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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Xmas Treat ! New Vintage Lens Support

I've been working on this project  for a month or so dropping a few hint pix along the way. This is my new support for my 400mm lens. 

Its wood you might say ? well why not ? The top is mahogany while the 60mm rod slider is brazillian cherry inlaid with maple. All the hardware went vintage being hand made in brass. I though why not go steampunk retro vintage ! Really this was much more interesting then a hunk of aluminum.  Whats more, if you ever have to work in the cold, I"ll take handing wood over metal any day. Besides I think a fine vintage lens deserves an equally fitting accessory. It goes back to a time when cameras where made completely out of material like this.

What makes this unique is the lateral adjustment though. Until you have mounted a lens at 1 Ft (.3m) long you won't understand. Its pretty easy to have the camera body mounted slightly off and with a short normal length lens its not a big deal. With a big lens like this though a tiny bit off means remounting the camera body to get it perfectly straight. With a lateral adjustment though I just move the support over which is much faster and easier way of working.

Will I make one for you ? maybe. drop me an email.

steampunk retro lens support wood brass

brazillian cherry lens support

lens support for 400

lens support close up 60mm rod support

back of lens support

Images shot using OM 50 1.4 and when needed a 14mm Opteka Extension Tube

Thursday, December 22, 2011

HDR From Magic Lantern ? Sort of

Announced a day or two ago the folks creating magic lantern have announced bring HDR to eos cameras. Sort of. Its a hacked 2 frame expsoure scheme with one normal frame and 4+ stop exposed frame. That means you have to shoot 60fps to get 30fps, with the obvious problems like what if things move enough during those frames that the images don't align. Ok, maybe talking heads might work, but I think with a lot of other things it won't. 

And I Quote from their forum

" Frame rate is an issue. In this test, the raw data was shot at 25 FPS meaning the effective output rate was 12.5 FPS. So if we want 30 FPS then we have to shoot at 60 (bummer). Since we are peaked at 1080p @ 30 FPS, and 720p @ 60 FPS, we can only do HDR 1080p @ 15 FPS and HDR 720p @ 30 FPS. Rather, with the Scarlet you should be able to do 3k @ 30 FPS with HDRx if I remember correctly."

thats right, in 1080 your max frame rate is 30 so this is 15fps output. 720 isn't so great with these cameras, but you could get 60->30. Its a fun experiment and  not a practical production tool.


Don't get me wrong, I really like what these guys are trying to do, but ML just isn't practical to use on real production work where you are running around shooting like crazy and dealing with all the things you need to. The very last thing I want to worry about is loading ML every time the camera gets shut off. Then if you do like most folks and format your cards clear in the camera, you have to reload ML onto the cards. Really not practical !

So my challenge to the ML guys - load your code into the camera's firmware assuming there is room for it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Do You Want To Get Into The Production Biz ? Here's how

Evan Luzi  of  The Black and  Blue .com has published a new FREE book on how to become an AC. However, I fairly have to say its really about how to get into the production biz regardless of the position you really want to be in. Its a really honest great read that gets to the point. Its, and I hate to say it " The insider's Guide" to what it takes to get started.  I would not be giving it this endorsement if it wasn't worthwhile for people just starting out, or even a little bit in and wanting more. So go check it out, its more then worth your while... and Thanks Evan for such a great book with so much HONEST real info.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tamron 70-200 2.8 Lens Review

Finally here ! no picking on me for how long it took. I've just been busy !  Anyway this is a look at the lens I use for a major portion of my shooting, especially interviews.  I also graded this in DaVinci Resolve which was a real pleasure. In fact this was one of my learning projects for Resolve which is part of why it took me so long. I was learning, making a few mistakes along the way, and then, suddenly, it was done :) !

Take a look.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

nVidia to Open Source CUDA

What's CUDA you say ? Its the C / C++ / Fortran programming languages that run ( write code, compile ) on nVidia GPU's that let stuff like Adobe's Mecury Playback Engine do their real time magic. Bravo to nVidia for doing such a bold move because this helps everyone. They did this fully knowing that bringing CUDA over to ATI / AMD cpu's is something that has been hurting a lot of users. This is true especially mac users who are often stuck with ATI GPU's and no other options. Of course for this to happen some one will have to do a lot of work in actual compiler writing code to get ATI specific GPU machine instructions out rather then nV ones, but its certainly approachable now. Only good things to come. READ IT HERE

or maybe not... from Anatech

"Finally, with the move to LLVM NVIDIA is also opening up CUDA, if ever so slightly. On a technical level NVIDIA’s CUDA LLVM compiler is a closed fork of LLVM (allowed via LLVM’s BSD-type license), and due to the changes NVIDIA has made it’s not possible to blindly plug in languages and architectures to the compiler. To actually add languages and architectures to CUDA LLVM you need the source code to it, and that’s where CUDA is becoming “open.” NVIDIA will not be releasing CUDA LLVM in a truly open source manner, but they will be releasing the source in a manner akin to Microsoft’s “shared source” initiative – eligible researchers and developers will be able to apply to NVIDIA for access to the source code. This allows NVIDIA to share CUDA LLVM with the necessary parties to expand its functionality without sharing it with everyone and having the inner workings of the Fermi code generator exposed, or having someone (i.e. AMD) add support for a new architecture and hurt NVIDIA’s hardware business in the process. "

To which I'll counter - CUDA has a spec. Some with the resources could basically create a new compiler to output ATI GPU code. OpenCL is a step in the direction to make code that runs on GPU's agnostic to the hardware, but in reality its still very young and probably not the most effcient way of working. Adding abstraction layers speeds up coding, but not app performance.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What is it ? part 2

Hmmm... looks interesting, doesn't it ? Big reveal in a day or two... just need time to make some pix !

lens support custom old time steam punk brass cherry

Monday, December 12, 2011

Canon 5D Special At B&H With This Link $1999! UPDATED

I generally don't do this but this deal is really too good to pass up. This just dropped again today by $40 - Get a 5D new body only for $1999 ! available thru my link here. You can't get this deal via normal B&H site search. LINK HERE or click on the image. If you are interested in getting a 5D this is a great deal and if you click on the links here, I will make a tiny small commission which goes to help keep this site running. 



And what would be better then some vintage glass ?

Coming up is a vintage lens shoot out where I'll be comparing several vintage 24 and 28mm lenses. If anyone has a new or vintage lens they want to lens me for the test, let me know.

24 28mm lens f2 2.8 tokina vintage vivitar kiron

Sunday, December 11, 2011

More Vivitar / Tokina 35-105

It seems that Tokina released the 35-105 3.5 they made for Vivitar once Vivitar went on to a model II which was 3.2-4. Here is a sample of the Tokina 35-105 ( mislabeled in the video BTW ) which looks pretty nice. These shots have been "graded" so its hard to say what the real look of the lens is, but according to the author its sharper wide open then the original lens.

More investigation shows there are at least 2 models. The RMC version is different from the generic Tokina which appears to be the same as the Vivitar version.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

First C300 Test Video - Well Done

Just watch. C300 looks awesome. Being from NY I loved seeing the regular locations rather then the ones the features always seem to always shoot. Whats beyond impressive is how well this camera works in natural night light. Having shot around NYC, its generally pretty bright, but these guys shot in places with even lower light levels. Its impressive to say the least. This camera means you don't have to have 12K's and 18K's to light up a night scene ( well unless you plan to light up mountains :) ), Far more modest 575's, 1200's and 1800's will get the job done. I think it would  be really liberating on every level to not be tied to big lighting gear for nite scenes. So like I said, just watch it. They also did some quick gamma setting tests and the main thing I was : The EOS mode is over exposed by 1-2 stops, and the graded S log shots really didn't display what I thought they would. They probably needed to drop the exposure 1-2 stops to try to gain something back.

Canon EOS C300 = Awesome from Jonathan Yi on Vimeo.