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Shooting guerrilla style in Berlin with Iscorama 54 and Blackmagic Cinema Camera


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#1 EOSHD

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 04:35 PM



The Lens

Whilst Canon L lenses are like a fleet of company Lexus cars. This isn't really what I want in my films. I need something different. Something with character.

For this reason I've long been using anamorphic lenses. I recently shot some test footage with the Iscorama 54 anamorphic. This is essentially an Iscorama 36 but instead of a 36mm rear element it is 54mm. Even though the whole lens is double the weight, not as sharp and almost triple the size I like it because it has character.
 


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#2 Mondo

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 04:46 PM

Good stuff! Your thoroughness of the BMCC is something I really appreciate since I haven't had the chance to shoot with one yet. 



#3 richg101

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 05:11 PM

Nice article and some great shots on the video.  The REWO rig, bmcc and isco looks like a lovely refined system.  good balance looks evident.  one of the first images of the bmcc rigged into something that looks usable and comfortable to handle.

 

I didnt know the 54 was less sharp than the 36 and I feel the lack of 36 style barrel glow is a negative point about the 54.  Something is quite lovely about the glowing barrel of the 36.

 

re. optimum lens choice, I look forward to sending over a sample to EOSHD of the new custom lenses I am developing specifically for adding some extra character to footage (and primarily anamorphic footage)  :)  I think they might add a hint of extra rustic glitz to the image from the mighty 54! 


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#4 AaronChicago

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 05:15 PM

Very nice. Good to see some old school Slo Mo as well.



#5 eliasd

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 07:12 PM

great article Andrew! when are you going to test other anamorphics as ag-la7200g with BMCC? thanks!



#6 Bioskop.Inc

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 07:15 PM

Really nice combo, footage & article.

Would really like to see some ProRes footage from you.

I'll agree on you with the 54s character, but the only thing i've found to be sharper is my iscomorphot 8/x2 (yep tried a 36 - think it depends on your copy).

I've found that the 54 is more temperamental with its taking lenses - can't afford a Leica, but the Super Takumar 55 f1.8 produces v.sharp images, so going to have to try the Nikon Andrew recommended.

But nothing really beats the 54 & Russian lenses for character (TIP: KMZ manufacturer seems to have produced the best lenses).  



#7 MIDDLEEASTMAMBO

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 08:27 PM

its always  great to follow your blog Andrew! Finally I managed today to register... This combo with BMCC and the ISCO 54 looks promising.

But how did you mount this heavy lens? On the pictures it looks frightening. And b.t.w.: since we are also located in Berlin: if you need a SDI monitor (TVLOGIC 56 wp e.g.) and rigging gear for testing you could always stop by to our studio in Friedrichshain for a coffee and we will borrow you one of ours. Just drop me a mail - would be a pleasure for us.


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#8 Robin Kautto

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:49 PM

First of all, I must say I am a big fan of eoshd and all its content! All the anamorphic love is truely inspiring and one of the things I favor most!

I am on my journey to hopefully becoming a great film maker, fullfilling my greatest dreams. I finally got hold of a Iscorama 54, aswell as being a very proud owner to a Red One MX BT. My next investment will be on personal lenses. I've been layin my eyes onto the Leica R summulix series, the 35mm, 50mm & 80mm f1.4. Which I think will be for great use both with and without the iscorama 54.

I am just curious if you might have tried the Iscorama with some Leica R summilux? Do you think the Isco 54 would cover the Leica R 35mm 1.4 on S35?



#9 Nomad

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 10:07 PM

"I don’t consider 16:9 a cinema look! No idea why all our ‘cinema’ cameras shoot that way."

 

Oh God... this again! 16:9 happens to give a 1.77 ratio, which in turn happens to be half-way between the 1.66 and 1.85 ratios, which were the standard picture ratios of the whole film industry during the second half of 20th century (and on), mind you.. I suppose that the previous standard ratio of 1.33 (4/3 if you prefer) has even less of a "cinema look" for you? Too bad people like Griffith, Eisenstein, Welles or Marker didn't know.

I fully understand your enthusiasm for anamorphic, but please don't assume that "cinema" or "cinema look" depends on one aspect ratio!



#10 EOSHD

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 10:23 PM

No the cinema look doesn't depend purely on an aspect ratio, but for me - personally speaking as ever on EOSHD (my own site) - I prefer the wider aspect ratio to that of a television. Also I have no problem with 1.33 (4/3) if you stick an anamorphic on it. I want this on the Blackmagic Camera desperately. The GH2 in 4:3 with the hack is basically upscaled VGA!!


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#11 EOSHD

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 10:28 PM

First of all, I must say I am a big fan of eoshd and all its content! All the anamorphic love is truely inspiring and one of the things I favor most!

I am on my journey to hopefully becoming a great film maker, fullfilling my greatest dreams. I finally got hold of a Iscorama 54, aswell as being a very proud owner to a Red One MX BT. My next investment will be on personal lenses. I've been layin my eyes onto the Leica R summulix series, the 35mm, 50mm & 80mm f1.4. Which I think will be for great use both with and without the iscorama 54.

I am just curious if you might have tried the Iscorama with some Leica R summilux? Do you think the Isco 54 would cover the Leica R 35mm 1.4 on S35?

 

Thank you Robin.

 

Also great to see a profile pic and real name - how it should be on the forum.

 

I have tried the Leica R glass but the 35 2.8, 50 2.0 and 90 2.8, not yet the 35mm 1.4. But on S35 with the Iscorama 54, I have no trouble with vignetting at 35mm with most glass I've tried.

 

Go for a small front element on the prime. The Voigtlander pancake lenses are worth investigating. The smaller the front element of the prime lens, the more it seems to avoid a vignette at the same focal length to a lens with a larger front element.



#12 nickname

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 10:34 PM

looks very nice. the only thing that bothers me is the rolling shutter at the boxer. in his left right movements his head looks kinda wobbly. probably pronounced by the slow-mo.



#13 Francisco Ríos

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 11:11 PM

Anamorphic means character...and of course aspect ratio.

For our digital tools , the anamorphic allows us to get something called "cinematic look". These digital devices get something more organic with anamorphic... I think these is what we want more than aspect ratio

The first anamorphic video I saw was these:

 

 

I saw that and though these is what I want. Really like the frame, aspect, and look.

 

3.55 is an extrem aspect but 2x anamorphics are affordable.

However 3.55 got something really special if you can do a good frame. 

Cheers!



#14 EOSHD

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 11:29 PM

Most affordable for locked down shots like in Zen (if you don't mind missing a moment with the focus) is the Kowa 8Z. As good an image as an Iscorama but without the single focus barrel ability.

 

You are looking at 10-20 second shot set-up time with the punch-in focus assist with one but the patience is worth it. The lens can be had for $300!



#15 Caleb Genheimer

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:46 AM

I'll second that, Andrew. Kowa 8Z/16-H is absolutely killer. Darn those Iscoramians for patenting their single-focus design. I think if Kowa had been allowed, they'd have surpassed Isco in the single-focus category.



#16 MIDDLEEASTMAMBO

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:52 AM

"I don’t consider 16:9 a cinema look! No idea why all our ‘cinema’ cameras shoot that way."

 

Oh God... this again! 16:9 happens to give a 1.77 ratio, which in turn happens to be half-way between the 1.66 and 1.85 ratios, which were the standard picture ratios of the whole film industry during the second half of 20th century (and on), mind you.. I suppose that the previous standard ratio of 1.33 (4/3 if you prefer) has even less of a "cinema look" for you? Too bad people like Griffith, Eisenstein, Welles or Marker didn't know.

I fully understand your enthusiasm for anamorphic, but please don't assume that "cinema" or "cinema look" depends on one aspect ratio!

imho the aspect ratio you may choose for to shoot a specific project is also much connected to the visual "language" you intend to use. There are some real advantages in shooting widescreen (2,35:1 and wider), first of all you could create a 2shot closeup in which the actors are still able to move, come closer together in a fixed shot. Second this format enables you to have a single closeup on one actor and a total shot in one. And third: Since most / normal movement is horizontal this aspect ratio will keep the frame more steady (you don`t need to start panning immediately as soon as a movement occurs you need to follow) which could be essential in cinema (where you are basically  forced to follow since the screen will more or less cover your complete field of view and everything els is just dark) in order not to get too much disturbed by a camera movement. Sure, there is also great films shot in 1,33:1 or 1,85:1, but widescreen is imho. quite a good choice if you intend to use complex blocking together with much movement in the frame and still want to keep the picture / camera movement under control. Thats why you bring back the spectators attention to the movement in the scene which enables you to emphasize / accentuate very special moments by using strong camera movement on intention.


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#17 FilmMan

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 01:25 AM

Looks good!



#18 jlev23

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:49 AM

i thought your favorite lens to use with you anamorphic adapter was the helios 44-2, you like the nikon and the olympus better? and why do you think those lenses are the best to use, im only asking because ive tried to use zeiss and some nikons on mine and the result was not good, but i used the helios like you recommended in the past and i got great results. but i didnt try the nikon 1.8, i used my 1.4, the former is so cheap, even feeling that i didnt think it could be good! thanks!



#19 Tim

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 04:28 AM

Andrew, you really know how to use music & editing to affect the viewer! Is it just me or was there some rolling shutter issues with the boxer's movements, around 0.45?



#20 Bruno

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 05:13 AM

Really cool look with the lady's shots, this camera is many notches above any video DSLR.

Good job with the anamorphic, no noticeable skewing issues, which is very important, and even though I love wide aspect ratios, anything over 2.40:1 is too much for me, in this one you found a really good balance, and her framings are pretty good too.

The boxer shots didn't do as much for me for some reason, they don't look bad though, just not as pleasing.






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