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

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Howard Roll

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

PostFri Jan 24, 2020 6:02 pm

The Zacuto Scissor follows the LWS of 85mm from rod center to lens centerline. Many Chinese manufacturers continue to design products to arbitrary specifications.

Good Luck

rod_support_standards.jpg
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robedge

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

PostFri Jan 24, 2020 6:17 pm

Howard Roll wrote:The Zacuto Scissor follows the LWS of 85mm from rod center to lens centerline. Many Chinese manufacturers continue to design products to arbitrary specifications.

Good Luck

rod_support_standards.jpg


Yes, but I think that one needs to be careful when setting the height. The Zacuto support screws into two threads on the lens and the arms come down to grip the rods. If one isn’t careful, it’s possible to set up the Zacuto in a way that stresses the threads on the lens and perhaps the lens mount.

No doubt one can use a standard cradle support, or SmallRig’s dedicated support for these Fujinon lenses, in a way that also causes stress, but I think that it’s something to be particularly aware of when first setting up the Zacuto support.
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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rick.lang

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

PostFri Jan 24, 2020 6:26 pm

The Zacuto Scissor instructions imply a Zacuto VCT rod plate with riser is required. I don’t think that is necessary if your camera is mounted on another plate system designed with the 85mm distance specification for rod centre to optical centre. The Scissor is good in that it integrates with the screw holes on the Fujinon MK zooms but seems overly complicated.

Why not have a single part design with no moving parts that rests on the rods and the lens rests on it until screws secure everything? Seems like Zacuto is trying too hard.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Jan 24, 2020 6:54 pm

rick.lang wrote:The Zacuto Scissor instructions imply a Zacuto VCT rod plate with riser is required. I don’t think that is necessary if your camera is mounted on another plate system designed with the 85mm distance specification for rod centre to optical centre. The Scissor is good in that it integrates with the screw holes on the Fujinon MK zooms but seems overly complicated.

Why not have a single part design with no moving parts that rests on the rods and the lens rests on it until screws secure everything? Seems like Zacuto is trying too hard.


I think that Zacuto is just using its VCT plate as an example. If Zacuto was doing the instructions now, it might well use its new Polaris system. Zacuto’s VCT is not fixed height. Like Sachtler’s Ace Base Plate, rod to lens height is adjustable. In both cases, it’s a matter of getting the lens height right when setting up the Scissors support.

That said, SmallRig’s design for support of these lenses may not be as clever, but it’s simpler. If I understand your last sentence, the SmallRig design does what you are suggesting, although not having tried it, I don’t know about SmallRig’s implementation.

I’m happy with the Zacuto so far, but I have it on probation. It’s convenient that it can stay on the lens and doesn’t require a separate part threaded onto the rods.
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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rick.lang

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

PostFri Jan 24, 2020 7:02 pm

The Zacuto Scissor does suit its purpose of supporting the MK securely and interfacing with a camera base that is height adjustable as you have so that’s all good. For my fixed height Shape base, the Small Rig support may suffice.

My existing SLR Magic Universal Lens Support will work if I find an adapter for the ¼-20 screw to the M3 screw the MK lens requires. I have a few height extenders but I don’t think they have an M3 screw.


https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1368991-REG
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Jan 24, 2020 7:16 pm

rick.lang wrote:The Zacuto Scissor does suit its purpose of supporting the MK securely and interfacing with a camera base that is height adjustable as you have so that’s all good. For my fixed height Shape base, the Small Rig support may suffice.


My point about getting the height right is that Zacuto says specifically that its Scissor support is designed for a height of 85mm. My concern is that the wrong height, when the Scissors arms are brought down to grip the rods, can cause stress on the lens threads and the lens mount. If too high, other lens supports, including SmallRig’s for these lenses, can also cause stress, but gradually increasing the height of a support is less likely to result in an error and a problem.

It’s hard to explain this. Watching Zacuto’s Scissor video, and imagining the Scissor arms coming down and gripping the rods at the wrong height, may make what I’m trying to say clearer.

How to know if the height is right? If there’s a fair bit of resistance when one grips the arms to the rods, the height is wrong. At the right height, one should be able to apply the Scissor arms to the rods with reasonable ease, like in the video below.

If your Shape base is fixed at 85mm, the Scissor should work very well, although I wouldn’t pay Zacuto US$200 for it unless one’s work makes its convenience clearly worth it. The SmallRig is US$50. Much cheaper if the engineering and manufacturing are right. This guy was very happy with Shape’s quite basic cradle-style lens support: http://www.danmccomb.com/fujinon-mk-18- ... ilmmaking/

All that said, I’ve got the Zacuto Scissor set up at the right height and it’s definitely contributing to the locked-down stability discussed eight posts up. I think that it imparts more rigidity than these other supports would, but that’s also why it’s important to get the height right.

Zacuto Scissor video:

Last edited by robedge on Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:49 am, edited 2 times in total.
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSat Jan 25, 2020 12:48 am

I forgot to mention that the Sachtler quick release camera plate is a bit longer than Manfrotto’s 500PLong quick release plate, but is otherwise strikingly similar. My Manfrotto MVH500AH video head seems to have no problem with the Sachtler plate.

I might also mention that Sachtler has designed the Ace Base Plate so that its camera plate slides in from the rear, not the side.

In any event, the bottom line is that I can use Sachtler’s quick release plate on my Manfrotto MVH500AH video head.

The fact that https://www.vitecgroup.com/ owns both Manfrotto and Sachtler may have something to do with this.
Last edited by robedge on Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSat Jan 25, 2020 5:07 am

Here are some weights.

Pocket 4K camera: 680g (1.5lbs)
Fujinon MK 18-55mm lens: 980g (2.16lbs)
Total: 1.66kg (3.66lbs)

Sachtler Ace Base Plate: 600g (21oz/1.3lbs)
Two 9” Bright Tangerine Drumstix rods: 90g (3oz)
Zacuto Scissor lens support: guessing no more than 90g (3oz), it’s probably less
Total: 0.78kg (1.72lbs)
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSat Jan 25, 2020 10:54 am

Both lenses come with these two adapters, both has a female 3/8-16 thread.
Image

M3 is too small and fragile to be reliable, even at home I'm afraid I damage the thread or break the screw. So in the field, forget it.
Image

Here is the two solutions I have tested, I kept the traditionnal V shape lens support.
Image

The advantage of the V support at the front of the lens, is that the rod are free to place focus, zoom and aperture motors anywhere we want.

Looking forward for your pictures Rob.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSat Jan 25, 2020 2:40 pm

Phone snaps (more to come)...

Sachtler’s Ace Base Plate, Bright Tangerine 9” Drumstix rods

The base plate is essentially a quick release clamp that can hold two 15mm rods. It can be mounted on a tripod, monopod or quick release plate (for mounting on a video head) via 3/8” or 1/4” threaded holes in its bottom (there are several of each). It is made in Costa Rica. The three screws on the clamp are 3/8” and 1/4” spares. I’m using a fourth spare for the anti-twist bar mentioned below.

The clamp’s height - specifically, the distance between the top of the clamp and the rods - can be adjusted. I have the height set so that the distance from the centre of the Fujinon lens to the centre of the rods is about 8.5cm (3.4”). When I upload photos of the camera mounted on the clamp, it will be seen that the clamp remains very low profile with that height adjustment.

I prefer Sachtler’s approach to Wooden Camera’s and Zacuto’s, who split the functions of the Sachtler Base Plate into two separate components/products.

Sachtler_Rods_Top.jpg
Sachtler_Rods_Top.jpg (267.3 KiB) Viewed 3186 times


Sachtler quick release camera plate

The base plate comes with a Manfrotto-compatible quick release plate, shown here screwed into the Pocket 4K.

In the first photo, the screw on the far right is screwed into a small bar, included, that can be used to prevent the Pocket 4K from twisting on the plate. The second photo shows the anti-twist bar in place, just below the Pocket 4K’s display. I may place a bit of tape between the camera and the anti-twist bar to protect the camera body.

The Zacuto Scissor lens support can be seen in the first photo to the left of the quick release plate. The quick release plate partially overlaps the Scissor, but this does not interfere with the Scissor’s deployment.

I will probably remove the quick release plate when using the camera handheld. There are also circumstances where I will likely use an ordinary Arca Swiss clamp rather than Sachtler’s Base Plate, with an Arca Swiss quick release plate on the camera that is smaller than the Sachtler/Manfrotto plate.

QR_Plate.jpg
QR_Plate.jpg (262.51 KiB) Viewed 3186 times


Anti-twist_Bar.jpg
Anti-twist_Bar.jpg (243.53 KiB) Viewed 3186 times



Here is Nino Leitner’s video for Sachtler explaining the operation of the Ace Base Plate:

Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSat Jan 25, 2020 8:10 pm

Here's a phone snap of the camera on the Sachtler Ace Base Plate with 9" rods (Bright Tangerine Drumstix) and lens support (Zacuto Scissor).

I'm happy that the Base Plate retains a low profile after adjusting its height so that the arms of the Zacuto Scissor engage the rods without significant resistance. The result is that the distance from the centre of the lens to the centre of the rods, measured with a cloth tape measure, is about 8.5cm (3.4”), which is the height that the Zacuto Scissor is designed for.

I should add that I would not normally use the lightweight tripod in this photo with this camera and lens. I used it for this photo because the leveling base on my main tripod might distract from the components, but I think that a reasonably sturdy tripod or monopod is called for when filming. For the weight of these components, see two posts up.

Happy to respond to any questions, and to take additional photos if there's something that someone wants to see that isn't covered in this or previous photos.

Camera.jpg
Camera.jpg (180.98 KiB) Viewed 3189 times


Cheers
Last edited by robedge on Sat Jan 25, 2020 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSat Jan 25, 2020 9:03 pm

ClaudeChiarot wrote:Hi Rob,
I’m glad I went through you post. I have too the BMPCC 4K and both MK lenses.
I have struggled finding a practical setup, especially for the lens support. I looked at the Zacuto Scissor but with no adjustable leg length, I thought it was not workable for me, so I went to the traditional lens support, the V shape, from Smallrig. It works but not ideal, I think.
Then I just read from you about the Sachtler base plate with the adjustable height, so it looks perfect for the Zacuto scissor. The camera can be adjusted to the right position to match with it. I’m looking forward for your picture.
For ND, I use two 82mm ND from Kenko(Zeta ND 4 & 8), they are great, and can be stacked.


Salut Claude,

Since your post, there’s been some discussion about the Zacuto Scissor, and as you can see I’ve now posted a photo. If you’re interested in one, send me a personal message. I got mine at a reasonable price, and there may be another one available.
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSun Jan 26, 2020 6:04 pm

In the photo two posts up, the Bright Tangerine rods and Zacuto Scissor lens support make the lens more rigid. I think that this makes it easier/less finicky to change focus in the course of a shot. It’s unclear to me whether using a follow focus would result in further meaningful improvement. However, for me it’s not solely a question of functionality. Coming from using an Arca Swiss 8x10/4x5, which is mounted on a rail and focused with a geared carrier, and which rewards knowing a lot about one’s lenses’ apparent depth of field, I’m temperamentally attracted to the idea of follow focus. In any event, a follow focus sort of fell into my lap yesterday so I’ll be trying one out.

It’s Arri’s Mini Follow Focus (MFF-2), configured “Cine Standard” as shown on this Arri page: https://www.arri.com/en/camera-systems/ ... us/mff-two

Camera Nordic in Stockholm has published the configuration’s weight on its web site, information that is not easy to find:

Focus Arm Assembly: 222g (7.8oz)
Focus Knob: 176g (6.2oz)
Focus Gear with 2:1 knob to gear ratio: 10g (0.4oz)
Total: 408g (14.4oz/0.9lbs)

I’ll post a photo, probably next weekend, showing how Arri’s Mini Follow Focus fits in with the rods, lens support and lens.*

*Arri actually makes three focus knobs - Standard, Hard Stop and 2-Speed - which differ in their features and price. They can be used interchangeably with its MFF-2, FF-4 and FF-5 follow focuses. The one that I’m talking about is Arri’s Standard focus knob: https://www.arri.com/en/camera-systems/ ... ocus-knobs
Last edited by robedge on Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSun Jan 26, 2020 9:52 pm

There haven’t been a lot of comments in this thread, but I assume, given 2700 views, that there’s at least some interest in how someone is putting a Pocket 4K together and the related thinking.

In any event, here’s a new weight tally. Any more and I’ll be worrying about the adequacy of my video head, Manfrotto’s MVH500AH. It not only adds 0.9kg (2lbs) itself, but has a stated support limit of 5kg (11lbs) that I suspect is generous and don’t want to test.

Pocket 4K camera: 680g (1.5lbs)

Fujinon MK 18-55mm: 980g (2.2lbs)

Sachtler Ace Base Plate, Bright Tangerine Drumstix rods, Zacuto Scissor lens support: 780g (1.7lbs)

Arri Mini Follow Focus (MFF-2): 408g (14.4oz/0.9lbs)

Total: 2.9kg (6.3lbs)

When it comes to deciding how to equip the Pocket 4K on any given day, it’s becoming analogous to deciding between my Leica M and Arca 4x5. There’s a time for the Pocket 4K and one or two Leica primes, a time for the Pocket 4K with just the Fujinon, and a time for all this “stuff”. As discussed earlier, recording sound is also sometimes part of the equation.

I try to keep in mind this video, in which ProAV’s Carl Yates shoots with the Pocket 4K on a neckstrap:

Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostTue Jan 28, 2020 12:18 am

The following post from Claude Chiarot was retroactively inserted today, several posts back. I know from a PM exchange that he had submitted a post for this thread that was held up pending approval of his registration, and this would appear to be it.

The purpose of this reply is to bring the post forward. It will be of interest to anyone who has a Fujinon MK lens or is thinking of purchasing one.

ClaudeChiarot wrote:Both lenses come with these two adapters, both has a female 3/8-16 thread.
Image

M3 is too small and fragile to be reliable, even at home I'm afraid I damage the thread or break the screw. So in the field, forget it.
Image

Here is the two solutions I have tested, I kept the traditionnal V shape lens support.
Image

The advantage of the V support at the front of the lens, is that the rod are free to place focus, zoom and aperture motors anywhere we want.

Looking forward for your pictures Rob.
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Jan 29, 2020 2:21 am

I hope to have Arri’s Mini Follow Focus in time to post photos this weekend.

I’m struck by the extraordinary price range of these devices. The Arri, while not the most expensive, is at the higher end. I can’t afford a new one, but came across one that has been in storage since purchase, never used. Today I ordered a few additional bits and pieces. Two are “special order”, but apparently Arri has inventory here in New York and “special order” probably means a couple of days.

It looks like wireless follow focus is the future, but I have no plans to use a gimbal, which appears to be driving the move to wireless, and I’d rather not deal with a motor, batteries, a controller and potential noise.

I don’t plan any further additions to the camera.

Photos (Arri willing) this weekend.
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Jan 29, 2020 4:23 am

robedge wrote:I hope to have Arri’s Mini Follow Focus in time to post photos this weekend.

Photos (Arri willing) this weekend.


Looking forward to your thoughts on the follow focus. I got one to do more stable focusing and change of focus. So far, so good. I had a cheap one for a long time but it wouldn't go a full throw and so I never used it. I can hardly wait for the rain to stop her long enough for me to get out in the field with the Edelkrone.

Your information on the baseplate made me realize that part of my issue with my rod support system is that it puts the camera very high (3") above the rods, which makes lens support for longer lenses untenable. I'm looking at that Sachtler, but ugh, the cost. I also looked at the Small Rig which is cheaper, but I'm worried that it's going to make access to the bottom of the camera painfully complicated (2 plates) and not as sturdy. Too bad there's not something slick like that Zacuto for other lenses!

And last, I'm going to get the Vark bar and I'm thinking about getting a small travel tripod (but something taller than Gitzo you showed) to move my microphone(s) off my camera.

Thanks for documenting your steps as you go along, it's helping me focus on improving what I have!
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Jan 29, 2020 7:16 pm

Chris Leutger wrote:Looking forward to your thoughts on the follow focus. I got one to do more stable focusing and change of focus. So far, so good. I had a cheap one for a long time but it wouldn't go a full throw and so I never used it. I can hardly wait for the rain to stop her long enough for me to get out in the field with the Edelkrone.

Your information on the baseplate made me realize that part of my issue with my rod support system is that it puts the camera very high (3") above the rods, which makes lens support for longer lenses untenable. I'm looking at that Sachtler, but ugh, the cost. I also looked at the Small Rig which is cheaper, but I'm worried that it's going to make access to the bottom of the camera painfully complicated (2 plates) and not as sturdy. Too bad there's not something slick like that Zacuto for other lenses!

And last, I'm going to get the Vark bar and I'm thinking about getting a small travel tripod (but something taller than Gitzo you showed) to move my microphone(s) off my camera.

Thanks for documenting your steps as you go along, it's helping me focus on improving what I have!


Hi Chris,

I’m going to try using the follow focus for focal length/zoom on the Fujinon as well as focus. Can’t see why it wouldn’t work, and the idea of gear-controlled zooms is attractive.

The Sachtler is US$204, although B&H has one that’s open box for $167. Not cheap, but less expensive than the Zacuto and Wooden Camera alternatives. I’m surprised that Kirk and Really Right Stuff don’t make these, because they are basically quick release clamps that take a couple of rods. Include a way to change the height between the top and bottom of the clamp and you’re done. As you suggest, there are versions that are like skyscrapers. I think that that is about creating a “system”, low centre of gravity be damned, rather than customer need. So far, my impression when it comes to “ciné” gear is that there’s too much LEGO, not enough KISS.

For those who are scratching their heads at Chris’s reference to a Vark bar, see this earlier post: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=105319#p586284
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Jan 29, 2020 8:40 pm

Rob, the follow focus should definitely work on any gear. The iris gear may be stiffer than the focus and zoom gear but that’s intentional.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Jan 29, 2020 10:04 pm

rick.lang wrote:Rob, the follow focus should definitely work on any gear. The iris gear may be stiffer than the focus and zoom gear but that’s intentional.


Thanks. I’m very interested in using the follow focus to change focal length. There probably aren’t a lot of situations where I’d want to change the iris during a shot, although some Sony cameras with built-in variable neutral density filters can do it, and there’s a fairly new product called CineFade designed for the purpose. CineFade uses a motor to control the iris, linked to a variable neutral density filter to maintain proper exposure. The video says that it sells for US$10,000, but that is not “all in”. The real cost is about $20,000 :)


Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Jan 29, 2020 11:09 pm

Very neat. Iris linked to an electronic five-stop vari-ND. Four channels can be linked. Surprised he didn’t mention all the channels but presumably he meant iris, focus, zoom, and vari-ND.

The PD Movie can link two motors which can drive focus of two optics or focus and zoom for example. It can also control iris but that wouldn’t be practical for most shots except perhaps an in-camera fade-in or fade-out although the common shot of moving between an exterior or interior could be managed. A lot less money for PD Movie, but this control of iris and vari-ND was well done.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Jan 29, 2020 11:19 pm

Rob, that open box is gone. Probably this thread resulting in a sale! Too bad!
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostThu Jan 30, 2020 3:10 am

This weekend’s post on the Arri follow focus will be the last on putting my Pocket 4K together. Consequently, this is a good time to summarize what I’ve settled on. The post seven above lists the weights of the main components:

    1. neck/shoulder strap
    2. quick release clamp and quick release plate (Sachtler Ace Base Plate)
    3. two 9” rods (Bright Tangerine Drumstix)
    4. lens support (Zacuto Scissor)
    5. follow focus (Arri Mini Follow Focus, MFF-2)
    6. video head (Manfrotto MVH500AH, already owned)
    7. filters (B+W screw-in and Lee100)
    8. storage (Samsung T5 drives, already owned)

I’m using Canon LP-E6 batteries to provide power to the camera and a Samsung drive. For unrelated reasons, I have an external recorder/monitor (Sound Devices PIX-E5H), but I’m not looking for reasons to use it with this camera. I don’t have a function for a camera cage.

Finally, I have the following to record sound. Camera audio recording is off by default, only turned on if I want a scratch track as synchronisation backup. I’m considering timecode, but it isn’t a pressing issue.

    1. audio recorder (Sound Devices 702T and MixPre-3)
    2. microphone mount (Grace Design Space Bar and Vark Audio Stereo Bar)
    3. boom pole (K-Tek)
    4. microphones (Schoeps and DPA)
    5. wind protection (Léo and Rycote Windjammer)
    6. headphones (Sennheiser HD 25)
    7. slate (EnglishStix 8”x6” or hand clap)
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Jan 31, 2020 1:42 am

Chris Leutger wrote:Rob, that [Sachtler] open box is gone. Probably this thread resulting in a sale! Too bad!


Ha! You may well be right. I know that that open box was there for at least two weeks, and my sense is that most Americans are opting for Zacuto, Wooden Camera, Small Rig or something that’s offered as an add-on to a cage that they’re purchasing.

Looks like I’m on track for a post on/photos of the camera and follow focus this weekend. The Brooklyn Arri dealer says that the parts that I want should be in tomorrow afternoon, in which case “special order” will have meant two and a half days.

While recognising that Arri gear is expensive, there’s something to be said for the fact that Arri parts can apparently be obtained pretty quickly.
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Jan 31, 2020 2:35 pm

Here’s some added life for the Fujinon MK zooms, conversión to L-Mount (for crop sensor windows only) and adapting to PL-mount (for Super 35 of course).

https://www.cinema5d.com/mtf-lens-conve ... l-adapter/
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Jan 31, 2020 3:35 pm

rick.lang wrote:Here’s some added life for the Fujinon MK zooms, conversión to L-Mount (for crop sensor windows only) and adapting to PL-mount (for Super 35 of course).

https://www.cinema5d.com/mtf-lens-conve ... l-adapter/


Very interesting. This has the potential to significantly expand the market for the Fujinon lens at reasonable cost. In my case, it also means that if I ultimately move from a Pocket 4K to a Leica SL2, which is a possibility, I can take the lens and rig with me. With the conversion costing £225, it would make the move less complicated and less painful financially. I’d just have to sell the Pocket 4K.
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Lens

PostFri Jan 31, 2020 3:58 pm

That is good. When you put a fair dollar into lenses, it’s great when you can move to other platforms. Your Fujinon MK is still at the top of my wishlist. Pairing that with my Tokina 11-20mm T2.9 PL is perfect.

When I bought my PL lenses, I bought a PL->EF adapter which would suit moving to the BMPCC6K. Haven’t used it yet.

I have two quality PL->MFT adapters and if I bought the Metabones BMPCC4K PL adapter, I’d have three. I’m ambivalent about doing that because of reports that actual image quality might degrade. I’d sure love to gain a stop of light though for certain situations.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Jan 31, 2020 4:49 pm

rick.lang wrote:That is good. When you put a fair dollar into lenses, it’s great when you can move to other platforms.


Yes. For me, selling my Leica M 240 and purchasing a Leica SL2 is a real possibility. In that scenario, the Pocket 4K will probably go. I’ve been feeling increasingly locked in with the Pocket 4K and I’m not comfortable about it. This removes the hurdle. Good news indeed.
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSat Feb 01, 2020 5:22 pm

Here are phone snaps of the camera with Arri’s Mini Follow Focus (MFF-2). This is split into two posts due to attachment limits.

This is the last of my posts on putting the Pocket 4K and the Fujinon lens together as a package.

I’m going to use the term follow focus, but the MFF-2 can also be used to make precise changes in focal length (zooming) or iris/aperture. The latter is rare and I don’t see much need for it myself. However, for those who are interested, there’s a video nine posts up about a new device specifically designed to change iris, and therefore apparent depth of field, during a shot.

Based on my limited time with the Arri, I think that follow focus is all about rigidity, and not just of the follow focus unit. It seems clear that the ideal setup is to mount the camera on a solid tripod with no flex in the tripod head, the rods, the lens support and the follow focus itself. With the camera on a monopod, on a shoulder mount or handheld, I think that rigidity in the rods, lens support and follow focus remains important for optimal follow focus performance.

Arri’s follow focus is precisely machined, all metal except for the gear that engages with the teeth on the lens barrel. As I understand it, the gear is made of DuPont Delrin, a strong plastic sometimes used instead of metal. The follow focus is supported by both camera rods, not just one. A plastic or single rod follow focus may be fine, but based on what I’ve seen of the Arri I would want to be satisfied, before purchase, of sufficient rigidity and precision.

For me, the follow focus has two advantages over using my hand directly on the lens barrel. The Fujinon has 270° of focus rotation, and the focal length ranges from 18mm to 55mm (about 34mm to 105mm in 35mm full frame). Using the follow focus to manage this feels more natural/less awkward. It’s also easier to be smooth and precise. I’m sold, but whether these advantages are worth the cost seems very much an individual decision.

I can’t make any sense of follow focus prices, which range from under US$100 to thousands. I purchased this one second-hand. For me, the new price is in nosebleed territory. On the upside, I expect this to be the first and last follow focus that I’ll purchase. I needed a couple of new parts to put this follow focus together the way that I want. I learned that in North America, where I live, Arri parts, if needed, can be obtained fairly quickly. I also expect that Arri can replace any part of this unit that is damaged or worn out.

It appears that a lot of people, especially people who use a gimbal, are moving to wireless follow focus. Personally, I’m not there. I don’t want the motor, the power demand, the electronic controller, the potential noise or the hassle if a wireless follow focus goes on strike. However, apart from a Freefly Movi Cinema Robot that I occasionally use with my smartphone or a Sony RX0, I also don’t own a gimbal, so for me it’s not a real issue that I need to address.

Now the photos. Please note that the tripod in these photos is good for showing components, but I think that it’s too lightweight to use when shooting with the Pocket 4K and Fujinon lens.

Top View


top-view.jpg
top-view.jpg (337.05 KiB) Viewed 2562 times



Arri MFF-2 rod support, arm and gear from the rear and the front

camera side.jpg
camera side.jpg (232.88 KiB) Viewed 2562 times



camera-front.jpg
camera-front.jpg (231.27 KiB) Viewed 2562 times




As noted above, the follow focus is supported by both rods. The arm is easily adjusted to fit various heights and diameters of lens barrel. The follow focus gear can be mounted on either side of the arm to help avoid conflicts with other camera components. Indeed, the setup in the photo avoids conflict with the Zacuto lens support. The gear in the photo has 43 teeth. Arri sells additional gears, but I’ll need more experience with the unit before deciding whether I want any of them.

CONTINUED IN NEXT POST...
Last edited by robedge on Sat Feb 01, 2020 7:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSat Feb 01, 2020 5:31 pm

Continuation of the above post...


Focus Knob Added

front-angle.jpg
front-angle.jpg (254.37 KiB) Viewed 2555 times


This and the next photo show Arri’s standard focus knob, which is also used on its heavier duty FF-4 and FF-5 follow focuses. The knob comes in two versions, “left side” and pricier “right side”. The latter has a longer axle, apparently required to clear the right side of some matte boxes. A left side knob, fitted with an extension that Arri sells, can also be used for this purpose. In my case, I have a standard left side knob, I have no plans to use a matte box and I can use the follow focus on either side of the Fujinon lens.

In addition, Arri makes a “hard stop” knob. As I understand it, this can be used with DSLR/mirrorless still camera lenses whose focus rings don’t stop rotating at near focus and infinity. I don’t own such a lens and I don’t know what meaningful difference this special knob would make.

I do like the fact that the Arri knob disengages if I try to rotate it beyond the near focus and infinity focus hard stops of the Fujinon lens. Yes, I found this out by accident while using the follow focus speed crank, discussed below. In the war against inattention, I think that it’s a helpful feature.

If desired, one can change the direction that the knob rotates a lens. One might want to do this with Leica or Nikon still camera lenses, whose focus rings turn in the opposite direction to the Fujinon. The direction is changed by turning the component that holds the gear upside down.

Marker Disk and Speed Crank

front-crank.jpg
front-crank.jpg (199.82 KiB) Viewed 2555 times


A dry erase marker can be used to mark preplanned lens rotation targets on the white disk, called a marker disk. The marker disk in the photo is flat, but there is also a version with a curved bevel that is easier to read from an angle. These disks, which are made of plastic, can be used repeatedly, probably for a long time, but I think they are best seen as expendables. They are easily replaced and, as film gear goes, inexpensive.

There’s a video on YouTube in which the owner of Vocas, a Dutch maker of follow focuses, says that his clients tend not to purchase replacement marker disks. He thinks that many clients are using their follow focus in conjunction with camera displays or external monitors, rather than marks on these disks, to nail focus. I’ll see how it goes, but I like the idea of using marks rather than the Pocket 4K display. I have an external recorder/monitor, but I’m not looking for reasons to use it with this camera.

For this photo, I've added Arri's speed crank. I think that this option is highly desirable. With my hand on the crank handle rather than the knob, I think that I can get finer control over how quickly or slowly the focus knob turns, and therefore over the speed with which the focus or focal length changes.

There’s an additional option, called a whip, that makes it possible to rotate the focus knob from a distance. At the moment, I don’t see that it would give me any advantages over the speed crank.

Weight of the Follow Focus

Support and Focus Arm Assembly: 222g (7.8oz)
Focus Knob: 176g (6.2oz)
Focus Gear: 10g (0.4oz)
Total: 408g (14.4oz/0.9lbs)

Plus the Speed Crank: 44g (1.6oz)

I’d be delighted to respond to any questions. It would be great to see opinions/views from others.

Cheers
Last edited by robedge on Sun Feb 02, 2020 3:10 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSat Feb 01, 2020 6:05 pm

Rob, that’s a nice setup, hope you get very comfortable with it as you use it more.

The hard stops on a follow focus can be used to define the range of movement, not just the near and far ranges of the lens itself.

Say your actor has a mark at 20’ and the moves toward you to a mark at 5’. You set your hard stops at or just beyond those marks and then control your focus gear confident you won’t overshoot your focus.

That can be helpful especially when you’re in a scene with low light and/or low contrast so the focus change may be challenging without a little help from the hard stops.

With my PD Movie, it’s easy to set the software equivalent of the hard stops and gently move the quiet motorized gears between the ‘hard’ stops.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSat Feb 01, 2020 6:18 pm

rick.lang wrote:Rob, that’s a nice setup, hope you get very comfortable with it as you use it more.

The hard stops on a follow focus can be used to define the range of movement, not just the near and far ranges of the lens itself.

Say your actor has a mark at 20’ and the moves toward you to a mark at 5’. You set your hard stops at or just beyond those marks and then control your focus gear confident you won’t overshoot your focus.

That can be helpful especially when you’re in a scene with low light and/or low contrast so the focus change may be challenging without a little help from the hard stops.

With my PD Movie, it’s easy to set the software equivalent of the hard stops and gently move the quiet motorized gears between the ‘hard’ stops.


Yes, I realise that it can be used that way, but most of the internet discussion is about the lens category mentioned. I also know that the hard stop knob sells for US$690. Let me put it this way. It’s not high on my list of pressing needs. At that price, I’ll live with the standard knob and put the special hard stop knob on the “nice but I can live without it” list :) There’s also a 2-speed knob, the price of which could induce a heart attack.
Last edited by robedge on Sun Feb 02, 2020 3:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSat Feb 01, 2020 6:44 pm

rick.lang wrote:Rob, that’s a nice setup, hope you get very comfortable with it as you use it more.


Thanks, I’ve been using geared focusing on an Arca Swiss 8x10/4x5 and with a 35mm bellows and macro lens for a long time. This is pretty much the same. In the post, I said that I like the idea, when focus is preplanned, of using marks more than using the Pocket 4K display. The prior history is where that thought comes from.

Just checking out your PD Movie.
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSun Feb 02, 2020 5:13 pm

The addition of follow focus (see above) completes my Pocket 4K/Fujinon package with the possible exception of adding timecode. I’m exploring the option, but as discussed below I’m somewhat ambivalent.

I use a slate or hand clap to synchronize picture and sound. If I want a backup, I can turn on camera audio. My editor (Final Cut Pro X) does a good job of matching my sound recorder’s audio to the camera’s audio.

I have a Sound Devices field recorder (702T) that can feed timecode, via an inbuilt Ambient clock, to the Pocket 4K. If I want timecode, there are two options.

The first is to run a cable from the recorder’s timecode port (Lemo 5-pin) to the Pocket 4K’s mic/timecode port (3.5mm). As cables go, this one is expensive, and off-the-shelf ones are quite short. I’m awaiting a response from my sound vendor on whether a 1m (3’) cable would adversely impact accurate timecode transmission and, if not, what a custom cable would cost. Short, off-the-shelf cables are US$50-$75.

There is a second option if I don’t want to run a cable from the 702T to the camera. I can use the recorder as a master clock to set the time on an intermediate box, which is then plugged into the Pocket 4K to control the camera’s timecode. I’m awaiting advice on three boxes that can do this: Ambient’s NanoLockit, Tentacle’s Sync E and Timecode Systems’s UltraSync ONE. Each of these retails for about US$300. Cable to connect an audio recorder to the box, and the box to the Pocket 4K, may add to that. These boxes also require a battery to work.

I also have a Sound Devices MixPre-3, version 1. I prefer using the 702T field recorder, both ergonomically and because it’s built like a tank, but the MixPre is itself a good recorder and it is smaller and lighter. Outdoors, smaller and lighter tends to win the day. However, I would have to purchase two intermediate boxes, not just one, to make this work for timecode with the Pocket 4K. At that point, it probably makes financial sense to replace my MixPre v.1 with the latest v.2, which like the 702T generates timecode.

All that said, my 8”x6” slate works just fine :) 8”x6” is intermediate in size between a full-size slate and an insert slate. English Stix (Simon England) came up with the idea, and as far as I know this is the only company that makes a mid-size slate. I find the slate quite portable, but with adequate space to record shot, camera and audio info. No additional electronic boxes, no cables, no batteries.
Last edited by robedge on Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSun Feb 02, 2020 9:46 pm

I upgraded my MixPre3 just so I could get timecode. I figured it would help with my devil may care inability to even remember to yell out "action" when shooting. Of course usually I'm shooting 4x5 at the same time so I'm distracted on "set." I figured the upgrade would allow me to more easily match sound and video in post (no dialogue so exactitude is not as big a deal). What I would like to do is to sync the on/off functionality of the two devices.

My buddy has an Arca and those geared movements are sweet. On the other hand, much like Arri, every single piece to do with that system is $$$$. I do have an Arca Swiss Z2+ ball head and it is very useful though painfully expensive. Though not as bad as your average fluid head.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostMon Feb 03, 2020 2:12 am

Hi Chris,

Very cool that you shoot 4x5. Earlier in this thread, I linked to a Chris Watson video about making a soundtrack for John Constable’s The Cornfield. Are you doing that/have you considered it for your photographs?

If Arca-Swiss made a follow focus, I think that it would be a lot like Arri’s. In a way, I’m surprised that they don’t make gear like that; Arca-Swiss and Aaton are not far apart geographically. However, I’ve met the owner of Arca-Swiss a couple of times, and I don’t have the impression that he’s particularly expansion oriented. In any event, Arca probably makes most of its income from tripod heads. Most people probably don’t know that it makes cameras.

Re your remark on Arca cost, which is true... I purchased an Arca-Swiss 4x5 when the company still offered its Discovery model. This was targeted at students, competitively priced and more compact and lighter than alternatives. Arca cameras are also rail cameras rather than flatbed cameras, which for students was significant.

The Discovery was brilliant marketing, because once in the Arca system there were strong reasons to stay, even though expanding was and is expensive. As you know, Arca-Swiss cameras are completely modular. With a Discovery one could go anywhere in the system, including to 6x9, 5x7 and 8x10. That’s why I referred earlier to an Arca 8x10/4x5, because the film format of my camera depends on how I set it up. I can change from 8x10 to 4x5, or change bellows and rail length to accommodate anything from a wide angle lens to a telephoto to macro, in minutes. But yes, there’s a cost for that flexibility.

Very curious now, what 4x5 do you use?
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostMon Feb 03, 2020 7:50 pm

I use an Ebony 4x5. Field cameras are more my speed. And yes, I've done sound recordings to go with my photographs. A lot of my video work is in that vein, i.e. a photograph with duration and sound.

My buddy got the 4x5 F Line system and has the 5x7 and 8x10 backs. But he worked at Amazon so he's got Bezos Dollars to fund all that stuff.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostMon Feb 03, 2020 10:45 pm

Chris Leutger wrote:I use an Ebony 4x5.


You’re flagging the cost of Arca-Swiss large format cameras? :)

Received a response from my sound vendor (see four posts up), which is a well-known player in location sound. They say that a 1m (3’) cable for timecode is not too long; it will not degrade a timecode signal. Of the intermediate box options, they like the Tentacle Sync E for my setup and are quite keen on the Tentacle smartphone app and software. Plus interesting comments on whether more than one box is actually necessary, as distinct from convenient, with the Pocket 4K and a MixPre v.1.
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostTue Feb 04, 2020 3:29 pm

Quote from five posts up...

robedge wrote:The first [option] is to run a cable from the recorder’s timecode port (Lemo 5-pin) to the Pocket 4K’s mic/timecode port (3.5mm). As cables go, this one is expensive, and off-the-shelf ones are quite short. I’m awaiting a response from my sound vendor on whether a 1m (3’) cable would adversely impact accurate timecode transmission and, if not, what a custom cable would cost. Short, off-the-shelf cables are US$50-$75.


I’ve ordered the cable just to see how it goes, having now received a quote of US$55 for 3’ (1m) and having been assured that 3’ will not degrade timecode transmission. I suspect that the fairly high cost of off-the-shelf short cables is related to the cost of Lemo hardware.
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostTue Feb 04, 2020 7:41 pm

robedge wrote:
Chris Leutger wrote:I use an Ebony 4x5.


You’re flagging the cost of Arca-Swiss large format cameras? :)

Received a response from my sound vendor (see four posts up), which is a well-known player in location sound. They say that a 1m (3’) cable for timecode is not too long; it will not degrade a timecode signal. Of the intermediate box options, they like the Tentacle Sync E for my setup and are quite keen on the Tentacle smartphone app and software. Plus interesting comments on whether more than one box is actually necessary, as distinct from convenient, with the Pocket 4K and a MixPre v.1.



I got the Ebony used for about half price. And with a field camera, there aren't all those extras bits to add and pay for. Sadly, Ebony doesn't exist any longer so when the wind took my camera down in Death Valley, I had to send it to Canham in AZ for a fix.

I use my MixPre3 on the tripod (mounting clamp) near the camera so the cable length wouldn't affect me and the MixPre3 doesn't use a fancy $$$ cable. I do carry a longer microphone cable. After our discussions I'll likely be bringing a lightweight mic stand with me to separate that out. Since I'm still using the Pocket 2K I should experiment with Time of Day TC since the camera doesn't output TC.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostTue Feb 04, 2020 10:10 pm

Chris Leutger wrote:I use my MixPre3 on the tripod (mounting clamp) near the camera so the cable length wouldn't affect me and the MixPre3 doesn't use a fancy $$$ cable. I do carry a longer microphone cable. After our discussions I'll likely be bringing a lightweight mic stand with me to separate that out. Since I'm still using the Pocket 2K I should experiment with Time of Day TC since the camera doesn't output TC.


One thing that I like about my sound vendor is that it’s fast. I ordered the custom 3’ (1m) Lemo > 3.5mm cable this morning and it’s ready for pickup.

I’m going to run the cable from a Sound Devices 702T field recorder (“T” for timecode) direct to the Pocket 4K. For timecode output to the camera, I’ll be using time of day. The downside is that this is likely to make me very lazy about using a slate. It could also put my other recorder, a MixPre-3 v.1, out of a job. Anyway, it’s an experiment.
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Feb 14, 2020 1:45 am

I’m going to drop by B&H this weekend to find out what a high-end, name brand fluid head can do that my US$142 Manfrotto can’t.

My Pocket 4K, Fujinon lens and assorted bits and bobs come in at a maximum in use of about 3.3kg (7.3lbs). Here are the basic specs for the Manfrotto video head that I’m using. It’s flat base, but I have a leveling base on my Gitzo Systematic tripod and what is basically a leveling base on my Ries J100 tripod:

Manfrotto MVH500AH
Price: $142
Weight: 0.9kg (2.1lbs)
Load Capacity: 5kg (11lbs)

I’ll be looking at two Sachtler and Miller heads that have sufficient load capacity with some room to grow. Sachtler’s design is several years old, Miller’s about two years:

Sachtler FSB 6
Price: $1330
Weight: 2.6kg (5.7lbs)
Load Capacity: 1.5-8kg (3.3-17.6lbs)

Miller CX2
Price: $1123
Weight: 2.3kg (5.1lbs)
Load Capacity: 0-8kg (0-17.6lbs)

I’m also going to look at Miller’s CX6 head, which weighs the same as the CX2, has a much higher load capacity and costs only $230 more. From a resale perspective alone, it’s unclear to me why someone would purchase a CX2 rather than the CX6. Perhaps it’s a centre of gravity issue. In any event, I’ll enquire when I’m at B&H, because I don’t see anything on Miller’s web site that explains the attraction of the CX2, apart from keeping $230 in your pocket (normally sensible, but we’re already talking about crazy money):

Miller CX6
Price: $1356
Weight: 2.3kg (5.1lbs)
Load Capacity: 0-12kg (0-26.4lbs)

I should note that these Sachtler and Miller heads can be configured for a tripod or other support with a flat top, which for me is important. I can use a 75mm bowl with my Gitzo tripod, but not with the Ries J100. It appears that one other head that I might look at, Cartoni’s Focus 8, can’t be used with a flat top support by itself. It looks like using it on a flat base would require an adapter.

The peculiarity of the Miller heads is that they require Miller’s own quick release plates. However, having given up on using Arca-Swiss QR plates, it doesn’t make a whit of difference to me whether the video head quick release plate is Miller or Manfrotto. The Sachtler Ace Base Plate that I’m using with the Pocket 4K will slide directly into a Sachtler, Cartoni or Manfrotto video head, but it will also work fine screwed onto a Miller video head QR plate.

The basic question is what another $1000 will buy me when I want to pan or tilt my camera. That said, one of the alleged benefits of these heads, and probably a lot of the reason for their cost, is the ability to switch cameras and balance a new camera quickly. However, that is not something that I need now, or expect to need in the future.
Last edited by robedge on Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:22 am, edited 2 times in total.
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Feb 14, 2020 4:18 am

I’ve been renting a Cartoni Laser and very pleased with its performance. I think that’s no longer produced and may have been replaced by the Focus line.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Feb 14, 2020 4:27 am

:roll:
rick.lang wrote:I’ve been renting a Cartoni Laser and very pleased with its performance. I think that’s no longer produced and may have been replaced by the Focus line.


Hi Rick,

Within the Cartoni Focus line, the Focus 8 is the only 75mm video head. It’s quite a bit less expensive than the Miller and Sachtler 75mm CX2/6 and FSB 6, but I don’t know yet how it compares in quality.

The Focus 8 has been around for some time, but oddly B&H is showing it as a new/coming soon product notwithstanding the fact that it sells several Cartoni tripod packages in which the Focus 8 is a component. I haven’t seen anything on the Cartoni web site or elsewhere that suggests an update.

Here’s B&H’s “New Product/Coming Soon/Preorder” page for the Cartoni Focus 8, priced at US$676: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... _head.html
Last edited by robedge on Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Feb 14, 2020 5:05 am

I see that. Must be some new combination of items included although the actual fluid head may not be new, just the packaging?

You might want to peek at the Cartoni Focus 10 if you can. A 100mm bowl for very little increase in cost over the 75mm bowl in with the Focus 8.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Feb 14, 2020 5:20 am

rick.lang wrote:I see that. Must be some new combination of items included although the actual fluid head may not be new, just the packaging?

You might want to peek at the Cartoni Focus 10 if you can. A 100mm bowl for very little increase in cost over the 75mm bowl in with the Focus 8.


Yes, I wonder whether this is just a matter of selling the Focus 8 separately from tripod legs. If so, it’s not something that I’ve seen B&H do before, and the pricing looks a bit weird when compared to the packages.

Which leads to something that I’ve noticed in the video world that is mildly amusing, but annoying to the extent that I frequently don’t know what a videographer is talking about when he/she refers to a tripod.

Since when does the word tripod mean both the legs and the head?

Those of us with a still photography background (or for that matter surveying or astronomy) kinda figure that a tripod is a coordinated collection of three legs (tripod, got it?) and that what one puts on top of the three legs is a head, assuming that one is even using a head (I, for one, frequently don’t, including with my Pocket 4K) :)
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Feb 14, 2020 5:42 am

When you’re buying gear, you buy a tripod and a head and other accessories. But when you’re in a conversation and say “grab the tripod, time to pack up” you mean both tripod and head.

You can add a large amount of items to make a rig that would normally sit atop the tripod and head, but conversationally when you ask, “are you bringing your rig?” You mean all three items or you’re talking about your truck! English is often imprecise.
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Feb 14, 2020 6:01 am

rick.lang wrote:When you’re buying gear, you buy a tripod and a head and other accessories. But when you’re in a conversation and say “grab the tripod, time to pack up” you mean both tripod and head.

You can add a large amount of items to make a rig that would normally sit atop the tripod and head, but conversationally when you ask, “are you bringing your rig?” You mean all three items or you’re talking about your truck! English is often imprecise.


I have a simpler explanation. The manufacturers have conned videographers into seeing a tripod and a head as a single thing. That’s why almost every listing for a video tripod on sites like B&H include both legs and a head, and why I had to work at it to find individual prices for the Sachtler, Miller and Cartoni video heads.

This is unheard of outside video. If I want a price on Gitzo or Feisol or whatever tripod legs, a search for tripod gives me exactly that. That sure isn’t how it works for video, where there is constant marketing pressure, including in on-line listings, to buy a “package”.

The interesting thing is that video people don’t even seem to realise that this is happening. They think that it’s “normal”. It isn’t. It isn’t normal in the still photography world, the surveying world, the astronomy world, the wildlife spotting world or in any other world, outside video, where tripods are used.
Last edited by robedge on Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:29 am, edited 5 times in total.
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes 35-135mm, Nikkor 55mm macro

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps omni & supercardiod mikes; DPA miniature omni mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6 v.2
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Feb 14, 2020 6:24 am

Amusingly, those are the two models I was interested in. I watched this AbelCine video on the Miller heads recently that was pretty interesting.



Nice, slow and methodical, unlike most things on youtube. Next week I'll be in LA. Perhaps I'll pop up to AbelCine and see what they say. Though that might be a dangerous move...

Though I mostly plan to use my Pocket on this head, I have an Eclair ACL that I'm getting batteries recelled for and my Canon 814 that I'll probably send to Pro8mm for updates. So a variety of camera sizes and weights there. Hence why I would go for the CX6 as well.

Hmm, Pro8mm, AbelCine, Duclos and Trew Audio all in Burbank...one stop shopping area....
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Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Feb 14, 2020 6:35 pm

“Nice, slow, and methodical” is very much appreciated. The camera retailers seem to be populated with thinking adults that can get into complex details.

Many video influencers that can make enormous incomes are selling clicks and plays and likes and the incredible fast-talking, aw -shucks, look-at-me-I’m-Sandra-Dee sales approach is a turn-off. You would think they were trying to be Grammy-winning teens!

There are many talented and honest influencers out there and hats-off to them. Unfortunately they are in the minority of people promoted by YouTube as we know the business YouTube is about.
Rick Lang
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