For today’s blog, I have to thank the amazing British heavy metal band Iron Maiden for the inspiration. They really are one of the best bands ever. Period. So before we dive into the new and exciting video marketing gear, I present to you, the Iron Maiden Classic: “Fear Of The Dark”.
Introducing our new video marketing gear
The title, “Fear Of The Dark”, actually makes a lot of sense for this blog. That is all down to two amazing new pieces of kit we’ve got available here at Film Division HQ. Both of these items help us to film in low-light environments. In other words, no more fear of the dark.
The RED GEMINI 5K S35
Here is a little excerpt from the RED website:
The GEMINI 5K S35 sensor provides exceptional low-light performance, allowing for cleaner imagery with less noise and better shadow detail. Operators can easily switch between modes through the camera’s on-screen menu with no down time and experience an increased field of view at 2K and 4K resolutions compared to the higher resolution HELIUM sensor.
As you can read above, this camera works brilliantly in low-light conditions. To fully understand why this camera is such a beauty, first a little introduction in what filming actually is.
When you press the little red record button, the sensor in the camera doesn’t really capture an image. Instead, it captures the light reflection from the object. So let’s say you are trying to film a tomato. Instead of actually capturing the tomato, the sensor digitally registers the red reflection of the skin. So when you’re filming objects in low-light conditions, there is less light reflecting from the objects. And as such, your camera sensor needs additional sensitivity to register colours without noise. And that, dear readers, when it comes to video marketing gear, is where the Gemini stands out! What else would you expect from a camera originally designed for outer space?
The Leica NOCTILUX
When it comes to video marketing gear, your lens is just as important (or perhaps even more important) as your camera. It transforms and refracts the light from the object to the sensor. The aperture in a lens determines the amount of light that is refracted to the sensor. In film making, the aperture is described by what they call the T-Stop. With T-stops, a lower number means a wider aperture and thus more light will hit the sensor. At the same time, a lower T-stop results in a more narrow depth of focus. This is extremely useful when you want to separate your object from the surroundings. However, with a lower T-stop, you’ll find that it becomes more and more difficult to manufacture the lens. That makes these lenses extremely rare.
Our new Leica M Noctilux 50mm has an incredible T-stop of 0.95. Just to put this in perspective, most commercial pro-sumer film lenses have T-stop range from T1.4 to T22. I can hear you thinking, T0.95, T1.4, T22… what do these numbers mean? Basically, these number reflect the actual calibrated light transmission that hits the sensor. These numbers are based on a quadratic scale that tells us how dark or light the image will be. At T22, you’re close to darkness. If you move down to T16, you’ll get twice the light transmission. Get down to T11 and it doubles up again. So with this in mind, you’ll understand that our Noctilux with its T0.95 transmits more than twice the light a T1.4 lens does! It might seem a bit abstract, but it makes the world of difference. Kubrick wouldn’t be able to film those candle lit scenes on T2.8!
An example from a master
But back to the light. You must ask yourself, why would you want a lens like that. Below is a short clip from one of the best ever Stanley Kubrick films called “Barry Lyndon“. In this film, Kubrick insisted to film as realistic as possible. There was no artificial light used in these indoor scenes. The challenge was to capture a perfect image by using candlelight alone! As we’ve learned above, a film camera only registers light and the lens refracts the light to the sensor. So if you are trying to create a perfect image, you’ll need a lens with a low T-stop. In fact, Kubrick meticulously ordered a re-design on T0.7 lenses that was originally used by NASA for space exploration!
Video Marketing Gear for your project
We do really get excited by these new pieces of video marketing gear. It’s not just our film making hearts that skip a beat, it’s the possibility of filming your products in natural and low-light settings. Creating unique imagery that helps you sell your product or service. Naturally, we would need a well written script and a professional crew. But no worries, we can help you with that. Just drop us a line and get in touch. Let us help you get rid of your fear of the dark!