New Lens Mount FFD and ID Chart


At PhotoPlus Expo yesterday, cameras with missing specs were measured and the Lens Mount FFD and ID Chart has been updated. read more…

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Mounting Questions: Please Reply


At high noon on September 22, representatives of many of the world’s prominent lens companies convened in Sigma’s meeting room at Photokina. The idea was to discuss what might happen for the next generation of full frame (24×36 mm) cine cameras and lenses.  Could there be a common lens mount. Please read this discussion and let us know your opinions. read more…

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Behind a Kiss in Cinema


Camera and lens designers, cinematographers, directors, rental managers, producers–plan a trip to the French Cinematheque in Paris. This is the most important, historical exhibition about the technique and technology of cinema from October 6 – Jan 29, 2017. Any questions about format, ergonomics, shape, pristine vs distressed images are revealed here. Larger formats? Two years after the birth of 35mm cinema, we see a 68mm camera, quickly followed by 58mm and 75mm. The Bercy neighborhood was once the largest wine market in Europe, with streets named Cour Saint Emilion and Rue de Pommard. Now it’s home to the French Cinematheque, designed by Frank Gehry, and the streets nearby are suitably named rue Francois Truffaut and rue Jean Renoir. Twelve tons of equipment from the Cinematheque’s vast storage area nearby were gingerly transported to the exhibition space. The title of the show is “From Melies to 3D, the Machines of Cinema.” I asked Cinematheque Technical… read more…

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Leica Portugal


Leica Portugal is an easy half-hour drive north of the beautiful city of Porto. A whimsical Leica M-like gatehouse greets the visitor. Beyond is the modern factory, the size of several football fields, where many of Leica’s cameras, lenses and sport optics are made. It’s one of the most high-tech, impeccable places in the industry, with a highly skilled, enthusiastic workforce. Some have been with the company for more than 40 years. A full report is in the works.    

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Lello in Porto: Harry Potter Bookstore


JK Rowling roamed here. The Harry Potter author frequented Livraria Lello when she taught English in Porto, Portugal. It is one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world and certainly inspired not only Rowling but also set designers and the hundreds of tourists who swarm the fantastic spiral staircase and aisles. There’s a book trolley on tracks that looks like a Gringotts cart or a rental house lens projector setup.

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Medium Format the New 35mm?


Medium Format for Still Photography cropped up as a major theme at Photokina 2016 in Cologne. This is the world’s largest photo trade fair in the world. It’s helpful for cineastes to watch what’s happening in the still world. After all, as Godard said, “The cinema is truth 24 frames-per-second,” and the original RED concept was the recognition that a digital motion picture camera had common bonds in the still world. The parallels go further. A prominent camera company executive (credit to be revealed later) commented that in the cine world, Full Frame/VistaVision.Large Format is becoming the new 35mm, and 35mm is now the “old” 16mm. Medium Format is a combination of technical details, aspiration, thinking “different”, a flexible digital format that offer a different look, among other interesting reasons. The crowds were 5-deep to get hands-on time with the Leicas S (007) that began shipping last year. It has a compact size and ergonomic design that’s comparable to a 35 mm… read more…

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DaVinci for DPs: Lens Correction


Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 12.5.1 Studio has a terrific tool to correct lens distortion. Let’s say you’re intercutting fisheye, wide-angle, action shots with pristine, undistorted landscapes. You love the GoPro’s 170 degree field of view curving horizon. But the art director, client, producer— whoever has final cut and final say— doesn’t share your enthusiasm. There are two options. Reassemble the crew, rent distortion-free lenses and cameras that cost 200 times more, return to location, pray for stellar light, and reshoot. The more logical option might be DaVinci Resolve 12.5.1 Studio. • In Edit mode, click on the scene in your timeline. • Click INSPECTOR (top right of screen) and scroll down to the bottom of the window on the right side. • Below LENS CORRECTION, click ANALYZE. • Next, adjust the slider left or right to correct distortion and straighten the horizon. Fixed heroically in post once again! Download DaVinci Resolve:… read more…

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Leica Cine MacroLux and Summicron-C


Here’s an interesting use for Macro close-up attachments to reduce depth of field. Most of the time, Macros (Proxars) are used for extreme close-ups at minimum distance. Here’s a user story about working with Leica Summicron-C lenses and Leica Cine Macrolux. read more…

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Full Frame & S35 Lenses at IBC


Full Frame was careening inexorably down the corridors of IBC like the stagecoach in the opening of The Hateful Eight. But a curious thing was afoot. IBC was packed with a plethora of Full Frame cine lenses. But there was a perplexing paucity of Full Frame cine cameras. What’s going on here? Why was the cart before the horse? read more…

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Carl Zeiss 200th Birthday


Today marks the 200th birthday of Carl Zeiss, founder of ZEISS. Carl Zeiss opened a small workshop for precision mechanics and optics in Jena in 1846. This was the beginning of a company that would grow into the major technology company it is today. Read more about ZEISS history, optics and factory tour in this FDTimes special report. read more…

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FDTimes September Edition 2nd Cover


This is the rear cover of September 2016 FDTimes, going online and in the mail at the opening of IBC — Friday, Sept 9. That’s Cinematographer Pierre Edelmann with the a Sigma Full Frame Cine Lens on RVZ’s RED 8K VV camera. Download the 20-page 3.7 MB PDF of the Sigma article — which also includes a comprehensive tour of the Sigma Factory in northern Japan and an interview with Kazuto Yamaki, CEO of Sigma. read more…

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The Machines of Cinema


La Cinémathèque française in Paris will exhibit “From Méliès to 3D: the Machines of Cinema” from Oct 5, 2016 – Jan 29, 2017.

Laurent Mannoni, Director and Conservator of the Cinematheque, curated the exhibition and wrote the wonderfully informative accompanying book. (Coedition Lienart / The French Cinematheque. 304 pages, 350 illustrations, October 2016.) Laurent looks after the Cinematheque’s vast collection, by far the best in the world, in an annex normally open by invitation only. Now the Cinematheque puts on display more than 250 historically significant “machines” (total of 12 tons) that made moving pictures. read more…

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Lighting with Paint: Vintage 1876

Pierre-Auguste Renoir Bal Du Moulin de la Galette Wikicommons

The Pendulum of Styles   The following review was uncovered in the dusty archives at the Duchy of Grand Fenwick Cinematheque. Then, as now, style was a dialectic. Artists experimented. Tastes changed. Academies and the Establishment were challenged. In one year, 1876, we see a spate of styles. Bold artists attempted to distinguish themselves from their confrères. At the same time, the specter of still photography loomed. It was not only an artistic but also an economic challenge. How could an artist like Meissonier continue to justify fourteen years of work on one painting when a photographer like Gaspard-Félix Tournachon (Nadar) could ascend in a balloon and shoot aerial stills in one day? The authenticity of this document cannot be validated…   1876. One hundred years have passed since the United States declared independence. Sixty-nine years have gone by since Napoleon defeated the Russian army at the Battle of Friedland. And… read more…

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“A Beautiful Planet” – Canon, IMAX


Three Canon EOS C500 4K Digital Cinema Cameras and two EOS-1D C cameras were sent to the International Space Station for the IMAX production A Beautiful Planet. FDTimes discussed the technique and technology of this production with James Neihouse, ASC and Marsha Ivins, along with Tim Smith and Leigh Nofi of Canon. As Variety wrote, “Short of putting Emmanuel Lubezki through Astronaut training, it’s difficult to imagine more rapturously beautiful images of the Earth from orbit than those supplied by A Beautiful Planet, the latest collaboration between IMAX and NASA.” read more…

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Rental Agent – Motion Picture Cameras (North Vancouver)


Clairmont Camera seeks a Rentals Professional for its North Vancouver office.  Here are the details: The applicant must be confident, very detail oriented, organized, personable, responsible with the ability to multi-task.  Excellent computer, phone and marketing skills preferred.  Prior experience with professional digital camera equipment, rentals experience and/or on set experience are a plus.  This will be a full-time position and will require overtime from time to time with short notice. Standard hours are 8 — 5pm. Skills and duties of a Rentals Professional include, but are not limited to:– Processing rental requests and generating quotes — Intermediate knowledge of Microsoft Office — particularly Excel — Familiarity with Rental Works Database Software is a bonus — Generating purchase orders for sub rentals — Trouble-shooting and finding solutions for clients — Outstanding people skills — Good fact checker — detail oriented with numbers — A complete understanding of the sense of urgency on a… read more…

Operations Manager – Camera Rental House (North Vancouver)


Clairmont Camera in Vancouver is seeking an Operations Manager. Here are the details: Fast paced film and digital motion picture Rental Company is seeking a multi-tasking, detail-oriented, organizationally exceptional person with excellent communication skills to manage the Operations Department. Must be a true “people person”. Ideal candidates will have at least 10 years of customer service experience, facilities / property management, warehouse / shipping / receiving management, and security administration. Responsibilities will include hiring of new departmental employees, scheduling, maintaining property facilities and security / access systems, purchasing, shipping and receiving of both rental / vendor / consignment / sub rental inventory, training, and servicing all clientele prepping in our facility. Heavy lifting required. Overtime without notice. 40+ hours per week with benefits. Competitive salary. Email resume and cover letter to:  jonj (at)  

Tatara Samurai: Film on Film


By Yasuaki Mitsuwa Director Yoshinari Nishikôri and Cinematographer Akira Sako, JSC recently completed the feature Tatara Samurai. This interview took place at the Imagica head office in Tokyo after the first screening of the film in April.     FILM AND DIGITAL TIMES JAPAN (FDTJ): Tell us about the film Tatara Samurai. DIRECTOR YOSHINARI NISHIKÔRI (N): “Tatara” is a unique steelmaking method that uses a foot-operated bellows to forge Japanese swords. The process, which is called “Tatara-buki,” has been employed for 1,000 years. I wanted to make a film about Tatara and it came true. The film is called Tatara Samurai. The story is set in Izumo, Japan during the 16th Century—a period of constant warfare. The main character is a young man who admires the Samurai, leaves his home village and discovers the importance of Tatara steel making. Izumo is the birthplace of many Japanese traditions, such as “Kabuki,”… read more…

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Panasonic VariCam Workshop at Keslow Camera


Article and photos by George Leon On August 6, Panasonic hosted a workshop at Keslow Camera covering Panasonic VariCam 35 and VariCam LT Cameras. The event introduced camera crews to the cameras and the latest technical details. Panasonic staff provided technical assistance to train end users in how to maximize the capabilities of these cameras. Keslow Camera staff were there demonstrate how large selection of lenses and accessories that can be used to put together a VariCam 35 and LT camera package. The workshop began with a rundown of the operating features of the Varicam 35 and LT, and attendees were divided into 3 groups with three cameras. Menus and details of the newly installed firmware were shown the three cameras. Many technical questions raised by the attendees were answered. For me, the most interesting portion was the demonstration of the Varicam LT’s low light capability. The camera sensor of the Varicam showed its wide dynamic range… read more…

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Meeting Sony Designers and Planners in Tokyo


Meeting the Designers and Planners Shinagawa sits on the southeastern shore of Tokyo, just before you hit Tokyo Bay. It’s a collection of modern highrise office towers housing many of the area’s major corporations. The large building with the diamond patterned exoskeleton (above) is Sony’s Shinagawa Headquarters in Sony City. Peter Crithary, Sony’s Manager for large sensor cameras (below, far left), recently took me along on a whirlwind tour to meet the designers, planners and teams working on the latest Sony products. Our first meeting was with Motoyuki Ohtake (below, left), Distinguished Engineer in the Optical Design Department of Sony’s Digital Imaging Group and the Sony still camera, and the lens teams responsible for the innovative, highly successful, and ever-increasing a7 line of cameras, a6300, E-mount lenses, and the new G Master series of Full Frame lenses. Our next “class” was an advanced lesson in the theory, design, and construction… read more…

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