The American Society of Cinematographers

Loyalty • Progress • Artistry

December 2007
Quad Dolly
The GF-Quad Dolly from Grip Factory Munich was recently introduced. The dolly operates on almost all straight or round track with either skateboard or track wheels.
Celco Digital Archive Recorder
Celco has introduced the CineSafe 4K Digital Archive Recorder, specifically designed to output color separations onto black-and-white film stocks at the highest speed and resolution.
Celco Firestorm 4K Recorder
Celco has introduced the Firestorm 4K Digital Motion Picture Recorder.
Quantels 3-D Post Tools
Quantel has launched a range of stereoscopic 3-D postproduction systems to provide a true real-time, end-to-end 3-D post process. There are many challenges in stereo 3-D post.
Compact Super Fisheye
16x9 Inc. has introduced the Compact Super Fisheye, a smaller, lighter version of the extremely wide-angle EX Super Fisheye.
Panasonic AJ-HPX3000
Panasonic has introduced the AJ-HPX3000, the industry’s first native 1080p one-piece camcorder to acquire mastering-quality high-definition video.
Century Five-Filter Kit for DV/HDV Cameras
Schneider Optics, maker of professional add-on lenses, has introduced the Century 4"x4" filters.
Pro8mm Pro814 Super 8 Camera
Pro8mm has introduced the Pro814, a newly rebuilt, recalibrated Super 8 camera modified to optimize the results of modern film stocks.
Steadicam Pilot With IDX Battery System
A new version of the Steadicam Pilot system has been released in conjunction with IDX System Technology Inc.
Arri 150mm Master Prime
Arri’s Master Prime 150mm lens exhibits all the features of the Master Primes set — superior optical performance, including a sharp, high contrast image, dramatically reduced flare, minimized chromatic aberrations and an even illumination of the whole Super 35 negative.
Media Server
Focus Enhancements’ recently released ProxSys PX-1 Production Media Server is the industry’s first entry-level turnkey Media Asset Management (MAM) system that fully integrates both hardware and software into an easy-to-set-up and use solution.
Sachtler F-Cell Battery
Sachtler has introduced the F-Cell, a new concept in battery design.

Archives
New Products and Services
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Quad Dolly

The GF-Quad Dolly from Grip Factory Munich was recently introduced. The dolly operates on almost all straight or round track with either skateboard or track wheels. A quick-release system allows for a changeover to pneumatic wheels in seconds and without any tools. On pneumatics, the three-stage steering system enables front-wheel, four-wheel and rear-wheel steering. The extremely maneuverable four-wheel mode can navigate a circle with an 80 cm (31") radius. The steering angle can be locked off to help repeat either straight or curved moves. Selecting the required steering mode is a matter of changing the steering plunger pin from one slot to another. The angle of the steering rod is adjustable and can be locked off at multiple angles.

The GF-Quad weighs 92 pounds and is constructed from lightweight aluminium which is surface hardened in a patented process. This process increases the equipment’s durability and lifespan. The dolly platform and extra platforms are fitted with non-slip mats.

GFM supplies a complete range of dolly accessories for the GF-Quad ranging from a pushbar to camera risers and mounts to mini-jibs and off-set rigs.

contact info:

GFM +49 89 31901290


 
info@g-f-m.net
www.g-f-m.net
Celco Digital Archive Recorder

Celco has introduced the CineSafe 4K Digital Archive Recorder, specifically designed to output color separations onto black-and-white film stocks at the highest speed and resolution.

When stored properly, black-and-white film will last more than 500 years, making it the perfect medium for deep archive image storage. With the increasing amount of digital image data and higher-resolution image-capture systems, there is an immediate need for an insurance policy for digital imagery. Current digital storage methodologies have numerous drawbacks, such as obsolescence, limited lifespan, and constant migration.

The CineSafe 4K has the ability to image to fine-grain black-and-white color separation, intermediate and high-contrast stocks. It can image a high-resolution 4K frame in just over 2 seconds, is twice the speed of laser recorders.

The system is powered by Celco’s new Linux host computer and film recorder driver software, making it easy to integrate into production workflows.

The CineSafe 4K also has Celco’s Filmout Pro Advanced Film Recording Software. Filmout Pro is an intuitive graphical user interface that controls the film recorder and includes imaging tools such as sharpening, degrain, image formatting, resizing and color management functions. A unique feature is the interactive A/B image comparison slider that allows the user to view images before and after different image-processing tools have been applied. Filmout Pro also includes Finalview, a viewing tool that displays the final image and its exact position on film.

John Constantine, director of marketing, comments: “Imagine being a studio and losing some of your precious image data because of difficulties encountered with digital storage mediums. The new Cinesafe 4K will give studios the ability to make safe archives of their valuable image assets at the fastest speed and highest resolution. The black-and-white color separation images that the Cinesafe 4K provides will give them a 500 year insurance policy that is resolution independent and nearly impervious to the ravages of time and machine obsolescence.”

contact info:

Celco, (909) 481-4648

 
info@celco.com
www.celco.com
Celco Firestorm 4K Recorder

Celco has introduced the Firestorm 4K Digital Motion Picture Recorder. The Firestorm 4K is ideal for high definition, 2K and 4K acquired productions, digital intermediates (DI), digital trailers, tape-to-film transfers, archive-to-film and digital film restoration. The new Firestorm 4K offers significantly faster speed than the previous Firestorm 2X recorder when recording HD, 2K and 4K resolution images onto intermediate film stock.

In addition, Celco has enhanced the image sharpness and quality of the image output with its latest generation film-imaging technology. The system is powered by Celco’s new Linux host computer and film recorder driver software, making it easy to integrate into production workflows.

The Firestorm 4K comes as a complete system that includes the film recorder, host computer, driver software and 2000' film magazines.

The Firestorm 4K also has Celco’s Filmout Pro Advanced Film Recording software, an intuitive graphical user interface that controls the film recorder and includes imaging tools such as sharpening, degrain, image formatting, resizing and color management functions.

contact info:

Celco, (909) 481-4648

 
info@celco.com
www.celco.com
Quantels 3-D Post Tools

Quantel has launched a range of stereoscopic 3-D postproduction systems to provide a true real-time, end-to-end 3-D post process. There are many challenges in stereo 3-D post. The first is how to see exactly what you are doing while you are doing it. Another challenge is handling at least twice the data as a conventional post session. That places heavy demands on rendering, media movement and disc management. The third challenge is handling stereo 3-D specific issues like scene-to-scene convergence, effect strength and flutter.

The new Quantel 3-D systems overcome these challenges by providing the right combination of toolset and horsepower to finish the most demanding stereo projects on time and on budget. Colorimetry, sync, editorial and imaging errors can all be fixed in context. Other special 3-D features include a comparison mode (50/50 mix, left/right eye, difference map) and the ability to see when left/right eye link is broken. All of these deliver a true WYSIWYG experience for the operator and, most importantly, the client.

“Postproduction of stereoscopic 3-D is in its infancy but is growing rapidly,” says Mark Horton, Quantel’s strategic marketing manager. “Post houses are really excited by our
fully interactive workflow and their clients are eager to explore the possibilities of stereo 3-D production and postproduction.”

The new Stereoscopic 3-D toolset is available as an option on all new Pablo 4K, iQ4 and Max 4K systems. Additionally all existing Pablo 4K or iQ systems can upgrade to stereoscopic 3-D, providing a start-to-finish stereo workflow, including previsualization, editing, visual effect, color correction, trailers and mastering. Stereo projects can now take place in context without the need for guesswork. The Quantel Stereoscopic 3-D option for Pablo iQ and Max has the ability to play out and manipulate two simultaneous streams of HD or 2K in sync and without rendering.

To address the needs of more cost sensitive post houses Quantel is also launching a brand new dedicated stereoscopic postproduction work-station called Sid. Sid comes in two configurations: as a full stereo online system and also as a straightforward viewing, conform and mastering system.

“Some post houses need a cost effective, back room stereoscopic system as a ‘hub’ for their existing tools,” adds Horton. “Others want a dedicated stereo room where a whole project can be finished with a client attending. Plus, of course, current Pablo or iQ customers can now handle stereo in their existing suites. With our new range of 3-D products, we are able to meet stereo post requirements at any market level.”

contact info:

 
www.quantel.com
Compact Super Fisheye

16x9 Inc. has introduced the Compact Super Fisheye, a smaller, lighter version of the extremely wide-angle EX Super Fisheye. This new single-element fisheye adapter is custom crafted to meet the higher demands of the new higher resolution, compact HD camcorders. Adding 0.4x magnification, it expands the view of the original lens for a wide-eyed perspective that draws the eye closer to the center of the action. Images take on a convex appearance with exaggerated angles and extreme barrel distortion.

With its concise shape and front diameter of 90mm, the Compact Super Fisheye is tailored to fit on smaller-sized cameras like the Canon XH-A1. Mounted to the front of the XH-A1 lens, it delivers a 116° horizontal field of view. At only 6.6 ounces (187g), this ultralight adapter is an excellent optical tool for handheld work. Plus, the unit’s compact size and weight make it less susceptible to damage than larger, heavier accessories.

The EX Compact Super Fisheye comes equipped with a 72:62mm step-down ring for mounting to the Sony HVR-V1U and HDR-FX7. Secured by a single set screw, the ring is anchored to the back of the adapter. With the ring removed, the unit features a convenient 72mm screw-in rear thread that attaches neatly to the front of most popular HD camcorder lenses.

Price for the EX Compact Super Fisheye is $525.  

contact info:

16x9 (661) 295-3313  

 

 
www.16x9inc.com
Panasonic AJ-HPX3000

Panasonic has introduced the AJ-HPX3000, the industry’s first native 1080p one-piece camcorder to acquire mastering-quality high-definition video. With three 2⁄3" high-density 2.2-megapixel CCDs, the HPX3000 captures cinema-quality images in full-raster 1920x1080 resolution with 4:2:2 10-bit sampling, utilizing the powerful, new AVC-Intra codec.

Designed for episodic television, filmmaking and commercial production where mastering quality is essential, the HPX3000 records in industry-standard DVCPro HD at 1080 in 24p, 25p, 30p, 50i and 60i, and in AVC-Intra. AVC-Intra is a professional intra-frame video codec with bit rates of 50 and 100Mbps, utilizing the Hi-10 and Hi-422 profiles of H.264 respectively. AVC-Intra provides high-quality 10-bit intra-frame encoding in two modes: AVC-Intra 100 for full-raster mastering video quality, and AVC-Intra 50 Mbps for DVCPro HD quality at half the bit rate, thereby doubling the record time on a P2 card. For added flexibility, the camera can also produce standard-definition recordings in DVCPro50, and is 60/50-Hz switchable for worldwide use.

The HPX3000 offers intuitive film camera-like operation and its superb performance is enhanced with advanced 14-bit A/D conversion and a 12-pole matrix color correction function. Additional high-end features include six advanced gamma settings, including Film-Rec mode (made popular by the VariCam); a Chromatic Aberration Compensation (CAC) function that corrects for lateral chromatic aberration in lenses; film-like shutter controls; built-in scan reverse and a proxy video encoder. The HPX3000 has a high sensitivity of f10 at 1,000 lux in 1080i, and a minimum illumination of .064 lux (at +56dB gain-up).

The camera offers five card slots. Five 16GB P2 cards installed can record up to 100 minutes in AVC-Intra 100 at 1080/24p, 200 minutes in AVC-Intra 50 at 1080/24p, 160 minutes in other AVC-Intra 50 formats, and 80 minutes in other AVC-Intra 100 or DVCPro HD formats. Recording times will double with the release of Panasonic’s 32GB P2 card in November.
    In addition to offering P2 HD’s no-moving-parts reliability and innovative recording modes, the HPX3000’s solid-state benefits result in a fast file-based workflow, providing immediate access to video content from all cards simultaneously for confidence viewing.

For creative picture enhancing, the camera has a three-level Dynamic Range Stretch (DRS) function that varies the gamma correction to match the contrast within the image. A Scan Reverse function allows the HPX3000 to use an ultra prime lens or an anamorphic lens adapter to create a 2.35:1 aspect image for widescreen cinematic shooting without image cropping. In addition, the camera offers dual optical filter wheels for separate control of ND and CC, and a flip-out, 3.5-inch color LCD monitor for easy viewing. Available interfaces include IEEE 1394A in/out, USB 2.0 in/out, genlock in with HD Tri-Level Sync or VBS in, and SMPTE time code in/out. An HD/SD-SDI input for external line recording is offered as an option.

The HPX3000 can record full 48-kHz/16-bit digital audio on all four channels, and is equipped with an RCU terminal for connecting the optional AJ-RC10G remote control unit for superb image and control adjustment.

Panasonic offers a five-year limited warranty (Panasonic Broadcast’s normal 1-year basic warranty plus an extended warranty for years two through five). The AJ-HPX3000 is available at a suggested list price of $48,000.

contact info:

 
www.panasonic.com
Century Five-Filter Kit for DV/HDV Cameras

Schneider Optics, maker of professional add-on lenses, has introduced the Century 4"x4" filters. Each member of this new five-filter kit has been specifically selected to meet the needs of today’s DV/HDV cinematographers. The filters combine superior-grade materials, high-end performance and affordability.

To best handle exposure, Century offers two ND filters. The Neutral Density .6 Solid filter reduces transmission by 75 percent, controlling exposure or depth of field under various lighting conditions without affecting color or contrast. Century’s Neutral Density .6 Soft Edge Graduated filter employs a surface that’s 50 percent clear and 50 percent with a neutral density of 0.6 (2 stops), to balance exposure within a scene — for example, the exposure of sky and earth in a landscape, which avoids overexposed blank white skies.

The Century Polarizer reduces glare and unwanted reflections, saturates colors, deepens blue skies, improves contrast, and penetrates haze.

For subtle enhancement of a scene, the Black Frost 1⁄2 Diffusion filter can be used to flare highlights, mute colors, and tone down contrast, without degrading image quality or black saturation.

Century’s Skintone Enhancer Warming filter adds warmth to skin tones and accentuates foliage and architecture while reducing excessive blue in outdoor open shade. The ideal tool for romantic close-ups, it can be effectively combined with Century softening filters.

The new Century DV/HDV series will be offered as 4"x4" size filters, which fit neatly in any standard mattebox filterholder. Filters may be purchased separately, in a hard plastic box designed for safe storage and maximum protection, or together as a kit, complete with a lightweight, multi-compartment padded case and a convenient belt loop.

Retail price is $129 for single filters and $499 for the five-filter kit.

contact info:

Schneider Optics

Los Angeles, (818) 766-3715; fax (818) 505-9865

New York, (800) 645-7239 or (631) 761-5000

 
www.schneideroptics.com
Pro8mm Pro814 Super 8 Camera

Pro8mm has introduced the Pro814, a newly rebuilt, recalibrated Super 8 camera modified to optimize the results of modern film stocks. Pro8mm chose the popular Canon 814 as the platform for the technical improvement. Already one of the better Super 8 camera systems, the Canon 814 can be dramatically improved and upgraded to support modern film stocks. Three major improvements have been made to the 814 that will produce above average results in the image. These include calibration to an advanced exposure system, the removal of the 85 filter system and fine adjustments to the camera’s take-up system.

The Advanced Exposure Calibration System in the Pro814 provides accurate film exposures for all modern film stocks that range from 50-500 ASA. Most Super 8 cameras were designed and calibrated to make their best pictures using Kodachrome film. With the discontinuance of Kodachrome 40, it was time to establish new standards and to calibrate cameras to the modern film stocks now widely used. In Pro8mm’s testing of eight Canon 814s, the internal exposure was off by an average of 2 stops. The new Pro8mm notch system is designed to provide accurate film exposures over a range of six ASA designations. Calibrated in 2⁄3 f-stop increments, this system can tell a properly calibrated camera the best way to expose all Super 8 film stocks. Super 8 cameras that can be modified or calibrated to register this range of film will produce superior images to those that cannot.

The internal 85 filter found in most Super 8 cameras contributes more to the detrimental quality loss in Super 8 filmmaking than any other camera component. The internal 85 was made of plastic that deteriorates as the camera ages. Over time, this material becomes distorted and dirty, causing loss of resolution and making an image with many imperfections. By removing the 85 system, Pro8mm eliminates this detriment. Because Super 8 stocks are available in daylight film (which they weren’t when many cameras were first manufactured), the 85 filter system is not needed in most situations. For shooting tungsten film in daylight, use an external 85A or B filter for the new Kodak 64T stock. Daylight film in tungsten light uses an external 80A filter.

Removing the internal 85 filter from the film path has dramatic improvement in image resolution. In Pro8mm’s test of used Canon 814 cameras, a 30-percent improvement in image resolution was achieved once the 85 was removed. Removing the internal 85 has dramatic improvements provided that the camera can be recolumnated after the filter is removed. This will also make the camera more compatible with Kodak’s brand of negative film, which does not have a filter notch.

Modern Super 8 film, including most negative film stocks, are much heavier and thicker than the popular reversal stocks of the past and often need some added pull to work properly in the camera’s torque. Kodachrome film was used in the past as the basis of calibrating the take-up system in Super 8 cameras. This stock was a thin and very pliable material that could easily be taken up with minimal strain. On the Pro814, the take-up system has been adjusted for negative film. Increasing the take-up to correspond with negative film will result in minimized cartridge jams and achieve better registration with new film stocks.

The Pro814 features a high-quality 8:1 zoom lens; complete manual and auto exposure using the advanced system; power from four AA batteries and two PX13 1.35-volt batteries; all metal and glass construction; and single-, 12-, 18- and 24-frame capability.

The Pro814 camera package is available for $795.00 and includes the Pro814 Camera, Pelican Camera Case, 2-Meter Batteries, Filter Step-Up to 77mm, Metal Lens cap (77MM), and 85A Filter (77MM).

contact info:

Pro8mm (818) 848-5522  

 
www.pro8mm.com
Steadicam Pilot With IDX Battery System

A new version of the Steadicam Pilot system has been released in conjunction with IDX System Technology Inc. This new system is shipped with two E-7S batteries and a special version of the VL Dual 60-Watt charger.

The Pilot with IDX battery system provides the user with a complete system. Through the addition of the users camera and a SteadiStand or similar balance stand, the unit is ready to use. The IDX E-7S battery is based on the V-Lock mounting system and will provide power for the onboard monitor and any optional accessories. Should the camera have a 12-volt input or a converter for 7.2-volt operation the IDX battery has sufficient capacity to power both the camera, monitor and accessories.

The special VL Dual charger is only available with this Steadicam Pilot system. It provides sequential charge for two batteries. The charger and batteries are not available as a separate option. Specific battery operation parameters may be found at www.idx.tv.

The Pilot 2- to 10-pound weight range will work with a wide array of cameras. This new battery-system feature is in addition to the Pilot’s other advanced capabilities. They include its patented Iso-Elastic Articulated Stabilizer Arm, proprietary Arm/Vest Connector and Carbon Fiber extendable post with new patented Gimbal, all designed by the inventor of Steadicam, Garrett Brown, ASC.

The Iso-Elastic arm is an articulated “No-Tools” design that can be adjusted while supporting the camera. This patented design allows the Steadicam operator to effortlessly place the arm in any position. This is especially useful for “lock-off” shots.

The new Standard Definition Color 16x9/4x3 monitor, provides good contrast from dark to light situations. The monitor weight and location on the sled assures the operator perfect balance and ease of operation. The monitor has a provision for standard definition NTSC/PAL, and the 5.8" size affords an easy angle for viewing.

Utilizing a true three-axis Gimbal Assembly, the operator has the ability to capture fluid movement. The No-Tools precision camera stage establishes a solid base for the camera and facilitates smooth adjustment ease from side to side, plus fore and aft.

The Carbon Fiber post and interface to the stage form a solid bond to assure no jitter in the picture. It also has the ability to extend the post to change the “way the rig flies” or to adjust to a wide range of cameras.

The system model designation is Pilot-VLB with retail price of $4,595 and is available from Tiffen dealers worldwide.

contact info:

Tiffen Company (631) 273-2500

 
www.tiffen.com
Arri 150mm Master Prime

Arri’s Master Prime 150mm lens exhibits all the features of the Master Primes set — superior optical performance, including a sharp, high contrast image, dramatically reduced flare, minimized chromatic aberrations and an even illumination of the whole Super 35 negative. It is equipped with an extended iris range (T1.3 to T22) and show virtually no breathing. A large barrel with an extended focus scale featuring big focus marks and the Arri Lens Data System provide improved handling on the set. 

The Master Primes are a family of high-speed, high-performance lenses that can be used in any lighting situation. Compressing the third dimension and creating extremely shallow depth of field is often the desire of a director of photography in feature films and commercials. Traditionally, the movie industry has adapted fast telephoto lenses from 35mm still photography. These lenses and the images that they created were often a compromise in terms of sharpness, brilliance and color saturation. The Master Prime 150mm was designed from scratch to deliver telephoto images of stunning quality, covering the whole Super 35 image area with an image of the highest optical quality, even at T1.3.

All Master Primes are “Super Color Matched” to each other, to the Ultra Primes, to the Ultra 16 lenses and to the Lightweight Zoom, so the cinematographer is able to concentrate on creative color timing rather than matching lenses in post.

contact info:  
www.arri.com
Media Server

Focus Enhancements’ recently released ProxSys PX-1 Production Media Server is the industry’s first entry-level turnkey Media Asset Management (MAM) system that fully integrates both hardware and software into an easy-to-set-up and use solution.

The PX-1 Production Media Server is available with internal capacities of 1, 2 or 4TB, along with an optional integrated LT03 tape drive for content back-up and archive. The 4TB option provides thousands of hours of online SD storage and/or hundreds of hours of online HD storage; by utilizing the tape backup, the amount of storage hours is essentially unlimited.

“The response to our PX-1 Production Media Server has been tremendous, confirming our belief that affordable media asset management has become mission-critical to the HD workflow, as acquired media continues to grow at staggering rates,” states Robert Caldeira, senior product manager for Focus Enhancements. “In response to our customers detailing their needs, applications and HD tapeless acquisition workflows, we have expanded the PX-1 product line to include more storage options and greater flexibility.”

Designed to service small- to medium-sized production groups, the PX-1 offers digital media professionals the ability to assign time-code-based metadata to their SD or HD video content which, when combined with its MPEG-4 proxy preview, enables lightning fast search and retrieval. Through its intuitive Web browser interface, users can create projects and containers from which content can be copied, transferred, shared or deleted.

The PX-1 can simultaneously manage up to 10 concurrent clients (users) connected anywhere in the world. It supports nearly all SD and HD video formats, popular graphic and audio formats, and many data formats, including PowerPoint and Word documents. Also included with the PX-1 is the Focus Enhancements Capture Suite and Media Import software. These client-based software programs give users the ability to capture live video, import existing digital media folders and files, or seamlessly import from FireStore and/or Panasonic P2 MXF format while preserving all native metadata.

PX-1 starts at $19,950. It can be purchased through Focus Enhancements’ worldwide dealer and distributor network.

contact info:  
www.focusinfo.com
Sachtler F-Cell Battery

Sachtler has introduced the F-Cell, a new concept in battery design. The F-Cell is engineered to supply all-day (8-hour) power to new-generation compact DV and HDV camcorders while simultaneously adding ballast weight to the camera when tripod mounted or handheld.

F-Cell is a powerful 7.2-volt lithium ion rechargeable battery that fits directly below the camcorder. When used with Sachtler’s new F2 or F6 fluid heads, a stabilizer system or handheld, it adds a carefully positioned 1.4lb (0.65kg) mass facilitating smooth pans and tilts that may otherwise be challenging with lightweight camcorders.

F-Cell measures 7.1"x3.5"x1.8" (18cm x 9cm x 4.5cm). It incorporates the Sachtler Snap & Go camera-attachment system into its top and bottom surfaces for sure and easy connection between the camcorder and Sachtler fluid head. Thus the operator can quickly convert from tripod mount to handheld use.

To facilitate optimum balance, the F-Cell offers a sliding range that expands to 225mm. The F-Cell is compatible with popular lightweight camcorders from Sony, Canon and Panasonic via optional adapter cables. The system comes complete with the global F-Cell charger (90–250V AC 50/60Hz input).

contact info:  
www.sachtler.com