Pro Moviemaker October 2022 - Newsletter


“In the prime lens category, the winner emerged as the latest Xeen Meister 50mm T1.3 from mid-range brand Samyang’s new flagship line”

Prime lens Samyang Xeen Meister 50mm T1.3  Editor’s choice: Irix 45mm T1.5 Zoom lens Zeiss LWZ.3 21-100mm T2.9-3.9 Lens accessories Magic Video Box

testament to the increasing popularity of straight-down- the-lens interviews. The theory is that it’s more direct, honest and has a more dramatic effect. Professional TV companies have known this for years, and many have rigged up systems including shoot-through mirrors and large lens hoods, so that the interviewee may talk directly to a reflection of the interviewer. This tech is important for making interviewees comfortable, avoiding awkward shoots with a clearly nervous subject. However, these big studio solutions can be cumbersome and time-consuming to rig. We tried out a kit from Magic Video Box, which costs £940 for a complete set-up. The system is available to rent, and the UK-based company also offers training, as well as instructional videos you can find online. The product comes with a riser plate that fits between your camera and tripod, with slots for two standard 15mm rods (included in the package) that are quickly snugged down with clamps and protrude out of the front of the camera. A large, square plate is

range brand Samyang. However, this is no budget optic at all, as it’s part of the Korean company’s new flagship line. It comes with a flagship price – £7628/$8495 – which puts it in direct competition with some of the best-known names in the world. It is a very fast full-frame cine prime with a T1.3 maximum aperture, producing excellent low-light performance. A 13-blade aperture creates a natural-looking background and round bokeh. The PL mount version supports /i Technology to enable recording of accurate lens metadata. Xeen uses premium materials, with titanium applied to the front barrel for more durability. Its 114mm standard front diameter and the consistent positions of the aperture and focus gear rings make it easy to attach add-ons. Accessories can be an essential buy, making a huge difference to how you work. From filters to matte boxes, follow-focus sets to lens mount converters, these are products that every serious filmmaker needs. This year, the winner was the Magic Video Box system – a

fastened onto the rods, then the actual box unit sits on top. Inside the big box unit is a shoot-through mirror glass at 45°. This special beam-splitter mirror glass lets you film right through it with no issues. So, if the box is placed with the mirror set in the vertical position, the interviewer sits at 90° to the camera. The person being interviewed is then looking directly into the lens, but sees a reflection of the interviewer, and vice versa. The kit also comes with a rod and cloth to fasten across the box, forming a blind so that the talent can’t see the side of the interviewer’s face. They just look right at their reflection. It’s simple thing, but one that gets the best out of someone who isn’t a professional presenter. It’s great to see fresh products being honoured in the Gear of the Year Awards – especially ones accessible to so many creatives.

PRIZE BUYS The Magic Video Box (below left) and Xeen Meister (below right) came out on top



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