November 1, 2014 at 7:10PM


Cheapest Complete BMPCC system

i don't shoot enough personal projects to justify the cost of owning an Epic, so i've been either renting or borrowing cameras at work for non company projects. luckily i work for a company that owns 4 REDs (2x dragon). As long as EQ is not booked for a job i've been able to rent at little or no cost including those new Zeiss Opus lenses.
But there are times that i just wished i had a camera.
Then in July the BMPCC went on sale for $500. Ordered that day and finally received the camera 1st week of August.
After shooting around with the camera and borrowing lenses, i kept noticing things "missing" from the kit and kept building on it.
ultimately i thing i was able to create the cheapest but the most complete camera bmpcc. Tested a lot of parts and lots of patient ebay'ing, and craigslisting for 3 months and here is the kit i settled on.

here is the list of gear retail and my price of purchase.
BMPCC ($995/495 "sale") bhphoto
Metabones Speedbooster EF ($659/609 "instant rebate") bhphoto
Tilta Camera Cage ($359/359) bhphoto
Fotga dp3000 Matte Box ($109) ebay
Camerar Nun Knicker Donut ($17) amazon
Fotga dp500ii with hard stop Follow Focus ($139) ebay
Aputure VS-3 IPS Monitor ($400/200 "used") ebay
Remote Commander Wired LANC Controller ($13) ebay
SmallRigs 15mm Rail Riser ($29) amazon
SmallRigs 4" 15mm Rails ($12) amazon
Rokinon Cine 35mm EF ($459/350 "open box") bestbuy
Tokina 11-16mm EF ($500/300 "used") craigslist
Cordvision 77mm 80OD Cinering x2 ($29x2) cordvision
80mm Pushon Cap ($5) Adorama
Hoya 77mm IRUV Cut Filter ($133) Adorama
Sandisk SDXC Extreme Pro 64GB x4 ($95x4) K&M Camera
Blackmagic Battery x 4 ($13x4) bhphoto

With all threads being universally 77mm, 80OD it's a lot easier to rent/purchase a single filter and share among the set.
i also got a few more things like handles, z-offset, shoulder pad in the same manner and found this amazing LIBEC tripod on craigslist for $150.

Hopefully the journey is less painful and more enjoyable for those looking to build your bmpcc rig. But with patience and searching you can save several hundred dollars on top of great prices.
If there's something you recommend for the kit that i missed. Let me know


You could have gone even cheaper if you'd gone with Nikon mount instead, thus not need to get such an expensive Metabones.

I use a BMPCC myself with a RJ Lens Turbo and Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 (and a bunch more lenses... have a 50mm f/1.8, and Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 for instance. And the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 and 14mm f/2.5 pancakes, with the Panasonic wide angle adapter for use on my iGlide Glidecam. As pancake lenses help keep it to the "pocket" ethos nature of its name for when I want to go stealth).

This is one of the many reasons to go with Nikon F mount, you can get adapters for way cheaper than the Canon EF options. (and you've got a more future proofed investment in your lenses if based around Nikon F, as you can never predict what your camera will be in 10yrs or even what you next camera will be)

"Cheapest" and "complete" is such a vague phrasing, it can mean very different things to different people. For one person it can mean nothing but what came in the box the BMPCC shipped with plus a Panasonic 14mm f/2.5, for another person it can include a movicam to use it on with a complete set of f/0.95 lenses plus another hundred more little bits and bobs that all add up.

November 6, 2014 at 7:04AM

David Peterson
Wedding Cinematographer

thanks for the insight
maybe my wording was incorrect. it's the cheapest complete set for my workflow and to behave like a cinema camera. but that is why i titled it this way so i can get other suggestions and also see what others are building.

there are several personal reasons i went with the canon mount.

1- the crop/magification for the bmpcc specific metabones adapter is different then the standard nikon and canon to mft adapter. the bmpcc brings it closer to a super35. not because one scale is better than another but im very comfortable and easy for me to visualize the fov im familiar with.

2- my workplace has a 2 full sets of canon l, 1 set of contax leitax ef converted zeiss, 2 sets of zeiss ze lenses i can borrow at no cost.

3- we have zf and nikons as well but the reverse focus barrel direction is something that personally bothers me.

i went with metabones because it is publicly known to have better optics then other boosters.
also if i was going to swap mounts in the future i would get another speedbooster. id rather not double, triple adapt a lens.

future proofing lenses is important but im not looking for future proof on a $300 lens. maybe owning a set of superspeeds pl mount is something to consider but renting ef and g mount lenses are so readily available and so inexpensive that i personally did not find that to be an investment with the frequency of my usage.

Thanks for your input.

November 6, 2014 at 11:46AM

Kazu Okuda

A stronger battery solution. While any DIY solution is fair game, I've found the Switronix battery pack/box works wonders. About 5 hours battery life.

November 8, 2014 at 11:26PM


what are you using with the switronix? gold mounts?

November 8, 2014 at 11:50PM

Kazu Okuda

NICE set up...

I hope BM puts the pocket on sale again soon.
*holds breath*

November 9, 2014 at 1:14PM


Great. Thanks for you tips

November 10, 2014 at 12:39PM

Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director

I wish I had money for all this. I will be happy to save enough for the BMPCC. Although I have Canon EF lenses 18-135 3,5f and 35mm 2,0f so I don't really have to worry about the lenses. If I had money, I'd rather buy the BMCC, as I really like the idea of SSD discs... but my budget is seriously low, unfortunately.

November 23, 2014 at 3:52PM

Tomáš Čimma
Independent Cinematographer

Okay so I'm about to get ready to invest in cine lenses for the long haul for my bmpcc. I was going to get m4/3, but I realized I could get an EF adapter (like metabones) to gain a stop and distance if I invest in EF cine lenses instead. Thoughts??

December 1, 2014 at 6:39PM

Caleb Price

sigma 18-35 f1.8 delivers astonishing results, get rokinon 50mm and 85 mm + metabones speedbooster and you are good to go- sometimes it's good to have tokina 11-16 and Canon 70-200 f 2.8 , but you can rent them on special occasions.

January 17, 2015 at 9:52PM

Piotr Matyja

I could recommend a v-mount battery pack to fit nicely on the back of those rails. This is a nice documentary set-up so maybe for those interviews interchanging those tiny Nikon/ BMPCC batteries every so often could get in the way of being efficient.

January 18, 2015 at 8:36AM


i went dual d tap with both gold and v mount plate so i can use whichever is available to me. I prefer gold mount in general because theyre just more robust but then again v mounts are cheaper.
our company has both so i can use whichever is available at that time.

August 15, 2015 at 4:28PM, Edited August 15, 4:28PM

Kazu Okuda

I'm curious why you chose Tilta cage (instead of ie Contineo)? And Aputure (used one's price seems great, did you look into Lilliput 5dII?)

The rig looks familiar :) Got Metabones Nikon sb here though. For shoulder support I went for Cowboy Studio's cheap one, not only because of the price but for
1) straight line from front handles towards your body so it's better to pull it against you
2) the handles come lower without the lowering parts for rods
3) you don't need to hold it with hands if you ie need to grab a battery from pocket, just let it rest towards the chest (can cause neck/back pain or head ache after couple of days shootings though.. Would be great to have a waist strap of some sort to lean the weight on waist instead of chest. Also heavy breathing becomes an issue with the chest supporting part, I might faint some day)

How do you like BMPCC as a RED user? A year ago, for me it was a wonderful jump from the past Canon HFS10 camcorder which I used for professional work :)

Oh yes, lately also got a LiPo battery for a gimbal, but there are converter cables on eBay for cheap to get it to power up the monitor (*) and with a split cable also to feed power for BMPCC.

(*) = Lilliput 5dII 7" ... tried a 5" Lilliput which didn't accept 1080p but only 1080i so it didn't work with BMPCC

January 21, 2015 at 11:23AM


i went with the tilta because (1) i dont think the contineo was available then. (2) hassle of sourcing other modular parts. (3) riser and 15mm rails. (4) top handle with two cold mounts and threads

Shoulder rig-
-wanted my set up to be flexible and modular so i can use with other cameras.
-we do also own a7s, a7rii, and rent few other cameras

-we do own a movi m10 and m15. they came with lipo to d-tap cables. however lipos take long to charge and we've blown up about a good 8 batteries from heat or discharging. i would only use them if weight was my concern.

I got the aputure because it was fairly large and the deal was there. ive been quite surprised with its contrast and brightness quality. but for me it's a framing tool. i wish it had a waveform and vectorscope but even the atmos nor odyssey has a decent one so im not complaining.

Im very comfortable with the workflow of the bmpcc shooting raw. it has not affect post at all.
(1) im very used to a modular (many parts in this case) camera body.
(2) always record RAW or best for maximum dynamic range.
i don't do prores because you are stuck in the 0-100 % (IRE is technically incorrect in digital). i understand recording safe prevents this but why not use much of the sensor dynamics as possible if it's available.
i also don't like the gamma push on OSX and the inflexibility to do work on a windows system. not for the bmpcc but we do send out a lot of stuff to post houses and they dislike prores.
(3) Fortunately my system allows for me to work full res in real time.
(4) i expose for de-logging and use a good de-log lut before starting correction and grading. Frame and work off the aputure, and check log footage on the built in.

i do have used the a7s and a7rii. internal UHD is pretty fantastic but a7s with odyssey so far i think is still better for color depth. the gradations look better.

August 15, 2015 at 4:52PM

Kazu Okuda

Thanks for sharing your setup. What Libec tripod did you buy?

June 21, 2015 at 10:17PM


im not exactly sure of the model but it's definitely an almost 1.5k+ tripod.
has 2 axis counter weight and i can throw a light Red Dragon setup on it.
max height is almost 6 feet.
floor spreaders and it's a 3 point with the bottom leg still being double.
as long as it's no large accessories and pl mount lenses it can hold.

August 15, 2015 at 4:55PM

Kazu Okuda

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