Gobe is an Australian Lens Adapter and Filter Company That Plants Five Trees for Every Purchase Made

Cinematographer/director Paul Leeming of Leeming LUT Pro dropped by yesterday and very kindly gave us two vintage M42-mount manual-focus prime lenses, a Panagor MC 28mm f/2.8 and a Pentacon 50mm f/1.8. 

Both lenses are in excellent condition and are a reminder of how useful such lenses are for shooting video with recent and current generations of hybrid cameras equipped with focus peaking. 

This morning I googled adapters for these lenses and an Australian camera accessories company came up in the search results – Gobe Corp Pty Ltd, headquartered in Byron Bay. 

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Gobe M42 to Fujifilm X-mount lens adapter.

I don’t know anything about Gobe’s products other than what is published in their website so cannot make any recommendations right now, but am pleased to note that they state that they plant five trees for every purchase made of their their products.

I will now be looking for hands-on reviews of Gobe products, especially of their fixed and variable neutral density filters, UV filters and lens adapters.

Links

  • Camera-wiki.org – Panagor– “[Jaca Corporation] are most famous for their Elicar and Panagor brand lenses, made by a variety of Japanese lens manufacturers which included Komine and Kino Precision.”
  • Gobe – website
  • Leeming LUT Pro – “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.
  • WikipediaPentacon – “The name Pentacon is derived from the brand Contax of Zeiss Ikon Kamerawerke in Dresden and Pentagon, as a Pentaprism for Single-Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras was for the first time developed in Dresden. The cross section of this prism has a pentagonal shape. Pentacon is best known for producing the SLR cameras of the Praktica-series as well as the medium formatcamera Pentacon Six, the Pentacon Super and various cameras of the Exa series.”

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ALPA of Switzerland Announces ALPA XO Exoskeleton aka Cage for Fujifilm GFX 100 100-Megapixel Hybrid Medium Format Camera

Medium format digital camera and lens maker ALPA of Switzerland has been showing off prototypes of its ALPA XO Exoskeleton for the Fujifilm GFX 100 DSLR-style medium format digital hybrid camera and the exoskeleton aka camera cage has an uncanny resemblance to the range of cages and accessories designed and made by expatriate Italian-Australian cinematographer/director Dante Cecchin for his LockCircle brand in northern Italy.

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ALPA of Switzerland XO Exoskeleton for Fujifilm GFX 100 medium format digital camera with ALPA Switar 80mm cinema prime lens.

ALPA has long had a reputation for producing high-priced, well-designed and beautifully-manufactured cameras and lenses and has been expanding into the cinema space with its PLATON range and now the coming new XO range for the GFX 100.

Given the reputed high quality and precision of Mr Cecchin’s cinema camera accessories and his location just below the Swiss/Italian border, a collaboration between the two companies seems like a wise decision.

ALPA XO Exoskeleton aka Cage for Fujifilm GFX 100

LockCircle Cages for Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 and GH5S

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  • Fujifilm GF lensesB&H
  • FUJIFILM GFX 100 Medium Format Mirrorless Camera (Body Only)B&H
  • LockCircle camera cages B&H

Does Camera Accessories Maker JJC Produce a Better Fujifilm X-Pro2 Rubber Eyecup?

I just came across a possible solution to the Fujifilm X-Pro2 camera’s less than perfect rubber eyecup when researching for an article on the coming Fujifilm X-Pro3, and am sharing what I know so far. 

Fujifilm chose a rather minimalist solution for the rubber eyecup on the X-Pro2’s viewfinder eyepiece, one that seems to have forgotten the needs of those of use who must wear eyeglasses, just as they did when designing the X-Pro2’s less than perfect eye relief and viewfinder magnification. 

 I hope that these design solutions will be improved in the coming X-Pro3, but meanwhile I have been searching for ways to improve the experience of using my X-Pro2. 

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JJC EF-XPRO2G silicone rubber replacement eyecup for Fujifilm X-Pro2 cameras. This version is for photographers who wear eyeglasses.

Since getting back into photography and video with recent generations of digital cameras, there is not a single camera that I have used without modifying it in some way in order to improve my experience with it.

I usually do that via camera-maker or third party accessories including hand grips, vertical battery grips, lens hoods, rubber eyecups, terminal covers, camera straps, thumb grips, self-adhesive buttons and sometimes even improvised solutions made with Sugru, “the world’s first mouldable glue”.

Interesting to note that Sugru, once pooh-poohed by the owner of our now tragically defunct local hardware store, now has its imitators with at least three different pseudo-Sugrus turning up on the shelves of an inner-city Bunnings SuperStore last month.

Sadly, DIYing it may not be the best solution for some camera or lens improvements and that is when I go searching the more obscure corners of the non-dark web for readymade alternatives.

Chinese camera and lens accessories maker JJC has improved its design and manufacturing quality since I first purchased some of their products for my Fujifilm Finepix X100 way back when, so much so that I had no hesitation in almost permanently attaching a JJC LH-JXF23 Lens Hood to the Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R prime lens that is almost always attached to my Fujifilm X-Pro2.

So, my first port of call after returning from a documentary photography shoot last weekend was the JJC website as a result of which I ordered two JJC products for the X-Pro2.

They are the JJC EX-XPRO2G and JJC EX-XPRO2 silicone rubber eyecups and I am waiting for their arrival with bated breath

As an eyeglasses wearer with less than perfect vision, I have problems when shooting outdoors in Australia’s laser beam sunlight as well as indoor locations lit by harsh LED downlights.

The X-Pro2’s minimalist rubber eyecup does little to nothing to help block out either forms of hard, bright light, often making it difficult to see well.

JJC’s description of how to attach and detach the two versions of its silicone rubber eyecups for the X-Pro2 pretty much non-existent, and I wish that manufacturers would bother to hire some brilliant technical writers and technical illustrators such as my BFF who worked in those roles for Canon until the company began closing down its global research and development arm.

How any camera and lens maker can continue to effectively innovate and communicate without an R&D department much less tech writers and technical illustrators is beyond me but there is no accounting for corporate male egos I suppose.

I am looking forward to seeing if JJC’s rubber eyecups will do the trick and will be glad to learn how they are to be attached to my X-Pro2’s eyepiece, if the packages contain actual instructions.

Meanwhile I hope that Fujifilm has come up with a better solution for the X-Pro3’s viewfinder, eyepiece and eyecup.

I note that Fujifilm offers five different options for eyecups on its X-T3, X-T3 and X-H1 cameras so hope that they have the same amount of thought into the one, or ones, for the X-Pro3.

I shall add a postscript to this page when I have received both pairs of JJC eyecups.

JJC EF-XPRO2G silicone rubber eyecup for eyeglasses wearers

JJC EF-XPRO2 silicone rubber eyecup for non-eyeglasses wearers

Fujifilm rubber eyecups for Fujifilm X-T3, X-T2 and X-H1 cameras

Guerrilla alternative and Panasonic Lumix replacement rubber eyecups

Postscript

Rubber eyecups are one of the more vulnerable things on digital camera bodies, in my experience, and I have had several of them drop off in the street or into the crevasses of camera bags in the past despite careful treatment when using and carrying my gear.

When that happens the last thing you want to do is frantically search online for replacements that can cost a fortune and take days if not weeks to arrive when shipped from overseas online retailers.

Accordingly I have replacement OEM and alternative third-party rubber eyecups for all my non-Fujifilm cameras, and the lack of either for my Fujifilm cameras gave me extra motivation for researching and ordering JJC’s two silicone rubber eyecups, the JJC EF-XPRO and the JJC EF-XPRO2G.

The JJC EF-XPRO has just arrived and the JJC EF-XPROG may be here in the next couple of days.

My first conclusion is that both JJC rubber eyecups are replacements and not supplements to the one that comes attached to the X-Pro2.

That is a good thing in that if friction or accident causes the camera’s rubber eyecup to come off, as it apparently has for a number of X-Pro2 owners, then it is possible to use the JJC EF-XPRO or JJC EF-XPRO2G as a do-it-yourself replacement.

The downside is that JJC offers no explanation of that or how to do it in their website and there are no instructions or illustrations on the procedure and the tools and possible adhesives needed on the packet.

Oh dear.

I am not a techie by any means so I may need to find someone who is skilled and equipped to do the replacement for me, if I choose to go ahead with it.

I am guessing that involves detaching the currently well-attached eyecup currently on the camera and then glueing the replacement on in its place.

Examination of the JJC EF-XPRO shows it is almost exactly the same size and shape as the eyecup that goes with the X-Pro2.

As an eyeglasses-wearer, I am more likely to seriously consider replacing the camera’s current rubber eyecup with the JJC EF-XPROG, which is 25.4mm wide compared to the JJC EF-XPRO’s 22.8mm width.

I will consider that possibility further when the JJC EF-XPROG arrives.

One thing makes me nervous, though, and that is how much damage might be done to the camera’s viewfinder eyepiece by removing the current rubber eyecup.

I don’t have the required skills, experience, tools and glues to do it myself, so will have to find someone who does, if I decide to go ahead.

Meanwhile…

I have just one across an optional, that is, not a replacement, rubber eyecup for the Fujifilm X-T3 camera that can also be used on the X-T2, X-t1 and GFX 50S cameras.

The JJC EF-XTLIIG appears to go several steps beyond the five optional Fujifilm rubber eyecups that Fujifilm offers for these cameras, and looks particularly well-suited for shooting video with the X-T3.

Once again, detailed use and attachment information about this product is limited and I will need to do more research, especially in regard to using it with eyeglasses.

The X-T3 is a great camera for high-specced HLG and F-Log video as well as portraiture with vertical battery grip and longer lenses such as the Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R, and I have experienced problems with bright light affecting my vision when using it for those purposes.

I have not tried removing an existing rubber eyecup from an X-T3, but review loaner X-T2 cameras came with loose rubber eyecups or in one case no rubber eyecup at all so they may be easily replaced in a way that the one on the X-Pro2 is not.

Once again there appears to be a lack of clarity in the JJC and third party online retailer pages about the JJC EF-XTLIIG rubber eyecup with images of two different eyecups purporting to be the same product, as seen in the last two images above.

Links

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Tilta Announces “Tactical Assault Armor” Professional Camera Cage System for Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

In an intriguing departure from the more customary minimalist approach to creating cages for hybrid and cinema cameras, Tilta has announced a complete professional cage and accessories system for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and it looks amazing. 

The system appears to be named BMPCC 4K Tactical Assault Armor, thus taking on a rather unfortunate military note, but it impresses with the attention to detail Tilta’s design and engineering team has paid to the BMPCC 4K’s accessories needs for use in demanding productions. 

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Tilta cage system for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

Blackmagic Design’s latest pocket camera is anything but a fit-in-the-pocket cinema camera, and from feedback from early pre-order customers it appears to be as capable of run-and-gun documentary work as it is of feature-style documentary or narrative moviemaking.

Tilta’s BMPCC 4K cage design philosophy appears based on making the cost of entry low with the half cage priced at US$69.00, full cage at US$99 with the top handle priced at US$79.00, making the most basic cage combo US$148.00 with an extra US$30.00 for full cage instead of half cage.

Other products in the system tackle BMPCC 4K weak points such as cabling, external SSDs, sun-shading and external power as well as the need for a fast and easy focus-pulling solution for solo operators.

At such a low price for entry into the system, independent documentary moviemakers are able to get a foot in then add to it as bigger productions demand.

Tilta BMPCC 4K Tactical Assault Armor Cage for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

So far Tilta has not revealed the BMPCC 4K Tactical Assault Armor cage system’s release date but interested potential customers are invited to sign up for updates.

I will be keeping an eye out for hands-on reviews of the system in all its forms.

One thing that appears to be missing from the system so far is provision for easily, safely attaching a tilting and swivelling monitor such as the recently-released  Atomos Ninja V but perhaps that solution is still in design stage and will be illustrated in use in a future version of the Tilta BMPCC 4K Tactical Assault Armor cage system web page.

Some other Tilta camera cages

Links

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  • Atomos StoreB&H
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XTRAS: All about that Hood

http://fujixtras.blogspot.com/2015/08/all-about-that-hood.html

“… There’s a lot of good things to say about the Fujifilm lens hoods though. They do come included with the lenses, and provide more than adequate light shielding and protection for the front lens element. They can be mounted reversed to save space in your bag, and are made of solid mass-colored plastic to resist dents and scratches (the 18 and 35 metal ones are the exception for both last attributes).

But they remain cumbersome, tend to come off or knock loose when banging around in crowds, are a pain to mount/unmount when changing lenses, and look quite a bit, well… boring….

… Fortunately, there are plenty of alternatives available. Some come from traditional third party accessory brands, others spawn out of Chinese workshops courtesy of eBay….”

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Fujifilm LH-XF23 Lens Hood for Fujifilm Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R prime lens. Chinese accessories maker JJC and the Vello brand of US company Gradus Group make more affordable alternatives that look and work the same. I bought the one by JJC recently and like it, though I am also looking for a Leica-style circular lens hood with multiple vents that do not obscure the view through my X-Pro2’s optical viewfinder.

Some third-party lens hoods for Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R prime lens

Commentary

Recently I bit the bullet and ordered a JJC brand lens hood for the Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R prime lens (equivalent to 35mm in 35mm sensor cameras) as a replacement for the plastic petal lens hood that was supplied with the lens.

I have been going without a lens hood for quite some time now, relying for protection on the excellent Breakthrough Photography 62mm knurled brass traction framed UV filter I keep permanently mounted on that lens.

I find that lens hoods are essential protection when using my cameras in city crowds where people seem to enjoy smashing into each other or hurling out of shop doorways at high speed without bothering to look.

I often wonder if many people now live in virtual worlds in their own minds, where other people are simply background figures to be walked through as if random collections of pixels on a screen.

Fujifilm’s supplied petal lens hood protrudes into my X-Pro2’s optical viewfinder and it can often be annoying to lose sight of that part of the frame, even though I usually have my camera set so that its electronic rangefinder shows a full view of the scene at the lower right of the OVF.

The JJC lens hood, bought from an Australian-based supplier of several Chinese accessories brands including JJC, arrived faster than if I had bought its Fujifilm or Vello equivalents from B&H or ebay and it is working out well, being robust and protective of the front element and filter of my most-used lens.

It has already done its job while photographing an event in some heavily packed rooms where the participants seem to have limited vision or simply did not care who and what they bumped into.

I am looking for an alternative lens hood though, something lighter and smaller and with vents in exactly the right place to allow less obscured vision through the X-Pro2’s OVF, in the same way that Leica’s vented lens hoods work with the company’s M-Series rangefinder lenses.

The article I have linked to here is one of the most researched on the subject of lens hoods for Fujifilm lenses, and through it I have located an eBay supplier in China that makes multiple-vented 62mm screw-in lens hoods.

Shortly after I bought the Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R lens, I came across a European supplier of third-party Fujifilm accessories who claimed that their lightweight  62mm vented screw-in lens hood had vents that did not obscure vision through the OVF.

It did the opposite.

Caveat emptor, I suppose.

With luck and the article by XTRAS, I may have found a lightweight vented lens hood that actually does its job.

We shall see!

Links

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Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R prime lens with manual clutch focus, equivalent to 35mm in the 35mm sensor format.

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  • Breakthrough Photography 62mm X4 Brass UV FilterB&H
  • Fujifilm LH-XF23 Lens Hood for XF 23mm f/1.4 RB&H
  • Fujifilm XF 23mm f/1.4 R LensB&H
  • Vello LHF-XF23 Dedicated Lens HoodB&H
  • Vello LHF-XF23II Dedicated Lens HoodB&H

Italian-Australian Cinematographer/Director Dante Cecchin Creates Bolidism-Inspired LockCircle HiPock Cage System for Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

One camera cage and accessories maker that appears not to receive the press coverage it deserves is LockCircle, a brand of the Brain Emo company based in Lombardy near Lake Como

LockCircle is the only video accessories maker with its origins in Australia, specifically Broken Hill, thanks to Italian-Australian cinematographer/director Dante Cecchin, but the brand is sadly not represented in this country through an importer/distributor or resellers

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LockCircle HiPock, “The Pocket 4K Camera Cage”, designed by Dante Cecchin for the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K.

Meanwhile LockCircle’s products are clearly well regarded enough to be represented in other countries by respected resellers including AbelCine, B&H, mtf, P+S Technik, The Flash Centre and Vocas.

Mr Cecchin’s product design inspirations include the Bolidist Movement pioneered by Italian designer Massimo Iosa Ghini, who characterizes Boldism as “a way of narrating the transition from materialety to drawing things in which the visual and media aspect prevails with respect to the object’s functional purpose”.

Mr Ghini was involved with the Memphis Group of architects and designers during the 1980s, and perhaps the many highly coloured products Memphis members designed may have influenced LockCircle’s product materials and coatings such as the bronze, grey and black anodized surfaces of the three HiPock elements and cages and the rarer, more wildly coloured limited editions and new product colour-ways sometimes seen on LockCircle’s Facebook page.

Special anodization colours and surface finishes

Mr Cecchin’s LockCircle has been one of the first camera cage makers off the mark to come up with accessories for the soon-to-be-released Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and has come up with three different cages or cage-like devices – Minimal Plate, Essential Plate and System Cage, all under the product name of HiPock.

As with his other camera cages, HiPock integrates intimately with LockCircle’s and camera accessories including MicroMega rigging, RodRocket titanium rods and rails, NoLux “photon trap” technology matte box system, MatBox professional matter box system, LockCircle ultra-secure camera body caps, LockPort camera cable savers, Prime Circle cinema lenses and filters and the Pro M.35 System of accessories for adapting stills photography lenses to use in cinematography.

The breadth and depth of LockCircle’s product system appears to obviate the need to ever go outside it in fully equipping many popular hybrid mirrorless cameras for professional video production.

LockCircle HiPock 4K camera cage for Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

Due to LockCircle being unrepresented in Australia I have not had the pleasure of seeing and trying any of its products in real life and neither do I know anyone here who owns and uses them, but I certainly hope to remedy that lack some day.

Perhaps Mr Cecchin may be persuaded to pay his birth country a visit to show off his products and share his clearly not inconsiderable achievements.

Links

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.

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  • LockCircleB&H
  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4KB&H
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  • Breakthrough PhotographyB&H – the finest brass traction-framed ND, UV and CPL filters as well as the best step-up rings (sadly only sold direct on the company’s own website at present).
  • Chiaro Premium UV Protection FiltersB&H
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SmallRig Has Two Fujifilm X-T3 Cages in Pre-Order, One for the Camera with Battery Grip and One Without. First 100 Orders Get 30% Off.

Camera accessories maker SmallRig is quick off the mark with not one but two camera cages for the Fujifilm X-T3 APS-C/Super 35 hybrid mirrorless camera to take advantage of the X-T3’s radically boosted video capabilities. 

My experience with a range of Fujifilm cameras indicates that almost all of them benefit at least from metal hand grips and more so from vertical battery grips for better, safer handholding and extra power. 

It is pleasing to see that SmallRig has acknowledged this by adding extra gripability to its cage for the X-T3 minus vertical battery grip. 

Both camera cages are currently available under SmallRig’s Pre-Order scheme at 30% off an already low regular price and the estimated shipping date is October 11, 2018, well-timed for the official release of X-T3 production models. 

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Fujifilm X-T3 with Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 R LM OIS kit zoom lens.

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  • Fujifilm VG-XT3 Vertical Battery GripB&H
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News Shooter: Hands-On with the HDMI Atomos Ninja V recorder/monitor

https://www.newsshooter.com/2018/09/10/hands-hdmi-atomos-ninja-v-recorder-monitor/

“I first saw the 5″ HDMI monitor/recorder at NAB 2018 and was impressed with the design, however, the Ninja V wasn’t ready for prime time yet as Atomos didn’t power it up for us to see the 1000 nit screen and new user interface. Well, today I have my hands on a working Ninja V….”

atomos_ninja_v_05_1024px_80pc
Atomos Ninja V monitor/recorder attached to Nikon DSLR.

Atomos Ninja V

Commentary

Great to see Atomos release a beefed-up 5-inch monitor/recorder that is sized to suit the smaller video-capable hybrid cameras that have almost become the defacto standard for independent documentary and other moviemakers.

I have yet to see or try an Atomos Ninja V here in Sydney but it looks like a great piece of kit that is well priced enough for affordability by, well, just about anyone who needs one.

Thanks to Erik Naso and the News Shooter crew for writing and publishing this informative first look hands-on review of the Atomos Ninja V.

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manfrotto_492lcd_micro_ball_head_01_1024px_80pc
Manfrotto 492LCD Micro Ball Head for attaching monitors and other accessories to cameras and camera cages.

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  • Atomos Ninja V 5″ 4K HDMI Recording MonitorB&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.

8sinn_samsung_t5_holder_bmpcc4k_01_1024px_80pc
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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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.

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