DEFINITION August 2022 - Web


dollies, which first arose from founder Rob Drewett’s need for a compact, wheeled camera platform for wildlife docs. Drewett’s design became Agito – a motorised, remote-control dolly that runs happily on its own track system or follows a magnetically marked line. In the field, the ability to switch to its sturdy rubber tyres delivers flexibility. The Agito dolly accepts one of several mounting options and is typically used with a stabilised head or gimbal. OPTICAL SOLUTIONS Lensing Super 35 cameras in the field is a problem, given people expect huge zoom ranges and portability. Yes, it’s possible to adapt B4-mount lenses, but the glass seen on field-rigged cinema cameras is one of two well-known picks: Canon’s T2.95 17-120mm CN7x17, which is capable, but possibly sacrifices a little mobility, or Fujifilm’s 19-90mm T2.9 ZK4.7x19. A fraction lighter, a fraction smaller, but possibly not quite long enough to catch that leaping gazelle. “Reaching for more cinema-orientated glass gives up zoom range in exchange for a reduction in size, weight and cost”

Prime cuts Damien Gallagher is director at Speed Motion Films, with a portfolio of work for ITV, CBS Sports and the BBC. In June 2022, Gallagher completed two half-hour episodes, part of a year-long project to document renovation work at Drenagh – one of Northern Ireland’s great Georgian estates. “We had 25 shoots over the year,” he recalls. “It’s hard to line up with the builders and gardeners when things are happening. At one point a digger got stuck, and they had to pull it out with another digger – we had to get there, it was an interesting story!” Different situations demanded diverse camera gear, with a core outfit Gallagher describes as: “Mostly Sony FX3 and FS5, Red Komodo and a lot of drone. There was some time-lapse, with GoPro and Insta360, but all the main elements were FX3 and FS5.”

Using Xeen CF lenses in Canon mount allowed Gallagher to employ a single set of primes on a variety of cameras. “We used an adapter on the Sonys. It worked great, and we’d sometimes shoot on other machines. If you had E-mounts, you’d be stuck with Sony. “We’ve got the whole set of Samyang Xeen CF optics,” Gallagher continues. “They have been great, especially for interviews. We shot these in 4K, just to give us options to reframe. Every model helped; for some interviews we used the 35mm, and for particularly tight spaces we had the 16mm. It was nice to have those big prime lenses, but we were moving a lot. They were super lightweight, which made things a lot easier – being able to switch them readily, throw them in the backpack and change lenses on the go.”

The Zeiss 21-100mm LWZ.3 is rather overlooked, being smaller, lighter and more economical than either, without sacrificing anything in the images. Although it still isn’t that long and lacks

range in exchange for a reduction in size, weight and cost. The Tokina 25-75mm T2.9 is often discussed as not only a tool for single-camera drama, but a portable option to minimise lens changes. It’s not wide or long, but at a couple of kilos, is two-thirds the weight of a Cabrio, three-quarters the length, matches aperture – and will do nicely on jobs that don’t need to capture a gnat’s toenail. It’s part of a range, including lenses, with serious wide (11-20mm) and long (50-135mm) alternatives. With the 25-75mm selling for less than £5000, the idea of owning and operating the whole set isn’t out of the question. It also has generous coverage, given zooms which are anywhere near portable generally won’t handle large format sensors. Neither will the 25-75mm, but Tokina tells us that it will accommodate the UHD area on an Alexa LF, which many won’t. At the other end of the scale, IB/E’s Raptor Macro series are a special breed: a range including 60, 100, 150 and 180mm lenses,

FUTURE-PROOF The Raptor Macro series by IB/E runs from 60 to 180mm – and is built for cinema (left)

a servo grip option. Reaching for more cinema-orientated

glass gives up zoom


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