Quick Video Tip for Beginners: Use a Rubber-band for Smoother Pans

Quick Video Tip for Beginners: Use a Rubber-band for Smoother Pans

If you’re just getting started with shooting video with your DSLRs, there’s a better than even chance that you’re not quite used to making smooth movements with your camera. Here’s a quick tip to help you get started with making one of the most basic moves in cinematography: a side-to-side move with the camera locked down on a tripod with a fluid head (like this Manfrotto kit, available from BorrowLenses.com now) meant specifically for video. Gear used Video tripod and fluid head (I used my own, but you can rent a Manfrotto video head and tripod here). I also used my own 15mm rail system, but you can rent one like the Redrock Micro Eyespy from us. This is completely optional. HD-DSLR. I used the Canon 5D Mark III with a 24-70mm lens. A rubber band First, find yourself a rubber band. You want one that’s a bit sturdy, but not so stiff that it has no give at all. Then, set up your tripod and camera and make sure your focal length, exposure, and focus and are all adjusted to your liking. To execute the pan, slip the rubber band around your video head’s handle and pull in the direction you want. Keep a smooth, even pressure on the rubber band, and stop pulling at the end of your pan, allowing the natural tension of the band to bring the pan to an end (or fade it to black in post, as I did here). Here’s a video that lays the technique out. The footage is ungraded (i.e., no post-production techniques have been applied to it as yet). It’s...
BorrowLenses Reviews the Canon Rebel T5i

BorrowLenses Reviews the Canon Rebel T5i

First, a confession: I’m a Nikon shooter. However, the first digital camera I ever really learned how to use was a Rebel T2i (was a film shooter prior to that). I have had a soft spot for the Rebel series ever since, despite being currently married to a D800. They are fantastic cameras and the T5i is no exception but, to be honest, it just isn’t at all exceptional when compared to its 2012 predecessor, the T4i. In comparison to the T4i, the T5i… Maintains the same 18.0 megapixel CMOS sensor as its predecessor, the T4i. Maintains the same hybrid sensor that allows for that smooth and quiet continuous auto focusing in STM (STepping Motor) lenses. Adds Scene Mode to the modes dial. Also, the mode dial spins all the way around. Small change, but nice. Maintains the exact same LCD menu as in the T4i. Changes how one accesses the different Scene Modes. I feel it is now slightly more difficult on the T5i. On the T4i, you can select HDR Backlight Control, Handheld Night Scene and Night Portrait on the dial itself. On the T5i, the dial must be set to SCN and then you have to navigate between the above-listed scenes using a combination of the Q-button/print button and the scroll wheel. Boo to that. My personal theory for why they set it up this way is that now firmware updates can include new Scene Modes without the dial being considered out-of-date in its labeling. If Scene Modes are your thing then this could prove exciting for you. Maintains the exact same menu, info, and Live...
Metabones Canon EF to Sony NEX Speed Booster Adds Full Frame Versatility in the Crop Sensor Video World

Metabones Canon EF to Sony NEX Speed Booster Adds Full Frame Versatility in the Crop Sensor Video World

Make No Bones About It: the Metabones Adapter is Kind of Amazing The Metabones Canon EF to Sony NEX Speed Booster allows you to mount any Canon EF-mount lens onto compatible Sony NEX E-mount cameras, such as the Sony FS-700, Sony FS-100, or Sony Alpha NEX- 7. What makes this simple adapter anything but simple is its ability to increase your maximum aperture and make your lens 0.71x wider! Think of this adapter as being the opposite of a teleconverter. A teleconverter expands the image being projected onto your camera’s sensor, giving us a telephoto crop but also losing light in the process. Teleconverters are popular among nature and outdoor sports photographers who need the extra reach and don’t mind losing a little light to get it.  The Metabones Speed Booster, conversely, narrows the image being projected onto the sensor. The image then fills the cropped sensor similarly to how the lens would fill a full frame sensor. The resulting image is still slightly cropped, but less so than if you were just shooting with the crop sensor alone and no adapter. Does It Really Work? When comparing a Sony video camera using a standard Metabones adapter (which only allows Canon EF lenses to be mounted on Sony NEX cameras with no additional changes) against the Metabones Speed Booster, our video team did notice a significant change in field of view.  For example, they put a 50mm EF lens on an E-Mount Sony camera, which has a 1.6x crop factor. This essentially makes that 50mm lens read like an 80mm lens.  When using the Speed Booster, that “80mm” lens was “widened” by a factor of 0.71x, which makes...
Notable Storytellers – Vincent Laforet

Notable Storytellers – Vincent Laforet

Welcome to Notable Storytellers, where we bring you the work of photographers, videographers, and other visual artists we think you should be following.  Vincent Laforet is a filmmaker and photographer that belongs in any reasonable list of Notable Storytellers (read this short piece to understand why we haven’t mentioned him in this column before). Long before he became one of the pioneers (some, including me, would say he is the pioneer) of making films with video-capable DSLRs, he was a staff photographer for the New York Times – and a Pulitzer-prize-winning photographer at that. Reverie was the film that started it all. Shot over the course of a weekend on a pre-release 5D Mark II borrowed from Canon (that he wasn’t supposed to have, but managed to get Canon to loan him anyway), it set off a storm in the world of video and put Vincent, an already accomplished and talented photographer, on the map in that rarified world. Reverie from Vincent Laforet on Vimeo. Reverie was followed eventually by Nocturne, a short film shot to highlight the capabilities of the then-new Canon 1D Mark IV. If Reverie was Vincent “bad cologne commercial,” as he once called it, Nocturne showed off not only his ability to successfully scale a vertical learning curve, but also his increasing prowess as a storyteller in his newly adopted medium. Nocturne from Vincent Laforet on Vimeo. When Canon decided to break into the world of filmmaking in a more “serious” way, they did so with the introduction of the Canon C300. Vincent was one of the filmmakers tapped to create a short film that showcased its capabilities....
Photo Finds, July 16, 2012 – Philip Bloom

Photo Finds, July 16, 2012 – Philip Bloom

Welcome to Photo Finds, a feature where we point you to some of the best photography and videography around the web. One of the most popular sliders that we rent here at BorrowLenses.com is the Philip Bloom Slider by Kessler. I was speaking about this to a customer recently and she asked me, “Who’s Philip Bloom?” The question took me by surprise a bit. Who’s Philip Bloom? Who’s Philip Bloom? Why, he’s… Philip Bloom! How could anyone not know who Philip Bloom is? Then, reality intervened and I realized that not everyone knows every filmmaker and photographer whose work I follow religiously. I’m “in the industry,” as it as, so I know darn well who Philip Bloom is. I explained it to the hapless customer. “Philip Bloom is this English guy. He makes movies.” That grotesquely understated and inadequate introduction notwithstanding, Philip Bloom is one of those independent filmmakers that everyone who’s ever switched their DSLR to “video” mode should know about. Philip has been in the industry for more than 20 years, and for the past five or so, he’s been an advocate for what he calls “the low budget film look.” Through cameras like the Canon 5DmkII and more recently the Panasonic AF100 and Sony F3. Please visit my DSLR films section to see just how beautiful they look. I have used these DSLRs on all sorts of projects from music videos to commercials and documentaries. I recently was also the 5D Cinematographer on the new WWII movie from Lucasfilm, “RED TAILS” and shot the BAFTA/ RAINDANCE winning documentary “How to start a revolution”. The thing to know...