Artist in Residence George Ferrandi led a beautiful community based art making project and parade involving stories, sculpture, paper mache, and LED lights at the Fleisher Art Memorial in South Philadelphia. Inspired by Catholic Saint processions, “Wherever There Is Water” was a unique community parade led by Huberta one of the main characters of the story and surrounded with her are a sea of paper mache LED lanterns and animals. I got to to the event as the parade was returning back to Fleisher but I was still able to capture part of the celebratory atmosphere and community spirit of the event.
I’m still doing some more testing with c-mount lenses on the GH1 using indiSYSTEM’s SNAP! Gear and Collar this time with a Computar 25mm f/1.3 lens. This is a fairly fast lens and a very small lens. Because this was a night time shoot I thought this lens would be good to bring out of the bag. I also wanted to add something interesting to the mix on this shoot by adding a Raynox HD-5050PRO-LE .5x wide angle converter to the Computar 25mm lens which would make the focal length of the Computar 25mm lens a 12.5mm lens with the addition of the .5x Raynox converter. Now in order to know what focal length that would be equivalent to on a Full Frame camera we would multiply 12.5mm by 2x and we would have an equivalent field of view of a 25mm lens.
A few folks have been exploring wide angle converters simply because one of the challenges with this format is finding a good fast wide angle lens. I looked around and saw the Raynox wide angle converter which interested me because of its low image distortion as well as being very small and light weight. And with the rear thread size of the Raynox being only 37mm, I could easily attach it to the front of many of my c-mount lenses including my fast Computar 25mm f/1.3 lens. Using a 40.5mm to 37mm step down ring, I was able to attach the HD-5050PRO-LE to the front of my Computar 25mm lens with the combined weight of the lens and adapter being less than my Canon FD 50mm lens.
The Computar 25mm f/1.3 is an industrial lens that is rather fast and is one of the few c-mount 25mm lenses that I’ve tested that almost fills the image sensor of the GH1. Many m4/3 still photography users have picked up this lens and have had really good results but I wanted to use it in a film context and see how well it does in an evening shoot and I thought the “Wherever There is Water” Parade would be perfect to test and see how all these combination works together.
I was really astonished by how well the Raynox wide angle converter worked with the Computar 25mm c-mount lens. There was really minimal distortion and light lose and compared to other wide angle adapters that I have tried before including a Century wide angle adapter, the 5050PRO-LE can really trick your eye to think that you are shooting without a converter. Upon close inspection, I can see the light fall off and softer focus around the edges but it is much less pronounced than what I’ve used with other wide angle adapters and this is really quite exciting to see. I’d like to shoot with this same setup in the day just to see how well the Raynox adapter works with the Computar lens. One down side is that the wide angle lens does flare a lot and you can see that in the test footage where the street lamp light shines into the lens. It’s a cool effect but it is something to be aware about.
The indiSYSTEM SNAP! Gear and Collar worked quite nicely allowing me to pull focus much better than with my Ektar II 25mm lens that I had tested previously. There’s a shorter distance that you have to go from close focus to infinity and that gives you greater control. I am continually blown away by the ability to pull focus with small c-mounts lenses. There’s a freedom in a way that I find so much fun. Just a few years ago, I was shooting with my back breaking my HVX or EX1 rig with 35mm adapter. And this is night and day to be able to scale down your setup and achieve similar results.
Overall, this was a fun unexpected test to see some real nice results with this combination of fast prime c-mount lens, wide angle adapter, and follow focus system in an all in one run and gun setup.
Many thanks to George Ferrandi, Fleisher Art Memorial and the Philly community for sharing their beautiful creations. Hope this captures just a small taste of this wonderful community celebration.
Featuring music by PINK MARTINI – Ou Est Ma Tete? from their new album Splendor in the Grass. (My favorite band!)
For more information on the “Wherever There is Water” Parade please visit:
If you liked the music please buy Pink Martini’s new album:
This was shot with the Panasonic GH1 1080/24P and a Computar 25mm f/1.3 c-mount lens with Raynox HD 5050PRO-LE Wide Angle Adapter.
The indiSYSTEM SNAP! Gear and Collar was also used to test pulling focus with this smaller c-mount lens.