Monthly Archives: June 2011

Leica M9 and Noctilux f/0.95

This is not your father’s Leica. But many things about the Leica M9 feel familiar. The process of taking pictures is distinctly different. The mechanics are elegant. The controls are intuitive. Turn it on. Set your aperture. Compose. Focus. Shoot. You think more about composition. You wait for the perfect moment. My father had a drawer full of M2 and… read more…


Angénieux at Cannes

Thales-Angénieux was busy at the Cannes Film Festival last month, unveiling a new lens and new logo with colors that matched the red carpet. Angénieux showed the new Optimo 45-120 mm T2.8 lightweight zoom on Thursday, May 12 at a demo conducted in the CST booth from 12 to 3 pm. This is the third in the line of lightweight… read more…

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Leica Lens Controls

Prototype by cmotion seen at Cine Gear: focus and iris motors for Leica Summilux-C Primes from Band Pro. The motor assembly attaches directly to the lens with a bracket, providing a way to control focus and iris without having to use lens rods.  This helps keep things light, tidy and compact for handheld, remote, Steadicam and 3D rigs. The motor… read more…

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Focus After the Fact

The New York Times reports on Lytro “Shoot Now, Focus Later.” The Lytro camera coming later this year uses a micro lens array to capture images without having to set focus. You can change focus interactively while viewing. Further reading, forwarded by Howard Preston: and the technical paper:  



Here’s a cutaway of 3 ZEISS lenses shown at Cine Gear. At left and in middle–two SLR still lenses: Makro-Planar T* 2/100 and Planar T* 1.4/85. At right, Compact Prime 2.9/25. This is a great example of the extra engineering involved in making a Compact Prime motion picture lens, where the focus scale is expanded and critical focus is maintained on… read more…


Hawk Anamorphic 45-90mm T2.8

Vantage Film, the designer and manufacturer of Hawk Lenses, premiered their lightweight, compact Hawk Anamorphic 45-90mm T2.8 zoom lens at Cine Gear Expo. It will be available in both 2x and 1.3x squeeze (2x for 4:3 and 4-perf image areas; and 1.3x for 16:9 and 3-perf image areas). The anamorphic element is in front. The zoom lens weighs a mere… read more…

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More P+S Technik X35 Views

360° Views of P+S Technik X35 Prototype Camera shown at Cine Gear (without logo).  


iDC System Zero

Bring out your inner Ikea…er…iDC. iDC Photo Video is the innovative industry in Arizona where director, cinematographer, photographer Bruce Dorn and visual effects artist Maura Dutra design and fabricate essential camera accessories. Dorn and Dutra were first to come up with simple, friction-drive follow focus systems for DSLR cameras. They continue to come up with intuitive stuff to simplify the… read more…


P+S Technik X35

P+S TECHNIK’s new PS-Cam X35 premiered at Cine Gear Expo 2011 in the ZGC Booth, their US Distributor. Imagine an all-purpose, 35mm digital camera that reminds you of an Arriflex 435, is quiet enough for sync sound (there’s no fan), sits on your shoulder, mounts to tripods, dollies, remote heads, Steadicams, cars and 3D rigs. The P+S TECHNIK PS-Cam X35 shoots from 1 –… read more…

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Preston 8-Channel Motor Driver

  Preston Cinema Systems introduced a new 8-Channel Motor Driver at Cine Gear Expo 2011 to simplify the tangle of cables and boxes typical on 3D rigs. It’s called MDR3D (Motor Driver Receiver 3D). When shooting stereo 3D on a rig with two cameras and two lenses, you wind up with lots of motors–typically: 2 zooms, 2 focus, 2 iris,… read more…

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Moviecam and Arricam Comparison

Arturo Jacoby, lens technician at Clairmont Camera and overall camera wizard, got the idea to compare the Moviecam SL Mk2 with the Arricam LT. He wanted to make comparisons based on measurements and weights of both camera bodies with different magazines. When he started looking for the factory technical specs about these cameras, he didn’t find much.  So, he decided to do it… read more…


Moviecam and Arricam Weights, cont’d

Moviecam SL Mk2 and the Arricam LT comparisons, by Arturo Jacoby, Clairmont Camera Technician “Finally, let me express my most sincere congratulations for the great project Film and Digital Times. We are learning a lot thanks to your publication. Here at Clairmont, I see many technicians and customers getting a copy and filing it for later use. Read and learn. The magazine comes with… read more…


Alexa at Cine Gear

At Cine Gear Expo, it felt like Alexa Expo. ARRI Alexa cameras were everywhere. They were as ubiquitous as Canon 5D and RED cameras that populated previous Expos. Alexas were so busy on shows that some exhibitors at Cine Gear had to sub-rent or ship from Europe. Never before have so many cameras been built each month on Tuerkenstrasse in… read more…

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Cine Gear 2011 Slideshow

Here’s a slideshow of around 160 shots from Cine Gear. Copyright Film and Digital Times. Not to be re-used without permission.


Cine Gear Expo 2011

With a week to digest Cine Gear Expo, along with the delicious In-N-Out burgers, it’s as risky to analyze the trends we saw on Paramount’s New York Streets as it is to augur the whims of Wall Street. Nevertheless, here goes. But first we need to talk about art and politics. Equipment is getting cheaper, labor is getting more expensive,… read more…

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Howard’s Speech

Howard Preston received the Lifetime Achievement Award at Cine Gear 2011. Watch the Vimeo video of his speech and Jon Fauer’s introduction, shot with Canon 5D Mk II by Mirko Kovacevic, a long-time member of Preston Cinema Systems, and co-recipient of their 2007 Motion Picture Academy Sci-Tech Award. Full text transcripts follow. 

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FDTimes Issue 43 Now Online

Film and Digital Times Cine Gear Issue 43 is now online and ready to download for subscribers: Pick up a paper copy at Cine Gear 2011 on June 3 and 4. In this issue: a sneak preview of the new P+S Technik digital camera. NAB Review. 4K. More K. ARRI Alexa M. Sony F65. AKS. Denny Clairmont, and much… read more…