Studio B Films Tag

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31 Jan Studio B Rentals in 2012: New Gear Rundown 2011 (Part 2)

Hello again, I’m back with part 2 of our new gear run down. We’ve got a lot on our plate over here, so I am going to get right to it.

But before we get back to the list, here is our first piece of new gear for 2012, drum roll please……

RED Epic Camera Package

This is the big one for 2012, we have finally received our RED Epic Camera Package here at Studio B. This camera is currently one of the hottest camera systems in Hollywood, having been used on the upcoming Spiderman film, Alien prequel and the long awaited prequels to the Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit.

We have it outfitted with all kinds of fun toys to make the camera has easy to use and streamlined as possible. For more details of our package and the specs of the camera, click here.

Ok, now back to the 2011 list.

Sachtler Cine 30 Tripod System

The most heavy duty tripod in our collection, the Cine 30 head can handle payloads up to 77lbs, this is the tripod you need when you are really maxing out your camera rig or using a massive lens that really needs the support. It can also be a great answer for an average camera setup, offering super smooth camera moves for any shoot. Specs here.

Matte Boxes

Arri LMB5 Clip on 2 Stage 4×5.65 Matte Box

This is a really hot item that has been getting a ton of use since we got it in our hands. This simple but ultra effective matte box allows any 80mm, 95mm or 114mm lens handle a matte box without rods. If you are going handheld or if you are trying to keep your kit light, this is the perfect item to make that happen.

Chrozsiel Super Wide 2 Stage 4×5.65 Matte Box

A standard Mattebox, it will attach to 15mm rods at either narrow or studio spacing, it comes with step down rings to fit 114mm, 110mm, 95mm and 80mm lenses. It comes with a single eyebrow and 2 4×5.65 lens trays, which also fits 4×4 filters. It works great with any of our camera systems, as long as you are using a lenses that matches the above specifications. Click! for more info.

Keep your eyes peeled for more content on this blog in the next week or so.

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21 Jan Studio B Rentals in 2012: New Gear Rundown 2011 (Part 1)

Hello camera junkies and non junkies!

First off, let me introduce myself, as I am new to this blog. I am Alrik Bursell, the Rentals and Equipment Manager here at Studio B Films.

Last year was a rush and a blast. We were slammed with so many different jobs, so many different shoots and so many different wonderful people coming in and out of the office all year round. We were also bestowed with a plethora of ‘fancy pants shining new gear’, that I am sure most people don’t even know that we have. Almost all of it is on our website (the rest will be shortly) but I am going to do a run down of all the shiny new toys we have in rentals that we acquired over the year. So, lets begin!

New Gear in 2011

Arri Alexa Digital Film Camera

Bam! Is this a big one or what? One of, (if not the number 1) top digital film camera working in the business today, and we got one here in our humble little office. We have used it to shoot a number of our latest videos and its always out of the office on rental. Please check our website for more info. But to summarize: Shoots to Apple Pro Res Files (in a variety of flavors), has 11 stops of dynamic range and it has one of the best sensors out there. But don’t trust me, the super awesome Roger Deakins who shot pretty much all of the Cohen Brothers Films, The Shawshank Redemption and countless other classic films says “[T]his camera has brought us to a point where digital is simply better”. And thats not just a fancy sound byte, he is currently shooting the latest Bond Movie Skyfall on the Alexa Studio Camera with Master Prime Lenses, using a Codex Deck to record in ARRIRAW, presumably at 4k, thank you very much IMDB.

Sony F3 Camera

The hot camera this time last year (and still hot in my opinion) the Sony F3 basically took the excellent pmw-EX1 chopped off the lens and threw on a pl-mount, at a very reasonable price tag. The dream camera for indie film makers and on a budget DP’s/Camera Ops, the F3 offers a great looking super 35mm sensor which captures very beautiful images with the ease of use of an EX1. Add the fact that you can send an HD-SDI signal out to a variety of digital recording decks, like the AJA KiPro or KiPro Mini to record directly to Apple Pro Res, then you have got your self quite a package. I am going to do a blog post about the F3 in the next week or so, so keep your eye open for that. For more details on the F3, guess what, click here!

Lenses

Arri/Zeiss Ultra Prime Lenses

Another major addition to our arsenal, we use these almost on a daily basis. We have a 6 lens set, which includes a 18mm, 24mm, 32mm, 50mm, 85mm and 100mm lens. You can find all the lens specs here. These are not quite at the level of the Master Primes, but from our tests, the quality jump versus the price jump from the Ultra Primes to the Master Primes, is not quite worth it, especially if your final video is not going to exceed a resolution of 1920×1080. These are the top lenses that we have to offer here at the Studio and they would be a perfect match for the F3, Red Epic, Arri Alexa or any PL Mount camera.

Zeiss ZF and ZE Cine Modded Prime Lenses

(Please note, the lenses in this pic are not cine modded!)

More lenses! We already had a handful of the Zeiss ZE Primes for our 5D’s and 7D but we decided to go ahead and flesh out the set to a full set of 6 lenses: 18mm, 21mm, 32mm, 50mm, 85mm and 100mm macro. We then had local DP Jason Joseffer take them into his lab and add custom delrine gears for our line up of follow focuses and we slapped step up/step down rings to make the front diameter of the lenses uniform at 80mm.

We also have a near identical set in the ZF .2 series from Zeiss, including: 18mm, 25mm, 32mm, 50mm, 85mm and 100mm macro. The main difference between these two sets is the aperture control. On the ZE series it is electronic and speaks directly to the camera, giving you your iris control through the camera display. The ZF series uses a manuel iris ring, which you control on the lens barrel and there is zero electronic communication with the camera. Jason also did the cine modding on this set, but in addition of adding the gears, he ‘de-clicked’ the manual iris ring, allowing for a smooth exposure adjustment, on the fly. For more info on these baby’s, check out the ZE Lenses here and the ZF lenses here.

Break!

Like I said, we had a really big year, and there was a lot more gear that we got our hands on which I still need to get to, but I want to get this out in the world so I’ll be back with part 2 next week.

Thanks for reading and keep your eyes on this blog, as I intend to bring a new post to you guys and gals on a more regular basis.

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23 Jul Broadcasting Live from Your Backpack with the Tricaster TCDX300: Studio B Films now offers multicamera HD webcasting

tricaster-tcxd300

New toy! One of our latest additions is the Tricaster TCDX300 and we were psyched last April when we had the chance to try it out on our fellow nerds at the Twitter Chirp Conference. This amazing little black box is small but mighty: it has the power of network-style TV broadcasting, jammed in its 20lb body – so light in can fit in your backpack. It’s completely self- contained and we were able to live cut a three-camera shoot of Twitter’s live event.


These portable tricasters are really revolutionizing the capacity of independent production companies to offer a higher caliber of live capture at conferences, concerts, sports events and just about any other live video multi-camera event. At the Chirp Conference it was readily apparent how much viewers rely on webcasting – even though they were at the actual event, the entire audience had our webcast running on their laptops and were watching online for a better view.


Check out the surrealist photo below taken by our Rental Manager, Josef Shafer – those are all the laptops, tablets and handheld devices broadcasting our video.

Chirp Conference

Take a look at this clip and see the TCDX300 in action…



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04 Dec John Mayer in ProRes 4444 with the Panasonic HPX-3700 (P2 Varicam)

We recently got to do a shoot with Adobe for John Mayer’s latest music video. Since it was to be a greenscreen shoot and placed into a pretty high-profile piece we decided to pull out all the stops. The timing worked out pretty well because it coincided with Apple releasing the nee ProRes 4444 codec which would allow us to do a 444 capture on the fly and then key directly in After Effects without super-heavy files. So, we lugged our 8-core Mac Pro with the Kona3 card down to LA and installed two 1.5TB Seagate Barracuda drives (RAID 0 for throughput) into the mac. We needed the Kona3 because we wanted to pipe the super-clean dual link image from our brand new Panasonic HPX-3700 (P2) camera. We decided on the Varicam over the RED ONE because there were some pretty great reactions to it during the ASC Camera Test that was conducted in LA. Then to help insure that we’d get a crystal clear image, we put some Digi-Prime glass in front of the full-raster 1920 X 1080 imager of the Panasonic Varicam. Also, since this was an Adobe gig, we bypassed Final Cut Pro altogether and used the Kona VTR Xchange utility to capture to ProRes 4444 and then could drop the files directly into After effects to do our test keys.

john_mayer_prores444_kona1
Here’s the dual-link interface from the Kona 3 control panel.

john_mayer_prores444_key_test1
Doing an on-set test-key on the footage with imagery from the boards.

In the end, the footage was some of the cleanest we’ve seen. Even with the heavy shadowing from the dummy green furniture that we placed on set, the key came out great (with some rotoscoping here and there). All in all, it was a very smooth process combining the Panasonic HPX-3700 with the Kona 3 and the new Apple ProRes 444 codec. Bring on the next one!

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11 Jun The Letus Ultimate, is the ULTIMATE!

A few months back Studio B was one of the first places to get the new Letus Ultimate, 35mm DOF Adapter. I think we have serial number 21 –it was fresh out of the oven! And let me tell you, this thing IS fresh! It is the 35mm adapter we have been waiting for. It gives you crisp images, it’s super easy to build out and is extremely user friendly.

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Here at Studio B, we tried other brands as well. Between hefty price tags and annoying build-outs, other adapters were often more trouble then they were worth. And as a rental item, the other brands were a mess to deal with. There were too many parts, too many adjustments; my shooters and clients were always calling back with questions and problems.

Finally, engineer, Hein Le, at Letus has nailed it with the design of the Ultimate – it lives up to its name. Of course, all the basic elements are included: it flips the image, it has spinning glass and it delivers images with great depth of field. But what sets the Ultimate apart is its precision engineering and subtle extras that save you so much time and headaches. The adapter has an actual back focus ring, the achromat lens is ground wide so it won’t vignette on wider lenses of new cameras, it has a digital read out for accurately adjusting the spinning glass to shutter speeds and the rail system is straight forward and requires only a 1 size Allen Wrench!

Here at Studio B, I have sent out the Ultimate on an EX1 and the results are simply stunning. I am not going to go as far to say it looks like RED footage or F-35. But for this price point, it makes incredible images.   From my most green young shooter to my most vetran DP’s, they are all reporting that this Letus in indeed the ULTIMATE!

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