To recapitulate the past year. Autumn of 2016 saw a major investment in a new digital film camera, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, plus two SDXC flash memory cards and a dual USB charger to go with the two EN-EL20 spare batteries. I also aquired a brand new workstation that would match up the CinemaDNG RAW workflow that soon would ensue. The BMPCC was retrofitted with existing Russian glass, the LOMO Meteor 5-1 17-69mm f/1.9 attached through the RafCamera M42x1 – MTF adapter. Also, the Zenit Krasnogorsk-3 pistol grip with telescopic shoulder brace was scrambled and fitted to the camera through a Manfrotto 3/8″ female to 1/4″ male adapter. This was soon to be followed up with the Fancier FC-270A Tripod and FC-02H Fluid Head. The need for protection of the camera and lens soon arised, prompting me to aquire a shock absorbent and water resistent instrument safe case. Using this very basic gear I have shot two short films, Lux ex Tenebris and The XmasTree Hunt to get that workflow flowing. Making these two shorts have been a great learning experience, and while I’m quite satisfied with what I have accomplished thus far, in particular considering the basic level of equipment at my disposal, I have realised that I need to upgrade my gear quite substantially duiring the coming year(s) – in particular to be able to stabilise the BMPCC. What follows is a list, in a chronological order of priority, of what field equipment that needs to be invested, of good quality combined with a affordable price. Note: Items that have a * are a requirement, items that don’t are not essential and may be posponed indefinitely.
Also, headings that are strikethrough signify that the item has been aquired.
Micro Four Thirds Rear Lens Caps.
As I use Russian glass for my Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera I rely heavily on lens adapters that fit the Micro Four Thirds lens mount of the BMPCC. These lens adapters have been purchased from the Russian company called RafCamera, and currently I own a total of three, one M42x1 – MTF for my Zenit/LOMO Meteor 5-1 17-69 mm f/1.9 zoom lens, and two Kinor-16SX-2 to MFT adapters for my LOMO 16 OKS 3-10-1 10 mm f/2.1 prime lens. With these adapters permanently mounted on each lens, any old rear lens caps won’t any longer fit and thus leave the lenses (who are most vunerable at the back element) unprotected. (I didn’t own any rear caps in the first place.) But as RafCamera doesn’t include any lens rear caps for their adapters, I have to purchase a set of three plastic replacement rear caps from another third party, through ebay. To be purchased in late January. Cost (for all three caps): £6 (66 SEK or $7.5) shipping included.
Camera Cage, Base Plate and 15 mm Rods.*
The highest priority is the boosting up and fortifying of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera with a metal cage, with the ability to provide a Ø 15 x 60 mm rods system, additional mounting points and enhanced ergonomics. I have finally, after several months of detailed research and consideration, turned my attention to Euroasia and the Russian workshop POOLi™ and its original POOLiCAGE design, providing with protection of the connections and lens mount, but leaving the BMPCC grip and controls unobstructed. I will also pair the cage with the POOLi S-BASE-2 base plate, featuring two separately adjustable 60 mm rod clamps, together with a pair of attached 30 cm long standard 15 mm rods. Furthermore, I will order the lower POOLi D-BASE-2 base plate in that same package from POOLi™, that I will pair with my Krasnogorsk-3 pistol grip (with the telescopic shoulder brace attached to the grip) which fits into the base of both with its 3/8″ screw (making a better arrangement compared to the Manfrotto adapter), as well as with the steadicam stabilizer (see below). Everything manufactured from rugged Russian aluminum alloys. This set will be purchased in late February and I already have a deal with the seller. Total cost: $170 (1,526 SEK), shipping included.
Lens Support with Mid-Handle, and Top Handle.*
The LOMO Meteor 5-1 17-69 f/1.9 being quite heavy and large, creating stress to the Micro Four Thirds mount of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, the camera rig needs an adjustable support of its zoom lens, attached to the Ø 15 x 60 mm rods support system. One such lens support that clamps to 15 mm rods is the SmallRig Long Lens Support with 15mm Rod Clamp, made of aluminum alloy with a rubber base to the Y-support, being 41.5 mm heigh-adjustable, purchasable on Amazon UK. Also, the SmallRig simple Rubber Non-slip Handle Grip 1622, purchasable from SmallRig on ebay, is able to be attached to the 1/4″-20 thread at the bottom of the 15mm Rod Clamp as a mid-handle, with the help of SmallRig 1/4″ Fixing Screw with D-Ring 1795, which is handy when used together with the Krasnogorsk-3 pistol grip and shoulder brace, for optimal and fast shooting position; the actual lens support (which has to be removed for the screw to fit) is redunant with the mid-handle attached, as I will only use smaller prime lenses that don’t need any support when shooting handheld. This mid-handle also fits to the SmallRig 1638 Top Handle Cold Shoe Base, made of aluminum alloy and attached to the grip through M4 screws, that will be purchased for easy handling on and off rigs, as well as low angle handheld shooting; its fits perfectly on the POOLiCAGE top, having adjustable slots for the 1/4″ screws. The 1638 all metal Threaded Top Handle that comes with the Cold Shoe Base will be used as a versatile alternative to the more ergonomical 1622 Non-slip Handle, as it has lots of extra 1/4″ and 3/8″ mounting threads for more accessories when needed. To be aquired in March or April. Cost: £20 (222 SEK or $25) for the lens support, £7 (78 SEK or $9) for the fixing screw, and £30 (327 SEK or $37) for the top handle, and another $23 (205 SEK) for the rubber grip with both M4 and 1/4″ threads + shipping.
Instrument Safe Case.*
I have to purchase a second shock absorbent and water resistant instrument safe case (with the article number 31-4142) from my local Clas Ohlson store. I have to have an additional case of the same model as the previously purchased one, as that one is filled to the brim with all of my current equipment (camera, prime and zoom lenses with filters and hood, light meter, power charger, battery charger, spare batteries and SDXC flash memory cards). This second instrument case will fit the SmallRig top handle (the POOLiCAGE will be fitted to the BMPCC and stored in my current case), base plates and 15 mm rods, lens support, mid-handle grip, Krasnogorsk-3 pistol grip with telescopic shoulder brace, as well as the follow focus system and all other equipment that is soon to follow (such as the external battery and view finder loupe below). To fit everything into one case, I might be forced to buy the larger model (with the article number 40-8470) with the size 51 x 41 x 20 cm. To be purchased in April, the latest, or if possible in March already. Cost: 550 SEK ($60) or (for the larger model) 699 SEK ($80).
Every production team (with the barest sense of dignity) needs a slate or clapperboard. It’s not only a practical tool that may become essential in a shoot, but also the foremost symbol of filmmaking. Each scene has to be identified on a slate and captured on the video files and if sound is used, in particular in a double-system recording, the clapper or sticks are needed for proper audio-video sync in post. Up until now, we have used note blocks or sheets of papers to identify each scene on camera, but that has been to crude and sometimes even hard to see on film. I want a acrylic slate with a white background and engraved markings, for use with wipe-off markers, and fully functional sticks with steel plates and rivets. After doing some research on ebay, I have settled for the Ex-Pro Clapper Board which seems to be an affordable solution. It is very basic and simple design, 30 x 25 cm, with black and white non-reflective colours on the sticks. To be aquired not later than in April, possible earlier. Cost: £17 (185 SEK or $22), shipping included.
6. USB Car Charger.
I need a car charger adapted to the USB standard for my PATONA dual USB charger, to be able to charge my EN-EL20 batteries while working on a project and going with the car to a shooting location, with no possibility to connect the PATONA to a power mains. I have settled for the Sandstrøm Car Charger S6CS2414X (white), as it is both quite affordable and seems to be of good manufacture quality. It sports a 2.4 Ampere capacity. It will be puchased in April at my local Elgiganten store, or perhaps later during the summer. Cost: 149 SEK ($17).
7. Handheld Camera Stabilizer.
As an alternative to a heavy and expensive SteadiCam, or complex and pricey gimbal, I finally have settled for the simple, light and workable Laing P-04S steadicam-style stabilizer, similar to but at a 1/3 of the price of the Glidecam. It features a carbon fibre pole which may extend to 74 cm, with a minimum lenght of 42 cm. The rest of the stabilizer consists of alumuminum alloy parts, such as the gimbal with foam handle, which is adjustable along the pole and features a grip to be able to swing the gimble around the pole, an adjustable baseplate with a large quick release cheese plate, and a conterweight system at the bottom which is adjustable and allows one to put on extra weights. It will help me alot to achieve a steady moving camera shot, as it is, and may later be added on with a full west with spring supported arm (to create a true steadicam system), referred to as the X-15. For now, I will have to settle for the Laing PF1 arm brace wrist support, which attaches to the handle of the stabilizer, made of aluminum and large velcro straps, for even weight distrubution to the forearm, purchasable through ebay. The P-04S comes with a nice bag as well. Although being my most expensive single investment this year, this Chinese stabilizer is still quite affordable when bought from the UK, or Germany on ebay, which can be further expanded upon later on. To be aquired in May or June if possible, before the summer holidays for a project, and if not it will probably have to be posponed until June 2018. Cost: From 180€ (1,750 SEK or $200) for the stabilizer and from 342 SEK ($39) for the wrist support + shipping.
Follow Focus System.*
To be able to pull fast focus and follow a subject that moves while keeping it in focus requires follow focus gear to prevent micro shakes to the camera. This is to be attached or clamped onto the Ø 15 x 60 mm rods system already aquired. I haven’t settled yet on a particular brand or model, but the Bulgarian manufactured reversible Petroff Mini Follow Focus (also known as the discontinued “Zacuto Z-FF-2 Universal Follow Focus”) seems to be a viable, solidly made and quite cheap option. Also, as my LOMO Meteor 5-1 zoom lens has a rotating forward element barrel that moves back and forth as focus is pulled, it needs a custom made extra thick focus ring so that its teeth doesn’t loose contact with the follow focus cog, such as the Follow Focus Gear For Meteor 5-1 1.9/17-69mm zoom lens (80-93.6-20mm) provided by the Russian company RafCamera. All of this will be aquired in August, if possible, or at least in September; if posponing the steadicam, these items will be purchased not later than June. Cost: $165-200 (1,470-1,777 SEK) for the follow focus system and $75 (666 SEK) for the follow focus gear ring + shipping.
9. External Battery.
Researching a good enough 12V power solution for extended shooting with my Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, I have finally settled for the JuiceBox Magic Power external battery, a very cheap solution that has gained a good reputation amongst cinematographers. Its Lithium-ion rechargeable cells reportedly provides 7 hours and 45 minutes of continuous RAW recording time, or 57.72 watt hours (5200mAH). It is also quite compact, measuring 4 x 2 x 2 in (10 x 5 x 5 cm) and weighting 1.75 lbs (0.8 kg). Being especially adapted for Blackmagic Design cameras, it comes with a charger, BMPCC cable (in addition to a BMCC/BMPC cable), power cord and a battery pack with a base cheese plate fitted with 1/4″ and 3/8″ mounting threads, easily mounted to the POOLiCAGE with the attached 1/4-20 screw. When it comes to the POOLiCAGE “light” or half cage design, the most viable option will probably be to mount the JuiceBox Magic Power initially to any of the 1/4″ threads of the top handle. To be aquired in October. Total cost: $99 (880 SEK).
For monitoring of audio while recording in camera or through and external recorder, I have to purchase a pair of headphones. Also, these headphones will come handy while editing and mixing sound in postproduction with DaVinci Resolve. Today, I use either pair of headphones, of the Swedish brand and model Urbanears Plattan 2, that we bought for our children. However, I want one pair for my own use, without any restrictions. Being very satisfied with both the functions and sound quality (across the frequency) of the Urbanears Plattan 2, I will choose the black version of this model even though it is a consumer level product. It has a dual mini-jack connection to each headphone ear unit, giving the opportunity for a second pair of headphones to be serially connected. The ear cushions of the Urbanears Plattan 2 are very comfortable and fully sound isolating, good with prolonged shootings. A very affordable alternative for quality audio work. To be purchased in November. Cost: 499 SEK ($57).
Some items projected for this year (2017) may turn out to be to expensive for me to pull off, and I might have to pospone it to the following year. I am talking about the stabilizer which I probably would have budgeted for 2018 (or 2019 even) if it wasn’t for my wife who wants some steadicam shots sheduled for this coming summer (I’m her DoP in a continous project). But I definitely want one, and if possible before next summer. However, there are some other products that we also need to aquire soon, as we will eventually need them, but not acutely right now. And if posponing the stabilizer, I could even schedule their purchase earlier, even as early as the latter part of 2017. So lets proceed with the wish list, stretching it beyond 2017.
11. Optical Viewfinder Loupe / Screen Shade*
The LCD screen of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera quickly becoming washed out in broad daylight, the monitor needs shading. Also, the screen being only 3.5″, focus pulling can be somewhat ankward. The only viable and cheap solution for solving these problems (if not aquiring a larger screen) is to buy a dedicated BMPCC LCD screen optical view finder loupe. The cheapest one with a fairly good reputation is the Estonian produced Kinotehnik LCDVF BM (LCD Viewfinder for Blackmagic Pocket Camera), whose detachable loupe provides a 2.2x magnification with its vacuum cemented achromatic anti-reflective coated lenses. It comes with a magnetic quick-release metal mounting frame which is glued to the back of the camera and around the LCD screen with adhesive tape. A skin friendly padded silicone rubber eyecup for comfortable viewing is also standard. It features a 37 mm threading to attach separate diopter correction lenses (which probably wont be needed for my eyes). To be purchased in early Spring, 2018. Cost: 99€ ($99 or 940 SEK) + shipping.
12. A Set of Prime Lenses.*
As I really enjoy and prefer the vintage look of old lenses, I will stick to my philosophy of aquiring Russian glass which is ridiculously cheap and at the same time creating beautiful and classic filmic images – a great bang for the buck. As a follow up to my LOMO Meteor 5-1 lens, made for my Zenit Krasnogorsk-3 with M42x1 lens mount, keeping consistant with the look and character of the zoom lens, I will (based on recommendation) purchase the standard cine primes of the older Krasnogorsk bayonet mount range. There is this set of three reasonably fast primes, that often come as a kit from Russia or Ukraine, when bought from ebay, as follows: Mir-11 12.5mm f/2.2, Vega-7 20mm f/2, and Vega-9 50mm f/2.1. For quick changing between lenses, I will either buy one Krasnogorsk bayonet to Micro Four Thirds adapter, designated by RafCamera as the Krasnogorsk-2 (and 16-SP) lens to MFT (micro 4/3) camera mount adapter with bayonet nut in full, or (as these bayonet lock adapters from RafCamera are a bit unpredictable) buy the simpler Krasnogorsk-2 (and 16-SP) lens to MFT (micro 4/3) camera mount adapter with set screws for each of the three lenses, i.e. three adapters in total. Also, I will purchase a set of follow focus rings from RafCamera that are attachable to each lens, namely the Follow Focus Gear for KZM Mir-11 (65-74-5 mm), Vega-7 (60-70-5 mm) and Vega-9 (53-62-5 mm) lens with Krasnogorsk-2 mount. With minimum focusing ranges of 0.25, 0.4 and 0.9 m respectively, these primes will become indispensable for close-up shots. Furthermore, to accomodate these three Russian prime lenses and attached RafCamera 16-SP – MTF lens adapters, that fit the Micro Four Thirds lens mount of the BMPCC, and as these adapters are going to be permanently mounted onto each lens, any old rear lens caps that are included with these lenses won’t fit my needs. But as RafCamera doesn’t include any lens rear caps for their adapters, I have to purchase a new set of three plastic replacement rear caps from another third party, through ebay. Everything is to be purchased in Spring, 2018. Cost: From $150 (1,300 SEK) for the lens kit, $147 (1,300 SEK) for all three follow focus gear rings, and either $95 (844 SEK) for the single lens adapter with bayonet nut or $225 (2,000 SEK) for the set of three adapters with set screws, plus an equal amount of lens rear caps for MTF, from £1.99 (22 SEK or $2.5) + shipping.
13. Instrument Safe Case.*
By now I will have to buy a third shock absorbent and water resistant instrument safe case (with the article number 31-4142) from my local Clas Ohlson store. I am very pleased with this model; there is non as affordable in its price range. Thus, this high quality and low price plastic case will be adjusted to securily contain all of the prime lenses, plus some additional essential equipment, such as a matte box (which will probably take up at least half of the available space inside the case), head phones and porta digital audio recorder (see below). It will also make room for any items which cannot be fitted into the previous case. Perhaps I will be forced to buy the larger model (with the article number 40-8470) with the size 51 x 41 x 20 cm to be able to fit them all. To be purchased in Spring, 2018. Cost: 550 SEK ($60) or (for the larger model) 699 SEK ($80).
14. Collapsible Light Reflector.
To be able to work under natural light conditions I will have to purchase a collapsible reflector to be able to take some control of my lighting, both indoors and outdoors. This is a basic set consisting of a 32″ (110 cm) diametre framed disc which may be collapsed and folded into a protective casing. The disc itself is translucent and works as a diffuser, and with it is attached a separate cover which may be turned inside out, with each face being of a different colour, viz. white (to create a fill light), silver (inducing a key light), gold (simulating a warm key light), and black (creating shadows). Hence, a 5-in-1 system. These are quite cheap, especially when bought throgh ebay. To be purchased in the late Spring or early Summer of 2018. Cost: From £10 (110 SEK or $12) + shipping.
Eventually, my current Zenit lenshood (original to the LOMO Meteor 5-1) will prove itself to be insufficient to block out light from the forward lens element. Also, the Zenit Krasnogorsk prime lenses lacking their own lens hoods, they will need some kind of external assistance. I have settled for the Petroff P44-01 MatteBox, made out of glass reinforced polymers, making it extremely light weight (720 g or 25 oz). It has a modular design (to which can be assembled a range of accessories, such as filter holders, etc.), comes with two stages in 4 x 4 that rotates 360°, and includes flags in all four directions as standard that fold and fit into the envelop of the matte box, making it compact for storage in the instrument case. Its lens adapter back opening is 142 mm wide and it usually comes with a rubber lens adapter ring. Because of its light weight it can be mounted directly to the front element of a lens (however not the Meteor 5-1 as it rotates) with the help of a adapter, without the need of rails, making it ideal for handheld work. When attached to a Ø 15 x 60 mm rails or rods support system, a special support adapter must be purchased separately. To be purchased in the summer of 2018. Cost: $170-280 (1,500-2,490 SEK) for the matte box and $40 (355 SEK) for the rods support adapter + shipping.
16. Portable Audio Field Recorder.*
Today I have access to a Zoom H1 Handy Recorder through my friend Jonas, as a loan. I also use the integral audio recorder of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, and have a no-name mice that ended up in my daugthers possession (I cannot recall how) which can be connected to the BMPCC Mini-Jack. But I will have to eventually purchase a proper portable digital field recorder, to record high-fidelity quality sound, either separately as a double-system or as a preamp connected to the BMPCC, and I believe that the most balanced model of the Zoom range is the H5 Handy Recorder. The H5 provides four tracks of simultaneous recording viewed on a LCD display, and can use six interchangeable input microphone capsules; it is supplied with the XYH-5 X/Y capsule. It has various connections, including two XLR/TRS inputs with phantom power, and records 24-bit/96 kHz audio in either WAV or MP3 files, straight to SD and SDHC cards (when recording in a double-system). It is mountable to the camera via a 1/4″ mount directly to the SmallRig top handle cold shoe mount, using the HS-1 Hot Shoe Mount Adapter. There is a large range of accessories to upgrade its operation in the future. The porta is to be purchased in Autumn of 2018. Cost: From 2,595 SEK ($293) for the H5 and from 149 SEK ($17) for the HS-1 + shipping.
17. Tungsten Lights Starting Kit.
I imagine that I will find a quite cheap solution on ebay in the future that offers a starting kit of various suitable lights, to set up a basic lighting configuration for interior shooting. At the moment, I have no idea which brand to choose from, but shurely we will buy at least three tungsten halogen lights (LEDs are to expensive and quirky), such as two 800W “Redheads” (which I have been told are quite cheap to come by) and at least one 2000W “Blonde”, all of them open faced lights, plus various supports, filters and gels, etc. These will have to be purchased in the Winter of 2018, or if necessary, posponed towards Spring 2019. Until then, I will have to resort to natural lights. Prices will vary.
It may be that some of the equipment projected for purchase in 2018 will have to be posponed until 2019, such as the matte box, porta audio recorder and lighting gear, as these are quite expensive products. I might also pospone the purchase of the JuiceBox Magic Power battery and buy two in early 2019. Regardless, I forsee that 2019 will be the year of the aquirenment of an external monitor, shoulder rig, and additional lenses. Obviously, some or most of these items may have to be posponed towards 2020, in particular if any of the gear (i.e. matte box, recorder and lamps) projected for purchase in 2018 has been posponed towards 2019. I might also find myself being in the situation of choosing between the lighting kit and shoulder rig, posponing either to 2020. Be there as it may, these are the items I have to purchase to (almost) complete my film kit.
18. Shoulder Rig.
I love handheld camera and the look of it on screen, in contrast to the floating image of a stabilizer, steadicam, steadipod and gimbal. As a base and shoulder support I have turned my attention again to POOLi™ which offers a really cheap, versatile and robust construction with its POOLiRIG one base. What I like with it is its padded leather shoulder support and all of its mounting points (to which I could attach the JuiceBox Magic Power), as well as rod clamps in front and back; it may become a integral rig and camera support in its own right. But I will also be able to mount it with a additional pair of 30 cm 15 mm rods to my POOLi S-BASE-2, attached to its rear rod clamps (which may be adjusted lower than the forward clamps so that the camera is elevated to eye level). The previously aquired rods will be attached as usual to the forward clamps of the S-BASE-2, and onto these I will attach the Ergocine Triggered 2 Sphere V2 Package, consisting of a 15 mm aluminum rod bracket (with 15° tilted grip brackets on each side with Arri style rosettes), a Black Walnut Sphere V2 attached to each of the rosettes, of which the right Sphere has been modified to carry a stainless steel tactile switch and 4 pin Hirose connector, to which is connected a Run / Stop remote LANC compatible cable with right angle Hirose connectors. To be purchased in the Spring of 2019, top, if not earlier. Cost: $375 (3,330 SEK) for the triggered sphere package, $70 (600 SEK) for the shoulder rig, and $7 (60 SEK) for the extra pair of rods + shipping.
19. External Monitor.
You can only do that much with a low resolution LCD screen attached to a optical view finder loupe. In the future, I will have to invest in a proper external monitor to make optimal framing and exposure of the image. Doing some preliminary research, in finding the most cost effective and affordable alternative, I must once again turn to my beloved Blackmagic Design and its Video Assist. To be more specific, the 5″ Blackmagic Video Assist monitor, sporting a 1920 x 1080 interactive touchscreen and supporting 3D LUTs, false colours (for proper exposure), focus peaking, histogram, audio meters, timecode display, etc. It is also a HD field video recorder wrapped in a aluminum frame, accepting SDXC cards that captures 10-bit 4:2:2 quality ProRes and DNxHD files in QuickTime and MXF formats. It runs on twin LP-E6 batteries and has SDI and HDMI connections. By now it will be time to buy a proper HDMI female to Micro-HDMI male adapter, such as the DELTACO, attached to the camera and securily clamped to the POOLiCAGE, plus a regular HDMI cable with right angled connectors, such as the DELTACO 0.5 m. A couple of spare LP-E6 batteries and a PATONA dual battery USB charger will be required as well. I will also have to buy a second JuiceBox Magic Power to prolong the operation of the Video Assist in the field, connecting its BMCC/BMPC Cable (which fits to the Video Assist 12V jack). And if the twin LP-E6 batteries will turn out to be sufficient, the extra JuiceBox will be used as a backup for the BMPCC instead. Of course, the Video Assist itself has to be mounted to the POOLiCAGE with a 7″ articulated magic arm, bought from ebay. Everything will have to be purchased in the summer of 2019 at the latest. Note: I might choose to order both JuiceBox Magic Power batteries to minimise costs, either now or in October 2017. Cost: 5,394 SEK ($600) for the video assist monitor, from £8 (90 SEK or $10) for the magic arm, 300 SEK ($34) for two spare batteries, 269 SEK ($30) for the battery charger, from $99 (880 SEK) for the JuiceBox Magic Power, 40-100 SEK ($5-12) for the Micro-HDMI adapter, and 49 SEK ($6) for the HDMI cable.
20. A Pro 16 mm Zoom Lens.
Continuing with my tradition of using Russian lenses, the next major investment in quality glass is undoubtly the LOMO 16 OPF 12-1 f/2.5 10-100 mm, originally made for the professional 16 mm camera Kinor-16-SX-2M. Conclusive tests show that this one is the sharpest zoom lens produced in Soviet Russia for the 16 mm film format. This sharpness will come handy when shooting wide long shots of landscapes or cityscapes, to add resolution and detail. It often comes with a wide angle adapter which attaches to the front, lending the lens a 7.5-75 mm focal range. But as this lens reportedly vignettes a lot on the shorter focusing ranges with the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, I dobut that this adapter will work that well with the BMPCC, making me reluctant to purchase it separately if it isn’t part of a full kit already. The lens has a crank on the side of the barrel which controls the zoom. The front element of the barrel rotates so there is no possibility to attach a matte box without any Ø 15 x 60 mm rods support system. I already own the RafCamera Kinor-16-SX-2 to MTF adapter with bayonet lock (as well as the simpler version with set screws) and I’m quite hopeful that it (or either of them) will fit the lens with a optimal flange distance. So I’m quite prepared for its arrival. I will use it as a complement to my LOMO Meteor 5-1 zoom lens, which is a faster lens but also less sharp; the OPF 12-1 will be a perfect outdoors daytime lens addition to my camera kit, creating a shallower depth of field. To be purchased in the Autumn of 2019. Cost: $190 (1,690 SEK), plus additional cost for wide angle adapter + shipping.
21. Instrument Safe Case.
You may already have figured out that three instrument cases won’t accomodate all of that extra camera gear. A fourth shock absorbent and water resistant instrument safe case will have to be bought from my local Clas Ohlson store. It will be adjusted for sealed storage of the complete shoulder rig, external video assist monitor, including magic arm and cables, plus spare batteries and the extra JuiceBox Magic Power, additional pancake prime and zoom lenses, as well as wide lens adapter, plus all lens accessories, filters, levers, and what have you. To fit all of these items in one case, I will perhaps be forced to aquire the larger model (with the article number 40-8470) if the medium sized one (having article number 31-4142) will turn out to be to small. To be purchased in Autumn, 2019. Cost: 550 SEK ($60) for the medium sized model or 699 SEK ($80) for the large size model.
22. Micro Four Thirds Pancake Lens.
To take the full advantage of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera active Micro Four Thirds (MTF) mount, to take possession of its electronic iris and auto focus controls, as well as to make optimal use of the small form factor of the BMPCC in a run-and-gun shooting situation, going unnoticed in peopled places, I will have to invest in at least one MTF lens. Reading all of the raving reviews, I have settled for the extremely thin (0.8″ or 2 cm) Panasonic LUMIX G 14mm f/2.5 ASPH motorised prime lens, which features six multi-coated lens elements, of which three are aspherical, with a extremely close focus distance of 7.09″ (18 cm), 75° angle of view and 0.10x magnification. All of this may come handy together with the caged BMPCC in a light camera stabilizer rig such as the Laing P-04S. I will try to purchase it second hand from the Swedish equivalent of ebay, Tradera, during the Winter of 2019, and if not I will purchase it brand new in my local photo shop. Cost: From 1,333 SEK ($150).
All those items in the list, hopefully not that many, that I havn’t aquired yet will have to be purchased in 2020 at the latest. Possible such items could be the tungsten lighting kit, video assist monitor, and professional cine zoom lens. Following the old Soviet-Russian tradition, I have a five-year plan for the assembling of my basic film gear kit, successively making me truly independent as a filmmaker. To wrap this list up, the last itemn for purchase, although not essential and rather optional, to complete my camera kit and to finally get there, is the following.
23. Steadicam Vest and Arm.
Time will decide if, to be able to perform prolonged steadicam shots, I will have to add the vest and arm that follows with and is adapted for the Laing P-04S stabilizer. It is referred to as the Laing X-15 system, adapted for camera set-ups up to 10 kg. It consists of a arm with a dual spring system, which is attached to a vest that fastens to the torso with velcro straps and quick release plastic buckles. The vest has a chestplate that is adjustable with a moving vertical bracket that has a fine adjustable detachable socket block, attachable to the arm itself. An alternative is the eqully affordable Laing M-30 system which is adopted for workloads up to 15 kg, fitting the P-04S as well. It will be my single largest investment since the camera itself and workstation, and I will try to buy the whole system from ebay. To be purchased during 2020. Cost: Approx. £670 (6,200 SEK or $710) + shipping.