Author Archives: Jon Fauer

Denz Anamorphic Viewfinder


  Here’s an anamorphic update on the venerable DENZ optical viewfinder. The OIC 35-A from Munich-based Denz is can switch back and forth between spherical and anamorphic viewing. The ground glass holder has been adapted from the OIC 35 and allows use of…

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50 Years Ago Today: Ranger 7


50 years ago, on July 31, 1964, Ranger 7 took the first pictures at close range of the Moon. These pictures were made with Angenieux 25mm f: 0.95 M1 lenses. Ranger 7 was the first US space probe to successfully transmit close images of the lunar surface back to Earth. It was also the first completely successful flight of the Ranger program. Launched on July 28, 1964, Ranger 7 was designed to achieve a lunar impact trajectory and to transmit high-resolution photographs of the lunar surface during the final minutes of flight up to impact. Ranger 7 reached the Moon on July 31, 1964.

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Luc Besson’s “Lucy” Opens Today… Interview with Thierry Arbogast, AFC


“Lucy” opens this Friday. It was directed by Luc Besson–famous for “The Big Blue” (1988), “La Femme Nikita” (1990), “The Fifth Element” and Léon, the Professional. He built the Cité du Cinema stages and post facilities in Saint-Denis, and worked on more than 50 films as writer, director and producer. Luc Besson’s films are renowned for their highly visual style, edge-of-the-seat action, quirky characters, and delicious dialog (Léon: “And stop saying ‘okay’ all the time. Okay? Mathilda: ‘Okay.’ Léon: ‘Good.’)

Besson writes and is involved in every aspect of his films. He operates the camera himself. His prodigious handheld camera work and great gliding moves deserve recognition by the Society of Camera Operators. He has always favored the latest, most innovative technologies. He also seems to be daring in his choices of cameras, no matter the size or weight—as long as it fulfilled the high technical bar he required.

Thierry Arbogast, AFC was the cinematographer on “Lucy” and most of Besson’s films. He is an award–winning French cinematographer, born in France in 1957. His work with director Luc Besson began in 1989 with “La Femme Nikita.” Their most recent collaboration, “Lucy,” starring Scarlett Johansson, opens July 25, 2014. Among many awards, Thierry won the Vulcan Prize at the Cannes Film Festival for “The Fifth Element” in 1997, the César Award for Best Cinematography in 1998 for “The Fifth Element,” and the César again for Best Cinematography in 2004 for “Bon Voyage.” Thierry’s other credits include “Léon: The Professional” (1994), “Asterix at the Olympic Games” (2008), “The Lady” (2011), “Malavita (The Family)” (2013), and about 70 more films.

Here’s an interview with Thierry about “Lucy.”  More…

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Blackmagic Camera Updates


Blackmagic Design announced a discount for their  Pocket Cinema Camera, previously  US $995, now $495. Limited time: sale ends August 31, 2014, subject to limited availability. Price reverts back to original rate, or (pure speculation–is a new model coming for IBC?)


Criterion Collection on British Airways

British Airways began showing some Criterion Collection in-flight movies this month. Criterion Collection has provided some of the highest quality DVD, Blu-Ray and streaming transfers of original films since 1984 – uncut and in the original aspect ratio. Hopefully they will be presented without the dreaded…


Photokina 2014

09/16 – 09/21
Photokina 2014: Cologne Photo Trade Fair

Tuesday, September 16th to Sunday, September 21st, 2014 For visitors daily from 10:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m. For exhibitors daily from 09:00 a.m. to 07:00 p.m.

Cinec 2014

Dates: 21 – 23 September 2014 Venue: MOC Events Center, Hall 2 / 3, Lilienthalallee 40, 80939 Munich / Germany Exhibits Creation, Acquisition, Camera Technology, Camera Support/Grip, Lighting, Sound, Postproduction, Animation and Visual Effects, Stereo 3D, Archiving, Distribution, Projection, Equipment/Accessories, Services, Organisations…

IBC 2014

09/12 – 09/16
IBC 2014: RAI Expo Amsterdam

IBC attracts more than 52,000 professionals from over 170 countries at the RAI convention center. 14 halls Conferences Registration

PhotoPlus Expo NYC

10/29 – 11/01
PhotoPlus NYC: Javits Convention Center

This year’s Expo has more than 225 manufacturers of photo and video gear, software and accessories. Registration for admission to the PPE exhibit hall is free through October 28 online and $70 on-site for non-Photo Group members. Special Events and…

Passport Expirations and Travel Woes

With the IBC-Photokina-Cinec trifeca rapidly approaching, check your passport. Does it expire in 6 months? Do you have at least 2-4 blank pages for stamps/visas? The tales of woe from many colleagues and the lack of clear guidance from the airlines means it’s wise to check….


Leica Cine Camera 1911


Leica Camera. Wetzlar, Gemany. We’re back at Leica’s new headquarters, investigating a mystery. Last month several jaws dropped at the sight of a 1911 hand-cranked 35mm cine camera, built by Oskar Barnack, on display in the lobby. Why did this camera not…

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Leica and CW Sonderoptic Report (PDF)


Revised and updated through June 2014: all about Leica, CW Sonderoptic Leica Cine Lenses, Summilux-C, Summicron-C, Still Moving Pictures (stills shot by cinematographers with Leica cameras), history, tour of the factory, and a look at the new Leica Headquarters in Wetzlar.  110 pages.

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ARRI Alexa gets ProRes 4444 XQ


ARRI Alexa now supports Apple’s new ProRes 4444 XQ codec. This is now the highest quality version of ProRes — with a 1:4.5 compression ratio and a data rate of around 500 Mbps. (In comparison, ProRes 4444 had a compression of 1:6.8 and…

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Adam Wilt’s Cine Meter II


Adam Wilt has done it again. His new Cine Meter II is an essential app for every cinematographer. I just downloaded it from the Apple App Store. Adam’s original Cine Meter app for iPhone and iOS was brilliant. This one is even better. The new Cine…

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Nikon D810


Nikon revealed the new D810 full-frame (FX) DSLR camera today. It has an OLPF-less  36.3-megapixel (7360 x 4912) CMOS sensor. As photosite count increases,  dreaded moiré decreases, and there’s less need for an optical low-pass filter to “smudge” the image. Sensor Size: 35.9 mm x 24 mm ISO:…


Keslow Camera’s New Space

Camera checkout area

Keslow Camera has moved to a stunningly beautiful new building on Blackwelder Street in Culver City (off La Cienega, just south of I-10). The 35,000 square foot space looks like it jumped right out of the pages of a coffee-table book on architecture….


Cine Gear Expo 2014


Cine Gear Expo 2014 LA Slideshow.


Cine Gear Expo 2014 Slideshow


More images from Cine Gear Expo 2014.


Fauer Face-Friendly 4K Filter Factory


The idea arrived with the first bottle of Kanzler 2011 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and Ahi tuna tempura sashimi at Chinois on Main yesterday. By the time the Shanghai Lobster with curry sauce came with a second bottle of Pinot, Howard Preston had the…


Camtec Lens Tests


Here’s an interesting test from Camtec with some of their popular modern and vintage spherical lenses. The tests were shot with an ARRI Alexa XT Plus in ProRes 4444 Log-C. Framegrabs were exported from FCP 7 as high-rez .PNG files. Note…