View Full Version : Question about equipment versus:

01-27-2015, 11:26 PM
Not sure where exactly to post this, so I am just going to post it here in the general discussion.

I have a choice to buy a Black Magic Ursa (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1044785-REG/blackmagic_design_cinecamursa4k_ef_ursa_4k_digital _cinema.html) -


The new set of Rokinon Cine Lenses (4-pack from B&H (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1097167-REG/rokinon_rokinon_t1_5_cine_lens.html/prm/alsVwDtl))

Came-TV Fresnels - 2 sets of these (http://www.came-tv.com/dimmer-300w650w1000w-tungsten-studio-video-spot-light-p-316.html). When I was in film school, I fell in love with these; they were ARRI, but I've seen a lot of videos and am confident in Came-TV's Fresnels.

Rode Boompole (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/392860-REG/Rode_BOOMPOLE_Boompole_for_Rode_NTG_1.html)

Rode NT3 (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/937540-REG/rode_ntg3_b_ntg_3_precision_rf_biased_shotgun.html )

Behringer Truth 1031A Reference Monitors (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/672860-REG/Behringer_B1031A_Truth_B1031A_150W_8.html) - Need to buy 2.

Proaim 9ft Wave 11 Slider Jib (http://www.thecinecity.com/eshop/Proaim-9ft-Wave-11-Camera-Slider-Jib.html)

...and a few other miscellaneous things.


I have all the basics to shoot and continue to shoot, including a T2i and a T3i, and smaller studio gear. I know that I really need the lighting, lenses, stabilization, better Audio like the NTG-3.

But, all of that stuff is still cheaper individually as opposed to spending one lump some on the BMCC Ursa. I can buy the Ursa all at once and use the rest of the year to buy the rest of the equipment right? But, I am not going to have an opportunity to just have a $6,000 check all at once for a while.

What would you do? Is the Ursa even worth it? I've been to film school and am eager to upgrade my equipment, but at the same time, a better camera body that I don't have to "hack" with Magic Lantern, plus get automatic HDR without having to mess around in post also seems like the better deal.

So, I am torn.

PS - here's my Vimeo Channel on a few projects while down in film school. https://vimeo.com/user22161759 (https://vimeo.com/user22161759)

Nate Haustein
01-28-2015, 12:43 AM
Does your tripod support a 15lb camera? Can you afford $300 batteries and $500 memory cards? Do not buy an URSA, the cost of accessories and workflow will absolutely kill your momentum at this point In your filmmaking career. Looking at your Vimeo page, you're not maximizing what you have already just yet, and while buying new gear is fun and exciting, I would recommend you take it a little slower and save some of your money for when you need it. Sound is a good investment, but if it stays on the camera it won't make a big difference. Same with the lights, amount is nothing, placement is everything. It didn't look like you did much with lighting in your clips. I bet you could really make a huge difference with effective placement of a few flags, reflectors and just a light or two - not necessarily six.

Speaking of, tungsten lighting is hot, heavy and yesterday's news! Perhaps a more balanced multipurpose kit with some daylight fluorescents or LEDs could compliment a few freesnels. The rokinons are pretty good, but swap the 24mm for a 11-16. Much more useful. As for a camera, just remember all the extra things (and sometimes people) you need to make it work. When you're developing your talents, the last thing you want is to struggle with your equipment.

01-28-2015, 02:36 AM
Thank you for the advice. You are right about not utilizing lighting the way I really wanted to. The short film, "Tilted," we used 2-1000 watt ARRI Fresnels, and bounced them at a diagonal, and that was the only lighting. As for the adaptation, "I Want to Climb," I specifically shot day-for-night. I used the 1100 watt ARRI kit (150, 300, 650) and that's where I fell in love with fresnels. I do agree with you that I should probably utilize my equipment better, rather than just upgrading to the next best thing.

As for the tungstens, I have been debating grabbing up some LEDs, gels, and some decent stands. And, I do agree, I've done countless hours of light placement from single, double, and even up to three lights for different and effective scenes. And, even did some special effects scenes simulating many different natural elements like water reflection, lightning (used a 5k ARRI for that and a dormer shutter), and even simulated fire with low-watt tungstens. The only real LEDs we used were really expensive, about $5,000 per light, and the only real difference I noticed was it used way less power, and obviously didn't heat up, as the container was plastic. However, it did feel fragile and didn't adhere to the gels real well. The color-shift without gels was more magenta. I love the control I had using the fresnels while on set. But, I did not like the high-wattage and all the math that went into making sure we didn't blow anything. The math wasn't bad or confusing; it was keeping up with what was plugged in the 'Lunchbox,' and how much wattage each double outlet had. So, yeah, between always having my leather gloves running off with someone else as well as risking blowing the 'distributor-switch,' I do agree that the fresnels can be a pain. But, again, once they're placed, they don't fail, especially when using a light or even spot meter with them. Lighting is the one thing I will probably spend more money on than anything else in filmmaking, like, ever. And I came from sound design before film school.

If you have ideas of LEDs you would suggest, please let me know. I am looking into some decent C-Stands for miscellaneous things, but mostly bounce and reflector boards until then.

And why the 11-16? I am not happy with the overly sharp images it puts out. Also, I am trying to find lenses with all the same apertures, despite using a meter to keep my exposure and f-stops controlled.