Sunday, July 25, 2010

Focus Pull with iPhone 4 + EnCinema 35mm lens adapter + Owle Bubo

Focus Pull - iPhone 4 + EnCinema 35mm Lens Adapter + Owle Bubo from James Boyd on Vimeo.

• 85mm f/1.4 Zeiss Prime
• 50mm f/1.4 Zeiss Prime
• 24-70mm f/2.8L Canon 

Edited on FCP.  No color correction.  Shot in 30fps, then transcoded to 24fps ProRes 422.

JB's review: I had a blast shooting this video because everything was so new.  I used the "Almost DSLR" app on the phone to maintain exposure and focus, while pulling the lens to manipulate the shallow DOF.  It wasn't easy compared to the 5DMKII, but the challenge kept me going.  One thing to note: it was very difficult to keep the EnCinema lens adapter clean from dust.  As you can see in the video, there are several shots that have a massive dust dot in the center of the frame.  I can't see this when shooting, and was pretty bummed to find my cool footage shot at LACMA golden hour needed to be scrubbed or reshot.  Despite me cleaning the optics every set up, there seemed to be dust from the EnCinema interior that was corrupting the shots.  BUZZKILL, brother.  This film was only a test, so I left it in.  Hopefully, it's not too distracting.  When I have a week to kill, I'll scrub the remaining 2000 frames.  There were also some problems with the adapter lining up correctly (horizontally), and vignetting in the corners.  I left it all in there for the eye to behold.  If given the choice, I'd shoot with the Canon series.  But it was a fun day to shoot with the iPhone 4, and rack focus my ass off.

Yeah, there's an app for that...

< The sweet luv of the Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 prime on the Encinema adapter +10 macros (x2), + Owle Bubo + iPhone 4.


  1. James do you think this set up is better for video than the nikon d5000?

  2. Hey Rian,

    Short answer: no.

    I haven't worked with a Nikon D5000, but from the specs, I'm assuming the video quality would be much better and easier to use than the iPhone set up. Everything in the iPhone set up is designed to mimic the DSLR world, but it's not really ideal for professional shooting. You can do it with the additional expenses (EnCinema adapter, x2 +10 macros, etc), but you can also rent DSLRs very cheap, and not have the issues with the iPhone rig. However, I considered using the iPhone for a dream sequence-type shot, that I could mix in with DSLR or better video.

    At the end of the day, the iPhone set up is just another tool in the toolbox to help tell your story. Explore, and let me know how it goes.


  3. Hello James, Jim here form Hamburg, I lived in L.A. for 1 ears. I am going to shoot a short with the Iphone 4, as a marketing tool for Iphone and Encinema, Owle. How did you control ypur focal point in setting up your original shot, before racking. Can you add a video playback monitor to a rig and watch as u shoot? R u on Skype?



  4. NO NEED for video to be "scrubbed or re-shot"!? What world are you living in? ;-)

    I would just digitize the video and Photoshop out the errant frame blights. I believe there are SW tools you can use (to not have to do it manually). once you tell the software what its supposed to be tracking, it will automate the use of background replacement. Sorry I don't know the software names. if worse comes to worse, rather than blow the shoot, maybe reduce the frame rate of the video before breaking into separate "frames/tiffs" using export from Quicktime 7 or some such. My 2 cents. (been poking around re my new Canon 60D purchase)