I spontaneously decided to head to Sydney for Christmas and I don’t know where the last few weeks have vanished! Australia was superb, but I’m back now and going through the rushes from Sweden last month.
We spent just over a week in Stockholm and north of the Arctic Circle near and at the Ice Hotel shooting a pilot programme on my F3 rig, with some B-Roll on the Ex1 and D7000. The F3 has S-Log on it which is incredible. It might be a paid-for upgrade, but it’s certainly worth it and unlocks the camera’s true potential. The idea was to add a heavy style to the film in the way it was shot, hence the camera and much of the framing and lighting.
The camera was thoroughly tested; both in terms of temperature (probably down to -10 degC) and lighting environments; daylight, night clubs, moonlight, candlelight and firelight. I was no stranger to 32000 and 64000 ISO on this shoot! The lenses were all Nikon, and mostly the 24-70mm f/2.8 with MFT adapter. Sometimes I popped on the 55mm macro for detail, 10.5mm fisheye and 70-200mm f/2.8 also made an appearance.
I didn’t an EVF to hand so I improvised with the SmallHD DP6 on a noga arm which worked well but due to the weight made the rig off-balance when on the shoulder (which wasn’t pleasant as I don’t have a shoulder mount yet for the rig and made do with the Zacuto bars). IDX batteries worked well on it, but I did need 3 or ideally 4 to get through a full day of shooting without recharging.
Perhaps the most impressive thing overall were the Nikon lenses and MTF adapter. They allow very affordable lenses to be used and the F3 can excel with them. They’re not perfect for filming, but then they aren’t anything like the price of the Angenieux zooms which are the main zoom lens of choice. One happy accident of the MTF is it allows for much greater close-focusing on the Nikon lenses which means you can through the background out on the wides really easily and also do macro with them, or at least extreme close-ups.
Thanks go to ProKit for helping source the various bits and bobs for the kit…
Timelapse was shot on Nikon bodies; D3 and D7000 with remaining shots on the F3 and Ex1. The most important timelapse was the northern lights and that was shot on the D3 with a fisheye. The D3 simply can’t be beat for low light stuff. Here are some frame-grabs from the F3 in S-Log. Nothing done to them in post at all and worth noting we had no lighting bar a top light, so used practicals such as candles to light the scene. It’s currently in the edit and I can’t wait to see the outcome.