from me to you, from you to me

Rock&Roll: Canon 5Dmk2 from Mike Kobal on Vimeo.

Soma magazine invited me to contribute to the Rock&Roll issue (out in July), I was very lucky my friend Daniela, one of the hottest models in town, was available for this shoot. The main focus was to capture great images for the magazine (click the photo tab, top left on this block to check the photographs), but I did manage to get a few video clips during this shoot. Check her out, she is amazing. Shot with the Canon 5Dmk2, 24-70mm and 75-150mm, Arri 2k. Editing: pretty much out of the box, shot monochrome, level adjustment, FCP. Music: “The Warning”, Keygrip, from the album “vis-a-vis”, if you like what you hear, check them out at
thanks for visiting!

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.

Grand Central Terminal, NYC: Canon 5Dmk2

Grand Central Terminal NYC: Canon 5Dmk2 from Mike Kobal on Vimeo.

After Canon announced a manual firmware upgrade I went out and got one. This is my first video with the Canon 5Dmk2. I can’t imagine movie mode without manual controls anymore. Very intuitive and straightforward. To use my Nikon lenses I purchased a few $6 Nikon – Canon adapters on Ebay. I am also using Hoodman’s Hoodloup 3.0 with the cinema strap over the LCD for focusing. Works great. Lenses used: Nikon 75-150mm 3.5, this is now my favorite tele lens, on the D90 and the 5Dmk2, it is already extremely sharp wide open and very light and small. 17-35mm 2.8, and my new favorite normal lens wide open the Sigma 50mm 1.4. Crazy sharp at 1.4 already. Everything shot from tripod, ISO range, 200 to 2000.
Edited in FCP, desaturated by about 20%. Music: Max Roach, from the Album “speak brother speak” buy the album here: Hope you enjoy. Thanks for watching.

Sigma, Nikon, Canon: 24-70mm 2.8 compared

Sigma 24-70mm 2.8 EX DG HSM vs. Canon 24-70mm 2.8L vs. Nikon 24-70mm 2.8G ED from Mike Kobal on Vimeo.

After seeing the lens on display at Adorama in NYC and how compact it was, I searched the net for a review. I guess the lens is too new, I could not find anything, so I decided to test it against the Canon 24-70L and the Nikon 24-70, wide open (2.8) at 24mm and 70mm on the Canon 5Dmk2. I forgot to mention in my review that the Nikon zoom ring feels pretty good, the focusing ring not so, too loose for my taste, better then the Canon but not as good as the Sigma. AF feels pretty much identical on the Canon body compared to the L lens. Check out my mini review if you are in the market for a standard zoom lens and are wondering about the Sigma.