View Full Version : Opinions? Am I getting the right stuff?

Chris Johnston
08-30-2011, 10:44 AM
Hey guys n gals, My budget has been approved for up to 25K on Oct 1 (so I will be spending 24,999. 35)

I've been reading up and decided to go with 2 fs100 over the AF100/ac160 because I'm not sure the ac160 will be available 1 oct and the more I see/ hear/ read about the fs100 the more I'm getting stoked/excited/fired up. (which is kinda weird, cause it's just a camera....) I will be buying as soon as possible after 1 oct and WILL NOT wait for any new stuff thats coming out for fear my budget may shrink if I pospone buying.


I primarily shoot studio stuff, head and shoulders, weekly cooking show, psa, so this cam might not be the best choice but I am thinking of trying my hand at doing some more of the artsy/cinematic stuff over the next couple years and thought this would serve both purposes better. (I probably won't get a budget this big for a while.....Future proofing?)

I'll be buying SDHC cards, cables, batts etc etc but below are a few things I would like to get last minute opinions on. (a big chunk of the budget also) so if you see something that you think I might have problems with....

Cam FS100 Kit (x2) http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/761580-REG/Sony_NEX_FS100UK_NEX_FS100U_Super_35mm_Sensor.html

Glass Nikon 24-70 2.8 (x2) http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/520637-USA/Nikon_2164_AF_S_Nikkor_24_70mm_f_2_8G.html

Adapter Novaflex (x2) http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/737925-REG/Novoflex_NEX_NIK_Adapter_for_Nikon_Lens.html
or possibly this if available
Adapter MTF (x2) http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/765121-REG/MTF_Services_Ltd_MTNIKSEM_Nikon_G_to_Sony.html

Monitor ????? No smallHD??? I was planning on this because of lots of nice comments about how good it is, but they don't sell at B&H. any recomendations for a monitor they DO sell?
I would prefer a HIGH resolution over some 720x480 types. There are a lot of different brands available at b&h but this ikan caught my eye. (ps, I've never used a external monitor much so I'm open to ideas.)
Only 2 reviews on the B&H site for this monitor. 1 good, 1 bad. but the bad one was for a canon t2i, which I know doesn't put out HD via HDMI. (The fs100 DOES put out 1080P, correct?)

I would prefer the Heliopan here (heard all good things) but limited availability tells me to maybe pick the Fader nd (even though there might be some softness at longer focal lengths?) anyone used the tiffen yet?
ND Fader 77 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/758946-REG/Fader_Filters_VND_77II_77mm_Mark_II_Variable.html
ND Tiffen 77 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/813278-REG/Tiffen_77VND_77mm_VARIABLE_ND_FILTER.html
ND Genus 77 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/676824-REG/Genus_GL_GNDF_77_77mm_ND_Neutral_Density.html
ND Lightcraft 77 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/742535-REG/Light_Craft_321_77mm_Fader_ND_Mark.html
ND Heliopan 77 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/765517-REG/Heliopan_707790_77mm_Vario_Neutral_Density.html

Lastly, Rails n stuff. I have absolutely no idea what's good here, but I'm really p*ssed how expensive/ overtly overpriced this type stuff is.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/673398-REG/Redrock_Micro_8_003_0023_microShoulderMount_Deluxe _Bundle.html
combined with this
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/672824-REG/Redrock_Micro_3_014_0002_microSupport_Baseplate_15 mm_Low.html (would this work with an FS100?)
and this

I know I should probably get a rail kit/base plate/FF for the tripod work also, so any ideas would be appreciated
(OR does the above baseplate allow you to screw a tripod mount to the bottom of it so I can just mount the shoulder rig to my tripod?)

So.....Am I missing any thing? or I should say, will the equipment I have listed work together well?

TIA, I know there's a lot of stuff there, but I'm suddenly really insecure about buying stuff that won't work well.......

08-30-2011, 10:54 AM
I'd stay away from the Ikan monitor, have had nothing but bad experiences with that brand. It looks like B&H doesn't have TV Logic monitors either...that would be my choice between that and a smallHD.

08-30-2011, 12:00 PM
I would recommend a used Nikon 28-70 2.8 ($800 from KEH) and a new Tokina 11-16 2.8 ($600) instead of at least one of your 24-70 lenses. One of the best things about FS100 is the ability to shoot wide.

08-30-2011, 12:12 PM
Personally I'm not a fan of redrock gear after using it quite a lot. That Ikan follow focus doesnt look so great. Not sure why it comes with such a big drive gear, I greatly prefer a smaller gear for still lenses since they increase the focus throw rather than decrease it. I've been quite happy with my Cavision mini basic follow focus so I would recommend that, and it's base price is lower and drive gear smaller.

I prefer cavision's less expensive grips with rosettes over redrocks ones that are just held with friction.

Also keep in mind that even though those lens adapters will give you aperture control, you still will not know what aperture you are at unless you calibrate and draw your own markings separately for each lens you want to use. Also nikon lenses focus backwards, but that may not be a big deal for you. Personally I might the LA-EA1 or LA-EA2 (out soon) with A-mount zeiss or sigma glass might be a good option since youll get better control of setting your aperture accurately (though not as smooth as the mechanical mount aperture), but the A-mount adapters will also give you the option of using lenses with IS if you want it.

I highly recommend the tvlogic LCD which I also bought, but I looked at the marshall 5" hdmi lcd once and it looked surprisingly good despite it's 800x480 resolution, which is still reasonably high pixel density for its size. I would not recommend the Ikan monitor. Panel resolution isn't everything. Scaling, color, build are quite important are at least as important, and from what I've seen I don't trust Ikan or SmallHD to deliver those as well as marshall or TVlogic which are video production monitor manufacturers with far more experience and generally better components.

08-30-2011, 12:28 PM
+1 on Cavision mini. Great little FF. Take a look at the RayQual adapter. Has clickable aperture settings that, while not showing the actual aperture, allow for repeatable settings. Also has an internal baffle to prevent excess reflections. http://www.cameraquest.com/voigt_adpt_sonye.htm

08-30-2011, 12:47 PM
Also, I have the LCW fader ND and have been quite happy with it, though I haven't compared it to other fader NDs, only compared to inexpensive 4x4 filters. Only issue I have is softening beyond 150mm, and ghosting in very high contrast environments, but the softening could be helped with a spacer, and the ghosting seems likely to exist to some extent in most glass filters.

That redrock stuff is pretty overpriced, I agree considering I don't find it to be that well built and I haven't liked the bulky shoulder pad or really any shoulder pad for that matter. I'd say just grab the cavision grips and a baseplate with 12" rods and you should have no problem coming in at less than half the price of all that redrock gear. I like to just ditch the shoulder pad and with a light camera like the fs100 just throw it on my shoulder since low center of gravity is ideal for handheld and being able to throw it on the tripod in an instant without any adjustments or special gear is priceless.

08-30-2011, 01:14 PM
Take a look at the RayQual adapter. Has clickable aperture settings that, while not showing the actual aperture, allow for repeatable settings. Also has an internal baffle to prevent excess reflections. http://www.cameraquest.com/voigt_adpt_sonye.htm

Interesting, I wonder if those markings are designed to equate to stops. Otherwise I'd tend to think it would be more effective to put in the work to calibrate real f-stop or t-stop markings and I would think most people would not want clicking stops. People usually go out of their way to declick still lenses and allow fine, smooth aperture adjustments. I've used the $30 adapters from ebay with aperture control with some success, though if there is play in the mount it can mess with your f-stop, but the price is hard to beat.

Chris Johnston
09-01-2011, 11:56 AM
Thanks to those that replied. I have made a few changes to my purchase plans and wouuld like to get some more opinions if you have a minute.

I've decided to go with the 5 inch Marshall monitor over the Ikan. I'm not sure how long you can shoot on 4 aa batteries and would much rather have some kinda plate that you could put a sony battery on but......

I've also decided to dump the nikon zooms (at 1600+ each) and the novaflex adapters (at 300 each) and have decided to go with a few nikon ais type glass that I can also use on my Canon if I choose to. (I already own a couple older nikon primes and dumping the 2 zooms and adapters will free up almost 4 K to get other stuff) It would appear that the only semi cheap nikon ais to fs100 adapter that is available at B&H is the Bower (Kipon) model.
I've seen a few posts that said this adapter wasn't the best (loose?) but if thats all they've got.......

As for the main rig...
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/486498-REG/Cavision_RS_15IIM_250mm_RS_15IIM_250_Rod_Support_S ystem.html
Would this work well for a FS100? I'm not sure how big it is or if there is a size requirement for the fs100. Anyone use this with the FS?

Lastly, as many have recomended, I'll be using this instead of the Ikan model.
I was a little unsure about the "CINE LENS" part. but I think this is the model that comes with the 0.8 cine gear (even though the website doesn't specify what the differences are between the 3 available.)

Anyone see any problems with these picks? Again, I MUST BUY FROM B&H, so no rayqual, small HD, TV logic, KEH etc.

09-01-2011, 12:56 PM
I would recommend GENUS plate vs the Cavision: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/769537-REG/Genus_GL_GMB_HP_Hot_Plate_Professional_Adaptor.htm l

The location of the tripod plate on the Cavision rig makes it difficult to get the follow focus in place with smaller lenses

Chris Johnston
09-01-2011, 01:36 PM
Makes sense......Cavision also has the "reversed" version which would eliminate the problem. (if I understand it correctly)
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/621718-REG/Cavision_RS_15IIMQR_RS_15IIMQR_Rod_Support_System. html
$170 $ cheaper also. but the genus has longer rods.....hmmmm....

09-01-2011, 02:25 PM
The placement of the tightening knob on the cavision baseplate above is a pain, and the fact that the genus baseplate's camera screws are difficult to reach thumb screws is also a pain.

Then again if you never change rod positioning or have a quick release assembly that is living on the baseplate then neither of these are issues.

Personally I'm pretty cheap, so i use this http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/531905-REG/Cavision_RS1580D_SPE_RS1580D_SPE_Shoulder_Pad_Syst em.html

I replaced the terrible fiberglass rods with the 12" ikan aluminum rods for $35, added a giotto's quick release assembly for $35 and am quite happy with it since the QR assembly (with $20 long plate) allows enough front-back adjustment of camera position on the baseplate that even if i switch from my 7" long 24-70 to my 12" long 70-200, I just slide the camera back and never have to move my matte box or follow focus.

I should note that the positioning and design of the rod locking knob on this baseplate sucks even more than the previous cavision pictured, but it works for me because I just cranked it down once with an allen wrench and treat the rods and baseplate as one piece. Also I dont use the shoulder pad, but even then its still a pretty good deal for a baseplate and grips if you don't need the $400 ones.

BTW I'd suggest a nanoclamp and some kind of articulating arm so you can mount your monitor anywhere you want (use the nanoclamp to clamp to the 15mm rods usually) . I use the shortest cheapest arm they had at BH and it works fine for me but I wouldnt trust it with anything much bigger than my tvlogic 5.6"

I'd definitely recommend extra power for your monitor, if you cant get some kind of li-ion 5v battery (65wh would last all day), at least get the best rechargeable AAs around. That would be the Sanyo XX 2500mah LSD AA batteries. You should be able to squeeze about 2hrs out of those. You may be able to find non-LSD AA batteries that last a little longer, but they will likely be a pain to maintain since non low self discharge nimh aa batteries will lose charge just by sitting around.

09-01-2011, 08:29 PM
i was doing the same thing but I just completed my shopping for my fS-100. For rig I have zacuto FS-100 kit with some Berkey system parts and now it is like almost a shoulder camera, I can post pictures tomorrow. I strongly suggest tv logic 5.6 (they don't sell at bh) monitor or don't buy any monitor more than 5.6". Or you can buy a zacuto evf than you can have monitor and viewfinder together. Again berkey's fs100 top plate is something must have for FS-100 and you can buy from www. berkeysystems.com You should have a top handle and right handle from them. I bought a nano flash recorder, v-mount battery system for my camera. Now I can power, camera, nano-flash and monitor from one source.