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Cinema kit at MPB Listed on sale at mpb.com as we went to press, here are some great examples of the breadth of kit and savings you can make when buying used.
Red Weapon MG 6K Excellent condition: £8479 This Red Weapon MG 6K has clocked up a shutter count of only 752 in its lifetime, and its sensor is in pristine condition, with only light signs of use on the body. The camera shoots at 6K in a 2.4:1 aspect at up to 100 frames per second, or 6K full-frame at 75fps in Apple ProRes, while the body is made of magnesium alloy.
Fujinon ZK19-90mm T2.9 Cabrio PL Good condition: £12,599 With clean, scratch- free optics and only minor cosmetic marks on the barrel and lens mount, this ZK19- 90mm T2.9 comes with all accessories. As a standard zoom, it covers all the frequently used focal lengths and has superb optical quality and a detachable servo drive unit.
Sigma 40mm T1.5 FF PL Like New condition: £2069 Boxed and in as- new condition with all accessories, this 40mm T1.5 FF in PL fit offers a mid-range focal length and superb resolution – perfect for 6-8K cameras. Its T1.5 aperture allows low-light shooting and superb subject separation, while the 95mm filter thread is common across the Sigma cinema range.
Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini Pro 4.6K EF Excellent condition: £3489 With its 4.6K sensor clear and free of scratches, and only light signs of use, this Ursa Mini Pro offers easy setting of exposure and focus via external controls, and its built-in ND can be set between clear, two, four, and six stops of neutral density. This model is boxed with all accessories.
Arri Alexa Studio XR Good condition: £7799 This Arri Alexa Studio XR digital cine camera is in Good cosmetic condition and has an hour count of only 1880. Shooting in UHD 4K, Cine 4K, 2K and HD with 16-bit processing, it gives sharp, natural- looking images, while its rotating mirror shutter can be adjusted to create staccato-sharp or smoothly blurred effects.
“If you’re comfortable renting cameras and lenses, as most of us are, you’ll already be handling used kit, just without the upside of owning it”
paint, dust and occasionally missing port covers or stiffness in lens rings. While lenses may show a considerable amount of wear, again, performance is mostly unaffected. The final category, ‘Heavily Used’, means lots of scratches and some minor loss of functions are affected, but nothing that impacts the essential usability of the gear. Reality check. As you’re no doubt aware, ‘used’ doesn’t mean ‘free,’ and the price of professional cinema kit does not plummet as soon as it changes hands. That said, there are some real bargains to be had on mpb.com, and we’ve outlined some on these very pages. The other upside is that – certainly in the current kit-starved market – you’ll suffer less deprecation. What’s more, remember that the kit you invest in doesn’t need to sit unused in a cupboard while you’re not working with it. Many production teams and solo cinematographers rent out their cameras and lenses, so while making a saving, you could also end up turning a significant profit. For instance, buy a used Red DSMC2 Dragon-X 5K for £8000 in Excellent used condition from MPB, and you could rent it for £180 a day.
Talking of prices, as your producer has probably mentioned, shopping around for the best deals is really important when speccing for a shoot. MPB has that covered, too. Each listing is carefully priced, based on make, model, condition and market, so there are masses of options on offer. And with new stock added daily, you can be sure that if the right camera or lens isn’t in stock, it soon will be. For instance, at the time of going to press, MPB had a selection of Canon CN-E 30-105mm T2.8L in PL fits, ranging from £6199 in ‘Excellent’ condition to £4189 in ‘Well Used’ condition – both with the standard six-month warranty. Diving a little deeper into those ratings, the scale runs through Like New, Excellent, Good, Well Used and Heavily Used. ‘Like New’ means exactly that; the kit shows no signs of use and comes with all its original packaging and all accessories. ‘Excellent’ has only surface-level cosmetic wear, with performance unaffected, and that’s where you’ll find the majority of MPB’s stock. Kit rated as ‘Good’ has more noticeable wear, but without anything that would impair image quality or handling. ‘Well Used’ shows more significant scuffs and scratches, with signs of use like chipped
That concept also chimes with one of MPB’s biggest drivers: sustainability. Sharing, renting and generally keeping cameras and lenses in use for longer is a big part of what makes them tick. Remember, too, that many clients are looking for green credentials when choosing filmmakers. Used kit is also more affordable for those starting out, so by going through MPB, you’re giving everyone a hand, along with the planet.
59. AUGUST 2022
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