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Old October 1st, 2009, 08:50 AM   #1
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EX3 for broadcastable wildlife details and slo-mo?

I have a hunch this is more suited to this subsection, rather than the main EX3 arena, so...

I've been plugging away with my Z1 for a couple of years now and have so far managed to wring three half hours of broadcast telly out of it (among other things). However, my current project is bumping up against the limitations of the Z1.

I now need to shoot leaping salmon and get 'beak and claw' details of other wildlife (mainly shore birds).

Here's the questions:

- Is the EX3 capable of overcranked footage that will stand well beside other SD PAL material shot on the Z1?

- has anyone used TWIXTOR with EX3 overcranked footage to slow it even further - especially visually complicated rushing water shots?

- what budget do I need to set for a 35mm lens to bag me those beak and claw shots?

Online, I've seen some apparently impressive slow-motion clips shot using the Z7's 'smooth slow record' function, but suspect its low-to-high resolution interpolation trickery won't look too hot next to other PAL SD footage, especially for key detail shots. Looking at other posts, it seems that it's also limited to 12s clips - not great unless you can shout 'action'. I've tried shouting at fish. They just don't listen.

Any and all wisdom gratefully received.

- x
j
w
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Old October 15th, 2009, 06:43 AM   #2
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1. Well the EX-3 overcranks with the 720/25p format. So IMO it'll stand up to SD PAL shot by the Z1 no problem.

2. Not tried TWIXTOR sorry.

3. Budget for 35mm lenses. Well the adaptor from MTF will set you back just over a hundred. A lens such as the Nikon 200-400m would be good all rounder at around 4700. A 600mm is quite extreme but would be the lens probably for close up of action like you mentioned at around 6800. A monster lens such as the 300-800mm is 7300 and is big, heavy and clusmy - You would need a rock solid tripod and fluid head for that, which probably would cost around 5000+. Also you'd need extra support for the lens and camcorder such as the Ronsrail or the RRS Long Lens Support. I mentioned it in another post a while back. Will try to dig that out for you.

Hope that helps a little.

Happy shooting,

Paul
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Old October 15th, 2009, 06:52 AM   #3
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Well here's the link I mentioned about the Long Lens Support. Click Here. Scroll down a bit, I have list all the components plus links to RRS website.

Happy shooting,

Paul
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Old October 15th, 2009, 12:22 PM   #4
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If you are only using the Nikkor lenses for MF (as they would be on any video camera) then it would be far cheaper and better in my opinion to buy a selection of superb ED-IF MF Nikkors or early AF Nikkors that all have beautiful wide and smooth manual focus rings, as well as click-stop aperture rings on the lens barrel.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 05:20 PM   #5
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I have to agree with tony. One of my favourite lenses is my 55mm Micro Nikkor. Razor sharp and great for manual focussing!
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Old October 16th, 2009, 06:29 AM   #6
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EX3 wildife lens choice

Thank you all - particularly for the lens wisdom. I've read some threads suggesting a 2nd hand lens in the 100s bracket would suffice.

I shoot MF, unless I'm doing an interview on the fly (in which case, no tele).

The story I'm on really benefits from filthy weather footage, so a heavier 'pod upgrade has been on the list for a while now.

Which brings me back to lenses:

Tony: You suggest 'a range' of MF Nikkors, but I'm worried about exposing sensitive parts in nasty conditions. No idea how I'd manage a back-focus calibration, miles from any verticals, on my own on a gusty day. Thinking Paul's suggestion of a 200-400mm f/4 might be the best choice therefore. I can usually get within about 80m of my quarry.

I saw a recent ad for a 2nd hand AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm f/4 ED-IF Lens for about 1600. Sound about about right?

Incidentally, I've found the best way to stabilize my poor wee manfrotto when shooting on the estuary or the river is to get the waders on and get in the water - nothing like a few tonnes of the wet stuff bearing down on the spreader. Often warmer in than out in winter too, but not for the faint-hearted...

JW
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Old October 16th, 2009, 09:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
I saw a recent ad for a 2nd hand AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm f/4 ED-IF Lens for about 1600. Sound about about right?
Sounds a little cheap. Maybe the SWM (Silent Wave Motor) has given up the ghost! Mind you that wouldn't effect you though! It has I nice big focusing ring on it! This lens doesn't have an aperture ring so you'll need Mike Tapa's (MTF Services) Nikon G to EX Adaptor.

I use the 200-400mm f/4 for 90% of my wildlife filming lately. Have a 600mm but find it is a little more difficult to prevent shake. My other favourite lens is the 70-200mm f/2.8.

Plenty of second hand lenses out there with the SWM gone selling for a snip (photographers need AF, Videographers do not).
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Old October 16th, 2009, 10:27 AM   #8
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Hi Paul

I am interested to see some of your work using the the EX3 and the 200-400. Its a rig I'm intending to look at in the future. Have you got any links to material on the web at all, I can't find anything on your website ?

Mat

Last edited by Mat Thompson; October 16th, 2009 at 01:30 PM.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 11:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Wallace View Post

Which brings me back to lenses:

Tony: You suggest 'a range' of MF Nikkors, but I'm worried about exposing sensitive parts in nasty conditions. No idea how I'd manage a back-focus calibration, miles from any verticals, on my own on a gusty day.

JW
When I said 'range' I meant pick from one or a few of the best options from the vast range of MF and early Nikon Nikkors available secondhand.
As Paul suggests, even top-class lenses in mint condition are going for a song, compared to new prices for the latest "G" glass, and in all honesty, you don't need the latest AF optics when there are many older Nikkors matching them in performance and provide better MF in my opinion.

The Nikon Nikkor Ais 300mm f/2.8 ED-IF/N for example, is simply superb, and the finger-touch MF ring is as smooth as butter when on a tripod or monopod.

The older MF 200-400mm f/4 is an incredible zoom lens and very sharp, but even secondhand it fetches a high price because it is so sought after. In this respect the latest AF 'G' version is a better option, and even only used in MF mode the IF has an advantage.

Another option is the superb 500mm f/4 in either MF or AF versions.

The Sigma AF 100-300mm F/4 is amazing and very sharp for a zoom, but if like you say, a lot of your work is in dull or rainy conditions, I'd opt for the brighter Sigma AF 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG.

For a good over review on older MF Nikkor lenses, go to one of the Nikon websites (which I help maintain) at:
Nikkor MF Zoom lenses Series - Main Index Page
(scroll down to the bottom of page for list and details on ALL MF Nikkors).

For AF NIKKORS, go here:
AF-Nikkor Lenses Information Reference Libary - Index Page
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Old October 16th, 2009, 04:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Wallace View Post
I saw a recent ad for a 2nd hand AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm f/4 ED-IF Lens for about 1600. Sound about about right?

Incidentally, I've found the best way to stabilize my poor wee manfrotto when shooting on the estuary or the river is to get the waders on and get in the water - nothing like a few tonnes of the wet stuff bearing down on the spreader. Often warmer in than out in winter too, but not for the faint-hearted...

JW
I agree, that lens sounds a bit cheap to be true.
As for tripods, you might want to hunt around for a Ronford F4 if budget is tight. They were one of the standard heads for wildlife work for many years, some of the all-time great Planet Earth type shooters used them and some even still do! You can sometimes find them around for 500 or so and they last for ever.
For exceelent work with the EX3 and 200-400 check out Ofer Levy's website.
Steve
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Old October 17th, 2009, 05:27 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Mat Thompson View Post
Hi Paul

I am interested to see some of your work using the the EX3 and the 200-400. Its a rig I'm intending to look at in the future. Have you got any links to material on the web at all, I can't find anything on your website ?

Mat
My website recently had a redesign, so very much work in progress. Will be uploading some EX-3 stuff using the 200-400mm to Vimeo as soon as my PSU for the editing system arrives. Next week hopefully!

However as mentioned by Steve; Ofer Levy's website has some very stunning stuff on their with the very same set-up. Well worth a look there.
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Old November 14th, 2009, 07:19 AM   #12
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Id like to mention that if you add a nanoflash to your EX-3 set-up it can churn out 100mbps 4:2:2. I also believe that CD are making it handle overcranking so it might be possible to overcrank at 1080p on the EX-3. That would be broadcastable!
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Old November 14th, 2009, 08:40 AM   #13
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Hi Paul,

I've been waiting for confirmation about overcranking with NanoFlash, and have one on my shopping list under the section headed 'when I get an HD commission'.

Pitch, pitch, pitch...

In the meantime, I'm happy to say that I canned some decent shots of salmon struggling up a pass I'm pretty sure will make the grade for SD purposes.

Bit of a compromise between smooth-looking water and stilled leap action but not bad for the outlay.

JW
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Old November 14th, 2009, 10:23 AM   #14
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They'll only be able to do 1080P overcranking upto 30fps, for upto 60fps it'll be 720P.
Steve
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Old November 16th, 2009, 03:20 AM   #15
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upto 60fps it'll be 720P.
Steve
That's interesting to know.

Is this because SDI only outputs the same number of lines as camera's picture format setting?

Still NG as far as BBC/Discovery HD are concerned, then ...

JW
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