Latest Gear at BorrowLenses – July Edition

Latest Gear at BorrowLenses – July Edition

Canon finally has an affordable 4K camera, Tokina’s got some cool Cine zooms for you, and we have the latest addition to the Leica family. It’s that time of the month again folks: here’s the July edition of all the fresh new gear at BorrowLenses!

Hive Lighting Wasp Plasma PAR Light Kit

Hive Lighting Wasp Plasma PAR Light Kit

Hive Lighting Wasp Plasma PAR Light Kit

Plasma lighting is catching on big-time these days. These kits from Hive Lighting draw relatively little power and, according to Hive, output the equivalent of 400–4,000 watt HMI lamps. Best of all, they have adjustable color temperatures and intensity, giving you a range of between 4,600K to 7,000K. Depending on the accessories you mount, they can put out a blistering 5,000 foot-candles of power at 10 feet. Doing the math, that’s… let’s see… carry the one… a lot of f-stops. Really.

The Wasp Par kit comes with one par light, 4 lenses to give you a variety of lighting options, a set of scrims and barn doors.

SmallHD Sidewider EVF

SmallHD Sidewider EVF

SmallHD Sidewider EVF

We recently got the SmallHD 502 monitor into our inventory, and this flip-out frame and loupe is the perfect compliment to that monitor. It mounts – somewhat counterintuitively at first – sideways to the frame, which actually allows you to place the monitor parallel to your camera and gives you more of a run-and-gun-style add-on, which documentary filmmakers will appreciate. Interestingly, unlike other EVF/loupes, this one moves the monitor away from in front of your face, providing you with better situational awareness of your environment.

The unit rents with the EVF loupe, a diopter assembly that lets you adjust it from –2 to +4, and a carrying case. The 502 monitor is rentable separately. If you want to rent them together, see this listing.

Tokina Cinema 11–16mm T/3.0 and 50–135mm T/3.0 Lenses

Tokina Cinema 11–16mm T/3.0 and 50–135mm T/3.0 Lenses

Tokina Cinema 11–16mm T/3.0 and 50–135mm T/3.0 Lenses

Tokina has been producing some incredibly wide-angle lenses for some time now. The 11–16mm f/2.8, in particular, is a favorite of ours since it gives APS-C sensor cameras a really nice 16.5–24mm equivalent wide zoom. Now, Tokina has brought that intensely popular wide-angle zoom, along with another 50–135mm T/3.0 zoom, to the market in cine-style configurations.

All three controls – zoom, focus, and aperture – now have industry-standard 0.8-pitch gears to fit most follow focus units on the market. The front diameter of 114mm is also another standard, making it ideal for matte boxes and rail systems. The aperture is also clickless, allowing for smooth changes between f-stops, and the T/3.0 aperture across the zoom range makes it these two a set of very nice fast lenses.

One caveat – these were designed for Super 35 and APS-C sensors, so they will not be a good fit for those shooting full frame.

Voigtlander Nokton 10.5mm f/0.95 for Micro 4/3

Voigtlander Nokton 10.5mm f/0.95 for Micro 4/3

Voigtlander Nokton 10.5mm f/0.95 for Micro 4/3

Voigtlander makes some of our favorite lenses for the Micro 4/3 platform. The 17.5mm f/0.95 in particular is my personal favorite and now Voigtlander has gone even wider, providing the equivalent of a 21mm lens for cameras like the Panasonic GH4 and the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II. They do this while still maintaining what has become their signature – a massively wide f/0.95 max aperture, making this an absolutely fantastic low-light lens.

Video shooters, rejoice! Like the 17.5mm and the 42.5mm lenses we carry, this Voigtlander has the option to switch between a standard “clicky” aperture or a “clickless” aperture like what many cine lenses have. Coupled with a smooth focus ring and compact size, the Voigtlander lenses have become the go-to for many on the Micro 4/3 platform.

Sennheiser AVX MKE2 Lavalier Pro Wireless Set

Sennheiser AVX MKE2 Lavalier Pro Wireless receiver

Sennheiser AVX MKE2 Lavalier Pro Wireless receiver

Sennheiser’s newest lav mic kit has us pretty excited. Like the industry-standard G3 mics, it brings with it Sennheiser’s solid audio quality. Unlike those, this unit leans more towards providing filmmakers with a more compact kit.

The unit comes with a standard MKE2 lav mic, which connects to the AVX Bodypack transmitter, which sends the audio digitally in a 24-bit, 48KHz signal. The receiver is where things get interesting. This thing comes with a small, almost dongle-like receiver that can plug directly into an XLR port on either a digital recorder or a camera with an XLR port without any cables. An adapter with cables is available to go from XLR to minijack, if you need to connect it to a DSLR.

The AVX also features a self-configuring transmission, which eliminates the need for frequency setup. This is easily one of the most compact lav units we have in our inventory, and can be charged with either the included NT 5–10U charger or even your computer’s USB port.

Panasonic Lumix G7 Micro 4/3 Digital Camera Body

Panasonic Lumix G7 Micro 4/3 Digital Camera Body

Panasonic Lumix G7 Micro 4/3 Digital Camera Body

Panasonic really is on a 4K tear. The GH4 was perhaps the first camera with interchangeable lenses that featured on-board 4K in a super-compact Micro 4/3 body; now, the company has introduced the GH4’s little sibling, the G7. The G7 borrows heavily from its older sibling – 4K video, fast autofocus, fast frames-per-second shooting modes, and a familiar control layout.

It also has a 4K photo mode, which Panasonic is touting heavily. Basically, you can pull photos from a 30 FPS 4K video, which increases the possibility of getting those fleeting moments you can often miss.

Now, make no mistake – this is not a replacement for the GH4. The GH4 is still the camera to go to for pro shooting; its addition of DCI 4K mode, more framerate options in HD, headphone jack, and other features that video shooters need will still keep it at the top of the list for videographers. But as a B cam? The G7 might just make it into many video stooters’ kits.

Leica Q (Typ 116) Digital Camera

Leica Q (Typ 116) Digital Camera

Leica Q (Typ 116) Digital Camera

The Leica Q follows cameras like the Sony RX1R, which kind of laid the ground work for fixed-lens compact cameras with full-frame sensors. This, though, is the first time Leica has introduced a luxury compact with a full-frame sensor; the X series that came before it had an APS-C sensor and many of those were rebadged Panasonic compacts.

This, though, is a Leica all the way. It feels like one in my hand, and bears all the hallmarks of a Leica – dense, minimal, and utterly gorgeous. Featuring a fixed 28mm f/1.7 Summilux lens with autofocus and an integrated EVF, this is also a Leica brought into the modern age. The camera features 1080p video at up to 60 FPS and a blistering 10 frames per second in stills mode at 24MP at up to ISO 50,000.

Canon EOS 5Ds Digital SLR

Canon EOS 5Ds Digital SLR

Canon EOS 5Ds Digital SLR

Canon users, you can now thumb your nose up at Nikon D810 shooters. Canon has finally upped the ante on the megapixel race, rocketing straight to the top with their 50MP body, the 5Ds.

This is the body that still shooters have been waiting on for some time, and the resolution that Canon has delivered is dropping jaws all over the review sites. It can also shoot video at 1080p but the focus for this camera is stills, and it seems to be hitting all the right buttons there.

Fuji WCL-X100 Wide-Angle and TCL-X100 Telephoto Conversion Lenses

Fuji WCL-X100 Wide-Angle and TCL-X100 Telephoto Conversion Lenses

Fuji WCL-X100 Wide-Angle and TCL-X100 Telephoto Conversion Lenses

You have to love a company like Fuji, who not only push hard to bring new features and improvements to their cameras via firmware updates, but also add a few hardware improvements to a body like the X100 series, which has a fixed lens.

The fixed lens on an X100 series camera is a 23mm f/2, and it’s a nice, sharp, 35mm-equivalent lens. The above converters screw on to the front of that lens and give you either the equivalent of a 28mm or a 50mm lens, respectively. If you have been shooting with an X100S or X100T and have been wishing for a more portrait-friendly or landscape-friendly alternative without going to the interchangeable lens cameras, give one of these adapters a whirl.

Fuji X-T10 Mirrorless Digital Camera

Fuji X-T10 Mirrorless Digital Camera

Fuji X-T10 Mirrorless Digital Camera

Fuji’s X-series of bodies have proved to be immensely popular and now the company has introduced a smaller sibling to its flagship X-T1. Featuring a similar look and feel to the X-T1, the X-T10 brings you many of its older sibling’s marquee features: the same awesome 16MP X-Trans sensor, fantastic high-ISO performance, classic film emulation modes, and high FPS (up to 8) still shooting.

It is also smaller and lighter and has a viewfinder with less magnification, plus it gets rid of a few dials and buttons available on its older sibling for space considerations. But for those looking for the power of an X-T1 in a more compact and affordable body, this is the one to reach for.

Fuji XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR Lens

Fuji XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR Lens

Fuji XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR Lens

Fuji has finally brought to the X platform what a lot of shooters have been asking for: the equivalent of a 135mm f/2 lens in full frame terms. This is a classic focal length for closeup portraits and its been missing from the lineup for a while. It now joins the awesome 56mm f/1.2 lens (equivalent of an 84.5mm in full frame terms) to provide the two optics every portrait shooter loves.

Bonus: It features a magnet-based Quad Linear Motor for quick and fast AF and is weather sealed to match the X-T1’s weather sealing.

Canon XC10 4K Professional Camcorder

Canon XC10 4K Professional Camcorder

Canon XC10 4K Professional Camcorder

Is it a DSLR? Is it a video camera? If you guessed the latter, you’re right.

The XC10 is the cheapest Canon 4K unit we rent, and it’s got some very interesting specifications. Featuring a 1” CMOS sensor, the unit can record 4K footage at either 23.98 or 29.97 frames per second to a CFast card, which it has a slot for. It also features an SD card slot for HD and JPEG stills recording.

Perhaps most interestingly, it has a fixed 10x manual zoom lens with autofocus and optical image stabilization. The aperture ranges from f/2.8–5.6 and has a square lens hood for flare protection. It also rocks a 3” LCD touchscreen and uses Canon’s LP-E6N battery.

The XC10 comes with a filter for the lens and a carrying case.

GoPro HERO4 Session

GoPro HERO4 Session

GoPro HERO4 Session

Take a GoPro. Shave half the size and 40% of the weight. What do you have?

Answer: The GoPro Hero4 Session.

This cube-shaped diminutive camera (seriously, I can fit six of these on the palm of my hand and I don’t have a large hand) can shoot 1080p video at 60 FPS and has one button on it to do it all. You have to connect it to a WiFi or Bluetooth device to configure it, and you can set it to shoot either video, stills, or timelapses.

The best part is that the housing for this camera is integrated, which means it’s already waterproof to 33’.

This tiny (seriously, 6 of them on the palm of my hand!) rental comes with the camera itself, a USB charging cable, two frames, and ball joint mounting buckles.


That’s it for this edition of the Latest Gear at BorrowLenses. Check out these other months’ latest gear lists:

September 2015
August 2015
• June 2015
May 2015

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Sohail Mamdani is a writer, filmmaker, and photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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