The following things attracted Mark Forman’s attention at NAB 2014.
By Oli Laperal Jr.
The omnipresence of 4K and 8K systems over HD at NAB reminded me of the HD-over-SD transition a dozen years ago. As in the past, there are no shortage of nay-sayers. But the quantum leap of technology offering price points lower than previous systems, coupled with transparent ease of intuitive workflow, and Thunderbolt 2 up to 20 Gb/s via fiber optics, make the transition to UHD natural and obvious. This applies to cameras, switchers, routers, mini converters, connectors, processors, compression algorithms, and monitors. Welcome to more K.
NAB 2014 showed more than a dozen 4K/UHD cameras, some with price tags of under $5,000, a few under $2,000, whereas GoPro’s 4K Hero 3+ sells for under $400. I would not be surprised to see 4K cameras included free in better smart phones in the coming years. Many UHD cross-converters from respected manufacturers sell for a mere few hundred dollars.
Sprouting cottage industries are using carbon fiber, lithium polymer (LiPo) batteries and gyro gimbals. It seems flying drones with gyro stabilized HD micro cameras, guided by multiple GPS units, were everywhere. Substituting arm bars instead of an airframe resulted in 20+ vendors touting handheld gyro stabilized brushless gimbal camera frames. All sorts of sliders for smooth camera movement were plentiful.
Anamorphic lenses, which were once the exclusive domain of rental-only facilities for the exclusive use of top studio feature films, are now offered to everyone by Angenieux, ARRI/ZEISS, Cooke, Servicevision/Scorpio, Vantage/Hawk, and others.
NHK’s 8K camera was an unbecoming behemoth weighing more than 200 pounds while tethered with 32 coax BNC cables only a few years ago. Today, NHK’s 8K camera is only 2 pounds and fits in one’s palm. NHK’s timeline includes 8K test broadcasts in 2016, and full 8K operation by 2020, in time for the Tokyo Olympics.
Laser powered projectors offer much increased brightness. Ted Schilowitz presented the Barco–which reminds me of Cinerama of decades past. Christie and NEC also showed laser powered large venue projectors, perhaps to the chagrin of cinema exhibitors who reminisce of xenon projectors past that lasted almost a lifetime, not outdated within a few short months.
H.265 HEVC for broadband offers 10 bit, 8K resolution, better color and sound, more than twice the delivery payload of H.264.
The Technical Summit on Cinema dealt with:
Emmanuel Lubeski, ASC, AMC and other crew of “Gravity,” in person and via Skype conferencing, discussed the challenges of doing the multi-award winning film, and how he interacted with the Director and other keys.
Cinematographer-turned-Director Wally Pfister discussed the film “Transcendance” to a packed house.
AJA Cion. 4K S35 APS-C sensor, global shutter, 12+ stops of dynamic range, PL lens mount, 3G and Thunderbolt connectors, Raw data.
ARRI Amira. A documentary style HD/2K camera intended for single shooter use, no Arriraw, capable of 200 FPS. The Alexa XT has a new software update to further enhance ARRI’s top feature film camera with 4:3 open gate sensor, 3.4K Arriraw resolution, etc. A large percentage of feature films nominated for best cinematography and best picture at the Oscars were shot on the Arri Alexa camera using Arriraw.
Blackmagic Design. Ursa 4K camera with 10” monitor, S35 global shutter, Raw / ProRes data recording, interchangeable lens mount.
Or choose BMD’s new Studio 4K camera. Micro four thirds lens mount, 10” VF, bi-directional optical fiber.
Canon updates software for the C100, C300 and C500 4K cameras. Canon announced the manufacture and delivery of their 100,000,000th EF lens.
For-A 4K Super Slo-Mo camera does 4K up to 900 FPS. 11 stops of dynamic range, Raw.
JVC. GY-HM890 HD camcorders, streams via Wi-Fi or a LTE modem. 4 styles of 4K cameras and prototypes: wifi, HD, DSLR and handheld.
Panasonic. 4K Varicam 35, S35 sensor, PL lens mount, 14 stop dynamic range, 240 FPS in HD.
Lumix DMC-GH4 DSLR. 4K camera with 4K recorder, micro four thirds 16 MP MOS sensor,
RED Digital showed various camera upgrades paths, up to the Dragon 6K sensor. RED also showed how 6K Raw Dragon images from their mini stage fashion show printed nicely onto extra large posters. The RED theater showed interesting 6K Raw footage with HDR.
Sony: Upgrades the F-65, F55 and F5 cameras. Shoulder mount/ENG cradle for F5/55. A7s DSLR. Palm size, full frame sensor, 4K video, 120 FPS, ISO 409,600, OLED VF, etc.
Angenieux: New Optimo zoom lenses: DP 25-250 mm T3.5,
Optimo Style 16-40 T2.8, and the Optimo Style 30-76 T2.8
Arri UWZ 9.5-18 mm T2.9 rectilinear wide angle zoom
Canon Cinema EOS prime lenses
Leica Summilux-C T1.4 and Summicron-C T2.0 primes.
Schneider Cine-Xenar III prime lenses.
Sigma. 35, 50, and 85 mm F1.4 prime. 18-35 mm F1.8 zoom lens.
Tokina 11-16 mm T3, 16-28 mm T3 wide angle zoom lenses.
Zeiss CZ.2 15-30 mm T2.9 full frame zoom lens.
Aadlyn. Stronger LED cluster spotlights.
K5600. 9K Alpha flat HMI.
Litepanels. Inca tungsten LED Sola daylight LED.
Nila: Zaila, Varsa, Boxer and SL LED cluster lights.
AJA. 4K and HD I/O via Thunderbolt 2.0. Capture and playback.
Assimilate Scratch Ver 8: Dailies system for versioning, coloring, conforming and finishing.
BlackMagic Design, whose booth was always packed: Cintel film scanner, full features with Da Vinci Resolve. <$30K. UltraStudio 4K capture and playback via Thunderbolt 2 6G-SDI.
Cinema 4D. updated 3D modeling, animation, 3D motion design, visual effects software.
Monitors / on-board recorders
Atomos. Shogun 7” 4K recorder and playback.
Codex onboard for Panasonic 4K Varicam
Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q. Records and playback 4K Raw.
Transvideo Starlite 5″ ultra-slim OLED touch-screen monitor
Anton Bauer and Sachtler introduced new Lithium-Ion batteries
and intelligent fast chargers..
BMD Atem 4K switchers.
Corning offers fiber optic connectivity at 20 Gbps, USB 3.0 at 5 Gbps. Denz and Wooden Camera showed PL lens mount modification for the new BMD 4K camera.
I stayed a few days after NAB 2014 to play tourist and see Las Vegas’ latest attraction: High Roller, the world’s highest ferris wheel observation deck.
Oli Laperal Jr runs RSVP Film Studios (www.rsvpfilm.com) in the Philippines, with film production and rental associates in various Southeast Asian countries. Oli can be reached at: olilaperaljr (at) gmail.com
Sometimes the most unexpected thing pops up at NAB, and success surprises even its own manufacturer. True Lens Services rolled out a newly re-housed Cooke Series 1 to go with their updated cam-focus PL mount rehoused Panchro series 2 and 3 lenses.
But the buzz was also all about their new PL rear lens caps in clear polycarbonate and an O-ring to keep it on. How many times do our regular PL caps fall off in the case or in our hands? These things grip nicely, don’t come off, and have a wide bottom so you can usually rest the lens standing up on a table or camera cart. They come in all kinds of colors — but clear is cool because you can see what’s inside.
Rental houses were buying these TLS PL rear caps by the bucket, presumably with custom logos.
FDTimes doesn’t really bestow plaques, statues or NAB top something awards…but a little, clear cap got our attention.
Angenieux’s stylish annual NAB party for distributors, customers, and rental houses took place Tuesday night at Tryst. The usual notable suspects were twirling on the dance floor, enjoying the ambiance and fine dining, and watching Yoginis floating by in bubbles: Denny Clairmont, Otto Nemenz, Tng Sieu Moi, Robert Keslow, and many more. Pierre Andurand, President of Thales Angenieux, gave a welcoming speech. He said that Angenieux is developing new products and achieving its goal of delivering products on time.
The distributor award of the year was presented to Jebsen Managing Director Maximilian von Stillfried.
Dominique Rouchon, International Sales Director, said that customers were the source of inspiration in developing successful Angenieux products. “Competition is getting stronger, but that is not a worry because competition is healthy and Angenieux has a talisman.” (THALESMAN!). “The Angenieux talisman is the customer–the cinematographer. Angenieux is a brand with a lot of affection,” It is a very unique brand–with a lot of style, and a new line of lenses, named “Angenieux Style.”
Panavision officially announced their long-awaited Primo 70 series lenses — for 35mm digital motion picture cameras. Presented in proof of concept Powerpoint in a SMPTE paper last year for a 70mm camera, these lenses are now offered for specially Panavised 35mm motion picture cameras with new Panavision 70 mount: ARRI Alexa, RED Dragon, Sony F55, Phantom 65.
I have seen some of these lenses projected. They are superb. The flange focal depth is shorter than PL, which enables the design to be around the same size and weight as current 35mm Panavision Primos.
So this is an interesting wrinkle in lens design: never mind fighting for a few extra millimeters of 35mm format image circle–just go to the next big major motion picture format–70mm–and let the sensors grow in size.
Some specs from Panavision:
|CLOSE FOCUS (in)||14||14||14||16||20|
|CLOSE FOCUS (mm)||356||356||356||406||508|
|FRONT DIAMETER (in)||4.44||4.44||4.44||4.44||4.44|
|FRONT DIAMETER (mm)||112.8||112.8||112.8||112.8||112.8|
|CLOSE FOCUS (in)||24||30||36||48||48|
|CLOSE FOCUS (mm)||610||762||914||1219||1219|
|FRONT DIAMETER (in)||4.44||4.44||4.44||4.44||4.44|
|FRONT DIAMETER (mm)||112.8||112.8||112.8||112.8||112.8|
|CLOSE FOCUS (in)||48||60||78|
|CLOSE FOCUS (mm)||1219||1524||1981|
|FRONT DIAMETER (in)||4.44||4.44||4.98|
|FRONT DIAMETER (mm)||112.8||112.8||126.5|
RED once again wowed with creative, imaginative NAB booth presentation — a full-on fashion runway show with models…photographed of course RED 19 megapixel cameras with cool portrait-landscape mode tripod cradle.
Lots of new NAB gear that didn’t make it into FDTimes April Edition:
Sony introduced a totally new F5/F55 shoulder dock. From the people who brought you many shoulder-resting ENG camcorders—this kit provides familiar camcorder functions to the F5/F55. Basically, it’s a base and rear that attaches to the bottom of the camera. It gets power and signals through the rear multi-pin connector where the AXS-R5 Recorder previously plugged in. The top handle gets a redesign. The words “modular, unibody, and convertible” come to mind. A dock for documentaries and ENG: ENG & DOC DOCK.
All conventional operations of Sony Camcorder
The doc dock kit has front controls for:
Wireless audio receivers will be accommodated onboard.
www.sony.com/35mm NAB Booth C11001
My favorite part of Sony’s annual NAB press conference is the new product unveiling. This year, it was Mr. Shigeki Ishizuka, Sony Deputy President of Imaging Products (he’s in charge of still and motion picture cameras) who announced the new Sony α7s camera. Saying that the two worlds of consumer and professional imaging are merging, he introduced this third member of the Alpha 7 line (joining the α7 and α7r). Like its siblings, the α7s is a mirrorless camera with a 24x36mm CMOS sensor and E-mount (18mm flange focal depth.)
But there are big differences. This camera’s 12.2 megapixel sensor has a sensitivity up to an astonishing ISO 409,600.
It shoots stills and UHD4K video: 3840 x 2160–to be recorded to an external device.
Steadicam Tango, Movi, stabilizer and other camera operators were imagining the possibilities when this camera is released this summer.
Setting up at NAB 2014. You’ll find us when the show opens on Monday under the Film and Digital Times Airstar balloon in Booth C10006 — next to Sony, across Band Pro and Pole Cam.
More details on ARRI’s UWZ 9.5-18 mm T2.9 Ultra Wide Zoom. But first some thoughts on where it might be used, and on what kind of scenes: underwater, aerials, POVs from trains, planes, automobiles. The 8R is a wonderful lens, but sometimes we have the irresistible urge to zoom in slightly or change focal length during the shot–especially when the lens is mounted in a rig or remote. VFX and plate shots. A low angle gliding shot looking forward if anyone is thinking of a sequel, “Son of The Shining.” “Here’s UWZ!”
The UWZ 9.5-18/T2.9 will be delivered with a detachable lens support, zoom lever and interchangeable EF mount. Meter and Feet scales are integrated in the lens barrel.
Expected to ship in May 2014. Price around 38,000 Euros.
Angénieux Style Zoom Lenses
Angénieux introduces a new line of lenses and the Angénieux Servo Unit (ASU) at NAB. The new Optimo Style series will consist of 3 zooms: 2 handheld, 1 full size.
The 16-40 and 30-76 are lightweight at 4.2 lb each and well-balanced for shoulder or handheld shooting.
The 25-250 is an all-purpose, classic-range zoom for most production situations. It is a 10x zoom with a wide angle of 25 mm, and weighs 16 lb. It was presented at IBC 2013 with a temporarily name “25-250 Optimo DP.”
The Style series of zooms are designed to be fully compatible with the latest and next generation of digital cameras, as well as spinning-mirror cameras, providing the look of the Optimo line at an affordable price. In other words, there is no protruding rear element as there was on the Optimo DP zooms.
The Optimo DP line (30-80 and 16-42) introduced in 2008 and 2009 is being discontinued, except as 3D kits.
Of course, the Optimo Cine lenses (15-40, 28-76, 45-120, 19.5-94, 28-340 and 24-290) continue to be manufactured.
Optimo Style zooms are compatible with existing Optimo accessories: 1.4x and 2x extender, DSLR mount, and Wide Angle Attachment 0.75x (for Optimo Style 16-40 only). Easily interchangeable mounts will be available for PL, Canon EF, Panavision cameras.
Optimo Style lightweight zooms 16-40 and 30-76 will be offered with or without the optional ASU Angenieux Servo Unit.
An Angénieux executive said, “The new Optimo Style lenses inherit the virtues of our Optimo Cine lenses. The rise of multimedia viewing and trend to Ultra definition television is escalating the demand for high quality motion picture content. More productions are demanding a cinematic look with 4K quality and equipment that’s adaptable to a large variety of cameras, configurations and budgets.”
ASU Angénieux Servo Unit
Angénieux 16-40 and 30-76 Optimo Style lightweight zooms will be offered with or without the optional ASU—which provides control of zoom, focus and iris.
The Optimo Style line will be available around Summer 2014. As announced at NAB 2013, the first Angénieux 56-152 2S anamorphic zooms have been delivered in United States, Asia and Europe.
NAB booth C7419
Servicevision will screen their Scorpiolens 2x Anamorphic short “Walk in Barcelona” at NAB on Wed. April 9 from 10am – 6pm in room S107, every 2 hours.
Their 35, 40, 50, 75, and 100 mm Scorpiolens 2x anamorphics will be on display in their booth, C10542.
Cooke Optics will show 4 shorts shot with their anamorphic lenses in Paris, London, New York and Toronto on a monitor in their booth C6143 during NAB. Now also on Vimeo. Their 32, 40, 50, 75, and 100 mm 2x anamorphics will be shown.
ARRI/ZEISS Master Anamorphic 35, 40, 50, 60, 75, 100 (shipping), and 135 mm (ships in July) 2x lenses will be shown at ZEISS C9042 and ARRI C4337. ARRI will probably show footage.
The Angenieux Optimo 2x Anamorphic 56-152 mm T4 zoom has begun to ship.
Footage will probably be shown in the Angenieux Booth C 7419.
This is Canon’s first 35mm zoom lens with servo handgrip for documentary, handheld or ENG.
Canon’s 17-120 mm T2.9-3.9 zoom seems impossibly small for a lens that can deliver superb image quality with so much range.
The servo focus/iris/zoom handgrip detaches with 3 screws. When re-installed, there’s no need for manual re-alignment.
I tried out a prototype 17-120 at AbelCine just as we were going to press, and took these photos with the help of Jeff Lee, AbelCine, and Ryan Kamata, Canon.
The lens motors inside the handgrip are quiet and extremely quick. The focus barrel can whip from M.O.D. (Minimum Object Distance) to infinity in 1.6 seconds. The rocker switch in the handgrip is comfortable, sensitive, and offers smoothly feathered starts and stops. You can zap zoom in a blazingly quick .5 seconds, or dial it down to 300 seconds for that slow zoom in title sequence landscape shot.
Lens communicates with camera a number of ways. There’s a familiar broadcast lens style 12-pin serial connector. Cooke /i Technology metadata is supported when using /i equipped PL mount lenses. An added benefit of Cooke /i on PL lenses is that its contacts can also power the focus, iris and zoom motors. Canon Cinema EOS lens data is also enabled, providing power, lens information as well as image compensation of shading and geometry when using Canon EF mount lenses.
One of the most thoughtful touches is how the focus marks are engraved on the slanted part of the lens focus barrel, so you can see the distance with your left eye while shooting.
Canon EF Mount Model: CN7x17 KAS S/E1
PL Mount Model: CN7x17 KAS S/P1
Things have been too quiet at Vantage. With all the recent news of new anamorphic lenses from A through Z (Angenieux, Cooke, Scorpio, ZEISS/ARRI) – the company in Weiden building Hawk anamorphics for the past 20 years has been uncharacteristically silent.
Peter Martin and Wolfgang Baumler, above, were smiling in Paris at Micro Salon a couple of months ago, but not saying anything.
Now we know why. Credible sources have confirmed with FDTimes (and Vantage continued smiling) that a massive launch of 32 totally new models of Hawk anamorphic lenses, in two sets, will be announced sometime this year. These two new sets are expected to include front anamorphic zooms, macros, and teles – intended for major motion picture productions that need many choices of focal lengths, apertures, and sizes. As with previous Hawks, the new sets are designed and built by the same team in Weiden, Germany, and will have similar 2x anamorphic characteristics. Most of the sets will be rented through Vantage Film and their partners.
New York Test of Cooke Anamorphics now on Vimeo.
Presented by Handheld Films, Cooke Optics, Goldcrest Post Production
Director/Cameraman Jon Fauer, ASC
Line Producer Marc Paturet
First Camera Assistant Timothée Arene
Second Camera Assistant Shaun Malkovich
Gaffer Jackson Lorentz
Grip Joe Janasiewicz
Camera, Lighting and Studio Hand Held Films NYC
Captured with ARRI Alexa Studio
Data ARRIRAW on Codex Onboard
Lenses Cooke Anamorphic/i 32, 40, 50, 75 mm T2.3
Lead Yogini Alison Cramer
Yogini #2 Stéphanie Landouer
Yogini #3 Essence Wall
Finishing Goldcrest Post Production NYC
Supervisor Tim Spitzer
Editor Ricardo Madan
Colorist John Dowdell
Music Toby Harting
Nick Quested, Ellison Santos, Les Zellan, Matthew Jaker, Li Yan Ping Zhu
Lens announcements are heating up today.
Fujinon announcement for NAB: a new 25-300 mm joins the growing Cabrio series PL zoom lens family. Its range extends beyond the familiar 10:1 ratio — offering a 12:1 zoom in a comfortable size and weight. It is intended to be used as an all-around zoom lens for exteriors, locations, action, aerials, sports, cars, running shots, as well as interiors.
With a size and weight comparable to the Fujinon Premier 24-180, the new Fujinon Cabrio 25-300 provides a longer range of focal lengths. A detachable digital servo drive unit with Focus, Iris and Zoom motors will be an option mid-year. The lens has rear flange focal depth adjustment. Macro (close-up) capability is available standard on the lens.
All Cabrios can connect for power and data to contacts in the lens mount of many PL cameras. All Cabrio drive units connect with familiar industry FIZ wireless and wired lens control systems. Also plug and play to Fujinon Broadcast style accessories for single operator/ pedestal applications. Optional power and control cables are available. The servo handgrip detaches with 4 screws. When re-attaching, the drive is self-centering.
Official Fujinon Model ZK12x25
NAB Booth C7025
The new ARRI/ZEISS Master Anamorphic 135 mm MA will be shown at NAB.
The set made their debut at IBC Amsterdam in September 2012 with a 50 mm T1.9. The MA 35 mm T1.9 and 75 mm T1.9 were unveiled at NAB 2013, followed by the 100 mm T1.9 at IBC 2013, then the 40 mm T1.9 and 60 mm T1.9 at ZEISS Cine Lens Day in November 2013. The family will be complete when the MA 135 mm T1.9 is presented at NAB 2014. (Lens sets are rarely “complete.” DPs, like Oliver Twist, always ask for more.)
ARRI/ZEISS Master Anamorphic lenses have an innovative optical design, with almost no breathing and minimal distortion. Anamorphic “mumps” (faces looking wider in close-ups) is automatically compensated by careful positioning of the cylindrical lens elements. There are 4 to 8 cylindrical elements in each lens. The optical design reduces chromatic aberrations and shading (darkening) at the corners of the image. Master Anamorphic lenses produce a smooth anamorphic bokeh, free of artifacts. The 15-blade iris helps create a bokeh that is elliptical (oval) and consistently illuminated. See the framegrabs (below).
The lenses are compact, light, and have a fast aperture of T1.9 at all focal lengths. They are typically “ZEISS” with reliable and durable mechanical construction. Improved protection against dust and spray means less downtime and fewer repairs.
The ARRI/ZEISS Master Anamorphic lenses herald the return to an era of anamorphic big-screen productions at a new, previously unseen, level of quality.
ARRI/ZEISS Master Anamorphic lenses were developed by ARRI and ZEISS, manufactured by ZEISS, and exclusively distributed by ARRI. So far, about 50 mini-sets (MA35, 50, 75) have been delivered to customers, with many more orders placed. The MA100 is shipping now, and the MA40 and MA60 ship around the end of March. The MA135 will follow after NAB.
Both ZEISS and ARRI will be showing the Master Anamorphics at NAB 2014.
But lots more is coming. The complete 96-page epic is brimming with new and up-to-now NDA (non-disclosure) products — printing in a secret location, delivering to NAB in undisclosed trucks, as usual, in time for opening day. Free copies of the printed edition will be found in our big publication bins at the entrances to Central Hall and South Lower Hall. Also in our booth C10006 — usual spot — next to Sony and across Band Pro. And in the booths of most of our terrific sponsors.
Subscribers editions ship and online downloads begin on Monday, May 7.
Use the 4 drives from your old Mac Pro with your new Mac Pro in a new Thunderbolt enclosure from Promise.
The Promise Pegasus2 R4 “Diskless” System lets us remove the 4 drives from an old Mac Pro tower and put them into the 4 drive trays of the Pegasus2 for Thunderbolt access on new Mac Pros and MacBook Pros.
We popped the drives in, plugged in the Thunderbolt cable, and the 4 drives painlessly appeared on the desktop the way they did in the past — as 4 separate icons. This JBOD mode (Just a Bunch Of Disks) is called Pass-Thru Mode by Promise, and it worked by default without any scary setup.
Promise calls this thing “Diskless” — they could call it BYOD – bring your own disks. You can purchase similar Pegasuses with drives and with more bays.
The drives go to sleep and wake up when the computer does. I think this could prove to be a very useful download-storage-cloning-backup data wrangling center for DITs on-set, dailies creators near-set, and editors evderywhere.
FDTimes had moved (“migrated,” “meandered”?) data to the LaCie 5big Thunderbolt (20 TB) storage cube a few weeks ago. This solved the problem of where to put all those drives that previously lived inside the old Mac Pro but now were living like snails without their shells outside the new MacBook Pro and the yet to arrive new Mac Pro.
The only quibble was that pulling the old drives out of the old MacPro and installing them inside the with the LaCie 5big voided the warranty unless you purchased LaCie spare drives from 2 to 4 TB in hot-swappable trays.
Promise Pegasus2 R4 “Diskless” System is another excellent choice.