Freitag, 15. Juli 2011

The F3 experience and some lost items.

Today I lost something precious....noooo not in FCPX...I lost the rubber on the viewfinder of the EX3. According to the rental house SONY charges 136 Euros for that piece. And there are people complaining about the 300-Euro FCPX? Sheeesh, where´s common sense nowadays?

We didn´t only bring FCPX as a test-tool this week. Stefan also brought his brandnew F3 as you know. Since I do most of the editing and he hardly allows me to touch it - ever-  I can only say the files are treated just as EX files and the images are gorgeous. It has this lush look that I miss with the FS100 and the AF100. F3 is just a different league. A 5D with videohousing.

Anyway, here´s Stefan´s report about using the F3 in a racesituation: 

first off: i got mine about a week before this project, and i had no time whatsoever to really dig into all the features - especially picture profiles and how she reacts to different settings. 
so all of this using the f3 in a sports documentary is more "let's see what happens if we use it" kind of thing.

so how does it work in such a run'n'gun scenario?
perfect. period. 
i didn't expect it to be that great. really. 

workflow/speed: it's just like working with an EX-1.

color: as i had no time to prep i downloaded the abelcine-settings for the picture profiles and ran with them. until today. i copied my own ex-1 settings to the f3 and will be testing them tomorrow, for i'm not too happy with the colors yet. i like a neutral flat image. a matter of taste, really

but how well the F3 resolves in the blacks is mind blowing. if you look in the EVF you might think that all the info is gone in the blacks, but once you watch it on the computer you can see stuff in the blacks you never dreamed of. we often had to shoot straight into the sun and the F3 resolved the shadows very nice.
the ex-1 is a very decent camera for what it is, but the F3 is a different league.

i took off my 3 Stage Matte Box 4x5,65" for the setup is just too big to be
constantly be pulled out of my bag, shot handheld, then put back, then pulled out again… the F3 is heavier than the EX-1. you feel it.

as my MTF adapter isn't "powered" i have no VR on my Nikon Glass. i was worried for shakiness, but as it turned out the camera is heavy enough that you can work without VR very well! (still i wish i had VR as an option… ;-) 
this is one of the reasons why i don't like the VDSLR/RED Epic Form factor. you always need some form of support to work with it handheld. 

the glass i use mainly is a tamron 28-75 2.8 
as you already have seen i also used a sigma 10-20 3.5 for more extreme pictures.
both are wonderful glass but i was worried about pulling focus.
i use a TRUSMT T3 Follow focus which works really great for the price. it feels and works very solid. i found it 2 weeks prior to this project on ebay and am very happy with it.
i wish i had the samyang 85mm and 35mm 1.4, for Samyang does what i miss on my glass: the focus-ring has a much longer focus throw…. and the glass is wonderful! (ed. Alban: Ha, thank god I have the Samyang 85 on my 7D)

so, the f3 performs very very well, even in this challenging situation.
what was meant as an experiment turned out to be perfectly suitable.
i sure will get the s-log option sooner or later, because this is what this camera 
really needs to unleash it's full potential.
but i must confess that it will take me some time to really squeeze out the best picture possible with this beast. it took me 2 months on the EX-1 to find settings that i was happy with - so i think that there's some room for improvement to what i see 

so i'm very happy with it. the pictures are wonderful - a huge step-up in picture quality comparing it to my EX-1 and D7000.

But do you need it? That's the question, i know…

i think nowadays you don't buy the gear for the client any more. heck, if commercials are shot on a 5D and the client is super happy, why should i spend 5 times the money on a F3?
 i bought it, because i think it makes my work better. it has the handling of an EX-1 and that's what i miss with DSLRs. Does the client see the difference? i don't know. in fact, do i care? I want a tool that i have fun with, that can face a lot of challenges, and challenges me to become a better photographer.

and the F3 has all that i missed on a feature film project i did last year with my EX-1.

btw, the mic that comes with the camera is superb.

what bugs me:
there's no joystick any more and that in run'n'gun situations you can't easily reach the ND with the monitor flipped out.. but hey, just dial in 6db or 9db gain - you won't notice at all ;-)
and i'm not too sure if i will use in the rain because i can see the internals beneath the ventilation shafts and i have no decent rain cover yet.

The battery drain is much higher than on the EX-1, I guess double energy consumption.

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