Classic Glass on a Modern Camera

If you’re looking for something special, then a Cooke 20-100mm is for you!

Cooke 20-100mm Sony F5

Countless classic 70’s and 80’s movies were filmed through the Cooke 20-100mm lens, which cost around $30,000 at the time. It was Stanley Kubrick’s favourite zoom lens, and was used on many of his films including The Shinning and Eyes Wide Shut. More recent, Spielberg used this model on his 10-part mini-series, “Band of Brothers”.

Cooke lenses are known worldwide for their distinctive ‘Cooke Look’, which has created beautiful images for the movie industry for the past 129 years.

Part of the Cooke Look is the very subtle warmth that’s in the lens, which gives luscious, warm skin tones alongside smooth contrast with a pleasing amount of sharpness. Cooke lenses are renowned for producing beautiful images that can’t be simulated in post-production. Dramatic lens flares are produced by the layers of uncoated glass elements.

Cooke-2

The optics of older glass like this Cooke zoom helps greatly in offsetting the hard edge of the new breed of high-end cameras like Sony F5, Alexa, etc. Thanks to these cameras, Cooke’s are once again very highly sought after. Even with the tremendous amount of options on the market today for cinema lenses, many cinematographers still stand steadfast by these classic Cooke zooms.

Below is the Cooke being serviced at visualproducts.com in Ohio prior to shipping.

Cooke 20-100mm Servicing

Lens Specifications:

  • Range of Focal Distance: 20mm – 100mm
  • Minimum Object Distance: 2′ 4″ (from focus plane)
  • T Stop: 3.1
  • F Stop: 2.8
  • Weight: 11 lbs/5kg (approx. w/o Matte Box)
  • Front Diameter: 144mm
  • Lens Mount: PL mount
  • Measurement Scale: Feet and Meters

I purchased this Cooke 20-100mm lens because I wanted the ‘Cooke Look’ to be part of my palette.

http://www.peteburns.com

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Bi-colour Dedolight

When I first moved to LED lighting, I have to admit that a few directors I work with seemed very skeptical about LED lighting in television production. Several of them had bad experiences with cameramen who rolled up with those cheap LED lights that eBay are full of. Unfortunately, some well know broadcast suppliers also sell them.

Here are a few reasons not to be tempted by low cost knock-offs.

Colour – No consistency in color between fixtures and a very noticeable shift to magenta; especially when dimmed.

Safety Certification – The majority of these Chinese knock-offs are not CE approved. They do not meet requirements of applicable EC directives. This is a big issue.

I was working on a commercial with a very experienced producer who’s well known for not liking change. From the corner of my eye I saw him marching towards me, waving his hand flamboyantly in the air at Felloni light panel, he spouted “What the f***k is this thing?” Heads turned in the studio as he ranted on until he noticed the Dedo logo on the back of the Feloni. “I’m so sorry Peter, I wasn’t aware it was from Dedolight, splendid, splendid” as he tottered off into the shadows.

It’s amazing just how quickly respect has built towards Dedos new LED fixtures. Two Oscars for services to the motion picture industry probably helps.

Daylight or Bi-Colour? 

I have a colleague who couldn’t decide whether to purchase Daylight or Bi-colour fixtures, so I loaned him a set over a weekend, here are his thoughts.

His older Dedologhts are used mainly on talking heads, so quite rarely at full power. Bearing in mind that the new LED daylight versions are slightly brighter than bi-colour, he decided the convenience of colour temperature change is more important than a slightly brighter lamp. His original Dedolights have been around for 12 years and still perform well. He commented that the new DLED4 build is of similar quality and would probably outlive his cameras.

Bi-colour fixtures cost around one third more than single colour. He believed the additional cost was justified for the convenience of bi-colour. He has ordered 4 x Bi-colour DLED4 and 2 x Fellonis.

Dedolight DLED4 Bicolour Focusable LED Light

The new DLED4 fixture uses the same-patented aspheric optics as the traditional Dedolight. The LED beam is 12° wider with the evenness of the original Dedolight that we all know.

Dedolight Felloni High Output Bicolor LED Soft Light

The Felloni is a super bright, flicker-free 12 x 12-inch LED Light Panel that produces twice the light of comparable lights and draws just half the current of similar units. Color temperature is variable from 3,200 – 5,600K.

Having used the Dedolight DLED4 and Felloni fixtures on a daily basis for several months now, I can honestly say that these lamps have become my favorites and always travel with me. They are both highly portable and lightweight with excellent colour rendition, which does not change during dimming. Powering with optional V-Lock batteries give me the freedom to light absolutely anywhere.

I’m proud to say “All of the lighting fixtures I own are 100% Dedolight”.

http://www.peteburns.com

 

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SmallHD DP7-PRO-OLED-SX On Camera Monitor

Today, everyone is shooting HD or beyond.

Lenses are one of the most important elements of a camera; they define picture resolution more than the camera sensor. But just as important, is being able to see an accurate, representation of your camera’s true colour gamut and contrast, that’s why I chose the DP7-PRO-OLED-SX monitor by SmallHD.

F5-Small-HD3

I won’t bang on about the image quality, you really have to see it for yourself; it’s superb. I went for the OLED version because I wanted the best high definition, on-camera monitor for my Sony PMW-F5. It’s probably the top 7-inch monitor in its class; my clients love it.

F5-Small-HD

The DP-7 also looks better than any monitor on the market today and seems extremely rugged but weighs in at just over half a kilogram. The menu system is also very intuitive, which is great for reactive style shooting. The proximity sensor switches are a real time-saver too.

Powering options

When used on my Sony F5, I power it from the cameras 12V Hirose. Otherwise, it’s a V-lock PAG, which runs it for ages.

All of the scopes you dream of –  full screen or windowed

  • Waveform monitor
  • Vecterscope
  • RGB Parade
  • Histogram

Anamorphic

When I shoot with Anamorphic lenses, the anamorphic de-squeeze on the DP7 Pro is a lifesaver, because it routes the un-squeezed picture to other monitors on set, for directors and clients.

F5-Small-HD-2

LUTs 

LUT’s enable me to show people what the final ‘look’ will actually look like on set. I can pre load my DP7-pro monitor with custom post-production LUT’s and view them in real time from the camera during playback or recording for everyone who needs to see it. Typical LUT’s can be basic contrast and saturation enhancements, film stock emulation, day for night, etc.

Cross Conversion

The cross conversion feature is handy too. HD-SDI to HDMI or HDMI to HD-SDI. Very useful if you’re feeding mixed monitors.

The DP7-PRO-OLED-SX is packed full of features that other field monitors simply don’t have. I’ve waited a long time for a monitor like this to come along. The DP7 is definitely the solution to a lot of my problems.

I really do believe that SmallHD are in the same league as Steadicam, Panavision and Dedolight; all unique innovators who produced equipment that really made a difference.

http://www.peteburns.com

 

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Dedolight produce a whole range of cutting-edge LED lighting fixtures and I’ve been using their DLED4 lights for several months now; they are amazing.

I guess everyone is asking ‘what’s the difference between the new DLED4 LED and the classic DLH4 head.

DLED2

The new DLED4 LED fixture comes in 3 types; Daylight, Tungsten or Bi-Colour. The DLED4  uses the patented Dedo aspheric optics that delivers the amazing 1:20 flood to spot ratio that we are all used to in the traditional DLH4. The  lamp beam is 12° wider than the original 48° dedo head which is a real bonus. The evenness of the beam is just as clean as the older dedolight and has excellent colour rendition which doesn’t change during dimming.

The DLED4 daylight heads match really well with KinoFlo, HMI, Felloni and are compatible with standard Dedo accessories.

dedo3

The DLED4 is extremely cool running and the dimmable ballast is slightly smaller than the original Dedo in-line transformer.

The new LED Dedolight has

  • All of the greatness of the original Dedolight
  • A wider beam than the original
  • Excellent colour rendition
  • Maintains colour temperature when dimmed
  • Can be powered by ‘world mains’ voltages or battery
  • Has very cool operation

It’s absolutely perfect!

 

Dedolight DLED9.1

I was asked by a reader to do comparison test of the Dedolight DLED focusable lamps.
There is a 2-stop difference between the DLED4 and the DLED9 which makes the DLED9 almost 4 times brighter than the DLED4.

There is a 2-stop difference between the DLED9 and a 1K Arri fresnel with full CT blue. The heat output from the front of the Arri is substantia, but on the other hand the Dedolight DLED9 delivers an amazing heat free zone in front of it’s lens.

DLED9-Arri-1K

http://www.peteburns.com

 

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Sony PMW-F5 Super35 Cinema Camera

I’m pleased to offer a Cinematography shooting package built around the Sony F5 Super35 camera.

F5 Pete Burns

The Sony F5 shoots HD, 2K and 4K

The F5 is a Super35 cinema camera and just like the Arri Alea, it’s the same format as those 35mm movie cameras that purred away in film studios for decades. The F5 delivers a shallow depth of field that we’ve all seen in the cinemas for many years, the foreground is in focus the background is immediately out of focus; it’s a very pleasing look. The Sony F5 is the next generation of cameras that shoots HD, 2K and 4K. If your final delivery requirement is HD, then the camera can be switched to HD, but that 4K sensor still provides spectacular super-sampled pictures with visibly superior texture, colour reproduction and detail that ordinary HD cameras cannot touch. The F5 excels with an impressive fourteen stops of latitude, which allows the whole picture to be reproduced in a very natural way with lots of details in the dark area of the screen with great highlight handling. It has extraordinary low-light sensitivity base rate of ISO 2000 and can shoot Full HD slow motion up to 180 frames per second; 7 times slower than real life.

Image Sensor Comparison

Sensor-chart

All of my lenses are PL mount

cp2set I decided very early on to invest in proper PL mount cinematography lenses. These lenses are big investments but I believe they will out last the cameras I own in the future. Proper PL mount cine lenses don’t have the problems that photographic still lenses have, i.e. vignetting, inconsistent focus during zoom, non-colour matched, etc.

Cooke cine lenses are my favourite

Cooke-S4i The optical characteristics of a lens add more to the look of a film than you would imagine. Cooke lenses are renowned for producing beautiful images that can’t be simulated in post-production; they just make people look great. The optical characteristics of a lens add more to the look of a film than you would imagine. Cooke lenses are renowned for producing beautiful images that can’t be simulated in post-production; they just make people look great.

The Cooke Look has been a treasured feature of Cooke lenses for more than a century. Part of the Cooke Look is the very subtle warmth that’s in the lens, which gives luscious, warm skin tones alongside smooth contrast with a pleasing amount of sharpness. Another part of the ‘Cooke Look’ is the fall off of the focus. At a given focal point, the image will be perfectly sharp, but beyond and in front will have a nice soft fall off of the amount of sharpness of the image. Non-Cooke lenses tend to have a pretty sharp fall off which isn’t as nice as the Cooke.

My 2012 Cooke Mini S4 primes colour match my classic 1970s Cooke 20-100mm, which is impressive as they were manufactured more than forty years apart. Manufacturing processes like this takes time and money, which is one of the reasons that cine lenses carry high prestige and price.

Prime Lenses

Filming with prime lenses delivers the most pristine image but takes a little longer as each framing requires a lens change; this is standard practice in the film world. For example I may use a Cooke 32mm for a medium wide and a 65mm for a closer shot. Lens changes may sometimes be impractical when shooting an interview as you may lose the moment.

Zoom Lenses

The new breed of s35 cinema cameras like the F5, Alexa or Red, tend to use short-range zoom lenses around 3X or 6x. Although these lenses are sold as cine zoom lenses, most cameramen treat them as ‘variable focal’ lenses, i.e. we use the zoom ring to choose a focal length before we roll the camera.

Classic Glass on a Modern Camera

Cooke 20-100mm F5 Even with the tremendous amount of options on the market today for cinema lenses, many cinematographers still stand steadfast by classic lenses like the Cooke 20-100mm zoom above.

The optics of older glass in this Cooke helps greatly in offsetting the hard edge of the new breed of high-end cameras like Sony F5, Alexa, etc. Cooke lenses are known worldwide for their distinctive ‘Cooke Look’, which has created beautiful images for the movie industry for the past 129 years. Countless classic 70’s and 80’s movies were filmed through the Cooke 20-100mm lens, which cost around $30,000 at the time. It was Stanley Kubrick’s favourite zoom lens, and was used on many of his films including The Shinning and Eyes Wide Shut. More recent, Spielberg used this model on his 10-part mini-series, “Band of Brothers”..

I have a comprehensive line-up of cine lenses

Cooke 20-100mm T3.1 Cine Zoom

This classic zoom lens has the ‘Cooke Look’ which has been a treasured feature of Cooke lenses for more than a century. T3.1 lens with a focal length range of 20-100mm with a close focus from lens front of 13″ (11 lbs/5kg)  When the F5 camera is set to 2K Centre Scan mode, this lens becomes a 40-200mm.

Cooke Mini S4/i Prime Lenses

When it’s impractical to shoot with the large Cooke zoom, out come my S4 lenses. The 32mm Cooke is a good all-rounder and great for hand held shooting whilst the 65mm is superb for closer shots. They also deliver the distinctive ‘Cooke Look’.

32mm T2.8 Cooke Mini S4/i – Close Focus from Lens Front: 5” 65mm T2.8 Cooke Mini S4/i – Close Focus from Lens Front: 20

RED 18-50mm T2.9 Cine Zoom

A very usable lens for hand-held shooting that requires reactive framing. The 18mm end gives good wides whilst the 35-50mm range delivers reasonable out of focus backgrounds when required. Allegedly made by Cooke Optics. T2.9 lens with a focal length range of 18-50mm with a close focus from lens front of just 2-inches.

GL Optics 11-16mm T3 Ultra Wide-Angle Cine Zoom

With an angle of view which is wider than human vision, this lens delivers memorable super wide angle shots that other lenses just can’t do. A superb lens for architecture, confined spaces or just amazing perspectives.

GL Optics Cine-mod the very popular Tokina 11-16mm MkII lens from front to back. There is nothing left of the original Tokina base lens with the exception of the lens elements. GL adds manual iris and a new alloy cine-style PL housing with smooth control of focus and zoom. This new lens is collimated to make it a 100% parfocal lens. T3 lens with a focal length range of 11-16mm with a close focus distance of 12-inches.

Tokina 100mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro Macro with max reproduction ratio of 1:1

For filming extreme close-ups of objects. Maximum reproduction ratio of 1:1 An audience can appreciate for the first time, the delicate complexity of everyday items. Even printed words and maps take on new importance when we can see the very texture of the paper or the indentations of each letter produced by a typewriter. Macro filming brings your audience’s focus into places their eyes normally don’t go.

Follow Focus & Matte Box

My choice of follow focus is the award-winning O-Focus Dual Mini Cine from O’Connor. It’s double sided so it can be operated from both sides of the camera; it’s rock solid.

OConnor

Matte Box wise, I use an O’Connor O-Box which I chose over Arri & Chrosziel because it’s very sturdy with good top and side flags.

Your workflow

The Sony F5 is a multi-format camera, so it fits within the workflow that people want by offering multi-codec support,

XDCAM HD 50Mbps or 35Mbps a well-established codec HDCAM SR (MPEG4 SStp) at up to 220Mbps or 440Mbps Sony’s new XAVC MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 format ProRes & DNxHD coming soon

Not everyone wants to shoot in 2K or 4K, so if your final delivery requirement is HD, then the camera can be switched to HD but your still getting that 4K imager doing it’s magic.

Shot material is transferred via my MacBook Pro to your portable hard drives. The media is edit suite friendly and compatible with up to date Avid, Final Cut Pro, Premere, etc.

My Super35 shooting kit

Camera:

Sony PMW-F5 Super35 Cinema Camera Sony 3.5-inch colour HD digital viewfinder Arri Top Plate Arri base plate with 15mm rods and shoulder pad Arri bridge plate and dovetail Start/stop trigger handgrip Sony SxS PRO+ Memory cards Sony XQD Memory cards

Cooke Cine Lenses:

20-100mm Cooke Varotal T3.1 32mm T2.8 Cooke Mini S4/i 65mm T2.8 Cooke Mini S4/i

Other Lenses:

11-16mm GL Optics T3.0 18-50mm RED T3.0 100mm Tokina Macro f/2.8 AT-X Pro 80-200mm Nikkor f/2.8 ED

Lens Support:

Matte box – O’Connor Follow focus – O’Connor Schneider Optics ND filters Tiffen Black ProMist filters Tiffen Ultra Polarizer & ND Grads for image control that cannot be created in post.

Camera Support:

Small HD DP7-PRO-OLED-SX 7.7-inch field monitor with scopes Sachtler 10 SB ENG 2 Speed-Lock carbon tripod Cinevate Hi-hat PAG L96 batteries and charger 17″ MacBook Pro Quad-Core i7 with transfer software

 www.peteburns.com

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The Felloni is the latest LED fixture from the Dedolight Tecpro range. I bought a couple of these lights a few months ago; I love them.

Sports Journalist Ivan Gaskell lit by a Felloni at 60% reflected from a Californian Sunbounce.

The Felloni is a super bright, flicker-free 12 x 12-inch LED Light Panel that produces twice the light of comparable lights and draws just half the current of similar units. It can be powered by V-mount Batteries or AC and is dimmable from 0-100%.

Typically I use a Felloni as:

  • Key lights
  • A kick-light for outdoor interviews.
  • Bounced off a reflector to produce a bigger soft light
  • Hand held as a mobile fill-light.

I’m always finding new uses for the Felloni. Being compact and lightweight, it can be used in cramped spaces and without excessive support. It’s virtually heat-free, so you can squeeze it into places where other lights just can’t go without worrying about harming the talent or location. It’s also rainproof.

The optional carry bag will hold one LED lamp fixture, AC adaptor, Battery, Light stand and has a pocket for filters. Lightweight with great protection.

Soft Case dimensions : 56 x 52 x 12 cm

Being designed and specified by Dedolight, the Felloni has a lovely light quality, it’s built to last and gives me the freedom I need to light creativelly.

Felloni is my first choice of  LED Light Panel; it’s practically perfect.

http://www.peteburns.com

 

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Filming in the Middle East

I’m just back from a shoot in the Middle East where I filmed four countries in four days; Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Bahrain.

Not a lot of information was available with regards filming in these countries, what was available I must admit was fairly vague. So I’ve put together my experiences, which will give you an insight into filming in the Middle East.

UK HM Customs and Excise

This is the easy bit.
You’ll need ‘Pro-forma Equipment List’ also known as a Duplicate List. It’s a list of the equipment you are traveling with and should include the manufacturer, model number, serial number, the country of manufacture and the value of all of the kit. The list should be printed on a letterhead.

The only other form you will need is an HM Customs and Excise Returned Goods Relief Form C & E 1246. This form is a declaration that you make when using a pro-forma / duplicate list. It can be downloaded from HM Customs and Excise http://www.hmce.gov.uk. Search for C & E 1246 and print it out.

Complete the form and take it with you to the UK airport UK you’re departing from.
Before you check in any luggage, go directly to the VAT desk at the airport and tell Customs Officer you have a ‘Returned Goods Relief’ that you need to have it stamped.
This stamped form and Duplicate List proves that you left the UK with the equipment so shouldn’t have any trouble brining the kit back into the UK.

If you can’t contact the vat desk at the airport, find an internal phone and call immigration and ask to be transferred to customs & excise. An officer will meet you before you check in and stamp your paperwork. On return to UK, you only need to present the stamped form if requested at customs.

Arriving in the Middle East

There are two things required to film in each of the countries I visited, a Work Visa and Permit to Film. You can get into the countries on a Tourist Visa but by the book a work visa is required. Filming permits should be applied for in advance of the visit and can take several days for approval.

When I arrived at Bahrain customs, I was told that the letter from the Bahrain Ministry of the Interior to the head of security at the airport had not arrived, so my camera had to be impounded by customs until the filming permit arrived next morning.

The countries I was visiting do not accept carnets, so I presented more copies of my ‘Pro-forma Equipment List’. You’re also expected to pay a 5% bond on the total cost of the equipment that you’re taking into each country. Whoever you’re working for should arrange/pay for this.  This bond is recoverable on exit.

Warning

Don’t assume, double-check everything yourself before you go, especially if filming is being arranged by inexperienced people. Crews have been deported and some imprisoned for not having the correct paperwork whilst filming in the Middle East; is it really worth the risk?

On a lighter note; when I was waiting at Bahrain customs, I saw an Arab lady open a huge oversize fabric suitcase that was bursting full of bundles of currency. My jaw dropped, I thought that sort of thing just happened in films.

Lithium-Ion Camera Batteries

I was challenged by Doha security about carrying Lithium-Ion camera batteries as hand luggage. Luckily they where PAG batteries and I had a copy of their Air Transportation Certificate & Test report number, which they accepted and let me through. Good old PAG.

Insurance

Did you know that most insurance companies do not cover ‘High Value Electrical Items’ in checked in luggage? My MacBook screen was damaged during a Gulf Airways flight from Qatar to Bahrain. It had to be checked in as I had two pieces of hand luggage, camera and bag of Lithium-Ion camera batteries. It was really well packed in the center of my suitcase but still got damaged.

So how hot is it?

I was shooting in late August and most days the temperature was in mid forties. All of the locals stop working outside at 12.30 because of the heat. I went outside briefly to film a short sequence and after just five minutes, the heat through the soles of my shoes was becoming unbearable, the ground was scorching.

Prior to leaving UK I was concerned about humidity and the camera. Apart from the front lens element steaming up immediately after leaving air-conditioned areas, humidity wasn’t really a big issue as lenses always cleared within a minute or so.

And Finally

Don’t assume, double-check everything yourself before you travel.
Don’t be persuaded to work on a Tourist Visa
Don’t film without a Filming Permit
Don’t consider using DSLR cameras to avoid authorities.
Do it all by the book and you’ll be okay.

Visit my website http://www.peteburns.com

 

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