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Equipment experts at CVP answer your questions

Posted on Oct 5, 2023 by Samara Husbands

The mega retailer gets its in-house gurus to help you along the path to new-kit nirvana 

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Q. I have a mixed bag of E-mount lenses for my Sony cameras, an FX6 and A7S III. Some are quite old and others new. Is there an easy way to test them for sharpness across the frame and whether they are focusing correctly or are back focusing? I use a mix of auto and manual focus.

A. The best way to test sharpness across the frame is with a resolution chart, but these can be costly. An affordable, but less accurate way of doing this is by using something with high detail like a newspaper; just make sure the surface is flat and perfectly parallel with the sensor. If you are worried that your lenses are out and not back focusing, you can always reach out to our ProRepairs team.

Q. I see the new Sony A6700 has focus mapping. How does this work, and is it really useful for run-and-gun filmmaking or too distracting?

A. Sony’s unique focus-mapping tool can be found in its latest mirrorless cameras.

It maps areas of your image in either blue or red depending on whether it’s closer or further away from your plane of focus. Areas further away are mapped to a blue colour and areas closer are mapped red – everything in focus is left unmapped. It’s an interesting development, but a tool like focus peaking might be a clearer solution, especially when running and gunning.

Q. I have a set of Samyang Xeen cine lenses in Canon EF mount and I’m keen on buying a Red Komodo. What is a good lens adapter to buy and what functions could I retain? Will any of the AF assistance functions work, like Focus Guide?

A. A key benefit of adapting EF to RF is the option to buy an adapter with inbuilt ND filters, such as those offered by Canon and KipperTie. They also offer clear pass-through adapters with both options passing through electronic functionality. The Komodo has its own set of focus guides like sharpening and peaking, but as the Xeens are manual focus only, you will not have any AF features.

Q. There’s so much fuss about camera-to-cloud, but I often shoot outside events where there is no internet and not great cellular coverage. Is there anything that would work to get my files from the camera to cloud so a remote editor can start working on them? 

A. Most camera-to-cloud workflows, like Atomos Connect and Frame.io, rely on a solid internet connection. If you are in a rural area with no cellular coverage, you would have to look at a solution that provides satellite coverage, like Starlink. While you can achieve better speeds and latency in remote areas with something like that, it can be a very costly service.

Q. I sold my Sony FS7 but kept the 28-135mm G lens it came with – to use on the A7R V mirrorless I have ordered. Will it work with all the advanced AF functions on the mirrorless camera?

A. Sony’s 28-135mm G lens is a little dated now, and while it is still compatible with current advancements in AF technology, it will not perform as well as more modern Sony E-mount lenses.

Originally published in the September/October 2023 issue of Pro Moviemaker.

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