Thread: KOMODO + Movi Pro

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  1. #1 KOMODO + Movi Pro 
    Hi all, I'm new to RED and new here, and I'd appreciate some advice.

    I'm considering getting a Komodo to pair with a Movi Pro. I'd love to hear any and all advice related to this pairing: what works well and what doesn't, etc. Seems like a pretty obvious combination for a lot of people, so I'm hoping this thread will be useful for others too.

    I also have a couple of specific questions.

    My hope is that it would be possible to control EF mount lenses' (e.g., Sigma 18-35 Art) focus, iris, zoom directly through the CTRL input port (via a breakout box) without mounting external FIZ motors on the gimbal. Is this feasible? Did any of you get something like this working? What extra gear did you need?

    I've read that the command protocol is different on KOMODO than on other RED cameras. Is this correct? Does it still play well with the Movi Pro and other devices (like Mimic, Controller, Pilot)?

    Thanks in advance!
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  2. #2  
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    Hey Roland!

    Now that I've moved up to bigger budgets and camera systems, I'm finally ready to share my trade secrets.... ; )

    Forget the Movi Pro. If you want to save some money, get yourself a used Ronin 1, ReadyRig, Tilta Nucleus-M, and an HDMI IDX CW-1 Wireless System (which you can run off usb batteries velcroed to a $200 7" monitor (It's basically a DIY Bolt 703 I figured out for about $600 all-in. Make sure to get a $10 paranlinx arrow usb-a to 3.5mm cable, or you'll short out your IDX system since it's not technically supposed to run off cellphone batts ; ) ). I was using this setup for YEARS in place of a Movi Pro. I set it up with a full size RED Scarlet-W and Zeiss CP2 Cinema Lenses. Most people I've seen charge $500/day for their Movi Pro package. Meanwhile, I could charge $400/day for my Ronin 1 package, including Wireless FF and Wireless Video, outbid competitors and still make a ton of profit. All this stuff is even cheaper now, but a few years ago I invested about ~$6,000 into my Ronin kit (including a Ronin 1 (~$1,000), Ready Rig with Pro Arms (~$2,500), Tilta Nucleus Wireless FF (~$1,000), and my DIY Bolt 703 (~$1,500) and it has made me about 20x that investment in the last 4 years. Best thing about this whole setup was powering it off lightweight and portable usb batts meant originally for charging cellphones. You should be able to get all this nowadays for around $3,500-$4,000.
    Trent Watts
    Director of Photography | NY/DC
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  3. #3  
    Very interesting! Thanks very much for the tips. Much appreciated!

    OT: are you happy with the Zeiss CP2s? I always want to like them, but the footage I see often seems to have this weird unnatural look that is somehow clinical/oversharp in the centre but chromatic aberrations in the periphery...
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member Rakesh Malik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Vancouver, BC
    CP2s are very good lenses, but they're also very netural as well as very sharp. They don't really impart any character to the image, they put that on the cinematographer, which can be a double edged sword.

    In the hands of a cinematographer who's really just capturing what's going on in front of the camera, you're going to end up with clinical results. In the hands of a cinematographer with some creativity however, you'll get great results.

    If you want lenses with character look elsewhere, but the tradeoff is that lenses with character have only one character. That's the other edge; CP2s let you impart any character you want onto your footage, but they don't help you in any way.
    Rakesh Malik
    Director of Photography, Colorist
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Some advice is to go cheap, other to go with convinient stuff, that can cost a bit more.
    Workarounds are never good choice in work environment.
    CPs are just rehoused photo optics and quite heavy. I would never call them clinical as they are not as Master primes for example.
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  6. #6  
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    This is a great question, I would love to hear any answers to his original question about controlling focus and iris.
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