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Lens Rental Question


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#1 Seth Lewis

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 05:37 PM

I am DP'ing a thesis project here in the next few months and it's time to start gathering an equipment list. The story isn't necessarily a cinematographers story, it doesn't call for elaborate shots or even moody lighting. It's a quirky piece about a girl breaking routine told with Cinderella time constraints.
We're shooting on the Sony F-900/3 but the only lens we have is an ENG Zoom. I'd like to get some depth in to the shots which is nearly impossibly with the current lens, it gets to be a hassle after awhile.
So I've done some researching online, but I thought I'd post my question on here.

What exactly should I be looking at when purchasing lens rentals?
Do students get discounts on lens rentals?
Should I opt for the adapter and rent film lenses or go with the cine style?

Edited by Seth Lewis, 15 September 2009 - 05:38 PM.

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#2 Michael Kubaszak

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 07:31 PM

First of all you are going to need production insurance before any rental house will let you take their gear out. As far as discounts, I'm not aware of a standard discount but some rental houses will 'work' you.
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#3 Mike Williamson

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 08:05 PM

When I was at AFI, I got a great set of Zeiss Digiprimes from Band Pro free of charge. They very generously set aside one set of lenses that they donate to student productions, as I remember it was in very heavy rotation and constantly booked. I don't know if they're still doing that program, but you should contact them and find out, make sure to give them some lead time. I'm assuming your in LA by the way, you should confirm your location for us.

Besides Band Pro, I also got a deals on different B4 mount lenses from Clairmont Camera as a student, they had a very generous discount for AFI but you way be able to get something similar. They have a number of good cine-style zooms I've used, both Canon and Fujinon, they also have the Canon primes which I've been told are very nice.

As Michael notes, you will need to get insurance certs for any rental houses you're dealing with, presumably your school has a policy and can help you with that.
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#4 Chris Keth

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 09:05 PM

I can highly recommend the fujinon cine-style zooms. You can get a short and a long zoom and have an awful lot of focal length range between them. I believe they were both T1.9

Also, I can't help but comment on your description of the film. You should get it out of your head right now that it takes flash and moody lighting to have a great "cinematographer's story." Most things you shoot will not call for anything flashy. Your job is to support the story and if you think the story is mundane, perhaps you should pass on the project because you're less likely to give it your best effort.
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#5 Seth Lewis

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 01:48 PM

We have an insurance policy and I'm currently working on the paperwork regarding that. Off of the top of my head right now, I'm not sure how much we're covered.

I'm actually in NC, so there aren't too many rental places within a 100 mile radius that I'm aware of, so I'll be dealing mostly online.

As far as my thoughts for this production, I'm actually really excited to be working on it.
What I said was more or less a direct quote from the directing professor here, so I see it as a challenge to find a style that embodies the essence of the character and story.
Which is what i find to be the most exciting aspect about cinematography.

So you think I'll be able to get more out of the zoom lenses rather than getting the zeiss digiprimes?

We have a budget of 1,500 as of right now for camera.
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