SLR Magic 35mm F1.2 Sony FE Review

This isn’t really a lens review in the traditional sense in that I want to tell people why I like using this lens as a videographer, talk about what I use it for and share some of the different shots I have taken with it without getting too technical.

SLR Magic 35mm Cine upclose with the Samyang 100mm Macro, a7sii

SLR Magic 35mm Cine upclose with the Samyang 100mm Macro, a7sii

If you want a really in-depth review check out this one by Phillip Reeve where he talks about the lens from the point of view of a photographer. He gets super techy about a lot of things with charts and examples and that’s handy, especially for photographers.

For videographers trying to create a cinematic look to their work we are a bit less concerned about cropping right into images and more interested in how the footage looks generally, how it feels to use, plus how the lens fits in to our current workflow when shooting.

I use this lens an awful lot now and its not perfect but I still love it. Like any good relationship we work through our issues together…. Its pretty much my go to everyday lens now and I realised this last week when packing for a quick holiday, out of all my other lenses (probably getting on for 15-ish) this is the one I chose as my trip companion along with the A7sii. Above all this lens is fun to use and lets me be creative.

Use with a Gimbal

This lens fits in nicely with my current setup of an A7sii, Zhiyun Crane 2, Mechanical Follow Focus as it has follow focus grooves built into the lens. I also own the SLR Magic 25mm and 75mm from the same family of lenses and this makes life easier when changing lens on the gimbal as they are all the same size and roughly the same weight.

The mechanical follow focus allows me to manually focus this lens whilst the camera is on a Gimbal

The mechanical follow focus allows me to manually focus this lens whilst the camera is on a Gimbal

The inbuilt focus gears on the lens are really sturdy,

The inbuilt focus gears on the lens are really sturdy,

The Magic Set - 25mm, 75mm and 35mm.

The Magic Set - 25mm, 75mm and 35mm.

Many clients like cinematic moving shots so being able to manually focus whilst still moving on the gimbal means more in-focus shots and more room for creativity such as pulling focus whilst moving.

Light Flares

Light flares are seen by some as a hindrance, but I think they can be beautiful and this lens creates some really unusual and abstract looks when filming on sunny days. It can be a bit too much for some people but as long as it adds to the story then a flare can be a cool look. Or rather a warm look… or… yeah.

The sun on a boat in Spain created a dreamy, nostalgic feel.

The sun on a boat in Spain created a dreamy, nostalgic feel.

On a shoot for Wholly Cow Gelato this lens created some nice moments in the winter sun.

On a shoot for Wholly Cow Gelato this lens created some nice moments in the winter sun.

Depth of Field

This lens is a bit of a depth of field king with its F1.2 aperture allowing me to get really creative with out of focus backgrounds and foregrounds. Before this lens I was using a Zeiss 24-70 zoom lens with a constant aperture of F4 and going to F1.2 opened up (lol) a new creative way of shooting things. This lens doesn’t have autofocus so manually focusing at 1.2 can be dangerous but fun and if you nail it the results are amazing.

I shot this image of a tree in Spain last week at F1.2 and the out of focus Bokeh is crazy.

I shot this image of a tree in Spain last week at F1.2 and the out of focus Bokeh is crazy.

F 1.2…. Foreground blur too.

F 1.2…. Foreground blur too.

Lanscapes

I like to travel a lot but I don’t like paying for hold luggage obvs. So if it’s just a quick 3-4 day holiday its important to take minimal kit with me and this often means just one lens in with my cabin bag. Shooting landscapes is something I love to do when exploring a new place so I can send to friends and family, Focusing to infinity is easy and this lens is sharp but doesn’t have a digital look at all, its pretty abstract..

España shot at F16

España shot at F16

The Rock of Gibraltar at F16

The Rock of Gibraltar at F16

What do you call a man with a seagull on his head?

What do you call a man with a seagull on his head?

Conclusion

So there we are then. A non technical review of a nice little cine lens i quite like using for work and travel /side projects. Its lightweight, creates some beautiful and quirky images plus it feels like it’s designed for use on a gimbal.

I don’t like how long it takes to pull focus on this lens…It feels like a long time in between minimum focus distance and infinity and makes it sometimes impractical to pull from foreground to background or opposite, its annoying and i only have one wrist. I also don’t like how the image ‘breathes’ when focusing between points…this is also annoying.

Apart from these points this lens is fun to use and like I said i love it. If you have any further questions just give me a shout and I’d be happy to help.

Thanks,

Barney aka Fluxx

The Taste Plug

In October we launched a new adventure into the world of food by creating a show called The Taste Plug. We wanted to create fun, presenter led content that helps promote great businesses whilst also letting people know where is good to eat.

One of the best things about creating The Taste Plug has been meeting small, independent businesses ‘off the beaten track’ around Gloucestershire such as Wholly Cow Gelato.

We’ve now produced 14 episodes for social media and have loved every second. You can see more episodes either on the facebook page or on the instagram page

The episodes are presented by kishi d'allebone who has had years of experience in the worlds of music, theatre and film making, he brings the good times wherever he goes and it has been amazing working with him.

We’ve made some great friends and contacts along the way, including masterchef contestants and award winning chefs. Keep a look out for the next episodes dropping weekly.

IBC, Amsterdam

We have just got back from the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam where we had an amazing time getting our hands on some brand new releases, learning about emerging cutting edge video techniques and exploring the beautiful city.

Check out our video highlights edit for a taste of what we got up to!

Top 3 Highlights

  1. Atomos Ninja V

The Atomos Ninja V

The Atomos Ninja V

The impressive specs for this bit of equipment are already out there but seeing it in the flesh was great to get a real feel for the monitor. The build quality was really nice, it feels sturdy when compared to the Small HD Focus and the hdmi input seemed to make a strong connection with the lead.

It was nice and bright even in the well-lit IBC conference environment, plus it was really easy to use and responsive (things that are to be expected from Atomos!)

2. Kinefinity Mavo LF

The full frame Mavo by Kinefinity is a much sought after camera, virtually impossible to get hold of at the moment so it was a great opportunity to use it and see what it was actually like.

The Mavo is actually pretty light and for a full frame cine camera with these kind of specs and would be OK on a gimbal such as the Crane 2.

We are seriously considering investing into this camera. The next step will be to rent one for a week and really get to grips with it in the field but the image quality looked amazing and the resolution and frame rates make it a really creative tool.

3. Using an Arri Steadicam

Using an Arri steadicam was something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time. We have been using gimbals since we had the old Glidecam style weighted ones (back in the day!) and then moved into the electronic gimbal era with Ronins and Zhiyun's being the gimbals of choice.

The electronic Gimbals are great, they are a major tool in what we do but to experience the quality of around £40,000 worth of Arri kit was a taste of how hollywood films are made and it was really fun.

See you next year

We are already looking forward to IBC next year and if schedules allow we will be back to keep up with the cutting edge of video production. We feel its important to be inspired and passionate enough about what you do to travel, see new things and learn in order to progress. Big thanks to everyone we met along the way too! See some more pics from IBC and the city below :-)


What is a Hyper-lapse?

We thought it would be really handy for you guys to know what a hyperlapse is and what they can be used for.

Hyperlapses can be beautiful, interesting and exciting to watch, all at once. We really enjoy creating them for our amazing clients and sometimes just for fun in our own personal projects.

This will be just a short post and is not a 'how to' but if you want to find out more just drop us an email and Barney will talk to you all day about the subject! 

So as you can see from the example there a hyperlapse is essentially a moving timelapse and the key to a successful hyperlapse is how smooth the movement is. If the move is shaky or wobbly it can be off putting for the viewer and ruins the cool effect it is trying to create. 

They can really show how busy a place or event is and can be more interesting to watch than a static timelapse. The one above was shot at Cardiff Bay for a cool Volvo event and was a really nice introduction to the video as it grabbed attention. This is so important on social media where attention spans are dwindling and content can be lost amongst the masses of posts. 

Hyperlapses are fairly tricky to pull off but the results can be fantastic and in our opinion certainly worth the effort. 

Buildings and architecture can be a great application for a hyperlapse. They can add drama to an otherwise ordinary scene and possibly intrigue people to pay a visit to the subject place themselves. 

So, there you go. In a nutshell (with a few of our own examples thrown in to the nutshell) is what a hyperlapse is. Please feel free to use this information in pub quizzes from now on. 

Fluxx Films

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When I say Cine, you say Lens

We recently got our hands on some beautiful Zeiss, PL mount cine lenses and the results were worth a little blog post we think! 

On the shoot we had to use plenty of high quality ND filters as it was a really sunny day and the brief we were given wanted a shallow, cinematic depth of field to the shots.  

35mm, Aperture at T1.5

These lenses use the cinema standard T (Transmission) stops instead of F (Focal length) stops. To find out the difference between T and F watch this interesting video from Youtuber Wolfcrow

The out of focus 'Bokeh' is amazing

The out of focus 'Bokeh' is amazing

Shooting wide open at T1.5 created a stunning 'Bokeh' to the shots. The image from the lens has a certain analogue softness to it despite being shot on a digital camera - the Sony a7sii. Using these lenses created (probably) the best looking image we've seen from an a7sii.  For a really in-depth look at Bokeh check out this great article by phlearn.

Just. Wow. 35mm

Just. Wow. 35mm

The way light is interpreted by the lens creates a flattering tone to the shots that was a real joy to work with. Also the way skin tones came out looked spot on.

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Noice. Lens. Zeiss 35mm

Noice. Lens. Zeiss 35mm

To see the video footage this shoot produced check out the video. (We didn't edit this by the way)

If you would like a cinematic flare to your video then we now have our own in-house cine lenses at Fluxx Films and we love using them! They are not Zeiss PL mount but they are still super sick. See some images below from a recent shoot for a taster...

 

 

 

UK Live 2018

9 Weeks 

12 Festivals 

3066 Miles

It's been another busy and fun filled summer on the road working with Got Soul Films on UK Live's 'Let's Rock The Retro Festival', 'Sunday Sessions' and 'Penn Fest' festivals around The UK, calling at Cookham, Norwich, Bristol, Sunderland, Leeds, Scotland, Exeter, Southampton, Shrewsbury and Penn. 

View from Backstage at Let's Rock Scotland

Starting at the end of May and lasting all the way through to July the UK Live festivals make up a huge part of the Got Soul/Fluxx family. We all love music so getting to spend the weekends listening to acts like Example, Lethal Bizzle, Aswad, Sister Sledge, Kaiser Cheifs and many (many!) more is amazing. 

Aswad 

Aswad 

Capturing the atmosphere!

Capturing the atmosphere!

Sean Delahay project manages the project for Got Soul and between a combination of videographers and directors Got Soul/Fluxx cover the events with 2 videographers shooting on a variety of different kit and techniques to keep the output exciting. The ever inventive and superb videographer Matt Lesniewski even bought along his amazing helmet cam for some amazing 1st person shots on a few of the shoots! 

Matt Lesniewski's Helmet Cam invention

We try and make all the edits fun and different to what the festival had before getting us involved by creative use of transitions and a few different techniques.

Check out one of the edits from this year below to get a flavour of what the finished content looks like!

Lets Rock 2018 Norwich 

Here is to more festivals and more fun next year. 

Filming @ Lumina Learning Global Conference, Brighton

A few weeks back Barney was invited to film the Lumina Learning 3 day Global conference at The Grand in Brighton after being recommended by our good friend and client Clive Lewis from Globis . To find out more about what Lumina do check out their website here:  www.luminalearning.com

A shot of Brighton beach early in the morning from day 3, Lumina Learning

A shot of Brighton beach early in the morning from day 3, Lumina Learning

We didn't have loads of time before the conference but a few really productive group Skype calls with the Lumina team established what we needed to accomplish which was essentially 3 things 

1. To film and edit all the presentations throughout the 3 days (roughly 5/6 hours of film a day)

2. Shoot and edit promotional content to be released as a separate edit after the conference 

3. Shoot interviews as further promo content  

A Lumina splash in app

A Lumina splash in app

 

We opted to rent 2 x GH5 cameras to film the presentation content as they have no 30 minute recording limit and great battery life (2 things the Sony a7sii lacks)

Fat Lama is a brilliant resource for last minute rentals by the way. 

A frame export of Clive Lewis from one of the Panasonic GH5's, 

A frame export of Clive Lewis from one of the Panasonic GH5's, 

Frame export from one of the interviews 

Frame export from one of the interviews 

So it was a really busy 3 days! But it was also a lot of fun and Barney had great support from the in house Lumina media team Josh, Emma and Amelia (Big Thanks!) 

Lumina do conferences a bit differently and even had a 'Vibe Master' Tom Morley on site to create good vibes and lift the energy which he definitely did. At one point everyone from the conference played drums outside on Brighton beach which created some nice moments for the promo content!

Tom Morley aka 'Vibe Master'

Tom Morley aka 'Vibe Master'

We are now working on the edits for this and everything we captured turned out nicely. Lumina is a really interesting, cutting edge company and its great to be working with a global business.

Thanks to Lumina Learning for making Fluxx part of the family!

Lumina crew shot

Lumina crew shot

 

 

 

A Work in Progress; Skye Light

Firstly, Welcome to the first Fluxx Films Blog post! 

With this blog we aim to give a deeper insight into some of our projects and what we get up to, share techniques and talk about any new cool equipment we see. 

We are currently working on a really exciting project for artist Julia Christie who is based in the Isle of Skye, Scotland.

Skye Coastline 

Skye Coastline 

 

Barney and Sean were shooting in Edinburgh for the 'Let's Rock' retro festival and decided to hire a car and make the extra 5 hour journey up to Skye to shoot something for Julia as we have wanted to work with her for a while. Julia has amazing talent and her artwork has a distinct, beautiful look to it.

Kit wise we took: 

2 x Sony A7sii, 2 x Crane 2, an FS5, Atomos External Recorder and a Mavic Pro drone and some nice lenses. 

Sean with the FS5 and Atomos

Sean with the FS5 and Atomos

We wanted to tell the story of how Julia has changed her creativity since moving to Skye and how her environment has an impact on her technique and inspiration. 

Skye was absolutely amazing and Barney is now busy doing selects from the footage and building the backbone of the edit from the interview with Julia. 

Julia working on a painting

Julia working on a painting

We want the finished film to be cinematic yet simple, to draw attention to the scenery and to Julia's art work and techniques.   

More updates to follow but we are really excited with how this one is shaping up. To find out more about Julia check out; http://www.juliachristie.co.uk/ 

Juila working from her balcony

Juila working from her balcony