Articles

Dan May, BMD Pres, on URSA Mini and more

It’s always good to spend time with Dan May at NAB for an interesting guided tour. He puts things in perspective and explains not only the what and how of new equipment, but why. read more…

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Hawk65 from Vantage Film

On February 9, 2015, Vantage Film announced three new sets of lenses for 65mm format. Since then, other products and pieces of the puzzle have come together. RED introduced the RED Weapon 8K camera, with its 21.60 x 40.96 mm sensor at NAB. ARRI announced an alliance of Alexa 65 with IMAX. I met with Peter Martin in Los Angeles. Peter is CEO of Vantage Film and leads technical development along with CEO Wolfgang Baumler.

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Cooke 65 mm Macro Anamorphic /i 2x Prime

Here’s the lens that many cinematographers have been waiting for from Cooke. Cooke introduces their new 65 mm Macro Anamorphic /i 2x Prime lens at Cine Gear. It has a close-up magnification ratio of 4.1:1. read more…

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Canon’s Mr. Maeda alludes to future technology

“Lunch with the FT” is a weekly column in the Financial Times. Their weekly interview with a leading cultural or business luminary was something we have been doing—but to paraphrase Virginia Woolf, “It’s dinner one wants, not lunch.” It was therefore a pleasant surprise to receive an email from Mr. Hitoshi Doi, head of the Future Product & Solution Group at Canon U.S.A. “Jon,” he wrote, “Can you slip away for a couple of hours during NAB to have lunch with Mr. Maeda and me?” Mr. Masaya Maeda is Managing Director and Chief Executive of Image Communication Products Operations at Canon. read more…

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All About Dolly Track

Dolly track is a long story. When you go back far enough in history there’s a classic division between European and American track dimensions. Most of the European track was 1¼ inch diameter, and most of the American manufactured track was 1½ inch diameter. At some point during the mid ’70s and early ’80s, there was a realization that this really had to be standardized. We’ve all kind of moved to the 1½ inch diameter for the rails. Along with this, we started having all sorts of problems with rails bending, which plainly and simply was a function of moving from simply using dollies to using small manned cranes, to using larger manned cranes, to using very large manned cranes and enormous unmanned cranes. And then there’s the question of aluminum or steel. read more…

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Gavin Finney BSC, “Wolf Hall,” candlelit, Leica Summilux-C T1.4, Alexa, Handheld

“Wolf Hall” is a series on BBC and PBS Masterpiece Theatre about Thomas Cromwell (Mark Rylance), a blacksmith’s son who rose to power as chief minister to King Henry VIII. Gavin Finney, BSC was the cinematographer. read more…

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Fujifilm IS-Mini

The Fujifilm IS-Mini is a complete color management and monitor profiling system. It’s a small hardware box and comes with free software. It’s inexpensive and is an essential tool for DITs and post houses. The color science behind it is very sophisticated. You can use IS-Mini to create a LUT or CDL for the DP on set; and, if you have multiple monitors on set, you can attach a separate IS-Mini to each monitor. read more…

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Panasonic VariCam 35 Factory Tour (PDF)

In January 2012, Panasonic’s professional video factory moved to Okayama, 180 km (111 miles) west of Osaka. The picture above was composited from portraits of every employee. At Okayama, the entire manufacturing process from parts mounting to final assembly takes place on a single floor. This layout improves logistics and speeds production. The new factory has gigantic clean rooms for assembly of optical units in the cameras. Panasonic controls the entire process—making everything from the sensors and optical assemblies to the circuit boards, mechanical parts, housings, and components. read more…

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Anamorphic 118 page Review (PDF)

Here’s a 118-page review of anamorphic cinematography from Film and Digital Times articles since 2007. It all began with a visit to Vantage, makers of Hawk Lenses. Peter Martin and Wolfgang Baumler suggested a book on anamorphic, something about which they know quite a lot. This led to more articles over those 8 years, as anamorphic widescreen took off and has been embraced many cinematographers and manufacturers. read more…

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Leica Spring 2015 Special Edition (PDF)

26 MB PDF Free Download Newly updated Spring 2015 Edition. This is the free online PDF version of the printed copies handed out at NAB and available in the LA Leica Gallery. (previous edition was Photokina 2014). 126 pages. Perhaps lured by the glamor and excitement of the movies, dreams of exotic locations, and life outside the laboratory, Oskar Barnack built a……

ARRI Full Factory Tour (PDF)

Special for Camerimage 2014. Free Reprint and Update from FDTimes issues since September 2013: AMIRA Factory Tour from issue 62-63, ALEXA 65 Special Report, ALEXA SUP Updates, ARRI Accessories.

80 pages. Best viewed in Adobe Acrobat with View-Page Display set to Two Page View, and Show Cover Page in Two Page View. read more…

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Leica and CW Sonderoptic Report (PDF)

Special Report for Photokina 2014. Revised and updated through September 2014: all about Leica, CW Sonderoptic Leica Cine Lenses, Summilux-C, Summicron-C, Still Moving Pictures (stills shot by cinematographers with Leica cameras), Oskar Barnack’s motion picture camera, history, tour of the factory, and a look at the new Leica Headquarters in Wetzlar. 96 pages.  Copyright 2014 Film and Digital Times. Text and photos not to be used without permission. Best viewed in Adobe Acrobat with View-Page Display set to Two Page View, and Show Cover Page in Two Page View. read more…

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Angénieux History (PDF)

The Angénieux company has been designing and building motion picture lenses for more than 78 years–lenses that defined the look of many films and influenced the way they were shot. This special report follows a time-line of Angénieux’s history, from its founding by Pierre Angénieux in the 1930s to the new lenses that continue to be developed today. We take……

All About Anamorphic (PDF)

Apocalypse Now, Blade Runner, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Bridge on the River Kwai, Evita — if you were enthralled by the look of these classic ’Scope films, you may be considering anamorphic lenses for your next production. Angénieux read more…

Oblivion Sony F65 Report (PDF)

Reprint from Film and Digital Times Issue 53: interviews with Claudio Miranda, ASC about cinematography on Oblivion. Alex Carr, DIT on the film, discusses data management. Chris Cookson, President of Sony Pictures Technologies, talks about 4K in general. read more…

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Cooke Book 2013 (PDF)

The Cooke Book, A Cooke Look Back, and other reprints of Film and Digital Times articles about Cooke Optics.

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Sony F65 and FS700 Reprint (PDF)

Online reprint of Sony F65 and FS700 Special Reports. These articles first appeared in NAB 2012 and IBC 2012 editions of Film and Digital Times.  

Cooke Evening

More than 65 guests attended the annual Cooke Evening on April 13, 2011 to mingle and discuss the state of motion picture industry. Here is a selection of comments from John Bowring ACS, Danys Bruyere, TSF ; Juan Pablo Fabres, JPF Cine; Barry Measure, Take 2 Films; Tarun Kumar, Anand Cine Service; Ernesto Musitelli, Musitelli Film And Digital; Thomas Järn, Dagsljus; Noah Weinzweig, Redgate Rentals; Denny Clairmont, Clairmont Camera; Robert Howard, CCEO Cooke Optics; Jon Fauer; Les Zellan, Chairman Of Cooke Optics; Geoffrey Chappell, Sales For Cooke Optics.
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Sony Tour – Updated Reprint – April 2011 (PDF)

Sony invited us to tour their facilities in Japan to see their latest cameras and technology. Our 28 page report takes us from the Atsugi Tech Center south of Tokyo to Kumamoto on the south island of Kyushu, where Sony’s 20 Megapixel CMOS sensors for the new F65 cameras are made. We learn about the F65, SRMemory, Recorders, 3D, NXCAM……

Fujifilm – Fujinon Optics Factory Tour (PDF)

In March 2011, we visited the factory where Fujinon lenses are crafted. This 14-page report is an overview of the company’s history, shows the breadth of product design and developement, and then takes us where cinematographers want to go: to see lenses being ground, lens meisters measuring to incredibly fine tolerances, and one of the most advanced MTF testers being……