Author Archives: Jon Fauer

Canon 20-50 & 45-135 T2.4 FF Zooms

Canon announces “the launch of a new series of lenses for the company’s EF Cinema Lens lineup — the Flex Zoom Lens series.” Watch what they say: “The first lenses in the series are the CN-E20-50mm T2.4 L F/FP wide-angle zoom lens and the CN-E45-135mm T2.4 L F/FP telephoto zoom lens.” Does “first lenses in the series” mean that more Full-Frame Zooms are on the way? I would guess yes. You won’t have to flex your muscles to work with these new Canon Flex Zoom Lenses. They are very light (less than 7.5 lb / 3.4 kg). They are very compact: shorter than 9.7″ / 246.4 mm. And they are amazingly fast for compact Full-Frame zooms: T2.4 maximum aperture for both, without ramping. The Flex zooms come in EF or PL mount, designated by the product name of F for EF, and FP for PL. The EF mount provides electronic shading and chromatic aberration correction when used on Canon’s EOS R5 C with an EOS RF-to-EF mount adapter. The PL mount has the latest /iTechnology.

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ZEISS SP15: Rectilinear in Grand Central Terminal

The new ZEISS Supreme Prime 15mm T1.8 is faster, lighter, narrower and shorter than many wide lenses. And so, what better place to try it than the 35,000-square-foot Main Concourse of Grand Central? The SP 15 is rectilinear, meaning that straight lines stay straight, not curvilinear. Walls, buildings and architectural details do not curve inward. Geometric, barrel or pincushion distortion is minimized. April 5, 2022. ZEISS adds a 15 mm T1.8 lens their series of Full Frame ZEISS Supreme Prime lenses. ZEISS Supreme Primes were introduced in June 2018. In the beginning there were 5 focal lengths and the initial roadmap showed 13. New focal lengths were added like clockwork. Now the set consist of 14 ZEISS Supreme Primes. read more…

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Designing Angénieux Optimo Ultra Compacts

Clément Mondésert is the Project Manager for Angénieux Optimo Ultra Compact Zooms. He started at Thales LAS France in Saint-Héand three years ago, first as project manager for head-up displays and small zooms for helicopters and drones. Clément joined the glamour and excitement of the cine team about a year ago. We discussed the new Angénieux Optimo Ultra Compact 37-102 Full Frame Zoom. read more…

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Cooke S8/i T1.4 Full Frame Primes

New Cooke S8/i Full Frame Primes arrive in response to requests from cinematographers, camera operators, focus pullers and rental houses for smaller, lighter and faster Full Frame lenses.

Cooke S8/i Primes have a maximum aperture of T1.4. In comparion, Cooke S7/i Full Frame Primes open to T2.0. Not only are S8/i faster, they are also lighter and smaller than most contemporary Cooke lenses. S8/i have a 104 mm front diameter. S7/i have a 110 mm front diameter, as do the 35mm format S4/i and S5/i. It gets even more interesting when you hear that the S8/i series were designed and built using only spherical elements. They do not contain aspheres. read more…

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John Brawley, ACS, URSA 12K, “Desperate Hour”

“The Desperate Hour” is one of the first features where a Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K was the “A” camera. Actually, there were four URSA 12K cameras on the film. Cinematographer John Brawley, ACS discusses cameras, Supreme Prime and Angénieux lenses, lighting, equipment and more. “The Desperate Hour” was directed by Phillip Noyce and stars Naomi Watts. read more…

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DJI Ronin 4D 6K Updates

Here are additions and changes to the FDTimes November 2021 report on DJI’s Ronin 4D. New firmware, when the camera ships soon, will let you: Use the Remote Monitor to view and control the main monitor interface with “Mirror Control Mode.” Stream a clean video feed via HDMI and SDI ports on the Remote Monitor Expansion Plate with no overlaid… read more…

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Otto Nemenz gets 37-102 Ultra Compact

Faster than you can say, “Otto Nemenz,” this photo just arrived. Band Pro delivered one of the first Angénieux Optimo Ultra Compact 37-102 Full Frame Zoom lenses in the Americas to Otto Nemenz International yesterday. Above, left right: Amnon Band, Alex Wengert, Otto Nemenz with 37-102, Dan Lopez, Fritz Heinzle. read more…

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Canon EOS R5 C

You spot it right away. On the front, it says EOS C. C as in Cinema. On the left side, there’s a big red shutter/start-stop button. The Canon EOS R5 C Full-Frame hybrid video and stills, mirrorless, RF-mount 8K camera is here.

From the front, the R5 C looks very similar to the R5, which launched on July 9, 2020. If you said that the R5 was essentially a remarkable 45 megapixel still camera that also did 8K video, well, the new R5 C is a remarkable 45 megapixel camera equally adept at both stills and video.  read more…

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Easyrig’s new STABIL Light

Easyrig’s new STABIL Light is a spring-loaded arm that smooths your moves while working with an Easyrig Minimax.

It supports cameras and gimbals from 2 to 7 kg. This includes many of the newer, lighter, smaller packages: ALEXA Mini, Mini LF; Sony FX6, FX9; Canon C300, C599; RED V-RAPTOR, KOMODO; DJI Ronin 4D, etc.

Easyrig Minimax is a vest and backpack with shock absorber that supports your camera weightlessly from a fixed bracket overhead. STABIL Light is the accessory L-shaped, spring-adjustable overhead support that replaces Minimax’s rigid arm.

With Minimax alone, the camera would move up and down as you walk or run. With Minimax + STABIL Light, up and down movement is absorbed. So, when the script calls for the camera to follow the good guys chasing the bad guys along a narrow path through a dense forest, Minimax + STABIL Light + gimbal + camera will glide you smoothly through the scene. read more…

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Si Bell on “A Very British Scandal”

Happy Boxing Day, Sunday Dec 26, 2021. “A Very British Scandal” premieres today on BBC One in the UK. 

Si Bell’s previous appearance in FDTimes was February 2020 in which he talked about his work on Peaky Blinders

Si Bell discusses the film: “A Very British Scandal stars Claire Foy and Paul Bettany. It’s about the Duchess and Duke of Argyll in the 1960s. Quite dramatic, it was about their very messy divorce and it was one of the first times a woman was really shamed by the mass media because she was a celebrity…” read more…

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Estelle McGechie, ATOMOS CEO

A Business of the Business conversation with Estelle McGechie, Chief Executive Officer of ATOMOS. Among many topics, Estelle talked about democratization: “ATOMOS makes high quality, professional, cost-effective products to democratize filmmaking, game streaming, and all other forms of content creation. ATOMOS has evolved the core product line to develop next-generation, adaptable, multi-function devices. Our products help our creative customers access the same high-quality options that are required by Hollywood blockbuster productions.  That we can make that technology affordable and put it in the hands of every filmmaker is very important to our vision of democratization.” read more…

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Angenieux Ultra Compact Zoom Ships

This contradicts FDTimes’ axiom of 9 months from first product sighting to first delivery. Announced at Cannes in July, presented in New York by Band Pro in September, Angénieux begins shipping the first 37-102 Full Frame Optimo Ultra Compact Zoom lenses from their factory in Saint-Héand. The 37-102 will be followed by a 21-56 mm Ultra Compact Zoom. So, the… read more…

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Blackmagic URSA 12K Camera Update 7.7

Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K gets an update. Blackmagic Camera 7.7 Update provides improved color balance, improved demosaicing for better shadow detail, improved demosaicing  to reduce moire effects on fine patterns, improved USB-C camera connections and Blackmagic RAW 2.2.1. URSA Mini Pro 12K’s sensor performance is improved with adjustments to its demosaicing algorithm to offer a more neutral color balance and enhanced clarity in shadow areas. Blackmagic Camera 7.7 update for URSA Mini Pro 12K provides a more neutral color balance  for better skin tones and a natural highlight rolloff. read more…

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Micro Salon Italia 2021

Micro Salon Italia was back, after its last appearance in 2019. It just a few days after Amsterdam’s IBC was cancelled and BSC postponed to April 2022 due to the possible surge of the new variant in Europe. The Roman event was held at Ragusa-Off, an 11,000 sq m city bus depot built in 1929 and recently revamped as a trade show location.

This year’s Micro Salon Italia had 42 local and foreign exhibitors: Sony, Fujifilm, Canon, Cartoni, De Sisti Lighting, D-Vision & Movie People, Leica, Leitz, K5600, Angénieux, and Trans Audio Video (TAV), just to mention a few. read more…

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Configuring KOMODO

Like a Lonely Planet geeky guidebook, not as amusing as Mark Twain’s The Innocents Abroad, less strenuous than Survivor, here is a quirky travel guide of a RED KOMODO’s journey to Film and Digitial Times. The accessories and methods listed here are not comprehensive. In fact, they are the result of things that happened to be shipped, arrived and tried.  (This article first appeared in FDTimes Aug 2021 Issue 109, pages 32-44.)

Download the PDF (2 MB). read more…

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Sony VENICE 2 Report – older version

Four years and nine days after the original VENICE camera first launched five miles from Venice Beach, at Sony Pictures Culver City, VENICE 2 arrives in 6K and 8K. Except for a completely flat base with big air vents, they look very similar to the original VENICE. The design is clean and understated.

Not understated is the performance of this camera. Sixteen stops of exposure latitude retain highlights and reveal shadow detail. Skin tones are smooth and gentle. Images are elegant, natural, with a quality that seem almost tactile and impossibly three-dimensional.

If you have used the original VENICE, the learning curve is almost instantaneous. This is a familiar friend.

Download the free 64-page VENICE 2 Special Report (8 MB PDF) by FDTimes. 

SUBSCRIBERS: Download the high resolution 64-page VENICE 2 Special Report (22 MB PDF) by FDTimes.  read more…

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Cooke Varotal 30-95 and 85-215 T2.9 FF Zooms

Cooke is back in the Varotal zoom lens business. These things seemed to go in cycles. Horace W. Lee designed the legendary Cooke Speed Panchros a century ago, in 1921. A half century later, in 1971, Cooke introduced the 20-100 mm T3.1 Varotal zooms, designed by Gordon H. Cook. Primes returned in 1998 with the Cooke S4 series. And now, Cooke announces two new Full Frame Varotal zooms: 30-95 mm  T2.9 and 85-215 mm T2.9. They come in PL or LPL mounts. read more…

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Panasonic LUMIX BS1H Full-Frame Cine

October 7, 2021. Panasonic announced their new full-frame cube-style LUMIX DC-BS1H. Panasonic’s Matt Frazer said, “Picture an S1H mirrorless camera put into a box. Hence the B in BS1H.”

Matt asked why I call it a cube and not a box-style camera. The reason goes back to Fritz Gabriel Bauer’s sassy comment, “A camera is just a box onto which you put beautiful lenses.” That’s a tongue-in-cheek statement from the guy who developed the innovative Moviecam cine cameras. Surely, a good cine camera is much more than a box.

And so, the good BS1H is much more than a box. It is also more than just an S1H mirrorless hybrid still/cine camera stuffed inside.

Both share most of the same specifications: 24-megapixel full-frame (35.6 mm x 23.8mm) sensor with Dual Native ISO, 6K full-height recording, wide dynamic range, V-Log, anamorphic desqueeze, and more. read more…

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What lenses fit ARRI’s next S35 4K camera?

Will standard 35mm lenses (before Open Gate era) cover ARRI’s next, new Super35 camera? ARRI Camera Systems Product Manager Marc Shipman-Mueller was kind enough to elucidate. “Yes, the sensor has almost the same dimensions as the ALEXA Mini Sensor,” Marc said. “I think that is an important feature of this camera. We want to make sure that our customers’ extensive investment in Super35 glass is protected. Without giving away too much, we have a 4K (4096) 16:9 recording mode for spherical lenses that has a diagonal of 28.55 mm and a 6:5 recording mode for 2x anamorphic lenses that has a diagonal of 27.39 mm. Both fulfill the 4K mandate.” read more…

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DJI Ronin 4D

This is one of the most captivating cinema cameras since, well, the birth of  cinema. I hear howls calling for superlative deleted, but please indulge this attention-grabbing opening line for a few moments. The DJI Ronin 4D is like a polymath of primordial portable 1895 Lumière Brothers Cinématographe, mixed with 1970s Aaton LTR, styled by a dreamed-up team of DaVinci, Gaudí and Ive, commingled with stabilizers, Lidar, integrated wireless video and wireless control, inspired by Inspire 2, Zenmuses and ancestral Ronins. It is an astonishly seamless cinematographic system. Download the free 22-page FDTimes DJI Ronin 4D Special Report. 22 pages. 5.3 MB PDF. read more…

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