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, Rodney Taylor, ASC (The Fighter, Under the Electric Sky) opens up his kit for us.


A. Turntable, records and photography books

For inspiration. Obviously I don’t travel with these, but they are a very important part of my process and I use them extensively when I’m at home preparing for a job. When I do travel, I take some form of music with me. I also bring some photography books to show directors during prep.

B. My dad’s old pocketknife

C. Tube amplifier

Awesome sound.

D. Polaroid 110B with pack film back

I still carry it around and love Polaroid, although I don’t use it as often as I used to. Things have changed on set a lot since the days when we used to shoot Polaroids to check exposure and everyone waited 60 seconds for you to pull the Polaroid. No one waits for anything nowadays.

E. Fuji 100B pack film

F. Custom-made meter case

I designed this case, built by Jerry Van Amburg in Venice, CA. The meter actually goes in upside down so it comes out in your hand ready to use. Most meter cases, for some reason, carry the meter wrong side up—like the picture.

G. Sekonic L-608 Cine Meter

I still use my meter when shooting digital. I think it keeps the images more consistent.

H. Minolta color temp meter

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I. Director’s finder

This is a custom-made IMAX version of the old Mark V built by Bob Eather at Keo Consultants. It has an additional IMAX marking. Bob made 10 of these around 1995 and all of us IMAX cinematographers and directors at the time bought them.

J. Kershaw knife

Kind of scary, but my friend and wonderful camera operator James Reid gave it to me as a gift after HBO’s Getting On.

K. Spotmeter case

Also built by Jerry.

L. Contrast glass

M. Suunto Tandem Compass and Azimuth

We have all these great apps now for tracking the sun, but I like to use this to double check critical sun measurements, particularly if my phone isn’t working. One of the most important pieces in the kit for shooting day exteriors.

N. Walkie headset

Communication is key, and I’m kind of quiet, so it helps.

O. Canon 5D Mark II and Zeiss 35mm lens

I love shooting stills. Also great for checking exposure when I shoot film, which I still do. Can be used to shoot entire films. I shot the documentary Holbrook/Twain with these in B&W mode and it’s beautiful.

P. Cards

Q. Batteries and Charger

R. Leica MP and 35mm Summicron Leica Lens

For shooting personal stills.

S. Tri-X for the Leica

T. Moleskine notebooks

U. MacBook Pro, 15″


Four cinematographers show off their kits in MovieMaker‘s Spring 2015 issue, on newsstands April 28, 2015. See previous editions of What’s in Your Kit here.