I have been meaning to write about my 35mm adapter that I use on my Canon HF100 but with so many video projects I have put it off. So, here is the low down. I purchased the JAG35st back in May so that I could shoot my sister’s wedding in Hawaii with some old school slr lenses. I had looked into the many different adapters out there on the market but found myself noticing the amazing videos coming from the inexpensive but professional enough adapters by JAG35. Once I purchased the JAG35st ( st means static – no moving parts) I started my search of Canon fd lenses. This was the cheapest way to go if I wanted to get that “film look” in my future video creations. If you are looking to give your videos a “film look” then check out http://jag35.com. They are having holiday sales so some items might be slightly cheaper to purchase this month. I have enjoyed the JAG35 adapter so much that I bring it wherever I go with my video camera. It helps me when I want to focus on a specific subject and have the background blurred out. I always carry my 50mm lens because the depth of field is really short and gives the image a closer more personal look.
It’s hard sometimes to be creative and to try being original when it comes to video making. After making my daughters 3 months and up video and then her Almost 9 Months video I feel like I am running out of ideas. I think that things sometimes just happen during the post production process that help tell the story. Whether it’s a new film look or style you stumble upon can totally change the way viewers feel when watching the video creation.
On another note I upload all my work to Vimeo.com because the community on this site is amazing. There are so many creative people out there making really cool, different, cinematic videos and sharing them with the world. I love connecting with others across the world and commenting back and forth on each others videos. Having great feedback is essential to making your next video even better. I have seen my own video grow in concept and creation. Also, I get a lot of really cool ideas by watching some of the best shoot their videos whether it be a documentary, wedding film, car racing, comedy sketch, and many others.
In the end it comes down to your own point of view and then your style will come out in every video you create. All I can say is keep up the creativity when making these amazing life stories and events.
Now that I finally found time to blog I wanted to tell you about this awesome program called Magic Bullet Looks by Red Giant Software. I heard about this little gem from an awesome filmmaker named Philip Bloom. His website is http://philipbloom.co.uk/ and the video which I was amazed by is called “Return to Dungeness”. He was kind enough to create a tutorial of how he stylized this video utilizing a laptop running Final Cut Pro and the plug-in/software Magic Bullet Looks. After watching his tutorial, which is really interesting and fun to watch, I was sold on it and made the purchase to use with the latest wedding footage I had shot in Hawaii. All I have to say is WOW! I love how easy it is to use and how fast you can create your own style. I have noticed however that when color grading needs to be done on every single clip it can be a little tedious.
The video clip that I am creating was all shot on a Canon HF100 using a JAG35st adapter and a Canon HF10. I did find the JAG35st to be an awesome addition to my creative shooting. After a lot of use this last few months the adapter seems to be holding up to all my travels. It is scuffed up but working quite well with all of my Canon FD lenses. There is one small issue with the ground glass in the static adapter. When facing a lit subject I can see a small circle or ring on the ground glass. This only seems to be most visible in well lit areas but I am pretty sure I can purchase another ground glass from Mr. Garcia. I am sure all of his products are as awesome or better than the JAG35st that I purchased.
I will have a video posted here shortly once all color grading is done along with my company logo animation using Motion software which I have never used before.
There now is a DSLR camera from Panasonic called Lumix DMC-GH1 that can shoot video at 1080p @ 24 fps. The huge difference with this camera compared to the Canon 5D Mark II (1080p or 720p) or Nikon D90 (only 720p) is that the Lumix can not only shoot at 1080p @ 24fps but it can also shoot with Auto Focus face detection technology while you shoot video! So there is no need to use a Follow Focus with this lens. This will be awesome for those run & gun situations event videographers encounter all the time. Of course we don’t know how well this works in real life but it sure gives us hope that maybe the RED team will integrate this into the Scarlet before it is launched or in a near future upgrade. By eliminating the focus puller when utilizing a 35mm adapter and a follow focus, you will then be able to run & gun live events without the need of someone helping you keep focus on moving subjects. This camera also gives the user the ability to use an external stereo microphone which is definitely handy for event videographers.
Here is a link to this amazing new camera: http://www2.panasonic.com
Philip Bloom is an amazing director of photography and has recently created a video explaining the basic fundamentals and physics of 35mm adapters. He specifically uses the Letus35 brand as he visually demonstrates the differences between using a 35mm adapter on your video camera or just using your stock camera lens. The way he explains every aspect of 35mm adapters and how Depth of Field (DOF) can benefit your story telling abilities is very easy to follow and understand. The demonstration also shows us why we need a 35mm adapter to achieve the “film look” on any consumer/prosumer video cameras and why these cameras can’t get that kind of DOF without an adapter. If you are interested in learning about 35mm adapters and their benefits in helping your videos have that film look, then watch Philip Bloom’s video because it helps answer the many questions you might have regarding these adapters. Here is the video:
When watching his videos look at how he doesn’t use the “Zoom” function on his high end video cameras. A nice rule to live by when using your video camera is to move closer to your subject if you want to get a closer picture. Also, if you are using any 35mm adapter on your video camera you will not be able to use the zoom function because of having to zoom in on the 35mm adapters “focus screen” or “ground glass” which is where the image from whatever lens you use is projected onto. This is also explained more in his video demonstration.
Also, check out Philip Bloom’s website http://philipbloom.co.uk/
Or do a search for Philip Bloom on http://vimeo.com