Hoya Lens Hood with Fader ND filters

I’ve been using a couple of Fader ND filters with my prime lenses for a while now, the Fader ND’s are useful because they allow you to adjust for bigger lens apertures in daylight conditions without the need to keep swapping filters.

One thing that is a bit annoying when using Fader ND’s though is that it’s no longer possible to attach the Canon sun hoods that are supplied with the lenses.

While I was out shooting some external pickup shots yesterday I experimented with using a Hoya Screw in Rubber lens Hood on my 50mm 1.2 and 35mm 1.4 lenses. It’s quite strange using these on the fader ND because to adjust the level of ND you end up rotating the entire lens hood, it works well though!

Hoya hood on 35mm (Canon 5D mk2)

The Hoya hoods are able to be set in two positions allowing you to use them with a range of lenses from medium wides out to zooms.

Unfortunately the Hoya hoods only go up to 77mm which means they can only be used on lenses up to 72mm in diameter because the Fader ND’s step up a size. Both my 35mm 1.4 and 50mm 1.2 have a 72mm thread so the 77mm Hoya Hood work well on those. On the 35mm the hood needed to be in it’s closed down setting so that it didn’t appear in the shot on my 5D mark2.

Hoya hood on 35mm (Canon 5D mk2)

My 24mm 1.4 and 70 – 200 2.8 are 77mm so with a 77mm fader ND fitted the hoods won’t work on those as the required diameter is then 82mm. The 24mm would likely be too wide for the sun hood anyway, plus the Fader ND’s are not recommended on long zooms so you probably wouldn’t want to use the hoods on either of those lenses anyway.

By far the best feature of the Hoya hoods has to be the red line on the end – full on L series looks for just a few $! ;)

Buying in the US: B&H sell the Hoya hoods for around $25.

Buying in the UK: Warehouse express sell the Hoya hoods priced from £12 – £40 depending on size.

If you’re looking for Fader ND filters they can be purchased from B&H for $62 – £139 depending on the lens diameter you need.

Behind The Scenes – DSLR Interview

I’ve been asked a few times recently to post more BTS (Behind The Scenes) images from my shoots so here’s a few from today. This was the latest in a series of interviews I’m doing for one of my clients. Interviews is one area where these cameras shine, so much so that three of the four people I shot today remarked about the amazing look of the shots.

My kit and workflow was exactly as described previously in my DSLR Workflow post. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to post a comment and ask.

Harley-Davidson doc: Why I’ve decided against DSLR

Anyone who visits my blog regularly will know that I’m shooting a documentary for Harley-Davidson in a couple of weeks which involves riding with a bunch of Harley riders from the UK to St-Tropez.

Over the past few weeks I’ve played with the idea of shooting the whole documentary and the H-D event in St Tropez on DSLR. Today I’ve finally made my decision and have chosen not to shoot on DSLR after all.

Anyone who shoots regularly on DSLR knows by now that they have certain technical limitations that regular video cameras do not suffer from as badly. Things like aliasing artefacts, moire and excessive rolling shutter all effect these cameras more than regular video cameras but none of those is the reason why I’ve decided against them.

As much as I like the images from my 5D and 7D I’ve started realising that somethings missing from my walk around shooting lately, something that is more important than any tech spec, shooting mode or even shallow depth of field. What I’ve come to realise is that when I’m walking around with a DSLR I’m not getting inspired as much! Let me explain…

When I go out and about with my EX1 I usually experiment with various angles, I often position the camera low to the ground and I’m always looking at the LCD watching for shots that inspire me and adjusting to perfect those shots. When I’m mobile with a DSLR though that doesn’t seem to be happening as much. Outside in the sunlight I use either a Z-Finder or an LCDVF and the only way they work is fixed to the front of my head!

I find that only being able to monitor my DSLR shots by having the camera at head height is limiting my creativity and causing me to become less inspired when shooting.

I’m hoping that the new mini-monitors form SmallHD and Marshall will change this, it really depends how portable and easy to view in daylight they are. Having one of these atop the camera with the ability to adjust them to various angles should bring back the visual feedback I miss but until I get chance to try those out I’m turning back to the EX1 for my main camera on this job.

I’m still taking the 5D and my Glidetrack shooter as well as I know there will be times when they will give me more creative options, but for this job the EX1 will remain my main walk around camera.

New workflow tutorial – how to create slow motion using cinema tools.

I’ve been asked a few times about the method used to create slow motion shots using 50p or 60p footage. This process applies to clips from Canon DSLR’s that shoot 50 or 60 fps at 720p, the GoPro Hero HD, Sony EX cameras and pretty much any other camera that will shoot 50 or 60 frames per second.

I’ve created two video tutorials showing two different approaches to conforming video clips with Cinema Tools, one describing batch conforming and the other showing how to conform individual clips from within Final Cut Pro.

Click here to read more and comment.

SmallHD announces DP-SLR 5.6″ DSLR monitor

Hot on the heals of Marshall’s new V-LCD50 5″ monitor SmallHD have announced the DP-SLR, a 5.6″ monitor that packs 270 pixels per inch and only weighs 284g. These could both be awesome accessories for a DSLR shooter, I wish I could make it to NAB to see them in action!

Here’s some info from SmallHD….

This monitor was designed from the ground up to meet the needs of the HDSLR videographer. The DP-SLR measures 4’x6’x1′ and weighs in at only 10oz (284g). This small, lightweight package makes it very easy to shoot on the run without first taking a bodybuilding course.

Within the small 5.6′ diagonal screen the DP-SLR packs a whopping 1280 x 800 resolution. At 270 pixels-per-inch (ppi), this translates into near laser printer quality. To put this into perspective, the new 27′ (2560 x 1440) iMac runs about 109ppi. The DP-SLR has over 2.5 times the pixel density. It is hard to describe how this looks. Hopefully you will be able to see for yourself at NAB. We thought about providing pictures, but you literally don ‘t have a computer display that would do it justice. You ‘d be like my grandma watching Blu-ray on her 4×3 SD TV