Hollyland Mars 400S Pro Review

The Hollyland Mars 400S Pro is a wireless video transmission system that is quite capable of a variety use cases. What you get in the box is a dedicated Transmitter and Receiver, an instruction booklet, 5 antennas, with one being a spare, and one AC adapter that is usable with either the transmitter or the receiver. We should start by saying how versatile the power options are on this device. You can power either the transmitter or the receiver via USB C, like a battery bank, via the Sony L-series battery mount, or via the DC adapter plugin.

Video Inputs and Outputs on the units are just as versatile. You can take either an SDI or a HDMI input on the receiver and output SDI or HDMI on the receiver as a start. It will even transcode an SDI signal to HDMI on the receiver which is a real benefit here.  I’ve been using a 5600mah L-series battery, and that will run both the receiver and transmitter for serval hours each

The Mars 400S Pro can either transmit to 2 receivers, 1 receiver and 2 smart devices running the Hollyview app or simply four smart devices alone running the app. 

I started by testing the range claims, which are 400ft for the receiver or 300ft for a smart device running the app. The range claims are easily met with line of sight and will still go hundreds of feet with some obstructions. The primary use case I can think of where this would be useful would be time-lapses where you could set and leave a camera, and then monitor the camera remotely from another building or vehicle. The receiver has a very good indicator on the OLED screen of signal quality as well, so you’ll know when you are getting close the limits of the range.

For mounting there is a shoe adapter as well as a ¼” screw mount on the bottom.

For other distant use cases, the USB-C port has some additional functionality. Essentially you can use it as a remote live streaming camera from the receiver which gives you some flexibility on adding as an additional camera source to a live stream to your switcher via network or direct video input that will give you a 12mb 1080p 60fps stream. 

I was really excited to try the app, since I could easily see my self setting up multiple tablets or phones as a output option. The first thing I needed to do was load a LUT for my Blackmagic Cinema Camera. The way this works is that you want to add a LUT to a Google Drive, and then open that LUT in the Hollyview App. This will then show the LUT as an option selectable from the 3D LUT selection in the lower right-hand corner of the app.

The next big question was latency. Hollyview claims 80 milliseconds, which is observable here. That’s around 4 frames latency at 60hz, which is good …

Bolex Anamorphot Compatibility Chart

Bolex Anamorphot 8/19/1.5x Compatibility chart

Before we get into Bolex tutorials, here’s a chart showing basic compatibility with different cameras. Canon DSLRs will be similar to the Red Scarlet at 4k.

Optimal Prime Wide (widest with no vignette up to f22)
Panasonic GH2: 40mm
Black Magic Cinema: 31mm
Red Scarlet 4k: 46mm
Red Scarlet 3k: 37mm

Widest Prime with minimal circular bokeh
GH2: 35mm
BMC: 28mm
4k Red: 40mm
3k Red: 32mm

Absolute Widest – no vignette faster than f2
GH2: 28mm
BMC: 22mm
4k Red: 32mm
3k Red: 26mm

Plasma HDTV as a Computer Monitor – 16 month update

16 months ago I posted a video showing the Panasonic 42″ GT25 being used as a main 3D Computer Monitor. Most people thought there would be issues like burn-in very quickly. As it turns out, there have been no issues except for temporary image retention that goes away after a few seconds at most. I have the display calibrated in THX mode with screen being driven in component mode. The pixel orbiter is set to 1 minute (I’ve never noticed it active) and set the Windows 7 taskbar to hide unless the mouse is over the bottom of the screen. No burn-in anywhere.

The only change has been an improvement in the display quality over the past few months. High Frequency noise in black areas has decreased, and the gamma shift related to shifting black levels has also greatly subsided, possibly even gone away. The monitor was a fantastic purchase at the time, and you’d be hard pressed to do better at the size. Pixel density may not be the greatest, but it’s as close to a large OLED screen that you will be able to purchase in the foreseeable future.

Makinon 28-80 f3.5 Video/Cinema Lens Review

This is a lens design you don’t see often in older zooms. The focus is in the rear and the zoom ring is in the front.

Lens construction is completely metal, made in Japan, extremely durable with well dampened focus and zoom rings. The front element is a large 72mm, and the lens mount on this model is Konica AR. I’ve seen these offered in FD as well on ebay.

Here’s some basic specifications about the lens when it comes to film/video usage:

* Manual aperture ring: Yes
* Direct-coupled focus ring: Yes
* Focus ring rotation: Canon direction
* Non-rotating outer barrel: Yes
* Non-extending outer barrel: No
* Constant field of view: No
* Constant f-stop aperture: Yes
* Rotational zoom ring: Yes
* Varifocal
* Internal Zoom

The biggest advantage of the lens is the constant aperture. It does not vary even in the slightest from 28-80mm. The front element only extends slightly with focus, and it has an internal zoom so the lens stays a constant size while changing the FOV. Another nice advantage of this lens over many zooms of the 80’s is that the front element does not rotate with focus. It is a true dual touch design. Unfortunately, it is completely varifocal, which means you wont be zooming while recording with this lens. The varifocal nature of the lens carries over to the MFD which goes from .23 meters at 28mm to a few feet at 80mm.

Lens Performance:
Being an older lens, quality will very greatly from model to model. Fortunately, this lens looks like it was kept in a closet most of its life and has hardly any use. Stopped down past f5.6 the lens performs fantastically across the entire zoom range. While its large front element makes it susceptible to flare, I find lenses with little coating to be preferable in giving the option of the “flared” less contrast look – especially when combined with anamorphic adapters. At f3.5 the image quality is still nice. Much nicer than comparable sigma zooms of the day at the same aperture. There is a bit of organic glow that keeps the lens resolving around 2-4Mpx on this sample. I’ll make a video review later that will show more of the qualities of this lens.

Overall this lens would be perfect if it weren’t for the fact that it is Varifocal. But as a variable prime, it is a great lens for the price, comparable with Tokina in quality in fact. Just make sure you get the constant aperture version, as there is many 3.5-4.5 versions that go for the same price or more.
Quick Still Samples:

Working on new tutorial series

I’ll post more information and links when its done, but right now I ‘m working on making a new series devoted to the Bolex Moller Anamorphot 1.5x anamorphic adapter. Here’s a sample of the lens combined with the Konica 40mm 1.8 taking lens