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Quality vs Efficiency

For the last several months I’ve been battling the temptations of upgrading some of my equipment. I know for a fact that I want to make a change, more specifically in the lens department. God knows I am all over cinema glass. They’re simply much better in quality sharpness, contrast and color. However, they’re much more expense then your typical DSLR-type lenses from Sony and Canon. Don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with shooting with regular electronic lenses. But the idea of shooting with beautiful, crispier cinema glass is what has me going nuts. There’s just something about cinema hardware that just get’s me satisfied while shooting. Every time I see the price tag it automatically has me thinking about how I can make that happen. Even though I understand that I DON’T need it, I can’t help but dream of having it. This is a stigma that plagues us gear-heads. So how do we overcome this?

Truth be told, I really don’t need to buy anymore equipment for a very long time. I’m talking about expensive equipment like cameras, lenses and basically anything $1000 and higher. I have pretty much everything that I need to get my work done and then some. Cameras, lenses, lights stands, audio, accessories, software, etc. Anything I buy at this point would be for one of two reasons, higher quality or efficiency. For a while I’ve been all about the efficiency. I’ve made purchases for equipment that’ll allow me to get my work done the way I need to get it done. My gear allows me to work smoother on set. I’ve gotten pretty comfortable working this way and for the past 6 months have been pretty good working in this manner. It’s because of this that I’ve now been considering new equipment to up the quality of my work. 

This brings me to the back and forth with the lenses and an example to all that guides these kinds of choices. For the most part, I work as a documentary filmmaker. At least it’s how I maneuver. 85% of the time I am working by myself. Although cinema glass is obviously ridiculously gorgeous. However, it’ll not only make a big dent in my wallet, it’ll slow me down significantly. I love my Tilta follow focus. It’s so buttery smooth. But it is really big and heavy and requires my rig to have a baseplate and 15mm rods attached. This weight will continue to accumulate and eventually my back will start feeling the effects when shooting handheld as I most often am. All this for a better lens. I’ve always preferred to be able to capture what’s needed, even if it is slightly lower glass quality, then to have small amounts of amazingly good footage. Make sense?

I hope I was able to shed some light into this battle of quality over efficiency. To know when it’s appropriate to acquire yourself certain camera gear for your work. And of course I have to mention this at some point because I know someone will mention it for me; this is all subject to my work. It is my personal way of going about my productions. Everyone is subject to their own opinions on this matter. That being said, I hope this information helped some of you. See you on the next one!

Ariel MartinezComment