Posts Tagged ‘#KOTW


KOTW-Arrimax 12/18 kW High Speed Ballast.

Arrimax 12/18 kW High Speed Ballast


So lets face it no matter how much I try to make this sound exciting it not going to be.

This is a fabulous bit of kit but it’s never going to score highly in the wow factor despite it’s cost and weight, I would say that its most popular feature is going to be the wheels!



I guess in the interest of spicing things up a little I should look into what a ballast actually is. Now although probably heavy enough this is definitely not the sort of ballast used to keep a boat the right way up or a balloon on the ground it’s something else entirely.


Put very simply, (to suit me) a ballast is an electronic device designed to limit the amount of current in an electric circuit. It automatically allows for a higher current at start up (striking) to allow for an arc to form between the electrodes in your bulb but then immediately limits that current to an optimum level, thus allowing for the bulb to produce the desired level of luminance whilst retaining its rated lifespan. Interestingly without a ballast a thing called a “negative differential resistance artifact” would cause the current in the bulb to very quickly “RISE TO DESTRUCTIVE LEVELS” and BANG. You get the idea, no more bulb, no more light.


So despite my obvious temptation to blow things up I guess that a ballast is a fairly important bit of kit, unless of course your dad owns Osram. So what’s so special about this one then? other than the wheels that is.


Well its what’s known as a high-speed ballast and no that’s got nothing to do with the wheels, for a start they would be alloys and have low profile tyres on them if this was some kind of racing machine. No high speed refers to the ability of the ballast to produce a virtually constant output over the entire AC cycle, allowing for flicker free operation and in turn filming at higher frame rates without a problem.


Ok so I bet you are itching to know how this is done, well it’s all about the shape of waves. A normal AC power supply has a nice curvy wave pattern, if you care to look at it on your oscilloscope (what do you mean you don’t have an oscilloscope, call yourself a photographer but don’t have an oscilloscope for goodness sake!) it looks something like this.



Now, a normal “magnetic” ballast does a pretty good job in smoothing this out but if we look at the image below you can see that the light output fluctuates or flickers.


That flicker plays havoc when we are shooting at high frame rates so is not ideal.


A high-speed ballast like the Arri 12/18 kW squares off the wave pattern and in turn produces a far more constant light output see below.



Clever Stuff eh??






With this consistent output high frame rate filming becomes possible without issue. Arri says that frame rates up to 3000 fps are possible when using multiple sources due to the ability to use up to 1200Hz lamp operation. With a single source the new 1000Hz ballasts are fine for lighting at frame rates of 1000 fps and in many cases even faster.


Happily for us this square wave format should increases the life of the bulb by around 20% and you will be pleased to know it can also increase the light output by 6-8% so it is hip to be square after all.


Now with every up side it seems a down side must follow and surprise surprise this is no exception. The issue with square waves (other than being useless to surf) is noise. The square waves can cause the globe and igniter to buzz, the head becomes a resonating chamber and the noise, now amplified is projected out of the front of the light (because it has a big hole at the front) straight towards the set. This is not an issue unless you are recording sound and then it’s a nuisance to say the least. But an answer is at hand and it involves cutting corners!


By using a special circuit in the ballast the corners of the square waves can be “rounded off” this prevents the buzz and keeps the sound guys happy. This does have an effect on the Hz that you can run at unfortunately but the Arri unit still can put out a very respectful 50-60Hz for low noise environments.


So that was exciting wasn’t it I hope we are all now fully trained as far as waving is concerned and I would expect to see a marked increase in oscilloscope sales in the near future.


But back to the ballast in question I’ve had a bit of a look at its technical specifications and it has a couple of nice features beyond its wave changing trickery, how about cold striking and hot re striking and dimming from 100 -50% of power, oh and did I mention wheels?


This ballast also features DMX remote dimming capabilities (that’s fairly self explanatory) and an Active Line Filter for Power Factor Correction (a what for what?). from what I can understand about this it results in a more efficient power use and also assures a consistent colour output despite dimming or mains voltage fluctuations.


Full safety protection for over heating, short circuit and over voltage issues is built into the circuitry making for worry free operation. ABS and a drivers side airbag are not included however so be careful when pushing it around.


Well, I got through that without too much brain ache and I hope you did too?  Ballasts are never going to rock your world, but without them we would be in the dark (literally) so I am glad people like Arri are putting so much effort into making them better. I am hesitant to give a BCR Brucie coolness rating as its not going to score high enough on the cool side of things so on this occasion I will use my special BCR Ballast Capability Rating and award a 10 out of 10 to this beast.


Oh and it weighs about 49kg so if you have an assistant to punish let us know and we will take the wheels off!!!!


Cheers BB


KOTW Anton Bauer Cine Batteries

Anton Bauer Cine Batteries

Well I’ve been given easier tasks, “do a blog about the new Anton Bauer Cine batteries”. I’m not complaining about doing a blog, or for that matter the rather nice new batteries from the folks at Anton Bauer, but how am I meant to make a battery sound fresh and exciting eh?

anton bauer batteries.jpg

Batteries are one of those things that we need on almost every job but they are often the last thing you think of, sure your DOP often has a favourite camera and specific lens in mind when we get the list to quote on, but more often than not we get a line on the list saying something like “and batteries to suit” or “and 6 batteries”. I have a feeling that once the Cine batteries from Anton Bauer start to make an appearance on your jobs we will start to get specific requests for them.


So why would you want these over another battery system?


Well for a few reasons actually, firstly and I have to say it’s about time, the new Cine batteries have a large LCD display on each battery showing exactly what percentage of power is available, so a quick glance into the bag and you know exactly how much oomph you have left. I wish all batteries had this feature as I’ve lost count of the number of AA’s I’ve binned that probably had some life left in them or the amount of times I grab my go pro to find its flat because the Wi-Fi button got pressed in my bag and my “charged” spare is flat as a lizard drinking.



This same display changes from percentage readout to remaining time readout in minutes and seconds once you connect it to something.


Now talking about connecting they come in either V mount or the Anton Bauer gold mount, we have opted for V Lock here. For ease of operation they also all sport a PowerTap connector to power auxiliary accessories like monitors etc.


The other advantage with these new batteries is the reduced footprint making these smaller than the normal offerings from Anton Bauer and hence ideally suited for Arri Alexa mini or the Dragon Weapon or for remote operation on stabilizer rigs, drones and so on.


I guess that battery safety is also a big thing at the moment, especially after a Christmas full of exploding hover boards eh. Well Anton Bauer has made some real efforts to make these batteries as safe as can be. They incorporate “fuse link” technology that protects surrounding cells from “catastrophic damage” should anything go wrong. Numerous sensors within the battery line ensure optimal battery performance. These sensors check temperature and over-current states.


So if you are in the market for 12 amps of serious 14.4 volt power in either 90 or 150 WH then look no further than the new Cine system from Anton Bauer and to find them. Well as with all the best new equipment you know where to find it, right here at Pixipixel.


Now one thing that really impresses me regarding these batteries is that they are backwards compatible, meaning that they will work with our (and your) existing Anton Bauer chargers. This is, in my book a demonstration of great customer service and support and I wish more companies would work like this.


Well that’s it folks, sorry I couldn’t make these batteries any more exciting for you, if you want excitement from a battery then put your tongue across the terminals but other than that just enjoy the fact that you don’t have to think about them too much.

Ok so to the all-important BCR. Well they gained points for that wonderfully useful display and their cool look but mostly for the compatibility with existing chargers so I think an 8/10 is a pretty good score especially for a BATTERY!






Watt Hour 90 WH

Size 11.86 x 9.75 x 10.19 cm

Weight 1.04 kgs

Voltage 14.4 volts



Watt Hour 150 WH

Size 11.86 x 9.75 x 10.72 cm

Weight 1.22 kg

Voltage 14.4 volts


KOTW-Red Weapon

Red Weapon


I must admit to enjoying the names that Red gives to its cameras, we have had a few now, the One, the Scarlet, the Raven, the Rocket, the Epic and the Dragon to name a few, but today I want to talk about the Weapon.


I’ve been “googling” Red this morning, trying to find out some tech specs and so on about the Weapon and its made for some interesting reading. For example I had no idea that Red were founded by Jim Jannard, who formally founded Oakley (the sunglasses people). Now when you Google the Red Weapon all you can find is the announcement of the latest 8K version but more on that when our one arrives, for today I will waffle on about the 6K version that are sat here ready and waiting for you.


So 6K eh, seems like only yesterday that the buzz word was 2K it makes me wonder when its going to stop, I don’t know about you but I don’t think my eyes are 6K ready and my TV certainly isn’t. But I’m not criticizing this progress, far from it, the more the merrier as far as I am concerned but are we approaching a point where camera resolution is better than our own ability to see it? Perhaps someone more technically minded can answer that one.


So accepting that we NEED 6k is one thing, shooting it and handling the data this produces is quite another and this is where Red have gone and done it again with the superb Weapon.


As we have come to expect Red have produced yet another revolutionary camera with the Weapon and the 6K headline is really only a small part of the story.

weapon 2.jpg


The Weapon (of mass resolution) has more to offer than just the big bag of pixels, it’s got some other rather nice features that should make it a pleasure to use.

Firstly with all those extra pixels causing an increase in the amount of data produced red have re designed the media slot allowing for lightning fast write speeds of up to 300MB/s to Red mini mags. This is a necessity when you consider that the Weapon can shoot 6K motion and Stills at up to 100 FPS.


Whilst I am talking data how about 1D and 3D LUT output and simultaneous recording in both Redcode Raw and Apple Pro Res. With support for Avid-DNHR and Avid DNHD also soon to be available it think you could say Red has that side of things covered.


A new intelligent OLPF system (optical low pass filter) provides excellent rendition of tone and colour even in dim conditions and this helps to preserve colour quality across mid-tones, darks and shadows, Red have even introduced a cam lock feature making it easy to change OLPF units to customize footage. These OPLF units “communicate” directly to the “Brain” due to integrated circuitry within the Weapon itself. This built in circuitry also includes the interchangeable I/O expanders allowing for you to configure the system specifically for your purpose whilst avoiding those pesky leads.

Interchangeable lens mounts, lemo adaptors and expanders and built in stereo microphones all add to the flexibility of this camera and who wouldn’t want wireless connectivity to Android and IOS devices. Start stop buttons are also now integrated into both the top and outrigger handles, which makes sense.


Lastly the brain infrastructure has been re designed (I wish I could do the same with mine!!) to improve low light sensor performance and provide automatic black shade calibration.


Ok I will admit here that I had no idea what black shade calibration is, so if you are as much in the dark as me……..

Black Shade Calibration means:- The brain measures the pattern of fixed noise coming from the sensor and the subtracts it from all subsequent frames leaving only random noise behind, its like a map of the noise, now that’s so very clever isn’t it?


So that’s about all I am going to bore you with I think its probably best that you just come in and take our weapon away for the weekend to experience all the above for yourself. It is an amazing bit of kit and I know you won’t be disappointed. As far as coolness is concerned well it’s an 11/10 from me, this thing is as cool as a polar bears backside and has a great name to boot!


Cheers all BB (in need of a Red Weapon T-shirt I think!!!)


Tech specs are available on the Red website here.

Red Weapon Tech Spec


KOTW- Phase One 100mp IQ3 Digital Back

1q3 back.jpg

I’ve been thinking back……… I went to live in Australia in 1998 and about a year later my parents turned up for a visit and moved into my spare room for 3 months!!!!! Now I love my Mum and Dad but 3 months in the same house was a big ask, I think my old man realised this as he got me a sweetener in the duty free shop on the way over.  My first ever digital camera.


I was chuffed, not being heavily into photography in those days I didn’t really understand much about cameras and a Fuji finepix 3 mega pixel sounded good. It didn’t take me very long to realise that it was in fact pretty blinking useless, it had the tonal range of a zebra crossing and enough shutter lag to go make a coffee before it would take a picture. Anyway half of it is somewhere on the slopes of Mt Hotham with my mountain bike derailleur and will never be seen again, no great loss.


Since those days I’ve had the opportunity to get hands on with some seriously nice cameras and over the years have watched with some amusement the ever growing pixel count, I’ve waxed lyrical to students about the benefits and drawbacks of squeezing more and more pixels onto a sensor and what it can do to tonal range and low light performance and so on. However nowadays our mobile phones have more in the way of mega pixels than many cameras do and lets face it they take very acceptable photos. So what’s left for us photographers? How do we set ourselves apart from the smart phone paparazzi? (could we christen the term I-pap here I think it has a nice ring to it.)


Well firstly our skills as image makers should do the trick I would hope, but what about equipment? Can that still play a major part in setting us apart as professionals? Well yes of course it can, a decent DSLR is always (I hope) going to give you some advantage over a smart phone and a medium format system should give you some advantage over the DSLR this is very much the “pecking order” amongst us photographers. So if we are going to aspire to be top of that order what should we be saving up for?

Well funny you should ask, because I think I may just have an answer for you!

It’s not a cheep answer sorry,  but on the bright side you can hire it and I think you know where from……..


So if having the ultimate digital image is important to you, then you need look no further than the splendid Phaseone XF camera system with the incredible new 100 mp IQ3 back. I did a brief blog about the XF camera a while back and talked about its superb new AF system making it as useable as a DSLR but I want to concentrate on the back today as it really deserves a blog all of its own.

So the first and most obvious feature of the IQ3 is the resolution, we have hit the magic 100mp mark because 60 or 70 mp just didn’t cut it eh! Still the more the merrier it would seem and 100 is a nice round number to work with but does it really help? Yes, of course it helps, the sensor in this back is 2.5 times bigger than the one in even the most high end DSLRs and this allows room to fit in all the pixels without reducing them in size and hence keep the dynamic range nice and high and maintains an exceptionally wide angular response. This combination of quantity and quality as far as pixels is concerned make the IQ3 back “quite literally the best of all worlds when it comes to digital image quality”.


A rather nice review is on the Phaseone website, penned by Peter Eastway who was lucky enough to take an XF system on a recent trip to Antarctica. Now Peter used to be one of my customers down under, so I know he knows what he is talking about he is a truly great photographer and a jolly nice bloke to boot. You can read his review here.


Better Photography Review

Now all the technical stuff is covered thoroughly on Phaseone’s website so I wont get too bogged down in that but here are the headlines to wet your appetite.

100 mp:

(We covered that)

15 stops of dynamic range:

(That’s more than Ansel Adams) With an unrivalled 15 stops of  dynamic range the IQ3 retains unmatched details in both shadows and highlights.

Phaseone colour:

Phaseone are renowned for accurate colour rendition. They claim this is a passion of the company and they have been working on it for over ten years now so not surprisingly the IQ3 will not disappoint when it comes to colour.

16-bit Colour depth:

With the introduction of 16-bit colour depth and the CMOS ISO flexibility the IQ3 gives a natural texture and tonal feel similar to the textures and tonal feel of analogue photography.

ISO from 50 – 12800:

The IQ3 has a remarkable base ISO of 50 and due to the expansion of CMOS technology and the newly updated Capture One software   it offers exceptional creative freedom right across its ISO range to  12800 whilst retaining excellent noise suppression.

60-minute exposure:

Not only does the IQ3 offer up to 60 min exposure times but it does this without any compromise to ISO flexibility.

Electronic first curtain shutter:

This greatly helps reduce vibration and allows for less mechanical dependency, this is even more important than normal when you are dealing with a 100 mp back. Nicely this function is worry free, automatically activating when mirror lock up or vibration delay modes are used.


phaseone xt.jpg

I think its safe to say that this back is simply superb, however Phase One have designed it as part of a complete system and it really shines when matched up with the magnificent Phase One XF body and some of their 100 MP ready lenses.

As a medium format camera system today I don’t believe it can be beaten.

Now for my coolness rating, BCR of 10/10 maximum marks, I think the only way to make this cooler would be to take it to Antarctica but as Peter Eastway has already done that I guess I’m out of luck again.


Please visit the PhaseOne site for full technical details here:

PhaseOne Technical Details

Cheers BB


KOTW – Lightflo 8 x 4

KOTW             Lightflo 8 x 4



I’ve always liked tubes!

Not tubes as in “The Underground” I wouldn’t say I liked them, even if they are useful, I’m talking about tubes as in “Tubes of Smarties or Tubes of Jelly Tots”.

I’ve always been a frustrated inventor / model maker and for me a tube can end up having many uses. As a kid they made fantastic turrets or rockets and occasionally both at once, well why shouldn’t a castle blast off!


Unfortunately this “obsession” has followed me into adulthood and I still find a good tube hard to throw away, the trouble is that my other half has very similar likes so we have been known to suffer from tube induced disputes from time to time, it’s quite unreasonable  to want to store paint brushes in a perfectly good telescope if you ask me!


Now with my tubular penchant in mind todays KOTW is right up my street, I am going to pop some Mike Oldfield onto Sonos to get me into the mood.



Right so on with the kit in question. Today we are looking at the Lightflo 8×4 soft light.


So no prizes for guessing that’s it’s a softlight, that’s just too easy. What we have here is a Softlight flood containing eight fluorescent tubes. Can anyone guess how long the tubes are? Oh go on have a go!


Who said 4ft…….Wrong LOL they are 3.93701ft long or 1200mm. Yes I know that’s as near as damn it is to swearing but I’m in that kind of mood today.


While I’m talking about the tubes (and this thing has more than the london underground)

They are all T5 Shatterproof ones, but please don’t take that as a challenge…………..

The Lightflo is split down the middle, effectively giving you two lights each with four tubes, cleverly the bottom half of the fixture can be pivoted allowing for some control of the spread of light.

Panel-600x600 copy.jpg

On the rear of the unit are controls to allow you to turn on and off and dim each set of four but the really clever bit is when you set this up using DMX to control it. The DMX will give you full control over each of the eight tubes turning them on and off and dimming individual tubes with ease.


This DMX control allows for some fun and games. Firstly by individually switching each tube you get eight stepped levels of illumination, but wait, how about putting different coloured tubes into the top and bottom bank for split colour illumination. Or even putting the tubes in alternately as this allows for control over the colour temperature of its output by tailoring the brightness level of each individual tube.



By installing blue or green tubes the Lightflo becomes the prefect light for Blue/green screen work and this is where it generally earns its keep.

Finally it is possible to install eight different coloured tubes for some serious disco fever!

The Lightflo is stackable too and can be used vertically as well as horizontally and is often grouped together to create a larger light source.

As far as output is concerned the Lightflo will kick out 30KLM for less than 500w of input power.

Now if you already know please don’t laugh at me, but I thought KLM was a Dutch airline Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij (no wonder they use the acronym) but no it stands for Kilolumen so 30 KLM = 30,000 lumen. Bearing that in mind anyone fancy a guess at what KCD may stand for?

Ok so how about a BCR for the Lightflo, I think I’m going to give it a 7 / 10 as its an impressive unit, but I would like to see full control on the back not only via DMX. However having said that we hire out DMX stuff so perhaps bearing that in mind and why I am sat here I could up it a bit.


So as a Queenslander (banana bender) would say “she’s beaut* mate totally tubular dude” but to them EVERYTHING is tubular it’s because the sun has sent them all troppo* if you ask me.

Cheers everyone BB

Oh KCD = Kilocandela referring to candle power, may be of use if you play Scrabble.

lightflo dimensions.jpg

*Beaut. 1. Aussie abbreviation for something or someone who is beautiful.

*’Going Troppo‘ is an exclusively Australian slang term for ‘going crazy’.


KOTW Arri / Transvideo Starlite HD5

KOTW-Arri / Transvideo Starlite HD5



Today I would like to share with you a very simple recipe for success.


Take one part Arri and one part Transvideo, combine and allow to simmer slowly over a low heat until something tasty appears. That’s it, easy peasy lemon squeezy eh!


Well that’s the exact recipe which has produced todays piece of kit, it’s a gourmet offering that should appeal to all and you wont be needing any cutlery for it either because you can use your fingers!


I think it must be getting on for dinner time, as I’m obsessing about food again, sorry if I am making you hungry!!


So the dish in question is a small monitor called the Starlite 5HD Arri and is very basically the same as Transvideo’s existing Starlite HD5 Monitor that has been very popular since its release, however now that Arri has joined Transvideo in the kitchen it’s got a few extra ingredients. That’s about the end of my culinary similes, I promise but this little screen really is something to feast your eyes on. (Groan …sorry!!!)


For those of you not familiar with the original HD5 monitor let me wet your appetite. Firstly and rather unsurprisingly it’s a High Definition 5 inch monitor screen, so it’s about the size of your smart phone but has an advantage over your phone because it never ever rings. It has numerous high-end features including waveform, vectorscope and histogram displays. Power is provided via a mini Lemo2 connector and it will accept DC voltages of anything from 5 – 44 volts. Inputs of HD-SDI and 3G are catered for and the whole unit weighs in at 190g so it won’t ruin you new years resolution to loose weight. (If in fact you are one of the few that are still sticking to your new years resolution???)


Happily all these features are still available on the new “Arri” version but a healthy pinch of Arri all spice has been added sometime in the cooking process. It now acts as a control for your Alexa mini or Amira allowing for a much more user-friendly interface between you and the camera.

Transvideo say that it is:

“A new concept of human interface” and it “uses the power of the touch screen panel and rids the user of incomprehensible and endless tiered menus.”

The last time I saw an endless and incomprehensible menu was in a Vietnamese restaurant in Melbourne (I ended up eating chicken feet of all things).


So that in itself is a great feature, particularly thinking of the Alexa mini and its remote operation possibilities on cranes etc etc…..


But wait that’s not everything! Do you have room for desert? I hope so, because the chefs from Arri and Transvideo have included one last sweet treat. Onboard H.264 recording for the days rushes to SD cards,  Now that’s tasty!



The whole thing is incased in a rugged aviation grade aluminum body so its nice and robust as you would expect from the master chefs who created it.


Now as I seem to have gone down the food line on this one I will change from my normal BCR (Brucie coolness rating) and on this occasion award the Starlite HD5 Arri one Michelin star.


Bon appétit  folks




KOTW-Mamiya 120 film & polaroid backs

Mamiya 120 film and polaroid backs

120 rz back.jpg

The equipment hire business is a strange beast indeed. Over the years that I have been involved in the hiring industry, I have hired out everything from boom lifts to portable dunnies and now find myself hiring out film and photographic lights and cameras. The equipment changes and so does the customer base but essentially it’s all much of the same game. The basic idea (just to clarify) is to own the kit that’s in demand and have enough of it to satisfy all of your customers, easy eh? Well yes in those terms it is “easy” but as you can imagine there is a little bit more to it than that.


Firstly it’s a fine balance between enough of something (so you don’t disappoint your customers) and too much (it stays on the shelf collecting dust) also just what equipment will be in demand and when is not always an easy thing to get right.


The last problem we have is when to move the equipment on, do you keep it until its not asked for any more and then try and sell it off for very little or do you sell it early and loose out on hires.


Ok, I know that as the customer none of this is really of interest to you. You own your own equipment that you have parted with your hard earned cash for and that means you have made similar decisions as to what to buy and what to hire and when to upgrade etc etc.


So how many of you are buying cameras today and expecting to still be using them in 2050 eh?? Cameras don’t seem to last five minutes before they become obsolete these days, but that has not always been the case……


What I am referring to is our Mamiya RZ system that seems to have risen in popularity over the last year or so.  First produced in 1982 this camera has indeed undergone a few changes over the years (haven’t we all) and to be honest our RZ is a lot younger that the 1982 original, but it is still an RZ and it is still going strong and never seems to be here at the moment.

We kept the RZ as it’s always been a great workhorse especially when coupled with a young sexy digital back so it’s remained fairly popular over the years.


We are now very glad that we did keep it.

Recently we have been getting lots of bookings for the RZ with FILM backs!

Yes I said FILM BACKS!


For this stuff!!!

120 film.jpg

Film……. Do you remember this stuff? Strange stuff comes on a roll normally and requires processing after you have taken a photograph.


So guess what? We kept the RZ but do you think we kept the film backs?


No we didn’t, they were ten a penny about three years ago, as nobody wanted them,

(I used to make pinhole cameras out of them because they were so cheap)


However the good news is we have been shopping, we now carry the 120 roll film backs for our RZ not only that but we have also acquired a Polaroid back too and are on the look out for a few more.

poly back.jpg


For those of you new to this world of film, and who are thinking it’s all a bit daft now we have digital backs let me re-educate you………….gently of course.


I wont go into the resolution of film as regards to digital or bore you with silver halides and tonal range or anything like that, but may I just explain the work flow required to shoot film and why its better than digital.


So, as the assistant you get to load the 120 film into the backs, load both backs at the start of the shoot so you are ready for a quick swap over every 10 exposures, but as the shoot runs down be careful because you don’t want to load a roll that wont be used (its not cheap this film stuff you know?) Also load up the Polaroid back as this is probably going to be the first thing used so in fact do that first.


Now don’t be surprised if you are asked to tuck a Polaroid under your armpit as this just helps speed up its processing time. The Polaroid is used to check exposure so once this is established be ready to swap over to the 120 back and shoot the FILM!!.


From here on you need to be loading and unloading the backs as required, not exactly stressful once you have done it a couple of times but here comes the good bit.


Once the photographer calls a wrap and everything is packed down and the rolls of exposed film require processing so it’s off to the lab with them.




Once dropped at the lab that’s it………….. the lab will need time to process them and this means that no matter how much the client screams at you they cant see anything till that’s done.

So no sitting up all night doing Raw conversions on the computer.

Happy days! You and the crew can go to the pub.


See, not everything has improved with the advent of the digital back, if anything it’s increased your workload, as you now get to do the job that the lab used to do.


Anyway please don’t get me wrong I don’t believe that we are returning to a world of film but its great that we now have the choice. Film gives a different feel and that’s it, we can argue as to the merits of digital over film or visa versa till the cows come home, but that’s not the point. If you want the feel of film then the only way to achieve it is to use film, simple.


So that’s a very long winded way to say we have now added the RZ film and Polaroid backs to our inventory, but so long as I have got the message across I’m happy.


Now I am giving our new (old) backs a 10/10 for the coolness rating, firstly because they are still popular after 34 years and as a hire man that’s fantastic but more importantly the resurgence in popularity of 120 film means that it will continue to be produced and that’s great for my collection of old snappers at home.


Now who remembers, “Print one hold one” from the old days? That’s how you adjust exposure eh!


“Say cheese”





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