During the camera prep for Createasphere Expo 2010, we decided to show what was in our kits. We get asked all the time what equipment to buy. Well, I really can’t tell you what you will need for your kit, however I can tell you what I have in mine. Here is a breakdown of the gear mentioned. We have been using the Redrock Micro Eyespy rig for quite some time with out any problems whatsoever. The Follow Focus works but we prefer the Chrosziel for a little more precision and longer focus throws. The big knob makes all the difference. The RRM cheese plate is a very quick solution to go from hand held to studio mode.
We have always been huge fans of Zeiss Glass. Here we have two examples, older Contax Zeiss Lenses and the newer Zeiss ZE lenses. We have the 21mm, 50mm, 85mm and 100mm Macro in the ZE line and we have a 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm in the Contax mount Zeiss line. The Contax /zeiss is manual focus and Iris. This can be de-clicked for smooth iris pulls. We use Fotodiox adapters to mount to Canon cameras. The Contax glass can be purchased from KEH camera. An entire set of primes will cost you less than 2K. We have been using the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 zoom for a few reasons. It is a great wide lens for crop sensor cameras like the Canon 7D, it has hard stop manual focus and color matches with the Zeiss Glass very well. We just added the Tokina 28-80mm F2.8 Zoom it has the same features and unlike the Canon 24-70 the front element does not protrude beyond the front of the lens making this a great lens to use with a matte box. We do love the IS system on the Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS and use it all the time. We are not huge fans of Canon Glass but this lens is the exception.
We also carry a few other items in our A camera kit. We only use Sandisk Extreme Pro CF Cards. We use a Pelican CF card case to protect our CF cards. Another must have. This is the best case we have found on the market. This is an area where we will not skimp. They are the best we have found and stick by them. I also use the Zacuto Z-Finder 3X Pro. It is fog less and mounts and dis-mounts very quickly. This is a must for HDSLR work. The fog less eyepiece is awesome for long shooting days.
The Zoom H4N is a great separate sound recorder. Any XLR input recorder with WAV files will work. We have yet to have any problems with the Zoom. It is relatively inexpensive at under $250 US. We also carry the Sennheiser MKE 400 mini shotgun mic. This has been our go to on camera mc for it’s compact size and decent sound. There are others on the market. We dig the size, less attraction to our camera when stealing shots. We also use the Sennheiser EW 100 Eng G3A wireless transmitter system. This complete system works well for our specific needs. The OMNI Directional Mic plug and wireless Lav mic and transmitter are very easy to operate and only cost around $600 US.
We also swear by the new Switronix Powerbase 70 battery system. This battery will run the camera and other accessories like the Marshall 5” HDMI monitor for most of the day. This also eliminates the need for multiple batteries and chargers. We carry a few filters, mostly ND’s and a few Polarizers. The ND 6 grad is nice for specific shots and the Lightcraft Workshop Fader ND has been a lifesaver in bright sun. We roll with both Tiffen and Schneider filters. We mainly use the Sacthler FSB 6 tripod we will use our Bogen 501 HDV head in a pinch, however we prefer the Sachtler for any pan and tilt moves. The New Bogen 504 Head looks promising and the 502 sounds like a winner. Lastly we use both a Canon 5D MK II and Canon 7D. This gives us plenty of options in the field. If we need 60fps we have it. We also gain a lot of DOF with the Canon 7D. I will use that on the Glidecam HD 2000 to give myself a little more room with the focus. This is the gear that works for our specific needs. We are a run and gun style crew. This works for us. It may not work for you. Thanks for checking it out.