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.
I went and bought the parts to create a video slider. You can find the parts at igus
After adapting my bogen 501 release plate (thanks to Michael Spencer) to attach under the rails to give me a quick release from the fluid head we drilled and tapped a hole through the carriage. This allowed me to attach a cheap rotating head to the carriage which gives me the ability to pan while sliding. Here are a few pictures of the setup I used.
The event I shot yesterday was called Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon in San Jose, Ca. There was an estimated 12,000 runners of all types who joined this 13 mile run. At times the packs of runners were so many that the sound of their feet was like a loud roar. Really an awesome event.
My first experience with Apple Motion software was pretty confusing. At first I couldn’t figure out the different window arrangements and what they meant. Once I figured this all out thanks to Ripple Training and the DVD tutorial called “Motion 3 Fast Forward“. After watching this tutorial for an hour I decided to venture off and “play around” with the software. I started by bringing in some Photoshop layers with my character “Flathead” and trying to set the scene for an introduction video to Flathead Productions. After days and many hours working by trial and error I finally completed the intro along with the Hawaii wedding video I had shot in May. It’s the best feeling to finally finish a completed video piece.
The coloring was done in Magic Bullet Looks by Red Giant software thanks to Philip Bloom and his video tutorial on how he did his color grading on “Return to Dungeness”. The scenes I shot in Hawaii were on a Canon HF100 with the JAG35st adapter. The 35mm adapter has a static (st) screen in which images from old school Canon FD lenses project onto and in turn the video camera records this projected image. In the camera itself the image is recorded upside down which makes shooting live events a little difficult to do especially when you need to create an interesting composition of each scene with only a few seconds to do so. That’s the nature of “LIVE” events like weddings and such in life. This was my first time using the 35mm adapter with a few lenses I had purchased off of eBay the week before. I guess you can say there is nothing like waiting until the last minute. My past experiences with shooting weddings has been with a huge and bulky camera called a Canon XL1s which I mount on my shoulder to do all of my “run N gun” shooting. This little camera with adapter and lens doesn’t even feel a quarter of the weight of my huge camera which in turn makes it difficult to say the least in getting a completely steady shot. In the future a steadicam of some sort would be more than helpful.
On another note, the editing of the video was easy to do in Final Cut Studio which I made full use of by using Final Cut, Motion, and Soundtrack. I can say that using these 3 software titles together was as seamless as anything I have seen. I can’t wait to continue learning new and cutting edge techniques with this software package to help tell interesting stories through video and animation.
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.
I am currently preparing to shoot my little sister’s wedding in Hawaii on Saturday May 30, 2009. The video camera setup will include: 1 Canon XL1s, 1 Canon HF100 with 35mm adapter, Canon FD lenses for the 35mm adapter (main lens 50mm f/1.4), MacBook Pro for Live streaming of the wedding, 2 tripods, XLR wireless Sennheiser microphones, and many other accessories for this shoot. I plan on using the Canon XL1s and connecting it to the laptop for a U-stream live setup but I am not sure exactly how this is going to play out in the end. My HF100 is an HD camera utilizing a Jag35ST and Canon FD lenses so I will be shooting a run-n-gun style with this setup. While I am shooting this wedding with my video camera setup my brother-in-law will be shooting with his professional DSLR carmera a Nikon d700 with both a 24-70mm and a 50mm lens. With both of us experienced wedding shooters we should have a great turn out in both pictures and video along with a live streamed wedding. The event will be located on the big island of Hawaii on the Kona side of the island.
If interested here is the wedding URL which will be LIVE May 30th @ 3pm or 6pm PST:
There will also be live video streaming on the ustream site showcasing the “Growing Up Years” slide show prior to the Live event if interested.
This video was shot as an unofficial video for my cousin’s wedding day. I was testing out the quality of the canon HF100 and looking for higher quality detail in each shot. This camera is not a professional camera by any means but it was the easiest one to carry and shoot randomly at the wedding.
Adding a Letus35 mini to this setup would allow for selective DOF (depth of field) shooting and would also give each shot a cinematic look other than a plain video look. This would allow a greater variety in telling the story of someone’s special wedding day while giving the footage shot that day a much more movie like image.