The FotoDiox Mirage Trio is a fun novelty item for pure camera enthusiasts. It looks like a Sony A series camera, but is actually a triple USB charging dock for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. The lens has a cut out to hold the Apple Watch chargers as well. Available on Amazon (here)
While I see many people switching over to the Panasonic GH4 and Sony A7 series cameras (like the A7sII/A7RII), there's one product that I wanted to remind people about - the FotoDiox ND Throttle. When shooting with Sony cameras, especially in SLOG, the minimum ISO could be anywhere from 1600-3200. SLOG is such a great option to have, but means you really have to deal with ND Filters to keep a wide aperture and proper shutter speed.
The easiest and most simple solution that I know of is the FotoDiox ND Throttle. The FotoDiox ND Throttle is a variable ND Filter built right into a lens adapter, and allows you to dial in your exposure without changing your ISO, Shutter, and Aperture. Of course this only works if you are adapting a Full Frame lens to the Sony or Panasonic, and not using a native lens.
It doesn't matter if you're working with a Canon EF autofocus lens, a manual Rokinon Lens, or even high end Cinema Prime Lenses like the
XEEN, Canon CN-E, Zeiss CP.2, etc. The FotoDiox ND Throttle is one simple adapter that I highly suggest all Sony A7 series or GH4 shooters look into and find the time to try it out. Even if you're not using it all the time, I think you'll find it's worth keeping in the gear bag.
So while I think Canon L lenses offer great image quality, you can get a (4) piece Rokinon Cine DS Lens Bundle Set for about the price of one Canon L Lens. The DS line from Rokinon are designed to be color matched, same exposure ranges, common focus and iris gear positions, a de-clicked aperture, etc. For me personally I feel they are better for video than standard Autofocus Photo Lenses (image quality aside). If you're looking into a set of Rokinon Cine lenses, I highly suggest starting with the 'Cine DS' line for the reasons stated above.
The image quality is great, and I think you'll really appreciate the longer focus (pull) throw, and de-clicked aperture which lets you set F-stops in smaller increments than you can with auto focus lenses. The built in gear ring is great for follow focuses, and the standard positions make it easier to swap lenses without moving your FF around each time.
Now if you really want to step it up a bit, the Rokinon XEEN Cinema Prime lenses have a standard physical size, lens diameter, better optics, less breathing, etc. To date they are probably the most affordable Cinema Prime Lenses that cover a full frame sensor. They have a 114mm Diameter which is exactly the same as a Canon CN-E Prime, or Zeiss CP.2. You can find great deals on XEEN Lens Sets via eBay (click here).
I recently got my hands on a couple of new Bi-Color FotoDiox FlapJack LED Edgelights. The FlapJack lights have been around for a little while but the product line has now expanded with several new sizes, and now in a temperature adjustable version.
While they are not meant to replace high power LED lighting, the unique design allows these lights to be placed close to subjects while offering a very flattering, soft, wide spread, diffused light. No filters, gels, or modifiers required. Because of this, I see them as being perfect for on-camera use. The large evenly diffused panel is much more comfortable for subjects to look towards, and will reduce harsh shadows.
My favorite version of the FlapJack LED Edgelights is the 4x11 design which when mounted horizontally offers a slim and low profile light, but with a very wide spread. Rotate it vertically, or maybe add a handle for off camera use, and you have a very nice strip light. If you're duties require an on-camera light for such things as event coverage, documentary, product, or macro, the FotoDiox FlapJack LED Edgelights is certainly one to consider with it's unique properties.
Here's another video from FotoDiox along with a description of the video discussing their new lights and a Giveaway opportunity.
For more information about the various sizes and options available for the FlapJack Daylight or Bi-Color LED Edgelights, visit http://FotoDioxPro.com (here).
FotoDiox Daylight and NEW Bi-Color FlapJack LED Edgelights
Here's another #CyberMonday Deal via FotoDiox. Available today until Midnight (CST) you get 20% OFF any item at the Fotodiox store. That's a pretty generous offer but you'll need the promo code "DONTTELLMYBOSS20" to redeem.
Fotodiox makes almost every type of lens adapter, but you'll also find lots of LED lighting kits, Photography gear, HDMI Monitors, and more. Browse around and compare, this CYBER Monday Deal ends midnight tonight (click here).
20% OFF All Items on FotoDiox.com #CyberMondayDeals
Here's a side by side video test showing samples from a Panasonic GH3 with and without the new Lens Turbo Focal Reducer. We used a newer Rokinon 85mm T/1.5 Cine Lens [Nikon Mount] + and old Nikon 50mm Pancake. With the Lens Turbo adapter we were able to achieve a wider field of view and an increase in exposure.
Obviously YouTube has added compression to the video, but if you want to be a pixel peeper, you can download a better version of this edited video from my Vimeo Channel (here).
I think the image quality achieved from this (Speedbooster alternative) adapter delivered decent results for the price. The Metabones Speedbooster will run about $489 dollars (here), versus this Lens Turbo which can now be found under $139 US (here).
Of course we're just using a consumer grade Rokinon Cine Lens, and an old $50 dollar lens from eBay. There's no doubt this adapter won't match up to the quality of the Metabones products. Anyone using serious glass worth thousands of dollars might as well pony up the extra cash for the Metabones MFT M43 Speedbooster (found here).
Metabones SpeedBooster Nikon to M43 MFT
If you're a casual video shooter looking to get a wider field of view and increased light through your common glass, I think you'll be happy with the Lens Turbo. I'll probably go out and take a bunch of high resolution still images on the next outing, but for now let's hear a few comments about these first video test results. What did you guys think so far? [Comment]
For more info, you can find the Lens Turbo MFT Focal Reducer adapter available now via eBay (click here).
Lens Turbo Focal Reducer Nikon to MFT Micro Four Thirds Adapter
Remember a short while back I mentioned I was working on a personal project to perform some independent LED Video Light Tests? Well here's a small update on where this project is at.
The image below (computer screen shot) are various different LED video lights I have laying around shot with exactly the same settings. This is a visual reference to compare the brightness, spread (diffusion), and also color reference of each LED video light. I've locked the camera down to a white balance of 5600K for these images. Some of the tests were performed between Daylight and Tungsten, but the side by side comparison really shows extreme color casts between the various LED lights.
I also decided to get more serious about using a true LED Spectrometer for these tests that will provide me with more accurate readings and charts. I'll be able to share these images as well as exact numbers from the meter for each light including CRI and LUX readings. The image below are a few settings from the various LED Video lights. This project will be quite interesting indeed..
[Note:] I am performing my own tests with a standardized setup across each LED light as a reference. This is an independent test which may greatly differ from what each Manfacturer displays as their proper listed technical specifications.