Directive Studios Blogs

Directive Studios Blogs





We maintain this section as an inventory of our equipment. Generally it's a picture and a description, enough to satisfy insurance requirements. Sometimes we add some commentary or even a review. If you have any questions about any of our gear, how we use it or experiences with it, feel free to email chris@di...rectivestudios.com.

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Zacuto Half Cage

Zacuto Half Cage
The Zacuto Half Cage is one of my favorite pieces of kit from Zacuto. I love having the handle on the side and being able to mount additional pieces via the Z Rail bar on the top to mount things like the Zacuto QR Handle and the Zacuto Axis EVF Mount. I also purchased a Zacuto Z-Rail kit to mount a light or any other accessory. The Half Cage is universal and rail mounts to our DSLR Baseplate so when we want to use a different cameras it's going to work. I purchased this on the path of going to a "recoil" rig. Which moves the camera up on to my shoulder instead of in front of me as with the Zacuto Scorpion Rig . I love the Scorpion Rig but I think the recoil rig is where I'm going to end up. I may be selling the shoulder piece and counter weight...
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ColorChecker Passport

ColorChecker Passport
I recently received my ColorChecker Passport. After doing a few shoots with it I can tell you it's amazing. Setting the profile for my camera in different lighting situations to get the perfect color calibration for my camera is awesome. It so simple to use too. I use it primarily with LightRoom. Make sure you download the DNG Profile Manager so you can manage and rename the profiles you created. So you don't have to hunt for it like I did, it's located here: DNG Profile Manager X-Rite Product Description: ColorChecker Passport is a powerful 'capture to edit' color solution for any photographer looking for more accurate, consistent color and creative flexibility. And when you combine ColorChecker Passport with Adobe® Imaging solutions you'll gain even greater benefits. ColorChecker Passport combines three photographic targets into one pocket size protective, self-standing case that adjusts to any scene. Together with the included camera calibration...
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NP-F Battery to V-Mount Battery Converter Adapter

NP-F Battery to V-Mount Battery Converter Adapter
  I followed CheesyCams advice about these converters and using the NP-F Batteries instead of V-Mount Batteries and it works like a dream AND I saved a bunch of money. We used the Wasabi Batteries listed below. CheesyCam is the Bomb! http://www.cheesycam.com   I purchased this to power our  F&V K4000S LED Studio Panel | 3-Light Kit . This converter brings our cost down to roughly $150 per light for the 2 NP-F Batteries and the Converter instead of the $350-$400 V-Mount Batteries. We would of needed three of them to power all three light panels. First here is the link to CheesyCam's post and video about this: http://cheesycam.com/v-mount-adapter-for-sony-l-series-np-f-batteries/ I purchased the following: 3x Wasabi Power Battery (2-Pack) and Charger http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FQ0RB92/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 3x Wasabi Power Battery Charger http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0043WZY0W/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i01?ie=UTF8&psc=1 3x NP-F Battery to V-Mount Battery Converter Adapter http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E0CEDIE/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 BONUS:  My son Dillon found this at radio shack and it made it so all 6 charges could plug...
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Kessler K-Pod Tripod System

Kessler K-Pod Tripod System
We use this in the studio mostly. It's pretty heavy and I wouldn't take it on a shoot unless we need the  Kessler Pocket Jib PRO  or maybe for some slider work. It supports 300lbs! The Kessler website describes it best: "The Kessler K-Pod System™ is a revolutionary tripod camera system designed to support camera cranes / jibs. The K-Pod™ has extremely rigid double strut legs with the patent pending incremental Posi-Lock System™, that friction locks the legs, as well as interlocks into incremental lock pockets. The lock pockets allow you to equally position the legs while providing a lock that can not slip down. The K-Pod™ was designed to be the best tripod system for your camera crane / jib, but it is also an excellent tripod to shoot from, when not using your crane." It's also a full blown Dolly system. You can lay track down and run the...
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Really Right Stuff TVC-34L Versa Series 3 Tripod

Really Right Stuff TVC-34L Versa Series 3 Tripod
My old tripod was a lot smaller and couldn't hold very much weight and the center column on it could not be removed, which made it impossible to get shots close to the ground. This Really Right Stuff Tripod is one of the best I've ever seen/used. It's very adjustable for some of the weird situations I put it in and it's so easy to adjust the legs. I did buy the center column but I like that I can take it off and then the tripod can get all the way down to the ground when I want to.  I didn't actually weigh it but it feels like this tripod plus my Really Right Stuff BH-55 LR Full-sized ballhead  is lighter than the old tripod without the ball head! The construction is amazing. I should be able to mount the  Kessler Stealth Slider 40.5"  on top of it without a...
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MTX: Multi-Tool with 22 bits & 1 hex key

MTX: Multi-Tool with 22 bits & 1 hex key
This tool travels with me, works with all the Really Right Stuff Gear as well as other gear. Includes Flat Tips, Cross Tips, Star Tips and Hex Tips.    The really cool thing is it mounts underneath my tri-pod center column.  Manufacturers Site:  http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=_MTX&type=4&eq= Here's some pics:  
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Really Right Stuff BGE11-L: L-Plate for BG-E11 Grip (5DMk3)

Really Right Stuff BGE11-L: L-Plate for BG-E11 Grip (5DMk3)
This L-Plate/Bracket from Really Right stuff let's me very quickly mount the camera on my  Really Right Stuff BH-55 LR Full-sized ballhead . The nice thing is that you can quickly flip the camera for vertical shots and the center of the lens stays is the exact same spot. I leave this on my camera most of the time. I use a battery grip so, if you don't you will want the other version . One thing to know, the after market battery grips do not fit this plate properly, I had to purchase a real Canon battery grip for it to work. If you have any questions just let me know in the comments below. Manufactures Site: Really Right Stuff Here's some pics:
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B2-FAB-F 38mm clamp with flat back

B2-FAB-F 38mm clamp with flat back
I purchased this clamp to use with my  BlackRapid RS-4 Classic Camera Strap  so I could very quickly connect it to my Really Right Stuff BGE11-L: L-Plate for BG-E11 Grip (5DMk3) .  Manufacturers Link:  http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=B2-FAB-F&type=0&eq=&desc=B2-FAB-F-38mm-clamp-with-flat-back&key=it Here's a few pics of it:  
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Really Right Stuff BH-55 LR Full-sized ballhead

Really Right Stuff  BH-55 LR Full-sized ballhead
This is the best ball head I have ever seen or used. I'm a really big fan of Really Right Stuff. I have their ballhead, tripod, L-Bracket and a few more pieces.  It's so solid and can handle 50lbs which means I can use my rails with full camera, follow focus, mic etc without worrying about stressing it out. It's not a video head for sure and I rarely use it for video unless it's a still shot for a testimonial or something. Manufactures Site:  http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=BH-55-LR&type=3&eq=&desc=BH-55-LR%3a-Full-sized-ballhead-with-LR&key=it  
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LEE Filters 4 x 4" Big Stopper Filter

LEE Filters 4 x 4" Big Stopper Filter
By greatly extending exposure times the Big Stopper has the effect of allowing anything that is moving in your image to become blurred or ghost like, for example clouds, waterfalls, rivers, and the sea. The filter can also be used on cityscapes to blur people or on roads and motorways to blur traffic. This filter requires the  Lee Filter System / Manufactures Site:  http://www.leefilters.com/index.php/camera/bigstopper B&H Link:  http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/686370-REG/LEE_Filters_10_STOP_GLASS_4X4_4_x_4_Big.html Here's a few samples images from Lee:
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BlackRapid RS-4 Classic Camera Strap

BlackRapid RS-4 Classic Camera Strap
This strap is great, I DO NOT leave the house without it, I use it a lot. Manufacturers Site:  http://www.blackrapid.com/products/classic B&H Link:  http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/808811-REG/Black_Rapid_RS_4_BALLISTIC_RS_4_Camera_Strap_with.html
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Kata Pro-Light Bumblebee-220 PL Backpack

Kata Pro-Light Bumblebee-220 PL Backpack
I wanted a bag I could use for whenever it doesn't make sense to use my ThinkTank Airport Security 2.0 bag. So basically, if I can't wheel the bag to wherever I'm going, I wanted a comfortable backpack to use instead. The Airport Security bag does have straps so you can use it as a backpack, but it's not comfortable and the bag (at least mine with stuff in it) is really heavy. Sometimes I'll grab the Airport bag, throw it in the van and bring the Bumblebee also and I'll transfer what I need into the backpack for the hike through the woods or whatever. At least I'll have most of my stuff back at the van in the big bag if I need it. I like the construction of the Bumblebee backpack and it's very comfortable. I took the waste strap off, but I would put it back on for...
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Heliopan 82mm Circular Polarizer Multi-Coated (SH-PMC) Filter

Heliopan 82mm Circular Polarizer Multi-Coated (SH-PMC) Filter
I'm planning on getting some fall foliage shots on an upcoming trip to California (and in Upstate NY), we'll be hitting up pacific highway 1, yosemite national park, san fran and the mojave desert and a polarizer is a great filter when used properly. I'll be also using it to cut down glare on water and get more saturation with certain shots. If you're looking for one, just remember for a digital DSLR you want a Circular Polarizer. I'm so pleased with my Variable ND Heliopan filter I chose them again.  I haven't even got to shoot with it yet so I will update this if something noteworthy happens. Heliopan website:  http://www.heliopan.de/produkte/polarisationsfilter/ B&H Link:  http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/232513-REG/Heliopan_708246_82mm_Circular_Polarizer_Multi_Coated.html  
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Lee Filter System

Lee Filter System
The Lee Filter System is required to use the 100mm Lee Filters and Graduated Filters. The high quality construction of this product is well known. I love the way it works and the control it gives me when using graduated filters is awesome. I can easily adjust the gradual filter effect to get it right on the horizon of a landscape shot for example. I know you can do it in After Effects but I really like getting it as close as I can in camera. B&H Link:  http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/87108-REG/LEE_Filters_FK_Foundation_Kit_Standard_4x4.html Lee Filters:  http://www.leefilters.com/index.php/camera/system#system-what Below are two photos I took using the graduated filters.      
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Heliopan 82mm Variable Gray ND Filter

Heliopan 82mm Variable Gray ND Filter
This variable ND filter from Heliopan is great for photography and shooting video. I primarily got it to shoot with a greater depth of field in bright sunlight when shooting video.  The markings are very helpful and the quality is amazing. I've only played with a couple other filters, but this one wins hands down so far. I also got a step up ring for my 77mm lenses and it works great. I haven't got to use it a lot yet because somehow I bent the step up ring. Just ordered another today.  B&H Link:  http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/829300-REG/Heliopan_708290_82mm_Variable_Gray_ND.html Heliopan Website:  http://www.heliopan.de/produkte/graufilter/ I read about it the first time from Philip Bloom (He's an awesome Director, DP and Fimmaker in the UK):  http://philipbloom.net/2011/06/04/the-best-variable-nd-filter-i-have-used/
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F&V K4000S LED Studio Panel | 3-Light Kit

F&V K4000S LED Studio Panel | 3-Light Kit
UPDATE : Check out the cheaper battery solution to power these lights.  NP-F Battery to V-Mount Battery Converter Adapter Whenever we go to an event we bring our cameras but our studio lights were just too big and bulky. We always found ourselves struggling to find a bright spot at the venue we're at. We have missed some great opportunities to have more beautiful shots.  We decided to pick up some portable lights we can use on location. After a bunch of research we decided to go with a 3 light kit of the  K4000S Bi-Color LED's from F&V Lighting .   At first I thought they would be perfect for what I wanted, but there are a few drawbacks. I love the milk filter but the way you have to mount it sucks. There are 4 legs with tiny little nuts that I will surely lose. You have to set them up...
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Impact Five Lamp Fluorescent Cool Light

Impact Five Lamp Fluorescent Cool Light
This was recommended as a hair light, but it's very heavy, we had to buy a massive stand for it and it's still scary. Sand Bags are a must. Good light though.
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Impact Octacool-9 Fluorescent Light with Octabox

Impact Octacool-9 Fluorescent Light with Octabox
I consider these studio only lights. I really wish I just invested in led lights early on . They do work great though, but to me they are not portable at all.  EDIT: I have since purchased more portable LED Lights and I take it back, I am happy I invested in these first and they are great for the studio.  These have 9 Bulbs and create some great light. We have 4 of them, mainly so we can light the background well and two for the subject and we use a smaller 5 bulb version for hair light etc. You can read more about them at Impacts Website: http://www.impactstudiolighting.com/detail?sku=699030
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Kessler ORACLE Motion Control System

Kessler ORACLE Motion Control System
The ORACLE Control System is the core of our elektraDRIVE line of products. Almost two years in development, we set out to make the ultimate multi-function controller for our line of electronic products. The ORACLE Control System is interchangeable between multiple products, like our REVOLUTION Pan / Tilt System, elektraDRIVE motor pods for the CineSlider & Pocket Dolly, and other products to be released in the future.
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RØDE Boompole

RØDE Boompole
The RØDE Boompole is a precision balanced professional boom pole for location recording, machined from high grade, lightweight aluminium. The Boompole allows you to mount your microphone securely and swivel it in a range of directions that will allow you to easily change positions and follow your sound source. Extends from 0.84m (33") to 3m (10')
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