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BMCC EF with vintage nikon lenses

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  • BMCC EF with vintage nikon lenses

    Hey guys,

    I had the chance to take my work's EF BMCC out for a spin last weekend and was lucky enough that Sunday was the first glimpse of summer for London.

    Its all Prores, using vintage nikon primes 24mm 2.8 and 50mm 1.8.

    Its not the best example of BMC footage out there by any shot! Just another user test in the city with my friends.

    Yesterday I took the cam out again, this time to Epping Forest in Essex, but I had a point to prove.

    My girlfriend is insistant that the BMC image isn't a patch on the 5D. She's the furthest thing from a camera geek, she just looks at it and gives her gut reaction. We sussed that it was down to DOF, and the resolution making things look "too much like real life".

    So when I went to Epping Forest I wanted to make something that was surreal, dreamlike and pretty. Something that would prove to both my mrs, and now to a growing extent myself, that this camera is something special when used right.

    Having recently seen The Place Beyond The Pines, I was also inspired to give the Helios Anamorphic Filter another go.

    I was never happy with it on a full frame because it vignettes like crazy on anything wider than 85mm.

    With this crop sensor I now have greater use for it, and boy has it found its purpose.

    - I also thought it appropriate to work on my lens whacking.

    Attached to this post is a screenshot from yesterday's rushes with a quick grade thrown on there.

    Looking forward to cracking on with the edit and creating something (fingers crossed) interesting.


    (Can anybody tell me how to get a higher-res image onto my post? This screenshot is might bigger and higher quality than it appears online)
    Last edited by jamesburt; 04-21-2013, 10:43 PM.

  • #2
    Hi James: Was "Almost Summer" shot in Film (log) mode? Would be cool to see a 1080p relatively high bit rate (>15 mb/s) version, but looks fun regardless. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to seeing more Nikkor footage.


    • #3
      It was indeed log mode.

      I need to re-upload the file tonight as my girlfriend now isn't so keen on the shots of her in bed! I've re-cut that section slightly and now might as well compress a 1080 15000kbps version while I'm at it.


      • #4
        I like it, but...

        The film grain effects are so heavy handed. Have you experimented with more subtle variations, and finer grain patterns? When those are used and then taken away they really call attention to the clean video look of the rest of it. My thinking is to use various subtle varieties through the whole thing, but not to get rid of it entirely because of the mismatch.
        Filmmaker - Author



        • #5
          Think that was the idea to make it stand out in a super 8 home movie thing...


          • #6
            was there some "strobbing" going on or is just my poor eyesight?


            • #7

              Here's an upload with a better compression:

              Joe Giambrone - thanks for your feedback, much appreciated! As Stoop said, I was going for a Super 8 effect in the clips which have the 4:3 matte, but perhaps it could be a bit heavy handed. The new compression has lessened the harsh effect you saw previously so maybe it looks better now. I did actually apply a finer grain to the whole video- though it appears to be too fine to escape Vimeo's compression process!

              Eli, don't fear! Your eyesight is good. There's a light flicker effect applied to the Super 8-style clips as well as a reduced frame rate.

              Hopefully the new compression will do the camera more justice, though a lot of that's down to me improving as a user!


              • #8
                What software are you using to apply those effects? I thought they looked fun. Certainly succeeded in looking old and filmy.
                Did I see a view from north London, looking south? I used to have a bedroom with roughly the same view. Around the time of the Stone Roses album...

                How do you feel about the 4k camera coming out so soon after you got your 2.5 or are you not at all bothered? Cos I am still in dilemma-land, wondering whether to upgrade to not...


                • #9
                  Hey Thunderpants -


                  The BMC isn't mine, it belongs to the prod company I work for so there's no regrets! haha In any case I may be able to wangle a 4k into the company, but we currently have a Canon C500 but without the 4K external box yet, so I don't think boss will really be jumping at another 4k if he hasn't got his 20grand camera on full whack yet.

                  Being honest, the test 4k stuff we have shot with the C500 and that I've seen (albeit downsized to prores 422hq at 1080p) isn't discernably nicer than the BMC 2.5k RAW I've tested, though obviously I haven't seen the full potential of Canon's kit yet.

                  I graded this film in Davinci Resolve and applied the grain and effects in Final Cut Pro 7, using a 16mm Rgrain Overlay for the grain (and an RGrain matte) and GFilm plugin for the flicker and the dust etc.

                  The view is actually south east london looking north! I went up to Telegraph Hill in Brockley. You can see as far east as the Docklands and as far west as Battersea. The views are great!

                  Personally, I'm won over by this camera to the extent that if I do buy one myself I'd be happy with the EF mount because I have access to so many EF lenses.

                  If I can find a decent M43 to EF converter (most of my lenses are manual iris anyway) and the M43 version starts shipping soon then I might go for that one.

                  Personally, I don't need 4K. When my bigger plans get underway I want to work with a better cinematographer than myself and then choose the camera depending on the style of the film. Hopefully I'll be able to rent.

                  For all of the work that I intend to shoot myself, the BMC 2.5k is certainly sufficient, and perhaps with the rental of a set of cine lenes will more than do for any purpose.

                  What they all say is true. ONce you figure out the nuance of using this camera, the rushes you get even from Prores are stunning.

                  I used both this cam and the 5D the other day and the difference in both the feel of using it and the resulting image is great.

                  I didn't even manage to run down the internal battery when shooting on and off for four or five hours.

                  My only main gripe is the reflectiveness of the screen. They really really need to sort that out for future models.


                  • #10
                    "The view is actually south east london looking north!"

                    This is why I would have made a lousy fighter pilot.

                    "Personally, I don't need 4K."

                    Me neither! Actually it's the last thing I need, as I have no idea what I'd do with it. I can't even see it at full res on my gigantic iMac...

                    The only thing nagging me is the prospect of the bigger sensor and thought of being able to use my fast prime lenses at the (kind of) focal lengths they were intended for. I don't need a fistful of f1.8 80mm-120mm lenses. A fast 28 or 35 will do...

                    "When my bigger plans get underway"-- the plans I have now are my bigger plans... I am hoping to do a feature length piece of nonsense sometime this year, so I do want to pick the right camera. And balls up the cinematography myself.

                    "I didn't even manage to run down the internal battery" -- this is not a sentiment I have heard before in relation to the BMCC but it is reassuring to know the internal battery isn't entirely useless!

                    Anyway, thanks for your thoughts. I think I'll probably be sticking to my BMCC order and not upgrading - the 1000 euro difference is quite significant when you're doing no-budget stuff. Leave the professional camera to the professionals...


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jamesburt View Post
                      ... Here's an upload with a better compression: ...
                      Thanks for that. Looks great! Cheers.