Brooklyn Creative: Alexis Williams

Brooklyn Creative: Alexis Williams

Meet one of the most talented up coming make up artists, Alexis Williams, hope you enjoy!
Field report and tech notes after the break

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Camera: Sony A7s
S log2
Lenses: Zeiss 24 70mm f4 OSS
Zeiss 85mm f1.4 ZA
manual Sony Alpha to E mount adapter

ND fader filter

ikan VK7i 7inch with L plate

Came-tv 3 axis gimbal

Polsen 16 channel wireless lav system”>Polsen 16 channel wireless lav kit

Manfrotto carbon tripod with fluid head


excellent video quality

S Log2

no need for additional lights, everything was shot with available light

due to the small footprint, the A7s can be rigged up
any way you want

constant aperture on the Zeiss 24 70mm f4, image stabilization a plus, even on the gimbal

Came TV 3 axis gimbal

Polsen Lav set up worked like a charm, good sound quality

ikan VK7i, great image quality and viewing angle


to get the most out of S Log2, one is pretty much stuck with ISO 3200, there is the option to go up in ISO values, however, if you plan to grade it heavily beyond applying a basic LUT, you will start to see noise pretty quickly.

Shooting outside, ISO 3200 will give you a headache

Extending barrel on Zeiss 24-70mm f4 OSS

compared to more expensive gimbals, the Came-TV gimbal feels a bit fragile

not a deal breaker with this particular gimbal since it is capable of stabilizing much heavier cameras,
however, it does require the motors to work harder if balanced for the wide end and you ends up shooting at 70mm for an extended period of time. This will drain your battery quickly (bring spares).

Manual frequency scanning only with the Polsen Lav kit

shooting outside, ikan VK7i’s glossy screen surface reflects everything, useless hood

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12 thoughts on “Brooklyn Creative: Alexis Williams

  1. mike.kobal Post author

    Yup, the 55mm is crazy sharp. I have both, the 85mm and 135mm. I shoot wide open and absolutely love the results. For portrait work I prefer a cheap MF adapter and for full figure I use the la ea4, does a good job, even with tracking, too bad the AF points are cluttered in the center

  2. Arthur Green

    I bought the 24-70 and the 55 1.8. Both great but the 55 wins in sharpness. Any thoughts about the 85 1.4 Zeiss and the 135 1.8
    ? Not crazy about using the Sony adaptor though. Have you used the Voigtlander 15mm lens? Whats the highest ISO you would use for critical work? Thanks again for all your help.


  3. mike.kobal Post author

    You are welcome, Arthur! I always shot raw and enable lens correction in LR. Noise reduction enabled, don’t mind it for video.
    If you are using fe and g zooms, turn on lens correction in camera for jpgs, not necessary for primes, the zooms need it though, esp the Zeiss 24 70mm

  4. Arthur Green

    Hi Mike. Just picked up the a7s. Its really unbelievable. Thanks for your help. Btw do you turn off all the noise reduction and lens corrections? Thanks again.


  5. mike.kobal Post author

    Marginally better. You probably won’t see much of a difference in most shots. It has noticeably better dynamic range and slightly better color depth and high iso perf according to dxomark. As for the Fuji sensor, I personally like the look this sensor produces, however, it can’t keep up with the the a7s sensor in any department and iso values are inflated by one stop.

  6. Arthur Green

    Yes that helped a lot. Do you think the image quality of the A7s is better or worse than the Nikon D3s? Any thought about the image quality between the Fuji Xt1 and the Sony A7s? Thanks for all your help again.


  7. mike.kobal Post author

    The a7ii is an all rounder. Does everything well but nothing exceptionally well. I ended up returning it because IS isn’t something I need for stills, video is shot with the a7s exclusively and the new button layout and form factor scews thinks up if you like to shoot w multiple bodies and we have comparability issues, the current battery grip won’t fit and you have to give up one c button if you want to set up an identical UI.
    None of the a7 bodies would be an upgrade to the d3s. A shift with emphasis on portability with excellent image quality for still and video and I of course prefer the a7 form factor for video over any DSLR. I truly hated shooting video with dslrs. AF just doesn’t compare to the Nikon’s with zooms, I find the 35mm and 55mm are exceptions and focus fast in good light. You really have to evaluate how important is fast af for your work before you switch. I am fine with the af speed but would not shoot red carpet or anything non repeatable with it.
    As for the lenses,I like the 24 70mm small and light, good image quality, a little weak @70mm
    Love the Zeiss 135mm1.8 great handling and feel, totally usable wide open,I used to shoot with the Nikon 135mm dc, loved it too, the Zeiss is noticeably better. The ability to see the bokeh in the viewfinder is huge i use it with a cheap MF adapter and focus peaking and also with the LA ea4 which is just okay and I am hoping Sony will bring out a better adapter. The 70 200f4 is great, crazy sharp wide open already, has one odd behavioral characteristic, the minimum focus distance changes when fully zoomed to 200mm you have too take a step back or zoom out to about 180mm.
    Got rid of it and replaced it w the 135mm.
    Hope this helps

  8. Arthur Green

    Thanks again for your response. Where do you think the a7mk2 fits in? What do you think of the 24-70, 135 1.8 and 70-200 f4 lens? I have a Nikon D3s which I love for low light and image quality but its getting a bit heavy to use! I have a full compliment of lens including the 85 1.4 which is fantastic. Just trying to figure out if the Sony system is a worthwhile upgrade. Thanks again for all your help.


  9. mike.kobal Post author

    Hi Arthur. I love the look esp for portraits and people. At close inspection of a 20×24 print the difference in micro detail when compared to the a7r is obvious. I find it works great for life style fashion with lots of movement but if you need every detail and or a planning to crop you will be better off with the a7r.I think one needs both.

  10. Arthur Green

    Thanks for the quick reply. Do you think the a7s has a special look for stills esp for people and fashion that the other A7’s do not? Have you done a comparison between the A7s and a7r when making a 20×24 print? Ie is there a significant difference in detail? I love the a7s low light capabilities. Thanks again.


  11. mike.kobal Post author

    Thanks Arthur! I wish there was abody combining the best features of all three cams. It certainly is the best video camera, as for stills if resolution is needed the a7r or a7ii, the best all rounder

  12. Arthur Green

    Great work as alway. Just curious though do you find that the A7s is a better all around camera for fashion than the A7r or A7ll? Im trying to figure out which body to go with. Thanks for your help.


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