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IFH 169: How to Make Money Renting Your Film Gear with ShareGrid

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Have you ever wanted to make a little extra cash with that film gear sitting in your closet? Have you ever wanted o rent that new Arri ALEXA but were afraid you couldn’t afford it? Well, I came across the solution for both problems, it’s called ShareGrid.

ShareGrid is a per to per community, think Airbnb for filmmakers, that allows list film gear for rental or rent gear directly from other filmmakers with instant insurance. I reached out to Brent Barbano, co-founder of Sharegrid to discuss how he built this community up, talk about how to be a working cinematographer and just talk shop.

Heres a couple of videos explain what ShareGrid is all about.

Enjoy my conversation with ShareGrid Co-Founder Brent Barbano.

Alex Ferrari 1:57
Today on the show guys, we've got Brent Barbano, who is the co founder of an amazing service called sharegrid. Now sharegrid I just discovered a little while ago while I was doing research for vintage glass, believe it or not, I did a whole article on vintage, vintage glass shoot out which Brent share grid duclos lenses, and a couple other companies put together to show off all the vintage cinema glass they had. And when I found out when I did the research in them, I looked at him I look at what this is share grid I see. So I want to share a grid and what share grid is, is a place for filmmakers to make money renting their gear and also save money by renting other filmmakers gear and all in a peer to peer kind of situation kind of like an Airbnb, but for for filmmakers and their gear. And it was pretty insane. And I started going into it or looking at it. And you know me, I always like to promote anything that gives more power to the filmmaker helps them put some some dollars in their pocket, and helps them make their movies. And as a disclaimer, I am not getting paid at all, for this interview or promoting share grid. I'm not getting paid anything at all, I just thought day service was so cool that I wanted to reach out to the tribe and let them know about it. So I reached out to Brent and he was more than gracious to come on board. And to talk about not just how you can make money renting your own gear, but also how you can save money, renting other people's gear for your for your productions, which is dramatically different. And it's also 100% covered by insurance. So you don't have to worry about insurance cuz every time you go to a rental house, a lot of times you got to deal with insurance and you got to deal with stuff and rental house stuff a lot of times is you know, let's face it a little beat up. But when you're renting from another filmmaker, you actually go meet that filmmaker who's taking really good care of their gear, you talk about it a little bit you connect. It's also a huge networking opportunity to meet and network with other filmmakers in your area. And they're in a bunch of cities all across the US. And I think that one day, we'll start setting up things over in Europe and other parts of the world. But right now, they are in the US. But it's a great story and how they put the company together, what you can get out of it. And also Brent is a working dp. So we got into a lot of details about cinematography as well, and what it takes to be a working cinematographer in this world today. So without any further ado, please enjoy my conversation with Brent Barbano. I like to welcome to the show Brent Barbano. Man, thanks for being on the show, man.

Brent Barbano 4:41
Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Alex Ferrari 4:43
So let's let's get into it. Man, how did you get into the business and why did you want to jump into this ridiculous business that we call the film industry?

Brent Barbano 4:52
It is ridiculous.

Alex Ferrari 4:53
It is. When it's good. It's good. But when it's bad, it's bad. It's kind of a relationship isn't it?

Brent Barbano 4:59
Yeah. It's funny, I'm actually coming up on my 10 year anniversary of moving out to LA. And it's it's still ridiculous. I still can't believe that I did it in some ways. But yeah, so I went to film school at Syracuse University, I'm actually from Syracuse, New York as well. And I don't know, I, like every film student, when you're a junior senior, you start to make that come to that realization and that decision that you need to move to at that point, either New York or LA, really, that those are the only two big markets that were, you know, viable for a career in this industry. And New York at first was, was sounding enticing, because it was close to home for me, but I had interned in LA the year before. And, you know, la just kind of has a lot of opportunities. And a lot of people kind of said, If you really want to really give it your best shot this industry, you got to try LA for so right after graduation, I packed up my my jeep and drove across country with my dad and, and 10 years later, I'm still surviving. So did

Alex Ferrari 6:06
You did you see when you showed up here? Did you know One?

Brent Barbano 6:10
Well, I mean, in some ways, yes. I didn't know. I didn't know anyone have great influence. But I had, you know, students that I had gone to school with that had moved out here, either the year before or the year with me. So there was definitely a support group. There was definitely, you know, fellow alumni that that I kind of knew to collaborate with and, and work with out here. But yeah, in terms of I didn't have a job lined up, I didn't have a lot of money saved up. It was just kind of, you know, one of those crazy dreams that you that you hear about where you just drive across country and try to make it happen. Wow. So

Alex Ferrari 6:52
You went west young man, as they say. Anyone knows if anyone knows what upstate New York is, like? Not like Manhattan?

Brent Barbano 7:01
Yeah, six months out of the year. It's not the warmest place to be. So I I chose Sun's sunshine, you know, an earthquake 65.

Alex Ferrari 7:11
Year sunshine, earthquakes, sunshine, earthquakes and landslides? Yes.

Brent Barbano 7:16
Yes. I'll take their breaks. I'll take the earthquakes for the snow.

Alex Ferrari 7:21
Oh, God, tell me about it. So you so you're a cinematographer? Yes. And that's how and you want you wanted to be a cinematographer? Since you came out here? Did you fall into it?

Brent Barbano 7:33
Um, I kind of found it in film school. I think that's one of the if you're thinking about going to film school, I think the thing I learned about that is that you shouldn't, you don't have to know what you want to do in film school. Or what you want to do this film industry, film school is about discovering that and about finding what it is that makes you passionate and what it is that excites you. So I went into film school kind of wanting to direct I think that's what everyone defaults to everyone's like, right director and stuff. But I was always, I was always a very visual person. I just didn't have the technical knowledge yet. I didn't really understand how cinematography worked. You know, so when I was in film school, I kind of just fell into it and, and found myself always going back to operating the camera and lighting and coming up with interesting shots that helped tell the story and, and I think my junior year of college, I was like, Oh, I think the ping is actually my call. And I think that's, that's more of what I want to do. It's what gets me excited, more than anything. So that I started honing in on that the last two years of my college career and making sure that I was, you know, best best set up once I graduated to really take on that that career path.

Alex Ferrari 8:47
Now. I came out here about 12 years ago from from the East Coast as well from Miami. And one thing that kind of shifted dramatically. In the business in general, it was this kind of revolution of the Affordable Cinema Camera, whether that be DSLRs, or the red, or, you know, or Blackmagic, or any of these cameras. And it turned into I know a lot of cinematographers, a lot of good buddies of mine are cinematographers. And they all kind of started resenting the fact that they couldn't get hired unless they had their own kit, their own camera. And as opposed to the olden days, where they would just hire you based on talent, not that you actually had a red camera. And then of course, that opened the door to a lot of people who can afford a red camera but had no business shooting with a red camera. So can you kind of talk a little bit about how that has changed in your kind of world because that's basically the way it is now like especially, I mean, when you're at the higher levels, you know, ASC, you know, $200 million movies. That's not the, that's not the norm, but for the rest of us to schmucks down here. And I don't mean to throw you in with the schmucks like myself, sir, but I'm assuming that we're all kind of at the same world. Yeah, I mean, I kind of i don't know i So look, I

Brent Barbano 10:04
Actually never owned a legit Cinema Camera, I owned a Sony f3 for about a year and a half. And then the when the f5 came out, I sold that immediately. And then I said, screw this, I'm out of this, this game of chasing the new technology because once the f5 came out that no one wanted that three, no one wanted to read my f3 even though I still think it's a good it's a really good camera. But I can confidently say that I've actually never really owned a camera that was like my go to I never own an Alexa mini or a red, whatever, or even a C 300. I've never owned a camera and I've done just fine. Yeah, but I you know, part of which is I also am co founder of share grid, which we talked about later, but I have access to, you know, the best cameras in the world at a great price. And

Alex Ferrari 10:55
So you were kind of packaging yourself, you so you could kind of package yourself with a camera but not actually own it. Yeah, I

Brent Barbano 11:02
I mean, I not even because of sheer grit but because of my cinematographer friends who own a lot of gear, I love to give them rentals. So I will always say yes, I don't want a camera but my buddy has an has an amazing Alexa mini package with these lenses and the perfect for this and that can get us a good deal. And that is usually all the producer needs to hear and to done deal. So right though I'm not getting the business I can get us you know, these, this amazing gear but, um, you know, to touch on what you said about the you know, camera making the cinematographer? Yeah, I agree. I think I'm Uh, I'm not saying I'm got this incredible talent, but I've made a living not owning a camera. And that's because of, you know, relationships I've built and the kind of work that I do, I don't think you need to own a crazy expensive 30 or $50,000 camera, to all of a sudden stamp yourself as a cinematographer. You need to know how to like you need to know how to work with people, you need to know how to delegate, you need to know how to scout and pre planned and do pre production and work with the director. I mean, there's just, there's so much that goes into being a cinematographer to say that just owning a camera is the end all for your career is is super short sighted.

Alex Ferrari 12:20
So you mean to tell me that if I go and spend $75,000 on an Alexa mini package, that doesn't make me I won't shoot the reverent? Is that that?

Brent Barbano 12:35
I do think that camera is beautiful, and it does incredible stuff. Sure. No, yeah. It will not give you an Oscar.

Alex Ferrari 12:43
I did. I did a whole I mean, this is this is one of my one of my first podcast, I did an entire podcast on yelling, I'm like you are not a dp don't hire cinematographer, just because they own a red camera. Because it's like that was the thing when the red came out. I mean, these guys were like me, dentists were like buying them call themselves freaking cinematographers. And then I was imposed that always would get the leftovers of the footage. And I'm like, and they're like, Well, can you make this work? I'm like, Are you kidding me? You're under your underlit like, you know, five stops, you know, you can't just go out that night and shoot with an F, you know for? Because it's a red.

Brent Barbano 13:25
Yeah, why reds, reds done a really good job to marketing themselves with God with specs and numbers, you know, 8k 6k, whatever. 100 220 frames per second. And that's what's tight. That's what's exciting people and not to say those things are great. Those are great tools, just tools to have at your disposal. But people think that by owning a camera that shoots 8k, that is amazing. Well, you know, YouTube barely supports 4k and it's compressed and sometimes doesn't even look that good. Most TVs, Apple TV only does 1080 I mean, what's the final output, right? So people are being becoming obsessed with case, you know, becoming obsessed with resolution, which drives me nuts when they're not thinking about the end product. Now obviously, future proofing is great. And being you know, being able to adjust your framing a post is you know, super important. But, you know, but let's work within your means and shooting at 1080 is perfectly fine and looks amazing. Under most under most displays. So that's what drives me nuts is people just get get obsessed about specs. And really, it's backwards. They need to they need to think about you know what's best for their budget and creatively for the project First,

Alex Ferrari 14:37
I mean, I shot I shot my feature on a Blackmagic 2.5k. And I mastered a 1080 and everyone was like Why didn't you master a two cam like because a 1080 bump up is no problem. And I projected it at 1080 and it looked our 2k and it looked insane in a big huge AMC theater. I was shocked at how good it looked and I was like my god what the hell is everyone Like, losing their mind about.

Brent Barbano 15:02
Yeah, I know. I mean, it's, it's, it's crazy, but I think it just comes with time. I think some filmmakers learn the hard way and especially the the post end of it. I mean, if you're dealing with all this footage, I mean, it's just it's crazy. It's such overkill.

Alex Ferrari 15:18
I mean, if you're doing Guardians of the Galaxy, Michael, please shoot 8k? Yeah.

Brent Barbano 15:22
Oh, yeah, no, totally sure. And I've done I've done green screen stuff and, and we need every bit of resolution we can get surely understand that totally will. That's what works perfectly. But if it's a web series, a low budget web series on the weekend, and it's gonna be intense at and it's not even going festivals and white display in 4k. With a Why are we shooting on a red? A No, no,

Alex Ferrari 15:44
But no one does does this too. I mean, it's it. It's rare to display in 4k in theaters, but most of them are displaying in touquet. Like 4k display is expensive. It's just a projector is too damn expensive. So even when you're watching a $200 million movie digitally displayed, it's generally 2k. Yeah, it's Yeah, we could Yeah, we could go on and on and on.

Brent Barbano 16:10
It's a learning curve. I think it's an education that people need to have. And I'm constantly doing it. And I'm not, you know, talking down on read at all, I think they do amazing stuff. I just think you need to work within your, your budget and your means and your timeline and things like that. And it's okay to not get the best camera because if it doesn't fit your project, that's, that's okay.

Alex Ferrari 16:32
It's like, it's like getting the most expensive paintbrush in the world. Right? And there are and there are some really expensive paint projects.

Brent Barbano 16:42
If you're a shitty painter, it doesn't matter what, what's good. Is it going to do? Yeah, you're still gonna paint on the lines, and you're going to screwed up? And yeah, as well. Yeah,

Alex Ferrari 16:50
Might as well buy a $2 paintbrush because you're not going to get much better. And that's what I think filmmakers don't get a lot of times with, with gear in general, like, like lenses, and we will talk about lenses later as well. But I mean, you can buy a literally a $75,000 lens. And do you need to buy a $75,000 lens? Or d? Could you get away with something if you're gonna buy something that costs 1000 bucks or, or if you go vintage 500 bucks, you know, depends on the story depends on what you're trying to do.

Brent Barbano 17:23
Our, our lens test the we'll talk about this later. And I'm sorry if this there's no context for people, but we did a spherical lens test last year. And the beauty of this test was we had, you know, Master Master primes, which are, you know, arguably some of the best, most perfect lenses in the market versus these old vintage Nikon. Still lenses that percent of eyes that are like $200 and you you size them up and you compare them and you're like, Okay, I mean, these Nikon's look great, they're bokeh looks good that they're pretty damn sharp. Contrast is there. I mean, it's like that's the beauty of that lens test. But again, it comes back to Yeah, it doesn't matter what tools you have in your in your pocket, it's how you use them.

Alex Ferrari 18:09
So that's how we actually came here. That's how you came into my orbit was this Yeah, this lens test. I was talking to Matthew duclos. And we I saw that he was involved with this this lens test vintage lens test, and it was probably arguably the most insane vintage lens test ever created in my opinion. And I actually did an entire post on it on and I'll put it in the show notes for everybody that you can actually see this insane lens test and what are the lenses that you guys put up

Brent Barbano 18:42
So for the spherical off the top of my head we had Oh, we had master primes that was kind of our control those are the one nonvintage just so you had a benchmark to compare to but we had a cookie pink rose canon k 35 is a super speeds these old Nikon still lenses we had like ours that were rehoused by GL optics. Carlos any prominent ours we threw in Lomo anamorphic for fun because it was kind of cool that like size up all the spiracle lenses the seven spherical lenses and then just have like the anamorphic aspect ratio which when you look at it, you're just immediately like drawn to it. So that was kind of that was kind of fun to have in there. And I'm drawing a blank if I'm missing one probably like

Alex Ferrari 19:31
Us like do you have a like

Brent Barbano 19:33
yeah, I said the like, is like us Nikon's Zeiss yeah but there's a eight sets of lenses which was which was super exciting and it kind of snowballed. We kind of just at first we were just, you know, coming up with an idea of how to just do a very basic lens test and that kind of became this check this giant three day. Yeah, man. It was it was amazing, but you know, but it was awesome credit. Just to see how many people came out for it, and and were willing to donate their time and their lenses and for the, you know, the sake for the sake of education, but that also set us up for the next time around, which is what we did a couple of weeks ago, which is the anamorphic lens test, which was even bigger two times as big

Alex Ferrari 20:18
To me, I cannot wait. And I'll make sure that the tribe knows about this when it comes out. I yeah, I'm a self diagnosed lens addict. And and I have a bad case as what I like to call gas gear acquisition syndrome. Oh, man, that sounds that sounds serious. It is. It's a serious condition. I'm working on it, talking to my doctors. It's pretty bad right now. It's getting really bad. Yeah, it's tough. It's a really expensive hobby. Oh, God, isn't it ever. But so. So that's how we met. And then I when I, when I started doing research, I found this company called share grid. And when I did some more research on shared grid, it was absolutely amazing. I was like, I can't believe I had not heard of this. So I wanted to bring you on the show to talk a little bit about share grid, how it came to be and all that stuff. So how did you get the idea? For sure grid? How did it come to life?

Brent Barbano 21:18
Well, there's a you know, I have two other co founders. And it's funny how we found each other, I'll tell you my, my perspective. But this was now three and a half years ago, which is scary to even say that I can't believe it was that long ago, but I was shooting a documentary up in San Francisco, about the sharing economy, which is share grid and Airbnb and Uber and all these peer to peer marketplaces that, you know, sell services and goods to, to other people, you know, the platform. And I was interviewing, I was shooting an interview with one of the co founders of Airbnb. And it just hit me that the and just to give you context of that time, three years ago, the sharing economy was catching on. But it wasn't what it is now. I mean, now there's that this business model for literally everything you could think of dog walking and babysitters, anything you'd ever need, you can just go get an app on your phone and order it via another peer. And I thought, oh my god, I at that time, I owned more gear than I do now. But I was like, I don't have a good platform to rent out my gear and all my friends never make money back on their investments. And it's hard to find gear at a good price. And it's readily available sometimes. And I thought, oh my god, this is we need this. We need this in LA. But I'm not I'm a dp I'm not a I don't know how to start a marketplace necessarily. started a website. I knew how to build my website. But that was on Squarespace. I mean, that's a little bit different. A little different. So I was so excited. And I came home after the documentary. And I was like working on ideas and writing down notes. And I built the landing page the way I wanted it to look, which made no sense, because that's not what you need to do first. Do

Alex Ferrari 23:10
The visual thing, right? Your vision board is your vision.

Brent Barbano 23:13
Yeah. Yeah, it's a low hanging fruit. And I so I did that. And then I one day was on Facebook. And this ad popped up. And I said sure grid, right. You're here to local filmmakers, within city insurance, or something like that. And I and my, my heart saw, and I was I was devastated because someone had beat me to it. And this was like maybe the best lesson in life that I ever learned. Because I gave up I stopped I I remember talking to my friend and I said, you know, that's it. Someone beat me to it looks like they got a beautiful website, they got a new landing page. They know what they're doing, I could see that they were in San Francisco. And I was like, Oh, that makes sense. That's, you know, that the tech capital of the world. I mean, that that's where they should be. These guys got to figure it out. Oh, well, I'll just go back to DPA. And I gave up and for about two weeks, I just was really sad and depressed and thought my idea was was stolen in a way from other someone else.

Alex Ferrari 24:13
Right, even though they had it before you did, right.

Brent Barbano 24:16
They had it before me. But then I one day, I just said you know what, I'm going to email them. Because they're in San Francisco. I'm here in LA I'm deeply immersed in this industry. They need to open in LA I know this industry in and out and know a lot of people here I think we could, you know, work together. So I emailed them and I said just that to kind of pitch myself. I said I had the same idea. I even sent them to the landing page, which looks horrible now when I look at it, but I said them like my my rendition of what I wanted it to look like and and they got back to me and we Skyped and and those are my now co founders and we joined forces and it made sense because, you know, they were the two brilliant people that have worked in product For a long time, especially on mobile apps, and so they understand ecommerce, they understand marketplaces, they understand transactions, you know, when it comes to transacting online and, and designing websites, which I don't know, shit about. So same time, they're not in that they're not in the film industry like I am. And so it was a perfect marriage and, and now now three and a half laters. You know, there's three of us, but we have a team of I think, I think we're up to 11 people now. And and we're growing, we're growing pretty quickly.

Alex Ferrari 25:33
That's awesome. And now, so explain to explain to everybody what share grid is.

Brent Barbano 25:39
Yeah. So share grid is I'm sorry, I didn't do a good job in the intro. But share grid is a peer to peer marketplace where filmmakers and creatives and photographers can rent gear to others with within instant insurance. We, you know, do verifications. And where you can you know, search your city to look for literally anything you would need, whether it be studio spaces, you know, cameras, lenses, lights, audio gear, anything that you would need for your production you can find independently on our website

Alex Ferrari 26:12
Is that is that so you see studio spaces You mean like actual like sound stages and things like that.

Brent Barbano 26:16
That's just but what we're even starting to get practical locations, yeah. offices, or houses if you want to rent if you want to rent a house for a shoot edit suites and we have a lot of color correcting and editing suites as well, which is pretty sweet.

Alex Ferrari 26:31
So that's awesome. So you're really growing it not just get you know, renting a lens. But now you're trying to create an entire ecosystem where anyone can rent anything, or borrow it not borrow but like rent anything that you need for a production. Yeah,

Brent Barbano 26:47
Yep. And we have we just checked the other day, we have over $240 million of inventory of gear. So we're,

Alex Ferrari 26:57
We've got a lot of stuff. And I'm assuming a big chunk of that's here in LA.

Brent Barbano 27:02
La La is our biggest market. But you know, New York is we're in five cities. We're in LA, New York City, Atlanta, San Francisco, Seattle. And we're opening in Chicago at the end of this month. And la Yeah, LA is definitely still the biggest market. But you know, New York and Atlanta are kicking butt there's a lot of production in both the cities and, and San Francisco and Seattle to it's pretty amazing. From 10 years ago, when I said I moved out here when it was to me at that time, it was just New York, LA and now I feel like as a filmmaker, you can move to any of these cities and they could make a pretty good living,

Alex Ferrari 27:38
and what other cities you guys planning to roll out to?

Brent Barbano 27:42
We don't have a set map just yet. But it's pretty obvious. You know, we have a lot of interest in cities. Yeah, Austin Austin's a big one. New Orleans is a big one Portland. You know, these all these cities have such a rich creative community. And they've had it they've had it for years. But we bit we have our our barometers of where to open up to is based on our signups we have a waitlist. So if you were Hong Kong and you signed up, we we track that we we we capture that information. And that helps us decide where the demand is and where we should go next. And so yeah, there's a lot of people in our waitlist from New Orleans and causton and Portland and such, even cities like Dallas and Houston, which you wouldn't think historically have as much of a creative industry as you know, let's say Austin does, but I mean, they're just such giant cities that there's just there's so much production still happening there.

Alex Ferrari 28:48
Don't forget Miami. I mean is a big one too. Yeah, absolutely. from my hometown. And yeah, no, my stop there for sure. So So can you explain to filmmakers what, oh, you know, how they could benefit from working or using share grid?

Brent Barbano 29:05
Yeah, so as a renter, if you're if you have a production, what's awesome about share grid is that our prices are are typically cheaper than a, you know, your traditional rental house. Because our owners are independent, they don't have the overhead as a rental house, they're just sometimes operating out of their house or their garage or they have a small setup. So prices are 30 to 50%. Lower than then what you normally get at a rental house, which is obviously huge. If you're on a budget, you're doing a shoe and you do want that red camera for whatever reason, or an elective. You can afford it which is which is great. But our also our inventory is amazing. Like we talked about earlier, the the the amount of inventory that we have, you can search based on a map to you can look around you what's closest to you. That that's incredible. The fact that I you know, I live in Pasadena, which is On the outskirts of LA, and I can search basis and pass the data and find, you know, a bunch of cinema cameras and lenses near me. So I don't have to travel across city across town in traffic to pick up whatever they want. So you know, so yeah, that those are, you know, price and inventory are, are huge. I would also say availability is a biggie, because, you know, brick and mortar places are open nine to five, they're not open on weekends. We're open, technically 24, seven, you can rent from someone on a Saturday or a Sunday, or you can return on a Saturday or Sunday, whatever works for you and the other party. That's fine.

Alex Ferrari 30:38
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.

Brent Barbano 30:49
So I think that that's a huge benefit for the community. But also, I would say, one of the biggest recipes to our secret sauce would be our insurance. So

Alex Ferrari 31:02
How does that how does that because that's the that's the big thing, man, how the heck does that work for you guys? No,

Brent Barbano 31:08
it's a biggie. So, you know, rewind to the interest story I was telling you, when my co founders and I joined forces. You know, we asked our community, we had a bunch of signups at the time, and we hadn't built anything. And it was a beautiful model. I mean, it worked on me, right, because my co founders built this landing page ran Faiz basic, basic, basic Facebook ads to see if the idea was even viable. And I responded, of course. And within like, a couple weeks, I had like over 3000 signups, and we thought, Oh, my God, well, I guess we need to build this thing. People actually want this, this community, but the biggest need that everyone wanted, it wasn't price. It wasn't just availability, it was insurance. It was how are you going to secure and make sure that my gear is covered that I'm covered? And, and so we knew that we couldn't just open a community without that. So we call insurance companies left and right. All laughed at us, man. I mean, it was worse.

Alex Ferrari 32:12
It makes excellent sense.

Brent Barbano 32:15
I mean, if you what's crazy is if you go to insurance company websites, now they still their websites, this still have a fax number. I mean, that to me boggles my mind that faxing is still an option, I guess, I guess it needs to be put. We call the number of the top rental house rental, I'm sorry, insurance companies in the country and pitch the idea, they just thought no, there's no way we can automate insurance. That was the big thing is we didn't we wanted to get rid of paper, we wanted to stop having to print and scan and, and have a 24 hour 48 hour waiting period to get a policy 2000 and that point 2014 2015 we thought this needs to change. And so we at the 11th hour, I actually found at those insurance, which is higher now insurance partner who was also in Pasadena, California, and I talked to Kat the founder and I pitched the idea and, and she loved it, she thought that, you know, aligned perfectly with what they're doing. And at that point, they had already had an automated system on their website. But the key was get convincing them to build this brand new product with us. And basically have a the first ever online platform where you can buy insurance instantly, up to $750,000. So we we it was it was actually a tough business decision because we were ready to open and we delayed everything by at least six months to just go in and build this thing. And I know way more about insurance than I ever thought I would want to know. But it was an important decision because we stopped what we were doing. We tested we refined we retested and we you know finally built this platform so now when you go and share crud you can buy a policy up to $750,000 within minutes you can buy so is it is

Alex Ferrari 34:05
Is the renter who's buying it or the rentee?

Brent Barbano 34:09
Well both so as a renter, you have the option to buy a short term or annual policy but the cool thing about annual insurance is that there's it's also becomes an owner's policy. So you can buy an insurance policy that helps you to rent from other people. But there's also the option on there to insure your own equipment for your own productions or when it's in your house, whatever. So it's kind of a manual assurance is definitely the best bang for your buck. But it definitely applies to both to both parties. But I'm share grid we don't allow a transaction without some form of coverage. So that means the renter needs to I guess in your case it would be the rentee but the person with the with the shoot that needs the gear the renter has to either buy our short term or short term or annual policy on our website instantly or They can provide their own third party we recognize a lot of productions have their own insurance, that's totally fine. We manually verify it, we call the insurance company and verify that the policy is active and it's valid, and it's correct. And then use it for that amount. Or for certain items that are, you know, $20,000 replacement value or unless they are they're allowed to use our damage waiver and damage waiver pro damage waiver and theft program, which isn't insurance, it's just in the event of damage or theft. But it's also a nice and more economic option for for filmmakers that maybe don't want to fork over a couple $100 or more for short term insurance, they can just buy a damage waiver for you know, a five D or DSLR package or whatnot.

Alex Ferrari 35:49
So that and that's something you could buy the renter goodbye or like the person renting the gear could buy it instantly as they're renting. So like let's say I have a an Ursa mini package, which you know, replacement value with everything not including lenses is 10 grand, let's say that would fall into the damage waiver such a situation. So as a renter as the owner, do I tell the rent team, like if you want to own the if you want to rent this, I don't have insurance for it. So you have to get a damage waiver and include that in the you know the checkout.

Brent Barbano 36:23
Why as an owner, you don't even have to tell them every person, every renter, so I'm sorry, I say renter and owner. So every renter has to provide some kind of coverage, you cannot rent on shared, right, unless you purchase some form of coverage or provide proof of coverage. Even if I had

Alex Ferrari 36:40
Even as the owner, if I have it doesn't matter. They have rights.

Brent Barbano 36:44
Yeah, as as an owner is never an insurance license insurance person. So I can't give advice. But as an owner, it is never smart to use your own insurance, you know, you get in a car accident, who's that whoever's at fault, I mean that that insurance work. So if you're renting out your equipment to someone else, that renter needs to provide insurance for you, your insurance is kind of your last line of defense. But in this case, we we never expose the owners insurance for a transaction. It's always up to the renter to provide coverage. So

Alex Ferrari 37:17
Then basically, they'll share goods and I've been around for three and a half years. Generally speaking, I'm not going to ask for specific details, but our numbers, but generally speaking, obviously, it's going fairly well. So there is it's not a very big percentage of lost or damaged equipment, because it's not like not like when you rent from a from a rental house, as they say on the set. It's a rental Don't be gentle.

Brent Barbano 37:45
No, we, we were actually very proud of this, we we only have some form of claim, point 02 percent of the time. So most obviously most of our rentals go without any issue. And and that's something we're very proud of. And a lot of there's a couple reasons why I mean, one of which is we've really grabbed a an amazing professional community here. I mean, the filmmakers and photographers and artists in our community are top notch. And it shows people that are renting gear from other professionals are professionals and they take really good care of the gear. That's not to say we don't have film students, we don't have you know, younger filmmakers that are just learning things. Of course, we have, we welcome them as well. But we have a lot of professionals and and also, I think there's something to be said about when you meet a person face to face and and you go over the gear with them, you you you treat it as if it's your own, you want to take good care of that person, vintage lenses or that person's camera, as opposed to just renting from a giant corporation or company. When there's a face to that equipment, I think naturally as a renter, you want to take better care of it.

Alex Ferrari 39:00
Now as a as a owner, do you set the price or does circuit set the price patels

Brent Barbano 39:06
Owner sets a price where we've been very adamant about not controlling pricing, which you know, comes with it's it's good and it's bad. But as an owner, you you have the right to set your own price.

Alex Ferrari 39:20
As ridiculous as it might be

Brent Barbano 39:22
As a certain you know, prices. We have set thresholds that that if you price too low, you will know that you know not being best match and and best matches the searching category that helps people find gear that best matches their needs. And if you price lower than a certain threshold, you will be revoked from that search. I mean, there's a couple things that we do to discourage people from pricing too low. But that being said, it's a free market. It's an open market. We don't want to manipulate we don't want to control people's pricing too much and yeah, as an owner, you So you want and we have a recommendation tool when you list a new item you can we recommend based on the market what you what you want to what you can price it at.

Alex Ferrari 40:09
So basically filmmakers, an independent filmmaker, now could have access to a high end camera with some high end glass that might cost up to $100,000. But on a budget, if they're shooting on a week or two weeks or something like that, they can make a deal and get that access much easier than if they would go to a rental hostel trying to rent an airy many or, or read epic or dragon with some super speeds, prime. It's gonna cost you an arm and a leg plus you need to get this kind of weird, you know, not weird insurance, but like full blown coverage and all this kind of stuff, as opposed to going through shark raid where you have, it's just it seems easier.

Brent Barbano 40:54
Yeah, it's actually it's a lot easier. It's it's really fast. It's really intuitive. We have a cart actually, you know, just like, you're on Amazon and you checkout with a cart, we're building a cart, which makes it even quicker. That's going to be coming out soon. So yeah, I invite you and everyone to go on the website. It's really fun. You can search for every anything you want, add it to your cart eventually and, and check out within, I mean, literally within minutes. But But I also want to point out that we do have rental houses on our website, and I don't want to talk, talk poorly about rental houses, I think they're incredible. They provide an amazing value as well. It's just a different type of value. And and so we have rental houses on our website, and we welcome them. It's just that we have typically lower prices than then because our owners don't have the same overhead. But if you want that rental house experience and you want a prep tech and a prep floor and and even more amazing inventory, a one stop shop experience, you can get that on share grid, you can find a rental house on share grid as

Alex Ferrari 41:56
Well. Very interesting. Now, there's also another benefit to using share grid networking. Can you talk a little bit about that? Yes.

Brent Barbano 42:05
Yeah, this is actually what excites me honestly the most about it. And we haven't even really built the platform to you know, encourage it too much or automate the networking aspect in terms of finding jobs. But to tell you a very quick story, I was shooting these testimonial videos, but two years ago, where I was interviewing share code members about why they like it, and how they you know how much they enjoy using share grid. And I scheduled independently from everyone I scheduled for different owners and renters on at a specific time within like half an hour of each other. And I was done interviewing one of them. He and I came out of the room in a waiting room was another owner and he they knew each other and I was like oh my god, this is amazing. How do they How do you guys know each other? Oh, he rented from me last week? And oh, wow, cool. And then they said yeah, I'm gonna see it to shoot next week. Yep. And so they're working on a project. And then five minutes later in comes another owner from the door and now go mark, and they all know each other. And it was just like, that was my first realization that we are building this insane community. And those three owners knew each other just because of share grid. And every time I talked to someone I hear all the time that they're collaborating with someone that they met on shared grid, and they hired someone because they met unshare grid. And to me that that's, that makes me the happiest is to is to connect people. And you know, we're looking at ways to to, you know, build up features that really promote that. We know that you know, hiring is huge. We know that people you know your crew is your shoot is as good as your crew. And we know that's really important. But also just collaborating and talking and debating and conversing about things is really important as well. So we we want to encourage discussion and we want to encourage connecting in every way possible.

Alex Ferrari 44:03
Now what some of the top gear that rents on share grid out of curiosity.

Brent Barbano 44:07
Yeah, we actually I actually did this, this crazy video, the end of last year about the top 10 items rented on share grid for 2016 and it's on our YouTube page, but the it varies. Read epic is obviously rapid dragon was I think, a third most rented item tied for one and two though I gave the edge to the ronin but the time for one or two is basically the DJI Ronin and Sony A seven s two. Those two items were are just constantly being rented. I mean, it's only a seven s two is just an incredible camera especially in low light and it's it's very inexpensive, and the ronin is great. I mean it's you know, great for music videos. It's great for you know that steadycam esque type look but it's fairly easy to learn. But other than that Alexa minis are up there, c 300. Mark one and Mark twos are big c one hundreds are, I think in the top 10 of last year, and DSLR, glass, you know, Canon 70 to 224 to seven days. I mean, those go out daily, because they're versatile. They're they, they're used an indie, low budget cinema projects, but they're also used for photography. So yeah, they're great.

Alex Ferrari 45:29
And so can you tell me what advice you would give to a filmmaker just starting out in the business?

Brent Barbano 45:36
Oh, man, um, I would say, there's so much to talk about. But I would say the number one thing is to, is to shoot and to create and to, you know, find the time that you can to make to make projects, it's really easy to find excuses, to not shoot and to not do stuff. And, and that's, that's all fine. And I think starting out too, is, especially if you're a production assistant, you have no life you're working, you know, 1415 hour days, you're driving around, you're exhausted, you have to find some time carve out some hours in the weekend, and just shoot and make stuff. And even if it's crappy, if it looks terrible, who cares? No one has to see it. But that's how you're going to learn, you're not going to learn by just reading blogs or, or watching videos or talking or even film school. I mean, film school only takes you so far, you need to get out, get your hands on gear, collaborate with others, and shoot and shoot and shoot and shoot. And that's the only way you're going to refine your craft and also figure out what you really love to do. And then at the same time, you're building up your, your reel, you know, I spent three, four years, my first four years out here in LA working with my friends from college, and we just were shooting our own stuff. And we were some of it was really bad. And I'll never show anyone, some of it. Some of it was great. And some of it went into my demo reel. And it got me more work. And it also taught me you know how to work with certain equipment and certain certain lighting scenarios. That's huge. And I think back then, 10 years ago, the best cameras I had was like, a Sony x one or an hv x 200. I mean, these cameras. Yeah, I mean, those cameras were the best I could get. Now you can buy a DSLR and get some, you know, DSLR glass. And if you do it right, if you light it right and put it in the right stereo, you can get some gorgeous looking stuff. There's literally no excuse, in my opinion, to not shoot and create your own stuff. You've got YouTube, you've got Vimeo, you've got share grades, you've got all these tools at your disposal. It's really easy to come up with excuses not to like it was for me to not pursue sheer grit, it was really easy to get it. But at the end of the day, there's 15,000 other people in line ready to take your spot. And so if you want to be competitive and you want to get that edge you got to create you got to get out there and make stuff.

Alex Ferrari 48:11
You said the HP x 200 I have to give a shout out to the dv x 100 day.

Brent Barbano 48:16
Yeah, dv x one 100 was the camera I shot my senior thesis on so I went to film school. And it was still very much a film school and it cost like four grand to buy film to buy 16 Super six. Yeah. And I was like, This is ridiculous. I knew my senior thesis wasn't going to be anything groundbreaking. It wasn't going to get me a job. And I thought and I've already shot on film a lot for that, that. That major and I just said I'm just gonna just shoot this in the dv x It was 24 p it looked great at the time, even though it was standard definition. And I told my professors and they were really mad at me and I said I'm sorry, I saved me money so that I can you know, make a career after this. I'm going to shoot on digital. And I did and looked looked okay.

Alex Ferrari 49:04
Standard def standard def 24 p

Brent Barbano 49:07
Hey, yeah, man, but it was fine. And I still I still I still love that camera for you for what it did for my career.

Alex Ferrari 49:14
That camera had a Leica lens on it. Oh, yeah, it did, didn't it? It had a Leica lens on it. I remember. And that led that camera man I shot while I shot my first short film with it that went on to do good stuff for me and it. I loved that little camera man. I loved it. It was a workhorse. And it was it was the first thing I sold when I got out here. Some guy some guy wanted to buy it. I'm like you sure and I sold it for like 1000 bucks. I was like oh yeah, dude, they get a that's a good that's a good salary. He's like I want to start shooting short films. I'm like you do what you got to do, brother man go Yeah, I got I got out. I got out quick. Oh my god. So what is the lesson that took you too long? To learn whether in life or in the film business, oh, wow, deep, deep questions. That's a very good one.

Brent Barbano 50:10
I mean, there's again, there's so many, but the one that comes to mind right now is to, I would say not compare yourself to your other peers. It's really, it's really easy to compare yourself to other friends that came out of film school at the same time you did and had the same exact opportunities that you did. And they're maybe a little bit ahead of you. In some sense. That is such a toxic way of thinking. It's really it's really detrimental. I think for for men. I mean, I think anyone especially just creatives, filmmakers, actors, actresses, anyone. You just can't think like that you got to stay focused on you and your own path. Because the truth of the matter is, you could be the same age, the same film school come and move out to LA in the exact same time startup exact same job. It's still not apples to apples, there's just so there's so many discrepancies in differences. And if your buddy got an opportunity, because he just ran into someone at a coffee shop. Well, that's, that's because that's what happened to them. That didn't happen to you, you weren't there. And you just can't compare yourself. It's just going to be distracting. And so that that took a while for me to kind of not compare myself and get competitive, and just stay focused on me and my path and my dreams. Which sounds so cheesy, but it's

Alex Ferrari 51:32
True. No, that's absolutely true. I mean, you could you could look at Robert Rodriguez, many filmmakers just compare themselves to Robert Rodriguez. And his his thing or how many people you know, Spielberg was comparing himself to, to Orson Welles. And he failed. Because, yeah, Orson made his movie at 23. And yeah, and he made jaws at 27. That's, that's the

Brent Barbano 51:54
Other thing is the age thing. That's the worst is like, especially now that I'm 30 I'm about to be 32 in a couple weeks and Shut up.

Alex Ferrari 52:01
Shut up. Yeah. You're a bit younger than I am, sir. All right. Well,

Brent Barbano 52:07
You may you make me feel good, because I, you know, I go on Facebook, and I see friends and buddies that are 2725. And they're shooting amazing stuff. And they're shooting with Disney and they're shooting with these incredible clients. And I'm just like, oh, man, what did I do wrong? And but Dude, I have to stop myself and say I did nothing wrong. I'm doing everything right. And kudos. And more importantly, kudos to them. They're kicking butt and that's that's awesome. And I'm proud to call them my friend or my colleague,

Alex Ferrari 52:34
You know, I your age. I was shooting with the dv x 100 day in a steaming bathroom. Steaming basement in West Palm Beach, Florida shooting a short film. Oh, man, and I was shooting it with a dv x 100. And I it I was so far from Hollywood. I can't even explain to you. Yeah, I was 10 years, at least at least three or four years away before I finally moved out. I tell you, man, I look at look, I'm 42 bout to be 43 and I've been in the business for 20 years, and I've seen a lot of shit. And man, you know, I meet these 1819 year olds like Yeah, man, I just shot my sixth feature. I'm like, shut the fuck yeah. It's so not but but that's but that's what, that's what they have. That's what they haven't. I mean, if I would have been 18 in today's world, that'd be doing the same thing. Because that the you know it can you imagine what Hitchcock would have done? A young Hitchcock would have done or a young student olbrich would have done with this kind of technology and this kind of access you know, it's just it is you are on the path that you were supposed to be on at the time you were supposed to be on it and all of us always look back and go oh, wouldn't have been great to be in the 70s making films with you know, Scorsese and spielberger Wouldn't it have been great Huh, I know it was super It was super hard but like if you were one of those guys it was awesome you know to get and then they were looking back like man wouldn't have been a cool to make films in the 50s like john Ford, and you know, say like, all look and then the 15th guys are like ah, Orson, you know, it's always the same man, you know, guys now looking back in the 90s, like, oh man, Tarantino and Kevin Smith and Linkletter and all those guys in the 90s. Wow. But now is where we got to focus our energy on. Yeah, exactly,

Brent Barbano 54:33
Exactly. It comes, comes back to what I was saying to I mean, this is the proof of it with how many how successful filmmakers are at a young age. I mean, you have no excuse now they're taking advantage of the technology and social media channels and distribution. Distribution. Yeah, the the accessibility to resources is, is just infinitely better than it was even five years ago. And so these young you know, Scorsese. protegees are these young filmmakers that are just kicking butt and early 20s in their early 20s in minutes, this is why they're doing it. They're, they're taking advantage. So I think don't compare yourself don't get hung up. But at the same time, you do need to have a little bit maybe 10% of the anks a little, a little bit of that, like competitive, a little bit of competitive edge that kind of keeps you going, keeps you motivated. I call it you know, there's a cheesy millennial term FOMO fear of missing out, but it's true, like when I'm online. I don't get mad or upset when I see other filmmakers doing awesome things. I'm happy for them. But then I'm like, goddamn, I'm gonna go do that. Now. I want to go shoot. And that's, that's what you need. You need that little bit of push now to you know, make make your own. Carve out your own your own niche.

Alex Ferrari 55:48
Yeah. And I used to be that I used to be that guy too. When I was younger, you know, you go on, you're like, oh, man, how did he get a feature? Why the hell they give them the money? Yeah, can I do that? Like if I would have gotten that you didn't you get all that you get caught up in that toxic mentality. That and it hurts you hurt me for many, many years till I finally broke free of that. And I just said screw it. I'm just gonna be me.

Brent Barbano 56:09
Yeah, you got to harness energy and just being positive. Yeah, he don't focus on the path. Just use it to motivate you to do your own stuff that that's all you can do.

Alex Ferrari 56:18
And last question, three of your favorite films of all time. Oh, wow.

Brent Barbano 56:23
Well, any of my friends listening are laughing because they know that I'm obsessed with Jurassic Park.

Alex Ferrari 56:29
And it's not even for it. Because how old were you when it came out? I was. Yeah, I was. I was I was 18. I was in high school. So yeah, that's a completely different perspective. It's kind of like when I saw Empire, or reject the Jedi that's like, oh my god that

Brent Barbano 56:50
This was that this was that turning point for me. Because at that point, I had only seen Disney cartoons and shit really, really sugary movies that are really saved and, and this movie scared the crap out of me and

Alex Ferrari 57:01
I was can be scary. Absolutely.

Brent Barbano 57:03
It still is like my palms get sweaty at certain scenes when I even though I've watched the movie like 1000 times. But it was so real as the first time I watched a movie that was like, wow, these dinosaurs are real. They're these kids are gonna get killed. This is horrible. But I kept when it was in theaters, I kept going back I brought my aunt I took my dad, I went back and saw it like, probably eight times in the theaters until it came out. And then of course, I bought it on VHS. But, um, but yeah, that movie, not even first technical achievements. But just because of like it, you know, was the most real movie I had seen at the time. That's what really sparked my interest in cinema. And then after that, I would I mean, Godfather Part one is just, it's just a perfect, you can get a movie, it's just it holds

Alex Ferrari 57:52
Take the cannoli leave the gun.

Brent Barbano 57:56
You know, I am Italian as well. So there's just that aspect that I just showed me how I love just all those references in the movie. Um, so yeah, the Godfather Part One, got a third one. It third one's probably like a 10 way tie. But, uh, the first movie that comes to mind that I, I love a lot is sideways. Which is, which is interesting, because not even as cinematography, I mean, it's beautifully shot, but it's not like a godfather or anything like that. But I think it's just gorgeous in its own way visually. it sideways I love because of the way it was, you know, written and storytelling. And that's what really sparked my interest into how filmmaking is only as good as its script. I mean, the script in that movie is just brilliant. And the acting is fun. And that that really that movie just stays with me. It's probably also fresh in my mind because my girlfriend and I went up to one country last month. And so all I could think about was sideways the whole time when I was up there in my mind, but

Alex Ferrari 58:59
Did you take the sideways tour? Did you think as always,

Brent Barbano 59:02
I didn't we went to some of the wineries that were there and talk to some of the workers and we talked about the movie but now we didn't do the sideways tour and

Alex Ferrari 59:11
So since you're such a big Jurassic Park fan I've got a slight bit of trivia for you. I was at at a an event with Dean Conde. And they for everybody listening being Conde was a cinematographer of Jurassic Park as well as Back to the Future Escape from New York Halloween. I mean, he's been around and someone asked him in the audience, what was the best scene you've ever lit? The best, the best. He's the one he's the proud of stuff of all the words. And he said he said the Raptor scene in the kitchen. Okay, okay, because it was so difficult. You've got shiny objects everywhere. CGI. To CG quote unquote CG Raptors that no one knew if that would work, right. And he was the one that came up with the idea of the pots falling off the top. Because he, yeah, he's like, why don't you have them fall off? So when the CG guys hit it, it looks like it's more real. And Steven said, Stevens like, not a bad idea to go. Thank you, Steven.

Brent Barbano 1:00:23
That's awesome. Yeah, that that when I mentioned earlier about my palms getting sweaty and certain scenes that scene is at all why it's still Hey, dude. Man.

Alex Ferrari 1:00:35
It's like someone who watched The Exorcist when they were like, 10 I mean, no matter how old you are no magic behind the scenes you watch. It's the freaks you the hell out. It's that vulnerability that

Brent Barbano 1:00:47
There's these little kids nearby to get eaten by these dinosaurs. And when you're that age, and you're watching I can I could be in there. So yeah, that that seems brilliant. Yeah, that movie is awesome. I'm probably gonna go watch Jurassic Park now.

Alex Ferrari 1:01:02
So where where can people find you and more about your good?

Brent Barbano 1:01:07
Yeah, so just go to our website, www dot share grid comm you can sign up right then and there. If we're in your one of the six cities. Or you know, we also have a blog blog that share good calm where we're churning out content weekly. We have amazing articles. We've got an amazing set of writers now. In our YouTube page, just google share grin on YouTube. And you'll you'll find our page and we're doing videos almost weekly now that give a lot of education. It's for me, personally, I have my own website, Brent barbado. calm. And yeah, I'm on my cinematographer. But I do focus a lot of energy and share grid nowadays. But now you can see some of my work on the website.

Alex Ferrari 1:01:53
Very cool. I'll put all those links in the show notes guy. So man, Brent, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us, man.

Brent Barbano 1:01:59
Thanks for having me. It was fun. I appreciate it.

Alex Ferrari 1:02:02
So you guys see there is a way to make money with that gear just sitting around in your closet that you paid all so much money for all those years ago. So if you got some old lenses, you got some current cameras that are not being used, lights, whatever, hey, this is a good way to make a little extra chatter on the side guys. So I hope this helps you guys out a lot and hopes to get a little bit more money into your pocket and helps you along your creative and filmmaking journey. Because a little extra chatter in the pocket is never not wanted. So hope that helps you guys, don't forget to head over to free film book calm that's free film book calm and download your free filmmaking, or screenwriting audiobook from audible and today's show notes are at indie film hustle.com forward slash 169 with links to everything we talked about in this episode, and as always, keep that hustle going keep that dream alive and I'll talk to you soon.

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IFH 164: Vintage Lenses for Indie Filmmakers MasterClass w/ Alan Besedin

Right-click here to download the MP3

One of the main goals of Indie Film Hustle is to give real-world knowledge and resources to indie filmmakers so they can make a living doing what they love. Film gear is a big part of that equation. I always am on the lookout for the best bang for the buck when it comes to film gear.

I recently began to dip my toes into the world of vintage lenses. Vintage lenses are exactly that, vintage. You may be asking

“Alex, why would I buy a 50-year-old lens that has color redition issues or is soft on the corners when the lenses of today are perfect, clean and more advanced?”

The main reason I’ve fallen in love with vintage lenses is exactly for that reason, they are not perfect. Years ago lenses were made by hand. Each lens had its own personality. Many of them have beautiful mistakes that made them stand out.

Case in point Stanley Kubrick. If you watch A Clockwork Orange you’ll notice a wide shot as the doorbell rings about 20min into the film. The crazy wide shot was filmed with a Kinoptik 9.8 F2.3. The lens is far from perfect but it has character. Kubrick was more focused on achieving an interesting shot rather than a perfect one. This coming from a legendary perfectionist.

Kubrick lenses collection was made up of most vintage lenses. He would buy 10 copies of the same lenses, test them all and pick the best of the bunch and return the rest.

Using vintage lenses can also take the “digital bite” off of modern-day camera sensors. The best thing about getting into vintage glass is the cost. You can get a beautiful “nifty 50mm” for between $20-$80. They’re literally thousands of lenses you can choose from, each one special in its own way.  Vintage lenses can truly give your film a unique look and make you stand out from the crowd.

Today’s guest Alan Besedin has been running in the filmmaking trenches for years and runs my go-to resource for vintages lenses VintageLensesforVideo.com. I’ve watched every video and read every article on the site. It’s a wealth of info.

Also please support Alan’s amazing work by donating, even a dollar, to his Patreon. (www.patreon.com/VintageLensesForVideo)

So enjoy my conversation with Alan Besedin from VintageLensesforVideo.com.

Alex Ferrari 1:49
Now today's guest runs one of the best sites I've seen for vintage lenses for video, it's actually called vintagelensesforvideo.com. And the man who runs it is Alan Besedin and he's been doing this for probably three, four or five years now, I think. And he's been going deep into vintage lenses, I've scoured his site, and I've watched every video he's put out, read every article, and it's a great place to get your feet wet. If you're interested in looking for vintage lenses, at a good price, you can see what they look like you can see what they look like on a on a Panasonic jif gh four on a Sony Blackmagic he does multiple tests with multiple different cameras, and what the good things are, or the bad things are is very honest about it. And you know, the kind of adapters you need to get and so on. So it's really a great resource. And I want to basically have him on the show and just pick his brain about all the experience he has with vintage lenses and what what he does, he is a professional videographer and photographer and he's he's taking these guys out in the field and really put them through the basis. So this interview lasts almost two hours. I geeked out a bit in this interview. So if you are into lenses and getting the best bang for your buck, this is honestly a masterclass in vintage lenses and what you need to get you can get into I mean, seriously, I've got some lenses I pay 4050 bucks for when I throw them onto the Ursa mini on the Blackmagic on my mouth drops on the floor. I'm like, Are you kidding me? They look great, but we're gonna get into the pluses and minuses of some of these lenses in the interview. So without any further ado, here is my interview with Alan Besedin from vintagelensesforfilm.com. I'd like to welcome to the show Alan besetting How you doing, brother?

Alan Besedin 6:50
I'm doing great. Thanks for having me on your show.

Alex Ferrari 6:52
Oh, man, thank you so much for being on the show. I am a huge fan of what you're doing over vintage lenses for video. And it is your fault that I am now addicted to vintage lenses. And I'm like, Well, why don't I just buy this one? And let's try it on this camera on this. Will it work on an Ursa mini? Why not? Let's give it a shot. It started it starts getting it starts getting out of control. And it has been I've now my addiction has gone to plus 30 in less than a month.

Alan Besedin 7:25
Yeah. That's exactly what happened to me. And you are not the first person who got into this kind of addiction. Like you said, it's so easy, because one of the reasons innocence for gate is the affordability. And it's so easy to get addicted just because you can afford them,

Alex Ferrari 7:46
Right! It's like oh, it's just 50 bucks. Oh, it's just 30 bucks. Oh, you know, and then when you're getting and when you're getting really Froggy. It's like oh 100 150 bucks.

Alan Besedin 7:57
And then you see you see like a lens kit, like a camera kit. Someone said on eBay. They're all camera Keith and they have like five lenses in there. Oh, that's not 100

Alex Ferrari 8:10
Well, the reason I wanted to have you on the show is not only because of, you know your knowledge of vintage lenses and stuff, but I really wanted to kind of show filmmakers that you don't need to buy super expensive gear to to get a good image especially lenses and lenses are more expensive mo a lot of the time than the cameras most of the times are more expensive, even to get a decent prime set is sometimes much more expensive than the actual camera you're going to be using it on. So I know that that kind of scares off a lot of filmmakers but when this kind of opened up my eyes I was like wow, you can you can get good image you can get a really good clean image and also you can get some very unique images as well depending on what you're going for so so before we get started, how did you get how did you start vintage lenses for video comm

Alan Besedin 9:02
Okay, so I think back in 2009 when canon five D Mark two came out. That was my first transition into video from photography. Up to that point, I was never really inspired by what I was able to film with affordable cameras. So as soon as I got into the video side I kind of started exploring the options just because like I say, while modern lenses even like Canon EF glass can be really expensive. And and I was mostly using you know the the standard zoom that everyone did like the Canon EF 24 to 105 for most of my work, and it was okay. It's still a good lens, but it's not particularly inspired wire in. Right so good word to use. And I felt, you know that the focus ring wasn't really pleasant to use, they do. And same with other Canon EF lenses that the autofocus in is great, and they just didn't care about making the manual focusing features on those lenses, just because no one will really use them. And just by chance, I got hold of two very cheap vintage lenses. And as soon as I try them for the first time I was hooked, the boxing rings were smooth, long, focused rows, you know, like manual aperture adjustment, which on, some of them is already clicked or easily to clickable. Build quality. For example, I once broke a Canon EF 51.4 from just the light knock, the very light knock at just just snapped the connection of where motor connects to the focusing or whatever. Just probably just a small plastic bar just broke and that's it.

Alex Ferrari 11:18
And how much is it? How much how much is that lens? New?

Alan Besedin 11:22
The Canon the F 51.4. Yeah, about three $350 maybe a bit more. Okay. And Canon FD so the old version of Canon lenses 51.4 is about $50. So you see how what difference you're looking at in price

Alex Ferrari 11:42
And the quality and the quality is is

Alan Besedin 11:45
And the build quality is just completely different. So again, I just I was looking at those lenses that paid 10 $20 for and they were fully metal amazing focus rings interested in image and actually pretty good optical quality as well. Obviously, with vintage lenses, most of the time optical quality is not not the main factor why you choose them, especially with the cheap ones because obviously modern lenses are perfect. They are computer designed and everything super precise. But if you spend a little bit more, there are still vintage lenses out there that can outperform modern lens in terms of optical quality and also have addition of that character. You know the kind of look that a lot of people desire.

Alex Ferrari 12:44
What is it so can you can you give me an example of a lens that, that you that you you bought a vintage lens that optically competed or surpassed a modern version of itself?

Alan Besedin 12:57
Well, the easiest example is back when I still had access to the Canon EF 51.4. fairly popular Canon lens for photographers and video people who use Canon cameras. I tested that against a much cheaper nicor 51.4 The Nico Yeah, yeah. olympos 51.4 there was a test that you can find on my website.

Alex Ferrari 13:25
Sure, man. Minolta two is also another good one.

Alan Besedin 13:28
Oh, amazing. Yeah. And, and Canon AV as well. But at the time, I still had my Canon five D Mark two camera, so I wasn't able to get into as many lenses as I can. Now. And even then nicor outperformed the more than canon in terms of sharpness, wide open right away. And it was very easy example. Obviously, as years went, and I kept discovering more and more lenses. And lately, looking into Zeiss contact lenses. I discovered all this other amazing lenses that can outperform more than equivalent, or at least more than lenses that cost as much. So for example, you can either buy a cheap, modern prime, or for that money, you can buy a fairly high end car call size contacts, Brian, that back in the day would have cost $2,000 or something like that. And now you can buy for 200.

Alex Ferrari 14:41
Right. So as opposed to buying a row as opposed to buying a rokinon for 300 bucks. Cinema lens you can buy it

Alan Besedin 14:49
And you look at the forums and there were a few places where I've seen that be the question being asked not just on my groups, but in like filmmaker forums and Stuff like that. And people just ask everyone else. Should I buy a rokinon? Or like a Zeiss contacts? vintage lens? And each person just, you know just says size? Because it's they're well known good size? Amazingly, yeah. All right. Well, I have nothing against working on I had one of them when they first when the first one came out the 35 millimeter Yeah, loved it. For the money back then it had all these amazing things like, you know, this again, smooth focusing ring and Apogee Jasmine is great performance. I have absolutely nothing against modern lenses, especially the ones that are kinda designed for video side.

Alex Ferrari 15:49
The cinema like the cinema series, I have a full set of rokinon Cinema series. And they're fine. They're great. But when you compare them to add more

Alan Besedin 15:57
Money, I would have that full set 100% is just that. I can't afford every single lens I want.

Alex Ferrari 16:06
Ohh my friend, you and me both.

Alan Besedin 16:10
Yeah, so it obviously it's the right lens for the right job. If you have access to many lenses to choose from, you will not always choose the vintage lens. There are things there are jobs, that project where modern lens will be better. They give ultra clean footage. They are ultra sharp. So something like be effects, you know, yes. stuff, we need super high contrast, super clean image because you will be adding all of that impulse,

Alex Ferrari 16:43
A sci fi show like I just did a sci fi show. And I was I shot it with the sigma, the Sigma zooms the new sigma cinemas. Yes. They're gorgeous. And but they're perfect. And I would have never in a million years attempted to shoot a show like this with with vintage glass.

Alan Besedin 17:00
It just didn't make sense. It didn't make sense. Yeah, try add in any additional elements today footage already has massive flats on it, it's impossible. You have to get a clean image and then add all of that and post. But if project is something where it's narrative, and unnatural music video or some creative film, where you know you will not be adding any extra elements in post, but you wanted to have character you want to have. So then, for me, you can't beat a good vintage lens because nothing beats in camera flares in camera characteristics like little artifact, little imperfections that give it that little bit of magic, which takes you away from the reality.

Alex Ferrari 17:51
Absolutely. Now let me ask you what, you mentioned a few of the benefits of buying a vintage glass. But can you go over another long, long throw is really good D clicked aperture a lot of times the look what else other in price? I mean, we have so much for one of the other lists. What do you think

Alan Besedin 18:11
So to recap, the main reasons I think, affordability character, build quality and usability. And to break that down a little bit. Vintage lenses again, are super cheap. Not all of them but there are plenty there's lots to choose from that are very cheap, you can buy a mini set for $100 like let's say maybe 28 millimeter 50 millimeter, maybe 145 millimeter something to start with. And you can start shooting getting great images. Obviously as you discover your lenses or you have bit more budget you can spend 1000s if you want or if you get into being the senior lenses then you know the the prices are just absolutely crazy because they how popular they are nowadays. But the point is that you can start at the very low end and get great cinematic images because you always want to choose primes if you can for you know like cinema. Cinema purposes will generally outperform zooms unless they are more than zooms obviously like you mentioned sigma zooms they're amazing. Engineer engineer. Oh, yeah.

Alex Ferrari 19:28
Even even the vintage engineers are pretty insane.

Alan Besedin 19:31
Yeah, that one thing they have is character. And it's amazing. You know, the especially those super 16 ones.

Alex Ferrari 19:40
Yeah, I just got one it's on it's on its way. I just got well it's on its way.

Alan Besedin 19:44
Yeah. It's like It's like being back in a day. You know when shooting them?

Alex Ferrari 19:49
Yeah, I mean. Yeah, there's so much character and I mean, even if you want to start spending, you know, it all depends on pricing. I mean, like you say you could buy I bought the cheapest one I bought is 50 bucks, and I pop it on and I'm like, You got to be kidding me. Like, this looks perfectly fine. It looks great. And then the most I've spent is 500. On the canoptek 5.70. Yeah. Which I just love that Lance. Absolutely love it. So

Alan Besedin 20:20
So, you know, um, I think what today in my review, I think, I don't remember now, but I think it was used on some, you know, fairly interesting projects that were the five points didn't break use it for some stuff. Well, yeah, so

Alex Ferrari 20:36
The stuccos, I actually did a, I'm doing a review online as well, because the reason I got is because of Kubrick, because Kubrick shot, the shining, and parts of the shining lots of the parts of the shining like the the famous Hall scenes and the the maze scene and stuff like that with the canoptek 9.8, which is a 35 millimeter version of it. And he also shot a tremendous amount of Clockwork Orange with it. Shockingly, because I remember like the scene right before the, the singing in the rain sequence, as we call it. In Clockwork Orange, I saw it, and he just like kind of did a little dolly across. But you can see the softness on the edges. And I'm like, you could actually see the softness on the edges. But for someone like Kubrick, who, who was, you know, obviously a master one of the great masters and giants of, of the film industry. And he was so perfectionist. I mean, he's such a perfectionist of what he was trying to do. To let that go said something, you know, he wasn't interested completely in a, at a perfect image. He was interested in an interesting image that helped tell the story. And that's what vintage glass gets you Do you agree?

Alan Besedin 21:55
Absolutely. And that lens is a perfect sample of something very special and very unique that again, you can kind of mimic and post but now you know, you can't be the real thing.

Alex Ferrari 22:08
It's hard to I mean, just so everyone who's listening, the the Synoptic 5.7. mil is a extremely wide lens, but it does not fisheye, which is a very unique thing. And it's something that cannot really can't be ignored too much. But I'm dying to shoot like a chase sequence and like imagine why imagine watching the Point Break chase sequence, the foot Chase, shot shot, and that by I'm kind of sad, I didn't use mine enough. Did you get rid of yours?

Alan Besedin 22:44
I had to just because with what I do, I have to rotate the lenses, I can't keep all of them. So to be able to afford something else to review to try to explore. To get my knowledge up. I have to sell some of my lenses in order to get something new. So unfortunately there are a lot of lenses had to let go. Otherwise, you know, I wouldn't be where I am with my current exploration like buying Zeiss lenses. Right? Yeah, cuz you buys

Alex Ferrari 23:18
It because I see some of these on your site. And I was like, Wow, those those aren't cheap.

Alan Besedin 23:24
Yeah, at the moment, I don't have any relationships with any rental companies or any lens brands, or anything that that could, you know, you know, I could borrow a lens from and, you know, review it tried, you know, at the moment, pretty much, you know, 99% of lenses that you see on our side are the ones I actually bought myself, you know, and had to had to pay the full price. usually only me.

Alex Ferrari 23:50
Right, exactly. And a lot of a lot of the lenses if not all the most of the lenses I think that you you reviewed or are looked at are not for rental generally speaking like, you know, if the kind of like the go find a rental of a 5.7 synoptic. It exists. I'm in LA so it's here. But it's rare, and it's hard, but like the Helios is in which we'll get into in depth or are or these older, like, you know, where are you going to go get a Minolta rental.

Alan Besedin 24:25
My goal is mostly to bring the lenses that most people will be able to afford. That's that's kind of how I hope to do this thing. But eventually over all resale. We'll get into high end ceiling glass that you probably can only rent but still it I'm sure it will be useful to people you know trying to choose to get inspired as to you know maybe what they want to choose for the next project. Absolutely Well, yeah, I'm definitely hoping that I will establish a relationship with a rental company eventually, where, you know, I will be able to, you know, to grab some sets like Zeiss superspeed, or COVID, bang girls or some other classic SR lenses. And, you know, try them, compare them, and give my own take on, you know what they are, like,

Alex Ferrari 25:27
Where and where you look where you look at it, by the way,

Alan Besedin 25:29
I'm, I'm in London, just kind of on the edge of it. But there are plenty of places here, where I would do it is just at the moment, I'm busy enough with my own glass, I still feel hungry, I still feel inspired by, you know what I have here in my hand. So I don't feel like I really need to get into external, you know, kind of rentals. Yeah, to try and keep this going. There's still so many lenses that I want to discover and share that I can kind of afford. So that's where it's going.

Alex Ferrari 26:08
So. So let's talk about the healios 4458 millimeter. You are a healios junkie. So I self diagnose Helios junkie. And I actually purchased the healios I got a 44 M and I've got 344 K's coming, I think or twos I think no 40 twos coming. is the is the most common one. Yeah, and I got three, there was a set of three MIT ones, and I bought them for 45 bucks. So it's

Alan Besedin 26:43
never too many. So I got a friend, right? That's what I was gonna do. They just they just amazed and I just I'm, like you said the self proclaimed ambassador for those lenses? Yes. Unfortunately, no one is paying me but I just want to share the love for that lens because I think everyone should discover that lens. So

Alex Ferrari 27:05
Talk to me a little bit of why it's such a magical lens, not only because it's a completely affordable and it's easily the most produced lens in the history of LEDs.

Alan Besedin 27:17
Probably they just the supply doesn't end it. It really one of the obviously really important reasons why so many people have them.

Alex Ferrari 27:26
Do you know that you want to hear a quick story I was talking to, you know, Matt duclos? Matthew dewclaws. Yeah, from from duclos lens. I was talking to him the other day. And he's like, Hey, we were offered, because I tell him about the Helios is and he's like, yeah, we were offered like probably like 1000 or 2000 healios a package of you know, that they could do whatever they want rehouse them, and you know, all this stuff. And he kind of ignored it. He's like, no, it's not what we do. And you know, he kind of passed on it. Then all of a sudden, dog dogshit lenses or optics came along. And and he's like, Oh, so that's where they went? Maybe? No, that's exactly what it is. It's exactly where they would they went. They started off with that 1000 or 2000 of those vintage aliases to start making people buy them. The dogs, the dogs? I don't Yeah, I know. They're expensive. They're too expensive. I'm

Alan Besedin 28:15
Happy enough with with as it is, I think it's already a incredible lens as it is obviously dogshit optics adds a lot of little additions to those lenses. Yeah, sure, sure. But the price is ridiculous. It's I mean, I mean, for professional production, if you want to use this lens on an Alexa or something like that, we needed to have a robust built, quality, nice focusing ring, all those sorts of things. Yes, makes sense. But for an average user, why an occasional use, I think the the helius 4040, as it is, is fine. He has the clicked aperture, although a strange one, because it kind of goes the other way around. It's something that's called preset aperture, someone that they used back in the day for photography purposes, purposes where you would set your aperture, then rotate the ring, to open it up completely to help you with focusing and quickly step it down to your preferred stop for actual taking of the picture. So it's something that was never intended to be clicked aperture. But to ask filmmakers it became you know that the click capture that we really wanted. And you can you can add a obviously a focus gear to that lens and even a PL mount can be added to that. So you know, for occasional use even on head camera, you can totally use that lens as it is.

Alex Ferrari 29:52
Right! I mean if you if you're on a $200 million movie, not so much but if you're on an indie movie, you can create a nice set of these kind of lens Yeah, to make it work. So what makes it so magical in Europe? I know the answer. But I want the audience to understand why. What's so magical about it as far as the image quality and what it gives you the character. We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.

Alan Besedin 30:24
Okay, so being a Russian made lens, the word is that the optical performance as far as sharpness is a bit inconsistent, because back in, you know, USSR days, they, you know, the quality control wasn't that great. So, although my one or at least one of my copies is incredibly sharp, wide open. That's not necessarily its strongest point. its strongest point, though, is its character, which extends into so many directions, from just the most incredible trees and flowers that, you know, just take you absolutely elsewhere. It's not, you're looking somewhere with your eyes, and then you point that lens at the same thing, especially if have some low sun or something like that in the scene. And it just, it just takes you to this dream world where, you know, complete transforms the image, and then obviously, you probably know already has the most amazing swirly bouquets.

Alex Ferrari 31:31
Mm, the bulk, the bulk, I guess, that's it. It hasn't how many blades? It has luck with eight blades.

Alan Besedin 31:39
There. Yes, it has eight blades. There is a version with 13 blades that I don't have at the moment. It's a bit more expensive. What

Alex Ferrari 31:48
Is the version of this that I want that one? What's the name? Just like the early silver foil, which is the silver healios icecaps. Okay, seeing those as a silver one. Hmm,

Alan Besedin 31:58
I have I have a few silver, Helios 40 fours, but none of them is a 13. Blade version. It's really difficult to find one without seller actually knowing that he's selling that 13 blade one, right? Yeah, the people who actually know that there Helios is a 13 blade one a they charge, you know, at least 100 bucks for one, which is, which is you know, two three times more than an average on eBay. Is

Alex Ferrari 32:28
Is it worth it? Is it worth it?

Alan Besedin 32:30
Not really. It's more of, you know, like, I want this special one thing, you know, and there are plenty of people who will want this special Haley's thing. As far as, as far as mocha goes, I don't think there is much difference at all, because even the a blade helius 44. has great bokeh even stop down. There is no unpleasant shape to it at all. I think it stays fairly around in the middle. And everyone knows what swirl is maybe not in terms of bokeh. Maybe not everyone saw that. But if you google helius 44 inches, yeah, you both you really quickly understand what it is. And it's another thing that it's impossible to see with the eyes. And a lens gives you that playing which is which is so amazing, which is what it's all about, you know, when choosing lenses, it's try It's that thing that you can see with your eyes.

Alex Ferrari 33:38
Now that the the other rumor on the street was that during after World War Two, the Russians that occupied East Germany they actually went in and to this ice, this ice factory and stole the formula for

Alan Besedin 33:56
That is absolutely true. Actually, you know, there are many ways toward it. Some people are more gentle about it. Some people you know, can be you know, quite aggressive about what happened. But it more or less that that is the thing that happened. A lot of rationed lenses including the Helios 44 were based on Zeiss formulas from the day

Alex Ferrari 34:23
And that's why they look amazing

Alan Besedin 34:25
Yet yes, so actually yeah, that's that's the whole background of why this lens is so amazing.

Alex Ferrari 34:31
Is the Jupiter is a Jupiter have that similar situation?

Alan Besedin 34:35
Yes, Jupiter is also based on as Icelands as is the tire 11 145 millimeter and, and even the mirror one, which is like a 20 millimeter. I have

Alex Ferrari 34:52
That one. It's amazing.

Alan Besedin 34:53
Yeah, all of them actually. Well, most of them. I'm not going to claim that every single one of them is based on size by Most of these lenses from that age are at least in some way based on design in alternatives some of them will have slightly different speed or maybe slightly different focal length. But, you know, in overall, they are concise copies. And that, I guess, is another really important reason why they look so amazing.

Alex Ferrari 35:34
Yeah, that that Mere 120 mil I got, I paid 150 for it. So it was probably one of the more expensive ones I got. But it's it's solid, it feels like a city prime in my hand, it's super solid, the images gives you is amazing. And you're looking at literally a 20 mil for 150 bucks, that that gets

Alan Besedin 35:57
A full frame 20 mil as well. People forget, because I lately have reviewed like my last review was a Canon FD 17 millimeter 3.5. So 17 millimeter 3.5 in modern world sounds a bit underwhelming because you look at all this. cameras that come with good lenses, you know, on the low end. And the good lenses like 17 to 50 or something like that, right? And people like so Why the hell would I buy a 17 millimeter 3.5 Prime when I want to have my kids lens? A lot of people ignore the fact that vintage lenses, especially the ones from the photo world are mostly full frame. So try getting a 20 millimeter frame prime for 200 bucks

Alex Ferrari 36:47
Or two eight I think it's too late. If not faster.

Alan Besedin 36:52
Yeah, there is there is a version that is two eight. I don't know which one you have. But there is a version that is two eight and if you pay 853 I did lucky man

Alex Ferrari 37:03
I did. I did know it is a two and no, it's not a three because I barely get anything that's over three. I always get at least two at that one.

Alan Besedin 37:11
That one is should be at least double the price. Wow. This is you know some of them I get get kinda you know in. In lenses are posted on eBay. Sometimes some will describe it in slightly wrong way or doesn't understand what is selling? Oh yeah, there's a few of those as part of the package. And there are some real gems that can slip through the system. And that's the way I've picked up so many of my lenses. Yes, some time but I think generally pays off.

Alex Ferrari 37:49
So because we can geek out about lenses for another two hours. So I want to get to some questions about specific things. So hopefully the audience could get some help with if you were gonna choose three lenses that you had to have in your set vintage, why would which ones would they be and why?

Alan Besedin 38:08
Primaries primes, okay, okay, there is a video of my three go to lenses that I've made a year ago just learns that I pick up the most they're not necessarily the ones that I would have in a set about just quickly run through them and maybe give you another option. So the lens that I had in my video my go to lens that I pick up the most to actually use, where the Canon ft 50 millimeter 1.4 with a focal reducer, like, like the meta bone speed booster but like a cheaper version. So in theory I had when I use it on Super 35 millimeter camera in theory, I had a 36 millimeter f 1.0 Prime out of out of that combination. So basically for $200 or so complete package with a focal reducer there I had this incredibly fast prime that I could use for low light for all sorts of you know, beautiful shoulder to fill shots. And I've used that lens combination for years for work just whenever I needed you know, a nice looking image or any like a low light monster. So that was that was one that I use for you know, almost every job until recently now that I kind of went back to full frame and I still use the lens but I kind of dropped the fork or reduce a part of it because no longer needed. The second lens was si ce Jenna 45 millimeter f 2.4. So that's Zeiss, Jen is like the lower range The Zeiss lenses a lot of people call them they say are not real size because they were made in the I believe the occupied part of Germany where so basically the size kind of split into two sections. One side had this Zeiss Jenner range and another part had Zeiss Contax which was the like the high end stuff. But even even the size Jenner lenses are still made by Zeiss engineers, you know, they were still based on Zeiss formulas. So

Alex Ferrari 40:38
And they're and they're pretty good. I mean, I was gonna ask you I had a Carl Zeiss agenda question for you because I kept seeing the so many different Carl Zeiss, quote unquote lenses. And then we see the real like super expensive 2000 $3,000 Carl Zeiss and I wanted to know what your if you knew what the difference was between the Jenna and the and the other ones and are Jenna good? Are Is that a good set to have?

Alan Besedin 41:02
I actually I'm currently working on a one an article which is based on a called Zeiss, Jenna said, so the goal was to kind of create a mini series set out of Alsace channel lenses. So to click in them, add in Canon EF mounts to them you know, adding like a universal France to them. So all of them have same same France size, focus ring. So basically like a mini seanie set that is based on Carl Zeiss genestealer lenses. So and and the goal was to kind of do it all under $1,000, which I think for a meaning of I said, Yeah, this is great for for something that is, you know, just ready to go then and insured.

Alex Ferrari 41:58
And would you argue that they're better quality than a broken onset, and I don't keep meaning to beat up broken up. But

Alan Besedin 42:03
I wouldn't say that they're better than rokinon they definitely have more character. images that are definitely a bit more interesting. They are slower, which is the downside rokinon also probably are sharper. But I think the build quality is a bit better. Because even though they're not as nice contacts, they still all metal, they still have like nice, nice long, long foxin throw and, you know, generally smooth focusing rings, you know, I don't think you can buy a rokinon set for 1000 at least not to

Alex Ferrari 42:41
1800 to 2000 for like a four to five

Alan Besedin 42:45
So with with Zeiss Jenna, you will get 2035 5080 millimeter and a 135 for under 1000 including the cost of your gears, your deck leaking, your Eve AF noun. So this is the whole thing. So, you know, that's kind of just to answer your question about design gentlemen's that I think they are good enough for they will be good enough for a lot of people. And that's what I decided to kind of concentrate on them in particular to create this guide that I'm working on, hopefully will be out soon to, you know, to help people see what they can do you know, for just $1,000

Alex Ferrari 43:30
I am I'm definitely eagerly awaiting that article and video.

Alan Besedin 43:36
And so the third lens is with a nice talk about much because the front lens in my go to three Oh, is the Helios 44 two already spoke about it, you know, this is the lens that I will probably always be, you know, you know, people often say you know what, what is the one thing you will take in to deserted island? Is that kind of thing. You know, if it's, there's one lens that you would take, it would always be the Helios 4040 for me. Nice, you

Alex Ferrari 44:07
Now, and what's the difference between the 44 to 44 and 44k? Is there a big difference?

Alan Besedin 44:13
So it started with a 44. That's the original. He, they also had quite a few versions in that like, there was this silver one and then they had some zebra stripes on it. And the black one and obviously the 14 aperture one, you know, there's still lots of little variations in the 44 but that was the original one and then 44 two was like like Mark to kind of thing, okay. And then they added the, as they were upgrading, they dropped the number instead the went with a 44 M. So will M and then like a You know, to M four, and so on. So m would stand for the M 42, mount, the screw mount. And then they have like 44k, like I said that they made it for the Pentax K mount, you know, so probably for export reasons, you know, to just allow more people to use such lenses from different cameras. And again, then you have all sorts of variations when it when to, you know, 44 to 44, m four and so on. Again, there were upgrades little, you know, things that they must have improved. The word is that the sharpness was improving, as you know, there were upgraded to next version.

Alex Ferrari 45:53
So if I were good, so if you were going to get a Helios right now, which which model would you go after?

Alan Besedin 45:59
For me? It still the Helios 44? Two just because for me, it's perfect combination of performance and imperfections, I would say. Because the later versions, they still had really bulky. Well, maybe not all of them. But I think, you know, because I haven't tried all of them. But the thing is that we're trying to improve them. So and with Helios how they wanted to be improved anymore than what it was with the Helios 4040 version. For example, the Helios 40 4am. When when you get it, I don't know if you go in already. Yeah, yeah, you will notice that they change the body design. So the the clickless aperture has gone, because they change how they do the metering on the cameras. So they will no longer needed that preset aperture Jasmine. So now that if you want the Helios to be D clicked, you will have to do it manually, where with 44. Two, it was already there, you know when you bought the lens, got it. So it's just kind of perfect. Another thing, a PL mount. With 44. Two, you could add PL Mount 44 m had a different body design. So PL mount is no longer possible. All sorts of things like that, you know, just little things that that make 44 two, just a perfect combination. Maybe even the focus throw 44 two has this incredible, like 300 degree focus or or something like that? It does, you know, like simulans level? Yeah,

Alex Ferrari 47:39
It's exactly like a Cindy lens almost.

Alan Besedin 47:41
Yeah. Again, I'm not going to claim it, but they might have reduced a little bit in the 44 M or later versions, right. So you know, things that might have been improvements to some, I think two video guys, or someone looking for that specific character lens, not necessarily the things that you want.

Alex Ferrari 48:03
You know, so and then if you had to choose one or two zooms, that vintage zooms that you can under 500, under under three to five, between three and 500 bucks or under 300 bucks, that you think that just makes

Alan Besedin 48:17
A tough question. To be honest, I get asked so much because people are so spoiled with more than zooms in here. And the honest answer is that vintage showrooms generally aren't particularly good. So, I've been looking to find something that I would want to use for a long time, and it has been a struggle, but I'll give you a few options that I think are great. So the first one is the Minolta 35 to 73.5. So by the sound of it, super underwhelming their range, you know what, you know, like, we just get a 50 millimeter, right? much faster. You know, this sounds like you know, it's not it's not quite wide enough. It's not quite tight enough. Like, why would you use it but it's slow. Again, like I said, you don't want to use anything over three, f three. But the lens just has such a beautiful image coming out of it. You know, my

Alex Ferrari 49:28
Metadata is really surprised the hell out of me. I've gotten two monitors so far. And I'm building a little mini set of monitors because it is sharp. It was staggeringly sharp. And, and the image you get is remarkable. And

Alan Besedin 49:46
It's super smooth, beautiful imagery, beautiful flowers really small and cheap. I mean $20 I mean insanely cheap. One of the reasons is unfortunately Really bad compatibility with Canon EF mount cameras, just because like all the flange distance with the Canon EF cameras,

Alex Ferrari 50:12
But it worked great with micro four thirds.

Alan Besedin 50:15
Yeah microphones, Sony emailed one of the best choices. Unfortunately, if it's canon mount that you're after then Minolta and Canon FD lenses are the ones you truly want to avoid. Because converting them to EF properly is a bit costly. And just buying a cheap adapter with correctional element will absolutely ruin the quality of that length. They become slower, I think, or I haven't even tried it so bad. But I think the image gets kind of zoomed in a little bit. It has like a bit of a teleconverter affected. It might lose some Spain as well. But the most important thing the images just become soft.

Alex Ferrari 51:07
So I mean, I just put the I put them in Malta, I think it's the 50 or the 35. I don't remember which one it was. But I threw the EF adapter on it. And I threw the F on to the meta bones. speed. Okay, on a Blackmagic Pocket. Wow, gorgeous. was still still good enough. Stunning. Stunning. That's what I was talking about. I haven't seen it yet on a like on just Micro Four Thirds only have the EF mount.

Alan Besedin 51:35
Yeah, I mean, if you take out the AF mount out of equation, yeah. Because no one probably has this optical element inside it.

Alex Ferrari 51:42
Yes, it does.

Alan Besedin 51:44
Yeah, if you get rid of that, you it will be like taking off blurry glasses. From you know, from your eyes. It's just you will pick up so much chocolates, then

Alex Ferrari 51:55
So actually, I could just actually just go to an F Minolta the monitor to micro four thirds, it'll be better.

Alan Besedin 52:03
Yeah, will obviously be better. I'm sure. Meta bones helps booster if you have he has people such as

Alex Ferrari 52:10
People. So yeah,

Alan Besedin 52:11
Yeah, so. So I think speed booster might be kind of taking out some of that negative effect, you will get in with the with a cheap EF mount thing. But yeah, just get rid of get rid of the F mount. And just go straight into the monitor first. And just be so much sharper, clearer, less ghosting. And, you know, all sorts of artifacts that genuine not particularly pleasant. So, so come back to that Minolta lens. And the reason why I recommend it, it's not, it's not just because I like it. Leica actually liked that lens. So much they used it for the own 4570 zoom back in the day when they were making like our zooms, result, you know, if you need a proof, that distance is great. This is the proof for you, you know if like I thought that was good enough for them good enough optical formula to use on their own lenses, that you know, that's good enough for me. So you know, there are those little gems and that lens is like 50 bucks in the Minolta finish really in like our it's probably 10 times more. And it's it probably will not have that much difference because it's the same optical kind of formula, maybe slight different coating but but you know, there are those little gems that you can still pick up for $50 and less and maybe some little bit more. But they they they are just this amazing things that you can discover if you look into interferences.

Alex Ferrari 53:55
Now, let's talk about bounce real quick because I know that is a big thing. A lot of filmmakers trying to get into vintage lenses have issues with and I've had my challenges with different mounts. Can you talk a little bit about the most popular mounts and the easiest to adapt mounts and then which mounts you should kind of stay away from.

Alan Besedin 54:17
So like I said, if you are a Canon EF mount user B Academy of camera or maybe something like an Ursa mini f mount or anything like that. Then three mounts that you generally want to avoid in vintage world Minolta MD, Canon FD and konica ir are the most kind of popular mounts that you should avoid just because you have massive problems getting the most out of those lenses, you can still buy those adapters that you are using. And you might think oh this is fine. But you are not getting the most out of those lenses. If you are using them on Canon EF mount or, or via a Canon EF adapter. Got it? So these are the ones that you want to avoid. They are great. They are fine for mirrorless

Alex Ferrari 55:13
Yeah, for like micro for micro four thirds and things. Yeah.

Alan Besedin 55:15
And in fact they are, I recommend them for mirrorless because of how underrated they are. Just because Canon EF such a massive mount in the cinema world, you know, like you can buy one for red epic, you know, oh,

Alex Ferrari 55:33
No Alexa

Alan Besedin 55:35
Blackmagic cameras shown with it, you know, such a massive mount. And obviously, people look into the lenses that are compatible with that mount this way. The this like can can live de Minolta, once they kind of say slide in the shadow. So you can pick them up cheaper. But for my preferred or Sony amount, but if you want to build a set of lenses that you can use on anything, then m 42 screw mount is one of the best options, because you can put almost any adapter on top of that you can put f you can put any mirrorless mount and that up to some very cheap and straightforward because it's a screw mount. Some are the mounts have quite complicated mechanisms like the Canon FD. So the mounted, the adapters themselves either cost more, or they are poorly made. And there's a wobble and stuff like that. With input to screw mount, it's simple screw on mechanism. So there, it's very easy to make the adapter. And even cheap adapters work great. Mostly, you know, I've tried a bunch of different input to adapters for different mounts, and then ever had one that I felt was terrible. Where with other mounts, I would often find that the doctor was quite poor and I had to buy again and again until I could find one that worked well.

Alex Ferrari 57:25
So generally speaking with mounts, you don't want any mount that has glass on it, just speaking. Yeah, because it's a speed insert or something.

Alan Besedin 57:33
Yeah, obviously Yeah, because this glass elements, they are mostly made by companies that have nothing to do with proper lens making. So I don't know where they source them, but not much thought is put into those optical elements with spin boosters, and other some other focal reducers they're much more focused on the quality of that object. So it's usually a good thing to add. But avoid the cheap eBay you know can low and China

Alex Ferrari 58:09
Chinese

Alan Besedin 58:10
on cardboard, you know, if you see an optical if you see an adapter that has glass in it and costs you know 20 bucks, don't expect anything good from it, you know, it's probably will ruin the quality of your lens.

Alex Ferrari 58:25
And you know, they'd like the Minolta one that I got.

Alan Besedin 58:28
Yeah, well you know, you're not the first person to say that they were amazed by the images they got out of the combo. You know, don't get me wrong, you probably are still getting great images for what you paid. You know, but it could be

Alex Ferrari 58:45
but it could be but it could be 20 bucks. Right?

Alan Besedin 58:49
Yeah. But there is you know, I'm fairly sure there is more to your lens than then you think you know, you might think oh this is nice, dreamy character you know this lens has this really interesting look to it. And it might turn out that it's really sharp lens, which maybe not no with what you want. But you know, this is this is not this might not be what this is actually capable.

Alex Ferrari 59:20
Now with the 40 twos is that generally full frame or does it does it matter is it it is almost a full frame all the time.

Alan Besedin 59:27
Yeah. So with with vintage lenses, unless we are looking at 16 millimeter Super 16 or SR lenses. almost exclusively all the other lenses are full frame. So if you are using them on anything smaller than full frame, you can add a speed booster. And this way make it lens faster and wider. And if you have a full frame camera, then again you don't need to worry about lens not covering majority of industrials are full frame. But like I said, you know, that's another great reason. You know what, why you want to spend maybe even 200 bucks on on a 17 millimeter 3.5 even though it doesn't sound like like a cool lens in the first instance.

Alex Ferrari 1:00:22
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show. But it's a full frame and trying to get a full frame but the modern version, right, right, and

Alan Besedin 1:00:37
let's say you have a super 35 millimeter camera, because that lens is full frame, you can actually becomes much wider than your kid lens. You know, your kid lens, the 17 millimeter the wide end. And you think all you know why? Why would I pay? You know, that $100 for for a 17 millimeter lens. But once you add the speed booster to it, it actually becomes like a 12 millimeter lens.

Alex Ferrari 1:01:06
Mm hmm. Okay, real quick. And we've been talking about speed boosters and meta bones and focal reducers. Can you just explain really quickly to the audience what a speed booster vocal reducer does? So for everybody who doesn't know?

Alan Besedin 1:01:19
Yeah, a lot of people don't understand what it is.

Alex Ferrari 1:01:23
It's quite magical.

Alan Besedin 1:01:24
Yeah, exactly the word I would use. I think it's, it's just one of those things that completely changed it. For me, it just before it came out, I thought I would never think that was possible. Basically, the data were there.

Alex Ferrari 1:01:41
It doesn't make sense.

Alan Besedin 1:01:42
Yeah, so the easiest way to explain it, they are opposite of teleconverters, teleconverter zoom thin into your image. In in that process to get better rich with your lens, usually a telephoto lens, you lose at least one stop of light, or, you know, usually even more, and January your lens becomes softer. With speed boosters, it works the other way around, it pushes the image out, makes it wider. And the special bonus is that it adds one stop of life. How does the word Don't ask me It's magic.

Alex Ferrari 1:02:27
So basically, if you shot with a engineer, point nine, five. Yeah, put a speed booster on it, it becomes zero. No, it's not. You could shoot you could shoot and then you throw that on a Sony A seven as to you literally could see in the dark your bat at that point. Exactly. So, so yeah, so because I

Alan Besedin 1:02:52
put cheap way, it's just a very cheap and great way to make your set of lenses faster and wider. So if you're using microphones in particular, or even like a Blackmagic Pocket camera, where you're really struggling with vintage wide angle lenses is a great way to grab like a 17 millimeter or even a 28 millimeter and just kind of make it that that much wider. So it generally pushes the image out by 0.7 I think around that, you know some of them do more, some of them do less. But basically, instead of having like I said a 50 millimeter, it becomes a 36 millimeter and so on, you know, it's in your water instead of 17 millimeter becomes a 12 millimeter. So you know, this kind of great benefits for crop sensor cameras.

Alex Ferrari 1:03:46
Yeah, I mean I have my pocket camera and I put my Sigma 18 to 35 on it with a speed booster. And that turns into an 11 I think 11 to 22 or something or 23

Alan Besedin 1:03:56
Yeah, if your speed boost is the special one I was worried for the pocket camera thing it hasn't been pushed. So yeah, it becomes a fully usable zoom on on the pocket camera. It's insane. It's it's pretty and if you if you try to get anything like that four pocket camera from the vintage world, I did a review as ice 11 to 100 sR lens and you know it it becomes very expensive. So if you actually use in any crop sensor camera, I highly highly recommend looking into lenses that you can combine with some sort of focal reducer or speed booster because it you know, it will save you a lot of money in the long run.

Alex Ferrari 1:04:47
Real quick one other popular mount that I wanted to kind of talk about was a sea mount. That is an it's basically if I'm not mistaken and I've learned this the hard way going through my my journeys in the vintage world. The sea mount is is essentially a 16 or super 16 millimeter mount correct? Generally, yes, generally, and then a covers like, because I have my pocket camera, which is great. So you when you get when you buy a 17, you get a 17, when you buy a 35, you get a 35 on the pocket camera, because it's it's a smaller lens, it would only work on a smaller sensor, but the quality, the the lens quality you can get at that smaller range is higher than a lot of times you would get the equivalent of a 35 or a full frame. Is that correct? Yeah,

Alan Besedin 1:05:34
just just before we would go into the more. So if the focal length as as the number always stays the same, but obviously, the crop effect correct, how much more zoomed in, you're into that focal range. So I think the way I would go about it is that, let's say, a 17 millimeter that is designed for the super, super well sort of 16 it the way they designed it, it was designed to look great on that kind of, you know, sensor or size of film, you know, it will have its follow for whatever it will have its sharpness and everything optimized for that particular size, where if you're taking a 17 millimeter that was designed for full frame, you are basically cropping in into the very middle of the lens. So you are losing a lot of maybe that character and other things that that lens has, because you are only using this central portion of the lens. So this is this is one of the reasons why I would recommend looking to CMR lenses if you're using a pocket camera or digital books. Because one when you use those lenses on those cameras, you know you get the full you are using the full lens. Can you use them?

Alex Ferrari 1:07:03
Can you use a C mount on a like a gh four or gh five.

Alan Besedin 1:07:07
You can use C mount on these cameras very easily. But not many will be close to covering the sensor. There are some exceptions, I think that might cover the sensor, or at least in a slide crop mode like a let's say gh for 4k mode. No way cops in a bit more. Generally, we see Mount lenses, you want to go into that. What is it called electronic conversion mode from

Alex Ferrari 1:07:40
a PC mode or something like that. Yeah,

Alan Besedin 1:07:43
yeah, something like that way it really pushes into the image. So you can kind of use it and you can even use similar lenses on some of the Sony cameras nowadays. Because they have let's say a 6500 it's already a super 35 size sensor, but it also have the clear zoom ability because the 4k camera you can kind of push in into that image and still get decent quality by using a lens that was designed for much smaller sensor right there. lenses and you know, I think as as the time goes, there are more and more cameras that you can explore them with. It doesn't have to be digital Bullock's or Blackmagic Pocket camera anymore. anymore cameras they can explore them with

Alex Ferrari 1:08:35
Yeah, I got the can Pollard's Swiss the Swiss star lenses. Obviously the kev sixteens those those work the F 16 set work on a on Super 35

Alan Besedin 1:08:51
they will not cover it will be massive in yet but again with some cameras you can crop in Shinto the image and like the 20 millimeter and the 50 millimeter from that key offset will cover I think they cover like gh for something like that, or at least like a slide crop mode.

Alex Ferrari 1:09:10
Well I mean, like I just got I just got the engine new 12 to 120 c mount and it's a it's a stunning lens. I haven't gotten it yet, but I'm hoping and praying it's a stunning lens. But generally speaking it's not a kobrick lens, isn't it? I don't know if it was that specific? Well no he did. The Barry Lyndon one is the think a ridiculous like 15 to 250. Like it's insane. But I think it was an engineer. And but oh wait,

Alan Besedin 1:09:39
I think I think he actually used my 12 to 12 to 14. I had engineer 12 to 1214 I think that's the one he used.

Alex Ferrari 1:09:51
Well, whatever he uses is fine with me. I'm trying to I'm trying to build my same set that he thing.

Alan Besedin 1:09:56
I think you're safe to go with most of this engineered lenses and expect to, you know, get pretty interesting images out of them.

Alex Ferrari 1:10:06
Right? So I was the reason I was saying is like I got it specifically for my my black, the pocket camera knowing that that lens was built for that sensor size, but the cost to buy that lens today is trying to get that kind of and your new quality from from that kind of focal length zoom. today to get that same on a 35 you're talking about 10s of 1000s of dollars, yes,

Alan Besedin 1:10:37
probably 30,000 obviously, it will be different, much, much more superior optically, of course, and you know, all other things that come with it, you know, build quality. And, of course, the price obviously is so different is beyond,

Alex Ferrari 1:10:56
it's under 500 I mean, you can get a really brilliantly nice mid shape one for

Alan Besedin 1:11:02
under 500 bystolic, my 12 to 120. The same one that you got, I sold it for $100 to someone because it had some imperfections. I just kind of passed it on someone else. And I was kind of beating myself up afterwards, you should have been beat up.

Alex Ferrari 1:11:19
Yes, that's my friend that you That was a gift.

Alan Besedin 1:11:23
Yeah, but at the same time, I kind of don't mind because I, you know, it kind of sounds

Alex Ferrari 1:11:29
you spreading the word?

Alan Besedin 1:11:31
Yeah, I know, it kind of sounds like, like, No, I don't know, I'm talking myself, but I do like the idea of, of kind of passing it on. And, you know, spreading the word and, and kind of, you know,

Alex Ferrari 1:11:49
an evangelist

Alan Besedin 1:11:50
sheep's brain, you know, connections with people and I know, they will come back to me one day, you know, the same person might want to buy some other lands that I sell off the wards where, you know, it might be better price for me, you know, just kind of thing sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but I think if, if it's something that some another person will enjoy, it's likely that you know, you have created a loyal relationship and they you know, and, and, and you actually help someone explore, you know, lenses that you're passionate about.

Alex Ferrari 1:12:22
I mean, I tell you just from the short I've been probing into the vintage lenses, like seriously for a couple months now doing insane amounts of research much of it on your website. And and I've already started building relationships with lens manufacturers and and you know, had marked Matthew do close on this on the on the on the podcast as well. And we were building a relationship and working together on stuff and it's all because of glass. It's It's It's pretty, it's a pretty magical thing. And I always tell people, it's it's kind of like a paintbrush, like you're buying different paint brushes, too.

Alan Besedin 1:13:00
I think it's a paintbrush. More than anything else, at least in the camera side of things. You know, lighting obviously is, of course, amazing tool that a lot of newbies ignore. I know how long I ignored it for taking it for granted. Thinking lean, I kind of just need to light things up. And that's it. And then realizing that there's an art. Yeah, looking at various Hollywood films and thinking, Oh, wait, everything is sharp. And the same is there is no shoulder to feel and yet there's so much depth. How do they do this? You know, all this? Oh, it's lighting. All the ladies later this part with with the lighting. Five days, when everyone was just shooting at one point for only one I was charged, and that I was already out of focus. And I'm guilty of that, as well. Right, right, fall into that trend. And we all kind of so many people thought this is the thing, you know, that's that's what that's the thing, cinematic image? And it's not, you know, so that obviously, you can't just rely on lenses, right? Well, or just on lighting. Now, why is the camera side goes? I think lenses give you so much to your final image. You know more than camera 100% like so many people say who really know their stuff, including Matt Lucas probably will say the same thing. You know, buy in owning maybe building on knowing a set of lenses, you know, especially if you're going to buy one, it's much more important to buy a set of lenses that you really connect with and that you're passionate about then you know buying a camera because While cameras always upgrade, I think, you know, if you're trying to establish yourself as a person with a certain look, certain thing, lenses definitely give much more than then a camera, you know? Is it our Alexa? Or is it red epic? You know, with a good grade. A lot of people will not be able to tell. But a lens, you know how much it adds to the to either of those cameras? It's like I said before, it's not something that you can genuinely mimicking post.

Alex Ferrari 1:15:40
No, no, absolutely. And I think it's one of the best investments in gear you can make is lenses, because they don't generally lose value, generally speaking over the, I mean, we're still we're still selling and buying lenses from 60 years ago.

Alan Besedin 1:15:58
Yeah. And they were and whenever someone tells me, how is the build quality of that lens? And I'm like, well, it lasted for 3040 years before me. So I'm, it's quite safe to say that the build quality is good.

Alex Ferrari 1:16:13
Right? You know, I'm not sure a lot of these plastic lenses that are being made today are going to be around 50 years from now. Yeah, you know, but there is that that magic to it. It was Matthew was telling me the story of subbies, the amazing cinematographer, legendary cinematographer who told him hey, I want you to rehouse these bald stars for me. And he's like, what and and Matthew actually said, why would you want me to do this? These glasses? This glass is old. It's like 60 year old glass and it's not like it's garbage. Why would you want that? Because I just like to look at them. And so he did. And the second he, he made his he shot I forgot what movie it was with it. But it was a big Hollywood movie shot with the ball stars and it gave it a look that you just could not replicate without them. Like there's nothing you could do moderately to to to do what those lenses did. He told me that set of Duke of ball tires did not stay in. He was rented every day for three years. Like it did not stop. Even now it's just it's in the gear and I saw airy came out with their vintage lens. Vintage lens line for 70 mil or 8k. Yeah, it's like the medium format like but there was it's vintage. So they take vintage glass. Yeah,

Alan Besedin 1:17:35
yeah, I thought a few years when there was when Arri Alexa 65. The big the big, bigger sensor one came out. I saw that again. Also at the show in UK, they were just starting with the idea. On their stand on the Irish stand. I saw a Zeiss Jenna medium format lens. Or just with the SPL mount. Yeah. But still not rehoused. But they were already kind of playing with ODI going back to Oh, you know, maybe we should start recording some of those older lenses. And I guess what you saw a good one, well be in some of the lenses that just a few years ago, were, you know, maybe $100 lens to handle and because no one was using them anymore.

Alex Ferrari 1:18:31
Right. And now their $1,000 lens.

Alan Besedin 1:18:34
And and yeah, I did not invest into that particular set of lessons because I didn't see any need for medium format lenses in my collection. And I think the prices on medium format lenses are now becoming higher and higher, just because we're now again, seeing the trend for biggest sensor cameras. Like the cameras, you know, we can only have so many case in cameras and latitude on this, that and they're looking at, you know, what, what's the next thing that we can do? Because they have to sell cameras? You know, right. Something more, so I'm sure we are moving towards bigger and bigger sensors.

Alex Ferrari 1:19:16
10 12k like, why

Alan Besedin 1:19:19
bigger case and bigger size of the sensor? Yeah, I think that's the next thing. You know, when we were seeing still cameras with bigger with like medium sensors coming out becoming a bit more affordable, more and more companies kind of going back to that size. And, again, we're seeing red, going towards, you know, this division fullframe obviously, Ari have their own offering, and I'm sure we will start seeing this big and bigger sensors from other companies so well. You never know. Blackmagic might jump on That shape and come out with a full frame camera and again, that will give them so much popularity and you know, reach. No, there's never there's never a bad time to invest in TV interference, I would say that friends move in, they the price will only go off. So like you said, it's a great investment.

Alex Ferrari 1:20:22
And one of the few things you can actually invest in, in the film industry that actually will pay you back. cameras. Exactly, definitely that cameras. So, a couple more questions before, before we go. What is the best bang for the buck when it comes to vintage glass in your opinion, like if you were going to, like man for the money, this it's not my man, that'd be the best piece of glass obviously. But for the money you can't go wrong.

Alan Besedin 1:20:54
Generally, I I go with Canon FD lenses. And I have like a buyer's guide on the website where I'm looking at various because Canon FD range is so massive, there's like there are a few versions of each lens like there's 28 millimeter you can buy it in the F two and F 2.8 and F 3.5. There's a 50 millimeter there's many many steps of that lens and and so on every focal range has lots of choices. There are so many focal choices there are some zooms so and they're in a massively affordable and available pretty much everywhere in the world because kind of brand you know, always was a big brand. Right?

Alex Ferrari 1:21:46
But that's the one you stay away from EF mounts right?

Alan Besedin 1:21:49
Yes, unfortunately Yes. Again, if you own EF mount camera this is probably not the choice but for everyone else. I always say you know check out Canon lenses because they have been sort of underrated and the image quality combined with a bit of nice character it's just a great combination that you can use for most work not just for your projects that need you know that vintage character they are nice enough optically for you to take it on a corporate job or something like that. You know they don't usually say all use hideous wood for two for everything because you can't use it for everything. You take it on a corporate job and it will be like you know what the hell for this year you know, right

Alex Ferrari 1:22:37
right right right yeah, you shooting an infomercial with it's gonna be a very

Alan Besedin 1:22:42
interesting I have a claim that you know, the vintage lenses or like Helios is the lens for everything you know, there is the right lens for the right job and what I recommend something as a general usually, Canon FD is the set of lenses that I recommend that you can use for more things. If you are on EF camera, then I will generate recommend Zeiss Gen lenses because they are m 42 mount and you can use them on pretty much everything and this as affordable escandon empty and they have nice sharpness, they have nice,

Alex Ferrari 1:23:23
their full frame

Alan Besedin 1:23:24
contrast their full frame, they have vibrant colors, and still enough character. And then if you someone on slightly higher level and you want to use again have a set that you can use for pretty much anything. The next step is the Carl Zeiss contacts These are some of the highest end stills lenses that are becoming more and more popular with the senior world just because of how incredible they are optically.

Alex Ferrari 1:24:02
What is it like what is it what is a 20 mil or a 35 or 50 mil run generally speaking so people understand

Alan Besedin 1:24:10
well again, there is a good why contacts size is a good option is because again you have a nice range of lenses that you can choose from so f 35 2.8 is fairly affordable it's I think around 250 I know it's not I don't it's not super cheap for vintage lens. But for Zeiss lens it's a really good price. Oh

Alex Ferrari 1:24:36
my god try to get a try to get a Zeiss CP two you're talking about a $2,000 excuse me, no. What am I talking about three to $5,000 the pack,

Alan Besedin 1:24:49
but even even even size, you know, like just like slightly upgraded Zeiss lenses like I think Effie Steel syringe even they apparently they are mostly based on size contacts, lenses, while some of them anyway and they run you know at much higher price. So if you have a little bit more cash spend, you know, you're serious about you know earning money from from your filming and you want to set that, you know, you can take on pretty much any job, then sighs contacts is definitely one of my highest recommendations. The only other brand that I haven't explored at all yet is the Leica R. It's the only other option that is even slightly more high end than last contact. They're expensive, but they're expensive, just on their rate in terms of popularity and respect. Yeah, but it's much more affordable. And there are more options to choose from. You know, there are a lot there's like a 20, a 2.8. There's a 35 2.8 there's an incredible 51.7, which might not sound special, but it's incredible optically. There's an 85 2.8 and a 135 2.8. So they might not sound super fast, but again, combine them with a speed booster. And you've got yourself a super nice set for probably not that much more than $1,000. That's ridiculous. A bit more than than Zeiss Jenner, but not that much more.

Alex Ferrari 1:26:33
And what is the sharpest vintage lens you've ever tested?

Alan Besedin 1:26:38
mildly? funnily enough, one of the sharpest inserts that I've used is AB Rita, and VSI. On Brian is that

Alex Ferrari 1:26:47
I love avatars. I have mine. I got 135 it is gorgeous.

Alan Besedin 1:26:52
Yeah, they are so underrated. I actually forgot to talk about them. Because even I forget about them.

Alex Ferrari 1:26:58
They're Japanese, they're Japanese lens company.

Alan Besedin 1:27:02
Lenses. This is the brand, one of the main brands that never actually design their own lenses. They used, I think, almost 20 different manufacturers to make lenses for them. So the problem will be the time there is a massive inconsistency because only certain brands produced incredible gems. And some other brands produced very general soft tissue lenses. So unless you really research review the tires. You know you can buy one and be disappointed and kind of forget about the brand because you didn't know that. You know it's not it's not as much as about the brand as about who made the lens for that brand. So there is a Vivitar 90 millimeter 2.5 micron. And that was made by tokina. Akina then made that lens under their own brand as well. But I think they started by just making it for Vivitar. And that that is a cult classic lens. So if you look it on, look it up on Google, there are some forms where, you know, people just go crazy about it, because it's so incredibly sharp microlens in general, are sharper than other lenses. So they generally are grateful portrayed for anything we need, like really nice, crisp image. But that lens has not only has great sharpness wide open, but it also has super smooth bokeh, not warily, but rather a super creamy, pleasant bokeh that can be exactly what's needed for, you know, I started to think that you should do

Alex Ferrari 1:28:56
And that was the Vivitar. 92 point

Alan Besedin 1:28:58
92.5 made by tokina. Macro, and it's all even has a nickname book malkina. Because you know, it's known for its amazing, bulky, and the way to recognize which visitor lens you want, is by the serial number. So each lens starts with a serial number. First, the digits will tell you what manufacturer made the lens, it's very easy to just kind of type in Vivitar serial numbers on Google, and there is a list. So you generally want to look out for those known brands like tequila made, made some. There's some others like he can have precision, which are the least known, but again, I have some reviews on my website, where I look at various rebuttal lenses and that's how you can kind of pick up the The brands that the better ones and some other brands that maybe you want to avoid. So, yeah,

Alex Ferrari 1:30:08
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.

And which out of all the lunch you've tested has the most character or film like property? You know, you know which one I want to say. If you want to say it, it's okay to say it. Film like why did you? Cuz I mean, some of these like the the Swiss star, the Ken, the Ken, bollard,

Alan Besedin 1:30:48
Swiss are thinking about the engineer's 1768.

Alex Ferrari 1:30:52
That is gorgeous. The engineers are gorgeous. talea.

Alan Besedin 1:30:54
Yeah, I was actually thinking about that lens, how, how much I enjoyed, you know, the image that was coming out of it, but I then know that it's a very specific kind of lens, you know, you can't use the full frame you can use on SuperFerry five. So, you know, generally, I would say, you know, try the Helios 44. Two and, you know, discover it's magic. It's not the lens for everything. But, you know, you will easily find a project where you might just want to shoot whole thing with that lens, you know, like a music video a little like, commercial or some fly by somebody with RT, maybe not without any real story, but some of where you just wanted to look beautiful. And you know, this is definitely less.

Alex Ferrari 1:31:39
And real quick, I just wanted to ask your opinion on because if people are still listening, that means they're into what we're talking about. So, because this is God log, and I think we've geeked out pretty heavily on on lenses. We could keep going on. And we could talk for another two or three hours. I

Alan Besedin 1:31:56
mean, I have what we'll need to do with some get some more questions, maybe on some feedback that you might

Alex Ferrari 1:32:03
exactly know the the Super takamura Is that the way you pronounce it?

Alan Besedin 1:32:08
A super sack Kumar, I think it's how, yeah, but a but I wouldn't say that you're wrong, because I've never actually heard anyone pronounce it now.

Alex Ferrari 1:32:21
I call it supertech amaura.

Alan Besedin 1:32:23
I know, and I'm not gonna I'm not gonna say this wrong, because I'm not saying I'm wrong. The idea is that this is the thing with some of those instances, you kind of don't even know how to pronounce some of the names because no one no one anymore kind of talks about them. So right. Like why Yeah, exactly. The names are open to interpretation,

Alex Ferrari 1:32:44
the, the Super takumar Ah, I got the 50. And,

Alan Besedin 1:32:48
okay, the 51.4. Yes,

Alex Ferrari 1:32:50
it is super sharp. I was blown away how beautiful it looked.

Alan Besedin 1:32:56
It's it's another one of those called classics, that has a massive following. There is a group on Facebook called indulgence video. Which is the group that I started a long time ago.

Alex Ferrari 1:33:14
On Facebook. Yeah, absolutely.

Alan Besedin 1:33:16
Yes. And I decided to create a poll of people commenting and, you know, adding their lenses as to, you know, what is their favorite lens. So, you know, people were able to add their lens, and then other people could check, you know, the box and get more votes, you know, for the length. And, obviously Helios 44 two was by a massive margin, the most popular lens, you know, probably going over 100 volts, but the next second popular lens was actually the, the superior tacuma 50 millimeter 1.4. Because I think everyone who tries that lens, absolutely falls in love with that lens. It's, it's also good.

Alex Ferrari 1:34:04
It's so good. I took it out, just start taking some stills with my daughters. And I was, I was like, What the heck is that? I was, I was just

Alan Besedin 1:34:14
recently, but I also took it out on a day out and the smoothness that you know how pleasant the image is, out of that level. It's gorgeous. It's and I paid like 40 bucks. Yeah, 50 bucks for it. It was i'm not i'm not going to claim that, you know, you're not going to get that smallness out of some modern lenses.

Alex Ferrari 1:34:39
You know, whenever 40 or 50 bucks

Alan Besedin 1:34:41
40 bucks for the lens. Exactly. If that's, you know, you don't need to there's no, there's no massive risk in it. And chances are you'll probably sell it for at least 50 maybe 100 you know,

Alex Ferrari 1:34:54
depending on how Yeah, exactly.

Alan Besedin 1:34:55
And depending on the condition depending how long we have it and you know, sort stances but you will never lose anything on on on that lens and most editions, you know, so it's such a low risk investment. You know, you can you can keep exploring and just seeing what whatever works for you.

Alex Ferrari 1:35:14
And, and that's the thing, again of why I wanted to have you on the show is I really wanted filmmakers to understand that buying glass is not out of Route out of your reach anymore. Because a lot of filmmakers like man, I can't afford to buy my own lenses. Well, this is a great way to kind of experiment, go hunting, go searching for that gem that no one's really heard of, and shoot something with it. And then you can go deep down this rabbit hole as, as Alan and I need to

Alan Besedin 1:35:47
say to a lot of people who got into a situation. You know, this is great. Careful, because no, you know, on my last count, I had 245 lenses.

Alex Ferrari 1:35:59
Wow, wow, it was 100. Before last time you said it was

Alan Besedin 1:36:03
there was a count that I decided I need to reduce my collection. And I went through all my lenses and kind of tried to count them. So you know, more or less that that number. And I've been kind of trying to, you know, to bring it down, even though this is the thing for me, you know, this is this is what I'm about? I'm you know, I'm so passionate. I'm I'm like self proclaimed ambassador for Windows lenses. Yeah, sure. But, you know, it's not, it's not impossible to get to where I am, I know some people who have as many. And, you know, there is no need for so many lenses. I know. Like my one, my only excuse is that I review them, I compare them. Now I write about them. A few of them, you know, to put them together so that but even I know that, you know, I don't need to have that many. So I've been trying to kind of come down to numbers, and to anyone who is getting into the, to the habit of just buying up every lens they don't have yet. Because they're so cheap, I would say you know, try to concentrate on sets. You know, if you like super documents, or if you like my course, just, you know, try to just build on that. And you know, go with the same set. You know, yes, when the sounds are great, but they have all of them have such different look and subject and character, that if you take out a bunch of different witnesses on one job, chances are, you're gonna end up with some mess, because your mid shot will have lots of flair and low contrast. And then your wide shot will have much cold image and maybe high contrast. And try great in that post. So that's why you want to ideally you want to concentrate on sticking with one brand. And building on that and then only having you know those few extra special lenses like the Helios 44. Two, if you decided you don't want to go with a Russian set, just get the Helios 44 to for those special occasions, or maybe the special sequence the dream sequence the Yeah, or maybe have a micro that's a different brand. Because you will only use it for the micro shot.

Alex Ferrari 1:38:19
Or like an optic like the Synoptic. Yeah, that's

Alan Besedin 1:38:21
an optic very special lens. That's I think what I said in my review, it's like the dream sequence lens, because it's so far from perfect, but it's so special that you know, there is there is a sequence somewhere where it will be absolutely perfect.

Alex Ferrari 1:38:36
Yeah, it's called Clockwork Orange. Exactly. You know, yeah, it's it depends on it depends on the filmmaker and what you can use. It's a, it's a paintbrush, you give a paintbrush to Picasso, you give a paintbrush to me, it's gonna be two different pictures. Two different paintings

Alan Besedin 1:38:50
this way, it's just No, it's just don't, because that's what happened. That's what happened to me. Don't just buy every bargain that you see, because there will be a lot in the entertainment world. So God like it to start with buy some, but then kind of try to figure out what you like most. And you know, concentrate in that direction.

Alex Ferrari 1:39:14
I'm using your excuse, I'm going to start reviewing them and talking about them and nothing wrong with it. There's my excuse.

Alan Besedin 1:39:22
That'll be my eventually you will get your money back and probably will even make some money. Like most likely you'll make some money on the lenses that you bought like a year ago. Yeah. But while they are in your possession, it can feel a bit daunting that you have spent so much money you know, and you're not using them every day.

Alex Ferrari 1:39:43
Right right

Alan Besedin 1:39:45
on the shelf. And you'll be like, you know, this is cool, but I also feel so guilty.

Alex Ferrari 1:39:51
Yeah, well, I with my canoptek the 5.7 I don't think I'm gonna ever sell it because I'm a Cooper fanatic and just to know That I have something that even is remotely capable of getting an image that even remotely look like anything that Kubrick ever shot. And not, not not even that I could even serve him T. But as a filmmaker, I could even serve him T. But just to know that that lens is so special, is when I probably will hold on to for a long, long time. And I got and I was lucky enough to get a mint, like as men literally off the factory floor.

Alan Besedin 1:40:27
Oh, that's awesome, because with them, it's tough. You know, the massive front element. People who look into that lens, they will they will see how interesting that lenses their fun element is massive and completely flat. Yes. And it's not really protected by much. Nope, so easy to have that crotch then obviously being a vintage lens.

Alex Ferrari 1:40:48
How old is it? How old? How old is that lens? By the way? Do you know,

Alan Besedin 1:40:51
man, it's like 50s, probably around 50 or 50 years easily is you know, it's like that old vintage lens. She's.

Alex Ferrari 1:41:00
And then the other thing I wanted to talk real quick about guys listening, when you go down this rabbit hole of vintage lenses and it can get stupid as it's gotten with me and Alan, when you start getting into like 100 year old lenses, and building custom rigs to be able to focus 100 year old lenses. And this is the little voice in your head. I'm sure you have the same guy in your head. Like, what if I got that? I wonder what that would look like, if I can make that work? Maybe I could shoot something that no one has ever seen before?

Alan Besedin 1:41:33
Yes. There are people on the Winterfell twitter facebook group that do that kind of thing. Yeah, I have folks in helicoil that, you know, they they put like this lens that called Magic lanterns basically. No, even the name This takes you back. Right? Like some of the first lenses that ever existed. Right? And obviously, the image is very unique. But yeah, it's, uh, thankfully, there were few occasions where I wanted to buy one. You know, I'm just so glad you know, because, yes, yes, you will create something special. But I think you probably are fine, just kind of sticking with the 50 year old lenses. Now you're going deep in then you start getting I mean that they are they have been to China, you know? Yeah, I know. It's, I guess no limit as far as how you know how you can go. But then you like to go first lens there exist and kind of make them work on modern cameras. But is it worth in terms of practicality and really use? You know, 50 5030 year old vintage lenses are still totally usable. They have, they still have nice folks and rings, or maybe you know, some of them need to be serviced. But mostly, they're still very capable wear lenses that go, you know, let's say over 50 years old, and now older. You know, this is something where you just can't do more for fun. Because they will genuinely be impractical. You will have to modify that. Oh, no, it's insane. And

Alex Ferrari 1:43:08
imagine and then then you start getting into the other lenses, like the projection lenses and oh,

Alan Besedin 1:43:13
oh, don't talk to me Our projectors, because we'll be here for another two hours. You know, I don't get into projection lenses. But when we haven't touched the anamorphic lens world, yeah. Oh, once you kind of have to get into projection lenses. Even if you're a guy like me, who doesn't really going to try twice to kind of stick with ready vintage lenses. Yeah, yeah. What?

Alex Ferrari 1:43:44
Yeah, we haven't even talked about anamorphic. And that, yeah, I started. It's the massive subject. I started to dip my toe into it. And then I was like, yeah, I'm out. I can't do this right now.

Alan Besedin 1:43:57
It's sort of like the low end of it. It's sort of like, like using those 100 year old lenses. Yeah, that's how you're wired get to get clubs, and you need to, like fuck, with your taking lens and your projection lens. It gets crazy. And people do it. And I've done it just because they lost after that. You know, on a morphic game, each of those flares, they, they really want to experience them. And they either can't afford to rent because you basically can't afford to buy them like unless you look super high end. But a lot of people can't even afford to rent anamorphic lenses, you know, so the only way to try them is to grab those projection lenses, you know, put them into this crazy rig. And you can get really cool results but so impractical. It's very much.

Alex Ferrari 1:44:50
So let me give you the last three questions and I'll let you go man, because you've given us a tremendous amount of your time. So I truly appreciate it. Alan, what advice would you give a filmmaker just jumping into the Business besides buy vintage lenses.

Alan Besedin 1:45:03
Okay? Okay. I think as you start start out, you have to make little sacrifices, yet some sacrifices, financial sacrifices, you have to shoot a lot for free, just to build connections. Fortunately, in filmmaking world, most of the people you will meet on a set are your friends, they are not your competition, like you will meet a sound guy, you will meet a producer, you will meet this, you know, like so many other people who will, if you have made a good impression and have done a good job, you are not a douchebag, you know, you're a nice person, most likely, when someone comes along, they might either refer you or call you, because you are not their competition they might need you know, so, you know, when I was first starting out, I had to do a lot of, you know, short films, and, you know, all of your projects where there was no money in it, but it gave me a great way to practice and also to meet so many people who, you know, at much later stage, maybe two years down the line, they were like, Oh, you know, that there's, there's this job that someone is, you know, someone needs the camera guy for, you know, do you want to do it, and I never knew, but back on that project, which was completely free. And, you know, I was giving my time I was making money. I didn't know I'm, I'm gonna make any money down the line. But, you know, believe in, in the concept of building relationships, and, you know, creating solid connections, you know, will most likely, you know, take you much further down the line. And I think staying humble as you grow and remembering, you know, the people you worked with, when you start is very important, because you never know where people are going. Oh, yeah. You know, someone who is just starting out,

Alex Ferrari 1:47:11
will give you a job in a few years. Yeah,

Alan Besedin 1:47:13
they might become a great director, some something like that in five years time. And if you are again, because they're still not there, like, you already go to the next level, and, you know, like out, you know, I'm not I'm not I'm not into this stuff anymore. You know, you can be nice about it at the very least, you know, exactly. Because he never, he never know, you know, overstay always they kind of humble and, and nice to people, especially the ones that you started with, because they most likely helped you build up your relationship in in the community and build up your show reel. More importantly,

Alex Ferrari 1:47:48
now, what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life?

Alan Besedin 1:47:56
That is probably a matter for different podcasts? Anyway, but in business, I wouldn't, I wouldn't. Like it kind of takes me back to do want to take about the business part or the creative part.

Alex Ferrari 1:48:17
I think business because we always talk a lot about the creative, but I really would love to talk about business. Because if you have a lesson that you've learned in business, and the business side of the film business, that would be probably helpful.

Alan Besedin 1:48:29
Okay, I should have read your questions beforehand. Question. Think it's it, you know, not to take, you know, anything for granted. Like, it's always gonna be there. And goes, goes with life as well. It's just, you know, you always have to be on your toes, networking and looking out for opportunity to stay in touch with people. Because if you become too comfortable, the tongue might come when work dries up, and you suddenly don't have anywhere to turn to and you have to start from the start. I've had such experience with with my work where I became very comfortable working for one company was providing no more than 50% of my income and then oh, yeah, suddenly, you know, they're gone. And that that kind of went into different direction. And, and suddenly I find myself thinking, you know, you know, what do I do next, you know, so always, you know, spread out, spread out your work and your connections so that you're not relying on one thing. Because, in business, any business is really important to you. have, you know your options? Open in case that one source of income dries up. And if you don't have anything else, then you know you're screwed. diverse. Just have to work and go and work in a restaurant or coffee shop. And you're no longer doing what you love and film business. Just because you know, you didn't.

Alex Ferrari 1:50:24
Didn't diversify, diversify. Yeah, multiple revenue streams, multiple revenue streams from multiple different sources. So if something drops,

Alan Besedin 1:50:33
I think that I think that's what I'm still learning I'm still trying to do because most of us in filmmaking world are self employed, you know, like freelance. So we, there is never a consistency. So you always have to keep hustlin like, You're both your website is cold.

Alex Ferrari 1:51:00
Always hustle baby always know. Yeah, that's the thing. Now, what are three and three of your favorite films of all time?

Alan Besedin 1:51:10
Oh, man, actually, strangely enough. Whenever I think of clockworks orange, I'm always like, you know, this is something else. And I'm not. And and, and I'm not a person that is into violent film. So you'd like that?

Alex Ferrari 1:51:27
genuinely? oddly enough. But oddly enough, if we want to talk about Clockwork Orange, it's oddly not that violent. Yeah, compared to television today.

Alan Besedin 1:51:39
All the decisions today, don't get me started. I know. You know, and whatever. You know, I'm not judging anyone, but I'm not particularly into violence. I, you know, doesn't bring out anything in me was default, I don't think it generally brings me brings out anything in people other than taking maybe some frustration out of certain individuals where, you know, they might feel frustrated and television kinda, you know, maybe lets them get it out somehow in the system. I don't know. Yeah, I don't, I don't change in law. firms that concentrate on violence like that, but that's just a masterpiece, you know, just so much wanted, I love films that have the, you know, have a bit more to the story. You know, things that you sometimes need to read every time you watch film, you find something new little details, you know. And I think Clockwork Orange is one of those films that every time I'll watch it. Because I don't want I don't see that often. But every time I would see it, it will be like almost like watching for the first time. Yep,

Alex Ferrari 1:52:51
exactly. That's one of those movies is just like, in the what he does in the first 20 minutes alone is more than filmmakers doing their career.

Alan Besedin 1:53:01
Yeah, it's insane. Yeah, I know. And actually, one other film that I really love is oblivion. And I know that I enjoyed the film, people don't like it at all, some people, you know, love it. For me. I do love the story of it. But for me, I really loved the cinematography of that film.

Alex Ferrari 1:53:29
He's the director, and that dp did a really great job with the cinematography and oblivion was beautiful.

Alan Besedin 1:53:35
Yeah, I just, you know, it kind of really, you know, made me made me research, you know, you know, that feeling to be, you know, how did they show it? You know, what lenses do they use and stuff like that? I think they mostly use more than classmate cardi Miranda relief His name is he he's one of those cinematographers who actually likes to use the interest lens once in a while, which was nice to, to hear, you know, especially on like, you know, shooting female skin tones. Yes. Explain how it flattens the, you know, the look of you know, how Female Actor actors almost, if they know about it stuff, they sometimes, you know, request certain lenses like that is used for that because of how nice it is. So, yeah, it whenever filmic does that to me where I want to research more, you know, go deeper into it, and again, inspires me that's, so it's a good sign,

Alex Ferrari 1:54:43
and where can people find you?

Alan Besedin 1:54:46
Okay, so, the main hub is the vintage lenses for video.com. That's the website. But I'm also on pretty much every social network. There is Maybe apart from Snapchat, I tried it and didn't work for my format. But but on Instagram, it's another great place to check winter census video out because I tried to post something every single day, where with the website? I usually do like one two reviews per month.

Alex Ferrari 1:55:23
Yes, I'm very upset about that, by the way.

Alan Besedin 1:55:26
That's, you know, I can only blame business for that. Yes, I

Alex Ferrari 1:55:30
know, I don't feel it, brother. Trust me, I don't

Alan Besedin 1:55:32
make money online. And I have to spend my time trying to make a living, which is, again, another place where can be found this Patreon. If you guys want me to produce more content, you want to see more vintage lens reviews and stuff like that, then check out an innocence for your Patreon page, because this is one of the only ways how I can try and spend more time to bring out exciting content. And it's completely it's completely the thing that you just kind of do it if you want, you know, I I never tried to sell anything to people, if they want to help. They help if they want to just enjoy it for free. That's fine. I will still try to keep doing it as much as I can.

Alex Ferrari 1:56:16
I element Thank you so much. I'll put all those links in the show description. But man, I really this, this interview has gone out of control. We went we went it's we're getting close to two hours already. which inspired by oddly enough, not the longest interview I've ever done. But we definitely went deep down the rabbit hole of vintage glass. And I really appreciate you taking the time out man

Alan Besedin 1:56:40
To be on your show. It's the first experience doing something like that. And definitely very enjoyable, because I will never pass on an opportunity to geek out.

Alex Ferrari 1:56:50
Appreciate it, brother. Thanks, Alan.

Alan Besedin 1:56:52
Thank you.

Alex Ferrari 1:56:53
Well, if you want to know about vintage lenses, you definitely know more now than you did when you first started listening to this podcast. It Again, it's kind of changed my perspective on how I I shoot things, how I do things. I've really dug deep into lenses. And because they're essentially your paintbrush, they are your paintbrush. When you're making a film, as a cinematographer, as a director, as a hybrid of the two, they can impart a signature look on a film or on your style as a cinematographer or as a director. And they don't have to cost 10s of 1000s of dollars to do so. Especially when you're starting out also, especially when you are trying to create you're trying to set yourself apart from the pack. If everyone else is shooting with the same old glass that everybody else is shooting, and you pick up something that's 50 years old, put it on the certain camera color grade in a certain way, and you've got a very unique look. Well, hell, man that's gonna make you stand apart from everybody else. At the end of the day, though, it's always about story. It's always about how these paint brushes, tell your story. I'm not telling you that if you go out and buy these lenses, you're gonna have a better movie, you're gonna have a better looking movie, maybe a more unique looking movie. But at the end of the day, it's always about story. And also don't forget that just because you someone could give me a $2,000 paintbrush, that is the most amazing paintbrush ever created in existence and gave me a canvas and some paint. And I guarantee you it's I'm not going to be able to paint anything even remotely close to what Van Gogh or Dolly or any of the Masters did. Okay, so it's not about the tools. But if you're good at what you do, those tools can bring a unique perspective to your work as an artist and as a filmmaker. And again, guys, please don't forget to head over to iTunes and preorder This is mag comm at this is mag comm forward slash iTunes, it's really going to help out the cause a lot. And I really am excited to let sit to get it out there for you guys. And and for you guys to see it and let me know what you think. And I can't wait to start talking about the next projects I've got going on and what's in store for indie film hustle and how I'm going to be changing a bunch of stuff and adding a bunch of cool stuff to it in the future as well as what I'm going to be doing with the indie film syndicate and how we're going to be making that better as well as a membership community that we have. So stay tuned guys, there's a lot of stuff coming. And guys, if you haven't checked out my YouTube page, definitely hit that head over there. Go to indie film hustle.com forward slash YouTube and you'll be able to subscribe and check out all the videos I'm going to be putting out on YouTube. These these vintage lens test I'm going to be doing as well as some other cool things that I have in store for you guys. So definitely go on YouTube, subscribe, and so you can stay up to date with all things indie film, hustle. And as always keep that hustle going keep that dream alive and I'll talk to you soon.

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