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Teheimar

Prime lens for video and compact stereo mic recommendation for NX1?

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Hi!

For various reasons I'd like to try more video with my NX1 (usually I'm photo only) and would like to ask for some advice regarding two things

1) prefereably cheap cine or non-cine lens that is

- Manual focus,
- adaptable to the NX1 mount,
- with good separation (bokeh is a bonus)
- somewhere between 30-40 mm FF equivalent.
- fast and still precise focusing
- and not overly long (as in protroding ) to keep the whole setup fairly compact. It's OK if it's big, short and wide as long as the MF is smooth and easy to use and doesn't require alot of fiddling.

For comparison I really like how the NX 30 mm 1:2 works in MF mode. It feels a bit rangefinder style. Compared with the NX 20 mm which one has to turn around several times just to get somewhere.
 

Somehow I've focused on vintage russian lenses (learned photography on a old Zenith, those where the days), as well as old "zebra style lenses" because of both looks and colours, but I'm open to suggestions. I do realize that in some sense it would be easy just to get a usual NX 20-50 mm ED II but then you get the samsung colour look and I'd like to control the focus myself.

I've looked at Russian KMZ quartz lenses, (google images) but they are Super8 so they have a far too small image circle, and I'm not sure about the adapters.

2) really compact stereo microphone (mostly forward focused) that doesn't take up too much place mounted on the flash-shoe and works good with the NX1. (There are tons of recommendations in general for DSRL etc, but I'm looking specifically for the NX1).

 

Cheers

/Teheimar.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

For good classic manual lenses I'd recommend getting a old Pentax M42 adapter and picking out a 35mm lens to your liking. There are many good lenses out there to choose from.

Meanwhile, can't help with audio. I haven't found a mic combo I like yet... but you'd want a short shotgun mic with a hot signal I think.

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1) there is a whole set of Cine lenses by Samyang/Rokinon/Bower, you can buy the same ones in photo costume, for cheap (you don't have to buy NX, buy a different brand and adapt).

M42 that goes with Russian and Pentax lenses, and Canon FD are very cheap. I have both, I am very pleased with those, they have some interesting lenses in the 35mm focal length. Wider is more expensive and rare. 50-55-58mm have some exceptional ones, in all these 3 brands. 58mm 2f Zenith, 55 1.8f Asahi Pentax (one of the Takumars, I have 2 radio active ones!), 50mm 1.4 Canon FD are my favorites from each.

If I was starting from the  beginning (I had Zenith, Pentax spotmatic, Canon AE-1), I would definitely go with Nikon glass, a lot of excellent and cheap ones.

2)  Rode micro for dirt cheap (if you just want some sound), or if you want something better, there are better versions of Rode mics that you can find out according to the price (the more expensive ones, are better!). Try one with in built amplifier, it is usually better than the ones inside the camera.

I have the micro, only for reference sound, and usually recording externally, or on a camera with XLR inputs.

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Rode NT3 - it is NOT a stereo and NOT a compact one, but it powers up from internal 9v replacable battery on the go, and it is super noseless, with super responce. I have a cople, and this pair delivers super stereo immage  with super low end for events recording. Also Rode sells compact pencels, probably could be used with the same great results...

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I primarily use Canon FDs with my NX1 and I love the results. They're much better to shoot video with than the NX 30mm and 45mm (which have fly-by-wire focusing) even though the NX lenses are designed specifically for APS-C (Super 35). I've got the FDn 24mm f2, 28mm f2.8, 35mm f2, and 50mm f1.4 that I also use with my Canon F1 35mm film camera. It works out pretty nice! For super-wide angle I've got the Rokinon 12mm f2. A superb lens!

For audio I've been using the Rode VideoMicro. It's not stereo but it does the job, just keep an eye on your audio levels and make sure you're getting the strongest signal without clipping. It uses power from the camera and doesn't require a battery, which is pretty nice. 

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@IKSLIM 

This is an excellent microphone that I use for the stereo image for live performances, or small acoustic bands, or groups, also small choirs, for anything bigger you need a proper Stereo technique with pencil mics (as you very wisely suggest).

I do not thing that this viable for an amateur, first of all it is very "expensive", big, heavy and NOT directional at all, it is a NO NO for what he described in his post.

In my opinion, if you only have one mic, and on camera, you need something more directional, and the Rode Video Micro is the absolutely cheapest, with the absolutely lowest

-acceptable- audio quality.

@Teheimar As I said before, it is better to have a Rode with its own amplifier, even though NXs amplifiers are much better than Canons, still not exceptional (none is really). 

If one absolutely needs stereo on camera, there is a new Rode (check at Andrew Reid's blog post on this forum, shooting with the new Olympus a friend's band, it is a quite recent article/post) that seems like a great tool, but very expensive, https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1082671-REG/rode_svmx_stereo_video_mic_x.html

there is also the older design (but "recently" improved), that probably is your best bet at those money, the older version wasn't to my liking, this is quite better to be honest

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1273119-REG/rode_stereo_videomic_pro_r_stereo_videomic_pro_rycote.html

and another from Sennheiser that I could respect some. my absolutely favorite audio brand ever, most of my pro sound equipment is Sennheiser https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1248110-REG/sennheiser_506258_mke_440_compact_stereo.html 

Check the videos in the B&H pages also.

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On 3/10/2017 at 6:19 PM, Kisaha said:

You are correct, the sound will be acceptable only. i tried them all. As far as im concearned, if the only general stereo needed, id go with NX1 internal. it delivers a nice quality when you got familiar with. i've shot a lot inside with onboard mics, the result was nice. i'd say probably identical or even better then Rode-video-mike-pro models.

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Another interesting fact for people not very familiar with the sound jibberish, is that the Sennheiser MKE 440 is a MKE 400 multiplied by 2! What this means is that you have a much narrower stereo image, almost what you see on a 35mm lens (while the usual stereo microphones out there, are equivalent to something like a fisheye, or an extreme ultra wide lens).

Plus, always happy with German engineering for sound (not so much for cars!).

In my opinion, this is more useful for a video maker, than the wide stereo patterns of other solutions.

Another option, cheap, that I haven't test though, so I can't be sure about sound and engineering quality, is the Azden SMX 30, both a shotgun, and a stereo mic.

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You want good audio? Get tennis ball Stereo VideoMic Pro I swear by the Gods with this, its so CRISP, its so DETAILED holy moly its good, HOWEVER NX1 PreAmps are terribly sensitive, its in fact so sensitive they completely ruined an entire video shot I did and cost me a lot of cash. 

So here is what you have to do in order to keep great audio quality, on the Stereo VideoMic Pro you can boost the audio by +20, do that and then turn down the volume inside the NX1 as much as possible or else you will have TERRIBLE static noise in the background.

The microphone is powered by a 9 volt square battery, you can get lithium ones which will last you forever and you can recharge them. But I not had to change the battery in mine since 2015, that is two years since. 

http://www.rode.com/microphones/stereovideomicproc

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for this mic to work you have to be 20-30 centimeters from your target audio, or just recording the ambience, there is no directionality whatsoever, so if you want to pick voices or dialogue (not professionally of course, that is why Sound men exist) it is almost impossible. Second, the build quality is just silly (you can get similar Sony and Tascam mics much smaller), all plastic, and the rubber bands are always messing in my bags. Just my experience. I have abandoned this mic lately, and I am considering buy the Sennheiser.

The NX1 has obviously sound meters, and you can adjust sound on the fly, it was a users mistake, not the cameras! That is why productions have discreet roles and various people working in various projects, because a sound man, will do the best for the best sound, in one man bands, there are million ways to make mistakes, and ruin something. My philosophy is, you are getting 500euros? spend half for a person, or two, just get a little money, you get less, but job is 100% better for sure. Next time, a happy customer will give 1000euros, again you pay your 2 partners more, and you do a better job, and so on, and so forth.

Video is NOT photography, all this dSLR video paranoia, and ALL the photographers "doing" video caused all these problems, these photographers ("loners" as I called them) believe that video is the same thing, just me and my camera and a zoom lens. Video is team work, it is a team sport, it is like basketball, not like athletics, you need the play maker (director), your coach (scriptwriter), your cameraman (shooting guard) your sound man (small forward), your grip (power forward) and your center (this can be a lot of different things!).

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12 hours ago, Kisaha said:

for this mic to work you have to be 20-30 centimeters from your target audio, or just recording the ambience, there is no directionality whatsoever, so if you want to pick voices or dialogue (not professionally of course, that is why Sound men exist) it is almost impossible. Second, the build quality is just silly (you can get similar Sony and Tascam mics much smaller), all plastic, and the rubber bands are always messing in my bags. Just my experience. I have abandoned this mic lately, and I am considering buy the Sennheiser.

The NX1 has obviously sound meters, and you can adjust sound on the fly, it was a users mistake, not the cameras! That is why productions have discreet roles and various people working in various projects, because a sound man, will do the best for the best sound, in one man bands, there are million ways to make mistakes, and ruin something. My philosophy is, you are getting 500euros? spend half for a person, or two, just get a little money, you get less, but job is 100% better for sure. Next time, a happy customer will give 1000euros, again you pay your 2 partners more, and you do a better job, and so on, and so forth.

Video is NOT photography, all this dSLR video paranoia, and ALL the photographers "doing" video caused all these problems, these photographers ("loners" as I called them) believe that video is the same thing, just me and my camera and a zoom lens. Video is team work, it is a team sport, it is like basketball, not like athletics, you need the play maker (director), your coach (scriptwriter), your cameraman (shooting guard) your sound man (small forward), your grip (power forward) and your center (this can be a lot of different things!).

Valid criticism, its pretty cheaply made but one has to consider price for perfomance, in my experience the Røde excel in these parts and Sony and Tascam might be smaller but does not deliver as good sound as the Røde VideoMic Pro its one of the best sounding stereo mics I have heard in a while, and stereo is preferable for professional sound work from a single camera instead of shotgun mics most of them only record mono and while good for interviews and directional sounds they are absolutely terrible at everything else.

In my experience a stereo mic is more versatile and can be used virtually everywhere even in an interview which is surprising to me how well it catches sound of the subject even at a distance. 
But yes I get you a sound team is of course going to be better because they specialise in audio however we live in rich countries and hiring people is astronomical compared to equipment costs and the OP just wanted a good stereo mic which was compact hence I recommend him the brilliant Stereo VideoMic Pro.

Also regarding the other things, you are thinking more about cinematography and film making, I believe the OP might be a videographer, now a videographer differs a lot in that his equipment is more compact and portable and that he can do everything a team of filmmakers can do but at the cost of quality. 
Also he might be a video journalist or even a documentary maker, either also apply as videographers because of costs you rather not want to spend money on lots of equipment and people to handle every small thing but rather compact, small team that can move quickly about. 
(Yes I know documentary makers also have a guy who handles audio but they use multiple audio sources, the ones from the cameras and the one that the sound guy records, he is mostly for ambience and interview, the cameras handle the rest)

Again my mistake was users fault because I was thinking the NX1 is just like any other DSLR camera when it came to audio but I did not realise until afterwards because I was such a moron I did not even have time to get my headsets so I could monitor the audio thanks to the already stressful situation mostly because the producer and turns out the NX1 has VERY sensitive PreAmps, and yes I should have tested it beforehand I had the time.
Audio people makes mistake too that is why you always want backup sound which may not be good but its better than not having any sound at all. 

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My proposal is the Sennheiser 440, stereo, but directional, brilliant idea.

The Rode is good for general ambience, or music, if you want to have any dialogue in your film, is completely unsuitable, except if you are shooting with a 12mm and the camera is in front of the face of your subject, more than a few dozens of cm you are listening equally your subject and the construction workers half a kilometer away, or if a bus passes 15meters away, you are not hearing any words at all, or a motorbike passes in the highway just down the hill, etc etc etc

The rest, is a yes in general, completely off topic to discuss what sound men offer to any production, but their mistakes, are less than you can imagine, is like a cameraman NOT bring any image at all, both (no image - no sound) are possible (we are humans after all!), but not usually acceptable, I just have a very serious sound work tmrow and you stressed me a bit now, I have to be super careful!!

The Azden SMX 30 is good for the price, and it has both, I am really intrigued by this, but maybe my next buy is the 440.

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