How To Add An ND filter To The Impossibly Curved Rokinon 8mm F2.8 Fisheye Lens

We mentioned the Rokinon 8mm f2.8 several times on the blog as being a great lens for its price. One thing that is kinda hard to do with this lens is use filters. This is both because the curvature of the lens extends beyond the filter thread and also because of the shape of the petals of the built in lens hood.

This makes it practically impossible to place an ND filter on such lens. The folks at CheesyCam just shared a sweet hack using a Rosco ND gel and some blue tack. The trick is to place the gel at the back of the lens rather than in the front of the lens as we usually do. For ND CheesyCam uses the 3404 gel from the Rosco cinegel sample book, which cuts 3 stops off, and placed it using some blue tack.

Even zoomed in at 400% I was actually quite surprised that the gel almost did not introduce any softness.

[Adding ND Filter Gel on Rokinon Fisheye Lens to Block Light via CheesyCam]

P.S. You can use a similar hack with the Rokinon 8mm f2.8 to shoot infra red photos.

Repurposing A KFC Fried Chicken Dinner As A DIY Ring Flash

I have a two DIY ring-flashes. My first one was made out of illustration board, and the second one was made of out of a bucket of fried chicken from our local restaurant. Here is my step by step tutorial on how to make your own DIY ring flash using the leftovers of a KFC dinner. (of course you can but a DIY ring flash kit or a totally pro solution as well, but then the KFC leftovers will be thrown away rather than recycled).

It takes about two hours to make one.

ringflash examples (3)

[Read more...]

How To Build A DIY 2 Axis Cable Cam

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One of the fun ways to ad motion to a movie is by using a cable cam. We featured a short tutorial about building a gravity driven cable-cam back in February, but as the name suggests it was gravity driven, meaning you have very little control over the speed and duration of the movement.

This tutorial uses (not one but two) motors for making a 2-axis cable cam that is more controlled. Specifically, they are using the Genie, but even if you don’t have the budget for this (and willing to let go of some control), you can use slower servo motors instead. [Read more...]

3 ways Of Using 35mm Film in 120 Bodies

35-120-usage-06with the slow decay of film it is getting harder and harder to find film to use on old (or new) cameras that use 120 film. Even you do find 120 film (hint Amazon, eBay) it is not trivial to develop (not to mention expensive). But what if you have a Diana or a treasured Mamiya that you want to use? You can still use them with 35mm film if you can manage to load the film into the spool in a way that you can wind it after each shot.

The photos you take will not be restricted to the 35mm frame that you are accustomed to, but go all over the sprockets. It’s a pretty cool effect if you ask me.

Here are three ways with ranging budgets, innovation levels and description to use 35mm film on 120 cameras: [Read more...]

Hack: Get a Phantom Powered Microphone On Any Camera

One of the drawbacks of using the camera in-microphone port is that it only supports 3.5mm and while there are some decent solution for that (see the Rode video mic pro), if you really want nice audio, the higher end shotgun microphones require something called Phantom Power – this is a way to provide the microphone with electricity via the same XLR cable that connects it to the recorder (in our case – the camera).

Mike Kobal shares a clever hack for getting Phantom powered XLR shot gun mics on a DSLR. (seems like everyone is hacking their DSLRs nowadays – this really compliments the power hack we featured last week)

The solution is to use the  IK Multimedia iRig Pre Microphone Interface which is originally a Mic to iOS Device, but works wonders on the GH4 video monster and other DSLR.

The irig Pre goes via an iPhone to standard plug converter and plugs into the microphone jack and the head phone jack. And both the shotgun mic and the earphones goes into the iRig Pre.

Mike suggests to get a few connectors as they are very flimsy.

[The $29 XLR hack for the Panasonic Lumix GH4 via ISO 1200]

Getting a Complete Day Of Battery power For a camera and Monitor for $150

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If you were not satisfied with the 9 hours battery solution we shared last week, Caleb Pike shares an even better solution that not only lasts more than a day of shooting HD on a DSLR, but it can also power a monitor for that day.

The solution is build around a (bit shaky) NP-F970 Battery Adapter which is compatible with Canon in via a similar adapter to the one we showed last week.

Now Caleb is pretty upfront about the build quality of the unit which apparently is not that awesome, but on the flip side of it, it is very budget friendly. [Read more...]

3 (+1) DIY Backdrops That You Find Right At Home

3-diy-backdrops

When I started photography I was very interested in learning everything I can about studio photography. Obviously, I didn’t have a studio back then, so I needed to work with what I had to create photographs that looked just as good as their studio-taken counterparts.

Here are three different backdrops I used to create a high-end feeling to my photos. You can find them all in your house. Plus an additional cool background you can use which is made out of tarpaulin. [Read more...]

DIY Doorway Dolly Presentation

Back in the days when blogs were just starting out, there were probably two DIY centric blogs for the creative industry. Your truly ran a small site called DIYP for stills-DIY and cheesycam ran a similarly oriented video site.

If was great to see that they are back at their origins today sharing a Doorway Dolly build. The idea behind a doorway dolly is that an operator can push and pull the dolly while a tripod or a photographer is standing on it. The nice thing about it is that you can operate it without tracks and still get tracking shots. The down side is that you need a super smooth floor (like a PVC floor) to get good shots. [Read more...]

DIY Project: Wood Table For Product Photography

diy-product-table

Last month I’ve been really fascinated with food photography and product shots with wood table or wood texture in the background. Ever since I’ve been planning to try and make my own. Eventually I stopped  procrastinating and just started doing it. This is my first prototype and it works pretty well, tough I am not promising to improve on future version.

[Read more...]

An External Canon Battery That Lasts 9 Times Longer

If you’ve been doing HD video you know how fast those batteries drain. The standard Canon LP-E6 and LP-E8 are 1,800mAh and 1,120mAh respectively which will shoot video for about an hour.

You can always have some spare batteries to replace the dead ones, but Chris Winter shared a pretty cool external battery hack that uses a 10,000mAh which is roughly 9 times the capacity.

Now, I am not sure if you can actually call off the shelf products a hack, but between the fast that you get so much more usage time and the clever way Chris mounts the battery with Velcro, I thought it is worth sharing.

[Read more...]