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Most fun rig or piece of equipment?


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i confess up front i like flowers...

m10 mark ii with the 15mm body cap lens between wind gusts this afternoon. I thought the 15mm did pretty well. i have the focus peaking set to the fn3 button. The 15mm has a little lever that allows for some control between 300mm and infinity combined with the peaking on the olympus, it allows for a small measure of control. Apart from resizing the jpegs are straight from the camera. 

not much vignetting either i think maybe noone was full frame ?

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Until recently I'd have said my most useful piece of equipment was my untethered glass balcony clamp.  

I'd like to say the same, but I filmed and live streamed one Wedding Ceremony last year totally for free.   It was my own. 🤣🤣🤣  I setup 3 cameras, Pocket4K, GH5s at the front, on closeup and

I am dull enough to get my fun through utility though so it works on both levels for me. I've decided that the German word for people who get their fun through the misfortune of others who have o

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Honestly the funnest thing in the last 6 or so years has been the vintage lens game. I enjoy finding the cheapest lenses and trying them out. Even the "bad" ones will give you an interesting look and I like seeing if I can use them. It's a relatively low stakes game, since I only mess around with cheap ones (I already have my nice set of Minolta lenses that I'm very happy with.) I also use them to help teach my nephew, who I've given my old GH3. No sense in giving him even the lower cost native lenses when I can give him some old lenses that I don't care if he scuffs up as he explores and learns. 

If @Andrew Reidever does another contest, I think a cheap vintage lense challenge (lenses under maybe $30) would be a cool idea! 

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4 hours ago, kye said:

What was it about the RX100V that you most enjoyed?  

How is the ZV1 as a replacement?

Do you mean modifying a GoPro?  with something like a backbone mod?

The results that could be achieved from it. I shot an entire 3 day wedding with just it and at times a monopod just to see for myself if it could be done. Struggled a bit after dark, but otherwise not bad and what I enjoyed most was it’s ridiculous size.

I then took it to the Faroe Islands and shot a 3 day project on it, again, just for fun.

The ZV1 should be even better being even more video centric, but other than basic testing and set up is gathering dust until I can get out.

Yes, the Backbone mod, that was it. I looked very hard at that before choosing the ZV1 because it was an out of the box solution to my backup/travel/personal needs. If times had been different and financially better and I was prepared to swallow the huge import cost...

Least fun was the 2 times I tried a gimbal. I really don’t like working with anything more than small(er) cameras if possible and compact lenses. Even my XT3 kit was a bit much by the time I had added: monopod, powerbank, adapter, Sigma 18-35 and tried the Ninja V but it brought me the opposite of joy.

And don’t get me started on sliders...

Less is more to me provided it can do what I need it to do.

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6 hours ago, leslie said:

getting back on topic i have a couple of photos with the gimbal and 15mm olympus body cap lens, cant quite get the olympus and the 15mm lens far enough forward to balance properly, however i can get it to balance with the takumar 24mm and a light adapter. I'd take some footage but its horribly windy here today.  

gimbal-side.jpg

I think you forgot to put a lens on that camera! 😆😆😆

Going back to your previous comment about the gimbal 'floaty' look, I'm not a fan of it either, but that doesn't mean I'm against gimbals.  They have a bunch of looks that don't give the 'floaty' aesthetic:

  • Getting a quick static shot while keeping mobile where they eliminate the micro-jitters of hand-holding but don't add motion
  • They can do reasonable shots pan/tilt if you stand still and just pan/tilt the camera
  • They can do reasonable crane shots if you're standing still or have it on a long pole and there is nothing close to the camera to give away the fact your motion might not be in a smooth path
  • They can be programmed to move the camera, eg, slow movement for time lapses etc, or even just a slow pan or tilt and this works well when attached to a solid object rather than being held

It's a matter of using them wisely and knowing what things cause that look and what doesn't.

3 hours ago, leslie said:

i confess up front i like flowers...

m10 mark ii with the 15mm body cap lens between wind gusts this afternoon. I thought the 15mm did pretty well. i have the focus peaking set to the fn3 button. The 15mm has a little lever that allows for some control between 300mm and infinity combined with the peaking on the olympus, it allows for a small measure of control. Apart from resizing the jpegs are straight from the camera. 

not much vignetting either i think maybe noone was full frame ?

tree-dalia1.jpg

tree-dalia2.jpg

tree-dalia3.jpg

tree-dalia4.jpg

No vignetting I could see - very nice!  I also like flowers.

I thought @noone had put it on 2x digital zoom, which should be an MFT crop exactly.  Maybe something else was going on filming a monitor so close?  Not entirely sure.  Either way, I'm fine with it.  Those pics even have some background separation which is pretty cool.

I've wanted one of those lenses for years for street photography and one of the cool things people talked about was that you learned to pre-focus by touch because the control was so tactile and because of the large DoF small errors in focus distance weren't really a problem.

3 hours ago, newfoundmass said:

Honestly the funnest thing in the last 6 or so years has been the vintage lens game. I enjoy finding the cheapest lenses and trying them out. Even the "bad" ones will give you an interesting look and I like seeing if I can use them. It's a relatively low stakes game, since I only mess around with cheap ones (I already have my nice set of Minolta lenses that I'm very happy with.) I also use them to help teach my nephew, who I've given my old GH3. No sense in giving him even the lower cost native lenses when I can give him some old lenses that I don't care if he scuffs up as he explores and learns. 

If @Andrew Reidever does another contest, I think a cheap vintage lense challenge (lenses under maybe $30) would be a cool idea! 

I've also found lenses to be heaps of fun.  With MFT you can adapt lots of lenses but they're all so long withe the MFT crop, and it seems that in the earlier days there weren't the wider lenses that are around now.  For example, I struggle to find a C-Mount TV zoom that's wider than 50mm or so (FF equivalent FOV).  I think vintage lenses would be even more fun if I had a FF mirrorless camera to play with them on.

2 hours ago, MrSMW said:

The results that could be achieved from it. I shot an entire 3 day wedding with just it and at times a monopod just to see for myself if it could be done. Struggled a bit after dark, but otherwise not bad and what I enjoyed most was it’s ridiculous size.

I then took it to the Faroe Islands and shot a 3 day project on it, again, just for fun.

The ZV1 should be even better being even more video centric, but other than basic testing and set up is gathering dust until I can get out.

Yes, the Backbone mod, that was it. I looked very hard at that before choosing the ZV1 because it was an out of the box solution to my backup/travel/personal needs. If times had been different and financially better and I was prepared to swallow the huge import cost...

Least fun was the 2 times I tried a gimbal. I really don’t like working with anything more than small(er) cameras if possible and compact lenses. Even my XT3 kit was a bit much by the time I had added: monopod, powerbank, adapter, Sigma 18-35 and tried the Ninja V but it brought me the opposite of joy.

And don’t get me started on sliders...

Less is more to me provided it can do what I need it to do.

Was the wedding a paid gig?  I can really see how such a small camera would be great for such an occasion - the feeling of freedom and ability to really move quickly.  I find that when I talk to people who use full-size cameras, maybe in a rig of some kind, and I talk about cameras that are smaller than a full-size body and how they let you move faster, most people don't get it, I don't know if they don't understand that smaller cameras are more freeing, or that it's possible to be more free than they currently are with their "lightweight run and gun" GH5 / 18-35 / shotgun mic on sticks setup.  
I even notice the difference between P&S sized cameras and an action camera.  

I shot a project on just a GoPro Hero 3 black at an event (it was a personal project as a present to a friend) and the camera was so portable and getting angles that you wouldn't do with a normal setup.  It was atrocious in low light though, and I had to work really hard in post to make it work, but my friend was really happy with it.

Here it is...  

Something like the RX100 with it's low-light capabilities would be lots of fun to work with!

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2 minutes ago, kye said:

Was the wedding a paid gig?  I can really see how such a small camera would be great for such an occasion - the feeling of freedom and ability to really move quickly.  I find that when I talk to people who use full-size cameras, maybe in a rig of some kind, and I talk about cameras that are smaller than a full-size body and how they let you move faster, most people don't get it, I don't know if they don't understand that smaller cameras are more freeing, or that it's possible to be more free than they currently are with their "lightweight run and gun" GH5 / 18-35 / shotgun mic on sticks setup.  
I even notice the difference between P&S sized cameras and an action camera.

ALL my weddings are paid gigs!

But for video with this one not. It was a typical multi-day coverage job for me back a few years back when I offered 100% photography coverage with the option of adding on video.

I have been offering hybrid coverage in a growing capacity for over a decade and in the last few years, it has become my principle coverage option and it hasn't been possible for the last 2 years to book me for any prime date for anything but as A: it's what I prefer to do and B: it doesn't make any financial sense for me to not to.

For this job, they had not paid for any kind of video coverage or actually want it but were quite happy for me to do so if I wished. So I did with the little Sony, handheld most of the time, occasionally on my freestanding monopod and rest of the time, really was in my back pocket.

No one paid it any attention.

No one does to anything much I do anyway as I work alone, ie, never have assistant or second, never mind third photographer/videographer and if booked as the photographer (previously), have not worked with a videographer in over 6-7 years. Ie, my footprint as a single hybrid shooter has always been as low as it can be.

Then there is how I act, dress etc. Pretty low key. I don't under or over dress. I don't run, I don't shout, I don't stand on ladders, or crawl or do anything that suggests I am anything but part of the event, more as a guest than working. Of course during the ceremony, most realise I am doing a job because while they are all sitting, I'm standing off to one side and capturing it, but most think I am a family friend and pretty much no one realises I am ever doing video because none of my kit looks like a video camera.

And then there is the kit which is as minimal as I can make it, so no big zooms lenses, massive battery grips, huge flash guns. I don't even own a flash and haven't used one in years and even then, only off camera for dancing etc after dark.

All that aside, I just find it liberating to do anything with the least amount of kit because I really do believe in that regard, less is more. 

I just watched part of a YouTube video on 'how to shoot a wedding' but had to stop after about 10 minutes as the 3 muppets clearly were out of their depth and a case of the blind attempting to lead the blind. When it takes 3 people with identical kit to shoot a static object for over 10 minutes, I have to question whether they even understand what weddings are about. It's not stuff but people.

Anyway, I am going off on one a bit so will stop there other than yes Kye, it's all about compromise. For me the compromise is always about how small/minimal can the kit be before it stops doing what you need it to do and becomes for the sake of doing something just because.

It's what took me to Fuji from Nikon nearly a decade ago and then has sent me to Panasonic S5 right now...except 20/21 have been in limbo and not sure when anything will start back up...and keeps me interested in what is coming. Not because what I have will not do the job, because it will, but if there is something better that suits my needs, in the overall scheme of things, the cost is not that much different spread over several years of turnover.

Turnover... I wish, but a distant memory right now 🤪

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Panasonic GX80, lovely camera to use.  So light and portable.  I left it behind when the GH5 came round and offered IBIS along along better codecs and vLog, but I missed the small size of the GX80.  It's a shame we didn't get a successor with more options.  Only downside was the panorama function wasn't as good stitching the photos as my much cheaper phone.   No excuse.  Cameras that size should compete well with smartphones not be outclassed by them in some features.  

Since then, I've shot some stuff with my phone.  Though I hardly call it fun to use.  Just easier.

Problem with fun and easy is that it loses that joy in the edit for me with their crappy codecs and reduced image quality and colour science.  Like trying to recreate the Mona Lisa with a packet of 12 crayons.

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4 hours ago, MrSMW said:

ALL my weddings are paid gigs!

I'd like to say the same, but I filmed and live streamed one Wedding Ceremony last year totally for free.  

It was my own. 🤣🤣🤣 

I setup 3 cameras, Pocket4K, GH5s at the front, on closeup and wide and a GH5 at the back.  Plus attached a small camera for live streaming to Facebook for my wife's family in Turkey to see, plus UK friends and family as we were limited to 12 guests.  This wasn't easy to set up as the registrar kept wanting to interview me for their bit of legal nonsense.  I was fiddling with streaming settings on my phone and she politely asked me to put my phone down.  Thankfully I got the streaming running just in the nick of time before my soon to be wife walked in.

Before the Ceremony finished, I had to replace the card in the Pocket 4K as I had set it to HQ in the rush.  I got looks from everyone including my now wife, but I just said cheekily, "hey, you're marrying a Wedding Videographer, what do you expect".  😁😁

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8 hours ago, kye said:

 

I thought @noone had put it on 2x digital zoom, which should be an MFT crop exactly.  Maybe something else was going on filming a monitor so close?  Not entirely sure.  Either way, I'm fine with it.  Those pics even have some background separation which is pretty cool.

 


 

Something like the RX100 with it's low-light capabilities would be lots of fun to work with!

Yeah, I used the 15  FF (which has very heavy vignetting) and FF with 2x clearzoom (with no heavy blackening vignetting).    In APSC mode it has heavy vignetting still but only in the extreme corners (which is gone with 1.2x clearzoom).

 

I would not say the RX100 cameras are really great in low light overall but they are for their sensor size (at least the versions 111,IV,.V and Va with their faster lenses.)

Put it this way, I think I would take my RX100iv (just) over a M43 camera with a 2.8 or slower lens at 24mm equivalent but at 70mm equivalent the m43 camera would be better in low light with anything faster than f4.

M43 with a (good) fast prime would do much better in low light but it is still ok for instance to match against a good M43 camera with any of the 2.8 or slower zooms at the short end and most of the same range zooms at the long end....of course, you can always change the lens of the M43 but not the Rx100 cameras.

If anyone made a camera like the Rx100 cameras with the faster lens but with a bigger sensor, it might be almost all I need except for a coupe of specialist things (fast long telephoto and tilt shift).... I doubt I could ever afford it though and as it is, I was very lucky to get my RX100iv as cheap as i did (less than some are selling mk 111s and even some 11s.

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13 hours ago, leslie said:

i confess up front i like flowers...

m10 mark ii with the 15mm body cap lens between wind gusts this afternoon. I thought the 15mm did pretty well. i have the focus peaking set to the fn3 button. The 15mm has a little lever that allows for some control between 300mm and infinity combined with the peaking on the olympus, it allows for a small measure of control. Apart from resizing the jpegs are straight from the camera. 

not much vignetting either i think maybe noone was full frame ?

 

 

Yes, there is no vignetting with M43 (as it was intended).

It is a much better "lens" than it should be though I would not want to use it for anything but fun!

Have you noticed it actually has THREE settings yet?    When you open the lever to infinity, there is another setting "click stop" just next to that and then at the other end for 0.3m/0.98ft

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2 hours ago, noone said:

Yes, there is no vignetting with M43 (as it was intended).

It is a much better "lens" than it should be though I would not want to use it for anything but fun!

Have you noticed it actually has THREE settings yet?    When you open the lever to infinity, there is another setting "click stop" just next to that and then at the other end for 0.3m/0.98ft

i noticed it, but hadn't given it much thought as i was mostly trying to keep the flowers to around 300mm away. It usually lives on the camera, as it takes up no room and weighs next to nothing. Considering how thin that lens is its hard to imagine them stuffing too many optics in there, but your right it does a better job than one would expect.

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20 hours ago, MrSMW said:

 

Least fun was the 2 times I tried a gimbal. I really don’t like working with anything more than small(er) cameras if possible and compact lenses. Even my XT3 kit was a bit much by the time I had added: monopod, powerbank, adapter, Sigma 18-35 and tried the Ninja V but it brought me the opposite of joy.

And don’t get me started on sliders...

Less is more to me provided it can do what I need it to do.

Even though i use them, I can not stand gimbals 🤮

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22 hours ago, MrSMW said:

Anyway, I am going off on one a bit so will stop there other than yes Kye, it's all about compromise. For me the compromise is always about how small/minimal can the kit be before it stops doing what you need it to do and becomes for the sake of doing something just because.

Interesting write-up and I completely agree with your ethos of less being more, as long as the footage is good enough.  

Depending on the situation I have different levels of tolerance for how big (and therefore how intrusive) the camera can be.  I've used everything from a naked GoPro to my various DSLR + Rode VMP sized rigs, and less is absolutely more.

I've been tossing things up lately about getting a third Go Shoot camera to compliment the SJ4000 action camera and GF3 + 15/8 lens cap combos.  The driving force is that the SJ4000 30p footage looks so thin you need those butchers chainlink gloves to edit it, and the GF3 footage is 25p and nicer but still not that great and the camera isn't easy to use with basically no controls in video at all and no focus assists or anything.

But anything that is bigger than the GF3 better be absolutely killing it in the IQ department to justify its size, but I've had some ideas so watch this space.

17 hours ago, SteveV4D said:

Panasonic GX80, lovely camera to use.  So light and portable.  I left it behind when the GH5 came round and offered IBIS along along better codecs and vLog, but I missed the small size of the GX80.  It's a shame we didn't get a successor with more options.  Only downside was the panorama function wasn't as good stitching the photos as my much cheaper phone.   No excuse.  Cameras that size should compete well with smartphones not be outclassed by them in some features.  

Since then, I've shot some stuff with my phone.  Though I hardly call it fun to use.  Just easier.

Problem with fun and easy is that it loses that joy in the edit for me with their crappy codecs and reduced image quality and colour science.  Like trying to recreate the Mona Lisa with a packet of 12 crayons.

Yeah, I'm with you.  I alluded above to being willing to sacrifice a little size for a huge bump in IQ and have some plans.

I know that when I get the 10-bit footage from the GH5 into Resolve it's just a dream to edit and all my frustrations with camera whatevers all go away and I forget that RAW or 6K or 8K or 14 stops of DR or whatever even exists.  Beautiful tools are beautiful to use throughout the whole production and post-production process.

13 hours ago, noone said:

Yes, there is no vignetting with M43 (as it was intended).

It is a much better "lens" than it should be though I would not want to use it for anything but fun!

Have you noticed it actually has THREE settings yet?    When you open the lever to infinity, there is another setting "click stop" just next to that and then at the other end for 0.3m/0.98ft

No vignetting for me either...  a few test shots converted from RAW 4000x3000 stills:

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_1160584.thumb.jpeg.174883ff4858eee95f5f0b41f06f642b.jpeg

It's really quite a modern lens, with high contrast and flare resistance, and while it isn't tack sharp, it's probably sharper than the 100Mbps bitrate of the average 4K codec.  

I'm seeing a blur of about 2 pixels on the RAW 4K images, and most lenses don't get much sharper than that, especially for the USD$47 this cost me, brand new:

image.png.faa4c886f51bc4207eefcb81d0097cf6.png

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29 minutes ago, kye said:

Depending on the situation I have different levels of tolerance for how big (and therefore how intrusive) the camera can be.  I've used everything from a naked GoPro to my various DSLR + Rode VMP sized rigs, and less is absolutely more.

I've been shooting weddings for 20 years now. 

21 technically, but last year doesn't really count with 1/25, but...

For the last 10 years or so, in hybrid format.

Initially more like 100% photography + 10% video for the first year.

Then 100% photo + 20% video the second.

100% photo + 30% video the third. You get the picture...

Each year, I have played with different kit and at one point I was operating 7 cameras on my own. Madness!

After the above, I had a word with myself and went back to the less is more approach with only one blip in 2019 when I bought a pair of DJI Pockets but that only confirmed that less is more and sold them.

I replaced both with the DJI Action, but I then found myself using it for the sake of using it because I felt I had to so sold that.

I'm now fixed on just 2 bodies, 2 zooms and a couple of primes to do everything plus my Sony ZV1 as a general backup piece of kit in my bag other than for ceremony & speeches where it will be rolling at a different angle, never intending to be used, but providing a worst case scenario safety net of video and audio.

The result of all this is it means I enjoy what I am doing much more because beyond a point, kit just gets in the way.

 

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I think my favourite lens is the Meike 28mm f2.8. I have it for Fuji-x and MFT and really enjoy using it.

Fully manual, clickless aperture, very small physical size and a great focal length and aperture for basically anything. Best of all, it's super cheap.  

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I have the most fun shooting low light and concerts/gigs.

Not much live music for me these days but one of my favourite (and most fun) shooting situations is night time illuminations and for me, that means Enlighten in Canberra.

Any Australians planning on going?       I hope to get there in a couple of weeks (Covid, hotels and transport depending).  From 2018 (this is old parliament house).

DSC05151.jpg

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On 2/15/2021 at 11:26 PM, pixelpreaching said:

Easily my Laowa 24mm f/14 Probe Cine lens. Macro, built in LED lights, and the end is waterproof. So many amazing things you can do with it.

(not my footage, but shows some of the awesome stuff you can do with it)

 

Love this lens, wish I could justify owning one LOL! You get so many unique angles since you can move through things.

I've gotten a lot of mileage out of a phone gimbal, and I had the Osmo pocket for awhile and really liked it - both are fun additions to my kit.

I think I want to experiment with a cheap underwater housing next. 

Chris

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Maybe not "fun", but my two most trusted useful tools that have proved to punch above their weight are the following:

Triopo 65cm Softbox with bowens mount. Any softbox would probably do, but I got this one because it was the cheapest one on ebay, and I use it daily. Photography (with flash or constant light), filming, video calls, I use it for everything. It needs to be quite close to the subject for soft lighting since it's rather small, but that also means it's much easier to bring along and is easier to position.

Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM. This lens is my most used lens even though I have 6 EF L lenses. At f/2.8, it's much sharper than the EF 50mm 1.2 or the EF 35mm 1.4 (version I, version II might be sharper), and f/2.8 is plenty for my video needs. The autofocus is the smoothest autofocus I've used on an EF lens for video. The lens is small and light, so I can always bring it with me. It works great with extension rings for macro photography (the other lenses I've tried gets massive field curvation). The only real flaw I've found with the lens is that manual focus is unusable.

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