August 6, 2011

Vincent Laforet Tests RED's Canon Mount with a $10K Lens

In response to the trailer for Like Crazy -- the DSLR-shot indie feature that sold for $4 million at Sundance -- some commenters asked about the merits of PL-mount lenses vs. Canon lenses. Traditionally, motion picture PL lenses are many times more expensive than Canon glass and offer better tactile, manual controls. But in the digital age, some of Canon's features are suddenly handy, and RED recognizes this.

RED's EPIC camera, which runs $30,000 (body only), comes with a PL mount by default. But they're working on a Canon mount to allow photographers who are already invested in serious Canon glass to put their lenses to work, and Vincent Laforet got his hands on a beta version. This isn't a "dumb" mount -- not only does it have electronic contacts for autofocus, image stabilization, and aperture control, it also offers touch-to-focus, auto rack-between-marks, and distance readouts right on the RED monitor. Here's the video he shot with the yet-to-be-released Canon mount, using a $9,500 Canon 600mm f4 EF Lens attached to a 2X teleconverter. As you can see in the thumbnail above, this is with a seriously long lens:

Link: One Degree: A Canon 600mm w 2X Extender on the RED Epic

Your Comment

24 Comments

I fell asleep one minute in. $40,000 of camera/lens and utterly boring. By calling it is a test, then setting it to Moby to achieve a certain "feel", it still conveys nothing but dark images and flying birds ad nauseum. I guess I missed the point.

August 6, 2011 at 2:36PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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alex wilson

yeah the "test video" is now like a genre in and of itself, with all its own tropes and cliches. pensive music? check. slow motion? check. water-side filming location? check.

August 6, 2011 at 3:00PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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dv

I have the same sentiment.. I am really starting to dislike all these test videos.. Especially when it seems to have no scientific merit to it... Just random shots.

August 6, 2011 at 4:33PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Tom

Yeah, I'd say the story is on par with Transformers ;) No complaints here though, I think the purpose is just to show some sample shots with the lens and mount.

August 6, 2011 at 6:13PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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You didn't miss anything, because there is nothing to miss. It's just ridiculous. Anyway, I must confess that I am getting bored by all those so called video- divas. Any solid first camera operator would make the job in a much more interesting way.

August 12, 2011 at 3:58AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Roger Wielgus

Oh fellas, loosen up a bit, it's not like you're paying anything to watch this and nobody's forcing you to. Now go out and get a massage / spend a day fishing / go dancing / volunteer at a charity or do some other thing to regain your sense of perspective.

August 6, 2011 at 5:29PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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David, just stating my opinion. Since you didn't comment on the actual post by Laforet or contribute anything constructive...maybe you should troll somewhere else and worry about your own perspective.

August 6, 2011 at 5:58PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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alex wilson

Which part of your post was "constructive", since you bring it up?

August 7, 2011 at 8:56AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Graham Kay

Hey Graham, I just suggest if you post to state your opinion OR give constructive criticism. I gave my opinion. David did neither. Hope that helps.

August 7, 2011 at 2:28PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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alex wilson

Touché - I stand corrected.

August 8, 2011 at 8:49AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Graham Kay

Hey hey hey guys, easy! Everyone's entitled to their opinion.

I sometimes get tired of camera tests too (and you'll note that I don't shoot any myself), but I think the touchscreen functionality that is enabled by the electronic contacts is pretty amazing. Not something motion picture cameras have had before...

Also, I rather enjoyed the third Transformers, but I suppose that wasn't so much from the story as it was the 3D extravagance...

August 6, 2011 at 7:20PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

I wish I was impressed with the technical quality of these images...sorry I am not. LaForet is "the man"but the RED in this case it is highly over rated....

August 12, 2011 at 8:07AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Augusto Alves d...

I'm gonna have to go with David on this one: I think a little loosening up wouldn't go astray. Test videos are just that: tests. They have no obligation beyond showcasing the technical capabilities of this or that, which this video does nicely. I imagine Vincent Laforet's a busy guy and, in my opinion, it's a bit presumptuous to expect him to craft some kind of engaging narrative (or anything besides illustrative shots) for a simple camera and lens test. I think we should appreciate that people like him take the time to share this kind of thing so that we all can get eyes on it.

August 7, 2011 at 5:47AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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I pretty much hate everything Philip Bloom shoots because it's always the same $h!t and when he tries to tell a story he fails miserably, but I have to admit that Vincent short (above) is way above anything shot with DSLRs. Epic shines, and Vincent's smooth pans do show a very steady hand.

And to David Killingback: people can voice "negative" opinions here (I think). If you want "thumbs up" all the time, stick to Facebook.

August 7, 2011 at 11:23AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Fabdex

Yes! Tests are so often storyless/soulless/boring, as Aristotle stated that story=soul. Here is how to tell a story in a three-minute video:

http://blog.9shooter.com/2011/08/9shooter-beats-out-surfs-red-epic-at.html

Two stories actually--the first is the story of Kelly Slater winning the US Open, and the second story is that of the 9SHOOTER beating the RED EPIC. :) 9shooter Beats (Out-surfs) Red Epic at the 2011 US Open in Surfing in Huntington Beach

August 11, 2011 at 2:17PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Dr. Elliot McGucken

I think Vincent proved another point. Canon glass is expensive enough, and good enough. Actually Samyang glass is good enough and cheap enough for me. I wish someone would test the Samyang 85mm 1.4 against a Cooke 20x its price.

August 8, 2011 at 8:53AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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tttulio

I think a few people were getting too caught up in the word "test" here, but too each their own opinion. I thought this was a beautiful piece, with it's sweeping pans moving with the flocks and its golden, blue, and violet waterscapes. Of course, the music was used to help achieve a certain feel, isn't that what (most) films do, of course characters, tension, and dialogue (among other things) are what should really contribute to a film's "feel".... but this doesn't claim to be a film, it is a 3:15 collection of shots demonstrating what an individual achieved with a certain lens-camera combination. No need to dig any deeper than that, just click elsewhere if you're not interested.
Thanks for featuring this Koo.

August 8, 2011 at 1:38PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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joshstevens

I agree with Alexander. Nature is beautiful. If anyone was too busy critiquing the "story" he missed the real tests (distance, focus, movement, pan, tilts etc). It's all in there and available to watch...if folks took the time to STFU and just watch. Thanks for posting this video.

August 11, 2011 at 3:53PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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AJ

I totally agree with you. This video is great. I think some eople did not like it because they had their expectation somewhere else. Today was a great day in the indie world. It is time I think to take a break. Go do something different and come back . We will se things with better judgement.

November 4, 2011 at 12:38AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Menelikk

I guess those guys must not appreciate nature. Those birds were lovely. And to imagine keeping a steady shot on a near 1200mm lens... That's some talent. I personally love birds, canon glass, and RED's Epic... So this post made me happy.

People always seem so jaded.

August 10, 2011 at 1:59PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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http://blog.9shooter.com/2011/08/9shooter-beats-out-surfs-red-epic-at.html

9shooter Beats (Out-surfs) Red Epic at the 2011 US Open in Surfing in Huntington Beach

Firstoff, I bet that Canon comes out with a 2K/3K/4K DSLR camera in a year or so, and a 5k in a couple years. :)

Kelly Slater completely dominated the final heat in capturing the US Open of Surfing Title this past weekend, defeating Australian Yadin Nicol. Sfgate.com reported on Slater's epic shutout:
"I guess Yadin (Nicol) wanted me to win because he didn't catch any waves," said Slater, referring to Nicol's meager point total of 2.57 from catching just one wave in the final. "I was just really frustrated for him because he was sitting out the back waiting for the big sets and the big sets were close outs. The small ones he was just two far outside and I got them. I think what happened is I got the 8.50 to start and he was just going to be patient. If he got a good one he would have thrown a big rotator, but it just never came."
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/csaatsaz/detail?entry_id=94950#ixzz1...
Well, that's the exact same way we felt about the Red Epic--"I guess the Red Epic wanted the 9shooter to win because the Red Epic didn't take any pictures nor video of the event--the Red Epic didn't catch any waves."

August 11, 2011 at 2:02PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Dr. Elliot McGucken

Hey I agree with how camera tests are becoming their own thing.

This music video was my camera test about a year ago when I got my t2i

$800 camera and a $100 lens
http://www.vimeo.com/10796759
I enjoy camera tests that actually involve the filmmaker talking while the video is running.
That gives me insight in to what I'm looking at, why they shot it, what problems they had, or interesting things that happened.

August 11, 2011 at 3:29PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Rob

There is nothing in this movie that Vincent could´t have done with another decent camera...

August 12, 2011 at 8:14AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Augusto Alves d...

To everyone who thinks this was just another useless test video:
Have you guys noticed the focal length? He was using a 600mm lens with a 2x converter. That is 1200mm! The image quality is just amazing for that, and so is the quality of the pans.

At that kind of focal length, a fly that lands on your camera will make the footage shake like in an earthquake.
This video beautifully shows how well the canon image stabilization works for video and how good the image quality remains when using a 2x converter (which is usually an invitation for color fringing, soft focus and other nasty things).

So stop nagging when you don't get the point - this test shows totally new possibilities for nature cinematographers or anyone who would need that kind of crazy focal lengths.

August 23, 2011 at 6:17AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

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Heiko