8.27.2020

Heading out again today to shoot some b-roll and to test a new gimbal. After today it's all battery charging and judicious packing...


 I had so much fun with my phone gimbal I decided to buy a gimbal for my m4:3 cameras. Specifically the G9 with the Pan/Leica 12-60mm on the front. I chose the Zhiyun Crane V2 because it was well reviewed and cheap. Really cheap. But I guess that's typically the case on past tense products. I know that newer gimbals have more options, can be driven to do more things with smart phones, and have programmable modes but for right now my gimbal needs are simple and I'd rather learn a few things in depth than tons of things in a shallow way. If my needs change I'm pretty sure there's always going to be gimbals out there to upgrade to. 

I'm shooting easy stuff today. The road up to the state capitol building. Some static shots of the lake with the sky in the background. Some landmarks. Joggers on the train. Signage at Barton Springs. And anything else that catches my eye. My real mission is to understand and comfortable with shooting the G9 + gimbal combo and learning the basics. I always think of things in terms of swimming so in my terminology this is doing drills. Drilling the basic moves into my brain. 

Swimming. It's nice to be back on a later schedule. There's something disturbing about getting up super early in the morning and hitting the water while the sky is still deep black. I did the 8:00 a.m. workout today and to be honest I really dogged the whole thing. I worked on technique. I reveled in slow flip turns. I did a lot of backstroke so I could watch flocks of birds fly over head. I doubt I got in more than 2800 yards but it all felt so good. The water (amazingly!!!) is right at 80 degrees, which is five degrees cooler than the water coming out of my garden hose. Perfect to swim in and a very, very refreshing way to start a day that's destined for heat indexes that are scary. I need one more workout like this before Saturday's shoot...

Hurricane news. It sure looks like Louisiana got hammered today by Hurricane Laura. All our hotels are full of weather refuges and the city has also opened the Circuit of the Americas (F1) racing compound to temporarily house the flood of people who fled the storms. It's a good time to make donations to the Capitol Area Food Bank and any other helpful charity you might like.

Kitchen news. Our leak was fixed by an incredible plumber named, Herman. He dropped by and replaced two 25 year old valves with better, brand new ones and the total cost for his house call and same day service, including parts was $120. I went out to the studio, rounded up all the rest of my (non-camera essential) tools and put them on the front curb with a sign that reads, "free tools." I'll never bust a knuckle again. 

Camera news. You know that Canon must have received an overwhelming flood of criticism about the overheating issues with their two new cameras because they've already gotten out the fastest firmware upgrade in the history of camera marketing. I think most of it just resets the clock in the cameras that timed out the unit and blamed it on temperature regardless of actual temperature readings. I hope people who review cameras will take the new firmware into consideration. 

I'm patiently (?) waiting to see if Panasonic will introduce the three lenses I've been waiting on along with the upcoming S5 camera body. The lenses are supposed to be the 24, 50 and 85mm f1.8s. My hope is that they'll be small, sharp and less than half the price of the current S-Pro juggernauts. I love the results of the current lenses but would love lighter lenses for those times when you just want to include a camera on a lighthearted hike.

Tomorrow will be a day of mellowness in preparation for Saturday's marathon movie-making. More to follow....

Hoping your studio is A Clean, Well Lighted Place. 

12 comments:

Eric Rose said...

How much is that gimbal in the US? I checked amazon.ca and it was around $750cad. In my books that's not exactly cheap. That might be the new one, the older model is $533cad.

Eric

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Hi Eric, The model I bought is the "Crane Plus" and is also listed under "Crane V2" as opposed to "Crane 2." It cost me $319USD, new delivered.

I've been using it all day today and it's very straightforward and logical to use. I've used it only with a G9 and the 12-60mm f2.8-4.0.

I wanted to give it a run through before potentially using it on Saturday. The phone is so easy. I wish I could just use that....

Eric Rose said...

$319USD is $419CAD. Looks like something I could use with my GH5. Ummm..... Did you get yours off Amazon? The US Amazon won't ship to Canada.

Eric

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Amazon. And it works well with the G9. Not too heavy. Is there Canadian Amazon?

Ross Nolly said...

I'm just hoping for a handy 35mm f1.8 lens to use as an every day lens. Especially so for the upcoming smaller FF camera

Alex Carnes said...

"I'm patiently (?) waiting to see if Panasonic will introduce the three lenses I've been waiting on along with the upcoming S5 camera body. The lenses are supposed to be the 24, 50 and 85mm f1.8s"

Amen to that, as they say! I'm loving the S1Rs though. I've just bought the Sigma 45/2.8, which from first impressions is excellent; and also the 70-200/2.8 - which, first impressions again, is humongous!

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Alex, I bought the 70-200 f4.0 version earlier, before the 2.8 was introduced. I went back to see about trading up but the weight was too much for my normal use so I bailed on that. The 45mm Sigma is so good I bought a second one to use when doing multiple camera stuff. It's that good.

Eric Rose said...

Yes we have Amazon in Canada.

Alex Carnes said...

Kirk - I think you made a wise decision. The 70-200/2.8 is a fine lens, but I'm not taking that anywhere unless I'm very sure I'm going to need it!

Completely agree about the 45/2.8. I've only had it a couple of days but first impressions are very positive, from the likeable image quality to the compact dimensions and top quality build and materials. I might grab another copy if one comes up used! I'm somewhat relieved after the lukewarm reviews, given that it's pretty much the only option for a light, standard prime for l-mount. It seems a tad soft at f/2.8 but only because it's so immensely sharp at f/4, and it renders a very attractive image.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

It's also a great lens to use with a camera on a gimbal. Small and light but very nice. And it focuses pretty quickly.
I bought a second for video set-ups where I want two angles but with the same basic focal length.

urbanviewphoto@gmail.com said...

Hello Mr. Tuck,

I have been following VSL for some time now and greatly enjoy reading about your escapades - plus I like your images of Austin, TX.

Quick question:

I note you use the G9 for video...any reason why you don't shoot the GH5? What, if any, are the advantages of shooting B-Roll with the G9 vs the GH5? I'm in the process of deciding on either the G9 or the GH5 and I would be very interested in hearing your preferences (for the record, I am leaning more towards the G9).

We are planning a trip to Austin either late 2020 or early 2021 (assuming we will still be able to travel). I would definitely enjoy hooking up with you and perusing some of the great Coffee shops in your area, while discussing cameras, lenses and photography in general.

Hope you and fam'bly continue to do well and stay safe out there...

Frank and Rose, NJ Photographers
UrbanViewPhoto.com

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

The GH5 has some stuff for really serious videographers. Like All-I files and variable frame frame rates, DCI 4k (wider aspect ratio) and stuff like that. The G9 is a generation newer, got an update to some really good specs like 4:2:2, 10 bit color. And I think it focuses really well. I've had both and liked the finder of the G9 much better. That makes a difference.

I think the G9 has nicer photo files out of camera. If I need bigger, meatier digital files I have S1s and Sigma fps and I'll probably add a S1H to the mix.

Finally, the G9 on a gimbal works well. See today's blog post...