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Old March 1st, 2006, 01:06 PM   #1
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JVC GY100H + mini35 HANDHELD??

Hi,
I am going to shoot a feature documentary next month in the middle east. My plan are shooting with the JVC GY 100H mounted with the mini35 + 2 zoom PL mount. My concern is more about the ergonomy and the leigthness of my kit than the pure quality of the signal ( some are telling me I sould go with the Xdcam as it can run at 50mgb). The fact is I wont have any camera assistant with me so with the Xdcam option, Ill be forced to leave without any pro35 and 35mm zoomlens( it is going to be far to heavy and I need to be very light).
Now my question is the following. Is there anyone having HANDHELD shooting experience with this package? Did you use a micro force rig? If not how did you work with this package (without the handel of the basic INGzoom made by fujinon). Do you think this kit can be easy to use on the field? thank you very much
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Old March 1st, 2006, 01:20 PM   #2
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Tobie,

Nate Weaver and Charles Papart have the most experience with the mini35/HD100 combination, so I'll let them answer the core question of mini35 ergonomics.

However, I'd like to comment on the fact that it seems like overkill to go with a mini35 setup for a documentary in the middle east (dusty environments?) without an assistant.

In all honesty, you should test the Th13x3.5BRMU lens. I had an opportunity to test it last week and I have to say that I am a huge fan of this lens for handheld documentary work. It is really wide at 3.5mm (FOV of 73H x 45V), the M.O.D. is 40cm (less than 16 inches) and it has less CA than the stock lens and doesn't breath when focusing. THe lens costs about the same as a mini35 rig, but I highly recommend you check it out.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 01:52 PM   #3
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Thank you Tim,

I have decided to work with JVC and the mini35 for many reasons. As I was looking for something light but handheld workable, there were 2 choices: JVC or Canon xlH1. I tested both and really didn't like the frame mode of the canon (24p or 30p). So I choose the JVC for the ''capatation system real progressif and the instinctive body''. Now the 5.5fujinon is surelly not wide enought for this kind of work.
If I say that the 5.5 should be change for something else, why not a mini 35? The problem is now different. How will I work with it as I don't have any handel? zooming and pulling the focus with my left hand shouln't be a problem. But were do I put the right one if I dont want a big handheld rig? I will certainly have to shoot in few cars and other very close set
But you are right, I should think about using the 5.5 and the 3.5.
I am based in Montreal, may I sak were did you rent it (we always rent stuff from Toronto) Thank you again
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Old March 1st, 2006, 02:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobie Marier
The problem is now different. How will I work with it as I don't have any handel? zooming and pulling the focus with my left hand shouln't be a problem. But were do I put the right one if I dont want a big handheld rig? I will certainly have to shoot in few cars and other very close set
You will need a rod system with mattebox anyway, so just get handgrips.

Quote:
I am based in Montreal, may I sak were did you rent it (we always rent stuff from Toronto)
The mini35 dealer for Toronto is Kingsway Motion Picture
I've been waiting to hear back on whether they actually have the HD100 connector kit yet, because I am eager to run my own tests.

As for the Fujinon Th13x3.5BRMU lens, I don't think anyone in Toronto has it available for rental yet. However, you might want to try Cinequip White or Vistek. CinequipWhite is also in Montréal, as is Norbec.
If you are interested in purchasing, I think the list price is $13,900 CDN.
My dealer, Peter Bauce at HVS in Hamilton, worked for months to get his hands on a lens so I could evaluate it. It seems this item is a hot commodity, especially in Canada, so I imagine it is hard for JVC Canada to keep them in stock. Anyway, the lens finally arrived a couple of weeks ago, I tested it out, and am now convinced it is worth every penny. I have recommended the purchase to the production company I work with and we should own it shortly.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 02:36 PM   #5
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Tim

If you heard something about a rental house that has the 3.5mm let me know.
Thank you
Tobie

Last edited by Tobie Marier; March 2nd, 2006 at 01:04 PM.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 05:04 PM   #6
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Tobie:

What zoom are you planning to use on this rig? The smallest 35mm PL mount zooms I know of are a good 7 lbs and quite limited zoom range (like 3:1); getting into a 10:1 zoom would be entirely impractical for handheld shooting under any circumstances, especially documentary. Also you will absolutely be looking at a long rig--the HD100 on the Mini35 has a pretty extended footprint with a prime onboard, let alone a short zoom etc.

Also for a doc situation, if you have to shoot unlit interiors or night exteriors, the stop loss with the Mini35 will probably be unusable. There are a few high-speed zooms out there but most will force you past an f2.8, further complicating things.

I have used the Microforce with the Mini but not in handheld mode. The Microforce is not the most comfortable design to use as a substitute handle, especially with a front-heavy rig as this is likely to be. Also consider that you will need to supply a motor and the whole thing needs to be powered off the rig. P+S is now offering a breakout box that delivers additional power sources which is great; I built my own last year and I have a 11 pin Fisher jack which is ideal for the Microforce (pix in this article).
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Old March 1st, 2006, 09:17 PM   #7
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Handheld Mini35 for a doc in the middle east without an AC? Absolutely insane. Don't do it. It'll end in tears.

Besides everything everybody else has already said, know that the HD100 running in Cinegamma is around 160ASA. Knock two stops off for the Mini, and you're at 40ASA. I had a gaffer who rated the combo at 32ASA. Those kind of numbers make documentary work dicey at best. Adding gain beyond 3 or 6db is a bad idea with the mini, because the Mini already adds grain...then you're adding more with gain...and HDV MPEG2 compression doesn't handle all that extra grain well at all...it turns the image to mush, negating all the work and expense you've gone through.

I'd also like to cosign onto Charles comments about zooms. The only ones handholdable in ANY way are 3:1, and heavy and long enough as it is. I used to hoof Arri 35-3s built with Cooke studio zooms around in the field as an AC, and what you're describing would be almost worse than that.

Just rent the 13x. You'll get stellar images.
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Old March 6th, 2006, 10:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobie Marier
Tim

If you heard something about a rental house that has the 3.5mm let me know.
Thank you
Tobie
Tobie,
I called around for you today and it seems that neither CinequipWhite or Vistek has the 13x available for rent in their inventory. CW and Vistek both told me they "may" try to get one in for rental, but have no ETA right now.
SimVideo doesn't seem to have any 1/3" lenses at all.

However, the production company I work with is purchasing the lens this week.
It you are still interested in renting it, then email me. I'm sure we can arrange something if your schedule fits with ours.

Tim

BTW, here's the results of some tests I did with the 13x3.5. I'm writing an article, there is more to come.

Breathing comparison

Field of View comparison
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Old March 6th, 2006, 12:04 PM   #9
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I have only used the Pro 35, but it is the same principle and makes things a lot more complicated for a number of reasons - light level required, critical focus, camera ergonomics, battery drain, noise level (although less than a film camera) setup time, and cost!

I don't think a DOF adapter is well suited to documentary work at all, especially one-man-band shooting.

I think that the compromise of shooting freedom will heavily outweigh the gain in visual appeal.
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