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#1 Aaron Haedt

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 05:56 PM

Hi,

I am currently putting together a camera system using a DVX100a.

My basic philosophy has been, since I'm going to spend thousands of dollars, I might as well do it right. I don't want to sacrafice quality over a cheaper price. But then again I don't want to over pay for something when I don't have to.

I plan on taking cinematography workshops within the next couple weeks. I'm sure these will help answer some questions I have now. Between now and then, I want to hear from people who have hands on experience. The following are items I am researching or have decided to already get. Forgive me if I sound like an idiot. I'm new at this.

FILTERS- I want good PL, FL, ND and UV filters. Should i spend the extra cash and high resolution ones or will the basic ones work just as well? Professional grade? Normal Grade? What should I look for?

LIGHTS-I'm still in the process of looking at various lighting equip. I have no idea what i want right now.

MATTEBOX- I plan on getting a Chroszeil 411-53. I've researched the hell out of this thing and found that as much as I hate spending 1500 on the thing, that it would be a good investment.

LENSES- God, i've looked at and read about so many. Pros and cons of Anamorphic, Wide Angle, Tele Photo, etc. Laser cut, diamond cut. Titanium? These are the items that i need the most advice on.

MIKES-I plan on having a couple wireless lavaliers and a boom kit. Are lavaliers worth their price? Should I not bother with lavaliers and just concentrate of the boom?

These are the main objects that don't want to skimp on. There are many other odds and ends that will be purchasing down the road, but the above mentioned items are first and foremost.

I realize that many of these questions have variable answers. Much of it depends on what i want to shoot and how I plan on using the camera.

Any advice and opinions would be appreciated.

~aaron
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#2 Brian Wells

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 06:45 PM

I was much in the same boat when I got my DVX100a package.

Couple things, Schneider filters are made of "wafer white" optical glass and hence they will be more expensive than Tiffen which are made of "green" glass.

I think the matte box made by Century Optics is good because it is made of durable carbon fiber instead of the Chrosziel which is made of plastic.

For a wide angle lens, I prefer the Century Optics 0.7x because it is a zoom through "converter." Other "adapters" only work at wide angle; you cannot zoom through them without losing focus. Also, the increased field of view when using a 0.6x adapter will cause vignetting when used in conjunction with a 4x4 matte box.

The only anamorphic lens for this camera is made by Panasonic and while it enables full resolution widescreen recording on the DVX100, it IS soft at wide apertures. It will look sharp so long as the iris is closed down considerably. The other problem is the anamorphic lens requires an even more expensive matte box because it has a square hood (all other matte boxes have a round hole).
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#3 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 07:22 PM

Hi Aaron: I'd recommend taking the cinematography classes first, before you buy any equipment.

I also recommend resisting the urge to buy equipment, especially at this stage of your learning curve.

For example, lighting gear can be rented relatively inexpensively in many large towns and cities. But before you even rent anything, note you can learn how to light without using any (or hardly any) equipment at all, other than your eyes & brain. Take a look at this recent thread here on cinematography.com :
http://www.cinematog...?showtopic=7715

After you take some classes, you'll begin to have an idea which equipment is required in certain circumstances, depending on the result desired in the time allowed.

Since you haven't said what sort of productions you plan to work on, it's difficult to comment on specific gear without context. If you'll be working on a variety of projects, all the more reason to resist owning gear, because at least some of you buy will be inappropriate for many of your shoots.

Don't get me wrong, owning gear can be in part a good way to learn how to use it, but chances are the main thing you'll learn is that you wish you'd bought something else; an expensive lesson.

All the best,

- Peter "Owns a few things he'd rather not have" DeCrescenzo
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#4 drew_town

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 04:28 PM

Why buy all this equipment now? To practice? I still don't personally own a matte box or mic. I would think you'd want a return on such an investment. Stick with the camera and learn. Matte boxes come later. Put your energy into learning, not stuff.
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#5 Aaron Haedt

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 06:38 PM

Thanks for the opinions. I'll go with just the camera for now. The urge to have 'everything' has subsided. Much like my bank account would have. I'll add more when i know more about what i'm adding and why i need to add it.

~A
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