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What informs the film look? Of all the technical aspects that do, I think it comes down to three key ingredients. 24p, a wide dynamic range and a 2x anamorphic lens. I and many other filmmakers chase that look. Well, I’ve just returned from Photokina in Cologne, Germany with a surprise. 2 years on from my first visit to SLR Magic at Photokina in 2012, they are back with a 2x anamorphic lens in 2014.

This lens has the potential to revolutionise the consumer market for cinema-standard anamorphic.

2x anamorphic is a Hollywood gold-standard spanning numerous decades and today the format is massively popular, just like in the classic era of anamorphic-shot blockbusters. Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and Spielberg’s Jaws spring to mind when I think “anamorphic”. Such lenses are now used in a number of major features and music videos. (You can see what Quentin Tarantino, a long time anamorphic shooter, had to say about his preference here on EOSHD)

The lenses were originally designed to avoid the resolution loss of cropping Super 35mm film, but the unique stylistic properties of 2x anamorphic are now so ingrained in cinema, they are in the very DNA of it.

At Photokina I was also able to see first hand the interest of camera manufacturers in supporting this staple of Hollywood on their cameras. Panasonic were the most interested by far.

Matt Frazer of Panasonic in the US appeared instrumental in giving anamorphic a higher profile back at base in Japan. Upcoming firmware for the Panasonic GH4 already takes a step closer, adding 3:2, 4:3 and 1:1 aspect ratios for 4K recording and enabling a significant vertical resolution gain of up to 2880 lines using more of the sensor capture area to record the anamorphic image. A perfect match to the format of the 2x lens. From a standard 16:9 aspect ratio sensor, the cinema anamorphic format 2x squeeze produces an aspect ratio which is very narrow (3.55:1). It’s still nice (see image below) but it isn’t a standard.

A Canon girl shot on the SLR Magic Anamorphot 2x at Photokina by Andrew Reid / EOSHD

A Canon girl shot on the SLR Magic Anamorphot 2x at Photokina by Andrew Reid / EOSHD

Now with 4:3 the 2x anamorphic aspect ratio gets much closer to the 2.35:1 of true Cinemascope.

Blackmagic were interested in the anamorphic too, and in true engineer style decided to try and break it! There we did a colour chart test and a quick grade in Resolve but without raw, the A7S was adding too many variables into the mix to really get an idea of what colour balance the glass itself was responsible for. Blackmagic seemed most keen on a very high end lens. SLR Magic are at this stage aiming for a consumer price level with it. All this interest from manufacturers is great for feedback though and it’s fantastic from my point of view to see them taking an interest in anamorphic finally. As a filmmaker there’s nothing more satisfying to my eyes than the overall optical character produced by the format.

Oval spheres glint out from waterfall bokeh and lights pointed into the lens flare horizontally like in a sci-fi blockbuster. The widescreen composition gives you more artistic freedom in where to place actors in the frame and you can do slower, more graceful pans without them leaving the frame. You get a vertical resolution gain (if the camera supports it), as well as the possibility of a horizontal stretch for upscaling to 4K and beyond. Last but not least is the ability to do a close up with a 50mm portrait lens yet isolate the subject horizontally as if at 25mm wide angle. It’s an amazing look. Now you can even buy TVs and computer monitors with the wider aspect ratio to display anamorphic footage to it’s full potential, as well as home cinema projector lenses, notably from Schneider Optics (who now own Isco Gottingen, makers of the Iscorama and owners of the Iscorama focus patents).

There’s some more about the anamorphic from Andrew Chan of SLR Magic in my recorded interview which I’ll upload soon or transcribe to the pages of EOSHD. Overall I was very satisfied with the character of the prototype 2x anamorphic. It is practically cinema on a stick. Areas to improve are as ever, are purely in one area as far as I’m concerned – the challenges of quickly focusing close without diopters.

SLR Magic Anamorphot 2x

SLR Magic Anamorphot 2x prototype on my A7S with Zeiss 55mm F1.8 FE

SLR Magic Anamorphot 2x

Blackmagic review SLR Magic Anamorphic footage with Andrew Chan

The pre-production SLR Magic 2x anamorphic provides coverage to a 50mm lens on a Super 35mm or APS-C sensor, maybe as wide as 35mm. I shot the above footage with it in APS-C crop mode in 1080p on the Sony A7S, using the Zeiss 55mm F1.8 FE as the taking lens. On full frame the combination nearly covered, just a bit of a vignette. Putting a 60mm lens on there may have worked but we didn’t have one to hand, though 85mm would have definitely worked without vignetting. It’s possible the Zeiss OTUS 85mm F1.4 would have worked well.

(As it happens, the existing 1.33x SLR Magic Anamorphot found a natural partner in the Leica 15mm F1.7 on the GH4. That lens was just so sharp with it and what surprised us was the lack of any vignette, even at 15mm. A lovely combination and I want to buy one!!)

LOMO square front anamorphic lenses are unreliable, old, rare, irreplaceable, heavy but truly beautiful

LOMO square front anamorphic lenses are unreliable, old, rare, irreplaceable, heavy but truly beautiful

Current 2x anamorphic solutions (I have a few!!) are even more expensive and sparse than the 1.33x adapters from the DV era, or 1.5x Iscorama so I’ve been persuading SLR Magic to make a 2x solution for a while now. The LOMO square front (above) and round front lenses (not in my collection) have a factor of 2x but the square fronts are a bit wonky mechanically and mine do a strange compression change when racking focus, whilst round fronts are even rarer and will set you back over $6k per lens. Then if you’re lucky they will work ok. If you’re unlucky, well kiss goodbye to your $6k. You really do not know what you’re going to end up with on eBay sometimes.

Pro rental options are Zeiss Master Anamorphic, Vantage Hawk and Panavision 2x anamorphic but these aren’t accessible for the consumer or enthusiast or even most professional filmmakers actually.

2x Kowa Prominar lenses like the 8Z give lovely images but they are impractical to shoot with. Dual focus means you cannot rack focus during a shot and even a single shot setup with fixed focus takes an age to do. Because they are really projection lenses, designed to throw light at a wall, the minimum focus distances are huge.

Other consumer 2x anamorphic lenses from vintage eras do have single focus but are extremely rare. How rare? Well in the case of Isco, we’re talking about maybe a dozen, possibly. Back before the Iscorama price bubble formed (because of single focus) I was very lucky to obtain the unobtainable, a 2x Iscorama (badged Centavision) which appears to be one of only a handful of custom made lenses at the Isco factory for the Widescreen Centre in the UK, possibly a cobbling together of Isco and Kowa 2x elements, Iscorama patented focus mechanism all sweetly packed into whatever Iscorama 42 housing they had going spare in the mid 1990’s. It’s different to the “CentaVision” that crops up on eBay occasionally that is basically a rebadged Kowa dual-focus projection lens. I’ve never seen another one for sale, despite looking weekly, sometimes daily for the past 5 years!!

My collection of anamorphic lenses built up over the years

My collection of anamorphic lenses built up over the years (2x Iscorama centre-rear)

With an anamorphic adapter, it’s important for the lens to be lightweight as it’s going to be attached to the filter thread of your taking lens. The Anamorphot 2x is certainly that. Though it’s longer than the 1.33x version, it weighs about the same. There are no Panavision, Zeiss or Vantage Hawk anamorphic lenses at the high end of the filmmaking industry that are this light or as well suited to small cameras, lightweight rigs, POV rigs or aerial drone shoots. So it is a unique piece of glass.

I used an SLR Magic diopter for close focus on the 2x anamorphic footage above, however the lens maintains the built in semi-close-focus mode of the 1.33x without diopters.

Though still relevant in a world of 16:9 sensors, 1.33x anamorphic is more a video standard really so it’s fantastic to see the 2x cinema standard come to life in the hands of SLR Magic. As this lens develops, be sure to check EOSHD for more updates.

The post SLR Magic 2x Anamorphic – my footage and first impressions appeared first on EOSHD.

All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)

alexa65 640x359 The Arri ALEXA 65   6K and a Giant 65mm Sensor

Everybody was wondering when Arri would jump into the 4K camera race. Today we were surprised with the announcement of their new 6K camera, the ALEXA 65 that uses a giant 65mm sensor.

The camera’s sensor is a new sensor developed by Arri that is slightly larger than a 65mm 5-perf film frame. Some sites claim that the sensor is comprised of three Alexa sensors that are arranged vertically and seamlessly stitched together.

line 05 e1411286396908 600x308 300x154 The Arri ALEXA 65   6K and a Giant 65mm SensorTo cover the large sensor Arri is introducing a new line of lenses based on Hasselblad medium format stills lenses.
This is all very intriguing news. We will let you know when we see the first footage from the camera and get a chance to test and review.

Technical Specifications:

  • 65mm digital cinema camer
  • ARRI A3X CMOS Sensor
  • Aperture equivalent to 5-perf 65mm film
  • 6560 x 3102 Resolution
  • 54.12 x 25.58 mm Sensor size (active image area) Sensor image diagonal: 59.87 mm
  • ARRI XPL Mount (64 mm diameter)
  • LDS metadata
  • Same accessories as ALEXA XT cameras
  • Electronic Shutter 5° – 358°, adjustable in 1/10° incrrements 0.75 to 27 fps (upgrade to 60 fps planned for early 2015)
  • EI 160 to EI 3200. Base is EI 800
  • Dynamic Range greater than 14 stops
  • Shoots: Uncompressed ArriRAW

Check out the full documentation about the ALEXA 65 project in this 35-page pdf: LINK

via newsshooter

The post The Arri ALEXA 65 – 6K and a Giant 65mm Sensor appeared first on cinema5D.

All credit is given to author cinema5D » NewsSebastian Wöber

Alexa 65

With three Alexa sensors stitched seamlessly together, 65mm film moves into the digital era and with it Arri into the 4K & 6K market.

This is an incredibly niche camera, and at the time of writing will only be available to rent directly from Arri.

Key features

  • 65mm digital cinema camera
  • ARRI A3X CMOS Sensor
  • Aperture equivalent to 5-perf 65mm film
  • 6560 x 3102 Resolution
  • 54.12 x 25.58 mm Sensor size (active image area) Sensor image diagonal: 59.87 mm
  • ARRI XPL Mount (64 mm diameter)
  • 0.75 to 27 fps (upgrade to 60 fps planned for early 2015)
  • EI 160 to EI 3200. Base is EI 800
  • Dynamic Range greater than 14 stops
  • ArriRaw (no ProRes it seems), 11 minutes to a 480GB drive

Alexa65

Source: CINEC Munich Issue of FD Times

Do take the time to read this issue of the ever excellent Film & Digital Times. The information is superb on the new Arri and features exclusive interviews with the company.

Alexa 65

For this camera Arri have modified a bunch of Hasselblad lenses to cover the gigantic sensor.

The sensor dwarfs the Red Dragon’s 6K CMOS.

The Leica medium format camera at Photokina by the way, is not medium format for video. It’s Super 35mm in 4K.

I’ve not yet decided whether to make the trip to Munich for CINEC but it would be interesting to see some images from the new camera. 65mm is truly a thing of beauty.

The post Arri goes 6K 65mm with the Alexa 65 at CINEC in Munich appeared first on EOSHD.

All credit is given to author EOSHDAndrew Reid (EOSHD)

The Lytro Illum is the long anticipated camera that brings light-field technology to a professional level. Light field technology allows you to precisely choose your desired focus point in post production so there’s no need to focus on your lens. Sam Tellman also talked to us about the possibilities of Lytro video in the future.

Screen Shot 2014 04 24 at 17.46.23 e1398358149150 300x227 The LYTRO ILLUM and the Future Possibilities of Lytro VideoIf you’re interested in the science behind lightfield technology check out this article we wrote a few years back when Lytro was first introduced.

The amazing thing about the Lytro Illum is that this camera is no more a toy, but now gives you full creative possibilities that we have never before seen in photography.

Sam Tellman elaborated how Lytro Video may soon revolutionise the way we shoot video. Not only would there be no more need for focusing, but also things like slight changes in perspective and single sensor 3D would become a reality. Just think about the possibilities like enabling the viewer to decide where to focus when he watches a movie instead of the clumsy way 3D currently works. This technology may very well revolutionise the way we watch movies making their brainwash power even more effective. Yay.

The Lytro Illum is available for pre-order and it will arrive at the end of September and cost $1.599 (including the F/2.0 lens).

rode banner The LYTRO ILLUM and the Future Possibilities of Lytro Video 640x70 The LYTRO ILLUM and the Future Possibilities of Lytro Videofilmconvert The LYTRO ILLUM and the Future Possibilities of Lytro Video

The post The LYTRO ILLUM and the Future Possibilities of Lytro Video appeared first on cinema5D.

All credit is given to author cinema5D » NewsSebastian Wöber

Fotodiox is famous for their practical lens mounting adapters like the Sony to EOS with built-in vari-ND. This year at Photokina they present one of the most intriguing lighting solutions I’ve seen so far: A circular, flat, lightweight LED with a smooth surface.

These lights looked really impressive. While their output was not as strong as many other LED’s that are currently on the market, they had some unique attributes:
They are surprisingly thin (less than half a centimeter in thickness), they are lightweight and they provide a smooth lighting surface (no annoying LED dots causing multi-shadows or harsh texture) and they provide a light clarity with a CRI value over 90.

Slowly but surely it seems LED lighting is finally heading into the right direction and these lights seem like a hint on what the future lighting may soon become.

The Fotodiox Edgelight should be available early next year and will cost between $300 for the smaller lights and around $600 for the large one.

The smaller lights are called C-200R and C-300R. Unfortunately we didn’t find them on the fotodiox website. We will check with Lilian and update this post soon to let you know where to get them.

rode banner Fotodiox Edgelight   Lightweight Circular LED Softbox from the future 640x70 Fotodiox Edgelight   Lightweight Circular LED Softbox from the futurefilmconvert Fotodiox Edgelight   Lightweight Circular LED Softbox from the future

The post Fotodiox Edgelight – Lightweight Circular LED Softbox from the future appeared first on cinema5D.

All credit is given to author cinema5D » NewsSebastian Wöber

The bluetooth module for controlling and configuring Basecam Control boards has been available for a while, but something not highly discussed is that the Varavon Birdycam Stabilizer actually ships with a BT module. This was not heavily advertised since the Android Apps (at the time) may not have been stable due to the latest firmware that was installed on the Birdycam2. Today I decided to test things out, and I have to say it’s working quite well.

Anyone who has worked with the computer version of the SBGC app will feel at home on the Android App version. The wireless joystick app is perfect for dual operator mode (or when operating the gimbal mounted to a Crane/Jib) without having to invest in expensive RC Transmitters. Keep in mind that this is not limited to just the Varavon Birdycam.

varavon birdycam pre-order
find-price-button Varavon BirdyCam 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

The bluetooth module can be purchased separately and installed with any gimbal Alexmos boards such as the ones in the inexpensive CAME-TV 7000 3 Axis Gimbal.


DIY 3 Axis Gimbal CAME 7000 Calibrate Alexmos
find-price-button CAME 7000 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

All you’ll need is the Bluetooth module which can be found for around $16 US dollars (found here).

Alexmos Bluetooth CAM-TV 32 Bit wiring diagram how to
find-price-button Bluetooth Module for Alexmos Basecam Controllers

All credit is given to author CheesyCamEmm

The bluetooth module for controlling and configuring Basecam Control boards has been available for a while, but something not highly discussed is that the Varavon Birdycam Stabilizer actually ships with a BT module. This was not heavily advertised since the Android Apps (at the time) may not have been stable due to the latest firmware that was installed on the Birdycam2. Today I decided to test things out, and I have to say it’s working quite well.

Anyone who has worked with the computer version of the SBGC app will feel at home on the Android App version. The wireless joystick app is perfect for dual operator mode (or when operating the gimbal mounted to a Crane/Jib) without having to invest in expensive RC Transmitters. Keep in mind that this is not limited to just the Varavon Birdycam.

varavon birdycam pre-order
find-price-button Varavon BirdyCam 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

The bluetooth module can be purchased separately and installed with any gimbal Alexmos boards such as the ones in the inexpensive CAME-TV 7000 3 Axis Gimbal.


DIY 3 Axis Gimbal CAME 7000 Calibrate Alexmos
find-price-button CAME 7000 3 Axis Gimbal Stabilizer

All you’ll need is the Bluetooth module which can be found for around $16 US dollars (found here).

Alexmos Bluetooth CAM-TV 32 Bit wiring diagram how to
find-price-button Bluetooth Module for Alexmos Basecam Controllers

All credit is given to author CheesyCamEmm

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

The Orton Effect is named after photographer Michael Orton, who attempted to imitate watercolours with his photographs using darkroom techniques. The result is an out-of-focus, highly saturated look with detail around the edges retained. Orton achieved his results using two slides; one in focus and one out. In this tutorial I’ll show you how to achieve the same effect in Photoshop using one image.

Choosing your image

This is the image I’ve chosen to demonstrate the effect:

Original image
The original image we'll be working with in this tutorial [photo: Marie Gardiner]

Images with quite muted tones but some colour work well, as do pictures with trees, autumnal scenes and black and white images. Portraits don’t work well with this effect in my experience.

1. Create 'Screen' Layer

Open your image in Photoshop and duplicate your background layer. In the layers tab, change the blending mode from normal to screen.

Screen blending mode
Change your duplicated layer's blending mode to 'screen'.

I've named my duplicated layer ‘screen’ as that’s what the blending mode for that layer now is. You may wish to name your layer the same thing to make the process easier to follow. You’ll notice this layer has become brighter than our original image.

2. Create 'Multiply' Layer

Duplicate your 'Screen' layer, rename the new layer to 'Multiply' and change the blending mode to Multiply:

Multiply blending mode
Change your new layer's blending mode to 'multiply'.

3. Adjustments

Your image will now be quite dark, so to fix this, create an adjustment layer for levels

Levels adjustment layer
Create an adjustment layer for levels.

Then slide your mid-tones, marker left until the brightness looks correct:

Levels
Use the middle slider (circled) to adjust the brightness of your mid-tones

Create another adjustment layer, this time saturation, and use the saturation slider to boost your colours slightly. You’re going for an over the top look so don’t be afraid to increase them to the point that they look unnatural.

Saturation layer
Increase saturation until colours stand out boldly

4. Blur

Once you’ve made your adjustment layer tweaks, select your 'Multiply' layer again (make sure it’s highlighted) and click Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur

Blurring the image
Select Gaussian Blur from your Filters

The settings for your blur will really depend on your image. Drag the slider until you have enough blur but still retain the details you want to keep. For this image, I found about 20px was enough.

Gaussian Blur
Use Gaussian Blur to blur your image whilst retaining edge detail

5. Finishing Touches

Add any finishing touches you think the picture needs (in my case I straightened up the horizon line and made a small crop) and you’ll have your finished image.

Image with Orton Effect
Finished image demonstrating the Orton Effect [photo: Marie Gardiner]

Conclusion

Before and after images
Image before and after the Orton Effect was applied in Photoshop [photos: Marie Gardiner]

The Orton Effect is a great way to jazz up mundane shots that you may not have used for anything. It’s also very handy for rescuing an image you like but that isn't in sharp focus. Doing this the non-digital way would be time consuming with no real way to guarantee your results. As a quick Photoshop technique though, it works very well and you can try this on any photo you have without changing the original; getting varied, interesting results every time. 

All credit is given to author Tuts+ Photo & VideoMarie Gardiner

Anytime you want the smoothest and most consistent camera movement, it’s best to go with an automated system. We’ve seen plenty of MoCo systems in the last few years, and here’s another new tool from Kessler – The Second Shooter™.

Product Overview
Second Shooter™ is a revolutionary motion control system that boasts a sleek and compact design, feature-rich operation and an incredibly intuitive user interface. Featuring 100% repeatable motion control for live-mode, looping, time-lapse and stop-motion applications.

Unlike stepper motor based moco systems on the market today, Second Shooter™ receives feedback communication from digital-encoded motors in determining motor positions to ensure precise control. Second Shooter™ provides users with ultra-smooth and quiet motion control, making it an outstanding companion on any job.

Second Shooter™ is motion control for the masses. An affordable and comprehensive solution that will meet the needs of large production houses and one-man-bands alike. With the ability to set up and operate quickly, it can be deployed in run-and-gun environments just as easy as it can be used in dramatic astro-timelapses.

Kessler Crane Second Shooter
Read More Button Kessler Second Shooter

All credit is given to author CheesyCamEmm

At IBC & Photokina this year it seemed like there was a bag company with new products at every other corner. One brand in particular caught our eye: Orca Bags make bags for professionals with durability and ergonomics in mind and they produce the first softbags with an aluminum frame construction.

orcabags 300x249 Orca Bags   Durable Video Bags for Professional UseOrca Bags is a very new company that was founded earlier this year (!), and it was brought to life by the people who made the famous Petrol Bags, a company that was sold just a few years ago.

Orca Bags look very interesting for people who are very serious about their work and spend a lot of time in the field. When taking a close look their products seem to come from people with working experience and are not just another copy of a copy.

All bags are available in several different sizes. Ofer from Orca Bags presented the following bags:

For more information on Orca Bags check out their website: orcabags.com

rode banner Orca Bags   Durable Video Bags for Professional Use 640x70 Orca Bags   Durable Video Bags for Professional Usefilmconvert Orca Bags   Durable Video Bags for Professional Use

The post Orca Bags – Durable Video Bags for Professional Use appeared first on cinema5D.

All credit is given to author cinema5D » NewsSebastian Wöber