Tags accessory-guide, bp7000, cameraarticle, EVF035W3G, kipromini, kipror0, lens-aks, lwz2, movcam, nanoflash, nexfs100, nexfs700, ninja, on-camera-aks, optimo, samurai, sdpix220, sdpix240, sonyarticle, sonyfeaturedarticle, vfm056wp, z-finder, zacuto, zeisscp2, zwiss
Sony’s new NEX-FS700 camera builds upon the success of the NEX-FS100, but adds some much-requested features and a few surprises as well. The feature set is very similar to the FS100, so most lenses and accessories will be fully compatible between the two. In this article, we present the various accessories and lens options that can be used with the camera.
The NEX-FS700 uses Sony’s E Mount, which can be seen in some of the new still cameras. Its first appearance on a video camera was on the Handycam NEX-VG10. Because of the short flange back distance (18mm), the E Mount is well suited for adaption to other lens systems.
Alpha (α) Mount Adapter
The LA-EA2 adapter from Sony allows Alpha mount lenses to be mounted and controlled by the FS700. It passes aperture control from the camera to the lens and also features Auto Exposure and Phase Detect Auto Focus support.
Nikon & Canon FD
Adapters are already available from NovoFlex that allow for Nikon and Canon FD lenses to be mounted to the camera. These adapters are strictly mechanical, so all control functions are handled directly on the lens. The NovoFlex adapter for Nikon lenses feature an iris control ring for Nikon “G” series lenses that does not include aperture control.
Since the launch of the FS100, several companies have released PL adapters for E-mount cameras. 16×9 has an adapter that includes a Cine Lens Bracket for support. Solid Camera’s double lock mount adapter will integrate nicely with the recently announced FS700 studio kit, which is similar to the FS100 studio kit. Solid Camera will also have a stand-alone PL adapter that will work with other baseplate systems via 15mm rods.
Alpha (α) Mount
Several lenses are available in Alpha mount, both from Sony and other manufacturers. There are two zoom lenses from Sony with Zeiss glass that are particularly nice – the 16-35 f/2.8 and the 24-70 f/2.8 offer both speed and range for day-to-day shooting. On the longer end, there is the 70-200 f/2.8 “G” lens from Sony, where the “G” designates Sony’s professional series of lenses. For the prime lovers out there, Sony offers several lenses with Zeiss optics, including the 24mm f/2, 85mm f/1.4 and 135mm f/1.8. There is also a Sony 35mm f/1.4 “G” lens to round out the range. The Alpha mount was inherited from Konica Minolta when Sony purchased their camera division, so you may also find older Alpha mount lenses labeled as “Maxxum” or Minolta AF.
The Sony FS700UK comes with a Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 kit lens, which is also available separately. With Optical Steady Shot image stabilization and a quieter AF motor, the 18-200mm was designed with video shooting in mind. Also available is the Sony 16mm f/2.8 pancake lens.
Zeiss ZF.2 Lenses
Zeiss designed these high quality lenses for the still photography world, but they also work very well for video. These lenses have a Nikon F mount, meaning the MTF or Novoflex Sony E mount to Nikon adapter is required, however, since they are completely manual, no electronics are required. The ZF.2 lenses have manual aperture rings and the focus ring has hard stops, which makes pulling focus much easier. There are many different lenses to choose from including 18mm, 21mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, 50mm macro, 85mm and 100mm. The lenses vary in size and speed, but they all match in terms of color and contrast.
Available in Nikon F or Canon EF mount, the popular Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 is one of the widest zoom lenses available on the market. As a constant aperture lens, the 11-16 f/2.8 and the complimentary 16-28 f/2.8 can be great lenses for those run & gun situations.
Zeiss Compact Primes (CP.2)
The Zeiss CP.2s are lightweight lenses that are affordable and versatile. Built for cinema applications, each features a 14-blade iris and a long focal range. They are also unique in that the lens mount can be changed between PL, Nikon, Sony E, Canon EF and other mounts. The size and weight of these lenses would fit very nicely with the FS700.
Arri Ultra Primes
The Arri Ultra Primes from Zeiss are universally known for their quality, color, contrast and speed. A set of these lenses would be a beautiful addition to the FS700 camera.
Zeiss Light Weight Zoom 2
The Zeiss Light Weight Zoom 2 (LWZ.2) is an incredibly high quality 15.5-45mm T2.6 zoom lens. Like the Compact Primes, it comes in PL, Nikon, Canon and other mounts, and is lightweight at only 4.4 lbs.
Zeiss Compact Zoom CZ.2
Introduced this year at NAB, the new Zeiss Compact Zoom family is designed to complement the CP.2 range. The first lens in the series is the 70-200 T2.9, an 18-blade aperture lens with interchangeable mounts (including Sony E). The CZ.2 will cover full frame cameras (24mm x 36mm), which makes it a versatile option for those shooting with multiple cameras, including full frame HDSLRs.
Angenieux Optimo DP Rouge Zoom Lenses
Angenieux designed the DP Rouge Zoom Lenses specifically for digital cinema cameras. There are two lenses in this series, a 16-42mm T2.8 and a 30-80mm T2.8. Angenieux lenses are known for their quality, and these two are no exception.
There are multiple ways to build up the FS700 with Zacuto parts. We have tested the FS700 with their Z-Focus, Mini baseplate, and Zwiss plate. Zacuto’s mini baseplate is a tried and true system, although the larger Universal baseplate would also work well. A battery plate or external recorder can be attached to the Zwiss plate, which could also function as a counter balance. Zacuto also has a couple of kits already put together that should work well for the FS700 including the EVF Filmmaker Kit and the FS100 Filmmaker Kit (just remove the Z-Spacer for use with the FS700).
OConnor’s Universal Baseplate is a versatile baseplate solution that fits the FS700 perfectly. In addition to the standard center tripod mounting points, the universal baseplate was designed with offset bridgeplates in mind – if you plan on using larger lenses that require 19mm support, the universal baseplate is a great starting point.
MovCam has a nicely designed top extension system that integrates with their new LWS baseplate or the 16×9 Cine Base Mini 15. The top extension includes an aluminum handle and cheeseplate and ties in to either baseplate via a side cheeseplate, forming a lightweight cage of sorts. The LWS baseplate includes a shoulder pad, which makes for a nice handheld kit.
Canadian support company Shape WLB has updated their popular BP6000 system with the BP7000. Still retaining the V-Lock quick release functionality, the new BP7000 features three channeled grooves for more camera placement flexibility as well as additional 3/8″ 16 mounting points in the rear for accessories.
While the FS700 comes equipped with several accessory mounting points on the body and handle, the Berkey System Top Mount adds additional 1/4″ 20 and 3/8″ 16 points. In addition to reinforcing the top of the camera, the Berkey Top Mount will also allow you to use various EVF mounts and top handles. It is also compatible with the standard Sony top handle and mic mount, so there is no need to replace them.
Ki Pro Mini
The AJA Ki Pro and Ki Pro Mini both accept HD-SDI and HDMI inputs and record in various flavors of Apple ProRes. The Ki Pro has many different inputs and offers long recording to hard drive or SSD, while the Ki Pro Mini is small and records directly to Compact Flash cards. Both units will record in ProRes LT, ProRes 422 and ProRes 422 (HQ), while the Ki Pro Mini also offers Avid DNxHD options up to DNxHD 220x.
The Convergent Design nanoFlash is a very popular tiny recorder. It accepts HD-SDI, SDI and HDMI inputs and records in various flavors of MPEG2. It can record 4:2:2 LongGOP video at up to 180 Mbit/s and 4:2:2 I-Frame at up to 280 Mbit/s. The nanoFlash is one of the few devices available today that can accept a 1080/60p HDMI signal from the FS700 (other recorders can use the 1080/60i output mode). Its small size and high quality make it an excellent on-board recording option for the FS700.
The Sound Devices PIX 220 (HDMI only) and PIX 240 (HDMI & HD/SDI) are compact Apple ProRes & Avid DNxHD recorders that feature a 5″ screen and multiple up/down/cross conversion capabilities. Built to typical Sound Devices quality, the PIX recorders are are extremely versatile and can also pull double duty as an external monitor.
Atomos Ninja 2 or Samurai
The recently announced Atomos Ninja 2 is a compact, affordable HDMI ProRes recorder with a 4.3″ touch screen and simple user interface. The Ninja 2 records directly to 2.5″ HDD or SSD’s and is powered by the same Sony “L” batteries as the FS700. Compared to the original Ninja, the Ninja 2 adds HDMI output and a higher resolution (800 x 480) monitor. Like its brother, the Samurai is a ProRes recorder (with DNxHD as an option), but with SDI inputs and outputs.
If you’re using the FS700 on a shoulder rig, a nice alternative to the built-in LCD screen is the soon-to-come Alphatron EVF-035W-3G. The Alphatron utilizes a high resolution, 3.5″ 960×640 screen and can be mounted to the various 3/8″ 16 mounting points on the body with a Noga arm or Zacuto Zamerican arms and Zacuto ZicroMounts. Alternatively, if you’re using the Solid Camera studio kit, the EVF bracket allows you to make positioning adjustments without having to loosen or tighten any knobs. The Alphatron EVF utilizes the same Sony “L” batteries as the camera and can accept an SDI input as well as an HDMI input.
Zacuto’s Z-Finder EVF Pro has been a popular choice for many of our clients. This electronic viewfinder has a high resolution screen, HDMI input and a loop through for additional monitoring, as well as many of the same features found on high-end viewfinders.
With a high-resolution 1280×800 screen, the TVLogic VFM-056WP 5.6″ monitor is a great tool for any FS700 user. Other features include a waveform monitor, vectorscope, peaking, and false color.
If you’re looking for a straightforward follow focus, the Genus Superior and Zacuto Z-Focus follow focus units have been very popular. If you’d like to have some additional controls, the Arri MFF-2 is certainly worth considering. As an evolution to the MFF-1, the MFF-2 has inherited all the features but adds a few new ones as well. The MFF-2 is still reversible for use on lenses that may rotate “backwards,” but now gives you the ability to switch between three different focus knobs.
If you’re using Canon “L” series lenses and want additional light control, having a lightweight mattebox like the Genus Wide Angle mattebox can be invaluable. With two 4×4 trays (single stage rotating), the Genus can be used on rods or clipped on with the various threaded adaptor rings. Arri’s popular MMB-2 is available as a 4×4 and4x4/4×5.65 or as a slightly heavier double 4×5.65 system and can accommodate 114mm lenses directly. For larger lenses or if you’re looking for a heavy duty solution, OConnor’s popular O-Box will accommodate lenses up to a 150mm clamping diameter and includes two 4×4 and two 4×5.65 trays.
Designed by our very own Mitch Gross, the Calzone/AbelCine Universal Camera Case is a compact hard shipping case that will accommodate the FS700, Canon C300, Sony F3, Red Epic, and Panasonic AF100. If you’re looking for a more run & gun appropriate bag, the Cinebags CB-25 backpack is flight ready and will hold up to a 17″ laptop.
The FS700 uses the popular Sony “L” series batteries, which are available in capacities as large as 6600mAh for long run times. The FS700 ships with a small “L” battery and charger, but the AV-VQ1050D is an inexpensive dual charger and AC adaptor that would compliment any camera package.