or is limiting. I expect to receive a Minimax (for cameras 2-7kg) next week, and I’ll post some photos once I’ve got it set up with my Pocket 4K. Given that the Pocket is not, by itself, a heavy camera, one thing that I need to sort out is when a Minimax is useful and when shooting handheld makes more sense.

The video that got me interested in an Easyrig is this one by cameraman Jayme Roy. He’s an Easyrig “Ambassador”, but taking that into account I found the video persuasive; and given who Roy has worked with (Michael Moore, the late ABC News anchor Peter Jennings) I figure that he knows what he’s talking about. Note the discussion about dolly and jib type movements starting at 3:55:



From Roy's video - filming on a boat for Michael Moore's Where to Invade Next (2015):

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One reason that I purchased Bright Tangerine’s Titan Arm is that I was considering an Easyrig and thought that the arm would work well with one as a monitor mount. I think that an articulating arm, rather than a low profile swivel mount, is essential to get the most from an Easyrig. See this post above and following: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=105319&start=300#p710922

This is Evan Bourcier, who has a couple of the better YouTube videos about Easyrig, using his Easyrig Vario (a version designed for heavier cameras) with a Titan Arm:


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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSun Feb 21, 2021 1:01 pm

Further to the above post, I expect to receive the Easyrig Minimax today, maybe tomorrow given that deliveries are being slowed by a winter storm. I'll post some photos when I've got it set up with my Pocket 4K and figured out how to use it.

The Easyrig site has a user guide, which is only two pages because the Minimax is straightforward to set up.

There's also a useful, if dry, instructional video, accessible from Easyrig's support page but unlisted on YouTube. The PIX E5 that the presenter refers to at 6:55 is a Video Devices monitor/recorder, which is the monitor that I happen to use. From 9:00, he demonstrates supporting a Sony FS5, which is perhaps more comparable to what I have in mind than the Sony A7S setup that he talks about earlier. From 13:00 to the end, the video is about using the Minimax arm with the vest for a heavier Easyrig unit, not something that concerns me.

I'm resigned to attracting some attention when using this thing in public :) The immediate question: given that it's freezing where I am, how are the Minimax and my bulky, down-filled winter coat going to get along?


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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostTue Feb 23, 2021 4:08 pm

I've received the Easyrig Minimax and I'll post some photos when the snow, sleet and rain stop, and I've figured out how it works; in the meantime, here's some info on price and rigging.

In the U.S., the Minimax is distributed by 16x9 Inc. in California with a list price of $1325. Resellers currently price it at $1260. I purchased mine from a gentleman who bought a Pocket 4K and a Minimax, planning to use them in tandem. He has decided that the Pocket 4K doesn't suit him and has now sold both the camera and the Minimax.

Easyrigs can be purchased with a standard release, which mine came with, or a quick release. Having set up the Minimax this morning, I think that the standard release is compact and easy to use. It isn't obvious that the quick release would make a practical difference. There may be a stronger case for it if one is using Easyrig's Cinema or Vario rigs for heavy cameras. These are commonly used with a "Kong Quick Release Adapter" or equivalent: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... _kong.html

Evan Bourcier is using a supplemental quick release with his Vario in the photos two posts up. The attachment mechanism winds up being taller and bulkier. Easyrig's quick release, which is relatively new, appears to be a response to the Kong and similar setups.

I'll be able to compare the Minimax standard release and quick release this weekend. B&H had a used copy of the quick release at a reasonable price, I've ordered it and I'll decide over the weekend whether to keep it.

One difference that I'll be considering is that the quick release, unlike the standard release, doesn't require a top handle for attachment. It uses a custom stud that's screwed into a 3/8" or 1/4" threaded hole. This would give me the option of using the Minimax with just my camera cage, dispensing with my top handle. I'll learn over the weekend whether that's a useful option.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSun Feb 28, 2021 1:32 am

I made good progress today on setting up the Easyrig Minimax with the Pocket 4K. While I may sometimes use the Easyrig without a base plate and follow focus, my immediate objective is to get it to work with the camera setup in the photo below with the addition of my 5" monitor.

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I'm finding that part of the solution is to follow Easyrig Ambassador Evan Bourcier's advice. Stand facing the side rather than the back of the camera. This feels like a natural way to manage 34cm (13.5") of camera and lens. With a turn of the head, I can see in front and behind the camera. My left hand is close to the follow focus wheel, and with my right hand I can guide the back of the camera.

These two screen captures from one of Bourcier's videos show the operator to camera relationship that he recommends:

Left hand on the follow focus

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Right hand guiding the back of the camera

eb4.jpeg
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Continued in the next post...
Last edited by robedge on Sun Feb 28, 2021 5:57 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSun Feb 28, 2021 2:09 am

Continued from the post above...

I'm discovering that this approach also helps me balance the Easyrig and the camera. My monitor/recorder (Video Devices PIX E5H), with an NP-F 970 battery, weighs 725g (1.6lb). Adding that weight to the front of the camera, where I already have a lens that weighs 980g (1.3lb), plus a follow focus, is not helpful to balancing the rig. (The weight of a camera battery doesn't enter into the equation. I use a compact 50Wh Hawk-Woods Mini V-Lok, currently from my belt or a pocket.)

The solution is to place the monitor so that it's more toward the rear of the camera and facing me. How to get this placement? See the photo below of the top of my 8Sinn cage. The Titan Arm, and a fortuitously placed 3/8" socket (red circle in the photo), make it easy. I think I know now why Bourcier uses a Titan Arm; they're rock solid and can do a great impersonation of a pretzel. The Easyrig takes the remaining 3/8" socket (yellow circle), and the end result is that the Easyrig is clear of, and doesn't interfere with my view of, the monitor.

Two posts up, I questioned whether the Easyrig Quick Release has any real advantages over the standard release. In the setup that I'm working toward, the Titan Arm and Quick Release occupy space where my top handle would be if I used it. In other words, the Quick Release, which unlike the standard release doesn't require a top handle, is helping a lot.

In this one minute video, Easyrig inventor Johan Hellsten, and his friend Christer the Pizza Man, show how the Quick Release works. (Hellsten shows the Quick Release with a black and yellow disk on top. This is a rubber washer that's used with the Easyrig Vario and Cine, apparently in relation to line retraction. The Minimax doesn't need it.)



I should add the caveat that I'm still playing with this setup and things could change. When I've finalised the rig, I'll post some photos.

Re the photo below:

The Titan Arm, supporting my monitor, uses the socket circled in red, and the Easyrig Quick Release stud uses the socket circled in yellow. If fine-tuning the balance requires it, I'm prepared to move the Quick Release to one of the 1/4" sockets. Easyrig supplies 1/4" studs as well as 3/8" studs, and I'm satisfied that using a 1/4" stud and socket will not make the rig less secure. See this thread for discussion about the Easyrig Minimax and 3/8" vs 1/4" fasteners: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=135563

Adding up the weight of the rig's components, I estimate its weight at about 4.1kg (9lb). Filters (in my case threaded or Lee100 System) won't add significantly to that. I'd like to be able to add a microphone. To keep a mike clear of both the Titan Arm and Quick Release, I'll try mounting a small rod clamp on the top of the cage and mounting the mike on a 15mm rod (6" or 9") extending outboard of the cage.

8Sinn%20Half%20Cage%20bmpcc4k.jpeg
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Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostTue Mar 02, 2021 12:41 am

I spent a bit more time on setting up the Easyrig Minimax with the Pocket 4K today.

Unsurprisingly, I'm finding that the more balanced the camera is, the less work the operator has in controlling it. However, the camera is hanging at the end of a string, literally, which means that balance is very sensitive. With my Pocket 4K and Fujinon MK zoom lens*, factors that affect balance include the position of my camera's quick release plate on its base plate (Sachtler Ace), the position and angle of my 5" monitor (Video Devices PIX E5 supported with a Titan Arm), and whether I have one or two NP-F 970 batteries on the monitor. Balance is even affected by what camera cage socket I use for the Minimax Quick Release stud. Two sockets a couple of centimeters/an inch apart can have noticeably different results.

For me, what this means is that I have to identify a few Minimax operating positions and learn what I need to do to achieve balance for those positions. Initially, at least, my aim is repeatability and a minimum of case by case tinkering. With experience, I think that adjusting the camera for balance will become fairly straightforward.

I think that the Minimax is going to be a great camera support, and the way that it distributes weight is remarkable, but it's already clear that it's going to take practice. Also, good thing that I don't mind being the subject of others' amusement. My partner's reaction, barely suppressing a laugh, was "What the hell is that?" :)

Photos to come.

* There are photos of the camera setup and camera cage in the two posts immediately above.
Last edited by robedge on Thu Mar 04, 2021 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostTue Mar 02, 2021 5:32 pm

It's freezing here, wind 23 knots with gusts to 31 knots, so not a day to take Easyrig photos. I thought that I'd write a post on changing from the Easyrig standard release to the quick release, and include the text of an e-mail that I received from Easyrig support about doing this.

First, this is Easyrig’s video on making the change:



Changing releases is easy. In the video, it takes three minutes. However, the Minimax line is under tension and it’s important to make sure that it doesn’t retract into the Minimax arm while making the change. To address this, Easyrig sells the cam cleat shown at 00:25 of the video (Part EA030-B Line Stopper); but as Easyrig says in the video and in the e-mail below, a cleat is just one way to prevent the line from retracting. I made the change without using a cleat.

Some comments on the video... My Minimax standard release didn’t have any tape that needed to be removed. Something like a knitting needle or fork tine makes it easier to untie the figure of eight stopper knot. The Easyrig Vario and Cinema use the rubber washer with warning label, but not the Minimax.

The top cover of the quick release is easier to remove if one twists/"unscrews" it while pulling up. It is important to thread the line through the quick release in the right direction (1:30), failing which the new knot won’t be where it’s supposed to be and the cover won’t fit. My line did not have the two white marks referred to in the video; I just made my new figure of eight stopper knot about 15cm (6”) before the end of the line, which worked fine.

I asked Easyrig about the cam cleat shown at 00:25 of the video. It looks different from the cam cleat that one uses, for example, to lock a line on a sailboat. I asked who made it (the video doesn't say), and received the following response. If I were regularly changing between the two releases, I would purchase the cleat, which is not expensive:

Searching for ”Clam Cleats” on Google brings up many variants on the one we use. We have actually modified it a bit for it to sit better against the upper arm.

You don’t need this tool, you can just pull the line out as far as you can (when the Minimax is set on the lowest tension) and then wind it around the upper arm.

Then use something to secure the line when it’s winded, can be a hand from a friend, a clamp or some tape.

If you want to purchase one of these please reach out to our reseller in your country. The Art. No is “EA030-B Linestopper for all easyrig models” and it’ll cost you around 17 USD (can’t say exactly what price our reseller have set).
Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostThu Mar 04, 2021 1:08 am

My Easyrig Minimax setup will probably be more secure if I use a full cage rather than my current 8Sinn half cage, so today I had a look at what's currently available in the way of Pocket 4K cages. Because I want the option of mounting the Minimax directly to the cage rather than to a top handle, and I need a 3/8" socket for the Titan Arm that supports my monitor, I paid particular attention to how many 3/8" sockets are offered, and where they are located.

It turns out that 3/8" sockets on cages, as distinct from handles, are not in plentiful supply. Also, trying to get an understanding of the Tilta cage, I checked out several YouTube videos. Not one of them talked about socket type and location, which suggests that this is a pretty esoteric concern :)

Looks like my best options are 8Sinn and Tilta. The 8Sinn cage is a single piece of aluminium, whereas the Tilta comes in pieces that are screwed together. From the point of view of strength and simplicity (only two screws to periodically check), I prefer the 8Sinn. However, the 8Sinn has two 3/8" sockets, and the Tilta has three, one of which might give better spacing between my Titan Arm and the Minimax quick release. The Tilta also has wider distribution of 1/4" sockets, which I may use for balance reasons. Due to an 8Sinn sale, both are currently the same price, US$100.


8Sinn Full Cage:

8sinn.jpg
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Tilta Full Cage:

tilta 4.jpeg
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Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostMon Mar 08, 2021 4:57 pm

Finalising the Easyrig setup is going to be delayed a few days. I'm awaiting delivery of an 8Sinn full cage from Poland, having chosen it over Tilta's.

New use for an Easyrig Minimax - use it to help hold up a reflector for bounce. Screen capture is from a YouTube video by U.K. production company Still.Moving Media.

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Last edited by robedge on Mon Mar 08, 2021 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostMon Mar 08, 2021 5:46 pm

Still.Moving Media is a U.K. agency that does its video work with Blackmagic cameras and DaVinci Resolve. It appears to make liberal use of an Easyrig Minimax, and not just to hold up a bounce panel as in the post above :)

Its YouTube channel includes a number of behind the scenes videos about a shoot that it did for Caffè Nero, which is a U.K.-based coffee house chain with over 1,000 outlets.

The shoot was in El Salvadore and Honduras. Still.Moving went with a two-person team and a lightweight "run and gun" setup. Camera support was a Minimax and handheld.

Rest of the gear (note that the agency does work for Schneider Optics and the Vitec Group/Manfrotto; for example, it made the launch video for Manfrotto's new FAST line of video tripods.):

URSA Mini Pro
PDMOVIE Remote Air follow focus
Schneider Optics Xenon Ciné lenses, 25mm, 50mm, 75mm
Anton/Bauer 93Wh V-mount batteries
Manfrotto LYKOS Daylight LED panels (MLL 1500-D) with NP-F batteries
Lastolite Halo Compact reflector & diffuser

It appears that the shoot was focused solely on image, no sound. They shot Blackmagic Raw, 4.6K, 12:1, for online 1080p delivery.

Two of the BTS videos:

Cinematic Shots with Run & Gun Setups - ON LOCATION - El Salvador & Honduras



Embracing Limitations - ON LOCATION - El Salvador & Honduras



Caffè Nero posted versions of the footage on YouTube, Facebook and I imagine other social media platforms. This is the four minute YouTube version:

From Farm To Cup | Caffè Nero

Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostThu Mar 11, 2021 10:56 pm

Balancing the Minimax and my Pocket 4K turned out to be quite easy. I'll post photos in the next couple of days. The picture below of the 8Sinn cage shows which sockets I settled on to attach the Minimax and my articulating arm/monitor.

Red: 1/4"-20 for the Minimax quick release.
Yellow: 3/8"-16 for my articulating arm (Bright Tangerine Titan Arm), 5" monitor (Video Devices PIX E5H) and a battery (Anton/Bauer NP-F976, 47Wh/6600mAh).

With a well made, one piece full cage, I'm comfortable using a 1/4" socket for the Minimax. Easyrig supplies both 1/4" and 3/8" studs for use with its quick release.

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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSun Mar 14, 2021 9:22 pm

Here’s a snapshot of my Easyrig Minimax/Pocket 4K setup. I intend to use the Minimax with a Fujinon MK 18-55mm zoom lens. I don’t need it for my Leica M primes.

Easyrig Minimax weight: 3.4kg (7.5lbs)
Minimax maximum load: 7kg (15.4lbs)
My Pocket 4K’s weight: 4.7kg (10.3lbs)*

I asked a friend to take the photo and turned the Minmax/Pocket 4K rig toward him to show what it looks like from my perspective as the operator. The camera and lens are about 30cm (1 foot) long. I stand facing the side of the camera rather than behind it. With a turn of my head, I can look in front of, and behind, the camera. I can guide the camera with my right hand and guide/focus with my left.

The Minimax quick release/suspension line and the Titan Arm/monitor are clear of each other, and I have easy access to the buttons on the top of the Pocket 4K. I'm going to need a longer HDMI cable; in the photo, the distance from the camera's HDMI port to the monitor's port is slightly longer than my current 40cm (16") cable can manage without strain. The blue cable in the photo connects to a Hawk-Woods V-mount battery on my belt, providing power to the camera.

Balancing the Minimax and the camera turned out to be fairly straightforward. When balanced, the camera feels like it's floating in the air. I think that controlling a camera that feels more or less weightless is going to take some practice. That said, I’m very impressed with the product.

For some shots, I’ll want the height of the monitor above the cage and/or its orientation to be different than in the photo. This will change the balance between the camera and the Minimax.

However, with a bit of experience I think that rebalancing will be easy. I have a number of “controls”. The camera can be moved forward and backward on the base plate. The Titan Arm works beautifully as an articulating arm, and at 570g (20oz) has some heft. If desired, I can add a monitor sunshade or a second monitor battery. Also, while I usually have the battery that powers the camera on my belt, I could mount it on the base plate’s support rods.

As a side benefit, I figure that I can use the Minimax as a foolproof, fast way to make sure that my camera is balanced before I mount it on my fluid head :)

Doubtful at first, I now think that there are a couple of practical, indeed attractive, ways to run an audio recorder and microphone with this setup. One method involves a simple repurposing of existing Easyrig accessories.

* The camera weight of 4.7kg includes, in addition to the camera and lens: full cage (8Sinn), base plate (Sachtler Ace), support rods (Bright Tangerine Drumstix), lens support (Zacutto Scissor), follow focus (Arri MFF-2), articulating arm (Bright Tangerine Titan Arm), monitor/recorder (Video Devices PIX E5H) and one monitor battery (Anton/Bauer NP-F976, 6600mAh/47Wh).

EM - 1 (1).jpeg
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Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostMon Mar 15, 2021 5:30 am

Quite the achievement to have everything working so well. Thanks for sharing the details.
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