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Old November 19th, 2010, 01:10 PM   #1
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5D kit purchase, tell me what you think

I am purchasing a 5D for a job where I will shoot tight interiors. The camera will also do other jobs but this is the reason for the purchase. The camera will be use 80%+ of the time for High Dynamic Range stills (Thank you Denis), Stills, Time-Lapse, and the remaining time for video. I will be matching it to EX1/Nano, F800, Red One, and Varicam. For audio I will use an external recorder or run the EX1 on the same shoot and use that with a Rode NTG-3.

My plan is to purchase the following from Abel Cine Tech and add as needed:
Interested in thoughts? But remember my use and I can always add as needed.

Canon 5D MKII

Battery Grip (I already own three extra LP E6 batteries, and Canon TC-80N3 coltroller)

2-64GB Transend 400x CF cards (I also own 12-32GB Extreme cards for my Nano which I could spare a few for the 5D)

B+W Cir pol filter, .6 ND, UV 82mm, I have the 72mm filters.

Canon 16-35 f/2.8 II USM USA

Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS USA

Other lens thoughts?

Monitor?
I currently use a Marshall with SDI and love the peaking and False color. So I am attracted to the 5" Marshall but have read a few bad reviews. Thoughts?

Also the Marshall M-LCD 7 HDMI CE6 looks interesting and great price.

Also checked out the SmallHD DP6. Looks very nice but over a month out on delivery.
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Last edited by Paul Cronin; November 19th, 2010 at 04:04 PM. Reason: Cut 14mm from list.
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Old November 19th, 2010, 05:12 PM   #2
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decisive ---impressive!

You will really enjoy the camera, and you have the two workhorse lenses - both just great pieces of glass. A really fast Canon or Sigma 50mm is nice to have, much smaller than the zooms and phenomenal in low light.
I have a battery grip but rarely use it, the in camera batteries don't seem to die too quickly. Anton Bauer just came out with a plate or you could put one together from stuff from old cameras and run forever on a dionics 90.
A black magic or Red Byte Decimator converter will take the camera hdmi and put the signal out as sdi so you won't need another monitor. Handy to have with the XDcam EX cameras too for hdsdi/sdi to composite for emergency feeds or monitoring.
64 gb is a lot of card, or more specifically a lot of video or pictures in one basket. But nice to have, but with 12 - 32 gb cards you can save a little here. If you need 64 GB it will only be cheaper as time moves on.
If you decide to shoot some handheld video you'll need something more than the bare camera and there are more options by the minute. After trying quite a few I keep ending up using an old gitzo monopod wherever possible with the 70-200. For any shorter focal length I often use a classic Leica tabletop tripod. I can rest it against my body and with the hoodman on the lcd I have enough points of contact to hold it nice and steady. It also can be used on tables, chairs, walls, stairs, fire hydrants or anything else that is handy. Great with that 50mm 1.4 or 1.8.
The fact that it might look a little silly is a benefit to my mind - I don't want everyone looking at a frankencam with mattebox, rails, monitors, follow focus and all that stuff.
Welcome to the club!
Now tell me more about the motorized slider you built - I'm fiddling with stepper motors and arduino boxes looking for electrical motorized videographic nirvana.
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Old November 19th, 2010, 05:25 PM   #3
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One more thing

You might check out fredmiranda.com, a website for photographers that are serious about craft and gear. There is a "buy and sell" forum; no nonsense, just professional gear being exchanged. I saved four hundred dollars on my 70-200 buying it used but like new. A buddy did the same for the same lens just a few weeks ago.
THere is also a Canon customer appreciation program that you can search on the web. If you have any old Canon, even if it is just a box of rusted and broken parts apparently, they will sell you a refurbished Canon (not every model available every day though) at a discount and with a warranty.
Abel Cinetech NYC is great though if you want it all new in the box.
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Old November 20th, 2010, 04:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis OKeefe View Post
I have a battery grip but rarely use it, the in camera batteries don't seem to die too quickly.
The battery grip also gives the camera bit more heft & makes it feel better in the hand(s) especially for stills as it feels more like the 1D Mk IV. The cheap battery grips on eBay are less than half the price of the Canon branded ones & look, feel & function identically.
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Old November 20th, 2010, 07:42 AM   #5
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Denis, Nigel, Thanks for the input it all helps.

Denis,
Yea, I am excited to shoot with the 5D next week. Great to do holiday testing before it goes to work in three weeks for real.
I have thought of a 50mm fast prime, if the need arises I will buy the Canon but for now I will hold off.

The battery grip is for long 12-24hr time-lapse shoots. Also I have big hands and like the extra bulk. Either way I like the options. Now the Dionic 90 would be great for long time-lapse I need to check that out.

I did not know about the Red Byte Decimator converter. Good find I will check that out thanks.

The thing is on some shoots when I travel 12-32GB cards are all used up by the Nano. I back them up on two hard drives but try not to erase the card until it hits my RAID 1 backup and RAID 3 working drive at the studio. Can never be too safe with footage. So maybe I will just go with two more 32GB cards and heed your advice. They do just keep coming down in price.

I like your idea of using a monopod. I am also thinking of the Merlin. I would like to get a Pilot but need to run the budget for next year based on current gigs. Does make sense that a wide IS prime would be the best here.

My Blog post on the dolly should be up by Monday/Tuesday. I purchased the Dana Dolly, then 4’, 2-8’ tube sets. And the stands they recommend. Used it a few times with the F800 and it is amazing how smooth it runs. Then going through Tom’s site we discussed on the other thread I found the remote parts to buy. So I purchased an AGM 12V battery, gear, controller, splitter (I think that is what it is called), and used a line spool I cut in half.
One note here: I have a second aspect to my business; I am a naval architect, pro sailing coach, boat builder, and pro sailor. This is what pushed me toward shooting. For my coaching clients back in the early 80’s I started shooting the sessions and it has snowballed ever since. Stills have always been in my bag since a young kid. Sorry to run on but thought that would explain how this seemed easy for me.

Then with the bottom ½ spool on the gear I pull a purchase with very thin strong Spectra line. This lets me set it up with 1:1, 2:1,….up to whatever purchase I want to pull the cart. Most of the time I use 4:1 on a 8’ run which lets me shoot 1 fps over 45 min. But the timing options are endless. Should I nap again, ah hell no push on.

Then for the panning I also use a purchase that runs from the handle of the tripod to an arm off the cart. That is the purchase part of the line. Then the single line from the purchase goes to the end rail then to the cart. So while you pull the cart you move the handle with any purchase you choose. It is very smooth if the runs are not obstructed during the pull. You have to use high-end block (Harken micro I use) and thin 1.5mm Spectra line.

Hope all of that makes sense if not check out the blog when it is up, there will be details on the parts and pictures. Happy to let you know when it is up.

I have never been to fredmiranda.com but will give it a go. One thing I have been told by to good friends who shoot for a living with Canon is buy the new 16-35 II version and the same with the 70-200 2.8. I work with both on shoots and take their advice to heart. If I can save money on anything and it won’t affect the quality I am all ears.

So Nigel you like the battery grip? How long do you get with two batteries shooting time-lapse?
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Last edited by Paul Cronin; November 20th, 2010 at 09:04 AM.
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Old November 20th, 2010, 09:09 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Paul Cronin View Post
So Nigel you like the battery grip? How long do you get with two batteries shooting time-lapse?
Twice as long as with one battery:-) It's not time but number of shots as time-lapse is a sequence of still photos that will be replayed as video. I think that the specifications are 850 shots with one battery so double that for two giving 1700.

For me the camera feels better balance with the battery grip on & the lower centre of gravity.
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Old November 20th, 2010, 09:24 AM   #7
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Thanks Nigel those are great numbers to know.
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Old November 21st, 2010, 11:20 AM   #8
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If you do any outdoor video you probably will want a stronger ND. A .9 is good, and you can stack it with a .6 when you need more. I normally need at least 1.2 when shooting in bright sun.

Lens choices are good but you might also want a faster prime. The f1.4 35mm is a good choice, I think. I like the Zeiss lenses better than the Canons, but I do mostly video and never have a need for auto focus.
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Old November 21st, 2010, 11:42 AM   #9
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Hi Bill thanks,

I have all the 77mm ND's I need from my EX! but will have to buy for the 82mm 16-35. What about Grad ND?

The more I think about it the more I like the idea of one prime lens. 35mm sounds ice at 1.4, I will also check out the 50mm. I think I will stick with Canon glass since most of the work will be stills with video second.
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 10:54 AM   #10
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Denis,

I posted on my blog the "Motorized Dolly" I have been using and refining. There is also a short video showing how it works.

Hope this helps?

5D with two lens ordered and on the way.
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 12:04 PM   #11
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As my main business used to be stills photography, I have 2 Canon 5D mkII. I tested (and owned) several lenses amongst which the 16-35 and 17-40 zooms. I found that the 17-40 is sharper than the 16-35. That is if you close the aperture to 7 or 8. Wider apertures will cause severe unsharpness in the edges and a lot of vignetting.

The best lens I have is a 300mm f2,8 prime. Second best is the 70-200 f2,8 non-IS. I also have the IS-version, but that is less sharp than the IS-lens.

I use the 5D mkII mainly as steadycam-camera on a Merlin, with the 17-40 zoom and the results are just awesome. Move through a crowd with this setup and everyone will be amazed of the result!

I combine these shots with footage of my Sony PDXW-F350 and they mix very well (if I adjust the 'detail' setting on de PDW to +8).

Good luck with the 5D!
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 12:21 PM   #12
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Thanks Luc,

Nice to know you mix with PDW-350 well.

I have been told by a close friend of mine who has been a Canon sponsored shooter for 29 years that the 16-35 new version is one of the sharpest zooms they have ever produced. He feels the same about the new 70-200. That push me for both since I completely respect his opinion. Of course the primes will be sharper but that is not what I am looking to use all the time. Onne's work is amazing. We have spent many days side by side shooting for the last 6 years. Nautical and Sailing Photography - Onne van der Wal

Another friend also feels the same about both lens. He does not have Onne's experience but is well respected in marine industry stills. AMORY ROSS IMAGES

Luc when you say Steadycam-camera on a Merlin, are you using the handheld Merlin? Is it the metal or plastic universal?

Looking forward to the 5D in its bag ready to go with my other kit. Took me long enough to get here, that is what happens when you are too busy.
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 01:08 PM   #13
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I use the Merlin with plastic gimball. The 5D, without the grip and with the 17-40, balances very well on it and is not too heavy. Some coļncidence: I used to be a watersports journalist for some time and I tested and photographed boats. Attached are two shots taken during a test of the Jeanneau 30i off the coast of Sables d'Olonne in France.

I must add a correction: it was the older 16-35 that I tested against the 17-40. So could be very well that the new one is much better.
Attached Thumbnails
5D kit purchase, tell me what you think-breedbeeld-corr-2.jpg   5D kit purchase, tell me what you think-su30i-088.jpg  

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Old November 23rd, 2010, 01:18 PM   #14
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Thanks I am going to go for a Merlin I have thought about it for a while and will give it a go.

Yea, I have been told the new 16-35 is a very nice step up in sharpness.

I thought I had read your name before in a few credits.

Very nice shots Luc, Alway love the dark sky background.
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 07:06 PM   #15
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I think the consensus is that the 16-35 f/2.8L II version is sharper than the 17 - 40 f/4.0L (while the older version of the 16 - 35 was not). I used to own the 17 - 40 f/4.0L. See the Fred Miranda reviews as one source of this view.

Last edited by Richard D. George; November 23rd, 2010 at 10:04 PM.
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