The American Society of Cinematographers

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May 2008
SnakeHead is Airborne
SpaceCam Systems, Inc. has unveiled the SnakeHead periscope lens system.
Scoping Out 2⁄3
Wolfgang Roessel of Cine Photo Tech has teamed with Abel Cine Tech to introduce the HD Scope, a borescope/snorkel-lens system designed specifically for 2⁄3", B4-mount HD cameras.

Fletcher Focuses on Rentals
Fletcher Chicago, a leading camera-equipment vendor for the Midwest, has announced that it is shifting the focus of its business exclusively to production rental, including equipment and production-office space.
Gamproducts Delivers Full Spectrum
Gamproducts, Inc. has announced the availability of eight new colors in the GamColor product line of high-temperature deep-dyed polyester filters.
All in One, One for All
Chimera has introduced the compact Triolet fixture, allowing the use of three different types of lamps to maximize versatility for cinematographers on the go.
Chimera Strikes Birdcage
Inspired by cinematographer Rich Underwood and refined by Chimera’s engineers, the new Chimera Birdcage Lantern has emerged as a unique addition to the Chimera family of Lightbanks.
DvGarage Rolls out Conduit Suite
DvGarage, a provider of tools and training for the next generation of media artists, has unveiled Conduit Suite, the latest update to its line of Conduit nodal compositing tools.
DvMatte Turns 3.0
DvGarage recently rolled out DvMatte Pro 3.0 Studio — the latest version of its powerful chroma-keying software — for Apple Final Cut Pro 5.1.2 and Apple Motion 2 or higher.

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SnakeHead is Airborne

SpaceCam Systems, Inc. has unveiled the SnakeHead periscope lens system. Offering new capabilities in aviation cinematography, the SnakeHead is a horizontally oriented, fully articulated, gyroscopically stabilized, computer-controlled periscope that protrudes from the nose and tail of fixed-wing aircraft, providing unparalleled visual flexibility while shooting at high speeds.

With nearly full spherical coverage, the SnakeHead permits almost total freedom while filming. The fully stabilized optical system utilizes solid-state flight attitude sensors and a digital signal processor, enabling the camera aircraft to perform maneuvers up to its structural limits while capturing the action in front of or behind it. The entire optical system includes heaters to avoid condensation fogging.

The SnakeHead system allows for a 3x-plus zoom capability in two ranges, corresponding to either an 18-60mm or a 28-90mm zoom on a 35mm film camera or an Arri D-20, Panavision Genesis or Red One HD camera. The 28-90mm optics can also accommodate the 8-perf 35mm format, and adaptors will allow the use of the Imax 65mm format.

SpaceCam’s first installations of the SnakeHead have been on the nose and tail of an Aero 700 aircraft, with a top speed of 230 mph, and on the nose of a Lockheed T-33 jet trainer, with a top speed of 450 mph. The company is also planning to install the SnakeHead on a Lear 35 business jet and other private and military jets. So far, the SnakeHead has been used on the forthcoming James Bond film, Quantum of Solace, with a number of other productions on the slate.

contact info:  
www.spacecam.com
Scoping Out 2⁄3

Wolfgang Roessel of Cine Photo Tech has teamed with Abel Cine Tech to introduce the HD Scope, a borescope/snorkel-lens system designed specifically for 2⁄3", B4-mount HD cameras.

Manufactured in Munich, Germany, and designed by the same team as the Cinec award-winning T-Rex lens system, the HD Scope offers cinematographers the benefits of the 35mm T-Rex in a lens optimized for 2⁄3" CCD imagers. “As 2⁄3" HD-camera technology improves, we’re seeing more and more commercial and feature production shift from 35mm to HD,” observes Pete Abel, Abel Cine Tech’s president. “The HD Scope gives [cinematographers] the creative lensing possibilities they have long enjoyed on 35mm shoots.”

With a fast T4 stop and full 360-degree panning, the HD Scope is perfectly suited to capturing unusual angles in tight spaces, making it a perfect fit for tabletop work and other effects shots. Additionally, the image itself can be internally rotated 360 degrees within the frame. The system also features .32-pitch gear rings for maintaining complete remote control over the lens, focus, image rotation, pan and iris functions, all of which have large, easy-to-read scales.

“My work on the T-Rex lens system quite naturally led to the design of HD Scope,” notes Roessel, who focused on image quality and operational efficiency for the new 2⁄3" system, employing the highest quality optical components for the main snorkel unit and the accompanying lenses, which range from 4-13mm. As a result, HD Scope images cut seamlessly with footage shot with other available 2⁄3" optics, including Zeiss DigiPrimes and Canon HD-EC primes.

The HD Scope is distributed in North America by Abel Cine Tech; the system is currently available for rent or purchase.

contact info:  
www.abelcine.com
Fletcher Focuses on Rentals

Fletcher Chicago, a leading camera-equipment vendor for the Midwest, has announced that it is shifting the focus of its business exclusively to production rental, including equipment and production-office space. Following an investment of $1.5 million to expand its rental division and redesign over 3,000 square feet of production-office space, the company has sold its high-end camera-sales operations to Abel Cine Tech.

The change comes in response to increased activity in the Chicago production community. The Illinois Tax Incentive has helped prompt a 150-percent rise in feature-film production over the past few years and ushered in a steady stream of commercial production. Fletcher’s inventory, facilities and services put the company in an ideal position to accommodate the influx. “Our mission has always been to listen to and even anticipate the needs of our core clientele,” says Tom Fletcher, the company’s vice president and owner. “By focusing exclusively on rental, we’re able to offer our clients the best options in today’s changing technology and production support.” The company also recently announced the addition of Arri 235, 535B and Arricam LT cameras with 3-perf movements to its rental inventory.

About the sales division, Pete Abel, president of Abel Cine Tech, notes, “Abel and Fletcher have always had a mutual respect for the way both our companies do business and treat our customers. We’re excited about the new opportunity and committed to providing the highest level of personalized service to Fletcher’s sales clients.”

contact info:  
www.fletch.com
www.abelcine.com
Gamproducts Delivers Full Spectrum

Gamproducts, Inc. has announced the availability of eight new colors in the GamColor product line of high-temperature deep-dyed polyester filters. The new colors are: #100 Gypsy Pink, #342 Light Honey, #368 Cinnamon, #425 Sunflower, #666 Wicked Green, #813 Dark Moon Blue, #889 Hot Blue and #982 Lovely Lavender.

“Each of the new colors is organized in the GamColor Swatchbook in a numeric and chromatic sequence,” says Pascal Zandt, vice president of sales and marketing for Gamproducts. “Every color is available in sheets, three roll sizes and fluorescent sleeves.”

Spectral data distribution curves for each color are shown in the GamColor Swatchbook or online.

contact info:

Gamproducts (323) 935-4975

 

 
www.gamonline.com
All in One, One for All

Chimera has introduced the compact Triolet fixture, allowing the use of three different types of lamps to maximize versatility for cinematographers on the go.

Based on the Mogul Socket Ring, the Triolet marks a major upgrade, emitting a broad, omni-directional light ideally suited for use in all of Chimera’s Video Pro Lightbanks, 20" and 30" Lanterns, Pancake Lanterns and OctaPlus Banks. The Triolet can be quickly converted to a 2-pin housing by means of a threaded adapter and glass diffusion dome, and the unique ventilation and dome system work to disperse the heat and act as a safety shield for lamps up to 650 watts. The unit can also accept Mogul and medium-base lamps up to 1000 watts.

Sold with or without the two-pin upgrade, the Triolet comes complete with the new Single Axis Stand Adapter — a medium-base household screw-in adapter — and either a Quick Release Speed Ring or an OctaPlus Speed Ring. The Triolet’s high-temperature power cord has an in-line switch, and the main body is 2.5" in diameter, 4.5" long, and weighs only 1.5 pounds. 120- and 220-volt options are available. Pricing for the Triolet (lamps not included) ranges from $299 to $370, depending upon the configuration.

contact info:  
www.chimeralighting.com
Chimera Strikes Birdcage

Inspired by cinematographer Rich Underwood and refined by Chimera’s engineers, the new Chimera Birdcage Lantern has emerged as a unique addition to the Chimera family of Lightbanks.

Easy to hide and emitting a soft glow in small areas, the versatile Birdcage can be used in four different ways: hung from its handle, stood up vertically, laid down horizontally or mounted on a stand via its standard 5⁄8" stud. The adjustable black/silver fabric skirt can be attached in any position around the lantern’s body, allowing light to be added, subtracted and otherwise shaped on the subject. Without the skirt, the Birdcage offers 360 degrees of illumination.

Standing approximately 14" tall, the Birdcage comes with a Mogul Base fixture for up to 500-watt lamps, plus a screw-in adapter to allow the use of standard household and photoflood lamps. The Birdcage retails for $395 and is available in two versions, #1810/110 volts and #1810E/220 volts.

contact info:  
www.chimeralighting.com
DvGarage Rolls out Conduit Suite

DvGarage, a provider of tools and training for the next generation of media artists, has unveiled Conduit Suite, the latest update to its line of Conduit nodal compositing tools. Conduit Suite also incorporates Conduit Live, DvGarage’s new standalone nodal capture tool that offers live, real-time video compositing and analysis of any form of digital footage. Conduit Suite also offers new users the latest version of Conduit for Adobe Photoshop and After Effects and Apple Motion and Final Cut Pro. Additionally, Conduit Suite includes a free three-month Pixel Corps membership (valued at $200), an hour of video training and a quick-start guide.

Developed in partnership with Lacquer’s Ben Syverson and Pauli Ojali, Conduit utilizes Apple’s FxPlug technology to combine high-end nodal compositing with high-performance GPU acceleration, providing users with a powerful variety of visual-effects compositing tools that render in real time. By relying on the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), Conduit provides incredibly fast render speeds to augment the power of an “open-ended” compositing environment, allowing users to do complex effects, even to HD frames, with little or no delay.

Other highlights of Conduit Suite include advanced color-correction capabilities, film-class color precision, artifact-free color manipulation, compatibility with High Dynamic Range Images (HDRI) and superb keying capabilities for both HD and DV footage. Also, for Windows users, plug-ins are now available for After Effects and Photoshop.

Conduit Suite is priced at $199.

contact info:  
www.dvgarage.com
DvMatte Turns 3.0

DvGarage recently rolled out DvMatte Pro 3.0 Studio — the latest version of its powerful chroma-keying software — for Apple Final Cut Pro 5.1.2 and Apple Motion 2 or higher. Like Conduit, DvMatte Pro 3.0 Studio uses Apple’s FxPlug technology to combine chroma keying with high-performance GPU acceleration to allow Final Cut Pro and Motion users to remove greenscreen and bluescreen backgrounds from DV, HDV and HD footage in real time.

Key features of DvMatte include a three-pass, super-fast keyer, which utilizes two color-difference keyers along with a hybrid luminance keyer; built-in spill suppression; a color matching plug-in to match foreground and background colors; built-in edge blending; a built-in Light Wrap plug-in; and the new Screen Fix plug-in.

DvMatte Pro 3.0 Studio is priced at $199.

contact info: