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Sony XDCAM PMW-F3 CineAlta
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Old February 2nd, 2012, 07:05 PM   #1
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Issues with Sony Lenses + MB456 + RR FF + Zacuto BP

Looking for some advice from the good members of DVInfo.

I have an F3 with the following:
Sony Lenses PL Stock lenses
Chrosziel MB456
Zacuto Baseplate
Redrock microFollowFocus|Blue Studio

My problem is that they don't all play nice, and I'm looking at the best option for the cheapest price. The specifics are that the mattebox sits too low compared to the camera. If I squish the baseplate (compact it?) the follow focus hits the bottom of the ginormous lenses.

Anybody have any thoughts. If I have to replace a piece I will (other than lenses, at this point, unfortunately). Sadly I really enjoy all of them separately, they just don't seem to enjoy being on the camera together.
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Old February 2nd, 2012, 08:04 PM   #2
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Re: Issues with Sony Lenses + MB456 + RR FF + Zacuto BP

Your problem is the Sony PL lenses are right on the borderline diameter wise for 15mm lightweight rods, and the Redrock has a poorly designed very fat bridge.

Any of the O'Connor, Chrosziel or Arri lightweight follow focuses will work great and fit perfectly. If you want cheaper, there are Arri MFF-1 copies on Ebay of reasonable quality for $400 or so.
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Old February 2nd, 2012, 09:06 PM   #3
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Re: Issues with Sony Lenses + MB456 + RR FF + Zacuto BP

Unfortunately, Sony and "cheapest" price don't go together.

Spend the extra bit of money, and get items that will last a long time.
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Old February 2nd, 2012, 10:08 PM   #4
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Re: Issues with Sony Lenses + MB456 + RR FF + Zacuto BP

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Hollings View Post
Unfortunately, Sony and "cheapest" price don't go together.
I'd amend that to say "35mm and 'cheaper' don't go together"

To re-iterate, the piece that is not playing "nice" is the follow focus.

There is a standard distance that is supposed to be maintained between the optical center of the lens, and the center of the LW15 rods, and that's 85mm.

And as stated above, the Sony lenses are a bit big for the LW15 rod standard.

I'd look into a follow focus that operates off to the side, like the Arri MFF-1, or the Letus copy of the Arri. It will definitely solve the problem.

A big part of the assistant cameraman's job is to, the day before a shoot, to prep the camera and all it's accessories to make sure they all work together. In the history of 35mm gear, there is a long history of items that doesn't always fit together (studio FF units not clearing the motor housing of a BL4, etc etc)
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 09:37 AM   #5
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Re: Issues with Sony Lenses + MB456 + RR FF + Zacuto BP

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Hollings View Post
Unfortunately, Sony and "cheapest" price don't go together.

Spend the extra bit of money, and get items that will last a long time.

I worded that poorly. I knew that I would have to replace one of the three, it was just a matter of which. Sad, the RR FF felt a lot more solid than some of their older models.
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 10:32 AM   #6
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Re: Issues with Sony Lenses + MB456 + RR FF + Zacuto BP

Scott,
We have that same problem with the RR mattebox! Call their tech support. Mention you have an F3 and they should send you a kit that retrofits the hinge so that you can RAISE the mattebox to a standard height.

Best,
Greg


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Lovejoy View Post
Looking for some advice from the good members of DVInfo.

I have an F3 with the following:
Sony Lenses PL Stock lenses
Chrosziel MB456
Zacuto Baseplate
Redrock microFollowFocus|Blue Studio

My problem is that they don't all play nice, and I'm looking at the best option for the cheapest price. The specifics are that the mattebox sits too low compared to the camera. If I squish the baseplate (compact it?) the follow focus hits the bottom of the ginormous lenses.

Anybody have any thoughts. If I have to replace a piece I will (other than lenses, at this point, unfortunately). Sadly I really enjoy all of them separately, they just don't seem to enjoy being on the camera together.

Last edited by Greg Penetrante; February 3rd, 2012 at 02:02 PM. Reason: Raise the mattebox to a standard height.
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 11:09 AM   #7
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Re: Issues with Sony Lenses + MB456 + RR FF + Zacuto BP

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Penetrante View Post
Scott,
We have that same problem with the RR mattebox! Call their tech support. Mention you have an F3 and they should send you a kit that retrofits the hinge so that you can RAISE the mattebox.
I don't mean to sound uppity about what should and shouldn't be done, but raising the baseplate and the matte box will probably only cause different problems with different gear down the line. All of the properly designed stuff is set for 85mm.

What RR and the Chinese manus have done with adjustable heights on matte boxes is a bit of a hack to get around other poorly designed gear. The first time I saw it was on a CAVision mattebox when they were known to have poor tolerances.

I suppose there's a point where if it's your gear and you don't care about how it's going to interface with the rest of the world and it works for you, then maybe you can ignore what I'm saying, but there's a chance it will cause headaches later when you buy more gear.
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 01:54 PM   #8
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Re: Issues with Sony Lenses + MB456 + RR FF + Zacuto BP

I hear you, Nate. Indeed the main issue is RedRock's non-standard height of their mattebox and rails kit. I mounted the mattebox on the Zacuto baseplate when I first noticed it.

The hinge mod kit will allow the end user to raise the mattebox to a standard height.

The rails should not be raised - indeed the rails platform ought to be a standard height such as with the Zacuto.

RR should be more forthcoming on their site regarding the non standard mattebox height within the context of the F3 or similar cameras.

The good thing is that RR is willing to deal with the issue.

Best,
Greg

Last edited by Greg Penetrante; February 3rd, 2012 at 02:00 PM. Reason: Clairification
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