Cinematographer/Director Paul Leeming Shoots Fujifilm X-T3 and X-Pro2 Footage for Custom Leeming LUT Pro in Our Home Studio

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Australian cinematographer/director Paul Leeming with his Blackmagic Design Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, 8Sinn cage and Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Art zoom lens attached with Metabones Speed Booster EF-to-MFT adapter.

Australian cinematographer cum director cum LUTmaker Paul Leeming took advantage of a break away from the Australian bushfires, torrential rains and floods to drop by our Sydney home studio and shoot some footage on our Fujifilm X-Pro2 and a loaner Fujifilm X-T3, courtesy of Fujifilm Australia.

Mr Leeming was on his annual Australian jaunt after completing photography for a feature film set in Osaka, to eventually return to his domicile in the Netherlands where he will get back to working on Leeming LUT Pro custom look-up tables for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, Fujifilm X-T3, Fujifilm X-Pro2 and Panasonic cameras including the GH5 and GH5S, amongst others.

He shot the feature on two fundamentally different cameras, Panasonic’s Lumix DC-GH5S and the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, and Leeming LUT Pro will play a crucial role in ensuring easy editing and colour grading of HLG and raw video footage.

According to Mr Leeming:

Leeming LUT Pro™ is the world’s first unified, corrective Look Up Table ( LUT ) system for supported cameras, designed to maximise dynamic range, fix skin tones, remove unwanted colour casts and provide an accurate Rec709 starting point for further creative colour grading.

Multi-camera shoots are now much easier, because you are starting with a common, colour-matched baseline, meaning much less time trying to match cameras in post before starting your creative grading.

Once all your cameras have been corrected, you can optionally use the specially matched Leeming LUT Pro Quickies™ for a one-touch creative grade designed to work seamlessly with the common baseline of Leeming LUT Pro™ corrected footage.

Save hours of frustration and give your footage the best possible quality right out the gate. It’s as easy as Shoot – Apply Leeming LUT Pro™ – Done!

Leeming LUT Pro custom LUTs coming for Fujifilm X-Pro2 and X-T3

Mr Leeming shot colour chart footage using the ProNeg Standard film simulation on the Fujifilm X-Pro2 camera, and in the Eterna, F-log and HLG picture profiles on the X-T3.

His preferred profile when shooting with Panasonic cameras is HLG and it is likely that Fujifilm’s HLG will prove to have the same benefits when shooting for high dynamic range aka HDR and standard dynamic range aka SDR output.

I recently shot some HLG footage on the X-T3 in available darkness and the results were impressive to say the least.

Always carry a grey card for white balancing video

Mr Leeming showed me this Struan Grey paint sample card made by Taubmans and told me it is the most accurate grey card for white balancing that he has found available for free.

I have been guilty of forgetting to carry a grey card when out with my camera each day due to the ones I have being a little too large for my daily carry camera bag, so it is good to know there are smaller and cheaper – free! – alternatives available at your local hardware store so long as it stocks Taubmans paint.

Paul Leeming Shooting Footage for Leeming LUT Pro for Fujifilm X-T3 and X-Pro2

Mr Leeming travelled light, carrying a stripped-down Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K rig in this Think Tank Photo backpack.
This stripped-down rig for the BMPCC 4K includes the 8Sinn full cage and once of Mr Leeming’s favourite lenses, the legendary Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM  Art lens for Canon EF-mount. He has preferred 8Sinn cages and accessories since buying one for his Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5. He also relies on Xume filter adapters and Formatt Hitech Firecrest Ultra fixed neutral density filters.
Shooting color checker footage at our home studio. The camera is mounted on a 3 Legged Thing tripod.
Mr Leeming relies on DSC Labs ChromaDuMonde CamAlign Chip charts for their high colour accuracy.
Photographing the Fujifilm X-T3’s monitor for use in writing the manual on the best settings for the camera and how to use Leeming LUT Pro.

Links

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Clicking on the links below and purchasing through them or our affiliate accounts at B&H Photo Video, SmallRig or Think Tank Photo helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled’.

  • 3 Legged Thing tripods and accessoriesB&H
  • 8Sinn cages and accessoriesB&H
  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4KB&H
  • DSC Labs chartsB&H
  • Formatt Hitech Firecrest Ultra filtersB&H
  • FUJIFILM X-Pro2 Mirrorless Digital CameraB&H
  • FUJIFILM X-T3 Mirrorless Digital CameraB&H
  • Fujifilm XF lensesB&H
  • Metabones EF to Micro Four Thirds AdaptersB&H
  • Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens for Canon EFB&H
  • Think Tank Photo camera bagsB&H
  • Xume filter adaptersB&H
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8Sinn is Poised to Ship Samsung Portable T5 SSD Holder for Its Blackmagic Cinema Camera 4K Cage

When cinematographer/director Paul Leeming of Leeming Lut Pro fame came by the ‘Untitled’ home office earlier this year, he brought his Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 rigged up with an 8Sinn cage and Scorpio top handle, Universal Rod & Metabones Support and one of his extensive collection of vintage manual focus prime lenses. 

I had a brief tryout of his 8Sinn gear and was impressed at its thoughtful design, manufacturing quality and excellent feel in the hands.

8Sinn’s design philosophy appears to be one of utility due to plenty of connection points in all the right places combined with ample wrap-around protection done in an ergonomic manner that bestows easy access to the camera’s buttons, dials, doors and other controls. 

Not an easy list of requirements to fill and now 8Sinn has applied that philosophy to its cage for Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and a nascent but growing collection of cage accessories, recently with its Monitor Holder Cold Shoes Mount and soon its holder for the Samsung Portable T5 SSD.

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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K mounted in an 8Sinn cage with included cable clamp, improved lens support and Scorpio too handle, with the new 8Sinn holder for the popular Samsung Portable T5 SSD available in capacities from 250GB through to 2TB.

8Sinn’s new holder for the Samsung T5 SSD

8Sinn’s monitor holder for cold shoes on handles and cages

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Image Credits

Header image concept and hack by Carmel D. Morris.

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Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K aka BMPCC 4K with Samsung T5 Portable Solid State Drive aka SSD.

Clicking on these affiliate links and purchasing through them helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled’.

  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4KB&H
  • Samsung T5 Portable Solid State DrivesB&H

These are Sneak Peeks of 8Sinn’s Camera Cage and Half Cage for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K!!! – UPDATED

8Sinn has released more sneak peek images of its coming cage and half cage for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema camera 4K on the company’s Facebook page. Looking good and looking forward to seeing the complete set of images and accessories for it on Monday July 16 when pre-orders commence!

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Preview of 8Sinn camera cage for Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K aka BMPCC 4K. 8Sinn is taking pre-orders from Monday July 16.

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Image Credits

Header image concept and hack by Carmel D. Morris.

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Unlike its metal-bodied pre-production siblings being shown off at trade shows, the shipping version of Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k will be made of carbon fibre and polycarbonate and will benefit from a camera cage for protection and adding extra functionality and accessories attachment points.

Clicking on these affiliate links and purchasing through them helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success’.

  • Blackmagic Design Mini XLR Cable for Video Assist/4K, Set of 2, 19.5″, HYPERD/AXLRMINI2 – B&H
  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4KB&H
  • DJI Ronin-SB&H
  • G-Technology G-DRIVE R-Series USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C mobile SSD, 500GB, 1Tb or 2TBB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO LensB&H – highly-recommended professional-quality standard zoom lens with manual clutch focus.
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO LensB&H – excellent travel zoom with longer reach though slower fixed maximum aperture, and manual clutch focus for accurate and repeatable manual focussing.
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.2 PRO LensB&H – this and the 25mm and 45mm f/1.2 prime lenses below are highly recommended as top-quality, fast lenses for video production with manual clutch focus for accurate and repeatable manual focussing.
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 PRO LensB&H
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 PRO LensB&H
  • Sachtler System FSB 4 Fluid Head with Sideload Plate, Flowtech 75 Carbon Fiber Tripod with Mid-Level Spreader and Rubber FeetB&H
  • Samsung T5 Portable Solid-State Drive, 250GB, 500Gb, 1TB or 2TBB&H

8Sinn to the Rescue: Panasonic Lumix GH5 and GH5S Camera Cage Updated with Wrist Strap Eyelets, Remote Cable Access

I have been preparing for a possible article on the very first feature film to be shot on with the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S video camera and have been researching some of the other gear the director used such as an 8Sinn  camera cage, handle, rod and Metabones support. 

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8Sinn GH5/GH5S cage version 2 with Scorpio top handle and new provision for mounting wrist strap and remote cable

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The first version of Polish accessories maker 8Sinn’s cage for the GH5/GH5S did not include two eyelets for wrist straps nor provision for attaching a remote release cable to the cage-clad camera’s remote port.

Until Panasonic officially announced the GH5, I was unaware of 8Sinn, a Polish camera accessories maker, and from what I saw of their products at their website, I was impressed.

I have yet to see or try any 8Sinn accessories in real life, though, so anything I write about their products is tempered with that fact.

The first version of the 8Sinn GH5 camera cage looked intriguing with apparently high quality design and manufacturing, but the reason I did not follow up on that initial impression was it lacked provision for easily attaching camera straps and the Panasonic DMW-RSL1 remote release.

Camera cages fall into either of two camps, body-hugging wrap-around ribbons or squarer protective enclosures with makers of the latter type including Seercam and makers of the former type including 8Sinn, MovCam, SmallRig and a host of other companies around the world.

The prime virtue of body-hugging wrap-around ribbon cage designs is that they allow the cage to be attached 24/7, for use when shooting stills or video, when handheld or tripod-mounted, triggered via shutter release button or remote remote cable.

The ability to attach camera straps helps ensure better grip and security against dropping, and so I always attach two or three Peak Design camera straps to every camera I own or borrow.

Peak Design Clutch and Cuff, and Panasonic DMW-RSL1 Remote Shutter Release

Those three Peak Design camera straps are Clutch, Cuff and Slide Lite, with Clutch and Cuff permanently attached to every camera whether caged or not, and with two Slide Lite straps in reserve when I am covering events in the time-honoured two-camera, two-lenses documentary photographer manner.

I keep two Peak Design Anchor Links attached to each camera’s camera left strap attachment eyelet for when I need to attach a Slide Lite, and have slightly different Anchor Link attachment arrangements depending on the cameras’ and cages’ specific designs.

None of the Motion9, Seercam or SmallRig cages I have currently are equipped with strap eyelets so I sometimes must resort to attaching Anchor Links via the now discontinued and rather oversized predecessor to the slimmer, neater Peak Design Anchor Mount.

8Sinn cage for GH5 and GH5S, version 2, with wrist strap eyelets and remote cable access

The 8Sinn cage for GH5 and GH5S, version 2, with built-in eyelets and CNCed indent for remote release cable access is an elegant solution for attaching Peak Design Clutch and Cuff, and the Panasonic DMW-RSL1 Remote Shutter Release as well as third-party alternatives.

8Sinn cage for GH5 and GH5S, version 2, complete kit

Whether assembled into a complete cage-based rig for GH5 or GH5S, audio adapter and Metabones-adapted non-native lens, or something much smaller, version 2 of 8Sinn’s GH5/GH5S camera cage is an intriguing choice given it has now solved the two problems found in version 1 and I hope to see and try it out for myself sometime soon.

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Header image concept and quick hack by Carmel D. Morris.

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Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 with Panasonic DMW-BGGH5 Battery Grip, a necessity for photography or moviemaking with the GH5 and GH5S, though most cages are unfortunately not designed to accommodate it.

Clicking on and purchasing through these affiliate links helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success’.

  • Panasonic DMW-BGGH5 Battery GripB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-XLR1 XLR Microphone Adapter – B&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
  • Peak Design AL-3 Anchor LinksB&H
  • Peak Design Anchor MountB&H
  • Peak Design CL-2 Clutch Camera Hand-StrapB&H
  • Peak Design Cuff Camera Wrist Strap (Charcoal)B&H
  • Peak Design SLL-BK-3 SlideLITE Camera Strap (Black)B&H

LockCircle Robot GH5, the Key to All-Round Top End Feature Film Camera Cages and Rigging for the Panasonic Lumix GH5?

Italian movie production hardware maker LockCircle produces the Robot Skin GH5 cinematic system, perhaps the ultimate answer to high-end, ultra-light, handheld hybrid movie camera caging and rigging aimed at users working in feature film and television series productions. 

Substantially composed of deep anodized CNC-machined billet aircraft grade aluminium with selected grade 5 titanium parts, integrated into the IMS Professional and Positive-Lock lens mounting systems for PL-Mount, Panavision, Leica-R, Canon EF and Nikon optics, with provision for Camera Assistant focal plane measuring, available in Noir Black, Blumix or Purple Rain for design-conscious Camera Operators and Directors of Photography, and a myriad of accessory options.

Designed by cinematographers for cinematographers, LockCircle’s Robot Skin GH5 has clearly been created to impress and to perform in the most demanding conditions.

Its attention to detail is astounding, the design effort apparently aided and abetted by Sydney-based Director of Photography/Producer Clinton Harn ACS, and clearly aimed at those whose needs and budgets ensure that only the best will do.

I came across LockCircle’s Robot Skin GH5 while comparing and contrasting GH5 camera cages I have seen and tried in real life with the many available online, and no others came close to it in terms of design, functionality and manufacturing quality.

LockCircle’s International Resellers page, alas, does not list any Australian importers or retailers but the Robot Skin GH5 may eventually appear at B&H Photo in which case I will add links to the affiliate links list at the base of this page.

For those of us for whom LockCircle’s cage might be financial and mission overkill, it may be wise to compare these three Robot Skin GH5 bundles to other manufacturers’ versions.

So far the other GH5 cages that have impressed are those made by Movcam, Seercam and SmallRig, with 8Sinn’s GH5 cage showing promise that may be fulfilled if the Polish company issues a revision that allows access to the GH5’s remote port.

Links

Image Credits

Image concept and hack by Carmel D. Morris.

Help support ‘Untitled’

Clicking on these affiliate links helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success’.

Note: 8Sinn and SmallRig products are not retailed at B&H Photo Video with which we have an affiliate relationship, but we use and recommend the following camera cages for the Panasonic Lumix GH5. LockCircle products are retailed by B&H but the Robot Skin GH5 has yet to appear there. When it does, we will add those links below.

  • Movcam Cage for Panasonic GH5B&H
  • Movcam Cage Kit for Panasonic GH5B&H
  • Seercam GH5 CageB&H
  • Seercam Cage for GH5 with Classic HandleB&H
  • Seercam Extension Kit for CUBE GH5 CageB&H

SmallRig: SmallRig Panasonic Lumix GH5 Cage 2049 – New Product Release

http://www.smallrig.com/smallrig-panasonic-lumix-gh5-cage-2049.html

“… SmallRig Cage 2049 is designed specifically for Panasonic Lumix GH5.

Key Features:
1. It does not block any access to the SD card slot, battery compartment, and all camera controls.
2. At the bottom are an abundance of multiple 1/4’’ and 3/8’’ threaded holes for Manfrotto and Vinten QR plates or Quick Release Baseplate Kit 2035.
3. The cage is good for thermal dissipation of camera and prevents it from twisting.
4. It could attach Panasonic Lumix GH5 DMW-XLR1 Helmet Kit 2017 on the top for handheld shooting and protection of XLR….”

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Help support ‘Untitled’

Clicking on these affiliate links helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success’.

Note: SmallRig products are not retailed at B&H Photo Video with which we have an affiliate relationship, but we use and recommend the following camera cages for the Panasonic Lumix GH5.

  • Movcam Cage for Panasonic GH5B&H
  • Movcam Cage Kit for Panasonic GH5B&H
  • Seercam GH5 CageB&H
  • Seercam Cage for GH5 with Classic HandleB&H
  • Seercam Extension Kit for CUBE GH5 CageB&H

Luminous Landscape: Peak Design Straps – The Cuff and Leash Review – with COMMENTARY

https://luminous-landscape.com/peak-design-straps-cuff-leash-review/

“Most people are familiar with Peak Design, a company that makes camera bags, packs, and straps. I have been a major fan of the company’s straps for quite some time and have mentioned them on a number of our Toy Shop episodes. Peak Design has, in my opinion, invented one of the best camera strap lines on the market…

… Since using the Peak Design system, I have never been happier with the use of straps. Peak Design offers a variety of straps of varying widths as well as a wrist cuff strap. As soon as I get a new camera or even a review loaner, I insert the Anchor Links. Then, depending on the weight of the camera or how I’ll be using the strap, I decide on which strap to use….”

Commentary:

I have yet to see the new Peak Design Cuff and Leash appear at a camera store, here so please read this commentary bearing that in mind.

The only local camera store that carried the Peak Design brand has now closed and the remaining camera store in our local area has a very limited selection of stock of any brand; Peak Design is not one of those brands.

Like Kevin Raber of Luminous Landscape, as soon as I buy a new camera or receive a review loaner, I attach Anchor Links then a Peak Design Clutch and Peak Design Cuff and never remove them unless a loaner must be returned.

As a result, every single camera in my collection wears its Anchor Links, Clutch and Cuff on a permanent basis, the latter two only coming off when I need to place the camera inside a cage that requires their removal in order to fit.

Camera cages with built-in strap attachment points have only started appearing in the last year, via brands like 8Sinn (latest version not yet on their website), Movcam and SmallRig. I have been looking for an optimum solution for attaching Anchor Straps to other cages, L-Brackets and hand grips but the best so far, Peak Design’s Pro Drive Screw, has its annoyances and limitations.

I have tried many different brands and types of camera straps over the years, made by camera manufacturers and third parties, and none of them has been ideal. Some have failed spectacularly and others have proven to be a real pain to use.

One of the brands that came closest to ideal until I discovered the Peak Design brand through the late Michael Reichmann of Luminous Landscape was Dsptch, and I still have some of their products stored away should I ever need them again.

After buying the Peak Design Capture Pro camera clip, quickly followed by the company’s Clutch, Cuff and Leash camera straps, then trying out Peak Design’s Slide and Slide Lite sling straps for reviews, I have not looked back.

Capture Pro is my most-used Arca-Swiss conversion solution for traditional stills and movie tripod quick release camera plates, until I invest in an Arca-Swiss clamp for each of my current stills and video tripods and monopods.

Slide and Slide Lite live in storage until I need to cover events and documentary subjects demanding a two-camera, two-lens in-depth approach where both cameras must be easily available at all times. Even then, Clutch and Cuff remain in permanent residence on every camera.

Leash, my first Peak Design sling strap, is reserved as a safety strap during urban and bush treks when I am carrying one camera in the hand but run the risk of dropping it in risky terrain.

I am not sure if and when I will have the chance of my first look at the new Cuff and Leash, so must rely on articles by trusted reviewers like Kevin Raber.

I have a couple of cameras at the top of my wishlist, the coming Fujifilm X-E3 mostly for documentary and portrait stills photography and as a backup to my X-Pro2, and the Panasonic DC-GH5 mostly for documentary moviemaking.

I am currently undecided as to whether I will attach the new Cuff and old Clutch to them both, or start searching for old versions of Cuff at online retailers as old Cuff has served me well over the years.

I have a couple of concerns about new Cuff and new Leash. Foremost is the leather component of Peak Design’s Ash colourway, introduced in the company’s Everyday camera bags range.

Now that the effects of climate change and global warming are well set-in here in Sydney, the risk of mould has become a constant concern. When mould attacks leather and certain plastics, its spores set up permanent residence inside and can never be removed.

With a sudden change in the weather, mould’s fruiting bodies can appear on the surface of the leather or plastic then start spreading onto other products inside and nearby.

The idea of susceptible leather and plastics transferring mould infection to cameras, lenses and other expensive objects fills me with horror.

I have asked Peak Design staffers to confirm whether the Ash colourway’s light tan leather trim and the Charcoal colourway’s black Hypalon synthetic are resistant to mould or not, but have not heard back about that yet.

There are other concerns with leather, whether mould-resistant or not. Leather production is part of the global industrialization of agriculture and is inherently cruel as well as environmentally irresponsible. I will not be buying any more leather products or products containing leather, so no Ash colourway Peak Design products for me.

Another concern is the idea of metal parts in close contact with fragile camera parts whether when on the move or at rest. Old Clutch and old Cuff have all-plastic hardware that has not shown signs of mould so far and neither have they rubbed my cameras and lenses up the wrong way.

Slide, Slide Lite and Leash go into their own little fabric bags, other small bags or camera bag internal pockets until needed then go back there or into safe storage when at home.

For now, new Cuff and new Leash’s aluminium hardware is an unknown quantity.

My appeal to stop using leather in camera bags and accessories

I am calling on all makers of camera bags and accessories to stop using leather.

The reasons are clear and well-justified – the extreme cruelty of industrial agriculture, its environmental irresponsibility and the ever-growing problem of mould infection resulting from climate change and global warming.

There is no intrinsic need for leather even in products like shoes and boots. Camera bags and accessories makers like Cosyspeed are leading the way in showing that leather simply is not necessary.

Links:

Seercam’s Brilliant New Cage for the Panasonic Lumix GH5 Available Soon, Extension Kit to Follow

My favourite cage for my Panasonic Lumix GH4 camera was made by Motion9, now trading internationally under the Seercam brand name. The only GH4 cage I had ever seen in real life was Motion9’s CubeMix GH4/3 and if the company’s other GH4 cage, the CubeMix GH4/3 Pro had been available at the time, then I would most definitely have bought that model instead, for its NATO sliding handle and one-touch cable clamp.

Now, Seercam has revealed its cage for the Panasonic Lumix GH5 and it looks like it will be the cage I buy for my GH5, when one finally finds its way into the country and into my hands.

Seercam’s newly-revealed Cube GH5 cage and NATO handle. Extension kit to accommodate the GH5’s DMW XLR1 audio adapter is coming soon.

I took a well-researched gamble on Motion9’s CubeMix GH4/3 and it paid off handsomely. I will be keeping my GH4 as second camera to my GH5 when it eventually arrives and it will be wearing its cage even more then than it does now.

My GH4 will continue to be equipped with its Cube Cage Round Handle, in my experience the most secure design of the two Motion9 top handles, though it does not have the convenience of fast-on, fast-on via NATO rail or the ability to balance the camera’s weight via sliding to and fro.

I would love an updated round handle in the style of the one on Canon’s Cinema EOS cameras, but Seercam’s NATO rail-mounted CubeCage Classic Plus Handle looks tempting as does its quick-release Rod Riser 1565.

I would consider replacing Seercam’s NATO rail with SmallRig’s Quick Release Safety Rail 7cm 1195 though, for its spring-loaded pins to prevent accidental removal. It is the little things that count.

Pity both items are out of stock. Quick-release mechanisms, so long as they mount tightly and securely, are key to working fast and efficiently as an independent, self-funded documentary moviemaker who cannot afford crews and wasting time screwing and unscrewing camera rigging when needing to move fast.

8Sinn’s GH5 cage and handles, especially its Scorpio top handle that can double as a side handle, was the first custom cage for the GH5 to appear online and it has several attractions including its elegance, small size and camera-right hand grip-hugging design.

I have another camera cage now, SmallRig’s 1844 cage for the Panasonic GX8, and through it have come to appreciate the small size and light weight of minimalist camera cages, but for regular through heavy-duty moviemaking when I need to attach a range of accessories to the rig, Motion9/Seercam’s beautifully conceived, brilliantly designed and expertly manufactured cages are my go-to standard.

You can see why in the photographs below. For your product comparison convenience, links to other current GH5 cages are listed at the base of this article.

Seercam’s Cube GH5 body and handle

Coming soon: extension kit for placing handle over DMW XLR1 audio adapter

Of all the GH5 cages listed below, those by 8Sinn and Seercam remain at the top of my wishlist.

If I were shooting features as part of a small crew alongside a camera assistant and audio recordist then I would choose 8Sinn’s cage along with Veydra or Duclos’ Voigtlaender ciné-modded native M43 prime lenses and follow focus device.

While Veydra cinema primes deliver a more standardized look that gets out of the way of the story, Voigtlaender’s faster optics produce quirkier looks that can enhance certain types of stories.

If shooting documentaries as a doing-it-all-myself one-person crew then hands-down I would chose Seercam’s GH5 cage along with Olympus M.Zuiko Pro zoom and prime lenses though I may add one or two Panasonic lenses for the benefits of extra stabilization and DFD – Depth from Defocus.

I really like M.Zuiko Pro lenses’ repeatable hard-stop manual clutch focus mechanism, build quality, durability and colour consistency across the range, and can sacrifice some stabilization for the sake of all that. They are terrific for video as well as stills photography.

There was some consternation about the Olympus M.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8’s inability to accept screw-on filters when it first appeared, as there was about Panasonic’s Lumix 7.14mm f/4.0 lens, but some third-party filter adapter solutions for square or rectangular filters have appeared:

Links:

Stolen! Veydra’s Inventory of Veydra Mini Prime Lenses Gone in a Flash

Veydra proprietor Ryan Avery has reported the theft of over 200 Veydra Mini Prime manual-focus cinema lenses purpose-designed for Micro Four Thirds hybrid cameras and camcorders from his premises in Los Angeles.  Please be on alert for the sudden appearance of heavily discounted Veydra lenses in your area and email Mr Avery if necessary. 

The current Veydra Mini Primes T2.2 cinema lens lineup featuring, from left, 12mm, 16mm, 19mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm and 85mm. All can be used on Micro Four Thirds cameras like the Panasonic Lumix GH5 while a subset can work on Sony E-Mount cameras. C-Mount versions are also available.

Veydra Mini Primes are the only purpose-built cinema-quality native Micro Four Thirds lenses, with five out of the current seven-strong lineup having the same dimensions for fast, easy swapping in and out of follow focus rigs.

Being colour matched, Veydra lenses have the same colour rendering characteristics, eliminating the need for painstaking, time-consuming shot-by-shot colour matching in your non-linear editor or colour grading software.

All Veydra lenses have a common front diameter allowing for industry-standard 77mm diameter filters and step-up rings, 0.8 pitch cinema gears for follow focus devices, constant volume focus, constant T-stops and are available in metric or imperial measurements. Their specifications exceed 4K resolution.

Empty shelves in Veydra’s storeroom. Looks like they raided the vending machine too.

Given they are the product of a small, independent design and manufacturing team, Veydra Mini Primes are a remarkable achievement bringing true cinema-quality lenses within the reach of self-funded, low-budget independent moviemakers.

A six-lens kit of Veydra M43 lenses from 12mm through to 85mm costs about the same as one major brand Super 35 cinema lens adapted with, say, a Metabones Speed Booster.

A Super 16 feature film marriage made in heaven?

Given the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5’s 5-axis in-body image stabilization, recently put to the test by Gordon Laing of CameraLabs, non-stabilized lenses like the Veydras have become even more attractive, especially when making feature films. Consider a Veydra, GH5, 8Sinn cage and Fotga follow focus combination as below, for example.

Although Sol March of Suggestion of Motion suggests that we not rely too much on stabilized lenses, some documentary moviemakers like Rick Young of Movie Machine are fans of stabilized zoom lenses such as Panasonic’s Lumix G lenses.

One thing is certain, stabilized or non-stabilized lenses, cinema primes, stills primes or zoom lenses, whichever brand they are, the advent of in-body image stabilization on the GH5 is a game changer permitting even wider lens choice and I hope that Fujifilm follows suit on IBIS with its rumoured Super 35 “best APS-C camera for video work”.

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Header image concept and hack by Carmel D. Morris.