Francis is available for coaching, ph 9178260954 email@example.com
It has been a while since my last post, and ages since my last video post
The Sony A7s has been my workhorse for more then a year. I purchased it for video and ironically, I have been using it mainly for stills. There were a few corporate video gigs, everything else photography. It turned into my workhorse for online catalogs, head shots, portraits, stills and street photography! (You can follow my daily IG stream at www.instagram.com/globalshutter )
I finally had the change to shoot a personal video and I am very excited to share it and tell you about my experience:
Preparation: my original idea was to shoot this clip over two days, as it turned out, the only low traffic window on that track was very early in the mornings, the first hard core walkers showed up at 5am sharp and it was crowded by 6am.
In a sense, this was perfect since the track faces east and is a great spot for watching the sun rise.
We had to be fast since early morning light rises quickly. We had about 50min of “good light”. There was no way to shoot it in two sessions.
We decided to do it over a week, meeting at 5am sharp, I would get there a little earlier and have the equipment ready.
Shooting in the rain: We anticipated a downpour, however, nothing like this
I used a large, clear recycling bag, taped to the lenshood and my back pack.
I planned to use 3 lenses, my favorite vintage lens, the Minolta 58mm 1.2 for the close ups and bokeh,
the Sony FE 28-135mm f4 and the Zeiss FE 16 35mm f4.
After the first day of shooting I dropped the idea to shoot with the 58mm since time was precious and we had to keep takes to a minimum.
I ended up shooting with 2 lenses only, the Sony FE 28 135mm and the Zeiss FE 16 35mm.
Lenses, the good, the bad and the ugly:
Let me say that I love to shoot with those two lenses, stills and particularly video.
Lets start with the Zeiss 16 35mm f4:
Great sharpness and contrast already wide open, image stabilizer a big plus, even when shooting with a three way gimbal. Good af performance, very smooth transitions.
Smooth af performance, no hick ups or focus pumping
The bad and the ugly: there really wasn’t anything to complain about on this shoot.
Sony FE 28 135mm f4:
Did I mention already that I absolutely love this lens? Sharp and contrasty wide open throughout the whole focal length.
Manual focus ring with hard stops, long focus throw, really works in the field.
Zoom ring and rocker, good zooming speed control with the rocker.
Manual, smooth aperture ring.
Maintains plane and field of focus while zooming.
Silent ultra sonic motors
VERY good image stabilization
The lens is long enough to easily find everything by touch, aperture ring, rocker, zoom ring, af ring, very well balanced with the A7s when mounted on the tripod collar.
Video specific lens hood really works.
Beautiful bokeh for an f4 lens.
Very smooth af performance on stationary and slow moving subjects, no hick ups or focus pumping
This might just be a personal preference, but I prefer the zoom rocker over the zoom ring, I found speed control a little easier.
Since switching from af to manual focus produces an audible click when pulling the focus ring, it can’t be done during filming. Bummer.
I have rented this lens in the past and the tripod collar was a little loose when fully tightened, a nuance people complained about on various forums,
NOT the case on my lens, there is no play when tightened down and it turns smoothly when needed,
something to pay attention to when you purchase this lens, this can ruin your take.
Although this will be listed as a short coming on the A7s, I will also mention it here.
The lens can’t track fast moving objects, hell, it can’t even track a slow jogger! Let’s hope this won’t be an issue on the A7rII and the A7sII.
Set up: Manual
File Format XAVC S
Frame rate: 1080/60p
Creative style: Autumn leaves
DRO/Auto HDR: LV4
Manual white balance
ISO range: 100 – 6400
The good: Enough has been said about the video performance of the A7s, I have nothing to add,
I love the footage this camera produces in full frame and crop mode.
The bad: battery life is an issue, although not so much during this production
I would like to see a fully articulated LCD ( GH4) on the A7sII.
The ugly: AF tracking in video mode leaves a lot to be desired, to put it nicely.
External monitor/cage: not used on this shoot
Sticks/Tripods: Manfrotto 755XB with MVH500AH head
3 way gimbal:
Came TV 7500:
The good: you can get this gimbal fully assembled and adjusted for a really good price here on ebay:
strong enough to take the A7s (will also balance heavier cameras, like the 5DmkIII and the Nikon D8100) with a fairly heavy lens (Zeiss FE 16 35mm, Zeiss FE 24 70mm)
smooth motion control, esp with the thumb stick
Mine arrived properly balanced.
Easy to set up and use with the Sony A7s and the FE 16-35mm and FE 24-70mm.
The bad and the ugly: short battery life, a 2200mAH Lithium Poly battery will last about 20min
on the fragile side, brushless motors exposed, can’t be used in the rain
transportation, a big headache unless you get a proper case, like the Pelikan 1660 and take the time to customize it.
I hope you enjoyed watching it, ask questions and I will answer. If you enjoyed the content and are a runner, training for a race or just want to improve, Francis is available for coaching, you can reach him by cell, 9178260954, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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