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The ultimate Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera lens - Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 with Speed Booster

Andrew Reid

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Thanks for this test, Andrew! I've been waiting to see footage from this configuration for a long time. Glad to see it looks great in the right hands (though I still have to boo the Warp Stabilizer, as much as it has saved a couple of shots!)

I have one specific doubt I'd appreciate you clear for me: does the focus ring in the Nikon version of this lens rotate the Nikon or the Canon way? I guess I could get used to the Nikon way in time, but it'd make it a much easier decision to buy this lens+adapter combo if I know I won't have to change directions.


Alsot, until I get the Pocket I'll be using the Sigma+SB on the GH2. Could you please post a couple of screenshots showing how this lens looks using it with a Speed Booster in the Panasonic?


Thanks again!

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EOSHD Pro Color 5 for Sony cameras EOSHD Z LOG for Nikon CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Andrew this video is fantastic and most shots look great, even those shot at night-time..... (pixel peeping mode ON) But I see noise in a couple of shots I wasn't expecting, in the Pratengarten entrance and in second 44 (the lake) where it doesn't seem there is low light. Did you add some noise in post?? Thanks!

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I have been thinking of the Sigma f1.8 zoom and the Speedbooster combination, since forever. Its the ultimate wet dream, for an Indie Filmmaker.


Andrew, it took a while to absorb it in, and I must say, the video is superb. I also find your editing interesting. It makes up for your lack of pan and tilt.


I wish Metabones and Sigma address issues regarding manual aperture control for canon mounts. 


I still cannot believe, that this makes the Sigma an f1.2 zoom. It kicks the very high end Fujinon's in the crotch, some of which, like the Fujinon 18-85mm T2.0 cost Over 100 Times the Price of the Sigma.

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Posting this here since it might interest those looking for a compatible loupe:

The LCDVF by kinotehnik will be available worldwide as of 1st November


Hopefully someone can make one which doesn't need to be glued to the camera's back..


I believe the LCDVF for Blackmagic Pocket camera will attach via magnet. Easy to take on / off.


At the moment I am using their LCDVFe as a small lightweight monitor for Pocket and 5D Mark III shooting.


Here's my Pocket Cinema Camera rig. The audio side is handled by the Roland R26. Very good built in mic on it, but rigging it can be tricky and there's no line-out port, you have to use the headphone jack to connect it to the camera or sync the dual-system audio in post. If you set the headphone jack output on the Roland too loud you will get distortion on the Pocket ProRes audio track.


Top handle and nato rail from Wooden Camera. Excellent build quality and design from them.


The whole rig is very light. I've tried to keep it as un-spidery as possible. Without the Roland it is amazingly discrete and looks pro, not DIY.










That above is my Magic Lantern raw rig. Still the ultimate image quality in my view.


I'm powering both the EVF and camera off a single Switronix PB70 battery with that rig. No more swapping multiple batteries or worrying every 10 minutes about having enough juice!

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Crop factors are only useful in terms of describing the field of view. Everyone in the DSLR video world thinks in terms of full frame. A 28 is a wide, etc.


People in the movie industry don't think like that, they go in terms of Super 35mm and a 18mm is wide on a movie camera.


Drives me batty.  The 36mm format is an anomaly, not a standard.  Use of "crop factors" relative to this format in a discussion of a motion picture camera or motion picture shooting should require some form of penance, or contribution to the swear jar.


In motion picture terms, given this is a motion picture camera, the SpeedBooster makes this an effective 25-50mm zoom.  And fast as hell.  That's badass.

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Depends on how you look at the numbers. I'm sure there are folks out there interested in shooting motion pictures with their DSLR because they saw someone made famous in the DSLR revolution and they're wanting to emulate that person's style and aesthetic. I think it's safe to say there are far more people shooting on DSLRs who are inspired by and emulating, instead, the likes of Zsigmond, Kovaks, Savides, Carpenter, Cundey, Deakins, Cronenweth, etc. So why whiplash through the math (especially using wives tales and rules-of-thumb) when the lowest common denominator here is they don't shoot "full frame"?

The Game , for instance, featured close-ups shot on a 75mm and pretty much everything else on a 27mm. What these focal lengths look like on a "full frame" camera doesn't matter to anyone who isn't holding one since that film, like most films, wasn't shot on one. It's not something someone shooting on any non-FF camera needs to even consider if what they're interested in is what lenses would they need to shoot with similar framing. It would be like translating from Spanish to French by way of Japanese.

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Looks very neat.


I have a question about FilmConvert. Do you select a print release stock in combination with the negative film stock? In reality, there is NO useable look to a film negative, until you print it. And a negative can look one way when printed on low contrast release stock, and differently when printed on a higher contrast release stock, etc.

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That used to be the case.  This is a DI solution where shooting film, scanning the negative and then grading it most definitely has a look for DCP release which is now more common than release prints.  But release stocks are meant to be as neutral and fine grain as possible, generally speaking.  There are low contrast shooting stocks but you'll need to provide reference for low contrast release stocks.  They tend to be what they are with the option of going higher contrast (at greater expense).  


Various labs have their own optional processes to manipulate contrast.  This is where skip-bleach and silver retention come into play and whether you do it to the shooting negative or to release prints, and generally only select release prints since it's so expensive.  Even Fincher couldn't get a blank check to do ENR to all of his release prints.



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Yes, but that's not what I am asking. Any negative film is extremely low contrast. We are talking film gammas like 0.5-0.6. The image is never meant to be used at this contrast level. The audience never sees the negative. And printing on paper or on release film restores contrast.

Even higher contrast release stocks help battle theater projection issues (stray light, low theater screen luminance, lateral eye adaptation) which tend to make darks appear brighter. The gamma of the whole system, from scene to projection, is higher than 1, often higher than 1.5, depending on the release stock.


Hence, the question about FC. There is an abundance of FC footage floating the internets which looks unnaturally flat (apparently, for many people lifted blacks = filmlike), and definitely not in the way a specific stock really looks like when printed. I doubt that FC defaults to digital cinema contrast - digital cinema gamma curves actually have higher contrast than computer displays (sRGB, 2.2), exatly due to the projection issues mentioned above.

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There are low contrast negatives but you're mixing that up with viewing a log space representation in the digital realm without lut and that's never supposed to be viewed or presented.  A lut is applied in the DI.  In the old school days we would create our own viewing lut based on a match-clip.  We would do our thing and then apply an inverse of the viewing lut, called a "reverse out" to put everything back into its original LOG representation for output scanning.


But the shooting negative, barring an extreme treatment, has the most influence on the look of the footage prior to grading/correction.  You can just let Film Convert be your look, going for a "one-light" look or you can then grade, in which case you now have the equivalent of your "answer print" interpositive which is no longer a necessary optical step unless you insist on a photochemical finish.  In most cases, this is what the audience is seeing.  


It's been years now since I've seen a current release on a release print.





A ) Film negative is scanned into a datacine, etc.

B ) A lut is applied to the 10bit log scan data to put it into a meaningful linear display for human consumption and review, with reasonable high, low and mid point in preparation for grading

C ) This digital interpositive is then graded


...Film Convert is an analog to step B.  It transforms the DSLR footage into as close as it can get to what you get with step B based on matching a calibrated representation of reference values having passed through steps A and B.  Release printing or what positive printing does has no relevance what so ever.


Anymore, most audiences never see much of anything that's more stepped on than step C because this would be the source for generating a DCP.  Filmmakers are even skipping ever looking at the result of a print struck from a scanned out internegative because step C is the film as far as they're concerned.

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Hence, the question about FC. There is an abundance of FC footage floating the internets which looks unnaturally flat (apparently, for many people lifted blacks = filmlike), and definitely not in the way a specific stock really looks like when printed....




That's a problem between the keyboard and the chair.  There are a lot of people who have it in their heads that film is somehow low contrast.  As a medium.  They obviously haven't ever really worked with it but go look at discussions, especially early discussions regarding the Magic Lantern RAW phenomenon.  

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My guess is the FC process goes like this:

1) Linearize source data. Source can be any transfer curve, and with varying colorimetry. Tonal curve is linearized, and color is transformed (corrected) to some reference color space. This step equalizes the input.

2) An idealized "printed" film transfer function (with the film negative gamma/contrast index expanded to 1, hence "printed") is applied, which pushes colors around, possibly also tweaking contrast (based on the film negative contrast index values).

3) Result is gamma encoded for display.


In theory, 1) and 2)  (well, and 3, for that matter) can be done in a single composite step (a composite LUT for each possible source type and each possible target film, for example).

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So why whiplash through the math (especially using wives tales and rules-of-thumb) when the lowest common denominator here is they don't shoot "full frame"?


Because anyone in their late twenties or older has seen and/or used 35 mm film.  And it's a good reference point when moving down and up.  Of all the formarts I shoot stills or video on medium format is the one I've spent the most on but everything with that is still converted mentally back to 35mm.  I've never heard a medium format shooter complain about it.  You take the ubiquitous reference point and go from there.  I am too young to know anyone who shot moving picture film but even my technophobic mom still uses a 35mm film camera.  I'm pretty sure if people look hard enough they have at least one close relative who has 35mm negatives or cameras even.  I have never seen a private citizen with a moving picture camera... In my entire life.

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