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Macro photography and DV

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woodenpidgeonMacro photography and DV
by on Mar 12, 2002 at 9:42:25 am

Anyone have extensive experience doing macrophotography on video? I have been offered a job shooting Spiders for a nature channel. I gave a conditional YES, but I'm still trying to gather data about how difficult this might be.

I own a Sony DSR-500WSL and a Fujicon lens.

I am wondering if anyone had rented a macro video rig before.

-----Or if any vetrans out there can spare some advice about macro shooting in general.

I would much rather rent than purchase extenders.

Thank you all!
[Los Angeles area]


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JOHN SHARAFRe: Macro photography and DV
by on Mar 12, 2002 at 4:56:07 pm

As I'm sure you're aware, the "macro" function on your Fujinon lens merely adjusts the back focus, so once you've invoked it you are unable to zoom. Another choice is to buy or rent "diopters" which mount like filters and enable you to still zoom so you can follow the spiders' movement.

Another consideration of course is lighting. The more light you have the greater the depth of field, which should help you to keep the pesky spiders in focus. You might consider a ring lite for fill. Contact Kino Flo by phone; they make a circular flourescent, but it's not in the catalog!

In addition, bellows are often used in still and motion picture photography, but I'm uncertain of their availability in the B4 mount on your camera. You could contact Clairmont Camera (in LA) and make inquiry there. They are amotion picture camera rental agency and specialize in accessories like these. Because of the ploriferation of HD cameras (with the same lens mount), they might now offer just what you're looking for!


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Andrei MihailescuRe: Macro photography and DV
by on Mar 12, 2002 at 8:09:00 pm

Yes, you might also want to take a look at the Probe Lens System:

http://www.innovisionoptics.com/prod/probe1.shtml

Cheers,
Andrei


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Rick GerardRe: Macro photography and DV
by on Mar 12, 2002 at 9:49:40 pm

I have used a Probe Lens system to shoot miniatures and it worked great. You need lots of light - If I remember right these are about f16 lenses. That means lots of light.

I've also shot a lot of insect close-ups with a normal lens and a +1, +2 and +3 Diopter. The macro function is OK for a quick grab shot, but is entirely unsuitable for getting good coverage when you're close up.

The most difficult part of the project will be getting the spiders to cooperate. We were trying to shoot a caterpillar not too long ago for an educational video and burned up about 30 minutes of tape and 4 hours before we got kind of what we wanted. Insects aren't very good actors and you really need to understand their behavior to get those great shots.

Good luck with the project. BTW - If you don't mind me asking, who is your Discovery contact? I know a few people there.


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woodenpidgeonRe: Macro photography and DV
by on Mar 13, 2002 at 4:45:03 am

Thanks everyone for the great info. I will give Claremont a call tomorrow. F16 is a little scary (my video light kit is an Arri II 3-650s and a 1k w/ chimera). I will definitly consider a kino option; I'm sure the spiders, much like actors will be a little easier to work with under cooler lights.

Oddly I'm also glad for the info about 30 mininutes worth of tape to get 1 good shot. I'm not afraid of shooting tabletop stuff, but creatures is a little different. A little trepidation might keep me from expecting a Piece of Cake shoot and ending up with a P.O.S. Luckily we have a spider wrangler for this one.

We're not working with Discovery, it's actually a Japanese production.

Thanks again.


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