Packing the Right Kit: Cameras and Lenses
We're going to unpack all of our bags and really show you what we bring on location to do this shoot for a mock jackson kayak video and still shoot and I want to put it in perspective everything that I'm going to show you it's not mandatory that you have all of this gear this is this is a big kit for a small footprint production it's a small kit for hollywood in a giant kit if you're that one man man production so all kind of as we go through the equipment all point out what the mandatory pieces of equipment are if it's sort of you're alone and you're working on a budget and then you can decide for yourself which other pieces of equipment might fit into your your jobs moving forward so I thought what we would do is first is actually dive into my camera bags um I actually tried teo I travel with the low pro pro rollers and I actually bring these on the plane with me so blind eye both flew from lake tahoe together and so flying together blier old one of the camera bags onto the plane and...
I rolled the other camera bag so I labeled them number one and number two and inside of the bag's this is really the gear that I just don't want it getting damaged under the planet means if I land at the location I can do my job with the kit with the cameras that are inside of these bags now of course I'm not going to have the helicopter I'm not going to jim's I'm not gonna have all the tripods but at least we can shoot you know certainly on the still photo front video gets a little bit harder but these are the basics soas faras cameras usually I have a d eight hundred with me this is my workhorse video camera and still camera when we're shooting high resolution still images defore that's it again I can shoot motion and stills but if I'm shooting sports action where any motor driven sequences bursts the d four is definitely the go to camera for me and then I'll also carry a d six hundred this is I mean, quite frankly this has probably become my favorite camera in the nikon line and ironically it's the cheapest camera of the top three dslr and the reason I like it it's still a full frame sensor shoots full hd video high resolution still images put on top of that it section pretty fast so I can do motor driven bursts and the price point is lower than the one hundred and the d for it's also really lightweight so I'm a small guy and if I need to carry stuff into the mountains or to a remote location the d six hundred is the camera of choice for may so if you're that guy sitting online and saying, this is the beginning of my video career, this is probably the camera for you, the d six hundred. Then you can graduate into the d a hundred defore style cameras. Um, I carry a quiver of lenses and again the basic two lenses that I used the most it's actually a seventy two, two hundred. I have two point eight lens, and I used a that's on the wrong I label all of these lens caps, but it's it's very rare that they're actually on the correct lens, but usually I would have a sixteen to thirty five that four lens and that's actually mounted on a camera on the gimbal right now, so seventeen to thirty five would be my backup. This is so the basic kit if I if I'm walking into the mountains, it's probably going to be other sixteen to thirty five that four lens or a seventeen to thirty five f two pointed and a seventy two, two hundred to it with the d six hundred is the basic kit he's heir my favorite lenses, I can do a ton of work with ease with this equipment, and then everything else I'd like to say it's kind of icing on the cake, the hand do that. So all also and again, I'm just gonna peel out everything that's here this is three hundred millimeter f four lens and what I like about this lens, it's pretty lightweight for a three hundred millimeter prime lens so it's, this is again. It depends on how much dear aiken take and the budget of the production, but I loved that three hundred f or it's great to have on location, you can see how I pack these lenses. Um, this is a twenty four to seventy I don't really like this focal length that this kind of the classic wedding photographer lens it's sort of right in the middle of the road. I bring it, but sometimes I need that perspective, but I'll go to primes before all used to twenty four to seventy, so I'll definitely if if you're if you're the person that just bought that seventy, two hundred and the seventeen to thirty five, the next lens I would get is actually the fifty millimeter one for its beautiful prime lens that's third lens in line would be you get your seventy two hundred actually get your sixteen to thirty five or seventeen thirty five first, then you're seventy two, two hundred and then probably the fifty one four um, let me give you the twenty four to seventy and again, this is if you're going to invest more, then you start going into prime lenses the twenty four one four now these air fast lenses in the eighty five one for the beauty of these lenses when you're shooting video is you have a lot less control over for example, your shutter speed so having really fast primes allow you to shoot an ultra low light as well as their really it's a sexy look when you put these primes on the camera, so these are the two fast primes that I carry in addition to the fifty one for, um let's see know anything of the macro lens you heard us refer to that a few times this is sixty millimeter macro and the concept of a macro I think most people understand it allows you to get very close to an object, so one to one ratio is what this this lens allows and and I like the focal length. This is why, you know, I'm using this lens less and less, which to fourteen to twenty for when I'm shooting video because it's very difficult to put a nd filter on the front of it beautiful piece of glass it's great for still photographs, but really tough if you need to put indy over the top because you know there's, no threat of mount and then the final lens just kind of the low end is a sixteen millimeter fish islands which is we're going to use this in the water housing presumably tomorrow it's easy to overuse your fish eye but it's pretty valuable piece of equipment we also brought a long lens which is a two hundred to four hundred millimeter lens f four straight through super incredible piece of glass looks really cinematic and so of course I was describing to you that we can punch in in two dx mode and so if we're at four hundred millimeters we can go more than two times we can have a hundred millimeter equivalent at full hd so we'll use that tomorrow for that fishing shot remember the storyboard where he's out there fishing and then we compress the background this will be our lens for that and again this is not mandatory kit when you could get a lot done with that seventy two two hundred millimeter lens but this is you know, as you add lenses to your quiver that's a great piece of equipment on a couple of other little things two different microphones these air the same mike's these air just onboard mikes that you can stick right on the top of your camera more directional than the mike that is built into your camera and then this is literally the same nikon anyone mike but with a ah you know, dead squirrel over the top of it just to cut down on wind and this makes a huge difference. I mean, right now, it's pretty calm outside, but when you can add that it makes a really big difference. Um I don't think there's anything else we use recycled batteries or rechargeable batteries so weaken, you know, we're not throwing away double ways all the time. This is pretty important. This is we bring is a kudo I loop with us for atleast we always have one in the bag and this is if you're not going to buy a monitor, this serves the purpose of you can see the guy's operating the cameras here, it's so that you can actually see what you're doing and there's, you know, sun shield you can get this up against your eye and and bright sun you can see the back of your camera when you're shooting video super valuable investment and I live there's different companies, different versions, but go ahead. I had a quick question on the, uh, the microphone cover you had on that one. Okay, the question is, just when you put that on, are you finding your audio levels go down significantly as well? We got to really bump him up and can very subtly, very subtle, you know, kind of the better wind deadening devices that you have, the less you lose audio levels okay, this one I think I cut this off of another mike and we just, you know, kind of zip tied and on to the m e one but you know, the more sophisticated the cover, the less it should affect the audio, but you'll see some difference in audio. So the other purpose this serves and this is again, if you're that one man band, this is invaluable because when you put this on the back of your camera, not only does it act as you know, snaps onto the back not only that is allow you to see your screen, but it also allows you to brace the camera against your face, so if you have, you know, one hand holding the camera one hand under the lens and this is against your eye it's sort of like you have three points of contact, and if you're not on the mono pod or you're not on sticks, it allows you to actually hold a much steadier shot, which is pretty valuable, so this is a must get piece of equipment um we'll also carry in the video world we need we need filtration I mean, we need nd filters so well actually carry where's the show, so we actually carry some variable indies as well as andy's that aaron in different variations of nd so the variable the beauty is they're cheaper and you can control it's an infinite amount of neutral density that you've put over the front of the lens or you can they tend to be a lot sharper and cleaner you can get them this in nd one point two so we'll carry the fixed andy's is that the way to say it fixed fixed en d's as well as this is a variable indy so it's much like a polarizing filter you khun spin it and the more you spin it or the less you spend the darker it yet and so this is this another one was you must have pieces of equipment this is schneider optics variable indy super sharp yes any changes in sharpness versus the variable and the set yeah yeah definitely variable like the grades the image a little bit again the better the nd filter variable in do you buy? You know the less it degrades thie image anytime you put a piece of glass in front of you know a lens it changes that final output of the optics but you know, don't go cheap I guess that would be my my advice don't go in buy the cheapest filter that at around the cells actually, you know, go with the schneider optics and b w get something that's really good so that you don't regret it later, you know, there's no reason to have a thousand dollar loans and put a twenty dollar filter in front of it. Yeah, it's also worth noting that the variables is they're great for action photography when you're having to get when you're having to be quick to change your exposure, but when you're doing a lot of like skin tone and beauty things, their duel polarizer is that they're working on, so they actually will mess with the mid tones you're actually, you'll notice that some of the some of the life comes out of your person's face and your skin tone. So it's it's worth noting that, you know, if you're gonna be doing a lot of skin tone stuff, a lot of beauty face, then you're going to want to stay on those just standard andy's, you know, to stop the four stop kind of thing. So the other thing talking about not trying to save money in the wrong places on memory, so, you know, when you're shooting still in video mean, go for large capacity cards, and if whether you're buying sandisk or another brand, get the best cards, I mean, you're shooting, you're gonna be doing projects for clients where the stakes are high so all by extreme pro cards, um I'm not always at the highest capacity card, but the bigger the cameras get the larger the files it's amazing how quickly you can fill smaller cards these air so stable these days there's no fear of you don't want to put all your eggs in one basket these cards no, the vale of shot a lot of content amore amore shooting not on cf cards, but actually on ask the cards and the beauty of sd cards one they're really fast you can still get extreme pro cards, but they're waterproof so this a great example of we're going to be flying an rc helicopter over the water, and while the last thing I want to see happen is like we crashed the helicopter, at least if we did crash it with an s d card, we're not gonna lose the content like if we can recover the helicopter. The camera's toast, the helicopters toast, but well, actually still of the shots on the sd camera john's cringing over there um so again, never run out of space never run out of memory that's the worst thing that can happen you have some great scenario unfolding in front of you and you've run out of memory memories cheap relative to getting to the location, buying the camera's, hiring talent and all those other things that we do as filmmakers and photographers and then this I don't know much about it's cleaning cameras and lenses um one thing I'll say about this gear is as a still photographer I think we have the habit of being super lazy about cleaning lenses because you could just in post remove that dust spot in video it's a whole nother world there were some hard lessons learned for me so I just you know, I was like grease all over my lens and dust and and dane and I would be sitting in an edit together and dane would say yeah there's a lot of unusable content because you never you never cleaned your lens or use lens caps cory was a notorious zero lens cap user there for a while you know I had that photo journalist mentality no lens caps you just wanted to be ready to shoot in the video world it's a little different I had to actually buy back lens caps because I threw them all away when I got the ones is so I put a few hundred bucks in the lens caps and I've saved a lot of heartache and video at it and then I carry a visible dust sensor cleaning kit that's the other thing with video you've got to make sure that your sensors clean because the instant you do a shot with the dirty sensor it's a disaster and post I mean it's sometimes impossible to actually clean the shot up and you make that decision yourself whether or not you want to be the one cleaning your sensor whether or not you send that somewhere toe have it done professionally because that's a sketchy situation and there's kind of there's different levels of how dirty your sensors bly tends to clean our sensors and will deal with it if it's ideal if we can do it with dust where a simple swipe of a cleaning tool if it's anything more than that and we can't get it off we'll send it tonight connor to a nikon service center and let them clean it because that's a lot of the value of your camera is that sensor so once you destroy that sensor it's it's trouble so let's see I think that's enough for camera bags you know the one thing I didn't bring out here is we bring these low pro roller bags on the plane and then once we get to the location that's not zipped up once we get to the location then I'll use other bags like the low pro flipside backpack is actually kind of my favorite bag for working out of that so it's a rear entry camera bag which means when I set it down in the mud I'm not setting the part that goes on my back in the mud so it's like my back is always dry I can pull the gear out so I'll take out of those pro rollers what I'm actually gonna work with and put it in some other smaller camera bag. That's. More functional in the field.