1. Canon CN7x17 KAS lens review by SPARKY FILM

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    Is this the only lens you'll ever need? In the good old days of film making the videographer would just carry two 2/3 inch zoom lenses, perhaps a wide and telephoto ENG lens such as the Canon HJ 11 and HJ22 and you would be prepared for anything! That is of course before large sensor cameras took over the world! Now to achieve such coverage you need a host of lenses from prime, DSLR, PL mount and very heavy and expensive cinema lenses. In all fairness though, these cameras aren’t designed to cover the same type of work as the old HD cameras. It is Just that we chose to do that! However, a new lens has arrived courtesy of Canon. The Canon CN7x17 KAS cine-zoom lens. It really ticks almost every box and has generated a great deal of excitement and interest in the production world. A 4k zoom lens complete with zoom handle (this can be removed) designed for large sensor cameras which isn’t too heavy, and is just about affordable. It looks and operates just like an old ENG zoom (which is what many of us secretly want!). The range it covers is ideal, going from 17mm at the wide end to 120mm at the other. There is of course the Fujinon Cabrio lens out there at the moment but its range is restricted at 19-90mm. It’s good but just not wide or long enough for most users. We had the opportunity to do a quick road test with the Canon CN7x17 thanks to Mark Wilson at Alias Hire in London over the weekend . This short video takes a look of how we got on. Moving forward this is definitely a lens SAPRKY LENS want to add to our collection and would be perfect for much of the live ENG work we cover. Now where is that piggy bank!

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    • Samyang (Rokinon) 35mm T1.5 cine lens review by SPARKY FILM LTD

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      I haven’t used a prime lens in ages. So when I opened the front door this morning to be greeted by a beautiful bright crisp winter day, I grabbed the Samyang 35mm T1.5 cineised lens I had purchased a few weeks back (but sadly hadn’t gotten around to trying it as I had been so busy), popped it on my Sony F5 and headed down the road to the old fishing town in Old Leigh, Essex. It was a cold day but for an hour or so the light was absolutely perfect for filming, and everything was crystal clear covered in a warm wintery light. I didn’t waste this rare opportunity so set the F5 to SLOG 3 and set to work with the Samyang! Operationally the lens was a breeze to use as the Samyang had focussing gears and I used my Chrosziel follow focus unit for this. Being a Nikon mount, the focussing direction was opposite to what I regularly use, but you do get used to it. When I returned to SPARKY FILM HQ and loaded in the footage, I was greeted with these gorgeous, milky, sharp pictures that jumped out the screen at me. I was really delighted with the results – it just reminds you how good your camera is sometimes. The lens absolutely shone on the F5. When you regularly reach for your zoom lenses such as my RED 17-50mm and 50-150mm, it’s easy to become over reliant on them to cover the majority of focal lengths. But this test reminded me that it’s worth using primes when you have the opportunity to do so - as it’s the best and easiest way to get the most impressive results from your camera. All I need to do now is try out the other primes in the Samyang set!

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      • Sony F5 in Shanghai by Sparky Film

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        Every November we have a production around Shanghai. It's a really busy week with lots of content being captured. Here are a few moments from the week all shot on the Sony F5, mainly using the RED 17-50mm and 50-150mm cinema lenses.

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        • SPARKY FILM Sony F5 sample shots from Hong Kong

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          We recently had an assignment producing a film around the Hong Kong Sevens. We shot everything with our Sony F5, at 2K in SLOG2. We used three lenses, a RED 17-50mm, a RED 50-150mm (the two RED's were a great combination) and a Tokina 11-16mm lens with a Optitek Prolock adaptor. These are only a short sample of the footage we captured. We are delighted by the results from the F5 and are just getting used to setting the ideal exposure levels and just using the camera on a day to day basis. So far, I have to say it is the best camera I have ever bought and used over the past decade. The F5 seems to do everything in such a small package and the picture is simply wonderful. We can't recommend it highly enough. Thanks for watching this, and if you like our work why not follow us @sparkyfilm

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          • SPARKY FILM in India - some moments

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            This January SPARKY FILM was commissioned to document a junior tennis tournament in India. It was a fantastic week working in a small team. We spent four days in Delhi and three days in Mumbai. Being our first time out in India it was an amazing experience and one we can't wait to repeat, hopefully in 2015. We managed to shoot a little 'colour' in the little spare time we had and this video clip shows a little of that footage.

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            • 60 seconds of the Lumix GH3 in Shanghai

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              When on a recent shoot in Shanghai I popped into the Arts Department at the University to grab some shots for another project we are working on. I only had an hour there! Here is a very short montage of some of the footage I gathered. As always very happy with the footage, esp when you consider how easy it is to pop this little diamond into your rucksack! These are my settings (which I always use now): CUSTOM: Contrast: -5 Sharpness: -2 Saturation: -5 Noise Reduction: 0 Recording at MOV 1920x1080 - 25p - 50 mbps The one thing the GH3 does is have very deep blacks, even when you try to ‘up’ them in the settings by keeping the CONTRAST at -5, but there’s not a great deal you can do about this. My advice is you are better over exposing slightly as It’s easy to bring the levels back ’down’ – as opposed to having to ’lift’ them. It's amazing what information is stored in the picture on this camera, bring the highlights down in edit, and bring back all the detail! It's such a super little camera, and a must have for any cameraman.

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              • HDx35 MK 2 video review by SPARKY FILM

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                Everyone loves the look that today’s 35mm cameras offer. The big challenge is taking them into a traditional ENG environment, one area where we at SPARKY FILM produce a great deal of work. So when we heard the HDx35 MK2 adapter would allow us to use our ENG lenses on our PL mount cameras we were very interested. We did some research but found there is very little information out there on the workflow and most importantly, results. So we decided to rent one for the day from Barry at VMI and headed off to lovely Old Leigh in Essex. You can see the results here. Of course you do make some sacrifices with this lens/adapter combination such as a loss of light, slight cropping and the picture at the very edges is a little soft, but I feel you can live with these factors in return for the flexibility and cost using this adapter would save. For details on VMI, visit their site at WWW.VMI.TV . Follow SPARKY FILM on @SPARKYFILM

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