Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mailbox: Canon FD 35mm

The Canon 35mm 2.8: good value at €27,- !
How to treat yourself without breaking the bank..? Buy an affordable prime lens! I got this little addition to my budding FD collection, the Canon FD 35mm 2.8, for a mere €27,-
I was surprised to find an ultra-light plastic/metal contraption in my mailbox, as opposed to the heavier Canon FD 24mm 2.8 and FD 50mm 1.4 I have. Definitely different build-quality but I believe the optics don't suffer from using lightweight materials... And if you want a portable 35mm lens on your camera; this lens will not break your back...
Now I am looking into a really wide angle FD lens to have that angle covered. I've been looking at the FD 20mm 2.8 but at €175 or more I have my doubts. For micro 4/3 20mm is not really that wide so I have made a bid on a Tokina for FD 17mm 3.5 that is supposedly an overall better lens. (although a stop slower.) At least some research seems to indicate that way: sharper overall, less distortion in the corners. And hopefully this lens will stay well under €175...
You have to watch out with this lens business; it is addictive. But the good thing about it is that these lenses retain their value. You can try them and if you don't like em, sell em without a loss!

Compact and lightweight

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mailbox: Canon FD 24mm 2.8

The wider a lens you search, the more rare and the more expensive it gets. This was the only 24mm Canon FD lens I found on a Dutch second hand site and at around €60,- not a real bargain compared to eBay prices but it looked very reliable and buying in Holland saves a lot of stamps. (plus the fact that I've been having some issues with TNT post here in Holland as far as overseas packages is concerned... poor delivery, bad service)
But to get back to this lens: it looks great, is the 'chrome snout' (love that word 'snout') version and everything works and feels great. This is one heavy lens, quite a bit heavier than my FD 50mm 1.4 and just as big. Nothing wrong with the build quality!
Only thing I've noticed is that seems to be a little slack between my adapter and the lens. No effect on the picture quality but I like a tight fit... for my gear, that is.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Mailbox: Gini Cage

Got my Gini Cage in today after the postman attempted to deliver it yesterday but realized he needed to charge import duties and didn't have the paperwork with him. So today he came back and after I forked over 28 euro's he handed over the little box with Korean stamps. (Gini is a Korean supplier)
The Gini stuff doesn't disappoint: it looks and feels awesome, as always. Now I need to figure out how to configure this thing into a workable unit.
This cage is a bargain compared to the competition: $175 shipped vs $435 for the TrusMT cage, for instance... albeit that the TrusMT is much better thought-through product and includes a HDMI-clamp, for instance. I would really like the HDMI clamp but for the price difference I can live withouut it and the simpler design of the Gini cage.
I will write more about this cage once I have used it in a few different setups.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Mailbox: Canon FD 28mm 2.8

30 some years old and like new...
 I really like my Canon FD 50mm 1.4 prime lens and decided I'm going to build a collection of FD primes. I mean, they're not getting cheaper and lenses are a good investment. Both as gear and in case you want to sell it, it retains its value- or better, make you a little money. The first addition to my 50mm is a 28mm 2.8 s.c. (special coating). I got it for 33 euro's on a Dutch website for Used Stuff.
I bought it from an old guy and he took great care with the packaging: a shoebox filled with paper and bubble plastic. The lens was in it's original leather case with a little handwritten label on it and included the original front and rear cap. Focus is really smooth, aperture ring clicks like new, lens is impeccable! Isn't it great when people take good care of their stuff?

original case and lenscap included

Friday, January 13, 2012

Mailbox: Variable ND filter (77mm LCW Mark II)

LCW Vari ND Filter, shipped with lenscap

Since my Nature Fader ND filter is probably lying on some Chinese Marketplace after it got 'lost in the mail' somewhere between November and now, I had to order another variable ND for an upcoming project.
I decided to go with 'reliable Dutch postal services' (even though somebody screwed up here in the Netherlands as well, sending my package back to China without leaving notice...) and ordered the LCW Vari ND Mark II. I have a 52mm version and love that one so now I ordered the 77mm version for my bigger lenses.
Why didn't I go with the LCW right away as opposed to the Nature brand? Well, the Nature Fader ND is almost half the price, €53 for the Nature Fader ND against €97,50 for the LCW Vari ND. And I wanted to give the cheaper brand a try, after some decent experiences from other users. Maybe Chinese Postal Service is really slow and I'll still get it, somewhere this year...

Buy for the largest lens you have- and then buy stepup rings for the other lenses

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I spent christmas at the bottom of a lake

If you want to know where I spent christmas and newyear's: at the bottom of a lake. Well, much of the time. The other time I spent in a large, comfortable kitchen drinking wine and eating great food prepared by one of my oldest and best friends. Or I was playing with fire, another favorite pastime.

I stayed at an old farmhouse in the Bourgogne, France, on the edge of Lac de Panneciere. The lake was empty and I spent almost every day walking in or around this eerie landscape. My dog and I, two cityslickers getting down and dirty in the mud & rain, feeling very much at home in these surroundings. Our senses on alert, eyes and ears pricked...
Of course I took the opportunity to shoot some footage, if and when the rain allowed for it. My new acquisition, the Manfrotto BHDV-1 monopod, was a godsend. It served double-duty as a stabilizer and walking cane!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Mailbox: SmallHD goodies

Filmersblog is back from the great French outback, where life passes without the virtues and vices of internet... Moreso, I didn't even have a phone connection! And did I miss that during the past 8 days? No! Not one bit!!

I had an incredible time treading through slush, mud, sucking in pure meadowland oxygen and walking the bottom of an emptied-out lake! Our cottage lay on the edge of what last year was a great lake and which is now a great valley. Quite surreal and I documented it all on video, ofcourse. More of that later...

 And when I came back in Amsterdam, a little package was awaiting me. Some neat little items from SmallHD, accessories for my DP4 monitor.