Kitplus - The TV-Bay Magazine

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EQUIPMENT record button is being pressed and I’m checking framing and focus. Then it’s a case of shooting while trying to judge the exact motion of the storm and tornado to figure out how long you’ve got before you need to run away. One of the key things I learnt early on doing this is that you really need good quality kit and it has to work flawlessly every time. You can’t skimp on anything. The tripod has to be quick and easy to use and stable enough to hold a heavy camera in strong winds (I use a Miller Compass 15 head on carbon fibre Solo legs). The camera must produce the best possible images, you are risking life and limb to get these shots and there’s no way to re-shoot! I’m currently using a Sony F5 with R5 4K raw recorder. It has to be easy to expose and focus so I use the cameras built in 709(800) LUT with peaking and make use of the High/low key function for rapid exposure checking. The viewfinder must be clear and easy to see even in bright ambient light, so I find a proper enclosed EVF essential. As I need to get both very wide shots and long, tight shots I’m currently using a Tamron 18-270mm DSLR lens. This has a Canon EF mount and is electronically controlled. I even ended up making my own controller for the lens as none of the ones on the market provided me with rapid power up and quick exposure changes. I also make use of the lenses optical stabilization when it gets really windy. It’s not a bad lens and I do get great images from it. I could get slightly better images from prime lenses or from a PL zoom, but there isn’t a lens out there that is as compact, portable, offers a 15x zoom ratio and better images in my opinion. There is no way to change lenses when you only have seconds to get a couple of shots and the air is full of blowing dirt and debris. For power I use PAGLink batteries. These are great as I can stack a couple together on the back of the camera to double the capacity. Again something as simple as having to change a battery can mean missing a valuable shot. In 66 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 103 JULY 2015