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The PHANTOM

So I just picked up the following – The DJI Phantom with a GOPRO Hero 3.  Amazing!

Battlefield 3

So while testing some things out in Battlefield 3, I decided to try and put something together in the short term, not story driven but just something that would be very very cool to watch.  So I did, and the results can be found in the Film Streams Section.

Or you can just watch it here!

Yea… No… It’s not an Airsoft

“This is my rifle.  There are many like it, but this one is mine.”  (can you name the film?)

Anyway, I ended up selling my other .223 for many reasons, not because I didn’t like it, but I felt it wasn’t a good bug out rifle in the event things don’t go so well and all hell breaks loose.  Call me crazy, however I’d rather be prepared than not and with my military combat arms background, I felt this was a necessary thing to do.  Now, after selling my other .223, I went out to the gun show that weekend and picked up a Stag Arms .223.  I outfitted it mostly with Magpul stock, forward stock and magazine.  I made this photo to give you an idea just because, why not.  Guns are cool.  They’re a lot of fun to shoot, they provide protection against people trying to harm you and most of all, they are an outstanding deterrent.

I post this because at some point, I’ll probably use this for a scene or two in one of my shorts.  Yes, I will remove the bolt and yes, I will do it legally.

 

One of the reasons is because I don’t have funding to keep getting Airsoft Gas Blowback guns but I can easily use something this and place it into a non firing mode and there is NO doubt it will look real.

In “Despondent”, there were two scenes where we fired live ammunition with real weapons.  One scene was cut from the movie, the other is in.  We used real firearms in one other scene, that was cut as well.  I would even say, what we did probably wasn’t the the brightest thing, but we did take all necessary precautions as well as some risk.  Would I recommend it?  No.  I would not use “live ammunition” without making sure everyone on set had the proper training (Act of Valor)

The point of this post is more or less sharing yet another expensive hobby, but a necessary one in my opinion and one that has been on my mind lately since I live in MD.  (If you follow the National news at all, MD has been in violation of the Constitution since the late 60’s by taking the rights away to ‘keep and BEAR arms’.  Basically, a Conceal Carry Weapons permit)

Heck, you may HATE guns and that’s cool as long as you don’t try and tell me I can’t have one.  Simply put, last I checked, criminals will always have guns, that’s why they’re called CRIMINALS.  You may not like the fact that law abiding citizens can get conceal carry permits, but that’s the law of the land in the constitution, same as your right to life, your freedom of speech.  Can’t have your pick of which ones people can exercise.

 

 

Rokinon – First Impressions

So I purchased two Rokinon Lenses for my setup. I sold off my fixed lens camera and got another 60D and two lenses, more memory etc. I purchased both the 85mm Rokinon 1.4 and the 35mm 1.4 lenses. My first impressions are simply, WOW!

First, the 85mm. NOTE: these ARE manual lenses.

The picture is beautiful. I was amazed at how sharp and how paper thin the DOF was when using this lens. Because they are manual, the 85mm below anything 2.8 aperature requires a steady eye and quick micro adjustments on the focus ring in order to get a shot that is not blurry. That is just the way it is. I would confidently, without a doubt recommend this lens to the videographer using DLSR without hesitation. Keeping in mind that your focus pulls and framing are going to have to be done on your feet because there is no zooming beyond the physical which by default provides a much more professional look if you have a rookie behind the camera. So if you are a video guy, this is a MUST have lens in your bag. If you are a photographer mostly, I would suggest something like a Sigma 50mm 1.4 or the Canon version. I recommend the Sigma but both are really nice.

The 35mm…

Rokinon 35mm

This lens is absolutely beautiful and feels so sweet.. 2 issues.. One, mine broke on day two of filming. The aperature ring rotates but the interal gearing mechanism failed. Two, what I was able to shoot however came out beautiful. I have replacement on the way, (Amazon Rules) but what I was able to note with this lens are as follows:
For Videographers ONLY. If you think for a second you’ll be able to focus in on any object at 1.4 or even, sadly, 2.8, you’re in for one heck of a disappointment. This lens is absolutely, without a doubt, throw me down and kick the dog NOT for photographers. Unless I’m just missing something.

The 35mm on a smaller, cropped sensor camera, it was more like a 50mm lens but I was very happy with the range the crop gave me as far as field of vision. Some of the shots I got here around the house, the lens felt great, smooth with a beautiful look. For a price tag of $499, if you are really into photography over video, I would pass on this lens. But if you are doing anything independent film and want a look that is just amazing in low light, this lens is for you. I’ll let you know if that aperature ring was a fluke in the single unit or if they are inherent in the build quality. Only time will tell and I’ll scrap it if I get another broken one.

Posting a video with the 85mm. I think you’ll like it. 😉