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Jon Fauer, ASC
Nov 2015
10th Anniversary Edition
Issue 73
Jon Fauer, ASC
Jon Fauer, ASC
June 2014
The Cooke Book 2014
The Journal of Art, Technique and Technology in Motion Picture Production Worldwide
Reprints from Film and Digital Times
Carl Zeiss Cine Lenses
A Cinematographer’s Tour
A Cinematographer’s
Tour of Kodak
by Jon Fauer, ASC
June 2014
Jon Fauer’s
Special Transvideo Report
July 2010
Issue 34
The Journal of Art, Technique and Technology in Motion Picture Production Worldwide
Unpublished work in progress
Jon Fauer’s
Special Report
Jon Fauer, ASC
Special Online Report
Jon Fauer, ASC
A History of Angénieux
Jon Fauer, ASC
June 2014
Art, Technique and Technology in Motion Picture Production Worldwide
Servicevision - FDTimes Reprint
August 2015
Jon Fauer, ASC
July 2014
Special Report
Art, Technique, and Technology in Motion Picture Production Worldwide
Special Report:
Panasonic VariCam 35
Luc Besson's "Lucy"
June 2012 • Issue 49
Once upon a time, in June 2005
The first issue of Film and Digital Times was a 16 page newsletter.
Subscribers were scarce. Four intrepid sponsors agreed
to participate: ARRI, Kodak, Sony, and J.L. Fisher.
The idea for this adventure was hatched one
cold New York day in November 2004. The
industry’s leading luminaries had gathered
to talk about the latest tools and technology in film, digital acquisition and post.
The meeting quickly unraveled into a
debate on how to keep current with all
the latest stuff. It quickly became clear
there was no good way. A prominent
professor criticized current channels of
communication: magazines don’t have how-to
advice, the web is often full of flagrant promotion or unvetted sources, and Jon Fauer’s camera books take way too long to come out. I
sputtered some random excuses.
Day two. Saul Molina at the ASC called to
ask when I planned to finish the ARRICAM
BOOK 2nd Edition because the first edition
was sold out. “But I’m only a year late, with
all the changes and updates,” I said.
Day three. Three production-ready Arriflex 235 cameras had landed. Email flooded in: had I done an ARRI 235 BOOK? No. But did it have to be a
book? Could it be presented in episodic format, like a TV series?
Day four. Meeting with David Dellenbaugh. He publishes Speed and
Smarts, about advanced sailboat racing and tactics. Eureka. A newsletter. David explained how it was done.
Day five. Volker Bahnemann, valued mentor, gave advice and encouragement. Guidance and content came from a group of advisors whose business was the business: colleagues, manufacturers,
designers, inventors, directors, producers, cinematographers, assistants, crews, friends.
The Round Table of gurus and wizards who answered late night
questions included: Volker Bahnemann, Douglas Kirkland, John
Johnston, Howard Preston, Michael Phillips, John Dowdell, Joe
Dunton, Bob Fisher, Martha Winterhalter, Saul Molina, Bill Bennett, ASC, Denny Clairmont, Franz Wieser, Thomas Greiser,
George Schmidt, Otto Nemenz, Les Zellan, Barbara Lowry, Bill
Turner, Larry Barton, Steve Burum, ASC, Peter Abel, Alec Shapiro, and many others.
Trying to come up with an appropriate and catchy name was the
hardest task of all. What was all-encompassing of everything
we would be covering: cinematography, directing, editing, post,
cameras, lighting, dollies, cranes, remote heads, grip equipment,
software, hardware, computers, and more? A week later we were
bouncing around, filming in the middle of Biscayne Bay. James
Kilby, still photographer, suddenly said, totally out of context,
“Film and Digital Times.” FDTimes for short. He got a free subscription forever for that excellent name.
Cut to today. It’s been ten years. We still don’t take ads. We are
supported by subscribers, partners and our 110 sponsors. Thank
you all for making the journey possible.
This 10th Anniversary Edition is like a History of the Movies,
2005-2015. It’s a whirlwind retrospective of the technique and
technology that brought us, some kicking and screaming, others
thrilled as an audience on opening night, from the analog to the
digital age of motion pictures. View these pages like a flip book or
Kinora (invented by the Lumière brothers) and it’s interesting to
see the pace quicken from beginning to end, with new products
appearing more frequently, development cycles shortening, and
the number of cameras, lenses, accessories, and lights increasing.
I remember a concern Volker had when he was advising me. “It
may get scary when you run out of things to say.” Fortunately,
writers’ block was not a problem—thanks to the torrent of new
technology, new techniques, and new art in the decade that followed. Once upon a time, new equipment was introduced to the
market at a more leisurely pace. Some called it glacial. A camera
might last your entire career. Industry tradeshows usually consisted of incremental advances—a new video assist, a better follow-focus, an occasional camera, bigger lights, new lenses maybe
every ten years. Volker had good reason for his words of caution.
Thankfully, the decade that followed the inception of FDTimes was
kind to the workflow of words. A TORRENT! What started as a
16 page newsletter evolved into a War and Peace of technique and
technology. Prose by the pound. The Proust of Production. The
Dickens of Digital. New equipment was arriving at ever shorter
intervals. It felt as if the consumer electronics industry, known for
planning the obsolescence of the products we just must have, had
taken a step into our sandbox. When we embarked on the Film and
Digital Times expedition, Film was what ran through the cameras
on most features and commercials. The Digital part was mainly
how you treated the film in post production.
Ten years later, Film in the title has mostly evolved from origination to procedure. It’s still filmmaking and it’s still a film even if it’s
being shot with digital cameras. What follows is a somewhat opinionated, regrettably not all-inclusive, whirlwind ride that tries to
summarize the past 10 years in a few pages. It’s a historical timeline of technique, technology, art, and practical production—with
a diverse cast of characters and a cavalcade of companies. It’s a fun
reunion. And certainly there are things that seemed new, useful,
clever or helpful at the time, but look very different from the precipice of today. Notable blunders, historical revisionism, laughable
punditry, and egregious errors are noted in italics.
A famous French filmmaker once complained to me at IBC that
FDTimes was getting too heavy to carry. Could I cut down on
words and pages? That was curious, coming from someone who
surely had studied 3,000 pages of Proust in school, 50 of which
described in excruciating detail the dreaded madeleine. Would
he prefer an abbreviated version, le Cliff ’s Notes? Well, Monsieur,
here you have it—our 10th anniversary retrospective, a summary
of the past 72 issues—which come close to Proust in page count
at 2,744—distilled to a mere 48 pages, including lots of pictures.
The problem with a retrospective is the selection process. Some
things get left out. My apologies to those well-deserving companies,
people and products who are missing, not because of design, but
simply because of lack of space. Nevertheless, the entire collection
of all 72 editions, with everyone included, is ready to read online on
the website. And yes, there’s inevitably a sequel.
Issue 73 • Nov 2015
1. May/June 2005
The Arriflex 235 is a
tiny, lightweight, 35mm
motion picture camera
not much bigger than a
MiniDV Camcorder. It
looks like an oversized sausage or baby
dolphin sitting on your
shoulder. This could
be the most comfortable shoulder-resting,
handheld camera since
Jean-Pierre Beauviala
enticed us with a cat.
Issue 2. July/Aug 2005
2005: The Year of HD
NAB had lots of balloons, banners and buzzwords proclaiming
this the year of HD. 16:9 HD television prices are dropping. An
Associated Press and AOL poll on June 17, 2005 found that 73%
of Americans would rather watch films at home on DVD, tape or
pay-per-view than in theaters. AOL? LOL?
35mm Zooms
Is there a lightweight, handheld zoom lens that makes it as easy to
shoot documentary style in 35mm as in 16mm? Up to now, the choices were Century Optics/Canon 17-35mm T3 conversions, 16mm
zooms with doublers, or Panavision’s LWZ2 17.5-34mm T2.8.
Three lightweight, handheld 35mm zoom lenses are in the works.
These short/light/fast zooms will be introduced in the next months
by Angenieux/Horizon Optics, ARRI/Zeiss and Cooke.
As a grab camera on features, commercials, and television series,
you can keep the Arriflex 235 set up with lens, magazine and
on-board battery at all times—because it is so small and light.
Get a custom camcorder-style soft case. Although these are not intended for shipping or dropping off a truck liftgate, they will protect
the camera from the minor bumps of a hand-carried day. When it
comes time to ship, use a waterproof hard Thermodyne case with an
extra 1” to 2” of foam all around to help protect the soft bag and its
contents. Make sure you remove the lens.
Camera with viewfinder: 3.5kg /7.7 lb (½ the weight of a 435).
Speeds: 1-60 fps forward; 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97 and 30 fps reverse.
Mechanically Adjustable Mirror Shutter: 11.2, 22.5, 30, 45, 60,
75, 90, 105, 120, 135, 144, 150, 172.8, 180°.
One registration pin in optical printer position (better than 35-3).
Angenieux Optimo 15-40 T2.6 is the first working model to be
shown, distributed by Steve Manios in USA. Approx 4.4 lb / 2 kg.
Cooke S4 Lightweight Zoom 15-40 mm T2.0. Approx 6.6 lb/3 kg.
ARRI/ZEISS LWZ-1 15.5-45 mm T2.6. Approx 4.4 lbs / 2 kg.
ARRI/ZEISS Master Primes
ARRI/ZEISS “breathlessly” introduced Master Primes. Compared to Ultra Primes, they have higher resolution (appear
sharper), greater contrast (blacker blacks, less internal barrel
flare), are a stop faster (T1.3) and the focus ring is less stiff (cam
mechanism). Master Primes focus closer and exhibit almost no
breathing (image does not appear to zoom when quickly racking
focus.) LDS Lens Data System is built in.
There are 12 lenses in the Master Prime set so far: 16, 18, 21, 25,
27, 32, 35, 40, 50, 65, 75 and 100 mm. Iris range is T1.3 to T22.
Nov 2015 • Issue 73
Issue 3. Oct 2005
Issue 4. Jan 2006
ARRI D-20, Panavision Genesis
Here’s a camera less than 5 pounds that shoots HDV images
looking better than almost anything broadcast in standard definition today, with a street price well under $5,000. The HVR-Z1 is
a good introduction to HD and the transition from a 4:3 to 16:9
By now, more than 20 million HD flat panel televisions have been
sold in the US. Yet broadcasters, ad agencies and clients are still
twiddling their thumbs, waiting to see receipts this Christmas
season. It reminds me of Thomas Edison wondering if movies
were a small, passing amusement. HDTV sets will be selling under $999 by year’s end. Sony’s Z1 is one of those breakthrough
products that usher in a new format.
Film and Digital Times takes an ARRI D-20 to Sundance for tests
on the slopes of Deer Valley to see how it behaves in snow, cold,
and banging around in backpacks. It’s a beast. D-20 and Panavision Genesis use Sony’s HDCAM SR tape deck. Venom Flashpak solid state “magazines” are planned for ARRI D-20 (above).
It should record about 10 minutes uncompressed and about 18
minutes of HD. Genesis has an electronic finder, D-20 has an optical finder, both have a Super35 sensor.
Cooke CXX S4i 15-40mm T2
The Z1 uses the same mini cassette as DV or DVCAM, and records at 25 megabits per second. It shoots gorgeous 1080i HD
16:9 images, no simple feat considering the compression for HDV
at 1080i is 22.4:1. This is a camera for news, sports, documentaries and independent shows. It has crossed the Atlantic to cover a
major sailboat race, worked in the Arctic, and the Sahara.
Despite being a “prosumer” camcorder, the Z1 points the way toward lighter, smaller, faster, cheaper designs that democratize the
process of high definition acquisition. Over 35,000 Sony Z1 camcorders have been sold since it was introduced a few months ago.
The Z1 has many clever design features that should inspire other
camera manufacturers, both film and digital, to notice. The flipout on-board color LCD monitor can be positioned in your direct
line of sight, to be used as a “sport” viewfinder. This is a handheld
handycam style camcorder. It doesn’t rest on your shoulder. The
disadvantage is eventual fatigue. The sunshade’s two flaps close
completely–so when the sand begins blowing or the sea starts
spraying, just slide the lever to the CLOSE position, and the front
element of the lens is totally protected.
The new Cooke 15-40 T2 zoom barrel is engraved with the same
focal lengths as the S4 primes: 15, 18, 21, 25, 27, 32, 35, and
40mm. This one zoom may very well do the job of eight Cooke
primes. Color, contrast and geometry are very similar. There’s no
breathing when focusing; the mechanics are smooth. Front diameter 136 mm. Weight 7.9 lb / 3.6 kg.
iPod Video
October 12, 2005. Steve Jobs unveiled
Apple’s iPod Video. Huge idea. Little,
pocket-sized player. It might mark the
beginning of a whole new paradigm in
how we’ll watch films, television, video
and stills.
This is like the second iteration of
Thomas Edison’s Kinetoscope Peepshow showing a personal, postagestamp sized image. This time it carries a
huge distinction: we can carry it around
everywhere, and soon will be able to
watch any show, anytime, anywhere.
Issue 73 • Nov 2015
Lighting with Paint:The Adventure Begins. Episode 1
Lighting with Paint kicked off in the inaugural issue of Film and
Digital Times. It was an irreverent series on art history and lighting
for cinematography. Apologies to John Alton, ASC, for playing on
the title of his classic book Painting with Light (1949). In the beginning, we began with Rembrandt.
Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) painted Philosopher in Meditation
around 1632, shortly after he first arrived in Amsterdam. It is on
display at the Musée du Louvre, Paris.
Rembrandt would have been a great cinematographer. Andrew
Laszlo, ASC, affectionately titled one of his books Every Frame a
Rembrandt, a quip often used when a director asked the cinematographer, “How did the last take look?”
I thought Andy’s next book would be Every Frame a Caravaggio, but he preferred It’s a Wrap. (Both are must-reads). Every DP
needs a mentor, and Andy was the best. He passed away in 2011.
The Philosopher in Meditation is a useful reference for cinematographers and art directors in discussions of lighting, color,
composition, emotion and story. Composition is elegant: the philosopher in the middle, circular stairs on the right, balanced by
the window and light source on the left. It reminds me of the art
Nov 2015 • Issue 73
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn
Philosopher in meditation
Oil on oak panel. 1632
Height: 28 cm x 34 cm (11 in x 13.4 in)
Musée du Louvre, Paris
direction in the classroom of Harry Potter 3: Prisoner of Azkeban.
How would Rembrandt light “Philosopher in Meditation” with
a 10-ton equipment truck instead of oil paint on a small piece of
At first, there appears to be single source of light coming through
the window at left. Maybe a couple of 18K’s placed way back,
warmed with Lee or Rosco CTS (Color To Straw), and softened
by a 20’x20’ light grid cloth, also positioned far back so the window creates a natural cut, but the light still wraps around the philosopher’s face. We’d ask the art department to paint the wall on
the left especially dark.
It’s interesting that another source of light is in the shot: coming from the fireplace. It provides illumination not only for the
woman, but also adds fill, in a diagonal direction guided by her
tongs directly toward the philosopher’s face.
Lighting with Paint: Episode 2
Another Frame a Rembrandt. De Staalmeesters (1662 ) by Rembrandt van Rijn is on display at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
The painting is a group portrait of Officials of the Draper’s Guild.
They were probably presiding over a union meeting, discussing
retirement benefits, residuals, health care and runaway production to America.
The composition is almost 1.33:1, with a widescreen letterbox
within. Horizontal lines frame the letterbox: at the bottom, the
edge of the tablecloth— and at the top, the wood paneling.
The row of faces forms a wavy line, and it is interesting how Rembrandt gives equal weight to each of the officials. The gentleman
in the middle, presumably their servant or accountant, is lurking
at the rear.
Rembrandt had an excellent set designer and gaffer.
A window, just out of frame, upper left, provides a strong ¾ back
light. He might use an 18K coming through. There’s probably another window just forward of that one, which provides the strong
side light key from another 18K.
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn
De Staalmeesters
Oil on canvas. 1662
191.5 cm × 279 cm (75.4 in × 110 in)
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Rosco ¼ White Diffusion frame. No need for cutters; the window
frame keeps the light off the back wall.
The wood background is rich, dark, earth tone. Benjamin Moore
swatch books could have been great reference tools when Rembrandt and the set designer were discussing things, finding common ground. Rembrandt would have used a Vision2 stock: notice how the dark background still has shadow detail, and the
white collars retain highlights. The tablecloth is a vivid, earthy
red, which contrasts boldly with the black and white wardrobe of
these extinguished gentlemen.
Essential to lighting like this is control: keeping it off the background, keeping it balanced on all subjects, careful choice of composition, color, location, and wardrobe.
He’d definitely want to soften both lights with a 4’x4’ Lee 251 or
Issue 73 • Nov 2015
5. Apr 2006
6. Jun 2006
Super 16mm Reincarnated
Historic RED Introduction
Super 16 Exposed Film Area:
12.35 x 7.5 mm
Comparing 2/3” 16x9 HD chip:
9.6 x 5.4 mm
NAB 2006 saw a major reincarnation of Super 16 mm, with new
cameras, film stocks, lenses, and post production tools.
ARRI is working on a totally new Super 16 camera. It will be ARRI’s 4th generation coaxial magazine Super 16mm camera. It will
be smaller and lighter than the 16SR3, and surely not a 16SR3
upgrade of the 16SR3. It is a completely redesigned camera, incorporating some familiar features of ARRI’s 35mm cameras like
the 235, 435 and Arricam.
Aaton XTRprod
March of the Penguins won Best Foreign Film at the 2006 Academy Awards. Shot in Super 16 with two Aaton XTRprods using
800’ magazines, it is the largest grossing documentary ever made.
The New York Times said it earned more than all other nominees
for best picture combined.
Aaton’s new Super 16 camera is introduced at NAB: the Aaton
XTRprod2. It takes two batteries: NiMH or Li-Ion. The bottom
battery feeds the camera motor and video-assist. The top one
powers accessories: lens motors and video monitor. Batteries can
be paralleled for replacement with no power interruption.
a-cam SP-16
The Super 16 Ikonskop
a-cam SP-16 has been
updated. From the birthplace of Super 16, Swedish filmmakers Göran
Olsson and Daniel Jonsäter have created a camera that weighs 1.5 kg
(3.3 lbs) with lens. While
some cameras cost more
than a fancy car, this one is cheaper than a Vespa: about $6,250.
With frame rates of 6, 10, 18, 20, 24, 25, 30, 36 and 37.5—the
shutter is 160 degrees. It has a “C” lens mount, like Beaulieu, and
Eyemo-style viewing.
Reflex viewing option comes from Duall Camera in New York.
Nov 2015 • Issue 73
Historic moment at NAB 2006. $1000 down payment got you
a beautifully machined casting with serial number, representing
a refundable reservation for a RED One. This definitely departs
from normal camera marketing, but RED’s Jim Jannard is the
unusual founder of Oakley Sunglasses, and an accomplished cinematographer himself. The camera itself was under glass, as was
another camera: a yet-to-be named, and larger, Sony F23.
Arriflex 416
The Arriflex 416 was
unwrapped at NAB.
The latest Super16
camera from ARRI
has a bright viewfinder like the 235, and is
lighter than a 16SR.
The analog ARRI
was described by
one digital wag as “A
larger than ⅔-inch
single chip 2K camera
with 12 minutes of
uncompressed archival quality storage per
Each film frame stores
about 65 Megabytes
of “uncompressed
data,” so one roll
holds the equivalent of about 1.123
7. Sep 2006
8. Nov 2006
Cinematographer Style
Lightweight Zooms at Cinec
Over three years in production, Cinematographer
Style opens at the LA Film
Festival on June 25th and
has its US Premiere on
June 27th, 2006.
The 90 minute feature documentary is about the art
of how and why 110 leading cinematographers create the look of the films they shoot. Directed by Jon Fauer, ASC,
the film will be available on DVD from the ASC Bookstore. Proceeds will be donated to the ASC education and museum fund.
The style of shooting faster, handheld, with lighter, smaller,
shorter zoom lenses was evident at Cinec in Munich, with lenses
from the big 3. They all cover Super 35 format, and all maintain
constant aperture.
Cooke CXX S4/i
15-40 mm T2.0
7.9 lb. (3.6 kg)
136 mm front ø
min focus: 18”
flange to front of lens:
9” (229 mm)
Lightweight Zoom
15.5-45 mm T2.6
approx 4.4 lb (2kg)
114 mm front ø
min focus: 18”
flange to front of lens:
8.2” (209mm)
The idea for Cinematographer Style came from ARRI Inc President Volker Bahnemann in March, 2003. Fauer was updating his
ARRICAM Book. Bahnemann suggested adding a DVD of interviews with cinematographers discussing how the evolution of
technology and technique have influenced them and their work
in this new digital age of film. ARRI pledged funding and equipment, John W. Johnston guaranteed that Kodak would provide
Kodak Vision 2 color negative film, and Charlie Herzfeld arranged for Technicolor to donate front-end lab processing, telecine and release print services.
Manios Optical /
Angenieux Optimo
15-40 mm T2.6
4.4 lb (2kg)
114 mm front ø
min focus: 24”
from flange to front of
lens: 7.3” (186 mm)
Avid provided expertise and equipment. Matt Blute edited. Additional support came from Clairmont Camera, Illumination Dynamics, Joe Dunton JDC, Arri/CSC, Fisher Dollies, Paramount,
Universal, Culver, Avid Technology, Facilis Technology, Taylor
and Taylor Insurance, Quixote Expendables and many others.
Cinematographer Style was filmed in 35mm with ARRICAM
Cameras on Kodak Vision 2 Film, with processing and Digital
Dailies by Technicolor, Scanned to DI at Goldcrest Post Productions with ARRISCAN, Film-out with ARRILASER, Processing
and Printing by Technicolor, Released on Kodak Vision Premier.
Manios Optical /
Angenieux Optimo
28-78 mm T2.6
delivery Jan. 2007
probable specs:
4.4 lb (2 kg)
114 mm front ø
Anamorphic Lenses for Film and Digital
Anamorphic lens systems are popular for the shallow depth
of field, elliptical blur in the out of focus areas, and the barrel distortion of the wider angle lenses. One basic difference between spherical and anamorphic systems is the way
in which images are captured. Anamorphic lenses use two focal lengths in one system: a longer focal length for the vertical part of the image and a wider one for the horizontal part
(2x with 2.40 systems). This leads to pictures with more depth and
a more three dimensional character. The Vantage Blue-Vision attachment introduces blue flares to both spherical and anamorphic lenses that would otherwise not exhibit them.
ARRI refers to its new Arrimax
18/12 as “The Most Powerful
HMI Light on the Planet.”
Assuming that’s planet earth,
you could conjure up all kinds
of great shots for this 18K/12K
light. It’s like an HMI PAR
without lenses, and focuses a
beam from 15° to 50° using a
highly efficient reflector. With
your lighmeter set to 50 ASA,
an Arrimax 30’ away with an
18K bulb, spotted to a 15° angle, will give you approximately T22 at 24 fps (14,440 fc). By comparison, an Arrisun 12K
HMI PAR offers up a mere T16 (8,241 fc). So Arrimax is 50%
(about 1 stop) brighter.
Issue 73 • Nov 2015
Lighting with Paint. Episode 6
What’s Wrong with this Picture?
When there are windows in a shot, and we mix natural light with
electric ones, we often take liberties to make it look good. Ideally,
the light and shadows in the background should match the foreground, and come from the same direction.
When I saw Pieter de Hooch’s A Mother’s Duty (also
known as Interior with a Mother Delousing her Child’s Hair)
at the Rijksmuseum recently, I twitched and almost asked the guard
standing next to me to move the backlight around to the right.
Maybe it was a tough day on location. Well, OK, Pieter de Hooch
spent two years on this painting, but let’s assume he’s four pages
behind in the script, we’re losing the light, and the crew is about to
go into quadruple plutonium time. Gorgeous sunlight is streaming in through the back window. But, the director insists on putting the mother right up against the wall.
What’s wrong with this Picture?
A Mother’s Duty
also known as: Interior with a Mother Delousing her Child’s Hair.
Pieter de Hooch. c. 1658 - 60 Oil on Canvas. 52.5 x 61 cm.
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
De Hooch pleads to pull the mother and daughter toward the
camera so they’ll be rimmed by the high window in the upper
right. But no. The young actor who plays the child in need of delousing has been on set for too many hours without the requisite
tutoring time. The local authorities are being kept at bay with beer
and herring near the craft service table.
So, de Hooch “cheats.” The mother and the back of the child are
lit with a single 2.5K HMI PAR on a high roller stand about 6 feet
away from the high window of the right hand wall. The grips have
set four 4x4 solids just out of view of the window to contain the
light, keeping it from spilling all over the room.
On the left hand wall, out of the shot, de Hooch has asked the
grips to clip a 12x12 solid as “anti-fill” to keep the light from
bouncing back and making the shot look too flat.
“Gotta go, gotta go,” yells the Assistant Director.
“But I haven’t set my rear light yet,” pleads de Hooch. “The light
in the back room should be coming in from the window on the
right, which we cannot see, but is conveniently there.”
“It looks fine with the natural sunlight glistening off the floor and
the door,” says the Director.
“But all I need is a 20x20 to block the sunlight and another 2.5K
PAR outside the right rear window,” says de Hooch.
“It looks magnificent the way it is,” says the Producer. “Let’s shoot.”
De Hooch shakes his head, muttering, “400 years from now,
someone’s going to write a newsletter about the light coming from
two different directions...”
The props department is equally stressed that day. Notice how the
kid’s porta-potty (commode chair, lower right) has a five-sided
top and a four-sided bottom.
Easier: Window out of frame on right.
Woman with a Child in a Pantry
Pieter de Hooch c. 1660 Oil on canvas. 65 x 60.5 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Nov 2015 • Issue 73
We’re nitpicking, but obsession, er, attention to detail is part of
what cinematography is all about. Pieter de Hooch was born
in Rotterdam in 1617, worked as assistant to a linen merchant,
and moved to Amsterdam. Windows and rooms are prominent
themes in his paintings. Unfortunately, he died in Amsterdam’s
Dolhuis (madhouse) sometime after 1683.
Lighting with Paint: Episode 8
Vincent Van Gogh
The Weaver (Near an Open Window) 1884
Oil on canvas, 67.7 x 93.2 cm
Neue Pinakothek, Munich
Vincent Van Gogh adored Rembrandt, and
like his hero, signed using only his first name:
Excerpts of Vincent van Gogh’s original letters
to his brother Theo van Gogh appear at left,
below. They were written in 1884. Vincent
was 30 years old, and living with his parents
in Nuenen, in the south of The Netherlands.
Translated by Johanna van Gogh-Bonger.
The letter on the right is as it might have been.
Dear Theo,
Dear Theo,
I was glad to get your letter of today, and the enclosure, and
thank you very much for both.
I was glad to get your Fedex with the script revisions and the
completion guarantor’s check.
You don’t know how paralyzing it is, that stare of a blank canvas,
which says to the painter: “you can’t do a thing.” Many painters are afraid in front of the blank canvas, but the blank canvas
is afraid of the real, passionate painter who dares and who has
broken the spell of “you can’t” once and for all...
We are hanging in the Neue Pinakothek Museum in Munich,
just a few blocks from ARRI’s headquarters on Türkenstrasse. A
truckload of new equipment just arrived. After arguing with the
producer and threatening the assistant director with my razor
(electric, Braun), they let me try out the new Arrimax.
...Since the panic of the first days has calmed down a little, I can
do my work pretty regularly. Every day I am busy painting studies of the weavers here. Those subjects of the looms, with their
rather complicated machinery with a little figure sitting in the
middle, will also lend themselves to pen drawings, I think, and I
will make some, according to the hint you gave me in your letter.
My gaffer claims it’s the most powerful HMI light on earth. Of
course, I argued that the light of all the fireflies in the world, when
bottled, surely would be brighter. But they’re not HMIs. Anyway,
this thing is dazzling.
I had settled with Father that I should have free board and
lodging here for some time, so that I might use your money
to pay off some bills at the beginning of the year. So, as far as
the money goes, I have not profited from being here. And I am
firmly resolved to carry on the work vigorously.
You will easily understand that I love the scenery here. When
you come, I shall take you into the cottages of the weavers. The
figures of the weavers, and the women who wind the yarn, will
certainly strike you. The last study I made is the figure of a man
sitting at the loom, the figure apart, the bust and hands.
I am painting a loom of old, greenish, browned oak, in which
the date 1730 is cut. Near that loom, in front of a little window
which looks out on a green plot...I have painted that thing exactly as it was in reality, the loom with the little weaver, the little the miserable little room with the loam floor.
Goodbye. With a handshake in thought,
Yours sincerely, Vincent
The Weaver’s workshop was a miserably dark room on the third
floor of a windmill. Why do directors always choose locations
upstairs, inaccessible and almost impossible to light? But,
production is passion.
We brought in a ninety-foot high Condor crane, parked it on a
road about 50 meters away, across the polder, and fired up the
When you send me more money, I will describe to you the
beautiful, bold, sizzling edge-light on the Weaver’s craggy face,
almost etched against the old, dark, brown oak background.
The Condor would normally have an electrician standing in the
bucket, ready to adjust the light whenever I need to tweak. But
recent labor laws and the laws of nature, which conspire to lower
the bucket every time the electrician feels the pressure of too
much Oktoberfest beer, have created demand for a wonderful
innovation: the Maxmover. This is a remote control pan/tilt/focus
device for almost any light, and it saves lots of time and effort.
Yours sincerely,
Issue 73 • Nov 2015
9. Jan 2007
10. Mar 2007
When Sony’s F23 was introduced at the
Band Pro Media Forum on December 13,
2006, it was a major entry by Sony into the
realm of high-end production. We first saw
a prototype under glass at NAB 2006. “F23”
refers to its three ⅔"
CCD chips. It is an
RGB 4:4:4, 1920x1080
progressive system with
14-bit Analog to Digital
converter, and shoots in
1080/23.98P, 24P, 25P,
29.97P, 50P, 59.94P, 50i and 59.94i
formats. The F23 is expected to be available
late this spring. It will be compatible with a
variety of 16x9, Chrosziel, ARRI and other
film camera accessories, including bridge
plates, matte boxes and follow focus units.
These can be attached without modification. The F23 will use a harder, temperature stabilized material
for its B4 lens mount: nod to Denny Clairmont.
Preston FI+Z
Arriflex 416 Ships
Five pre-marked scales come with the HU3. Choose the ring
whose close focus mark—from 9” (.35m) to 6’ (2m)—most closely matches your lens. The on-board lens library holds data for
over 100 lenses, with serial numbers. This frees the assistant from
having to mark up individual rings. “Lens Mapping” lets you
store your lenses in advance. A rental house executive, who asked
to remain anonymous lest anyone try it, said “You could probably
hammer nails with the FI+Z—it’s more durable than most of the
cameras it’s used on.”
There are two models: 416 and 416 PLUS. The PLUS has an electronic side cover with wireless receiver and connectors for lens
motors. The 416 Mirror Shutter is
not adjustable electronically. You
change it mechanically. Increments are: 45, 90, 135, 144, 150,
172.8 and 180 degrees.
Preston’s FI+Z has a large focus wheel and the focus scales are
a bright fluorescent green, easy to see in low light, like Wilson
green/yellow tennis balls swatted around indoor courts. There are
two modules: the new Hand Unit 3 (the “FI” for Focus Iris) and
the ever-popular Microforce (“+Z” for Zoom).
Focus settings are displayed digitally on the bright LED display,
along with camera, lens, and set-up status. A new bargraph shows
the relation between focus marks entered electronically and the
position of the focus knob. For Cooke /i lenses, or any lens that
has been calibrated to the unit, the digital readout is a “reassurance” confirmation of actual lens settings when the camera is
mounted on a remote head or Steadicam.
DFX Digital Filter Suite
First FDTimes Factory Tour: Cooke Optics
FDTimes begins
writing about
tours to factories
relevant to our
business. David
Nettleton (right)
the robustness
of a Cooke S4/i.
Although the
lens survived,
do not attempt.
May void
Tiffen’s DFX Digital Filter
Suite simulates almost all of
Tiffen’s glass filters, including
the popular Pro-Mists, Double
Fogs and Black Pro-Mists that
have been elusive in previous
software. DFX Digital Filters
will be available as plug-ins for
Photoshop, Avid and Final Cut
Even better, it will come as
a stand-alone package that
should prove as essential a tool
for cinematographers as a lightmeter. The next time your art
director is horrified at your choice of Nude FX 2 filter for the
priceless product shot, you’ll now be able to pre-viz how great it
will look in dailies—instantly—on your laptop.
Nov 2015 • Issue 73
11. Jun 2007
12. Sep 2007
Inside the RED Tent
I admit being caught with my pants down at NAB 2007. I had
no idea how good a compressed image could look, nor how an
entire industry could be turned on its ear. We had been barking
up the wrong uncompressed tree. The RED paradigm is a highend digital SLR still camera, running at 24 fps.
A long line led to a red fabric tent. Working prototypes,
displayed on either side, showed the results of 12 months since
the first announcement last NAB. Jim Jannard, Head of RED,
personally introduced what we were about to see, “Here’s a little
something we shot in two days in New Zealand the other day.”
A 4K projector lit up the screen. The crowd gasped. Up came the
credit, “Directed by Peter Jackson.” This was no namby-pamby
test shoot. Two cameras, code named Boris and Natasha, were
subjected by New Zealand cinematographer Richard Bluck to
dust, mud and wind in trenches, aerials, rig shots, crane shots,
tight close-ups, and wide soaring vistas. There were more setups
here than in many major motion pictures. And in only two days.
Big, blue skies, normally a bugaboo of grain, noise or artifacts,
were pristine. There were scenes with deep shadows, bright
backgrounds and more than 12 stops of exposure range.
The entire two days of “footage” fit onto one 500 GB Firewire/
SATA drive. It was cut on Apple’s Final Cut Pro, finished on
a Quantel Pablo at 4K. The image is wavelet compressed very
early on, right after it comes off the CMOS sensor. This is very
efficient; it happens before it’s even color. The 12-bit linear
codec is what they described as “visually lossless.” It’s a wavelet
based, 12:1 compression, somewhat similar to JPEG 2000. Think
about it: Raw, uncompressed 2K data (D20, Dalsa, Genesis)
eats up to 400 MB a second, or 1.5 Terabytes an hour. Redcode
RAW 4K uses 27 MB a second, or 97 Gigabytes an hour. You
can archive 5 hours of that onto a LaCie 500 GB Firewire Drive
for about $190.
So far, over 1500 orders have been taken for RED Cameras.
Delivery of the Red Cameras is scheduled for later this year,
which is indeed the norm for most motion picture cameras:
Fauer’s law of 18 months from first prototype at NAB or major
trade show. Meanwhile, engineers and executives are hurrying
back to their native lands with tight lips and new mandates for a
response to the revolutionary paradigm introduced by RED.
September 1896. The brothers Lumière have patented the Kinora
viewing machine in France. Herman Casler has previously patented the larger Mutoscope in
America. Kinoras were handheld, private “flip books,” like a
Rolodex of photographs. Kinoras
became wildly popular in England; about 2,000 were manufactured. Interchangeable one-minute “reels” consisting of about
850 black and white still photos
could be rented or made to order.
September 2007. The iPhone
eclipses Kinora. Apple sells
270,000 iPhones in the first two
days after its introduction on
June 29th. Previous record sales
when iPod was introduced are
exceeded by 700%.
Iconic, Ironic, iPhone—the personal private picture viewer,
fashioning technology, accessorizing access, integrating style
with lifestyle. History repeats.
Victorians borrowed mightily
from Greek and Roman boarding school studies for industrial
revolutionary inventions like
unpronounceable Phenakistoscopes and Zoopraxiscopes in
the same way we now wind up
with eCommerce and iMac.
Holy Univisium! The iPhone’s
front glassy surface held horizontally holds the promise of a
2:1 aspect ratio. But what were they thinking? The actual screen
is a whole new aspect ratio of 1.5:1. Clearly Steve Jobs did not
consult with a committee at the American Society of Cinematographers about real estate. Of course, no one asked any known cinematographer about HDTV 16:9, so I suppose the oversight has
precedent. The resolution of the actual iPhone screen is 480 by
320 pixels, with a pixel density of 160 per inch (ppi). That’s better
than your HD monitors and computer screens. If you have a 30”
Apple Cinema Display, it’s only 100 ppi.
Issue 73 • Nov 2015
Lighting with Paint: Episode 10
I was recently interviewed on television
about lighting Cinematographer Style
(mostly with two 20x20 frames of Light
Gridcloth, two 6K HMI PARs or 10K’s,
huge studio, backgrounds out of focus, little
or no fill.)
Ironically, the interview was lit by a ring
of fire that could have been measured in
degrees Fahrenheit instead of T-stops. The
host and I were soaked in sweat. I volunteered to help turn off half the lights to illustrate our style of 90˚ side lighting. “No,
no,” said the producer. “We need to see your
eyes. Eyes are the window to the soul.”
That may be true if you’re doing iris scans
for identification or run-and-gun news.
Even then, they should put a warning on
all those on-board ENG-style camera lights
that mount directly above the lens: “Use
sparingly or to the side. May be harmful to
good looks.”
And that brings to mind the helpful producer with gaffing envy. His urgent Blackberry message said, “Paid 20 million bucks
for big star actor, and want to see everything we paid for.”
Self-portrait. Rembrandt van Rijn, 1628
Oil on panel, 22.6 x 18.7 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Nicolaes Ruts
Rembrandt van Rijn, 1631
oil on mahogany panel, 116.84 cm x 87.31 cm
The Frick Collection
Portrait of Nicolaas van Bambeeck
Rembrandt van Rijn, 1641
Oil on canvas, 105.5 x 84 cm
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels
Rembrandt van Rijn painted one of the
first of his many self-portraits in 1628 (top,
left). The single source light from a window
behind his right shoulder illuminates his
cheek, leaving the eyes in shadow. Because
the walls and ceiling of the studio are white,
there is just enough bounce light to fill the
There probably was not enough fill light
to please one of Rembrandt’s first customers, Susanna Ruts. “I’m paying you a king’s
ransom,” I imagine her saying. “Please show
me the windows to my father’s soul. Make
it brighter.” It was early in his career. Rembrandt didn’t argue and added fill light to
the portrait of Amsterdam merchant Nicolaes Ruts in 1631 (below, left).
Rembrandt was soon famous enough to
ignore Blackberry messages from producers about lighting. His contrasty and often
side-lit style is clear in the portraits that
followed, for example (below, right), a portrait painted in 1641 of another Amsterdam
merchant, Nicolaas van Bambeeck.
Artistic lighting and available light windows are good for the soul.
Nov 2015 • Issue 73
Lighting with Paint: Episode 13
Leading Ladies
There have been famous marriages and infamous romances between leading ladies and their cinematographers. After all, who
spends more time so close together? The cinematographer must
not only make the leading lady look beautiful, but also feel beautiful. In addition to masterful lighting, the cinematographer is
asked to create an aura of care, understanding, attention to detail
and harmony with all contributing departments.
its box can be a reassuring sight. Often, the trick is to dim it way
down. John Alcott, ASC, BSC was famous for his collection of
flashlights in all degrees of light intensity. Look at Da Vinci’s Lisa
and Michelangelo’s Sibyl. There’s no eyelight at all.
The eternal question of eye light or not comes up. Obie lights,
ringlights, diva lights, and the like can often soften the psyche
of a skittish star, but ruin the shot. An Obie light emerging from
Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring works so well because the
glint in her eye mirrors the glint of the pearl. The light source
is coming from 90 degrees camera left, and the eyelight is coming from camera (obscura). Leonardo’s Cecilia is lit from a large
source camera right, which is the same source lighting her brown
eyes, and the eyes of her ermine.
Leonardo da Vinci Portrait of Cecilia Gallerani (Lady with Ermine) - detail
1483-90 Oil on wood, 54.8 x 40.3 cm. Czartoryski Museum, Krakow
Leonardo da Vinci Mona Lisa (La Gioconda) - detail
c. 1503-05 Oil on panel, 77 x 53 cm. Musée du Louvre, Paris
Jan Vermeer van Delft Girl with a Pearl Earring - detail
c. 1665 Oil on canvas, 46.5 x 40 cm. Mauritshuis, The Hague
Michelangelo Buonarroti The Delphic Sibyl -detail
1509 Fresco Sistine Chapel, Vatican
Issue 73 • Nov 2015
13-14. Dec 2007
15. Mar 2008
Panavision G Series Anamorphics
Transvideo CineMonitorHD
Panavision’S recent presentation of 6 new anamorphic
primes and 2 zooms confirms
the renewed interest in this
format. The new G-series
primes—35, 40, 50, 60, 75 and
100 mm—are all T2.6. They all
focus close—under 3 feet. They
share the same common front
diameter as spherical Primo
primes: 4.440", focus and iris gears in the familiar places.
The new Transvideo CineMonitorHD8 Monitor, introduced
at Cine Gear and IBC 2007, has
an 8” screen and is based on its
6” smaller sibling, the CineMonitorHD6. They are shipping now.
There’s a built-in wave-form
monitor, user-loadable look-up
tables for gamma and RGB, and
presets for color temperature.
The beginning of a beautiful
friendship. Transvideo President
Jacques Delacoux (left) started
Transvideo in 1985 to manufacture specialized equipment
for the motion picture industry. In 1990, he introduced the
first professional, rugged, flat
panel monitors for the film industry. Because their displays
are highly visible in daylight,
and withstand the worst abuses
a film crew can bestow, Transvideo monitors have become de
rigueur on most motion picture
camera packages worldwide.
The new front anamorphic wide angle zoom (AWZ2) is 40-80mm
T2.8. Its close-focus is 3¼'. The new anamorphic telephoto zoom
(ATZ) is 70-200 mm T3.5. It focuses to 5½'.
Also introduced: a new spherical Panavision Compact Zoom
(PCZ): 19-90 mm T2.8. Consistent focus and aperture throughout the zoom range, and close-focus to 2¼'. 8" long, and 7.3 lb.
Hawk V-Lite Anamorphics
Vantage Film introduced 6
new 35mm Hawk anamorphic
V-Lite lenses. Smaller, lighter,
high quality anamorphics lenses
for shots where size and weight
matter, they are fast, minimize
distortion and have increased
definition and contrast overall.
What’s the main difference between V-Plus and why not use
V-Lites all the time? The existing Hawk V-Plus set consists of 14
prime lenses (30, 35, 40, 50, 60, 65, 75, 85, 100, 120, 135, 150,
180, 250/350mm) and two zooms (46-230 and 300-900mm). Like
the difference between an Arricam Lite and Studio, Arriflex 235
and 435, the V-Lites are ideal for handheld, rigs and Steadicam,
while the V-Plus are the workhorse lenses. The V-Plus are larger
and heavier because they were designed to focus closer: V-Plus to
about 2’, V-Lite to about 3¼’. The V-Plus 65mm and 120mm lenses focus macro to the front element. Both sets are equally sharp.
Skater Dolly from P+S Technik, designed
by Sebastian Cramer, not only gets your
lens mere inches from the floor, it also
lets you do nice moves on its precision Rollerblade-style wheels,
manually or motorized.
Handling Cameras
Jena Optical Museum
What brought Carl Zeiss to
Jena? The University. Zeiss
was born in Weimar in 1816,
the fifth of twelve children.
From 1835 to 1838, he studied
physics and optics at the
prestigious, ancient and nearby
(15 miles east) University of
Jena. Karl Marx was working
on his doctorate. In 1846, Zeiss
set up a small “mechanicalengineering workshop” to build and maintain scientific instruments at the University. The company that would later grow
to over 30,000 employees was still small. Carl Zeiss supervised
the small workforce from his office perch (top, right) with its
interior window onto the workshop. The workers were mostly
young men with good eyesight and steady hands, often grinding
lenses by candlelight.
Nov 2015 • Issue 73
Robert Capa with 35mm Eyemo camera
during Spanish Civil War.
Canadian actress Yvonne De Carlo
(Photo by Time Life Pictures/Pix Inc./
holding a Bolex camera. London,
Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)
August 6, 1952. (Photo FGP/Hulton
Archive/Getty Images)
A camera should sit quietly on your
Aaton 35mm Penelope with famous
shoulder like a cat, said the Aaton ads. handmade wooden handgrip
16. May 2008
Paris is Always a Good Idea
In Sabrina, Audrey Hepburn says “Paris
is always a good idea.” For one day, once
a year, most of the French film industry
gathers in Paris at the annual Micro Salon,
hosted by the AFC (Association Française
des directeurs de la photographie Cinématographique). Imagine fine French wine,
hors d’oeuvres, and the latest equipment. It
takes place at the historic Pathé Studios in
Montmartre, Paris, now home of La fémis
film school.
In front of the Mona Lisa at the Louvre in the era (2008) shortly before selfies.
17-18. Jun 2008
NAB 2008 Report
At NAB 2008, crowds once
again thronged the RED tent to
see prototypes of the 5K RED
Epic: lighter, smaller, denser,
dearer. Real BNC connectors.
The 3K Scarlet is introduced.
RED One cameras are now
Angénieux’s Optimo
Rouge is a new, competitively priced PL
mount zoom lens: 3080mm T2.8 for RED
4K cameras, identified by the red bands
around the barrel.
Optimo DP (Digital
Production) 30-80,
you cannot stick one of these lenses into the PL mount of your
spinning mirror reflex camera. Well, you could, but you’d hear
the heartbreaking sound of mirror shutter shattering, as the rear
element of this lens pokes its way through $20,000 worth of fine
silver-coated glass and metal. This lensis less expensive than its
film-camera sibling, the Optimo 28-76mm T2.6.
Right before NAB
2008, there were 56
Arriflex D-20 cameras around the world
at 13 rental houses.
By now, most of them
have received software
and hardware upgrades, and new side
covers proclaim them
to be Arriflex D-21.
New cameras are also
in production.
Improvements include: 2K raw data mode and increased sensitivity of 100 to 800 ISO. 500 is less noisy than 800.
The Angénieux factory and worldwide headquarters sits, like a modern caste, on
top of the hill in Saint-Héand, in the Rhône-Alpes region of the Loire.
Company founder Pierre Angénieux (left) was
born in Saint-Héand, in 1907. He graduated from
a prestigious Paris engineering school, and was a
student of Henri Chrétien, inventor of the anamorphic lens. After working for Pathé, he started his
own company in 1935, Les Établissements Pierre
Angénieux. He devised innovative ways to calculating optical design that sped up development time. In 1950, he
introduced the Angénieux Retrofocus Lens, which enabled the
rear element to be further away from the image plane, making
possible the design of wide-angle lenses for SLR still cameras and
film cameras with mirror shutters.
The D-21 outputs HD 1920 x 1080p and raw 2K data (2880 x
2160 at 23.976p, 24p and 25p).
What do you record to? For HD, you connect via HD-SDI cable
to a deck like the Sony SRW, or an onboard solid-state Flash
Mag. In Data Mode, with raw uncompressed files, you use both
HD-SDI BNC connectors on the back
of the camera—as
dual link HD-SDI—
to plug into storage
like a Codex Portable Recorder (at
Issue 73 • Nov 2015
19-20. Nov 2008
To guess where motion pictures
are moving, take a look at a digital still camera introduced a
few weeks ago. The Canon EOS
5D Mark II is the first digital
EOS to offer recording of Full
HD video in Live View Mode.
It has a 21.1 Megapixel, full
frame 24x36 mm CMOS sensor. HD Video at 1920 x 1080
resolution, HDMI output. Video is recorded in .MOV with
MPEG-4 video compression.
In 2008, we saw an avalanche of activity in anamorphic and 3D
production, a maturing of 2K digital for television drama and series, continued use of 35mm film for big budget Hollywood features, HD for news and documentaries, every conceivable format
for commercials, RED rising, and impatience for 4K to become
practical, insurable and prevalent.
It felt as though someone at Cinec last month had flipped a switch
and turned off Super 16mm production. There have been whispers of 4K uncompressed cameras by ARRI, Aaton, Sony, Panavision and others. I’m guessing that we will see practical 4K uncompressed camera protoypes at NAB 2009, deliveries by NAB
2010, and serious use by NAB 2011. (That didn’t happen!)
“The biggest challenge is workflow, which I know is your least
favorite word,” said Volker Bahnemann, President of ARRI Inc.
Franz Kraus, Managing Director of ARRI in Munich, another respected oracle, said, “It’s more about storage, moving data, and
post.” How are we going to pump all that data into an onboard
magazine? Moore’s 18 month law puts practical and affordable 4K
Raw uncompressed data storage 18 months to 3 years from now.
21. Feb 2009
At Cinec 2008, Angénieux
added a sibling to
their 30-80 Optimo DP (Rouge)
Zoom, the new
16-42mm T2.8.
It shares similarities to the
popular 15-40mm Optimo at a much lower
price. You cannot use the 16-42 on a camera
with a mirror shutter.
Vantage Film is a rental house located
in Weiden, a modern silk-road kind
of crossroads to three major nearby
film production hubs: Berlin, Prague
and Munich. From Munich Airport,
Vantage ships high-end rental cameras, lenses, accessories and specialized
equipment worldwide. Hawk is their
vast and fast-growing line of Motion Picture Lenses, mostly Anamorphics, designed and manufactured in Weiden. It’s sort of the
Panavision of the PL world. Since Star Wars in 1997, over 300 major films have been shot with Hawks. Who are these guys? Abolve
right, on the left, Wolfgang Bäumler; on the right, Peter Märtin.
What about compressed 4K like RED? By now, RED has shown
Hollywood how we can live with visually or vicariously lossless
compression. In the past year, thousands of RED ONE cameras
were shipped; they shot hundreds of features, commercials and
music videos all over the world.
ZEISS Cine Lens Day
Buffeted by a cold, late-afternoon wind from the East, we
climbed up a hill to Kapfenburg Castle, two hours northwest of Munich. We were
greeted by the largest raptors I
have ever seen. Khan the eagle,
Shuhu the owl and Ronja the
falcon were guarding the castle’s main gate, glowering at us
and the town of Laucheim below. The eagle looked like it could
carry away a small cinematographer. We were ready for serious
lectures on optics in Oberkochen the next day. Dr. Winfried
Scherle, Vice President and General Manager of the Carl Zeiss
Camera Lens Division, presented an overview of the company.
Dr. Hans Kiening explained that resolution is not the same as
sharpness, and, although humans were not originally designed to
watch movies, detection of rapid movement (MTV-paced editing) was a distinct evolutionary advantage.
Nov 2015 • Issue 73
Canon’s Oita facility makes SLR cameras and camcorders like
the XL and XH series. With a “cell” production system, cameras
are put together by small teams at workstations. This lets the production go at the pace of the workers. As each subassembly is
passed on, the previous work is inspected, so there is a constant
quality control cycle. On average, one cell or team of workers can
produce about 500 cameras or camcorders in an 8 hour shift.
Lenses are injection molded in automated machines that press
molten glass, heated to 700 degrees (glass melts at 600 degrees),
under pressure, into spherical and aspheric elements. One lens is
made every 4.3 minutes. The tolerance is 30 nm. For reference,
high end aspheric cinema lenses are polished to 4 nm.
22-24. Apr 2009
25. May 2009
Carl Zeiss Compact Primes
This was an online-only edition, originally called “Midsummer 2009”.
ZEISS has just announced a new series
of affordable, high
quality compact lenses
for all PL mount digital
or film cameras, notsurprisingly, called Compact Primes. The current
set of 7 lenses, a Magnificent Seven with a distinctive
Blue Band, are due for delivery
this summer, and come in 18, 21,
25, 28, 35, 50, 85 mm. Other focal
lengths will probably be in the works.
The merger of
the moguls was
brewing most of
2008. Whenever
I’d run into Steve
Tiffen or Marvin
Seligman last year,
each would whisper,
“Jon, we’re working
on something really
big that you’re going to like, but we can’t tell you what it is.” It’s
official. Lowel Light is now part of Tiffen.
New at NAB from Litepanels: 1x1 Bi-Color,
Bi-Focus, Super-Speight 8 1x1 units = 4’x4’.
Those of us who have been hoarding old ZEISS Standards as investment-grade commodities may find the market in older lenses
is about to deflate. (Oops) As brokers are fond of saying, however,
past performance is no indication of future success. (True!)
Left to Right: ZEISS SLR ZF (Nikon Mount)
25 mm Still Lens; ZEISS Compact Prime 25
mm; and ZEISS Master Prime 25 mm.
Cooke Panchro/i
New Fujinon PL Mount Zooms
Although there were CAD drawings of the Cooke Panchros at
NAB, we weren’t really sure what to expect. Today, we are not only
staring at a real production model of the Panchro /i 100 mm T2.8,
but also are about to shoot a test with it.
Information travels along the Cinematographer’s Rumor Network
faster than Skype. From Leicester to Oberkochen, Tokyo to Hollywood, we heard whispers all winter that Fujinon was working
on a series of new PL mount lenses. It’s confirmed. Here comes a
high-end line of PL-mount zooms in previously un-heard-of focal lengths and apertures. The first lens to be ready, expected by
end of May, will be the Fujinon PL 18-85 mm T2.0. Delivery of
the other three lenses is anticipated around the end of 2009. The
four new Fujinon PL Mount Lenses are expected to be: 14.5-45 T
2.0, 18-85 T 2.0, 24-180 T2.6, and 75-400 T2.8 - T4.0. These specs
could change.
Several things come as surprises: all good. This looks, feels and
acts like the Cooke S4 series: the same silky, floating feeling as
you pull binding or resistance...effortless focus riding
on its cams.
AT NAB, there was chatter and twitter that this would be a Cooke
Lite, less filling and maybe less impressive. Not so. If anything,
it fills a void hitherto unaddressed. Imagine the big stunt scene
where they jump off the largest cliff the world has ever seen, with
at least ten cameras running concurrently. The answer is a plethora of Panchros, lighter, smaller, less expensive than the S4 set, one
stop slower (T2.8), and color matched. (Eventually, the Panchros
are renamed Cooke miniS4/i to avoid confusion with the original
Cooke Panchro series I, II, and III (above right) .
Issue 73 • Nov 2015
Lighting with Paint: Episode 29
The Denial of Saint Peter. Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
c. 1610. Oil on canvas, 94 cm × 125 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Left and front cover:
Saint Joseph the Carpenter. Georges de la Tour
c. 1640. Oil on canvas, 137 x 101 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris. Second Floor/Sully/Room 28
Opposite page, left:
Magdalene with the Smoking Flame. Georges de la Tour
c. 1640. Oil on canvas, 117 x 92 cm
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
Single Source. Forget Three-Point Lighting
I thought the world was finally safe from the tyranny of ThreePoint Lighting until, at dinner the other day, some well-respected
colleagues discussed how they use it, teach it, and asked if I did
the same.
After a Pinteresque pause to fathom whether they were pulling my
leg, I sputtered how I begin the Advanced Cinematography class
at Columbia University by asking who had been indoctrinated in
that egregious technique. Invariably, most of the hands eagerly
shoot up. They are summarily shot down after being subjected to
a barrage of Powerpointed paintings (single source) along with
the admonitory mantra, “Forget Three-Point Lighting.”
In his famous essay, Why Are We Still Teaching Three-Point Lighting, Ron Dexter, ASC asked, “Are people in the real world lit with
a key light, fill light and kicker? Does it make people look like they
belong in a scene other than in a portrait studio or a 1950s movie?
Are people in well-photographed movies or TV today lit threepoint? Or is it just the way film and video books and schools have
been doing it all along?”
Ron must gag when he googles “lighting” and finds page upon
page on three-point lighting, while the real world is bathed in
mostly single source light.
In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell explains how some people succeed
and why it takes about 10,000 hours to truly master a skill. That’s
approximately how long Mozart practiced before being consid24
Nov 2015 • Issue 73
ered a boy-genius, and Bill Gates spent at a teletype terminal in
high school. It takes about the same amount of time for a cinematographer to really see the light and intuitively feel the T-Stop
without using a lightmeter. To forget three point lighting takes
only a few minutes—the time to read these two pages.
Low Light ISO 102,400
In October 2009, everything we thought we knew about lighting changed. New CMOS sensors capable of capturing fleeting
photons up to 102,400 ISO were introduced by both Canon and
Nikon. No, this wasn’t night vision; it was full color, full resolution, albeit slightly noisy. Cinematographers were talking about
scenes so dark the camera could see more than the eye, Camera Assistants were extrapolating numbers for lightmeters whose
scales didn’t even come close, and Producers were actually encouraging Screenwriters to once again type “NIGHT - EXT.”
As we begin 2010, we see lenses getting faster, cameras lighter
and smaller, tripods and cranes more flexible, sensors and film
stocks more sensitive, and audiences less sensitive. At CES and
NAB 2010, expect to see 3D Home Televisions and Monitors, 3D
Blu-Ray players, 3D game consoles and 3D home video cameras
complete with 3D rigs. We’re in a surge of 3D.
See the fascinating interview with Vince Pace about the 3D Production of Avatar.
Lighting with Paint: Episode 30
The Dream of St Joseph. Georges de la Tour
c. 1640. Oil on canvas, 93 x 81 cm
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes
One Footcandle
As we wind down 2009, MGM is up for sale yet again. Are there
really that many readers interested in Sarah Palin’s biography?
Glaciers are receding, rainforests are dwindling, and the globe is
indeed warming. Imagine the salubrious benefits of shooting an
entire movie at less than a footcandle, with all the concomitant
carbon credits and bragging rights.
But wait. By the end of next year, can your iPhone do it all—from
script, storyboard, location mapping to shooting and editing?
The next 18 months should see the worlds of still photography
and cinematography continuing to converge and confound. The
convergence is good. The details are in the dichotomy of design.
The new hybrid HDSLR cameras were originally designed for the
millions of photo journalists, sports photographers, wedding and
event photographers, and enthusiasts who also want to shoot occasional 1920x1080 24p HD video. These HDSLRs hit the same
synaptic must-have nerve as Starbucks, Smart Car or Prius.
Cinematographers everywhere were enraptured by the notion of
shooting at 102,400 ISO in light levels unthinkable a few months
earlier. The piffling particulars like follow-focus, hand-holding,
smooth zooms—you know, all the routine things we demand in
normal cinematography—were totally abandoned in the stampede to embrace this new technology. I confess, I was at the front
of the herd, having scored a Canon 7D within minutes of the
doors opening at Fotocare in New York. It took a few milliseconds
longer for wizards like Bruce Dorn to come up with clever after-
market follow-focus and finder magnifying devices.
Jim Jannard was prescient in designing the RED camera basically
as a digital still camera that shoots motion. Now the traditional
digital still, video and film camera companies have caught up, and
in fact, may have leapfrogged the technology. There are only a
handful and a half (7) companies that make high-end sensors capable of being used for digital motion imaging. Canon and Sony
are two of these companies. Canon and Sony also make their own
lenses, circuits and software in-house.
Oh yes, the paintings. Georges de la Tour was born in 1593 in
the duchy of Lorraine in northeastern France. He traveled to Italy
and the Netherlands early in his career, where he may have been
influenced by Caravaggio and Rembrandt. His one footcandle
Magdalenas can be seen at the Met, Louvre, National Gallery and
LACMA. They were done around 1640-1642, the same year Rembrandt completed The Night Watch.
The glow of single source, practical, in-shot candle light sets his
work apart from Caravaggio, whose hard, directional lighting is
similar, but comes from out of frame. De la Tour was able to imagine and paint scenes illuminated by one candle, one foot from
the subject: something that would take more than another 300
years to photograph. He instinctively understood how the flame
was the brightest point in the frame, and often covered the actual
source of light with a hand or arm to draw attention to faces and
expressions where needed.
Issue 73 • Nov 2015
26. June 2009
27. Sep 2009
This was an online-only edition, originally called “Cine Gear 2009).
ARRI OV-Plus Camera
with Optical Viewfinder
The AJA Ki Pro is a tapeless device that records high-quality
Apple ProRes 422 QuickTime files onto computer-friendly
media. Because it features SD/HD-SDI, HDMI, and analog
inputs, you can connect almost any type of camera. Monitor via
Ki Pro’s numerous simultaneous outputs, connecting to both
professional and consumer monitors.
With the optional exo-skeleton, it can sit below your camera.
Ki Pro is easy to operate. Familiar VTR-like buttons provide
immediate controls for basic operation. Ki Pro produces Apple
ProRes 422 QuickTime files that are ready for immediate
use within Final Cut Studio. Simply connect the media to a
computer and begin editing. Intercut SD, 720 and 1080 cameras
and formats with one 10-bit full-raster codec-Apple ProRes 422.
And if you’ve got high-quality SD cameras, Ki Pro can even help
you extend their use since it also upconverts SD camera signals
to HD recordings.
There’s a removable storage module and the unit can connect
to a digital camera via SDI or HDMI, or an analog camera with
multiple input options.
Fujifilm Eterna Vivid 500
Fujifilm Corporation announced the introduction of Eterna
Vivid 500, a new tungsten-balanced motion picture color
negative film (E.I. 500; 35mm/16mm) formulated to offer high
color saturation and high contrast. The grain configuration is
precisely engineered to a thickness that minimizes reflections,
effectively limiting dispersion of light and enhancing sharpness.
Nov 2015 • Issue 73
Stop the presses! Blazing Headlines: Not One but Three New Digital Motion Picture Cameras from ARRI, code named ALEXA,
make their stunning debut at IBC. Until they get a real name or
number (D-31?), perhaps we can call them BLUE, after ARRI’s
Pantone Blue logo. ALEXA is a good name too. It reminds me of
Billy Joel’s song The Downeaster Alexa.
The three new ARRI BLUE digital cameras announced at IBC satisfy the holy trinity of contemporary production: lighter, smaller,
faster. Prices start somewhere below € 50,000. The two entry level
models (EV and EV-Plus) use a new ARRI electronic viewfinder
and a 16:9 picture area. The OV-Plus will have an optical viewfinder, and a 4:3 sensor with rotating mirror shutter. All three
cameras will shoot 1-60 fps. The Plus models will have integrated
wireless remote control for lens and camera operation.
Estimated arrivals are June 2010 for the EV, September 2010 for the
EV Plus and December 2010 for the OV Plus. Because the sensor
of the EVF-equipped cameras is full-frame 4:3, and the recorded
image is a smaller 16:9 frame within, the electronic viewfinder can
display an over-scanned viewing area that surrounds the frame, so
you can see microphones creeping into your shot and C-Stands
lurking at the edges. ARRI is positioning these digital cinematography cameras for HD television, commercials and feature films
whose current output formats are HD 1920x1080 or 2K data. ARRI
feels that uncompromised and uncompressed 4K resolution, will
remain the domain of 35mm film for some time to come.
In designing a single 35mm format 3.5K sensor with HD/2K output, 8.25 micron pixels were selected. Think of sensors as buckets sitting out in the rain, and pretend the rain is a stand-in for
photons of light. The larger the bucket, or sensor, the more light
can be gathered. The smaller the bucket, the more buckets can
be placed side by side (higher resolution), but they can’t hold as
much. The cameras manage to have a wider “exposure latitude”
with two 14 bit A/D converters that deliver separate high and
low gain signals that are then re-combined into a single 16-bit
high dynamic range image. This is very similar to the way the
ARRISCAN works, exposing each frame of film multiple times
for highlights and low light areas.
By the end of IBC, everyone was calling them “Alexas.”
28. Oct 2009
29. Dec 2009
This was an online-only, IBC Wrap-Up Edition).
left to right: Cooke 5/i 100mm T1.4, Cooke S4/i 100mm T2.0,
Cooke Panchro/i 100mm T2.8
The lensmakers in Leicester must be working overtime. Cooke
surprised us with yet another new series: The Cooke 5/i. There
will initially be 9 lenses in the Cooke 5/i series: 18, 25, 32, 40, 50,
65, 75, 100 and 135 mm, all T1.4-T22. They all cover Super 35mm
format (30 mm diameter) and have a front diameter of 110 mm.
We compared line pairs and MTF until our eyes glazed over, and,
of course, the 5/i was sharper, richer, and performed a little better
than the S4/i and Panchro/i at all apertures. But what we really
want to know is, “what do these lenses really look like?”
We tested the 100 mm pre-production samples of new 5/i and
Panchro/i lenses, along with a Cooke S4/i 100 mm. The silky,
lustrous Cooke Look isn’t imaginary—it’s visible. The frame-grab
(below) was shot “wide open with a wrench” on the Cooke 5/i
100mm at T1.4. The focus “rolls” off instead of “falls” off. The look
is cosmetically smooth, romantic, not “soft,” but rather pleasantly
blended. Describing the Cooke Look requires the vocabulary of
wine tasting, with words like round and luminous. The 5/i lenses
have built-in, dimmable light to illuminate the focus scale.
Cooke lenses are equipped
with /i metadata. Transvideo
CinemonitorHD/i has a
helpful new tool to check the
data and evaluate focus. It is
often difficult for the camera
operator to see focus in some
less than stellar EVFs.The DP
and camera assistant can help
decide whether it may or may not be necessary to do another
take, having consulted the graphical depth of field display on the
CineMonitor to see whether the depth of field allows any leeway.
Pretend for a moment that you are a Studio Mogul. It’s your job
to predict, eighteen months from now, the next big thing and
plan accordingly. We have “two words” (as Sam Goldwyn said)
for you. “Anamorphic.” After the 3D Gold Rush of 2009 (two of
every piece of equipment our Sponsors make, thank you very
much), eighteen months from now, how will you lure audiences
out of their 3D-equipped home theaters and back into popcornpopping and snack-selling multiplexes?
The most prevalent squeeze ratio has been 2x. The close-up image (above) was shot with a Hawk V-Plus 65mm T3 Macro (2x
squeeze ratio) at T4 on an Arriflex D-21­—using its full frame, full
35mm format sensor. Notice the shallow depth of field, and the
archetypal oval out-of-focus highlights (bokehs).
Recently, 1.3x squeeze Hawk anamorphic lenses are being used
on 3-perf film and 16:9 sensors. The lady with the chandelier in
background (bottom) was filmed with a Hawk V-Lite 55mm at
T2.2 (1.3x squeeze ratio) on an ARRICAM ST, 3 perf camera
(24mm x 13.5mm gate). So far, Vantage Film has designed and
built 50 different anamorphic primes and 5 zooms in its Compact,
V-Series, V-Plus, V-Lite and V-Lite16 Series, with about 600 lenses
in use worldwide.
Alfred Piffl of P+S Technik has probably retrofitted and upgraded more cameras than anyone else, having modified 35BLs into
Evolutions, improved Moviecams, and converted 16SRs into Super 16 PL models. His 16 Digital SR Mag for ARRI 16SR cameras records to onboard, removable storage media in HD RAW
(1920x1080) or 2K RAW (2048x1152) with lossless compression,
and has an HD-SDI output for viewing.
Issue 73 • Nov 2015
30. Mar 2010
31. Apr 2010
This was an online-only edition.
Volker Bahnemann Takes Off
The lenses will come in focal lengths of: 16, 18, 21, 25, 35, 40, 50,
65, 75, and 100 mm, with additional ones possible. In development for three years by an international team of prominent optical and mechanical lens designers (alumni of Panavision, Leitz,
Leica Canada, and Otto Nemenz, Christian Skrein and Band
Pro), it was one of the industry’s best kept secrets. Three focal
lengths were shown as working prototypes. Band Pro has been
named the worldwide distributor. The small size and light weight
were made possible by use of double aspheric elements. The focus
scales are in the same position relative to the front of the camera
and have the same spacing from infinity to 6’. A threaded ring
in the rear of the titanium PL mount permits quick and clean
mounting of nets. The first 25 sets of lenses will be delivered to
Otto Nemenz International.
Volker Bahnemann, President and CEO of ARRI Inc. and ARRI/
CSC (Camera Service Center), instigator of Film and Digital
Times, announced that he will step down this spring, continuing
as an advisor until the end of the year. (He doesn’t stay away long:
Volker is named to the ARRI Board in October 2013.)
On December 17, 2009,
the big surprise at Band
Pro’s annual expo was
the unveiling of a totally new set of PL mount
prime lenses. They are
all T1.4, lightweight
and small: 95 mm front
diameter, and about 3.8
lb each. Called the “Mystery Lenses” because of lack of corporate provenance emblazoned on the barrels, we were assured all
would be revealed very soon.
The new Master
Prime 12 mm T1.3
is the widest, fastest,
latest prime from
double aspherical
lens elements, it
shares the optical
performance and
straight image geometry of the other
Master Primes.
That’s Nila President Jim Sanfilippo under a Nila SL LED
Space Light. A traditional tungsten Space Light consists of six
1000 watt tungsten bulbs inside
a silk-like skirt. Typically, they
get very hot. Jim estimates that
a studio will spend about $500
in air conditioning costs just to
cool the place down for each hot
Space Light used.
The Nila SL uses LEDs that draw
only 850 watts. This lightens
the load, runs 80% cooler, and
simplifies cabling. Available in
Tungsten or Daylight. Onboard
dimmer or DMX controlled. A
powerfully cool idea.
Nov 2015 • Issue 73
The first working prototype of ARRI’s Alexa was shown at the
AFC Micro Salon in Paris. Last seen at IBC 2009 as a mockup and
electronic breadboard, this was the real deal. The official launch is
NAB in April 2010. What delighted me was how easy it was to set
up. Menus easy to navigate. Most of us were able to learn how to
use the camera in about 5 minutes. The commands and buttons
are familiar, like a film camera: FPS, Shutter, EI (Exposure Index,
ISO), and WB (Color Temperature). Real buttons control each
function; you don’t have to drill deep into menus. The display is
intuitive, and you can see all your settings at once. Alexa sits comfortably on the shoulder. Lightweight support rod receptacles are
milled into the front of the casting.
Nicolas Pollacchi, CEO of Loumasystems, at Micro Salon
demonstrated how the Louma
2 makes easy work of shots that
compensate for the crane’s diagonal or swinging arcs. New
“Shot Assist” real time software on the Louma 2 coordinates camera and crane axis
positions. You can manually
override Shot Assist with your
wheels, and the transfer from
auto-pilot to manual is gentle
and seamless.
32-33. Jun 2010
Kodak introduces Vision3 200T 5213/7213
tungsten balanced (3200K) film: 200 ISO,
expanded latitude (14 stops dynamic
range), more details in highlights and
shadows and finer grain. Kodak Vison3
200T is available in all formats (65mm,
35mm, Super 16 and Super 8). Vison3
technology was introduced in November
2007, and includes 500T 5219/7219 and
250D 5207/7207 negative films.
Mon Dieu. Aaton pulled a 4K
cat out of the hat at NAB. Cinematographers who waited 13
years for Aaton Penelope were
rewarded for their patience
with the debut of her digital
sister as a working prototype
model: Penelope-∆ (Delta). The same body accommodates both
traditional Penelope 400' film magazines and a new digital magazine. Uncompressed RAW DPX files (>4K) and DNxHD of any
flavor can be recorded onboard at up to 800MB/sec onto a slidein 2.5” Solid State Drive (SSD) DeltaPack. An SDHC card, located
behind the top on-board battery, simultaneously records DNxHD
36 proxies. The rotating mirror shutter and extremely bright optical viewfinder provide generous peripheral coverage. The 800
ISO basic sensitivity can be reduced to 100 ISO.
studio zooms: 18-80 T2.6 and 45250 T2.6. 134 mm front diameter.
The Aluras are a joint project of
ARRI and Fujinon, and will be distributed by ARRI and their dealers.
The Mystery Lenses that could
not be named bore the unmistakable Leica logo at NAB 2010.
The Leica Summilux-C lenses
are made by CW Sonderoptic,
a subsidiary of ACM Project
Development, whose Managing Director, Dr. Andreas
Kaufmann, also happens to be
the Chairman of Leica Camera
AG. The lenses should be ready
to ship later this year.
34. July 2010
This online-only Cine Gear Wrap-Up was pulled from web for repair.
Panavision Genesis Digital
Camera with a new OLED
Viewfinder and the current
finder above it. Also shown:
Solid State Recorder, prototype Panavision Advanced
Zoom 60-125mm T2.8. Also
announced: Panavision Advanced Zoom (PAZ) 15-40
mm T2.6 and 27-75mm T2.6
(planned for April 2011).
The new Phantom Flex is at
least 2 stops more sensitive
than the previous Phantom
Gold. User selectable shooting modes let you change resolutions and speeds. In Standard Mode, the Phantom Flex
is similar to other Phantom
digital high-speed cameras with resolutions up to 2560 x 1600
pixels at anywhere from 10 frames-per-second up to 1,560 fps. As
you reduce the resolution, the maximum speed increases.
Carl Zeiss introduced a set of
7 Compact Prime CP.2 cine
lenses: 18, 21, 25,28, 35, 50,
85 mm. While it seemed as if
the rest of the world was busily drilling and dremeling PL
mounts onto Canon EOS bodies, ZEISS thought differently. The
new Compact Prime CP.2 lenses have interchangeable PL, EF and
F mounts. Except the 18 mm, they cover 24 x 36mm full frame.
The cine lens team at Carl
Zeiss has introduced a new
take on the Lightweight
Zoom, the LWZ.2—Light
Weight Zoom 2, available in
August. The ZEISS VarioSonnar 15-45 mm T2.6
LWZ.2 has an expanded focus scale. Three different mounts are
available: PL, EF and F mount. The LWZ.2 covers the ANSI Super
35 image area (24.9 x 18.7mm / 0.980’’ x 0.7362’’).
Alec Shapiro takes the wraps
off a new Sony prototype camcorder with PL mount at the
Sony NAB press conference.
It is expected to be ready early
next year. The size and shape
looks something like a cross
between an HVR-Z7U and a
PMW-EX3, with a PL mount
and unspecified sensor. For the
moment, we’ll call it a Z35.
focus scales
for Optimo
24-290 Zoom,
with more
(and more intuitive) focus
Issue 73 • Nov 2015
Gobo Lighting with Paint: Episode 30
Location Painting
Lighting le Moulin
Renoir’s “Bal du Moulin de la Galette” was painted “on location” a
few blocks away from La Fémis, the French National Film School
and home of the annual AFC (Association of French Cinematographers) Micro Salon. This year, it seemed as if the entire French
film industry was having as much fun at the Micro Salon as the
characters in Renoir’s painting—two days of equipment exhibits,
presentations, and meetings on February 12 and 13, 2010.
Technology influences technique. Paint in metal tubes helped
lure Impressionist painters out of their studios and onto location
in ways that would be repeated a century later by New Wave filmmakers (lighter cameras, handheld technique).
Les Moulins
The actual Moulin de la Galette still stands nearby. There once
were more than fourteen mills atop Montmartre, a butte overlooking Paris. The mills were originally set up to grind grain and
press grapes from the nearby vineyards, but by the late 19th century, some of the owners found it more profitable to use their establishments as guinguettes where Parisians could dance, drink,
and munch on galettes.
Moulin de la Galette
Pierre-Auguste Renoir painted “Bal du Moulin de la Galette” in
1876. The dappled pools of sunlight and shadow are artful antidotes to dreaded flat lighting. Are Renoir’s impressive impressionist brush strokes capturing patterns of light created by branches
and leaves above?
Nov 2015 • Issue 73
If Pierre-Auguste Renoir had the equipment we have now, he’d be
a happy man. His camera truck would certainly have contained
the latest tubes of paint, and his virtuoso location grip package
surely would have included mirrors, reflectors, cucolorises, and a
chain saw. It might have happened this way:
Pierre-Auguste fussed with several carefully placed mirrors to focus hard, dappled light onto his favorite models, while a platoon
of grips were undoubtedly thinning out leaves and selectively
pruning and chopping away branches, much to the horror of the
proprietor, M. Charles-Nicolas Debray.
Or were they? Take a look at the 1885 photograph and the paintings by Van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec of the same location. I
don’t see many trees. While Renoir’s interpretation is happy, lively, bathed in glorious sunlight, the Moulin de la Galette of Van
Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec seems a bit sad and seedy; the lighting is flat and cold. The Butte de Montmartre had vineyards, but
I certainly cannot see many trees to dapple the beautiful sunlight.
Lighting with Paint: Episode 30 (cont’d)
So, how did Pierre-Auguste Renoir “light” his wide shot? Gustave,
his gaffer, undoubtedly suggested four 18K HMI lights on cranes
extending over the restaurant, but the producer said, “En deux
mots, impossible.”
Pierre-Auguste replied, “Well, then. We will just have to wait for
a sunny day.”
I hope he didn’t have to wait too long; during my entire stay at the
Micro Salon, the sky was gray and bleak all week. Nevertheless,
the sun shone, the producer was happy, but Pierre-Auguste was
“The light is direct and flat,” he complained to Gustave.
“Let’s make it look like it’s coming through the leaves of the trees,
the way it does in Monet’s—not Manet’s—Le déjeuner sur l’herbe.”
“But Pierre-Auguste,” Gustave said, “there aren’t any trees here.
They’ve all been chopped down for the vineyards that supply the
wine your friend M. Delacoux says ‘will put holes in your boots.’”
“I’m sure our grips can find a few branches nearby, and hang them
out of frame, above the shot, from C-Stands to break up the light.”
Perhaps the Branch-a-loris was invented that day.
There is so much storytelling, such a large cast of characters, attention to detail, color, composition, lighting and focus in this
painting that Renoir must surely have required more time than a
day on location would have allowed.
The morning was spent blocking the scene, lighting, rehearsing
the action, working on the wardrobe, doing hair and makeup and
arranging the props. It was time for lunch. The producer was adamant about not incurring any overtime. During the afternoon,
Pierre-August sketched the details, noted the colors and with
bold strokes of his brush, roughed in his impressions of the light.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Self Portrait (at age 35).
1876. Fogg Art Museum. Cambridge, MA
Le Moulin de La Galette. Vincent van Gogh. 1886.
Oil on canvas. 38 × 46.5 cm. Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin
Origins of the DI
As the afternoon sun cast longer and longer shadows, the assistant director grew worried about the extras who were insisting
on drinking the wine in the prop glasses. When the sun set, and
magic hour turned into l’heure bleue, Pierre-Auguste announced,
“It’s a wrap.”
After a quick coupe de Champagne with cast and crew, PierreAuguste had his second assistant carry the large canvas back to
his studio for color correcting and tweaking over the next weeks.
It was the beginning of the Impressionist Digital Intermediate.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s son Jean was the film director, and his
grandson Claude was the cinematographer. I can imagine the
master berating his offspring, “When are you boys going to get
a real job?”
Cinematographers would wrestle, in the years to come, with ways
to break up the light to make it more interesting. Variously called
cucolorises, cookies, gobos and branch-a-lorises, the idea was to
put a patterned frame, like a cookie-cutter, in front of a light.
The lesson here is simple. If you’re confronted with a flat, boring
lighting setup, try breaking it up. Dapple the light. If you’re facing a big, unimaginatively flat painted background, think “Irving
Penn” and mottle the backdrop with paint or with ligh. Patterns
of leaves and branches from above, whether real, added or imagined, are essential to the style and lighting of “Bal du Moulin de
la Galette,” if not to its reputation as one of the most expensive
paintings ever auctioned.
Issue 73 • Nov 2015
35. Sep 2010
36-38. Dec 2010
That’s Garrett Brown at Tiffen’s Cine
Gear Booth. Imagine a Louma or Technocrane mated with a dental drill arm.
This fantasy might be possible after the
novocaine has kicked in. You look up
at the drill and notice it floats when the
dentist lets go. That’s sort of the theory behind the lightweight Steadicam
Tango. It provides floor-to-ceiling boom
range with lateral reach, full stability, intuitive control and simple, economical
construction. Tango weighs 6 lbs, and
carries cameras up to 6 pounds There are
no electronics, gyros, or connectors.
Fritz Gabriel Bauer,
director, cinematographer, producer, inventor, founder of
Moviecam, a father of
Arricam, is at it again.
His latest creation is the
Moviecam EasyFocus
which combines laser
measuring up to 200'
with a touch screen display to select the object
to be tracked.
Kulesh (V.P.) and Ed
the new MSE Car
Mount System. It
uses new MICROgrip
1.25" dia. grip/gobo
heads (smaller than
standard 2.5" heads)
and tapped 3/8" rods.
Accommodates camera
packages up to 26.4 lb.
OConnor’s new 2065 Fluid
Head is designed for cameras
like the RED One, SONY F35,
and ARRI Alexa. It replaces the
2060HD, and shares the design
of OConnor’s higher-payload
fluid heads like the 2575D and
120EX. Both the pan and tilt
breaks are conveniently located
on the left side of the head. The
2060 uses OConnor’s stepless pan and tilt fluid drag system and
can balance at any point in the tilt range. The one-touch platform
release lever opens easily and quickly. The 2065 weighs 22.9 lb.
(10.4 kg) and supports a payload of 0-71 lb. (32.2 kg).
Nov 2015 • Issue 73
Seven months after NAB 2010,
Alec Shapiro was back—this
time on the lofty 35th floor of
Sony’s New York Madison Avenue headquarters, ready to
introduce the new camera. The
evolution was complete: the
new camera is called PMW-F3,
the third 35mm Cinealta Digital Camera. “Affordable” was
an understatement. The PWMF3L package be will shipping end of January or early February
as a basic camera with PL adaptor (no lenses): list price will be
around $16,000. The PMW-F3K package consists of the camera,
PL adaptor, and 3 Sony PL Primes.
ARRI ALEXA Factory Tour
ARRI Munich
The 100th ALEXA built
ALEXA Sensors
Franz Kraus, ARRI Managing Director
Stephan Schenk, General Manager of
Camera Sales and Marketing
ARRI (USA) Inc CEO Glenn Kennel;
Marc Shipman-Mueller, Product Mngr.
From the creative place that
brought us Saabs, Super-16, and
Sven Nykvist, comes a tiny digital
camcorder: the Ikonscop Acam
dII. Ikonoskop was founded in
1999 by Göran Olsson and Daniel Jonsäter, both active filmmakers. Their Acam dII is a sculptural, ergonomic, lightweight,
uncompressed HD Camcorder
that records 1920×1080 RAW
CinemaDNG files directly onto
removable 160 GB Memory Cartridges at 240MB/second.
36-38. Dec 2010 (cont’d)
39. Feb 2011
Canon Expo: 4K
Issue 39 was our first edition in French, printed in Paris for the AFC
Micro Salon.
Imagine an entire PhotoPlus Expo, NAB or IBC devoted to one
company. Canon occupied the entire Jacob Javits Center in New
York for its once-every-five-year Canon Expo on September 2 and
3, 2010. It was repeated in Paris and Tokyo, like a World’s Fair or
Epcot, with visions of the future, concept cameras, medical imaging, and jaw-dropping technology—all from one company.
Angenieux’s 75th Anniversary in Saint-Héand on December 13, 2010.
The 4K race accelerates. Introducing Canon’s small 5.5 lbs, 4K
concept camera. It sort of looks like a hairdryer—but we understand that it’s a concept camera. It has a 2/3" 8 megapixel CMOS
single sensor. Frame rates reach above 60 fps. The bio-plastic
housing is made of plants instead of petroleum. It weighs about
5.5 lbs, 2.5 kg.
Canon’s 4K prosumer prototype was a working model, displaying
a crisp and pleasing image on new 4K Canon monitors. The hair
dryer shape and fused 24-480 zoom (35mm equivalent, 20x f/1.83.8) conceal this camera’s potential.
I suspect that Canon is working swiftly (after all, the theme of
Canon’s Expo 2010 is “We Speak Image”). A 4K camera could be
ready to roll on locations and sets worldwide if there’s enough
buzz to make it worth their while. With Canon’s considerable resources, they could have a Super35 size sensor camera with interchangeable mounts for a vast array of Canon and other lenses.
The working finder and mini monitor were sharp, and easy to
focus. Here’s another game-changer.
Bernard Angénieux
Dominique Rouchon honoring Denny
Clairmont with an inaugural plaque at
Below: Aaton’s Penelope Delta Digital
the opening of the Pierre Angénieux
Camera. Fewer than a dozen were built. Studio.
Below: Louma 2 with Pace 3D Rig on
Hugo Cabret.
Clint Eastwood’s Transvideo wireless
monitor on Flags of our Fathers.
World’s largest
CMOS image
the single chip
8 x 8.1 inches
(202 x 205 mm)
Issue 73 • Nov 2015
40. Mar 2011
41-42. NAB Apr 2011
Sony’s theme at NAB is “Believe Beyond HD.” HD is now
30 years old, and life beyond
2K extends to 4K and beyond.
Two weeks before the terrible
earthquake and tsunami in Japan, I visited Sony’s facilities
at the Atsugi Tech Center, Shinagawa and Kumamoto Sensor
Fabrication Plant.
Bob Richardson, ASC is using two Louma 2 cranes in London
almost non-stop on Martin Scorsese’s 3D movie Hugo Cabret. The
Louma 2 was also used on Pirates of the Caribbean 4. Jean-Marie
Lavalou and Nicolas Pollacchi, principles of Loumasystems, explained, “Louma 2 is very rigid and stable, even at high speeds.
Marc Galerne, K5600
Lighting, Inc. France.
The Alpha 2.5K/4K
and 18K HMIs have
a flat ceramic reflector, allowing you to
aim the light straight
down without danger
of over-heating.
Fujinon Factory
We’re at Fujifilm - Optical Devices Division
in Saitama, and I have
just met Mr. Arai Masashi, one of the lens
meisters entrusted to
create the latest Fujinon PL mount 35mm
Premier Zoom Lenses.
There are currently
four Fujinon Premier
4K+ PL Cine zoom
lenses: 14.5-45 mm
T2.0; 18-85 mm T2.0;
24-280 mm T2.6; and
75-400 mm T2.8-3.8
(T2.8 from 75-290;
gradual ramp to 3.8
from 290-400 mm).
All four Fujinon Premier PL zooms have
136 mm front diameters.
Nov 2015 • Issue 73
Sony introduces a prototype of
their new F65 camera. It has
a PL mount, and a new Sony
20 Megapixel CMOS sensor.
That’s 8K. The actual, active
18.3 Megapixel image area is
24.7 x 13.1 mm, which is 28
mm diagonal.
Sony’s NXCAM S35 is officially
named NEX-FS100. It has an
E-mount and the same single
Super35 CMOS sensor as the
Sony F3. The very short (18
mm) flange focal depth lets
you mount, with adaptors,
most 35mm still and motion
picture lenses. There will be
an E-mount option for ZEISS
Compact Prime CP.2 lenses.
ARRI previews the third
ALEXA sister at NAB. ALEXA
Studio’s full 4:3 sensor is the
same size as 35mm 4-perf. This
is rare among digital production cameras. With an image
area the same as a familiar
film ARRICAM or 435, ALEXA Studio can be used with
2x anamorphic lenses. Most
other digital cameras, including ALEXA and ALEXA Plus,
have 3-perf height—instead of
4-perf—image sensors.
Codex Digital and ARRI announced a Codex Arriraw
recorder for Alexa. It will be
marketed both by Codex and
ARRI, along with Codex camera mounts, data packs and
transfer stations.
The Vault is Codex’s new onlocation laboratory. Remove
the “exposed” solid state drive
from your Codex onboard recorder, insert into the Vault.
Files download immediately.
43. Jun 2011
44. IBC Sep 2011
Angenieux introduced a new
lightweight 45-120 mm
T2.8 Optimo zoom, the
third in the line of short,
light and fast zooms.
MOD: 3’ 1”. Image Diagonal: 31.4 mm. Weight
(approx.): 4.3 lb. Length: 203
mm. Front Diameter: 114 mm.
Canon came in with news
of two new PL Mount cine
zoom lenses: 14.5-60 mm
T2.6 and 30-300 mm T2.9
(ramps to T3.7 at 300 mm).
11-blade iris, 300° focus barrel rotation, 136 mm front
14.5-60 weighs 4.5 kg. 30-300
weighs 5.8 kg.
In matters of light and depth, as
Lowel Light founder Ross Lowell would say, this is the first in
a series of studio LED fixtures.
Lowel’s LED Studio 450 is a
powerful LED light, balanced
for tungsten 3200°K, fully dimmable (manual or DMX).
Convergent Design’s Gemini
4:4:4 is an uncompressed recorder/player/5” 800x480 LCD
touch-screen monitor with
internal, removable solid state
drives. It records 10-bit uncompressed 4:4:4 and 4:2:2 video in
most HD and 2K formats, with
up to 16 channels of embedded
audio and timecode.
appointed a Carl Zeiss
Authorized Service Partner.
They join two other Carl Zeiss
service centers worldwide
where you can have your ZEISS
lenses repaired with the same
equipment and procedures
used at the factory. The other
two centers are NAC in Japan
and, of course, Carl Zeiss
headquarters in Oberkochen,
Germany. AbelCine has offices
in New York City, Burbank
and Chicago. Rich Abel, VP &
COO, is at left.
AT IBC, two new ARRI/FUJINON Alura lightweight zooms
were shown: 15.5-45 T2.8 and
30-80 T2.8 lightweight zooms.
The two previous ARRI/FUJINON Alura Zooms are larger and
for studio use: 18-80 T2.6 and
45-250 T2.6. These were released
when the ARRI Alexa camera was
introduced in 2009.
A WEISSCAM’s T-Concept
working prototype was demonstrated at IBC in Band Pro’s
booth. Preliminary specs of the
T-1: 2/3” sensor, 600 ISO, 11
Stops contrast range, 12-bit RAW
uncompressed, 10-bit HD.
Frieder Hochheim
(with a prototype
Imara S10) had 3
New and Kino Flo
Light families shining at IBC.
BarFly 400D and
200D dimmable versions, with thin profile, self-contained
electronics, and universal voltage input.
Imara S10 and S6 are
studio fixtures with
the characteristics of
the Image series, but with a more concentrated spread of light
along both horizontal and vertical axes.
Tegra 4Bank combines the popular features of the 4ft 4Bank portable system with onboard controls like the Diva-Lite.
The Cartoni Maxima fluid head
works with any camera weight up
to 85 lbs (39kg). It’s just as smooth
with a lightweight DSLR as with an
Arricam, Sony F65, 3D rig, or Alexa
fully loaded with the heaviest zoom.
Maxima can counterbalance at any
angle, from +90° to -90°.
The continuous fluid drag is
smooth from almost freewheeling
to very tight. The pan and tilt locks
on the left side can be operated
with one hand. The fluid knobs
are placed left and right of the pan
base. They are soft and quick to
turn, even with gloves.
The top plate accepts all standard
sliding bases and baseplates.
Issue 73 • Nov 2015
45. Dec 2011
46. Feb 2012
Cinema EOS Premieres in Hollywood
Christmas came early in a conference call from Carl Zeiss
last month. Christian
Bannert and Michael
Schiehlen had my
head spinning withnew products they
were going to reveal
in 2012: wider and longer focal lengths to their existing line of
9 Compact Prime CP.2 lenses and a lightweight, compact tele
zoom.The new zoom will cover full still format 24x36 mm, just
like the CP.2 family.
Mr. Bannert took great
pleasure in asking me to
guess the third surprise
coming from Carl Zeiss.
Nov 3, 2011. Canon introduced Cinema EOS at
the Paramount Theatre.
Chairman and CEO Fujio
Mitarai discussed Canon’s
position in photography,
film, and imaging. Martin Scorcese presented a
history of cinema and art
in 8 minutes. Jon Fauer,
ASC introduced Canon
Managing Director Masaya Maeda, who presented the new C300,
followed by a panel discussion moderated by Fauer.
This story actually began over 3 years ago. Canon introduced the
EOS 5D Mk II DSLR in September 2008. It was intended for photojournalists to shoot stills and put short clips onto the web. The
rest is history. The 5D was embraced by Hollywood, Bollywood
and everyone else who liked the look of 24x36 mm format video.
The new Canon C300 camera is different. It is light, small and
fast. At about 3 pounds, the size of a medium format camera,
the big deal is the incredible beauty of scenes shot from 320 to
20,000 ISO. The C300 camera comes with a choice of EF or PL
mount. Image Stabilization will work on any optical stabilizationequipped Canon EF or EF-S IS lens on a C300 with EF mount.
“We’re back in the
Anamorphic Lens business,” he said. ZEISS
anamorphic lenses
will be lightweight and
compact—smaller than
the working prototype
shown here. They will
have a 2x squeeze. Do
I spy a T1.5 aperture in
this preliminary view?
In the beginning it was to be
an epic biography—working
title: “The Life of Trevor.” At
Micro Salon 2012 we were
honored to deliver a much
shorter version to celebrate the
30th anniversary of EMIT, the
beloved company he founded
in Paris. Ben, Trevor and
Andrew Steele are the characters behind EMIT, the well known
Parisian company that has been supplying the motion picture
community with almost everything imaginable for film and
digital production.
Canon C300
with EF
Mount, left.
C300 with
PL Mount,
Canon comes out with 3 EF Cinema Primes in EF Mount only.
They cover 35mm full frame 24x36 mm. Focus rotation is approximately 300°, 114 mm front diameters, and 11-bladed irises.
The initial set will be 24 mm T1.5, 50 mm T1.3 and 85 mm T1.3,
with more Cinema EOS lenses to follow.
Pierre Andurand joined
Angénieux as CEO in December 2011. Two months
later, he was in Hollywood
accepting the Society of
Camera Operators (SOC)
2012 Technical Achievement Award for the Optimo series of lightweight
zoom lenses.
Nov 2015 • Issue 73
AbelCine recently finished renovating their New York
headquarters, complete with a cool staircase connecting two
floors. AbelCine occupies more than half an acre of space at 609
Greenwich Street: 15,300 sq. ft. on the 5th floor, and 7,000 sq. ft.
on the 4th floor. There are 58 employees in New York. AbelCine’s
33 employees in LA are getting their own major expansion at
801 South Main Street in Burbank—to be ready later in 2012.
47-48. Apr 2012
Canon C500 looks similar to
the C300. It adds 4K 10-bit
RAW and 2K 12-bit RGB 4:4:4
external recording. The 4096 x
2160 image size is 26.2 x 13.8
mm. C500 outputs uncompressed 4K Bayer RGB RAW
10-bit Canon Log to an external
recorder from 1-60 fps.
When Canon hinted at the future on November 3, 2011, I did
not expect to see this EOS-1D C
4K DSLR to be ready for prime
time at NAB a mere 5 months
later. It records 4K 24p Motion
JPEG in 4096x2160 internally.
Canon 5D Mk III is a full frame
DSLR with significant improvements: headphone jack, ISO
speeds to 25,600 (expanded to
102,400). 2 stop improvement
in noise reduction. 3200 ISO
shots on the new Mk III look as
good as 800 ISO on the Mk II.
The lensmeisters have been busy
at Fujinon. Their new 19-90 mm
T2.9 lightweight PL-mount zoom
lens seems to have the longest
range of any lightweight zoom.
It’s called Cabrio—as in cabriolet—convertible.
The convertible part is the quickly removable zoom handgrip.
Similar to ENG/EFP servo drives, it has built in lens motors for
focus, iris, and zoom. A rocker controls the zoom. This is daring
new territory for PL mount zoom lenses, and could be very influential in handheld and documentary style shooting.
Gerhard Baier is now Managing Director at CW Sonderoptic, sharing the title with Erik
Feichtinger. Gerhard will be
responsible for production and
marketing, Erik for finance and
operations. Iain Neil is the principal lens designer of the Leica
Summilux-C Project.
Leica’s M Monochrom is a fullframe, 35 mm black-and-white
still camera with a 18 Megapixel
CCD sensor, providing faster,
sharper black-and-white images with a wider dynamic range.
49. Jun 2012
Canon introduced 2 lightweight zoom lenses at NAB.
The 15.5-47 mm T2.8 and 30105 mm T2.8 Compact Zooms
are lighter and smaller than the
two Canon studio zooms introduced last November. They
come in PL or EF mounts, and
cover a 29.6 mm image circle.
New ZEISS Compact Zoom
CZ.2 70-200/T2.9 covers full
frame still format 36 x 24 mm.
Interchangeable mounts: PL,
Canon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic.
Constant T2.9 aperture. Front
diameter 95 mm.
There are now 14 CP.2 Compact
Prime lenses in the family, including new T1.5 Super Speeds.
Sony’s NEX-FS700 camcorder is like a sequel to the
FS100: new 4K Super 35
CMOS sensor, slow motion
to 240 fps at full HD, behindthe-lens Clear, ND.6, 1.2, and
1.6 filters. 500 - 16,000 ISO.
Angénieux unveiled
Optimo 19.5-94 and
28-340 mm zooms.
They are based on the
same design as the
venerable Optimo
17-80 and 24-290 mm
zooms, but offer a newly
expanded image diagonal
coverage up to 31.4 mm.
New Schneider Kreuznach CineXenar III primes have internal focus (addressing complaints about
tromboning focus barrels of earlier models). Set of 6 PL 35mm
lenses: 18 mm T2.2, 25 mm T2.2,
35 mm T2.1, 50 mm T2.0, 75 mm
T2.0 and 95 mm T2.0.
Servicevision Managing Director and Cinematographer Andres
Valles previewed a set of 13 Scorpiolens anamorphic primes to
be introduced at IBC in September, designed by Cristina Alcaide.
The Scorpiolens anamorphics are all 2x squeeze, and all have a
slender front diameter of 95 mm. Specs may change.
Issue 73 • Nov 2015
50-51. IBC, Cinec Sep 2012 52. Feb 2013
At IBC, ARRI and ZEISS have working prototypes of a new 50 mm T1.9
Anamorphic lens. It is smaller and
lighter than the blue-barreled concept model we’ve seen and they have
pleasing anamorphic oval bokehs.
ZEISS adds a new Compact Zoom
lens: the CZ.2 28-80/T2.9. Full
frame coverage, interchangeable
mount, light weight and compact
size. Available mounts are: PL, EF,
MFT, F, E.
Hawk V-Lite Vintage '74 Lenses provide the lower contrast, chromatic
characteristics, and flares of older,
1970s anamorphic lenses—but with
precise, modern mechanics and the dependability, sharpness and consistency
of current, modern Hawk lenses.
Cooke Panchro/i are now renamed “mini S4/i.” The T2.8
range of 35mm lenses were announced in 2009 to provide a
smaller, lighter and lower cost
option, while maintaining familiar optical quality and “Cooke
Look.” Panchros currently come
in seven focal lengths, 18, 25, 32,
50, 75, 100 and 135 mm. More coming—including a new 65 mm
T2.8. At Cinec 2012, Cooke hints at anamorphics to come.
Two new cinema prime lenses
from Canon: 14 mm T3.1 and
135 mm T2.2. They cover full
frame 24 x 36 mm and come
with Canon EF Mount.
monitors now communicate
with Cinematography Electronic’s CineTape. and display measured focus distance in addition
to Cooke /i lens focus data.
Transvideo RainbowHD is a
new family of onboard monitor
that is lighter, slimmer, and more
economical. The first model will
have a 7” diagonal screen.
A new Fujinon Cabrio 85-300
mm T2.9 shown under glass at
NAB and prototype at IBC—
astonishingly similar in size
and weight to the 19-90 mm
Nov 2015 • Issue 73
The pace of camera design, re-design,
and release quickens.
Lighter, smaller, faster,
sooner. More K, more
speed, better ergonomics, promising pictures.
Sony launched two new 35mm digital motion picture cameras:
F55 and F5. Cameras ship in February 2013. Some have called
the F55 a companion to the F65, and the F5 an upgrade beyond
F3. Many will call them Sony’s most thoughtful cameras yet —
their first comfortably shoulder-resting, modular, compact 4K
cameras. The F55 and F5 are thin—not much wider than a prime
lens. The cameras are modular and highly configurable. PL lenses
attach with a PL to FZ mount adapter.
Exposure latitude is 14 stops. Both the F55 and F5 record 4K (and
2K) RAW onto a modular onboard AXS-R5 recorder that uses a
new AXS Memory Card. Both cameras have a Super 35mm 4,096
x 2,160 single CMOS sensor (11.6M total photosites, 8.9M effective) — Super 35mm 3-perf format size, 24 x 12.7 mm, 27.1 mm
diagonal. The camera weighs about 4 lb 14 oz (body only), and
measures 7 ⅝” long x 5” high x 5 ⅛” wide.
There are now 12 lenses in a set of Leica Summilux-C Primes:
16, 18, 21, 25, 29, 35, 40, 50, 65, 75, 100, 135 mm T1.4
The label on the lens says, “Vantage
One—Made in Germany by the Hawk
Guys.” The Hawk guys were at Micro Salon in Paris introducing their new set of
spherical T1 prime lenses: 17.5, 21, 25,
32, 40, 50, 65, 90 and 120 mm, all T1,
and all close-focusing. Wide open, at
T1, they open up a whole new world of
extremely shallow depth of field, with a
gentle, subtle, silky creaminess. At T1.4,
the look is “more forgiving,” but still extremely good. From T2 to
T11, Vantage Ones have a look similar to most modern lenses.
In time for Micro Salon, Film and Digital
Times now delivers
not only on paper and
online, but also on iPad
and iPhone. We also
have an improved customer service and subscription management
53. NAB Apr 2013
AJA’s Ki Pro Quad is a compact, solid-state
“central gathering point” for 4K production. It’s a recording and playback package
that easily mounts directly onto a variety of
cameras. Ki Pro Quad is a solid-state portable video recorder for 4K camera-to-edit.
It records 4K/Quad HD/2K/HD internally
as Apple ProRes. It has RAW support: it can
simultaneously record 4K ProRes internally
and pass through the 4K RAW data in real
time via Thunderbolt to a computer or storage device like an external drive or RAID system. And Ki Pro
Quad can simultaneously output to 4K drives and HD monitors.
Angénieux debuts the first in
its 2S Series of lightweight,
compact 2x anamorphic zoom
lenses: 56-152 mm T4 Optimo
Anamorphic zoom. The Angénieux 2S Series will consist of
this and two additional compact
rear anamorphic zooms that together will cover a range of 30 to
240 mm. The first zoom (56-152) will be available early 2014. The
two others will be available Q2 2014 and Q4 2014.
Cooke announced a new series
of 2x front anamorphic prime
lenses. The initial set will consist
of 7 lenses: 25, 32, 40, 50, 75,
100, and 135 mm. They all have
a wide-open aperture of T2.3
(except for the 135mm lens,
which is T2.8). These are not the
first anamorphic lenses that Cooke has made for the film industry. In the 1920s, the company (then Taylor, Taylor & Hobson)
made a cylindrical attachment for Bell & Howell. In the 1950s
the company (Rank Taylor Hobson) made a series of anamorphic
lenses for the Paramount/Rank VistaVision.
The Celeb 400 by Kino Flo
Lighting Systems delivers as
much soft light as a 2K tungsten
softlight fixture, but with ¹/₁₀th
the power draw. Like the Celeb
200, the new Celeb 400 comes
complete with TrueMatch Color (CRI >97). The back panel
has Kelvin presets, dial-in color
from 2700K to 5500K, and full
range dimming—controlled by
manual buttons or DMX.
Wooden Camera had a new
modular baseplate quick-release system for F55, C100-300500, Blackmagic, FS700, and
other cameras. It uses a patentpending attachment method
with a dual locking system: a
safety pin and lever clamp prevent accidental spills.
54. Jun 2013
Preston Cinema Systems had the new
MDR3 Motor Driver at Cine
Gear. It’s the control box that
clings to your camera, receives wireless commands
from a FI+Z Hand Unit, drives
the focus-iris-zoom lens motors,
sends data back to the Hand Unit,
and starts/stops the camera. The MDR3
is smaller, lighter, more efficient, and supports the full range of Preston digital motors.
New ARRI Alexa XT cameras
have a 4:3 sensor—2880 x 2160
photosites—23.76 x 17.82 mm
(29.70 image diagonal). This
provides max-headroom for 2x
squeezed anamorphic: 21.20 x
17.74 mm (27.64 mm diagonal). The cameras also have
internal RAW recording codeveloped with Codex. Alexas
now capture ProRes—and ARRIRAW up to 120 fps onto new
512 GB XR Capture Drives.
Steadicam’s Fawcett Exovest is shipping now.
It’s a lightweight exoskeletal Steadicam
vest that transfers weight to the right
places on the operator’s body. Most of
the weight goes to your pelvis via four
pads placed around the waistband. Secondary weight transfer is through contoured
pads at the shoulders and upper back. It
reduces the force required to counterbalance a Steadicam stabilizer rig by half.
RED Digital Cinema installed a
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory camera assembly area at
NAB. RED Epics were upgraded
on the spot to the new Dragon
6K sensor: 19 megapixel, 6144
x3 160, 30.7 x 15.8 mm. Image
diagonal is 34.5 mm.
Opening bell of NAB: Blackmagic
Design CEO Grant Petty and the
new Blackmagic 16mm 2K $995
Pocket Cinema camera with an
MFT mount for interchangeable
lenses. Equally dazzling was the
announcement of a 4K Production
camera for $4K.
Issue 73 • Nov 2015
55-56. IBC Sep 2013
57. Dec 2013
The Phantom Flex4K shoots
4K from standard frame rates
up to 1,000 fps, and up to 2,000
fps at 2K resolution. The new
Phantom-branded HD OLED
viewfinder has full HD resolution, sharp optics and a bright
display. Camera data, overlay menus and display modes are
shown in the finder. Sensor: 27.7 x 15.5 mm. Pixels: 6.75 microns.
Lens mount: PL, Nikon F/G and Canon EF.
Leica still lenses
are available as
and f/1.4 Summilux models. There
are now 2 lines of
Leica Cine lenses.
Leica SummiluxC lenses are T1.4.
Summicron-C are
T2.0. There are 6
new T2.0 Summicron-C primes: 18, 25, 35, 50, 75 and 100 mm.
The set will grow to 10, with additional focal lengths of 21, 29, 40,
and 135 mm. They are about 30% shorter and 20% lighter than
Summilux-C. Above, L-R: Andreas Kaufmann and Gerhard Baier.
ZEISS previews a mock-up of their
planned 15-30 mm Compact Zoom
at IBC. The CZ.2 15-30/T2.9 is expected to launch in the second quarter of 2014 (NAB 2014). This will be
the third member of the successful
ZEISS Compact Zoom lens family.
Jacques Delacoux, owner of Transvideo, has
purchased Aaton, now Aaton-Digital. They
are working on a new CANTAR X3 audio recorder. Penelope Delta Digital Camera will be
discontinued. Transvideo is working on a StarliteHD Monitor. About the size of an iPhone, it
has a 5” OLED display and records HD.
Cinematography Electronics’ CineTape system is the focus puller’s BFF. The distinctive “horns” are seen atop
matteboxes on almost every production.
The ultrasonic “tape
measure” continuously displays distance from your
plane to the actor. CineTape AIR is a new
accessory for wireless communication with the CineTape.
The new, wide angle Fujinon Cabrio, officially called
ZK2.5x14, is a 14-35 mm T2.9
zoom with servo handgrip. The
NAB model was a 2x 14-28 mm
zoom, but now it’s longer.
After 50 years on set and locations worldwide, the original
Ianiro Varibeam open-face
Redhead now comes with an
LED light source. The familiar shape and red-orange color
remain. At left, two redheads:
Fabrizia Ianiro with Ianiro LED.
25-250 mm zoom has been a standard size since Angénieux introduced the famous 25-250 f/3.2 in
1962, followed by the HP in 1985
and HR in 1991. The new Angénieux
Optimo 25-250 mm DP lens is a
revival of this popular zoom, optimized for digital cameras on
medium and low budget features, commercials, documentaries...
Nov 2015 • Issue 73
L-R: Servicevision’s Andrés Vallés, Cristina Alcaide (optical engineer of the Scorpiolens anamorphics), and Alfredo Vallés, with
a Scorpiolens anamorphic 100 mm at IBC. Andres laughed how
“they” said it couldn’t be done: “People said there were three
problems: designed in Spain, by a Woman, and made in Spain.”
They went on to win a Cinec award in 2014.
ARRI Amira prototypes were hand-carried from Türkenstrasse
to Amsterdam with moments to spare on opening day of IBC.
Amira reminds me of the Arriflex 16SR —the camera that
launched a thousand careers, including mine. 2K to 200 fps.
Same sensor as the ARRI Alexa, records HD 1080 or 2K onto
CFast 2.0 CF cards.
ARRI’s prototype Ultra Wide 9.5-18 mm
T2.9 zoom lens covers angles previously considered the domain of
primes. Image circle >33.7 mm.
Very low image distortion, even at
9.5 mm. Almost no breathing.
58-59. Feb 2014
60. NAB Apr 2014
24x36 Sensors
α7R has a Full
Frame 24x36
mm sensor and
Clues for next motion picture cameras were evident at the Sony
Gallery in Ginza and at InterBEE this past November: full frame
24x36 mm still format, frameline independent, any-lens cameras.
The cameras will automatically detect any lens, the image circle
(diagonal), calculate the format, let you indicate framelines, and
internal software will automatically scale and crop the picture to
fill the frame in viewfinder, monitor and recording device.
Kunihiko Miyagi, Director of the Panasonic Professional Video
Business Unit, introduced Panasonic’s 35mm 4K VariCam at
NAB 2014. Panasonic and Codex have a strategic alliance to develop a dedicated on-board recorder to capture uncompressed 4K
VariCam V-RAW up to 120 fps.
Canon’s first 35mm zoom with
servo handgrip is a 17-120 mm
T2.9-3.9 lens that seems impossibly small and light for something with such range.
The new set of Schneider-Kreuznach Xenon Full-Frame 24x36
Primes have identical external dimensions and barrel positions.
The front has an M95 filter thread. 18, 25, 35, 50, 75, 100 mm T2.1.
Peter Denz has designed a new
machine that converts Blackmagic 2K and 4K cameras with
Canon mounts to PL—and
while milling, vacuums out
metal shavings that otherwise
would have landed on the sensor. Now, even PL lenses with
long rear elements can be used.
Band Pro on 4K and 30th Anniversary
NAB 2014 will mark the 30th Anniversary of Band Pro Film &
Digital, founded in 1984. Band Pro has often been ahead of the
curve in terms of seeing where the market was going. Now they
are bullish on 4K. And on Full Frame Format.
Choreography Diagrams, with the
Vienna State Ballet, captured in
4K RAW with Sony F55 and F65
cameras and Leica Summicron-C
lenses—a Band Pro Production.
Amnon Band, never shy about
making predictions or emulating
Stieg Larsson titles (playing with
fire, kicking hornets nests) said,
“We are in a 4K revolution. This is
1994 reincarnated (going from SD
to HD, analog to digital), but the
speed of technology innovation has
tripled or quadruped. The consumer world is embracing 4K, driving
4K and more K. There’s a combination of fascination and business.
Asking why is not the question. It’s
not a matter of resolution. It’s about
a dramatic picture. 4K captures every detail and every color.”
Angénieux Optimo zooms now
come in a new series called
“Style:” 16-40 T2.8, 30-76 T2.8
and 25-250 T3.5. The Optimo
DP line (30-80 and 16-42), introduced in 2008 and 2009, is
being essentially discontinued,
replaced by Styles—that helpfully do not have rear elements
protruding into the mirror
shutter area.
Optimo Cine lenses
(15-40, 28-76, 45120, 19.5-94, 28340 and 24-290)
continue to be
Fujinon’s 25-300 mm
T3.5-3.85 joins the
Cabrio PL zoom lens
family: a 12:1 zoom
in a comfortable size
and weight.
ARRI/ZEISS Master Anamorphics made their debut in September 2012 with a 50 mm
T1.9. The MA 35 and 75 mm
were unveiled at NAB 2013, followed by the 100 at IBC 2013,
then the 40 and 60 at ZEISS
Cine Lens Day in November 2013. The family is now complete
with a 135 mm T1.9 at NAB 2014. (Lens sets are rarely “complete.”
DPs, like Oliver Twist, always ask for more.)
Issue 73 • Nov 2015
61. Jun 2014
62-63. IBC Sep 2014
AJA President Nick Rashby unveiled the AJA Cion
Camera at NAB. He said,
“Having made recorders and
almost everything else, people kept asking when we’d do
a camera.” Cion, as in scion,
has an ergonomic design, is
incredibly light, very well balanced. Cion can shoot 4K/UltraHD
and 2K/HD. Cion comfortably records Apple ProRes codecs. Internal recording is done directly to AJA Pak SSD media at up to
60 fps, and external 4K raw data up to 120 fps goes via 4x 3G-SDI.
The 35mm Blackmagic Ursa
camera offers a user upgradable
sensor and lens mount assembly. It comes with a 10” foldout monitor, Super 35mm 4K
sensor, global shutter, 12 stops
of dynamic range, and internal
dual CFast 2.0 slots for 12-bit
lossless compressed Cinema DNG RAW or Apple ProRes recording. PL, EF and B4 mounts.
Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC,
HSC received the Pierre
in cinematography award
at the 67th Cannes Film
Festival on May 23. The
award was presented by
Catherine Deneuve and
Pierre Andurand, President of Thales Angénieux.
Panavision’s long-awaited Primo 70 series lenses are now
offered for specially Panavised
35mm cine cameras fitted with
a new mount. Flange focal
depth is around 40 mm, shorter than PL, which helps the design to be around the same size
and weight as current 35mm
Panavision Primos.
Preston Cinema Systems Light
Ranger 2 is an innovative tool
that graphically divides a monitor into zones and intuitively
guides your focus pulling in the
correct direction. The system
consists of two units. The sensor
unit sits atop the camera. The
Video Interface box attaches to
the back of almost any monitor.
A beam of infrared light emitted by the Light Ranger 2 measures
distances. Light Ranger 2 works in harmony with Preston Wireless
FIZ system HU3 hand unit and MDR3 motor driver. The same
skills developed by years of muscular-neurological memory are
applied. You still control speed, point of interest and splits.
Nov 2015 • Issue 73
Sony FS7 is a camera of converging dreams of mirrorless
stills and video. It is a tiny,
lightweight, ergonomic, shoulder-resting, cinema vérité style,
4K cine camera with a Super
35mm sensor and an E-mount.
The first sets of Cooke
Anamorphics were delivered since April, to TSF,
Movietech, Clairmont,
Keslow, Camtec (Matty
Libatique, ASC on Straight
Outta Compton), Cineverse, Camera House, and
ARRI Rentals.
Vocas celebrates their 25th
anniversary. Here’s a comfortable configuration of an FS700
with full tripod-to-shoulder
rig, EVF, mattebox, Convergent
Design Odyssey 7Q, and Vocas
wooden handgrip.
ASTRA 1x1 Bi-Color is Litepanels’ new
top-of-the-line, 1 sq. ft. flat panel LED.
Light output is 4 times brighter than
the original Litepanels 1x1, with a longer throw and wider area of illumination. Color Temperature is adjustable:
Tungsten-Daylight. Size: 17.7 x 16.3 x
5.3”. Weight: 7 lb. / 3.2 kg.
Ronford-Baker was founded in 1966
by Harry Baker and Ron Ford. The
company moved to their current, modern facility in 2012.
Ronford-Baker Slider has adjustable magnetic stops, and comes in lengths
from 19” to 96”. Motorized model to come.
SHΛPE improved their ISEE I stabilizer: The center of gravity adjusts for precise balancing. ISEE
will now rest on a flat surface in an upright position. It’s a 2-axis motion stabilizer with a 2 axis
gimbal. As Shape Co-Owner Charles Vallieres
said, “It feels like a trophy.” Imagine holding an Academy Award Oscar statuette that is really a 2-axis gimbal
brushless stabilizer for GoPro, iPhone or smartphone.
The compact ONE is an entry level one
axis control system from cmotion. It
consists of a hand unit (transmitter),
camin (receiver), and cforce ONE lens
motor. A 2.3” screen shows menus for
automatic motor calibration, digital
lens limits, motor torque adjustment,
direction control and run/stop. Total weight is less than 580 g.
Start/Stop cables are available for ARRI, RED, Sony and Canon.
64. Photokina Sep 2014
After years of “exile” in neighboring Solms, Leica Camera returned to Wetzlar. The new 6.6 acre Leica home, headquarters
and manufacturing facility was inaugurated on May 23, 2014. In
the museum area of the large lobby, there was a camera I’d never
seen before: Oskar Barnack’s Motion Picture Camera from 1912,
the Leica Ur-Cine Camera—built two years before Barnack’s famous Ur-Leica 24x36mm still camera. So—Leica had entered the
motion picture business in 1912. Above: Christian Skrein, Board
Member of CW Sonderoptic, surrounded by Magnum Photographers Elliott Erwitt (left) and Thomas Hoepker (right).
Leica Summicron-C 18, 25, 35, 50, 75, 100 mm T2.0.
Additional focal lengths: 21, 29, 135 mm T2.0.
65. Cinec Sep 2014
Imagine the following pitch to a studio tycoon: “A big movie needs
a big format. Like Hamlet meets The Greatest Story Ever Told.
Around the World in Eighty Days, South Pacific, Ben-Hur, Exodus,
West Side Story, Mutiny on the Bounty, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad
World, Cleopatra, My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, The Agony
and the Ecstasy, Lord Jim, Grand Prix, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Ryan’s Daughter, Patton...”
A litany of the greatest 65/70mm films of all time should be rewarded with an immediate green light. There is, however, one
minor setback, a single word, “film.” These greatest of all films,
in their epic 65mm format, demanded epic logistical efforts, 70+
pound temperamental cameras whose movements sometimes required oiling after every take, and setups that were not, shall we
say, swift. Film, processing and dailies could average around $2500
for a 10-minute roll. Just ask Manfred Jahn, who tended the 765
cameras in the Himalayas for Vittorio Storaro on Little Buddha.
Large format 65mm has continued to inspire, an aspirational format, object of desire, for almost every cinematographer, director
and producer. There is magic in it, perhaps as Richard Avedon described large format still photography. “It requires you to think,
to compose, to slow down and
create more carefully.”
Leica Summilux-C 16, 18, 21, 25, 29, 35, 40, 50, 65, 75, 100 mm T1.4
The Leica M PL Mount lets you
attach PL mount cine lenses
onto Leica M (Typ 240) rangefinder cameras. Of course, you’ll
want to use Leica Summilux-C
and Summicron-C primes, but
the adapter will work with almost any other PL cine lens.
Sony’s FE PZ 28-135 mm f/4
G OSS E-mount zoom fits Emount 35mm full-frame still
cameras and E-mount video
cameras (FS7). It has optical
image stabilization, servo/
manual zoom, constant f/4
aperture, and holds focus
through zoom. Will it really have a street price of $2,499.00 when
it ships in February? Yes.
Manfred Jahn and Neil Fanthom
with Alexa 65, and Arriflex 765
Now there’s a new, large format
65mm digital motion picture
camera from ARRI—the new
ALEXA 65. The aspirational
part is 65; the enabling thing
is digital. Imagine an ALEXA
35mm camera with a sensor that is 3 times larger. It
has a familiar ALEXA body
style, about the same size and
weight, a little bit wider, with
a digital 65mm format sensor.
And new 65mm lenses. Producers, distributors and exhibitors will rejoice in the reboot
of a format that historically has
enticed audiences out of their
living rooms and back into the
theaters. As Lawrence said in
the greatest large format film
of all time, “I think this is going to be fun.”
Issue 73 • Nov 2015
66-67. Feb 2015
We visited Panasonic’s factories
where the Panasonic VariCam 35
cameras are built. It has a Super
35mm 4096 x 2160 MOS Sensor, PL
Mount, 14+ Stops of Latitude, Variable Frame Rates from 1-120 fps in
4K, 2-piece Modular Design (Camera head docks to recording module or can be tethered). Records
4K or UHD V-RAW Master with optional Codex module.
JVC jumped into 4K in a big way at
InterBEE. The JVC GY-LS300 4K
Camcorder is a tiny, lightweight Super 35mm CMOS sensor camera
with a Micro Four Thirds (MFT) lens
mount. The mount allows full coverage of the 13.5 Megapixel Altasens Super 35mm sensor without
vignetting. You can attach many brands of lenses. The LS300 records 3840x2160 UHD (16:9) at 150 Mbps to SDHC or SDXC
(UHS-I Speed class3) memory cards, as well as full HD (16:9).
Canon’ has a new CINE-SERVO 501000 mm T5.0-8.9 Ultra-Telephoto
Zoom Lens (20:1 zoom ratio) for
35mm digital cine cameras. A working model was shown at InterBEE.
Sports, nature and documentary cinematographers were delighted—here is a lens for 35mm format that can rival long ⅔” format
zooms. A built-in 1.5x extender turns it into a 75-1500 mm zoom.
Sony improved their Doc Dock (officially named “CBK-55BK build-up
kit for F55” at InterBEE. It cradles an
F55 or F5 and turns it into a singleoperator, documentary/ENG-style,
comfortable, shoulder-resting camera. The new Dock will accept the Sony AXS-R5 RAW recorder.
There’s a compartment for a wireless audio receiver.
Tiffen Dfx Digital Filter v4 software
is now available as a plug-in for highend post production software like
DaVinci Resolve. Get Dfx OFX Pro
in Resolve by going to COLOR mode.
A Cooke Front Anamorphic Zoom
is in the works. Like the Cooke
Anamorphic Primes, it is a front
anamorphic with 2x squeeze. The
focal length is not divulged until
Nov 2015: 35-140 mm, targeted for
late 2016.
ARRI is introducing an Ultra Wide Anamorphic Zoom
based on ARRI’s spherical UWZ 9.5-18 mm
T2.9. It has 36 lens elements including
aspherics and crossed cylinders. High
resolution and contrast, and extremely
low distortion.
Nov 2015 • Issue 73
68-69. NAB Apr 2015
ARRI Alexa Mini uses the familiar sensor. It will initially
shoot 16:9 format, followed by
4:3 in November. Automatic desqueeze mode for anamorphic
lenses. Records 0.75-200 fps,
ProRes or uncompressed ARRIRAW, either in-camera to CFast
2.0 cards or to a specially-designed external Codex recorder.
It’s hard to believe the Canon C300
was introduced 3 years ago. Now,
Canon introduces the successor:
EOS C300 Mark II. It does what everyone had been asking for: internal
4K. RAW recording via connectors
at rear of camera. Dynamic range has
been increased to 15 stops.
Angénieux Optimo 30-72 mm
T4 Anamorphic Zoom joins
the 56-152 in the 2S series of
2x squeeze anamorphic zooms.
Both lenses come in PL mount,
with Panavision PV mount
available on request. Focus barrels are easily interchangeable
from feet to meters, with more than 50 focus marks, and rotate
320°. The anamorphic elements are at the rear of the lens. There
is very little distortion and no breathing. Bokehs are round in the
center and form smooth semi-circles toward the edges.
Chrosziel’s MB 565 Cine.1 Mattebox has a Filter Tray Catcher
that will stop the descent of
many expensive pieces of glass
onto the floor. It attaches onto
the bottom of the mattebox. The
MB 565 clamps directly onto
the lens, or slides onto 15mm or
19mm rods. It is modular.
The PL to E Mount from 16x9inc
has adjustable flange focal depth,
done by by removing 6 screws for
access to shims. There’s an optional 15mm mini rod support bracket for heavy lenses. Shown here on
a Sony FS7 with the Movcam FS7
Base and Accessory Kit.
ARRI has a new series of Master Anamorphic
Flare Sets: easily replaceable front
and rear glass elements
that can be used individually or in combination. This results in 4
Master Ana permutations: no
flares, front flare element only, rear
only, and combination front and rear.
70. Jun 2015
71-72. IBC Sep 2015
RED Weapon 8K has a 21.60 x
40.96 mm sensor. The new RED
W8K will accept almost every
known lens: Super35, anamorphic 18 mm full height, VistaVision, and 24x36 Full Frame Still.
And, yes, you can fill the entire
active RED W8K 8,192 x 4,320
35-megapixel sensor using medium format or Primo 70 lenses. By the way, you need an 8K
sensor to window Super35 in at
least 4K, which it will do.
Garrett Brown describes the new Steadicam: “M-1 is for Modular—user-configurable, upgradable, swap-able—with
a host of superbly engineered new features. Ultra-rigid post, stage and base.
Vernier-drive tilt-head. Super-precise
removable gimbal. Quick-release camera plate system with patented safety
latch. Monitor mounts instantly to any
post. In short, the M-1 is brilliant—rigid, precise, tool-free, super-adjustable,
infinitely configurable and as close to
future-proof as a rig can be.”
Blackmagic inevitably begins
NAB with a bang. CEO Grant
Petty unveiled the new URSA
Mini. It has a 4.6K sensor (4608
x 2592), global shutter up to 30
fps and rolling shutter to 60 fps,
with 15 stops of dynamic range.
Comes with EF or PL mount.
ISO 800. Records Apple ProRes
and RAW to CFast 2.0 cards in
dual slots. Crisp OLED EVF.
Sony’s new mini PXW-FS5 4K camera resembles the FS7, but is half
the size and weight. There are a
bunch of breakthrough technologies: Variable ND: Internal, 7 stops,
continuously variable. Autofocus
with face detection: new algorithms
provide very responsive and rapid
focus that can lock and track faces, selectable with joystick control.
SkyPanels are a new line of ARRI LED soft
lights. Imagine a 2K zip light that’s cool
to the touch, plugs in the wall, with
models fully tunable from 2,800
-10,000 K and party colors, and
produces a flattering wrap-around
light that actors and cinematographers will love. SkyPanels work
really well as space lights—no need for silk skirts.
Cooke introduced a 65 mm
T2.6 Macro Anamorphic /i 2x
prime lens at Cine Gear. It has a
close-up magnification ratio of
4.1:1. Close focus from the lens
front is 140 mm (5.5”).
Scorpiolens Anamorphics
are shipping now: 35, 40,
50, 75, 100 mm. 135 mm
will be next, followed by the
150, 25, and the rest of focal
lengths. Late-breaking news
at NAB: Servicevision is completing the design of a new 138-400
mm T4 Anamorphic Zoom.
The Gecko-Cam lens projector
has an Interchangeable Mount
System (IMS) for a variety of lenses and cameras. Now Gecko-Cam
provides IMS mounts with and
without OLPFs built in. This lets
you see how the lens performance
might differ on analog cameras
compared to digital cameras.
Sony a7R II has an 18 mm
flange-depth E-mount. By early
2016, Sony will have 20 FE Full
Frame lenses. ZEISS is also busy
making E-mount lenses. The PL
world opens up with an adapter
like this one from Vocas.
If only there were an optical attachment for treasured sets of Super 35 Format (18x24 mm) lenses to fill the entire 24x36 mm area of the Full
Frame sensor. Now there is. IB/E Optics has a
new Expander called S35xFF. It works somewhat like a tele extender, but with better optical
quality, less light loss, and not as much blow-up.
Codex V-RAW Recorder for Panasonic
VariCam 35 camera is shipping now. It
records to the next-generation Codex Capture Drive 2.0, which has a
blisteringly-fast bandwidth of 20Gb/s.
The Capture Drive 2.0 will also be the
standard recording media for the ARRI
Mole Richardson’s 900W SeniorLED Fresnel is comparable
in output to a 5K Molequartz
Baby Senior Solarspot, but it only
consumes 900w. Available in
Daylite or Tungsten. It has a 10”
Fresnel Lens. 100% - 0% Dimming with Minimal Color Shift.
Head Weight: 41 lb /18.6 kg
Issue 73 • Nov 2015
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