Ponte Tower by Philip Bloom

Johannesburg’s iconic Ponte Tower may have seen better days, but despite it’s current condition, the folks that inhabit the Tower lovingly call it home.

Armed with his trusty Blackmagic Cinema Camera, our pal Philip Bloom was able to capture the beauty in the shadows of this unique structure.

Small Sensor fears? BlackMagic Camera with Anamorphic Lenses

With all the talk of the new BlackMagic camera and its small sensor (apprx 2.4x crop), many people are rightfully nervous to make the leap due to crop factors and wider depth of field. This may actually turn out to be the perfect camera for anamorphic lens lovers in the end…even more so if BMD listened to Andrew Reid’s (EOSHD) request to add a firmware update allowing a 4:3 shooting mode.

But the other main reason being that when using anamorphic lenses, it not only gives you back your wider field of view, it will also make your depth of field even narrower.

Basically, if you use a 2x anamorphic lens with a 100mm prime SLR lens, you will end up with a 50mm field of view but with a 100mm shallow depth of field. That’s one of the reasons filming with anamorphics looks so dramatic (along with vertical bokeh and flares).

Typically you can use an 85mm (or tighter) prime lens with an anamorphic lens on the full frame Canon 5D. Unless you’re lucky enough to have an Iscorama, in that case you can use a 50mm prime. So with the BlackMagic camera, you can finally use those 35mm SLR prime lenses with anamorphic lenses (and you can use 35mm prime lenses with our CineMorph filter as well with this camera).

So instead of ending up with an 85mm field of view on the BlackMagic camera, if you mount a 2x Isco Anamorphic lens to your 35mm prime (available at using our anamorphic lens Vamp Clamp, you will have a 42mm field of view along with 85mm shallow depth of field.

Problem solved ;) We’ll see I guess.

This will work with any other cameras in the future that are released with smaller sensor sizes…lets hope they also took Andrew Reid’s advice about the 4:3 sensor mode.


Jonah Rubash demonstrates the functionality and setup for the Blackmagic URSA camera.


Keep reading


Great video from DuckDuck Collective! Why would you not shoot anamorphic? It’s just cooler, really!

The Big Picture - In Your Mind

I have been filming in Ealing in Drama Studio London with a small crew for my experimental film module and its all looking, as the DOP so eloquently put it, totally sick!! in a good way. We are using an incredible BlackMagic camera and shooting in ProResHQ - these terrible shots are from my iPhone so they’re not as good but stills shall be up soon.

On location I used a BlackMagic on a tripod to film a still shot of the scene. I filmed using the same camera angle to that was shown in my mock-up panels. However, I wanted the forest to seem much larger and vaster in the shot so I positioned the camera at a good distance away from the scene so that the person with the lantern was quite small but still the main focus.


A clip from a camera test turned “video memorial’ for a beloved friend. Thanks to Jason Stamp on camera, Jon Lutjens edit & effects, Frank DiPiazza sound & music. Go to for the complete test.

Blackmagic Camera Training Notes

Peaking button shows focus green mark

Iris button opens and closes focus point and exposure adjust manually with skip forward and back buttons 

Touch the screen once for meta data/video settings SDI output to output to monitor 

Batteries are internal so you cant replace on shoot 5 hours battery life 

Google kelvin temperature chart

SDD card 240GB of information solid state drive 

5 hours of shoot time 25 minutes of shoot time when shooting at 2.5k 

Double tap to zoom in and out 800 ISO without any noise 

3.5k when shooting inside 

Pro res 422 already set so you don’t have to transcode in editing 

Dnxhd film mode is for da vinci and video is for colours already set 

Do not touch time lapse button unless time lapsing 

Zebra button tells if overexposed 

100mm lenses 2.4 f.stop 11 to 16m lenses 2.8 f.stop 

I went to film the green screen shot using the same Blackmagic camera and tripod, with a pop up green screen. Again I filmed this outside, on an overcast day and set the tripod head to be level with the pavement to maintain the same perspective as the backplate. However, this time I set the tripod up at a much lower height to give the impression that the person in focus is much larger. I also filmed this footage in RAW so that I have a lot of colour information to my advantage when try to match the environment colours. It was also useful for getting an accurate key selection on the green screen.