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Testing the new TvLogic F-5A
Thanks to my good friends @ Ceproma, I’ve got the chance to test for one day on a real set situation the new TvLogic F-5A, which is supposed to be the legit heir to the throne left empty by the 058W. After the previous attempt, the Oled 055, which according to focus pullers around me, failed quite spectacularly, there are many doubts about new products by TvLogic in the community.
I’d say that the build is exactly (or mostly) the same as the 055: it’s a little slimmer than the 058, and a little wider I’d say. It looks solid and has several 1/4 screw holes, on the top, the bottom and both sides, which I like very much because it allows me to attach (for instance) the wireless display of my range finder. It comes with a Sony style battery plate integrated in the back, right next to the SDI in and out, while the HDMI in and out are on the left side. In case you were asking, yes it does the cross conversion between the SDI and HDMI. Weight is ok and as for the buttons they are pretty the same as previous models, with one scrolling wheel and a menu button on the top left and three assignable user button on the top right.
SWITCH ON: Everybody that owns and/or have worked with a TVLogic monitor knows that they usually take their time to switch on, and the F-5A is no different, actually it seemed to me that is even a little slower so I timed it. 17 seconds… come on, seriously? I’m shooting in the Spanish summer now, and I use to switch off my monitor whenever I get the chance to prevent overheating, so to me 17 seconds is a huge amount of time.
MENU: Also the menu is pretty much the same as the previous models, which I like because there is literally no need to read any manual or scroll to many pages because you already know (if you are familiar with the brand) where to find what you need. The only significant change is precisely about focus enhancing. Where there used to be the aperture, there are now two parameters you can fine-tune: sharpness and peaking boost. To me this is quite a huge change because I wasn’t such a big fun of the aperture and many times it was really hard for me to find the perfect setting because it was always either too soft or to hard. These two parameters allow you to be way more precise and have the image as you really want it to be.
IMAGE: Before to start this part let me tell you that my advice is to try it yourself, because I think it is mainly a matter of “taste” so I’ll just give my opinion (and will be glad to answer specific questions).
The image “feels” very much like the one of the F-7H, which I personally like a lot. It’s not crunchy crispy as the one from the 058W, and at the first sight looks way more soft. I’d say that you need a little while to get used to it, specially if like me you have been shooting with a 058 for the previous 12 weeks. But once you get your eyes used to the image and you find the perfect balance between sharpness and peaking boost, the monitor work really well. But again, go to your favorite rental house and give it a try, I found others well respected focus puller that still say that there’s nothing like the 058w.
The only thing that surprised me a little bit is the brightness, I knew it wasn’t an high bright monitor, but I have to say that I really miss some nits. But to be fair the “cheapest” high bright monitor of this size I would buy is the SmallHD 503 high bright which is almost 1k more expensive so, do the maths.
How drastically soft is it compared to the 058w? Would you say when you first started using it against the 058w you'd easily miss your focus?
I wouldn’t say it is drastically soft but it is true that the image “feels” a little different. I think you need to get used to it. Until you get used, I’d say take all the marks you can and don’t rely just on your monitor. Also, during prep take your time to set the perfect balance between sharpness and focus boost. Good luck!
I finally managed to get my hands on this monitor to test out on a shoot these past two weeks and had a similar experience to you Fabio. I enjoyed the more solid construction and the implication of the peaking boost adjustment. However I really struggled with the long start up time (15-18 seconds in my case) and the somewhat buggy interface. Multiple times I had the monitor freeze up on me while navigating different tools. I feel it could be fixed with a firmware update but for now I will be sticking with my trusty 58W.
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