I got the Think Tank Airport International V 2.0 a few months back when I had a shoot planned that required me to hop on a plane. If you want the long story, you can find it in the review and video below. The short story is that it replaced my old Lowepro CompuTrekker Plus AW as my small-shoot go to bag even if there are no airplanes involved. (And I think I may have accidentally slept with it once or twice).
B&H put the “sent” in century a couple months ago when they mailed me the Impact Master Century C Stand Kit to review.
I’ve been making films in Hollywood for nearly twenty years so I’ve not only used more than my fair share of C (C is for Century) stands, but I’ve also (imagine a hilarious cinematic montage of C stand related violence) tripped over them, received monster finger pinches, and worst of all dropped them more than once on various extremities. Yet despite the abusive relationship I LOVE a well made C stand.
Why? C stands are not exactly portable. Yes, you can move them from one place to another, but they are huge and weigh a ton. But their weakness is also their strength. A well made C stand stays where you put it and can reach for the stars. If you’ve got a huge soft box, movie light, monoblock, etc. that you don’t want taking a dive, C stands are the way to go. Just make sure you sand bag them for safety.[Read More…]
We don’t usually feature camera tech reviews here on DIYP, but Kevin Good took an in depth look at both the new D800 and the 5D mk3 cameras and made a really comprehensive comparison. (Also comparing various ways to spend $20 on Craigslist).
Among the test: Still resolution, Video performance and rigidness.
Benjamin Von Wong – Montreal Based photographer here! I recently reviewed for you a set of teleconverters, and this time wanted to follow up with a set of Graduated ND filters from Cokin supplied to me during my trip to Africa by the nice fellows over at B&H!
As you may probably know, a graduated ND filter is essentially a square plate of glass that darkens the image gradually from top to bottom. What’s fun about the filter set from Cokin is that it comes with various “densities” of darkness that are stackable. What this means is that you have a pretty good control over how big of a change in dark-light transitions that you can do. Additionally, since the filter rests on a ring, you can rotate the filters to manually control the angle of the gradient! [Read More…]
Benjamin Von Wong – Montreal Based photographer here to talk about a couple neat devices I borrowed from the nice fellows over at B&H for my trip to Africa. I figured that a nice little trip around Namibia would be the perfect opportunity to try out some gear that I had never previously had the use for – Teleconverters! (The Sigma 1.4x DG EX APO and 2x EX DG APO spesifically)
Teleconverters are these great nifty little devices that actually add range to your lenses at the expense of losing some light. Depending on how big of a zoom factor you go for, you losie more light as well as focus speed and overall sharpness – a little more on that later. What does that mean in terms of actual numbers? [Read More…]
About two days ago I returned from PMA. Aside from the big camera announcements going on the main CES showrooms (the Nikon D4, the Canon G1 X and the Fujifilm X-Pro1) there were a lot of innovation and coolness going on the smaller booths and the PMA venue.
Actually, for me as a photographer/blogger/inventor some of the stuff that was displayed on the smaller booths was more interesting than (I said you could touch it not grab it) touching new camera models.
The really nice thing about it, is the most often than not, the inventor would stand in their booth in a way that allows direct interaction. The kind of stuff you can’t get on emails. So you get to ask questions, make suggestions and get instant feedback. nice.
Here is a small round up of the stuff that I found cool on PMA/CES, some of it is new, some has been around for a while. Feel free to add more coolness if you’ve seen it.[Read More…]
Benjamin Von Wong, Montreal Based Photographer here to bring you guys yet another post for DIY photography!
Recently, I’ve been looking for simple ways to improve the production quality of my Behind the Scene videos and one of the things I noticed that were lacking were some smooth rail pans that you see pretty much in any professional production. Unfortunately, I did not have the 1000$+ required for a set of real professional sliders such as the Cinevate Pegasus so I began searching for affordable alternatives… which is where I stumbled upon the IGUS Camera Sliders. IGUS is a plastic development company and one of their products just happens to be an oil-free low friction camera slider with various DIY options… even better, they were extremely competitively priced varying between 130-210$ for a 3 foot piece of rail/slider system!
Today, I would like to introduce you to a very interesting product that costs less than a 100$ that will (maybe) change you’re shooting lives – the LensAlign MKII. If you guys are like me and own a body (or more) plus a couple lenses, chances are you’ve experienced focusing problems here and there. At first, you might wonder if you’re just focusing badly, or that something’s just wrong with your shooting technique but after enough repeats you start asking yourself… could it be something else?
If you’re lazy like me, you bring your camera to your nearest Nikon or Canon service center and get told that they don’t take care of lens calibration issues. Or they test it out on the spot and insist that your shot is properly focused or that the difference is negligible. Or perhaps, you’re slightly more independent and find out that most semi-pro bodies have a nifty little tool called MICRO-ADJUSTMENTS that allows you to force your camera to focus slightly forward or backwards through a little software tweak!
From there, you think EUREKA, and either tries building some sort of 45 degree ruler system to attempt and calibrate your system following some forum on the internet only to realize that your results are inconsistent and somewhat unpredictable. There are improvements, but you just can’t quite seem to get things right…
Now if you’re stuck at this step (which I was for the longest time) … read on for THE solution.[Read More…]
Recently I was involved in a video production for the DIY Lighting Kits that demanded synchronization between a large number of participants. Well, that is usually the case right, you have the photographer (or more than one), the editor, a retoucher sometimes, a sound man, and a client. It can get even more complex if you have even more stakeholders to the project. how do you sync them all? In this post, I want to share my personal experience with Dropbox a semi-free file synchronization solution. (Here is my personal subscription link, if you sign up through this, both you and I get some extra space)
Before diving into the technical solution a few words about projects. The ability of ad-hock teams to organize like this to meet a project creative goals and deadlines is truly amazing. Only a few years back it was not really possible to work with a scattered team like this unless you were working for a big organization with a pricey network and expensive servers. For me this means freedom. Freedom to hire better craftsmen regardless of their physical location. Freedom to interact faster and on a deeper level with fellow photographers, and freedom to put my efforts into my core business rather than deal with bureaucracy and technicalities.[Read More…]