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Posts by Megan Donnelly

I caught up with Les Zellan of ZGC and Cooke Optics to hear all about their new S7/i “full-frame plus” lenses, a new front-anamorphic zoom, and a new variant of the Anamorphic/i primes with modified coatings to provoke more cinematic flare. Stay tuned through the end of the video to see the new line of Panchro/i lenses, Cooke’s own reproductions of the classic Speed Panchro’s from the golden age of cinema.

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Thomas Fletcher of Fujifilm joined me to discuss the new Fujinon MK 50-135mm T2.9 Cine-Zoom Lens. This is a telephoto companion lens to compliment the recently announced 18-55mm T2.9. The new 50-135mm shares the same weight, length and diameter of the 18-55mm. It also shares the same par-focal design, with minimal breathing and no aperture ramping. Like its “shorter” brother, this lens will be offered in a native E-mount for Sony cameras like the FS7II.

The Fujinon MK 50-135mm T2.9 will start shipping in July. Watch the video above to learn more.
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In this video, Toni Lucatorto of Vision Research tells me all about the latest update to the Flex4K, a Global Shutter option. This important update is the first to the Flex4K system since it was released around three years ago. The camera retains rolling shutter capabilities, so you can choose between rolling and global options depending on the needs of production. Rolling shutter mode provides the full 12 stops of dynamic range, while global shutter provides 9 stops of dynamic range with a boost in ISO. All existing Flex4K cameras can be outfitted with the global shutter upgrade.

Vision Research also released new Phantom media, the CineMag IV Pro, which is compatible with all existing Flex4K cameras. This mag was designed specifically for ProRes encoding. Clips will be saved faster to the media, and you are able to record at even higher maximum frame rates directly to the mag.

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I stopped by the ARRI booth to talk to Mike Wagner about the new features in the version 3.0 firmware for ARRI’s SkyPanel LED light fixtures. Building on the semi-hidden “Party Mode” in earlier firmware versions, a number of fun and creative new lighting effects have been introduced to simulate environmental lighting without console patching or programming. Effects like lightning, fireworks, fire, strobe, candle, television, cop car, and paparazzi are now available with customizable parameters for dialing in a unique look on set. Preset effects can also be triggered on cue. A new high-speed mode is also available to avoid flicker at high frame rates, such as when shooting with Phantom cameras.

Another new feature is called source matching. The SkyPanel now has simulations of consumer and industrial lighting available so, for example, a SkyPanel could be set to match a high-pressure sodium streetlight during a night exterior shoot. Also available are settings to match household incandescent lights, compact fluorescent bulbs, traffic lights, road flares, a stove burner, etc. Altogether there are 46 sources programmed in for matching, including classic film lighting fixtures such as carbon arc.

By plugging an Ethernet cable into the SkyPanel, you can now interact with the fixture through a web browser to install firmware updates as well as manipulate all settings in real time, or on cue during a shot. Download firmware v3.0 from ARRI now, and watch my video to learn more.

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I spoke with Alan Ipakchian from Vitec Group to see what’s new with Litepanels’ line of industry-standard LED fixtures. Their new Astra models offer increased brightness over the original 1×1 Astra; the Astra 3X and Astra 6X provide, as you might guess, 300% and 600%, respectively, of the 1st generation panels’ output. For example, the Astra 3X Daylight draws only 55 watts while providing output comparable to a 200W HMI. The 3X Bi-color has the same draw and matches a 125W HMI in daylight mode or a 650W traditional fixture in tungsten mode. The new lights maintain the same form factor and will fit all accessories for existing Astras.

The Sola 4+ and Sola 6+ are upgraded versions of Litepanels’ daylight-balanced LED fresnels. Due to advances in LED efficiency and power supply design, the Sola 4+ draws only 10% more power than its predecessor, the Sola 4, but manages to more than double light output. Size, weightand most importantly priceall remain the same as the previous versions.

Be sure to stay tuned until the end of the video to hear about how to preview an exciting new lighting product from Litepanels at the show.

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I met with Seth Emmons from CW Sonderoptic (Leica’s affiliate company for cinema lenses) about their exciting, new large format Leica Thalia lenses. The Thalia’s are a line of high-end spherical cine primes with extra-large 60mm diameter image circles. This is more than enough to cover ARRI’s ALEXA 65 and virtually any other digital format in use today. This includes RED’s 8K VistaVision, full format stills (36mm x 24mm) and, of course, all 3- and 4-perf Super 35 digital sensors as well.

Similar in size and weight to the Leica Summilux-C primes (some of the Thalias are actually smaller), these lenses average just 4 lb and have consistent outer front diameters of 95mm (matching all other Leica cine lenses) with inner 92mm filter threads. The set will ultimately comprise nine lenses with focal lengths ranging from 24mm up to 180mm with maximum apertures of T2.6-T3.6. In adapting designs from Leica’s medium format S camera system, which already had a reputation for producing cinematic images, CW Sonderoptic took the opportunity to optimize the lenses through new coatings and elements, targeting a balance of sharpness and smoothness. The iris implementation is interesting as well, using 15 curved blades to produce perfectly round and smooth bokeh (out-of-focus highlight discs) at all aperture settings.

Stayed tuned throughout the video to hear more about the Leica M 0.8 lenses, as well as first availability of the final focal length in the Summicron-C range, the 15mm T2. With a generous 36mm image circle, this rectilinear lens will easily cover RED’s 6K Dragon and 8K Helium sensors, as well as ALEXA’s Open Gate mode. Finally, Leica’s Macrolux diopters are now available in two new strengths, adding +.5 and +2, in addition to the original +1 version.

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Today I met with Jean-Marc Bouchut to get the rundown on Angenieux’s new offerings showing at NAB 2017. Included is the compact and lightweight Optimo Style 48-130, available this fall, with a 44mm diameter image circle, T3 constant maximum aperture, and 3’1” close focus.

You’ll also hear more about Angenieux’s convertible rear anamorphic 10x zoom, the Optimo Anamorphic 44-440 A2S T4.5, which features a convertible rear group that can be swapped to a spherical element, turning the lens into a 25-250 T3.5. Angenieux has also developed a specially coated rear element for this lens that will provoke the characteristic “blue line” flare associated with classic anamorphic lenses of the ’70s and ’80s. Check out the video for more info on these lenses and accessories.

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