Servo Lenses at NAB Show 2014

Matthew Duclos rounds up the announcements of servo lenses at last week's NAB Show.


Canon's Larry Thorpe Talks Focus on Lenses at NAB Show 2014

In the below video, watch Canon's Larry Thorpe at NAB Show explaining the company's focus on lenses this year.

Says Thorpe, "It all begins with the optics, and as you know part of the Cinema EOS system that we developed, we developed the cameras in concert with new generation cinema EOS lenses. Today, we have four zooms and six primes, and now at this NAB we're unveiling a new addition to the zoom family."

Watch below.

Canon Talks New Lens at NAB Show 2014

In the below video from NAB Show 2014, News Shooter's Dan Chung talks to Canon's Chuck Westfall about their new 17-120mm lens servo zoom lens.

Westfall also talks about the future of cameras for the company, saying, "Canon has been a little conservative to this point."

Watch below.

Duclos Lenses Provides Canon Prime Lenses with a PL Mount

Duclos Lenses has created a conversion process that will allow for Canon EOS CN-E prime lenses to be used with any PL mount camera.

They explain on their blog, "While the Canon CN-E primes were an excellent choice for shooters using a Canon EF body, these lenses are able to reach their full potential on a wide range of professional PL mount cinema cameras.The PL mount conversion utilizes the same industry standards and tolerances required by other high-end motion picture lenses, making the Canon CN-E primes a strong tool for cinematographers."

Read the full story here.

Focus Issues of 'American Hustle' Ascribed to Use of Vintage Lenses

American Hustle has been getting some flack for having focus issues throughout the movie and now, first AC Gregory Irwin has given an explanation as to why.

He writes on a discussion thread on, "You’re right!  Much of the movie had focus issues. The cinematographer insisted upon using old Canon K35 lenses for their 1970s look, the time period that the movie takes place. Unfortunately, the K35′s have 1970s technology as well. Since AMERICAN HUSTLE was shot entirely on steadicam, the use of Preston FIZ remote focus units were necessary. Since the K35 lenses have a compressed focus scale and are known for 'loss of motion,' they could neither respond to the Preston transmitter commands nor return to a prescribed focus mark. There wasn’t much chance for success in the focus department with these lenses."

Comparing the Compact Prime Lenses of Canon, Schneider and Zeiss

FStoppers and Magnanimous Media have compared the compact prime cinema lenses of Canon, Zeiss, and Schneider, looking at resolution, skintone rendering, and build.

Writes FStoppers' Anastasia Page, "It’s not easy to determine which lenses to purchase when there are so many options. After all, lenses are a lifetime investment. There’s a new camera every season, but the quality and craftsmanship of a good lens will never change. In this article you can compare three brands in particular and look at the abilities of their compact prime cinema lenses."

Read the full story here.

From Macro to Fisheye: A Guide to Specialty Lenses

Zach Sutton of Tuts+ gives a quick quide to 6 specialty lenses: tilt shift, macro, ultra wide, fisheye, soft focus and specialized bokeh.

He writes, "Often, lenses in the photography community are similar in design. Each brand has similar focal length ranges and speeds for their popular lenses (all major brands make a 24-70mm and 70-200mm for example). However, many lenses are also specialized, with features such as macro and tilt shift. Here is a breakdown of six of these lenses and their practical purposes."

Read the full story here.



Choosing Between a Prime and Zoom Lens

Filmmaker Noam Kroll provides a primer on choosing the right lens for your shoot.

He writes, "The choice between prime lenses and zoom lenses has been always been a difficult one for professional DPs and amateurs alike. While primes are traditionally more cinema-oriented than zooms, there are also some great cinema zooms out there, which can make choosing lenses as difficult for a pro shooting on PL glass, as it is for a first timer who is just looking to buy their first lens kit. Let's brush up on the pros of each lens type before getting into what purpose they each serve best."

Read the full story here on Indiewire.


Summicron-C Lenses Hit Size, Cost and Performance Sweet Spot

Recently Band Pro Film & Digital delivered my new set of Summicron-C lenses. I’d always loved Leica M and R still lenses and was impressed by the Leica Summilux-Cs—the new Summicrons carry over some of the best traits of both of these and also seem to have just the right size/cost/performance ratio. The lenses are extremely well built. Despite their smaller size, there’s a nice weight to them that feels right. The markings are well laid out and the focus gears rotate very smoothly.

Production Hero Tries Fujinon Cabrio Cine-Style Lens

Director of photography Jon Nelson, owner of Production Hero in Orange County, Calif., recently acquired a Fujinon PL 19-90 Cabrio (model ZK4.7x19) Premier PL Mount cinema-style zoom lens, which he paired with a Sony PMW-F55 CineAlta 4K digital cinema camera. “While image quality is without question extremely important, I decided to buy this particular camera and lens because they offer very beneficial operational and logistical advantages,” Nelson explains.

'The Watsons Go to Birmingham' Comes Into Focus with Canon

Set in 1963, The Watsons Go to Birmingham depicts a fictional family’s road trip as it intersects with a true-life bombing during the turbulent civil rights era. Cinematographer James Chressanthis, ASC, used two Canon EOS C300 cameras and Canon’s EF series lenses to help with some of the film’s challenging production requirements.

ARRI's Ultra Wide Zoom Lens Goes Into the Field

The ARRI Ultra Wide Zoom (UWZ) is of really stunning quality, with none of the distortion you would expect from such wide focal lengths. The image stays rock solid. I immediately realized that this lens would be great for shooting architecture or any other situation where you need to maintain straight lines in the frame.

Understanding Lens Vignetting

RED writes up a primer on understanding lens vignetting.

They write, "Vignetting is an imaging phenomenon that happens with virtually every optical system. It can even also be added intentionally in post-production. In this article, we investigate the types and causes of vignetting so it can be better anticipated and controlled."

Read the full story here.


Panavision Introduces Primo V Prime Lenses

Panasonic has introduced a new line of prime lenses called the Primo V series.

Writes Jon Fauer of Film and Digital Times, "They have been designed for 35mm digital cameras, and because of protruding rear elements, cannot be used on mirror shutter film cameras...The Primo V lenses use lens elements from existing Primos. Mechanics have been upgraded, and the optical design has been optimized for digital cameras. Image circle has been increased to 31.4 mm (maybe larger)."

Read the full story here.

Why There Is No Such Thing as a Perfect Lens

Roger Cicala of explains why there is no such thing as a perfect lens.

He writes, "I get asked a couple of questions every time I publish a graph showing Iatest results for multiple copies of lenses... Most people understand that some copy-to-copy variation is inevitable in the manufacturing process. Most are surprised, though, at how large the sample variation seems to be. Heck, I was surprised at how large the sample variation was when I started doing this kind of testing.

"The three questions I get asked over and over are the same questions I asked myself when I first started seeing these results:


Angenieux to Introduce New Zoom Lens at IBC

Angenieux will introduce a new 25-250mm 10x zoom lens at IBC this week.

Writes Matthew Duclos on his blog, "This new lens will be an addition to the Optimo DP series which is Angenieux’s more affordable range of professional zoom lenses. According to sources, this will be a NEW 25-250mm similar to the beloved classic 25-250mm HR."

Read more here.

Optics for the Onset of 4K Imaging: Lens Developments Consider the Coming Format

Just as a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, any 4K video system is only as good as its weakest component. Lens makers are working overtime to make certain the weakest link in the 4K chain isn’t with their optics.


Lens Test: Rokinon 16mm f/2.0 Vs. Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8

Michael Murie of Notes on Video performs a lens test with the $479 Rokinon 16mm f/2.0 and the $799 Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8.


You Can Now Rent the Lenses Stanley Kubrick Used in 'Barry Lyndon'

Stanley Kubrick famously shot his period piece Barry Lyndon lit only by candlelight. To do so in a time before ARRI Alexas and RED Epics, Kubrick procured three rare f/0.7 Zeiss lenses originally developed for NASA to take photographs of the dark side of the moon.

Now P+S Technik is making these lenses, along with a specially fitted camera to use them, available to rent. Writes NoFilmSchool, "They offer two packages: Kubrick Collection Camera Package and Kubrick Collection Lens Package, including a BNC-R PS-Cam as well as the two modified Zeiss lenses, at focal lengths of 35mm and 50mm, as well as 6 re-housed vintage Cooke Speed Panchro lenses. The prices for either of these packages are only available upon request."

Read more here.

All About Shooting Anamorphic

In a downloadable 8-page report on Film and Digital Times, Jon Fauer goes through the fundamentals of shooting anamorphic.

He writes, "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...[This report] includes “shopping lists” of most of the anamorphic lenses out there, a page on Anamorphic Math, explaining the difference between 1.3x and 2x squeeze, 16:9 and 4:3 sensors, and how 2.39:1 on screen begins life as 1.195:1 in the camera aperture (divide by 2)."

Read more and download the report here.

What Is the Cooke Look?

In the video below, Mitch Gross of AbelCine explains the "Cooke Look" and what makes Cooke lenses so coveted.

He writes, "The Cooke Look is not just a slogan; it is a treasured feature of Cooke lenses for more than a century. What is this Cooke Look that drives cinematographers to covet these optics? To illustrate what makes Cooke lenses special, I shot several tests to try to illustrate four major visual traits of the Cooke Mini S4/i lenses – resolution, flare, Bokeh and color."

Watch below and read more here.

Using Anamorphic Lenses in Digital Cinema

RED offers up a primer on understanding anamorphic lenses.

They write, "Anamorphic lenses are specialty tools which affect how images get projected onto the camera sensor. They were primarily created so that a wider range of aspect ratios could fit within a standard film frame, but since then, cinematographers have become accustomed to their unique look. This article discusses the key considerations with anamorphic lenses in the digital era."

Read the full story here.



Stillmotion Shares Their 5 Favorite Canon Lenses

Stillmotion have shared their 5 favorite Canon lenses as well as the scenarios for which they use them.

The write, "Over the years we’ve rented or purchased so many different lenses — and we’ve found, much like with everything else we do, that lens choice is entirely dependent on story. Sometimes it can be really easy to go with your favorite lens all the time, because you love the way it looks. But you must realize that this just isn’t fair to the other lenses! They look good too — you just need to know when they look really good."

Read the full post here.

Canon Shows Off Cine Lenses with New Short Dance Film

Canon showcases their range of Cine lenses with the short dance film "Rhythm of Life," shot on the Canon C500.

Watch it and a behind-the-scenes video with director Dean Hargrove and cinematographer Steven Poster below. (via Fstoppers)

Fujinon Cabrio 14-28 T2.9 Update

Jon Fauer of Film and Digital Times writes: Fujinon usually has a surprise under glass at NAB. This year’s revelation was a pre-production Premier PL 14-28 mm T2.9 Cabrio wide angle zoom (model ZK2x14). It will join the 19-90 T2.9 and 85-300 mm T2.9-4.0 Cabrios around the end of 2013.


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