Master Guide to Rigging a Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera – Part 9

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In this part we’ll take a look at some special case rigs and tools that go well with the BMCC.

SPECIAL RIGS

Car Rig

You can rig a camera on a vehicle in a million ways, and high-end productions make custom-made rigs for specific purposes. But if you’re on a low-budget production, then you can do worse than buy a:

Varizoom Ultimate Auto Rig Kit


Please don’t try to rig a system on a car without professional help! There’s nothing easy about it, and it’s not worth the risk.

Underwater Rig

At the time of this writing nobody has an underwater housing for the BMCC in production. The key to a good housing, other than it being totally water and pressure proof at rated depths, is to offer excellent control options.

Unfortunately, most of the BMCC’s controls are on the touch panel. We’ll need something like this implemented in the housing:

Don’t hold your breath.

3D Stereoscopy Rig

While you would have to be desperate to shoot 3D with an un-sychronized cameras (without genlock ability), it is theoretically possible. A 3D rig basically ‘sits’ on top of a solid handheld rig. Side by side, the interaxial distance is about 6.5 inches. To get closer, here is my preferred beamsplitter 3D rig:

Hurricane 3D Camera Rig


Unfortunately, there’s no way to sync or genlock two 2.5K raw images. The BMCC also has a LANC port, but just because you can start two cameras at the same time doesn’t mean they have to be in sync.

However, the BMCC has a USB 2.0 port – can somebody come up with a hack? Or maybe there’s a workaround with thunderbolt? I wouldn’t bet on it.

LANC AND USB

LANC (or Local Application Control Bus System), is used to synchronize camcorders and cameras. The BMCC has a 2.5mm TRS (Phone jack) connector for start and stop recording, iris Control and focus control.

LANC Controllers

Not all LANC controllers are compatible with the BMCC. BMD currently recommends:

Manfrotto MVR901EPLA Pan Bar Remote for LANC

And

Bebob LANC ZOE-DVXL Zoom Control

Important: Always plug in your LANC controller before switching on the camera, and switch off the camera before removing the pin.

If you can’t figure out what a LANC controller does, try this video:

USB 2.0 Cable

The BMCC has a USB 2.0 mini B port for software updates and configuration. So you’ll need a cable. Get one that isn’t of a fixed length.

Belkin USB-A/MINI5P-B Rtc Cable

MISCELLANEOUS ACCESSORIES

Lightmeter

Here’s a tough lightmeter that’ll last you a lifetime:

Sekonic L-398A Light Meter

White/Grey balance

A good grey and white balance card must be durable above all else. You’re going to practically use it for every setup, and sometimes even between takes. I recommend:

Lastolite LL LR1250 12-Inch Ezybalance Card (Grey/White)

Color Checker

Fanatical about colors? You could be, if you’re shooting product. Then you might want to invest in this:

X-Rite MSCCC ColorChecker Chart


When used with a good monitor profiling kit this is as good as it gets.

Rain Cover

A handy cover to have, even if it doesn’t rain!

Polaroid SLR Rain Cover Protector

Cleaning Kit

Zeiss knows how to make lenses, and I’m sure they know best when it comes to cleaning them, too!

Zeiss Ikon Complete Optics Cleaning Kit

Lifesavers

You could carry a tool kit for your rig. However, there are two absolute ‘must-haves’ that are also lifesavers. Always carry these:

Victorinox Swiss Army Champion Plus Pocket Knife

Energizer Weatheready Compact 3-LED Safety Flashlight

Well, that covers everything, almost. We still need cases to put everything in. That’s what I’ll cover in Part 10.

Next: Part 10: Bags, Cases and Straps
Previous: Part 8: Handheld and Shoulder Rigs


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