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

First up: David McFarland, DP of Years of Living Dangerously and The Boy Next Door.

The Kit

A. Hasselblad Xpan II Panoramic Camera/ $3,500

I use this to take wide-frame location shots when scouting.


B. Sekonic L-758 Dual Light Meter/ $750

This meter gauges exposure whether shooting film or digital. I couldn’t live without this.


C. Viewfinder / $1,100

Made by a great company called Isco, this optical viewfinder is always with me when framing up on a scout or on set. All of the different formats, aspect ratios, and focal lengths are accurate.


D. Suunto Sun Compass
/ $400

Planning a shooting schedule involves charting the sun—and this tool is essential for that.


E. Blue Ring Gaffer’s Glass / $80

This is basically a welder’s glass which allows me to look into the extremely powerful lights I use on set so I can focus them exactly where I want the beam to hit. It is also helpful in determining when the sun will reappear, on days with big puffy clouds.


F. Round Diopter, Split Diopter, Magnifying Glass

These three pieces of magnifying glass in front of the lens throw different parts of my frame out of focus. This could be considered a bit of an indulgence, but shallow/selective focus is definitely part of my look.


Gear I’d Love to Have

The AURORA LT Remote Head. This two-axis head allows the camera to be operated remotely when mounted to a crane, jib arm, or dolly. MM


Cinematographer David McFarland

Cinematographer David McFarland on set


“What’s in Your Kit” appears in MovieMaker‘s Spring 2015 issue, on newsstands late April. Stay tuned in upcoming weeks for more installments.