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Posts by Megan Donnelly

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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This week Panasonic released firmware Version 7.0 for the VariCam 35 and HS, and Version 5.0 for the VariCam LT. These updates feature expanded ProRes recording, including higher bit rate Apple ProRes codecs and VFR to allow for more internal recording options to support your production’s needs.

…continue reading VariCam Firmware Updates

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MEGAN BLOG

Choosing the make of the lenses you use on a project is one of many ways to create a look. The quality and characteristics of a lens add to the flavor of the image, and is one of the many ways to impart your look as a DP. It’s one of my favorite choices a DP can make on a project: which make of lenses will I use for this specific project?

One of the elements that adds to the characteristics of this choice is the contrast and color rendition in a lens, so I wanted to take a deeper look at ARRI/ZEISS primes. Both Master Primes and Ultra Primes have been a staple in our industry for a long time and complement each other extremely well. While there are differences between them that I’ll discuss, the lenses can in fact be interwoven.

…continue reading A Closer Look: ARRI/ZEISS Master Primes and Ultra Primes

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The Litepanels Astra 1×1 Panel lineup now consists of eight models, with the latest being the Astra 1×1 Soft Bi-Color LED Panel that was announced at NAB 2016. The Astra 1×1 family is known as being extremely portable, which DPs know means faster lighting setups and potentially more scenes completed in one day. They are also extremely flexible due to their bi-color settings, battery options, and light modifiers.

With all of these models having specific applications, I wanted to take a closer look at two of them – the Astra 1×1 Bi-Color and the Astra 1×1 Soft Bi-Color – to see how they worked as a pair. I chose to focus on these two as the Astra 1×1 Bi-Color has the strongest output, and the Astra 1×1 Soft Bi-Color is the newest and softest source. I wanted to see if they complimented each other in a kit for multiple shooting applications and environments, so I put them to the test.

…continue reading In the Field: Litepanels Astras

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At Cine Gear 2016, I was able to stop by the DSC Labs booth and catch up with DP Art Adams, who recently designed their latest color chart. In this video, Art explains his inspiration and method for developing the new DSC Labs OneShot Color Chart. This color chart was specifically designed for digital cinematography to assist with color grading and ensure consistency. In addition to white, black, and middle grey, the OneShot chart incorporates flesh tones, as well as primary and secondary colors that match your vectorscope. DaVinci has also integrated the chart into Resolve’s Color Match feature, which can be utilized to automatically achieve a base grade between multiple cameras, angles, or shots.

Want to learn more about color grading and working with color in DaVinci Resolve? Check out our upcoming Color Training Workshops in all locations!

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In this Tech Talk, AbelCine’s Moe Shore, Director of Advanced Imaging, discusses the history of Phantom cameras, as well as what’s new for 2016 in terms of recording options. He is joined by Megan Donnelly, who goes over the latest camera offering by Vision Research, the Phantom VEO. VEO is a mid-range option, capable of capturing up to 1,500 fps at 2.5K resolution. It transfers its internal RAM buffer directly to onboard CFast 2.0 media. Moe and Megan also discuss some of the Cameo accessories that have been designed to work specifically with the new VEO. The Phantom VEO will be available in the second half of 2016. For a more detailed look at the camera, watch the video above.

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