Lucy’s: Canon 5D mark II High ISO Torture Test

Lucy’s: Canon 5D mark II High ISO Torture Test

Lucy’s: Canon 5Dmk2 High Iso Torture Test from Mike Kobal on Vimeo.

Before I introduce you to Lucy, write down the address: 135 Ave A (between St. Mark’s & 9th St), in the East Village, NYC. This is a real bar. Not a poser bar. Has been around since the 70s. I promised Lucy that whoever watches this movie will pay her a visit next time you visit NYC :O). Forget the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, the lines are too long. The Hard Rock Cafe, gimme a break. Check out something worthwhile. Check out Lucy’s.
Lucy has been working the bar for about 30 years. She was convinced by her previous boss to take it over rather then retiring in Florida. Lucy is there every day from 7.15pm onwards, until the last guest leaves. Google it, you will find many great reviews about the place.
I was looking for something interesting to shoot at very low light levels with my new 5Dmk2. I remembered Lucy’s which is down a couple blocks from where I live and the days when I would go there with my buddies from the running club, after a 12×400 on the East 6th Street track and hydrate properly with beer or vodka. As our coach used to say, once you brake it down its just like a power gel. He was an Irish lad. I always loved the place. It never changes. Back to the shoot: Shot it at ISO 3200, all from tripod, with the Sigma 50mm 1.4, mostly wide open, or down to 1.8. I used the hoodloupe for focusing. Set manual white balance with a Kodak Grey card, the red was so dominant that I just went with it. Its part of the atmosphere after all. the camera is capable of delivering great color even at iso 3200, and there was very little post on this. To honor Lucy’s home land we are listening to Dvorak’s waltz.

21 thoughts on “Lucy’s: Canon 5D mark II High ISO Torture Test

  1. Don Ulrich


    Just found this vid and love it. So many cool things in NYC never show up as tourist spots. Going to be in town next month. It will be the first place I visit. Nothing like a Makers Mark @ 7:30am.

  2. Jean Meganck

    I just wander if the footage of 5DMKII and D90 is easy transporting into FCP?
    Thanks a lot for publishing your shorts. You give me a lot of inspiration.
    Your movies act like miniatures; they look so naturel and easy done,
    a quality that’s easy overlooked. The hand of a master.

  3. Johnny Rivera

    Nice work, I like the intimacy of the shot & the music is perfect for the mood.

  4. mike.kobal Post author

    thanks for the comments, raoul, now I think it would be a bit boring without the red, I could have brought some light but that would have destroyed the atmosphere for sure.

  5. raoul

    I ought to add, love Lucy’s been going there since ’92. It’s a real bar, that’s for sure. One of the few left in the city.

  6. raoul

    As you point out, the red is a bit much. If you add a 80A filter and then set the white balance you’ll be able to do much better in terms of not having the red drive you nuts. You can’t really post process away that kind of red either, not without making the other channels noisy.

  7. Paul

    Mike…just stumbled across your site. Wonderful,stunning…and thanks for the inspiration. What are you using these days for video editing?

    Looking forward to more…


  8. john hall

    hi mike , beautiful bar -wonderful pictures, deep in the haert of graz you ┬┤ll never find such one, by the way it remembers me on your first pictures :an old man sitting there and eat his soup – wonderful time.

  9. christina

    Beautiful – I am so impressed with this camera AND your ability to do these “portraits”. This piece reminded me of silent film era movies, …and when you do the next one maybe consider putting in the subjects comments on a frame just like in the olden days ( I keep wanting to “hear” Lucy “speak”- terrific piece – you did it again! AND with available light – incredible!

  10. mike.kobal Post author

    haha, that’s the font on her business card, but if I get enough complaints, it can be changed :-) on second thoughts- changed it and uploading the new one.
    happy now?

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