Shooting 7D PL with Cooke Lenses for Saturday’s LA Masterclass

Today  I spent a day at the Races. Starting at the ungodly hour of 430am we filmed with trainer Mike Mitchell at the Hollywood stables. It was funny, I have family in the racing business in England and generally the people working in the stables are generally young blonde students (huge sweeping generalising there!) here they seemed to be Latin American guys with MASSIVE filmic moustaches. Much more fun for me to film, as people know I tend to like to film interesting looking people than the obvious pretty ones!

The idea for this shoot was to do some test footage using Illya Friedman’s new PL CAMERA. Which is simply a very nicely modified 7D. Read the linked blog for more info on it.

We had a great crew. Jarred from Cinema 5D who provided the fantastic Cooke lenses as well as a RED zoom and a Century Optics zoom as well as the Matte Box and filters. Chuck with his litepanels (which we didn’t need in the end), RAWworks owner Neil who is organising the event, Creative Director Jeremy and sound man Bobby…very very odd Bobby!

I mostly shot using the 25mm and 100mm Cooke S4 T2 primes. What a GORGEOUS image these lenses give you. Yes it was a lot more fiddly and time consuming using these lenses with a mattebox for NDs than my normal “run and gun” set up but it was worth it. The images below speak for themselves!

Jeremy is going to do an edit together of the material and we will premiere it my HD-DSLR masterclass on Saturday on the Warner Bros lot in Hollywood. I saw the venue today and it’s fantastic. There are still some places left so please come. You don’t need to own a camera to come, just have an interest in these camera. We will be projecting lots of cool stuff on a great big screen Your chance to see how well these cameras hold up.

One very cool thing is Illya had a wide zoom that I used on one of the frame grabs of the horses walking in circles…this is a Tokina 11-16mm modified into a PL mount lens and now cost $3500. Same optics though…show you how good that lens is!

Below are some screen grabs of the shoot and some BTS pictures taken with my GF1 and the new Noktor.








Jeremy and Bobby



      1. Amazing. What tools are you guys using to sharpen in post? I’m flattening my profile in the 5D and correcting in Magic Bullet Looks, but I’m not sure about the best sharpening tool for FCP on the Mac.

        1. Nick, Along with this blog and Cinema5d i would sugest you go to Shane Hurlbuts sight (DOP of terminator salvation etc), choose hurlbut visuals, then go to his blog. It’s amazing for info and as an introduction to shooting films with these cameras (he’s shooting his latest movie for theatrical release on 7D/5D/1D – printing to 35mm). You can also subscribe to the inside track newsletter which is excellent also, with lots of fantastic info about these cameras.

      2. Why only resharpened slightly. I still dont understand why you wouldnt eventually want a nice sharp video picture afterwards? Is that a stylistic choice or does eliminate some sort of technical flaw… Also why does turning down in camera sharpening help when editing.

  1. OMG, seriously, filmmaking is severely changing these days. I’d love to just own that gear and make make and make films, I feel like a kid again when talking about these toys. I’m selling my whole HVX200A w/Letus Extreme Zacuto Kit in order to buy one of these babies, would u recommend me to wait and see what they reveal on NAB or should I just go ahead and get a 7D, a 5DMII or a 1DMIV?? (if thats the case, which one?? i cant decide!!)

  2. I’m struck by the very Film like tones and contrast levels. Colors are spectacular. I can’t make it all the way out west but look forward to hearing how things go during your class.

  3. The film grabs are awesome! Can’t wait to watch this movie! Will you post it on your blog right after the HD-DSLR workshop? It would be great!

  4. Hi Phil,

    Looks great. Do you think the problems with rolling shutter and sampling will be enough to keep cinema lenses on HD DSLRs from being a regular occurrence?

  5. Philip, that looks simply AMAZING! How did the lens perform at night time : P ? I can only imagine! When you were filming, what did you have the lens stopped down to? Theres no way you had it wide open correct?

  6. I’ve got access to some old school 35mm cooke lenses, unfortunately there’s really no way for me to put them on my 5D….AAAAAAARRRG!!! I hope a simple solution for using all cinema lenses isn’t far off. The new Zeiss primes are an exciting upcoming option but I sure would like to use the free cookes.

  7. Philip -if i said to you “you can only keep on of your canon’s the 7d or the 5d” which would you choose?? (providing the firmware update was already out).

  8. Hi Phil, Just wanted to know if you have gotten the chance to play with one of these yet?
    I found a site that has it for $120 with free shipping and handling, but wanted to see what you though about it first, could work well on a rig.

      1. I seem to have issues with grain/noise when I use the Sharpen filter in FCP. Do you run into this? If so, how to you remedy? Thanks for all the great info by the way!

  9. Hi Phill….
    why did not you used the 7D and 5D PL mounts for these, what happens to these horses in the 5D or 1D MK IV?
    thanks for sharing

  10. Awesome stuff – would wonder how different the footage would look if u had a custom 5D PL mount – either way – fantastic looking shots.

    Is the rolling shutter more pronounced with the cinema lenses due to the type of glass used or ?

  11. I’m having an issue with the light metering not working in manual mode when shooting video. I’m using Leica-R lenses with Leitax adapters that do not have chips. Light metering works fine when shooting stills. But when I shoot video (my primary use) the light metering goes wacky.

    Logically the light metering works fine for stills and these adapted prime lenses, so why does it fail to function properly in video mode?

    Did you experience this when using these primes? Any solutions or settings I don’t know to change?

    If anybody can help on this I’d really appreciate it!

  12. Hay Phillip,

    Have you noticed the 7D picture noise is Less @ 640 ISO and more noise in 320?

    I know that your aware of the two different types of noise in these cameras.

    One is Signal To Noise Ratio.
    And the other is Chroma Noise.

    I’ve run some tests, And have found that when your in the 640 ISO Color Noise is Less. I use to think 320 ISO was the best overall, But on the scope and to the Eye, i have found this not to be true when viewing raw on a 50″ Samsung.

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