For our series What’s in Your Kit, we ask a range of working cinematographers to share the gear they can’t live without.

This week, Matt Egan (Lost & Found, Cry Now) reveals what’s in his kit.


The Kit

Cinematographer Matt Egan reveals the essentials he brings with him on a shoot.

A. Suunto Tandem compass and clinometer / $300

I use these on all of my tech scouts.

B. iPhone / $600

Equipped with a Sunseeker app and iPhone camera. Accuracy can be spotty with the app, though, and contingent on cell reception, which isn’t always available.

C. Lensbaby Composer / $350

An additional lens option for when the urge strikes to get dreamier, more atmospheric cinematography.

D. Laser Pointer / $50

I use this on stage, mostly, to help point out lighting placement.

E. Single ear monitor / $100

For listening to dialogue and walkie surveillance headset.

F. Sekonic L-588 Dualmaster Light Meter / $550

I learned to shoot using a meter and I could never give it up. I pull it out at the start of the day to make sure my eyes are calibrated with what I’m getting on my monitor and to what my meter reads. I use it on everything I’ve ever shot—as you can see, it’s been heavily used.

G. Canon 5D / $2,000

This camera takes scouting photos and acts as a director’s viewfinder on my shoots. Sometimes I use it as an extra camera for tight spots that big cameras don’t fit in. I’ve even had to use it as my main camera for a few scenes while we waited for a rental house to bring us a replacement Alexa body, when one went down on a commercial.

H. Angenieux Optimo 45-120mm Zoom / $60,000

I travel for so many of my jobs and I wanted a zoom that was small enough that I could carry it onto an airplane. I like to shoot on primes, but having a flexible zoom for the long-lens work has been great. I use it on all of my spherical commercials and on my last feature, Lost & Found.

I. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L / $1,100

Like the 5D, this is for scouting and a director’s viewfinder.

J. Canon 50mm Prime / $150

More scouting.


Matt Egan, photo courtesy of Rich Marchewka.

Matt Egan. Courtesy of Rich Marchewka

My Indulgence:

The Lensbaby system wasn’t something that I really needed, but I love the way they look. I’m still waiting for the right project to use them on.

Item I Can’t Live Without:

My light meter. If all I had was a light meter, I’d still be able to light and properly expose whatever I’m shooting.

Gear I’d Love to Have:

The Sony 24” OLED monitor. There’s such a wide range of images you can get out of monitors, even when they’re properly calibrated, so I want one that I know I can trust. MM

Four cinematographers show off their kits in MovieMaker‘s Spring 2015 issue, currently on newsstands. See previous editions of What’s in Your Kit here.