Cartoni MASTER CINE 30


During dailies of The Immortal Story, Orson Welles turned to his cinematographer Willy Kurant, ASC, AIC, and said, “A film is never really good unless the camera is an eye in the head of a poet.” This was Welles’ first color film and last completed feature. It’s now on DVD from Criterion, described as a “jewel-like film, dreamily shot by Willy Kurant and suffused with the music of Erik Satie, a brooding, evocative distillation of Welles’s artistic interests—a story about the nature of storytelling and the fine line between illusion and reality.” Thinking of poets, cameras and heads, Welles and Kurant might have relished a camera perched upon the new Cartoni Master Cine 30 Head. 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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RED 8K HELIUM Super35mm Cameras


RED Digital Cinema starts shipping two new Super35 8K HELIUM Sensor Cameras today. RED WEAPON 8K S35 is the top-of-the line model featuring the new HELIUM sensor. The body is carbon fiber, in a shade close to dark end of a Technicolor gray scale. It shoots 8K (8192×4320) up to 60 fps, with data rates to 300 MB/s and 5:1 REDCODE RAW at full 8K 24 fps. This model offers a sensor upgrade path to RED DRAGON 8K VV sensor when available. RED EPIC-W 8K S35 comes in a black magnesium and aluminum alloy body. It has the same HELIUM sensor as the WEAPON 8K S35, shoots 8K (8192×4320) up to 30 fps, with data rates to 275 MB/s and 6:1 REDCODE RAW at full 8K 24 fps. Both models let you grab 35.4 megapixel stills from the 8K video. read more…

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Sony RX100 Mark V


It’s been said the best camera is one that’s always with you. I’ve had a Sony RX100 dangling from my belt in a small Lowepro pouch since the original one was introduced in 2012. I’ve upgraded to every subsequent model. The latest one is the Cybershot DSC-RX100 Mark V, and there are compelling reasons to order one. The main reason to upgrade is autofocus speed and accuracy. Images pop into focus immediately. You no longer wait for a camera to hunt and find focus. The RX100 V camera’s hybrid AF system focuses in 0.05 seconds,  helped by 315 AF points on the sensor, covering approximately 65% of the frame. Keep the shutter pressed, and the RX100 V can also shoot continuously at 24 images per second at full 20.1 MP resolution with AF/AE tracking for up to 150 continuous shots.   The RX100 V  has a retractable 2.3f million dot OLED EVF and a Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T*… read more…

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ARRI Alexa SXT Updates


ARRI has been upgrading Alexa XT cameras to Alexa SXT since IBC (early September 2016). There are two different upgrade paths for those who have received XT cameras in 2015 or 2016 (Keep & Buy and SXT Upgrade 15/16) and one upgrade for XT cameras shipped in 2013 or 2014 (SXT Upgrade 13/14). Existing XT owners should check with ARRI. The big deal is that all upgrades will be SXT. There will not be an SXR upgrade (which was mainly a new Capture Drive module). Here’s a detailed look at ARRI’s Alexa SXT announcement as of September 2016. Alexa SXT cameras replace Alexa XT. There will be 3 models: Alexa SXT EV (Entry Version-EVF), SXT Plus (wireless control- EVF) and SXT Studio (wireless control-optical finder). Alexa SXT cameras benefit from electronics and image processing from the Alexa 65, color management and noise reduction from the Amira, more recording and monitoring options,… read more…

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DMG Lumière LED Lights


From Lyon, land of the Lumière brothers, come another band of brothers: Nils, Mathieu and Jean de Montgrand. Along with gaffer Nicolas Goerg, their company is DMG Lumière and they make extremely light, incredibly thin and innovative LED lighting fixtures. 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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Teradek Bolt 1000 & 3000 Wireless Video

Bolt 3000 RX

Here is an example of using a Teradek Bolt Wireless Video Transmitter and Receiver pair. You’re shooting handheld with a gimbal. Attach the lightweight Bolt TX (transmitter) to the camera. Connect a cable from the camera’s accessory DC output to the Bolt’s 2-pin Lemo power connector. Each transmitter works with up to four Bolt Receivers (RX). The receivers attach easily to monitors for the camera assistant, director, DP, and script supervisor. As Teradek’s slogan says, it’s a wireless set. The new Teradek Bolt 1000 and 3000 systems are 20% smaller and lighter and work over longer distances. The 1000 transmits video up to 1,000 feet, line of sight. The 3000 goes up to 3,000 feet. The video is visually lossless and there’s essentially no delay (less than 1 ms). So, pulling focus by watching a monitor will not be late.     Teradek Bolt 1000 transmitters use 11 channels in the… read more…

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Oskar Barnack Photography Award 2016


The 2016 Leica Oskar Barnack Awards returned to Berlin. The award ceremony took place in an event space that was once a church. Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, majority owner of Leica, explained the background of the award, named after Leica Camera inventor Oskar Barnack. The Leica Oskar Barnack Award for 2016 went to Scarlett Coten for her series of images ‘Mectoub’. The French photographer focused on the supposedly archetypal machismo of men in the Arab world and the dichotomy between social conformity and personal expression. The award consists of a 25,000 euro cash prize of and a Leica M-System. This year’s ‘Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award’ went to photographer Clémentine Schneidermann for her series ‘The Unbearable, the Sadness and the Rest’. About a year ago, the Parisian-born photographer moved to the town of Abertillery in South Wales. It combines the documentary, portrait and fashion photography in one of the most economically depressed areas of the UK. The ‘Leica Oskar… read more…

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New 85mm f/2.4 ZEISS Loxia

The ZEISS Loxia lens family

The ZEISS Loxia 2.4/85 is the latest lens in the ZEISS family for mirrorless Sony full-frame E-mount cameras (a7 series). The ZEISS Loxia 2.4/85 joins the Loxia 2.8/21, Loxia 2/35 and Loxia 2/50. The new Loxia 2.4/85 is based on an optimized ZEISS Sonnar design, with seven lens elements in seven groups. Minimum object distance is 0.80 meters. The manual focus ring has a rotation angle of 220 degrees.The electronic interface transfers both lens data (EXIF) and activates the magnification function of the camera if desired. The ever-popular De-Click function of the ZEISS Loxia lenses is aimed at cinematographers. The De-Click function lets you mechanically deactivate the click stops on the aperture ring  for silent and smooth operation. So, the ZEISS Loxia 2.4/85 is also an attractive lens for video cameras that have an E-mount, such as the Sony PXW-FS7 and FS5. Delivery of the ZEISS Loxia 2.4/85 will begin mid December 2016. The lens shade is included. The recommended retail… read more…

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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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Panasonic Firmware Update for VariCam LT


Panasonic has a new firmware update for the VariCam LT that adds RAW output via two 3G-SDI terminals to an external RAW recorder at 4K or UHD 60p. RAW recording will be compatible with Convergent Design’s Odyssey 7Q and 7Q+ and the Atomos Shogun Inferno monitor/recorder. The RAW CinemaDNG file is compatible with DaVinci Resolve 12.5.1, Drastic Media Reactor 5.04 and upcoming versions of major NLEs and grading systems. The new firmware upgrade Ver. 4.0 is immediately available for downloading here.

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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 Noctilux 50mm F/0.95 M 0.8


Leica M 0.8 Leica Format (Full Frame 24x36mm) 50mm Noctilux pre-production model shown at Cinec. Iris scale is now nicely beveled.


OppCam Universal Monitor Mount System


  OppCam Universal Monitor Mount System (UMMS) is not a yoke, nor is it a typical VESA Mount. It is a new, secure way to mount a monitor onto a stand. Nearly all HD monitors today support VESA mounting. The full mouthful of the name is VESA FDMI—Video Electronics Standards Association Flat Display Mounting Interface. It’s a consumer electronics standard consisting of four tapped holes on the back of the monitor and a bracket. That’s how the TV is usually attached, rather inelegantly, to the wall in many hotel rooms. VESA mounts have typically been used to mount production monitors on set and on location. However, with previous systems, the monitor was rarely balanced in line with the stand. It was usually hanging out off-center. One wrong move, one kick of a leg, and the entire rig could topple over. Goodbye expensive monitor. Enter the OppCam UMMS. Monitors in the… 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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Canon C700 Possible to Expand to Full Frame, 18×24, S35 and other Formats

D174_front_04 B4

Update. It seems that the new Canon Cinema EOS C700 camera has been designed from the outset with additional sensors in mind. This may include Full Height S35 18×24 mm, Full Frame 24×36, VistaVision, and possibly other formats. It will most likely depend on feedback from users, rental houses, cinematographers and camera crews. This is not an official announcement from Canon. But I don’t think I misunderstood when the concept was explained in meetings at IBC. Future upgrades to larger sensors may require different circuit boards, but this has been factored into the camera design as well. The idea is to have one camera body that can be updated and expanded–without having to scrap the housing, chassis and major assemblies.      

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