Latest Gear at BorrowLenses – June Edition

Latest Gear at BorrowLenses – June Edition

We’re feeling like standing outside the door of our San Carlos or Waltham headquarters and yelling, “New gear! Get your new gear! Fresh off the FedEx truck, new gear!”

Since our bosses ruled that out, we’re taking to the blog to tell you about all the cool toys we just got in. Without further ado, here’s some of the latest gear to rent at BorrowLenses.

Rokinon 135mm T/2.2 Cine DS lens for Canon

Rokinon 135mm T/2.2

Rokinon 135mm T/2.2

We love the Rokinon Cine primes. They’re a fraction of the cost of a Canon or Zeiss cine prime to rent, and while those lenses have unsurpassed optical properties and other great qualities going for them, the Cine DS line from Rokinon still has a certain soft spot that calls to the small indie startup we once were.

The 135mm from Rokinon has the same great characteristics that the rest of the Cine DS line has: small size, solid optics, and a de-clicked aperture that allows for smooth transitions from wide open to stopped down all the way. Furthermore, the gears for the focus and aperture rings are in the same place for all the lenses in the Cine DS series, making it easier to swap lenses on a rig without repositioning follow focus gears, etc.

Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM

Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM

Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM

Speaking of great lenses, the “nifty fifty” from Canon hasn’t changed much for, well, ever. Until now. The new iteration of this lens has the STM, or stepping motor focus system that is slowly making its way into Canon’s autofocus lenses. The STM allows for whisper-quiet autofocus and smooth and precise movements when shooting video. Pair them with cameras that have Canon’s new hybrid autofocus systems, such as the Canon 70D or the Canon C100 Mark II.

SmallHD 502 On-Camera Monitor

SmallHD Monitor

SmallHD Monitor

Run-and-gun video shooters, rejoice! SmallHD has been making some fantastic monitors for video-capable DSLRs and motion picture cameras for some time now, and the 502 follows the same kind of fantastic attention to detail and build quality that has made their monitors so popular.

At first glance, this might look like a smartphone, but on closer inspection the back of it reveals HDMI and SDI/HD-SI ports, along with a headphone jack and spots for two of the immensely popular Canon LP-E6 batteries. The kit we rent also includes 1.5 ft. Male-Male Mini HDMI-HDMI Cable, a Flexible Screen Protector, a right-angle HDMI adapter and a hot shoe ball mount, among other accessories.

EasyRig Vario 5 Gimbal Rig

The EasyRig 3 500N Gimbal Rig with Corey Rich Productions crew in Buenos Aires and El Chalten, Argentina. The crew was shooting for K&L with Nikon Ambassador Andrew Hancock for the launch of the Nikon Q1230.

The EasyRig Vario 5 Gimbal Rig with Corey Rich Productions crew in Buenos Aires and El Chalten, Argentina.

Let’s face it: cameras and lenses might be getting smaller and lighter all the time, and you can do some pretty cool stuff with just a body and a small prime, but at some point you’ll add stuff for it if you’re shooting video. It’ll start with perhaps a matte box, for which you’ll need a rail platform and then maybe some external power so you don’t have to keep swapping with fiddly batteries, then add a gimbal for stabilization and pretty soon you have a 15 lbs rig. Not too heavy, but not something you don’t want to hand-hold for all-day shooting.

That’s where the EasyRig comes in. If you’ve got your camera on a gimbal rig like the DJI Ronin-M, this vest and arm rig will take the weight off your back and place them in a nice, distributed fashion on your hips. You can shoot at various heights simply by moving your rig up and down with the help of the tension rope inside the vertical support bar. This Gimbal Rig is ideal for a variety of shooting conditions, including small sets where there are a limited number of camera operators. Bottom-line: if you’re going to tote around a heavy kit all day, don’t do it without something that has a load capacity of 22-26 lbs and a 88cm Suspension Line.

DJI Ronin-M 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer

Ronin-M

DJI Ronin-M 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer

This has got to be one of the most requested items in our inventory. The folks at Freefly started the whole gimbal frenzy (we’ve got the awesome MōVI M5 from them in our inventory as well), and now the guys who brought you the Phantom drones are bringing their expertise to the world of handheld gimbals.

The Ronin-M is a 3-axis stabilizer that will support cameras up to 8 lbs and uses brushless motors for smooth motion compensation. Our kit includes the Ronin transmitter so you can give a second shooter camera control (though a thumb controller is rentable separately if you want to shoot solo). This is a lightweight and easy to tune package that adds tremendous production value to your videos.

DJI Ronin Extended Arm 3-Axis Brushless Gimbal Stabilizer

DJI Ronin Extended Arm 3-Axis Brushless Gimbal Stabilizer

DJI Ronin Extended Arm 3-Axis Brushless Gimbal Stabilizer

Well, since we’re talking gimbals, we should mention that we actually have the Ronin-M’s big brother coming soon as well. This one has extended arms (like the name suggests) to make it easier to mount cameras like the FS700 and other non-conventional, larger, heavier bodies. Unlike the Ronin-M, this one will take up to 16 lbs (though you might wanna consider getting the aforementioned Easyrig 3 unless you’re a glutton for punishment), and the CineMilled arm extensions add 1.5″ of length to the system’s arms. We include a pan arm extension to displace the standard arms by 1.8″ so you can really balance those Sony FS cameras.

Fiilex K304 Pro LED Kit

Fiilex 304 Kit

Fiilex 304 Kit

We’re big fans of the Fiilex lights here at BorrowLenses. Their P360EX lights are small, lightweight, take Profoto modifiers, and — most importantly — are cool. As in they don’t output waves of heat like HMI and Tungsten lights. Inside each diminutive head is a dense-matrix LED lamp that has a high CRI (Color Rendering Index) in excess of 92, are fully dimmable, and can go from 3000º K to 5000º K. Collectively, they put out more than 1K of light, so you could blast them from behind something like Westcott Scrim Jim and get one very cool key light, or you can use them in a 3-point pattern for standard interview lighting.

We’ve carried the 301 kit for some time now, and this new K304 kit adds 3 P2Q Converters which hold 5-inch fresnel lenses to focus and intensify these lights and narrow their beam. The result is an 8X increase in lux at the center of the beam, which isn’t anything to sniff at. This unit also comes in the custom hard case that makes it easy to cart around.

Paralinx Triton 1:1 Wireless Video System

Paralinx Triton 1:1

Paralinx Triton 1:1

They’re the size of a small walkie-talkie. Don’t laugh – those antennae reminded more than one of us in the office of the old communication handsets you can buy from Radio Shack. Yet these little doodads have a trick up their sleeve those old walkies can’t match. Mount the transmitter on your camera via the hotshoe and connect it via HDMI. Connect the receiver to a recorder like the Atomos Shogun and stand a good distance — up to 450 feet — from your camera.

The Triton system uses part of the unlicensed spectrum between 5.1-5.8GHz to broadcast your full HD signal with a delay of less than 1 millisecond. Moreover, that signal is fully encrypted with 128-bit AES encryption, so your signal is unlikely to be intercepted.

If you’re looking for a way to monitor and/or record video without wires, this is the way to go.

Metabones Canon EF to Sony NEX Speed Booster ULTRA

Metabones Canon EF to Sony NEX Speed Booster ULTRA

Metabones Canon EF to Sony NEX Speed Booster ULTRA

Pretty often these days, we at BorrowLenses shake our heads at the sheer number of Metabones adapters we carry. Then we immediately start putting dibs on every single one of them.

This new adapter is no exception. Designed specifically to allow full-frame Canon glass (non-EF-S lenses) to be mounted onto the Sony NEX cameras like the a6000, this adapter will also function on the A7s — if you shoot in APS-C mode. Here’s a neat trick, too: mount it on the A7s and put it in APS-C mode, then mount a full-frame Canon lens on the adapter. You’ll get nearly the same angle of view as a full-frame sensor, but because you’re only using part of the sensor, rolling shutter is greatly reduced.

Additionally, like the other Metabones Canon-to-Sony adapters, you get electronic integration between the camera and the lens.

Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens

Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens

Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens

Let’s face it folks — these days it feels a lot like Sony’s pulling out all the stops. This massive 10x zoom was designed for full-frame Sony cameras like the A7, A7r, A7s, etc., and it features optical image stabilization to boot in case you want to use it on a camera that doesn’t have it built-in yet. This is an excellent travel lens if you don’t want to mess with taking a bunch of lenses with you and, for what it gives you, it’s not too shabby in the size/weight category.

Sony FE 28mm f/2 Lens

Sony FE 28mm f/2 Lens

Sony FE 28mm f/2 Lens

You didn’t think we were done with Sony, did you? Hope not, because we got one more lens for you – with a few tricks up its sleeve.

The FE 28mm f/2 is another lens designed to fit Sony’s new FE mount, namely the one found on the A7 series. This optic features a nice, large aperture that’s ideal for low-light shooting and the autofocus mechanism is designed to focus silently – a must for video shooters.

But wait! There’s more!

21mm Conversion

21mm Conversion

Thaaat’s right! There’s an add-on available for this lens that converts it from a 28mm to a 21mm lens! Simply screw on the converter and, voilà, you’ve just lost 7mm off your lens!

Act now, and we’ll…

…ahem…

Sorry folks. Occasionally, we channel the late night infomercial host in all of us.

But seriously, as if that wasn’t enough, there’s yet another adapter available for this lens that makes it even wider, taking it all the way to a 16mm fisheye lens. That’s a pretty neat trick, and a handy way to expand the usability of one lens.

Rent the 21mm converter here.

Rent the 16mm converter here.

Veydra Mini Prime Lenses

Veydra Mini Primes

Veydra Mini Primes

Micro Four Thirds camera shooters (such as those using the awesome little Panasonic GH4) have long been using the cine prime lenses for Canon with adapters. Now they have a sweet little set made specifically for their platform – no adapters necessary!

This is a lens series that MFT shooters will love. Each is geared with a 0.8-pitch gear for follow focus sets and features fast T/2.2 stepless apertures, 300º barrel rotation, and 77mm front filter threads. We carry the 12mm, 16mm, 25mm and 50mm lenses, giving you the equivalent of 24mm, 32mm, 50mm, and 100mm angles of view — pretty much the most common focal ranges available in other cine prime lenses.

More importantly, these primes are designed for the MFT platform and so are smaller and lighter than primes designed for larger sensors, making them ideal matches for the smaller cameras found in the MFT sensor range.

Rent the Veydra Mini Primes here:

Veydra Mini Prime 12mm T/2.2
Veydra Mini Prime 16mm T/2.2
Veydra Mini Prime 25mm T/2.2
Veydra Mini Prime 50mm T/2.2


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

September 2015
August 2015
July 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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