Sunday, 29 December 2013

Vintage lenses for a vintage look. New Years resolution filming.

Gotta Find Me A Place In The Sun…..

Well its not quite 2014 yet but I reckoned if your actually going to make a new years resolution and stick to it, its best starting early. I have a few….eat healthy, do more exercise, the usual. However both of those are fairly generic and boring and frankly as much as I say il stick to it……will not pan out as well I want. Hey, maybe il start climbing the stairs in my office every day instead…I am a bit nervous in lifts after all.

The one new years resolution I fully intend on sticking to however is to go shoot more. I just don't have the time these days to do as much id like and honestly, its stupid because filming is my life, its what puts a smile on my face (as does a good burrito) and I'm as guilty as most for not making enough time to do the things I love. 

So with that in mind, yesterday I dragged my woman out to town to do a bit of filming. I have a shoot coming up soon with an actress friend of ours and I'm working on some ideas for the film. So Lily and I decided to go out and do a few test shots.

It was…..cold. Manchester in late December, good one Jonny. For the most part tho it was fairly sunny, and there was some quality light around, especially over the river late afternoon.

I wanted to test a few new lenses out as well. Both vintage Helios lenses. A 135mm 2.8 and the awesome 44m. Swirly bokeh-rific! I got them from Ebay for around £25 each! and bough a few cheap adaptors to put them on my 550d. Yes, I'm still on a 550d! I love it and right now I can't justify the money for a 5d, not even a mk2. Both Blackmagic cameras as appealing but honestly right now…..with the huge extra investment id need to make in lenses, rigs, batteries etc….I just can't go that route. Its a cliche but its the quality of the operator and the story thats important, not the camera you shoot with.

Helios 135mm 2.8 and Helios 44m (58mm f2)

I love both of these lenses! The 135mm is so neutral and flat it doesn't look incredible on the camera screen but its really nice to grade. The bokeh is really nice as well. Not the sharpest lens in the world but for £25, you can't really go wrong. I also wanted to test out a vintage (although slightly contrast-ier) look, and vintage lenses seemed like a good start. It was nice being able to stand further away from my subject as well, not having to be in someones face is great. I didn't really direct at all but in the case where I do, being far back and letting an actor go do their thing is going to produce much better results. It allows them to forget about the camera, be in the moment and just act. The only downside is the shake at such a long focal length. This is a long lens on a crop sensor and it really does wobble. I had my small rig with me which helped but without any stability mode on the lens it does need a tripod. That said, I was able to smooth some shots out and get some useable shakier shots. This was only for fun after all!

Enough rambling….I have dinner on. Here's a few screen shots and the finished film at the end. More posts soon! Promise.

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