Talking Heads with Canon 8-64 zoom, Vocas rig & Alphatron viewfinder

A couple of weeks ago we used the dII on a shoot that looked up front a bit a-typical for an 80MB/s kind of camera. Six interviews, somewhere between 15-30 minutes an interview, to be intercut.

Ideal opportunity to test out some new stuff:

  1. Canon 8-64mm S16 Zoom
  2. Vocas Rig
  3. Alphatron HD-SDI viewfinder
  4. Recording audio on-board of the dII

The Canon 8-64mm S16 Zoom is a marvelous lens, that has been used extensively for documentaries and independent feature films. It’s a very robust lens, very sharp,  widest aperture 2.4, but it’s quite big (as big and heavy as the camera). From widest to closest zoom, it loses a bit of its focus.

To use a zoom like that, hand-held, you need a decent rig. At the Ikonoskop booth at IBC, I was able to test several rigs and set-ups for the dII. My favourite, by far, is the one from Vocas. Very light, compact, sturdy and high-quality (the leather handles are sublime). And I especially like the MFC-1 Follow Focus. It’s so compact and the gear wheel being underneath the lens is actually very clever and makes it work with all kinds of lenses no matter what mount (before the MFC-1, I used a Lanparte Follow Focus, big and heavy, but impossible to use in combination with, for instance, Zeiss Distagons mkI with 80mm fronts and the IMS-PL mount - it was just too clunky).
In the picture the shoulder pad and weight were only used for balance. Normally the shoulder pad has to be mounted a lot closer to the camera.

The DP in the picture is rather tall. To go easy on his back and because peeping down the built-in viewfinder all day can get quite hard on your right eye (using your left eye on the dII viewfinder is impossible, or you’d have to chop off your right cheek bone or something), we decided on using the all new Alphatron HD-SDI viewfinder (EVF-035W-3G).
This is such a nice combination with the Ikonoskop. Nice resolution, with false colour and focus assist. Worked all day on a single Sony battery (you can use the same type as on the Ikonoskop). 

For the first time now, we recorded the audio on the Ikonoskop instead of a recorder like the Sound Devices 702T. Not a single issue there. The audio was stripped from the DNG’s using Ikonoskop’s Audio Tool and automatically synced with the footage in Resolve.

And yes. This job was conformed and graded with Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve 9. What happened to CineForm and SpeedGrade you might ask. I’ll come back to this.


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  1. tacdigital reblogged this from a-camdii and added:
    Some nice tidbits on shooting #Ikonoskop
  2. a-camdii posted this