Latest Gear at BorrowLenses – May Edition

Latest Gear at BorrowLenses – May Edition

The pace of gear releases in our industry seems to be constantly increasing these days. Every month, we have new photo or video gear coming into our offices so we thought we’d start putting together a roundup of everything new we have available to rent. Here’s what’s come in during the last month or so: Profoto B2 AirTTL Location Kit   Profoto gear just keeps getting better and better. The guys over at Resource Mag Online have put up a nice video review that you can check out here, but here’s the short and sweet: It’s Profoto’s legendary quality meets portability meets TTL metering for Canon and Nikon shooters. You can, of course, also hook up your standard PocketWizards for manual triggering as well. This is a fantastic light for location shooting when you want a bit more power than a standard speedlight. Elinchrom 800W/s D-Lite RX4 Monolight Kit   Since we’re on the subject of lighting, the guys at Elinchrom haven’t been standing still either. We now have one of their newest lights in stock, and it’s available as a kit that comes with light stands, small softboxes, and the Skyport SPEED transmitter for triggering these flashes. We love these lights, and you can pair them with Elinchrom’s legendary Deep Octa or 6′ Light Bank for some incredible lighting. Fuji XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR Lens Fuji keeps making waves with their incredible line of X-series cameras and lenses, but this particular one is really the one Fuji shooters have been waiting for. The equivalent of a 24-82.5mm lens on a full-frame camera, this zoom is weather-sealed...
Atomos Shogun First Impressions

Atomos Shogun First Impressions

A couple of weeks ago, we posted a few tips for folks shooting with the Atomos Shogun external monitor/recorder. I’ve had some time to put my unit through a few shoots and have some first impressions to share. Look and Feel Some folks have commented on the fact that the Shogun feels a bit cheap in terms of build quality, especially compared to the other big 4K recorder, the Odyssey 7Q. While it’s true that the Shogun definitely has a somewhat plasticky feel to it, I actually appreciated the weight savings. This thing is going to live on top of my Sony A7s, attached either with a shoe-mount ballhead or a magic arm. Add to that the fact that I use a pretty heavy Sony battery with my kit and the weight savings from going with a plastic body are even more appreciated. The plastic doesn’t bother me at all; the unit still feels solid enough for daily use, though I’m not about to subject it to a drop test. Moreover, I love the hard Pelican case that Atomos ship with this thing. It’s got cutouts for everything that comes with the Shogun, along with extra cutouts for more batteries. Features I have to say, I’m impressed with the featureset. The fact that it shoots 4K is enough of a party trick, but Atomos have packed it full of a lot of other features. From peaking and zebras to false color and vectorscopes, the Shogun is a full-featured video monitor that I’ve now come to rely on even when I don’t shoot 4K. I love having the ProRes codec (even...
5 Quick Tips for Shooting with the Atomos Shogun

5 Quick Tips for Shooting with the Atomos Shogun

We recently received the Atomos Shogun external monitor/recorder, a bit of gear a lot of customers have been eager to work with for some time now. We’re currently putting it through its paces and will have sample footage for you soon, but for now, we thought we’d put together a few tips and tricks that we’ve found useful when shooting with the Atomos Shogun. 1. Audio If you’ve got something like a Rode Videomic Pro plugged into your camera and intend to have the Shogun record the audio off that, you need to make sure the Shogun is set to do so. On the bottom-left corner of the Shogun’s screen is a small icon representing incoming audio (highlighted in red here). Tap that to bring it up, then make sure that the “Rec” button is a bright red next to the audio channel you want to record. If you’re not seeing any activity in your intended channel, check your camera; audio recording might be turned off. 2. Ensure clean HDMI output Cameras like the A7s can output not just the video signal to the Shogun, but also the on-screen menus – which will get recorded along with your intended footage. Make sure you turn those off!   3. Lock your screen Once you start recording, you can press the power button once on the shogun to lock the screen. This prevents any accidental touches from registering on the touch screen. You can also change a setting in the Shogun to power the screen down when you lock it, and save that use for in-between shots to save battery life. 4. Touch...
The Four Best Places to Post Photo Essays

The Four Best Places to Post Photo Essays

There’s no shortage of apps and services out there these days that help you manage and share your photos online. No matter what your needs are, you’ll likely find something that fits them well. The art of the photo essay, however, hasn’t had the best time finding a home. Most photo sharing sites lean towards large, full-screen images that look great, but leave little room for accompanying text. In this article, we’ll look at four services that are actually good places to post long-form photo essays. First, let’s talk about what makes for a good photo essay sharing site. I’ve got three basic criteria. I should be able to intersperse images with text. The site should still support the display large images. There ought to be a community to share with. Almost all content management systems and web hosting providers like Squarespace and WordPress allow me to do #1 and #2, but unless you already have a large following on your own website or blog, you’re mostly posting into a big echo chamber. With those three criteria in mind, let’s look at what we have. 1. Ello.co Ello.co is the much-ballyhooed new social network that has positioned itself as the anti-Facebook. Whether it’s actually going to succeed at deposing Facebook is something that’s a bit dubious, but in the process it’s turning into an ideal space for photo essays. Ello allows you to post images and text in a very linear fashion. There are no advanced tools available for layout; what you get is a basic image–text–image–text layout. This satisfies the basics of what it takes to post a...
Shooting at Night with the Panasonic GH4

Shooting at Night with the Panasonic GH4

The Panasonic GH4 is an amazing little camera. I’ve been putting it through its paces from the moment I got my hands on one, and just like any gearhead, have been reading practically every review and comment about it on the internet. What can I say? It’s an addiction. I confess. One thing that stood out to me in all the signal and noise out there was that this camera isn’t a great performer at high ISO. My initial quick tests bore that out; at ISO 800, the footage is pretty noisy and by 1600, it’s unusable for a lot of work. But what I wanted to know was something a bit more subtle. I wanted to know if I could shoot at night, in a place like San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, and still walk away with usable footage? See, what a lot of people don’t get is that “low light” and “high ISO” aren’t synonymous. Just because you don’t have bright daylight doesn’t mean you have to force your camera into stratospheric ISOs. There’s more than one way to skin this particular cat and so, with my GH4 and some bits and bobs, I set out to find out if I could get the footage I wanted. Here’s the gear list: Panasonic GH4 Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8, Nikon-mount Voigtlander 17.5mm f/0.95 Metabones Nikon G to Micro Four Thirds Speedbooster Video tripod and head The video is below, but before you watch it, here are a few notes to keep in mind so you know what to expect… The video is shot at 4K, 24p. ISO was kept between 200 and 400 for...