Created 24-Mar-09
Modified 19-Jan-12
Visitors 5942
37 photos
  • CHAPTER I

The Basics

This is a work in progress: I got a "hybrid" 5D Mark II in January 2009. It replaced my 1Ds Mark II, and added another video capable camera to my tool box. Images you are looking at are ilustration of the Kit set up I have so far (video shoot configuration).
You have seen all different kinds of "Rigs" featuring 5D Mark II, and most of them are trying to be as big as possible (and heavy, too). I don't need that. I need light, mobile and versatile set up, that can be transformed "back to DSLR" in couple of steps.
At this moment, for video I am using only Nikon AI/AIS prime lenses (old, very old) since I love to put my own F-stop and to control the exposure as manual as possible. Sure, if Canon decide to give us upgrade for manual control of iris and exposure/ISO, I will be back to using my expensive L glass for video...

Note: my Canon 5D Mark II is used as still camera as well. For that reason, I have RRS L bracket mounted on the camera body (at all times). This is very helpful piece of metal, that all still photographers who use tripod frequently know very well.

After a day of this gallery being active, I received many responses and few questions. I will try to answer a few:

Why matte box?

Matte Box is nice to have for:
-using all 4x4 filters (NDs, grads, black Pro mist,...)
-it also shades the front of the lens at all times from stray light. For tilting and panning or camera in motion this is very useful when you are in the environment where you don't control the light set up. Remember, we are dealing with "moving" images and it's much simpler to prevent strange lens flares this way.
-protects the whole front part of the lens/camera
-looks cool...

I choose Genus Matte Box for my Sony EX1 video camera after long and hard research. Main goal was small size, small weight and 4x4 filter slots (2 of them). It took me a bit of luck to find a brand new kit at a great price...


What's needed for the rear viewer?


I have to tell you that my focusing accuracy went up 100% since using this contraption on the back of the LCD, and I don't wear glasses (yet!). The set up require a bit of "customizing" of the 40D LCD hood: remove the flap covers (first bot sides and than the top large cover). Once removed, you need to remove the rear clear plastic "window glass". After, a bit of plastic cutting is needed: right inner edge of the remaining frame needs to be cut out to accommodate the camera's LCD right edge. Also, a bit of bottom edge needs to be cut out for the same reason.

At the end, attach the Hoodman 3" viewer with a few pieces of gaffer's tape. That's it!

Parts needed:


40D LCD HOOD

Hoodman SLR LCD Hood Loupe 3.0"


Let me know if this works for you...



  • CHAPTER II

Images 15-18

I just received new and improved WIDE ANGLE Genus Matte Box. This new box features quite a few but "hidden" improvements. For me, the biggest and most important is THIRD STAND-OFF (on the top of the box) that serves as third point of connection between front and rear of the unit (see images).

The rest of changes include:

-wide angle front 4x4 filter holder (for wide angle lenses).

-different placements of stops screws for 4x4 frames.

-different (slicker) design of DO-NUT that connects different lens adapters to the unit.

Please note that on my images "OLD" box has French flag connection rod and the new "WIDE" box has not. That optional accessory is standard for both units.

I hope these quick few lines and photos will help all potential buyers of this great product...


  • CHAPTER III

Images 20-31

Perfect Kit?

Finally, the rest of my Kit arrived last week: used Follow focus and used zoom lens.
First, about Follow Focus.
I ended up getting Redrock Micro V1. Initially, I was planning V2, but I found a used unit on dvX forum that was too good to pass. The unit came complete with 3 lens gears as it is originally sold. This follow focus being standard 15mm rails mount, fits perfect on my standard Genus rails.

Second, The Zoom lens.
Since starting to assemble my Canon 5D MKII VIDEO lens kit (in Nikon and Zeiss/Contax mounts) with manual f-stop ring, I was looking for the medium range zoom lens. This lens would be all around lens on 5D MKII.
Now with most of the lenses in 28-70mm (24-70mm) range there is a serious issue (for my set up). Those lenses are unusable in combination with professional Matte box mounted on 15mm rails. This is because this kind of lens extends when zooming. After some research, I found the 28-70mm zoom lens that does not change it's physical lenght when focusing or zooming. It is Angenieux 28-70 F2.6 zoom lens in Nikon mount (with manual f-stop ring). Another plus for this lens was the (relatively small) size and weight. Good thing is that filter attachment is 77mm, so it uses the same matte box adapter ring as my EX1.
Angenieux is French optical company well known in Cinematography circles known for high end cine lenses.

Angenieux 28-70 F2.6

Production year: 1990

Full frame

production: Discontinued

max. aperture: 2.6

min. aperture: 22

focal range: 28 - 70 mm

Rating (1.00-5.00)

overall ratings: 5,00

sharpness rating: 5,00

color rating: 5,00

build rating: 5,00

distortion rating: 5,00

flare control: 5,00


elements/group: 16/4

angle of view: 75,3 - 34,3

aperture blades: 8

minimum focus distance: 650 mm

filter rotate when focusing: No

filter rotate when zooming: No

focus design: internal

min. length: 109 mm

max. length: 109mm

filter diameter: 77 mm

weight: 705 g

color: black

The only problem for this vintage zoom lens was the price. Most of the used ones I have seen for sale (online) were too much for my planned budget. Than, one Sunday morning I spotted the listing on "that" auction site with "buy it price" within my budget. With click of the mouse, lens was mine...

The last piece I added is Manfrotto 357 Universal sliding plate. This piece was necessary to allow clearance for Follow Focus to reach lens gear on small Nikon prime lenses that I have. What ended up being is that FF assembly is not moving along the 15mm rails at all when switching lenses. I just slide the camera back and forward. Down side is that this metal adapter makes the whole set up a bit heavier.

Images 20-31 show both Follow Focus and Zoom lens mounted together. The Kit is still relatively small in bulk.