Pushing Into the Details with Arc II and the Laowa 24mm 2x Macro Probe Lens

Pushing Into the Details with Arc II and the Laowa 24mm 2x Macro Probe Lens

At Rhino, the details matter. In our latest short film we use the Rhino slider and Arc II, paired with the Laowa 24mm probe lens to focus on three individuals whose crafts rely on precision and detail. We pushed this setup to its limits and we were pretty happy with the results.

It’s easy to say we’ve never used anything like this lens. In some ways, you have to rethink how film. Check out what we learned in the video below:

In the film we focused on three individuals whose crafts focus on fine detail. We were then able to push into those details using Rhino slider and Arc II. This is where we began to have our first “ah-ha's” with the lens:

  1. It loves movement—particularly push ins and outs. This provides an extremely dynamic parallax that sucks you into the shot. Remember to keep the moves simple stay parallel to your focus plane.This is where Arc II comes in especially clutch as you can keyframe the movement over or through a surface.
  2. Filming objects is better than people. As humans, we’re incredibly sensitive to perspective renditions of the human body. Seeing things overly distorted can feel disorienting. Sometimes that may be exactly what you’re going for but other times it can be distracting.
  3. Remember the importance of light. At f/14 this lens needs light to the point where the lens even has a built-in LED system on the tip of the lens. While this can come in handy in certain shooting scenarios, the preferred way is to add light through other external sources.

In order to further enhance the effects of this lens, we contrasted the tight macro shots with an extreme wide lens, the Laowa 12mm T 2.9 Zero-D. This helped to show an overview of the creator’s worlds and then dive into the extremes of their crafts. 

This was a fun experiment and we’re proud of the performance of all the gear. As unforgiving as a 2x macro lens can be—especially one that extends nearly 18” from the lens mount—Arc II held the moves steady and smooth. None of these moves were slowed down or used any form of post stabilization, which sped up the post editing process.

What would you shoot with this lens/motion combo? Let us know in the comments below. 

Spencer nugent @sketchadaydotcom

Spencer is known around the world for his work. He's built an incredible YouTube channel where he frequently hosts live streams and other educational content focused on sketching and design thinking principles. You can also check out his work on sketch-a-day.com.

steven bills @star_wars_battlegrounds

Steven works for an in-house marketing team managing a large pipeline of weekly video content. In his off hours, he continues to apply his skills doing digital photography compositions of his high fidelity models.  

mike canales @cutthroat.mike

Mike is an extremely talented barber and entrepreneur. He recently opened his third barbershop that offers a bay-like barber experience in Salt Lake City, Utah. If you're ever in the neighborhood and need a fresh cut, look no further than Cutthroat Barbershop.

rhino gear used

The Essentials Bundle is just that—essential. The 24" carbon rails are lightweight but pack plenty of punch. They're the perfect length for looping interview shots, B-roll, and one-man-band gigs. They'll slide seamlessly into any workflow.