Proton Pack with Accessories

Keymaster Helmet Rig and Proton Pack Rig

In the digital age, there are some specially built gear that pushes digital cinema to the next level.

None have greater commercial applications than two products: the Keymaster Helmet Rig and the Proton Pack Rig from backpackrig.com.

The Keymaster Helmet Rig and Proton Pack Rigs are excellent products are camera platforms meant to save space or redistribute weight on set. They each have their own benefits and be used separately or combined to design creative camera setups or assist the camera team on set.


KEYMASTER HELMET RIG

The Keymaster Helmet Rig is a multifunctional, lightweight camera platform. There are several mounts, cheese plates, and an assortment of rods for a modular platform. Instead of wheeling around a camera cart, operators can save space by attaching camera or G&E gear to the Keymaster Helmet. Items that can be solidly secured to the rig include batteries, wireless transmitters, timecode generators, focus monitors, Venice Rialto camera extension system, and more.

The Keymaster Helmet is equipped with dozens of attachments and is designed for a diversity of camera positions. For example, there are standard m6 Arri rosettes on both helmet cheeks that serve as mounts to extend the rods forward. The ability to shift the rods forward and backward allow operators to use differently sized camera rigs and also frame various shot sizes.

Attachments include:

  • 1″ CF 15mm rods
  • 9″ CF 15mm rods
  • 6″ CF 15mm rods
  • 4.5″ CF 15mm rods
  • 8″ Aluminum cheese rods
  • 2″ Black Aluminum 1/4-20 threaded 15mm rods
  • 1″ Black Aluminum 1/4-20 threaded 15mm rods
  • 2″ Aluminum 1/4-20 threaded 15mm rods
  • 15mm type cheesebrough “rod starter” swivel clamps
  • Dual 15mm rotating rosette clamps
  • 15mm rod-based camera mounting plate
  • Rigging setup head with adjustable baby pin receiver

 

WEIGHT

The Keymaster Helmet Rig has a naked weight of 2lbs and 13oz. The weight of the entire kit, including the hard shipping case, is about 25 lbs. The Keymaster Helmet Rig is constructed of lightweight carbon fiber to ensure mobility for operators. In fact, the rig is so light that performers can wear it for POV camera angles.

Because the Helmet Rig is modular, operators can arrange equipment to comfortably distribute the weight of camera equipment. Over the course of even a few hours’ shooting, this could make a huge different to an operator’s stamina, especially in high-intensity filming scenarios, such as “walk and talk” or action scenes.

Check out various configurations with the Keymaster in the demo below:

Keymaster Helmet Rig from jordan levie on Vimeo.


PROTON PACK BACKPACK RIG

The Proton Pack V2 is a backpack-worn camera accessories platform. Essentially, it’s another mounting rig, but one that redistributes weight around the user’s torso and back.

When DPs shoot handheld, the stripping accessories from the camera can help keep the unit lightweight. This comes in handy to keep the camera light, whereas heavy batteries and monitors could limit an operator’s ability to track a subject or whip pan the camera.

In addition to helping an operator’s performance, the Proton Pack could be useful for when space is limited. For example, if a crew is shooting in a small bedroom location for a day, freeing a few feet of space is a gamechanger for the cinematographer. By packing all camera accessories onto the proton pack, the camera operator can save space; and even save time between takes, since all the equipment that has to be moved is tethered onto their person, opposed to a wheelable cart.


HELMET RIG & PROTON PACK

If a camera is mounted onto the Keymaster Helmet Rig, the Proton Pack can be used simultaneously to reduce the weight on an operator’s neck. A notable use of this equipment, showcased on the backpackrig site, is using the Helmet Rig & Proton Pack with Sony Venice Rialto camera extension system.

The Rialto is used with the Sony Venice to remove the camera’s sensor block up to 18 feet from the camera body while retaining full camera function. Therefore, you can mount the camera system onto the Proton Pack backpack rig while securing the cinema lens to the Keymaster Helmet, and keep the system intact with the Rialto.

In fact, a similar rig was used on the promo (below) shot by @stepstudios. Check out how the filmmakers used the Keymaster Helmet Rig to place the audience directly in the action on the field. Paired with the adrenaline-rush content and seamless visual effects, the two backpackrig products can deliver the audience across many perspectives–inside a running back’s helmet, soaring with a thrown football, and even with the shouting coach on the sidelines– all in one action-packed minute.


THE BOTTOM LINE 

Overall, these two patent-pending products are brilliant examples of modern engineering meeting the expanding capabilities of digital cinema.

The Keymaster Helmet Rig and Proton Pack backpack rig are available to rent starting at $250/day. They can be purchased directly on backpackrig.com by directly messaging the sales team. Anyone looking to incorporate these groundbreaking products should consider checking a professional rental facility, such as the LA-based Bokeh Rentals.


Considering renting? Why not check out Bokeh Rentals equipment packages!

•Rent the Sony Venice 2 Cine Alta at Bokeh Rentals

Contact us to customize a package to suit your production needs at low prices!

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ANGENIEUX OPTIMO PRIMES

Angénieux Optimo Prime Cinema Lens

70 years after its first series of Primes, Angénieux has released the Optimo Prime Series, a groundbreaking collection of prime lenses.

Angénieux has been at the forefront of cinema innovation for decades. With its recent release, it is contributing to the evolving field of Full Frame Cinema Primes. This series of lenses, available as three different package, holds dear the legendary Angénieux look, which prides itself on a naturalistic yet controlled aesthetic.

Angenieux Optimo Prime

 


THE ANGÈNIEUX OPTIMO PRIME LOOK

The Optimo Primes carry forward the legendary Angénieux look. The lenses have incredible color rendition with a controlled aesthetic that reins in showy expressions like lens flares and distortion.

A key benefit of the Optimo Primes is its ability to shoot full frame and Super 35. In fact, the Optimo Primes can even cover some large formats, like Alexa 65 (in 5k crop mode only). The Optimo Primes have a remarkable image circle size of 46.31mm across the package.

T1.8 APERTURE

Part of the Optimo’s look is its excellent ability to capture low light scenarios. Its naturalistic appeal owes to the lens’ ability to capture naturalistic spaces– such as exterior shots in environments lacking direct sunlight. This wouldn’t be possible without the Optimo Primes’ incredible aperture capabilities.

The Optimo cine lenses have a maximum aperture of T1.8. There are two exceptions: the widest lens (18mm) can open to T2,0; and the longest lens (200mm) has a wide limit of T2.2.

PHYSICAL SPECS

The Angénieux Optimo Primes are built with impressive consistency. Seven of the collection’s twelve lenses have the same weight and the same image circle of 46.31mm. Additionally, all twelve of these prime lenses have the same focus barrel rotation of 300°. Besides the wide rotational range allowing precise focus pulls, the consistent focus rotation means that operating one lens’ focus is essentially the same as operating another. Focus pullers can operate in the same manner on any of the Optimo Primes, which means less takes blown to soft focus.

Additionally, all twelve Optimo Primes have the same gear positions. This means that lenses can be swapped quickly without having to move external lens motors.

The Optimo Primes by Angénieux are available with the PL camera mount system. They can be used on professional cinema-grade camera bodies like the Sony Venice and RED MONSTRO.

  • 18mm
  • 50mm
  • 21mm
  • 60mm
  • 24mm
  • 75mm
  • 28mm
  • 100mm
  • 32mm
  • 135mm
  • 40mm
  • 200mm

INTEGRATED OPTICAL PALETTE

The Optimo Primes’ Integrated Optical Palette is a three-piece system of replaceable parts: the variable iris blade, replaceable internal filter, and replaceable rear filter.

Variable Iris Blade

The replaceable iris blade unite allows users to hand-design the bokeh. The Optimo Primes are sold with a nine-bladed iris, but they can be replaced with other shapes from Angénieux. For example, customers can acquire a three-bladed iris shape from Angénieux, which can then be installed to achieve triangular bokeh. Or, some users elect to mimic anamorphic with a six-bladed iris, which could be installed into the Integrated Optical Palette.

Internal Filter

Users can install brand filters, such as the Black Pro Mist from Tiffen, to experiment with the image as they would with a traditional matte box filter. Clear filters can be purchased for cinematographers to modify to hand-design their own unique image look. And because the Integrated Optical Palette is standard among the Optimo Primes, these filters can be swapped between different Optimo lenses.

Rear Filter

Customizing filters to experiment with light could prove more interesting closer to the iris. This is why an additional layer of manipulation is possible with the Integrated Optical Palette’s rear filter.

The Optimo Primes have an exterior marking system that indicate the internal elements. By marking the red squares, users can keep their Integrated Optical Palettes organized.

Although a lens technician is recommended, Angénieux sells an optional toolkit to take apart and customize the Integrated Optical Palette. It only takes 15 minutes to get inside the IOP system, which means that cinematographers can customize their internal filters until the day of production. If a technician is going to dissemble a lens, it should be done in a dust, dirt, and debris-free space, such as a lens facility or rental house.

The triangular bokeh below was captured in a Optimo Prime test by CVP:
Triangular Bokeh in Angeineux Optimo Primes


COOKE /i TECHNOLOGY

Following customer feedback from the Optimo series zoom lenses, Angenieux has added a meta data system.

This software developed by Cooke is called /i Technology. It allows film and digital cameras to automatically record key lens and camera data for each frame shot with the Optimo Primes. This metadata can be seamlessly integrated into the postproduction workflow, which saves plenty of time and money in the edit. VFX-heavy productions especially benefit from the Cooke /i Tech, which also logs information critical to the VFX pipeline, such as focal length and T-Stop. The metadata system is also paired with the ability to provide inertial tracking and shading data, which is used by VFX teams for matchmoving and 3D tracking.

Cooke’s patent-pending /i Tech is a standard across all its new lenses, saving time and budget by eliminating the guesswork.


FLARE & DISTORTION

The lens flares are relatively controlled on these state-of-the-art cinema primes. Some users may notice that lens flare is more prevalent in the longer lenses. In addition to their controlled flares, the Optimo Primes have great distortion control.

However, the Optimo Primes have a great amount of breathing, which could be a no-go for some cinematographers. Breathing is distortion caused by focus racking, which will affect different shooting styles.


THE BOTTOM LINE 

Overall, Angénieux’s Optimo Prime cine lenses are excellent Full Frame options for any project.

The Optimo Primes are sold in three differently arranged sets:

  • PLATINUM: 18mm, 21mm, 24mm, 28mm, 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, 60mm, 75mm, 100mm, 135mm, 200mm
  • GOLD: 18mm, 21mm, 28mm, 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, 75mm, 100mm, 135mm
  • SILVER: 21mm, 28mm, 40mm, 50mm, 75mm, 135mm

Even the six-lens package comes at a hefty retail price of $155,388. Full-out purchases of professional cine lens packages are best saved for institutions like well-funded studios and production companies. Anyone looking to fit the Angénieux Optimo Primes into their production budget should consider checking a professional rental house, such as the LA-based Bokeh Rentals.


Considering renting? Why not check out Bokeh Rentals’ Angénieux packages!

•Rent the Angénieux Optimo Prime Lenses at Bokeh Rentals

Contact us to customize a package to suit your production needs at low prices!

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P+S Technik TECHNOVISION Anamorphic Zoom Lenses

P+S Technik Technovision 1.5x Anamorphic Zooms

P+S Technik, the optical brand founded in 1990 by former ARRI engineers, has taken the unique step of building anamorphic lenses—with zoom capabilities. This flies in the face of anamorphic designs, which are usually prime lenses.

These specially built lenses have their own advantages and even some disadvantages, depending on what you’re looking for in anamorphic glass.

TECHNOVISION 1.5 ANAMORPHIC 40-70mm TECHNOVISION 1.5 ANAMORPHIC 70-200mm

 


THE TECHNOVISION ZOOM

P+S Technik is no stranger to anamorphics. They have their own collection of impressive anamorphic primes, such as their seven-primes package:

  • 40mm
  • 135mm
  • 50mm
  • 150mm
  • 75mm
  • 200mm
  • 100mm

The downside with a primes-only package, however, is that each lens costs about $22,000 retail. Anyone looking for the TECHNOVISION anamorphic style but can’t afford all seven focal lengths can get them all with two zoom lenses—at a fraction of the price.

Cover the focal range of the TECHNOVISION primes with only a 40-70mm and 70-200mm. This condensed set-up can save a production budget tens of thousands of dollars, if conditions require.

As is typical of zoom lenses, the TECHNOVISION ZOOMS have less aperture capabilities than their prime counterparts. While the TECHNOVISION Primes are all capable of T2.2, the 35-70mm is only capable of T3.2, and the 70-200mm has a maximum T-Stop of T3.5.

This may be a dealbreaker for some shooters, but these T-stops are pretty impressive for lenses with such complex internal mechanics. See, any zoom lens is studded with precise internal mechanics, especially when paired with anamorphic capabilities.


Physical Specs

The TECHNOVISION Anamorphic Zooms are built on a PL mount, the industry standard for cinema lenses. They can be mounted on S35 cinema cameras such as the ARRI Alexa or RED Epic Dragon. The TECHNOVISION Zooms can also be acquired or converted to an LPL mount system.

Considering their large sizes and anamorphic capabilities, the TECHNOVISION zooms are relatively lightweight. The 40-70mm weighs 8.7lbs, and the 70-200mm weighs 12.2lbs.

The TECHNOVISION Anamorphic zooms have a common front diameter of 136mm and a minimum image circle of 43.3mm. The lenses are designed to be used on full frame camera sensors, which means they can shoot Super35 films without any cropping.

P+S Technik Anamorphic Data Sheet


Anamorphic Format

P+S Technik excels in designing optical equipment for the anamorphic format. The TECHNOVISION Zooms are no exception—as they exhibit an anamorphic style comparable to the primes.

The P+S Technic TECHNOVISION zooms have a 1.5x squeeze, which appears less “squeezed” than anamorphics with a 2.0x squeeze.

The Digital Cinema Society shot some tests to see what differences exist between the TECHNOVISION anamorphics and TECHNOVISION primes.

Anamorphic Flare 

The Digital Cinema Society found that P+S Technik’s design for the zoom excellently replicates the flare from the TECHNOVISION primes. When a light source shines into the iris, the zoom lenses produce that unique anamorphic flare.

However, the zoom lenses exhibit a slightly warmer flare. Of course, users can adjust this by using differently colored bulbs or with careful color correction in post; but this color distinction between the zoom and primes is worth considering before production.

P+S Technik TECHNOVISION Anamorphic Prime flare P+S Technik Anamorphic Zoom Flare Screencap

The Bottom Line 

All in all, P+S Technik designed anamorphic zooms that certainly hold a candle to their prime package.

  • Cover same focal range as primes  
  • More affordable than TECHNOVISION prime package
  • Full Frame coverage
  • Anamorphic format

There are really two reasons you may be considering the TECHNOVISION Zooms over the TECHNOVISION Primes: The cheaper rates or the time saved by simply zooming to reframe a shot. If you have the time and the budget, and don’t mind swapping lenses between shots, maybe the prime package is for you.

The TECHNOVISION Zoom lenses can be acquired at about $28,000 on B&H. But unless you’re running a high-profile rental house or a Hollywood studio, your best bet is to rent lenses by the day or week–at much lower rates.

Therefore, anyone interested in shooting a project with TECHNOVISION Anamorphics should look for them at a professional rental house, such as the LA-Based Bokeh Rentals.


Considering renting? Why not check out Bokeh Rentals’ TECHNOVISION packages!

•Rent the P+S Technik TECHNOVISION Anamorphic Zooms at Bokeh Rentals

Contact us to customize a package to suit your production needs at low prices!

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The Kowa Prominar Anamorphic Cine Lens

Built by NAC Image Technology in the late ‘50s, the Kowa Prominar Anamorphics debuted as a series of four prime lenses: the 40mm, 50mm, 75mm, and 100mm.

Through the decades, The Kowa Anamorphics have become coveted vintage glass among shooters. The warm, low contrast aesthetic has found an audience among modern-day filmmakers, eager to inject vintage appeal into the anamorphic format.

Nowadays, P+S Technik, a German company founded by ARRI engineers, is the leading name in keeping the Kowa look alive. In addition to these professional rehousing services, the original Kowas can be found on reseller sites.

Kowa Prominar Anamorphic 100mm Kowa Prominar Anamorphic 40mm

 


The Kowa Prominar Look

The Kowa Vintage Look:

  • Low Contrast
  • Rich Warm Colors
  • Creamy Images
  • Relatively Easy Flaring
  • 2x Anamorphic Squeeze

The Kowa Cine Prominars relish in a warm, low contrast look, often described as “creamy”. This stands apart from most modern day visuals, which embrace stark contrast between highlights and black levels. On the other hand, the Kowa’s low contrast look gives a gentle, nostalgic feel to the images.

Lens Flare

These lenses have their own dignified spin on modern-day anamorphic light flares. See, most of current day cinema that embraces the sleek-blue anamorphic streak tends to be big-budget blockbusters and science fiction films. When light shines near the opening of the Kowa Anamorphics, though, warm, purplish horizontal lens flares are produced.

Bokeh

Bokeh is the artifact produced when highlights are out of focus in the background of the frame. The Kowa anamorphics are designed to produce oval bokeh, which gives a naturalistic, somewhat vintage feel.

The Kowa Anamorphics are the perfect mix of vintage and new. Naturalistic light flares and low contrast combine with the sleek, anamorphic format to create a pleasant look fit for modern-day cinema.

Check out the Kowa Prominar test from ShareGrid to see its creamy imagery in action:


Lens Specs 

The Kowa Prominar Anamorphics, as rehoused by P+S Technik, can be purchased in five focal lengths: 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, 75mm, and 100mm.

Although particular specs will vary based on the retailer, these lenses generally have a consistent front diameter of 80mm, and similar apertures (albeit not perfectly consistent).

The selling point of the Kowa Prominar Anamorphic Primes is not any technical capability. Therefore, you won’t find any impressive T-stop or exceptionally close focus specs with this glass. Anyone looking at the Prominars is interested in recapturing subjects with its unique vintage aesthetic.

 

Modern Rehousing by P+S Technik

Although the Kowa Anamorphics have been around since the 1950s, their use is kept alive by the modern day rehousings by P+S Technik. This leaves the modified anamorphic cine lenses in the industry-standard PL mount, as well as a new durable exterior. The form factor and weight of the original Japanese glass is retained.

The PL mount created by P+S Technik allows Kowa Anamorphics to be used for Super35 coverage. Although the image quality isn’t necessarily affected by this enhancement, the ability to capture S35 formatted images with the Kowa cine anamorphics allow it to be used on modern projects with professional distribution. It also allows the Kowa Anamorphic cinema lenses to be seamlessly integrated among other lenses on the large or small screen. For example, because the Kowas are Super35-ready, filmmakers can shoot, say, a dream sequence with the Kowa’s naturalistic, creamy flair; and retain its vintage characteristic while still meeting the technical requirements of streaming platforms.

In addition to its housing, P+S Technik maintains the lenses’ interior elements to ensure superior image performance. This can include tasks like removing fungus or repairing balsam separation, both of which can accumulate over time.


The Bottom Line 

The Kowa Cine Prominar Anamorphic primes have an excellent, unique character that keeps it relevant in modern cinema.

  • 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, 75mm, 100mm 
  • Unique vintage/creamy look
  • Anamorphic format 
  • Super-35 coverage

If you’re a professional lens technician interested in the Kowa Prominar Anamorphics, you can find them on used resellers like Craigslist and eBay. But, these sets will not be rehoused, which means they most likely have mount systems incompatible with modern camera systems. Additionally, these used sets may have internal damaging that affects its images.

Anyone interested in shooting with the Kowa Cine Prominar Anamorphics on a project should look for them at a professional rental house, such as the LA-Based Bokeh Rentals.


Considering renting? Why not check out Bokeh Rentals’ Kowa packages!

•Rent the P+S Technik Kowa Cine Prominar Anamorphic Primes at Bokeh Rentals

•Rent the Kowa Cine Prominar Spherical Primes at Bokeh Rentals

Contact us to customize a package to suit your production needs at low prices!

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Canon 50-1000mm CINE SERVO T5.0-T8.9 Zoom Lens

Canon has built a specialty use S35 zoom lens with an incredible zoom ratio of 20x.

With a fantastically wide focal range of 50-1000mm, and capable of reaching 1500mm with a 1.5 Extender—the Canon CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9 is built for long distance coverage.

Specifically, this lens is perfect for television documentary and wildlife photography.

Canon 50-1000mm Cine Servo Canon 50-1000mm Cine Servo Picture

 


Image Quality

The Canon 50-1000mm is capable of shooting 4K and up to Super35 formats, making this zoom lens perfect for professional, higher-budget work on the small and large screen. It has an image circle of 31.4mm. The zoom lens can employ either the PL or EF lens mount, swappable by technicians.

Canon designed this lens for long-distance shooting, most notably on television wildlife documentaries. Therefore, certain features of the lens’ image are aimed towards a real-life aesthetic, such as the naturalistic bokeh produced by the 11-bladed iris. Similarly, there is a special fluorite coating over the lens to reduce the aberration in the image.


20x Zoom   

The first feature to discuss in this lens is its magnificent zoom—because that core functionality determines all other aspects of the CINE-SERVO.

The Canon CINE-SERVO is able to achieve 50mm-1000mm. Attaching the 1.5x Zoom extender transforms the range into 75mm-1500mm. The 1.5x Zoom Extender also supports 4K resolution.

This lens is parfocal, meaning that the focus distance will persist throughout the zoom range. In practice, this means that you can zoom into an object and achieve critical focus at 1000mm. Then, if you reset the shot by zooming back in from 50mm, the object will remain in focus throughout the entire stable zoom. This makes it perfect for lulling viewers in with a stable zoom, allowing movement to the frame.

The maximum T-stop, however, cannot remain consistent throughout the entire zoom range. Although other zoom lenses may be able to achieve this, it’s practically impossible to achieve universal maximum T-stop throughout a zoom range as extensive as the CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm.

From 50mm-560mm, the maximum T-stop is 5.0. At 1000mm, it becomes T8.9. With the 1.5x Extender attached, the maximum T-stop from 75-840mm is T7.5, and at 1500mm, the maximum T-stop is T13.35. For other zoom lenses, insufficient aperture may be an issue. But this Canon zoom is specialty designed for long-distance coverage in outdoor areas, so achieving a shallow depth of field at, say, 1000mm, is no issue.


Detachable Motor System

The Canon 50-1000mm has a “digital drive unit” on the side of the lens with three built-in servos: Zoom, Iris, and Focus. Any can be operated manually, and the motor unit can be detached if users prefer a third party system.

The motor can smoothly zoom throughout the 20x range at speeds from 1.5 seconds to 180 seconds. This way, users can incorporate smooth, automatic zooms without any extra equipment or time; the zoom is totally integrated within the lens’ hardware.

Users intending to zoom all the way to 1000mm (or 1500mm with the 1.5x Extender) should have a sturdy tripod. The slightest shake or vibration at 1000mm has the potential to garble the image.


Form Factor

The CINE-SERVO is compact for its capabilities, but still weightier than the average zoom lens. It weighs 14.6 lbs, which means it can be operated by a single person, shoulder-mounted. Additionally, the display is beveled, so operators standing behind the lens can clearly make out readings. The relative light weight of the CINE-SERVO, combined with its extensive zoom makes it perfect for television documentary work.

The lens employs a 19mm rod system for accessories. The CINE SERVO is compatible with accessories like matte boxes, follow focuses, and electronic controllers. The focus ring contains both a .8mm MOD cine standard gear ring and a .5 Canon MOD ring for attachments. There is also a .5 Canon MOD on the zoom ring, as well as a .5 MOD iris gear.


The Bottom Line 

The Canon CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9 is an exceptional zoom lens, built for maximum zoom performance. With a compact build, the CINE-SERVO brushes up against its physical constraints to deliver top tier zoom performance perfect for television documentary and wildlife videography.

  • Full 4K performance 
  • Super35 coverage 
  • 20x zoom: 50mm-1000mm 
  • Optional 1.5x Extender
  • Support for 19mm rods

Canon’s CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm can be purchased at a retail price of about $70,000 in either PL or EF mount system. Additionally, it could take weeks to deliver, as these lenses are mostly ordered by professional film studios or rental houses. To make the most of your budget with the CINE SERVO 50-1000mm, the best move is to lease from a rental facility.


Considering renting? Why not check out Bokeh Rentals’ Canon packages!

•Rent the Canon CINE-SERVO 25-250mm T2.95-3.95 at Bokeh Rentals

•Rent the Canon CINE-SERVO 17-120mm T2.95-3.9 at Bokeh Rentals

Contact us to customize a package to suit your production needs at low prices!

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P-TP7 II Lens Projector Bokeh Rentals

Chrosziel Lens Testing Projector | Why They’re Essential

Bokeh Rentals recently acquired a state-of-the-art lens testing projector for its Los Angeles facility. The P-TP7 II is made by Chrosziel, an international company dedicated to lens technician equipment.

To celebrate, we’re writing about why Lens Testing Projectors are the unsung backbone of professional cinematography.


Why Lens Projectors Are Important

Lens projectors are the most accurate way to judge the performance of a cinema lens.

The easiest way to test a lens is by simply shooting footage. Even if the image looks great in a monitor, that leaves a lot up to faith. Without a systematic test of your lens through a lens testing projector, you may be surprised when your footage is blown up to a movie screen or even just a television screen. There are plenty of image characteristics that wouldn’t be visible on a small screen, that would be boldly apparent on a large screen. Using a Lens Testing Projector takes any variables from the camera out of the equation, so you can be 100% sure about the quality of your cinema lens.

When you record images through a camera on a film set, the flow of light is through the lens into the sensor. Testing a cinema lens with a lens projector reverses this approach. Light is emanated through the projector, through the lens, and onto a wall. Lens technicians then use that light in conjunction with calibrated charts to assess the lens’ image.


Testing Characteristics  

Lens testing is a systematic approach to uncovering many characteristics of the image:

  • Sharpness throughout Image
  • Image Circle Size / Sensor Coverage
  • Focus Breathing
  • Depth of Field

These testing parameters are crucial to lens performance, especially with regard to lenses with many internal mechanics that can affect performance, such as the inner mechanisms of zoom lenses. The highest-quality zoom lenses, such as the Angenieux Optimo Ultra 12x Full Frame Cine Zoom, undergo the most rigorous lens testing through Lens Testing Projectors. That’s why the Optimo Ultra 12x has superb, consistent performance throughout aperture readings and zoom lengths.

Lens Projection Test P+S Technovision Bokeh RentalsBokeh Rentals Lens Technician tests P+S Technik Technovision with Chrosziel TP7 II 


Creative Lens Testing

Lens Testing isn’t entirely about testing how well a lens performs. That’s because, when you get down to it, lens characteristics are subjective.

Any imperfections found are creative tools waiting to be exploited; look no further than the wealth of vintage-inspired cinema lenses on the market.

These imperfections are embraced at all levels of filmmaking. For example, even the megabudget superhero film, The Batman, employed creative use of focus falloff at the frame’s edges.


Bokeh Rentals New Lens Testing Projector 

Bokeh Rentals has a new lens projector to test all its equipment! This Lens Testing Projector, the P-TP7 II from Chrosziel, is the newest industry-grade lens testing system out there. In fact, an earlier version of the TP7 II was used by Chrosziel at its Lens Proejction Class at Cinegear back in 2019.

  • Capable of fitting lenses with an image circle up to 60mm.
  • Large universal mount (PL, LPL, EF, E, and others)
  • 3 x 3 filter insert
  • Support for 19mm rods
  • Multiport for Lens Data & Lens Control

The P-TP7 II is used by Bokeh Rentals to ensure our rental equipment is operating at optimal performance. Contact us to learn more about our lens testing process or for any other inquiries.


Considering renting? Why not check out Bokeh Rentals’ P+S Technik packages!

•Rent the PS TECHNIK TECHNOVISION ANAMORPHIC 1.5X FF at Bokeh Rentals

Contact us to customize a package to suit your production needs at low prices!

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Angenieux Optimo Ultra 12x cine zoom

Angenieux Optimo Ultra 12X Full Frame Cine Zoom

Angénieux has been advancing the film industry since the 1950s, whether it be with large format innovation or designing spectacular zoom lenses, such as the Optimo Anamorphic Zooms.

Recently, the historic optical manufacturer has announced glass that innovates both in shooting format and zoom technology: the Optimo Ultra 12x package.


The Basics

Angénieux’s newest cinema lens is a successor to the Optimo 24-290 and Optimo 28-340mm.

Not only are these state-of-the-art cinema zooms capable of extraordinary Angénieux-quality images, but they are capable of cycling through different mechanical arrangements to shoot with different image circles in various formats.

Depending on the image circle configuration, the new Optimo Ultra 12x covers 24-435mm at its widest. It can shoot in Super35, Ultra35, or Full Frame/Vista Vision. The Optimo Ultra 12x is the ideal long-range cinema zoom for high-end productions, such as feature films, TV series and music videos.


Image Look 

Beyond its interesting mechanical arrangement, the Optimo Ultra 12x produces incredible images worthy consistent with Angénieux’s sterling industry reputation.

Unlike cheaper zoom lenses that exhibit imbalances between focal lengths, Angénieux’s 12x Optimo Ultra pulls out all the stops for consistent performance across the focal range. For instance, there is a remarkable balance between contrast and resolution as you zoom in and out of focal lengths.

Like any well-built cinema zoom, there is no ramping, which means you can rack focus at a consistent aperture. There is also low distortion, very limited breathing, and stable performance between focal lengths and focal distances.

With its robust build and cinematic look, the Optimo Ultra 12x is perfect for high-end cinematic productions.


IRO Technology

The Optimo Ultra 12x is capable of achieving three different image circle configurations due to Angénieux’s Interchangeable Rear Optics technology.

So, the Optimo Ultra 12x has different, dedicated sets of rear optical groups and variable scales for each image circle:

 

  • Full Frame/Vista Vision: (Ø 46.3mm)
  • Super 35: (Ø 31.1mm)
  • U35: (Ø 34.6mm)

Each image circle comes with its own different zoom ranges and apertures. Although elements of the look, such as contrast, color reproduction, and latitude, won’t be affected by swapping image circles, DPs should be aware that mechanism-dependent features, such as T-stops and image sizes, will be affected.

  • Full Frame/Vista Vision Coverage: 36-435mm, T4.2 -T22
  • Super 35 Coverage: 24-290mm, T2.8 – T22
  • U35 Coverage: 26-320mm, T3.1 -T22

Switching Image Circle Coverage

An experienced technician can swap out the standard Super 35 components on the Optimo Ultra 12x Zoom to enable the U35 image circle coverage. However, individuals can swap out the U35 or S35 mechanisms to switch to a Full Frame/Vista Vision image circle coverage.

Although you may prefer for a technician to operate the rear optics components, Angénieux has released a tutorial video for anyone interested:


Solid Build  

Although the Optimo Ultra 12x was built as a successor to other Optimo Zooms, Angénieux has given it a new mechanical design. This stronger build improves the durability and use of the Optimo Ultra 12x. Moving components have been made lighter, an anti-abrasion coating has been applied to mechanical components, and there is improved air flow throughout the lens. The new Optimo Ultra cinema zoom is also built to accommodate extreme shooting circumstances, such as heavy winds or frigid temperatures.

Angénieux’s new Optimo Ultra 12x features a 9-bladed iris with consistent front diameter of 162mm and a maximum T22 aperture. There is minimal color fringing as a result of limited aspherical elements. The Optimo Ultra 12x is built with the PL mount system, the industry standard for high-quality lenses. It is also compatible with an LPL mount.

The Optimo Ultra 12x has a focal rotation of 321°, perhaps the largest among all cinema lenses. This allows operators to achieve incredibly precise focus. Additionally, there are 70 focus marks around the focus ring. Focus markings are available in both feet or meters. The zoom ring has 170° zoom rotation, a nimble balance between fast focal changes and hitting precise zoom-ins/zoom-outs on cue.

It’s worth noting that the Optimo Ultra 12x weighs 28.1lbs in U35 or FF/VV configuration and 27.7lbs in Super35. This shouldn’t comes as a surprise though, considering the extensive zoom and focus capabilities, which require not only a long durable barrel, but also many intricately designed, internal components.


The Bottom Line

Once Angénieux’s newest cinema zoom hits shelves, it’s going to find dependable use among high-level shooters. The Optimo Ultra 12x is an excellent step forward for long-range zooms:

  • Game-changing IRO system to switch between three image circle coverages (S35, U35, FF/VV)
  • Expansive focal ranges of 36-435mm (FF/VV), 24-290mm (S35) and 26-320mm (U35)
  • World renowned Angénieux look

The Optimo Ultra 12x is available for pre-order from various retailers. Most sellers list the entire package, but this lens can also be found with only the Full Frame/Vista Vision rear optics. Prices for the entire package float around $110,000, and the FF/VV-only can be found for about $98,000.

The Optimo Ultra 12x is an exceedingly high quality product built for big budgets. Unless you’re a rental house, well-equipped studio or ambitious production company, it’s best to keep the focus on renting.


Considering renting? Why not check out Bokeh Rentals’ Angénieux packages!

•Rent the Angénieux Optimo 56-152mm Anamorphic Zoom at Bokeh Rentals

•Rent the Angénieux 24-290mm Zoom (not Ultra) at Bokeh Rentals

•Rent the Angénieux Optimo Primes at Bokeh Rentals

Contact us to customize a package to suit your production needs at low prices!

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New Arri ALEXA 35 front lpl mount

ALEXA 35 | ARRI’s 4K Super35 Camera with a New Sensor

ARRI is back again, changing the game of digital cinema with its newest announcement, the ALEXA 35.

The ALEXA 35 is a native 4K camera with a new sensor sensor, expanded dynamic range, an intuitive form factor, and even a new color space.

The Basics

This is ARRI’s first new sensor in 12 years. The ALEXA 35 offers “more on-set creative control than ever before”.

 

  • Sensor Type: Super35 ARRI ALEV 4 CMOS sensor
  • Sensor Photosites: 4608 x 3164
  • Image Circle: 33.96 mm
  • Resolution: 4608 x 3164
  • 19 Sensor Modes (seen below)

 

 

 

ALEXA 35 Recording Modes Sensor Modes 4k 120fps

The physical features of the new ALEXA 35 includes new additions, such as a left display for stabilizer, drone and crane use. There are also features grandfathered in from past ALEXAs, such as the two internal scratch mics from the ALEXA MINI LF; also a 6-pin LEMO input, a 3.5mm headphone jack, embedded SDI audio, and the MVF-2 viewfinder with HDR/non-HDR options.

 

 

 


Better Dynamic Range

The most notable change in the ARRI ALEXA 35 is its expanded dynamic range and low-light capabilities.

The ARRI ALEXA 35 shoots more stops of dynamic range than any other digital camera. The new sensor is capable of shooting with 2.5 more stops than past ARRI cameras, and this change can be felt throughout the camera’s menus.

Of the expanded dynamic range: 1.5 stops have been added to the highlights, giving them a naturalistic roll-off reminiscent of roll-off on film, opposed to oppressive digital overexposure. This enhancement to the highlights could be seen as another nail in the coffin of large format analog shooting, or another step forward in bridging the gap between film and digital mediums. The other stop of expanded exposure has been added to the shadows, as you can see in the following ARRI promotion.


Low Light Performance

In terms of ISO, the ALEXA 35 can shoot anywhere from 160 to 6400 ISO. There is also a special noise reduction mode called Enhanced Sensitivity mode that bakes noise reduction into the image, imparting an upgraded clarity. Because it’s irreversibly added to RAW footage, there are limitations to the formats you can shoot while in ES mode.

For example, you can’t shoot 4K 120fps in Enhanced Sensitivity mode. Additional dynamic range improvements have been included, such as Apple ProRes recording that has been upgraded from 10-bit LogC4 to 12-bit LogC4, in addition to a generally higher data rate than the Alexa Mini LF, and an 18-bit linear processing in-camera.


New LogC4 Color Space 

Along with the new sensor is ARRI’s new REVEAL Color Science—an umbrella term covering a new image processing workflow and new color capabilities within the ALEXA 35 sensor.

There is a new color space that is wider than Rec2020, titled ARRI Wide Gamut AWG4 . This color space allows users to capture highly saturated, pastel-colors that are normally harder to render in traditional color spaces. ARRI refers to the color space as being “Goldilocks” sized; that is large enough to capture new colors, but nimble enough to leave out “virtual” colors, which would not find accurate representation on any current monitor or display anyway.

 

ARRI ALEXA 35 new color space graphic

There’s also the new Log4 to accompany the ALEXA 35’s wider dynamic range. The 80% gray is darker than the standard LogC3 image, but it only takes a LUT to bring it back up. This brightness disparity is in display only, and leads to no detail loss in the Log4 image. In fact, there is greater detail in Log4, as the lower 80% gray is to make room for the enhanced dynamic range. ARRI provides a collection of recommended LUTs to use with LogC4 footage to assist in the grade.

There are also textures included, which are akin to “overall looks” baked into the footage. They’re subtle looks and should be tested on large displays first. The true-to-life default texture (K445 texture) can be used if productions wish to hold off on sharpening methods until post, or textures like the P425 Cosmetic can be used to recreate the skin and scenery details with a flattering patina. ARRI states that its menus of textures are optional and will continue to evolve.


The Bottom Line

The ALEXA 35 is an enormous step forward for digital imagery.  ARRI engineering teams spent years advancing its imaging technology, resulting in a digital camera that’s breaking new ground for digital cinema. Although its progress is incremental, the ALEXA 35’s expanded latitude is a monumental development.

The ALEXA 35 is currently in production, but the exact prices and date of release have yet to be announced.

In the meantime, check out Bokeh Rentals’ vast inventory for your production needs!


Considering renting? Why not check out Bokeh Rentals’  ARRI packages!

•Rent the ARRI ALEXA Mini LF at Bokeh Rentals

Contact us to customize a package to suit your production needs at low prices!

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P+S Technik TECHNOVISION Anamorphic 1.5x FF Lenses Test

Nowadays, it’s difficult to find a modern anamorphic cinema lens with vintage sensibilities.

TECHNOVISION lenses have been used since the 1970s on classics like Apocalypse Now and The Last Emperor. P+S Technik has given their legendary anamorphics a recent update with the new TECHNOVISION 1.5x FF prime.


Recapturing Anamorphic Magic in Full Frame

The TECHNOVISION lenses were designed to recapture the classic look of TECHNOVISION anamorphics with modern stylings. This includes the anamorphic flares that shooters are always chasing, but with the high contrast of modern day filmmaking; plus other vintage characteristics, like dreamy chromatic aberration and unique bokeh. The TECHNOVISION lenses also have the technical capabilities of 2020-era cinema equipment, such as its impressive T-stop of T2.2, durable housing, and PL mount system.

PS Technik’s throwback glass has a squeeze factor of 1.5x, allowing the lens to shoot anamorphic widescreen on any camera body with a compatible mount. The TECHNOVISION anamorphic primes are scalable on image sensors from S35 to full-format, going all the way up to 70mm scope formats. P+S Technik delivered the prime series in five focal lengths for consumers: 40mm, 50mm, 75mm, 100mm, and 135mm.

Bokeh Rentals was lucky enough to shoot TECHNOVISION tests in its Los Angeles facility.

Check out our test on the 40mm T2.8 below.

View our TECHNOVISION 40mm T2.2, 75mm T2.8, and 100mm T2.8 tests on the Bokeh Rentals Vimeo.


Lens Flare & Bokeh

The TECHNOVISION 1,5x anamorphic design takes pride in its stylish flares. During our test, we shone a flashlight towards the sensor to see a sleek blue-white streak extend across the frame. In addition to the anamorphic streak, the flare contains beautiful blue artifacts when sources point directly at the sensor. The high contrast flare has a uniquely anamorphic look, which feels motivated by the lens’ appeal to the days of vintage anamorphics; opposed to some artificial flares of modern anamorphics.

In addition to lens flares, the TECHNOVISION anamorphic primes also produce stunning bokeh. The highlights are retained in a manner only possible with modern cinema gear.


Vintage Characteristics

The TECHNOVISION Anamorphics are a unique cohesion of modern and vintage sensibilities. As we found in our 40mm Anamorphics test, the TECHNOVISION primes has noticeably more noise and aberration than other newer lenses. Although noise generated from low-light conditions are unsightly, the TECHNOVISION’s subtle noise production compliments its vintage look and flies in the face of the sterile, ultra-clean look of some digital cinema equipment.

The lenses’ 1.5x squeeze factor accentuates the vintage half of the TECHNOVISION 1.5x anamorphics. Although the 1.5x squeeze factor contains more horizontal information to the image than a spherical lens, it has an organic feel compared to other anamorphic lenses like the Xelmus Apollo 2x Anamorphic, which touts a more stretched image. The squeeze factor is made possible by the lens design which keeps the anamorphic elements housed in the front of the lens.


The Bottom Line

Overall, these anamorphics are an excellent cross between vintage and modern filmmaking. Different cinematographers chase different expressions of anamorphic, but the vision offered by the TECHNOVISION 1.5x FF lenses is rich with nuance and devoid of any gimmicks.

The P+S Technik TECHNOVISION Anamorphic 1.5x FF Primes can be purchased outright for about $25,000. Alternatively, they can be rented at much lower rates from professional rental houses. Bokeh Rentals carries a TECHNOVISION package containing the 40mm, 50mm, 75mm, 100mm and 135mm lenses.


Considering renting? Why not check out Bokeh Rentals’ TECHNOVISION Anamorphic Prime packages!

•Rent the PS Technik TECHNOVISION Anamorphic 1.5x FF Lenses at Bokeh Rentals

Contact us to customize a package to suit your production needs at low prices!

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Cooke FF 40mm Anamorphic Special Flares with flare

Anamorphic 40mm Prime Lens Comparison Test (Technovision, Xelmus, Cooke, and Lomo)

This week, DP Max Goldberg shot an in-depth lens test at the Bokeh Rentals Facility with four lenses in high demand.

Using the Alexa Mini LF at 4.5K LF Open Gate, Max tested:

Click from the list above to see the full tests, and check out more lens tests on our Vimeo page.  

Xelmus Apollo anamorphic 40mm Xelmus Apollo Anamorphic 40mm Technovision anamorphic 40mm P+S Technovision Anamorphic 40mm Cooke FF 40mm Anamorphic Special Flares Cooke FF Anamorphic SF 40mm Lomo Round Front Anamorphic 40mm Lomo Round Front Anamorphic 40mm

Visual Look

These four lenses all have their own unique looks. The plant at the left of frame shows that the Cooke SF’s visual look embraces warmer colors. The green appears brighter on the Cooke than the other three lenses, and the highlights are less reined in, lending itself to a dreamier, more organic feel.  The Technovision 40mm has a slightly vintage look, with a little more noise and aberration than the others. The Xelmus and Lomo strongly embraces its anamorphic qualities, as demonstrated by their 2x squeeze factor.

A lot more can be said about their looks, but the best way to compare lenses is to see them for yourself.

Watch the Xelmus 40mm test below to see all the stylish features anamorphic has to offer:


Anamorphic Format

These lenses are all built to capture in the anamorphic format, which is the conuterpart to spherical lenses. Anamorphic is a format in which the image is essentially squeezed horizontally, resulting in different image characteristics.

The anamorphic image is mainly known for two things, its unique lens flare and its horizontally distorted presentation. This horizontal squeeze is why anamorphic lenses can produce wider landscapes and characters tend to look thinner onscreen.

However, not all anamorphic lenses have the same squeeze factor—and the effect is notable.

In Bokeh Rentals’ test, DP Max Goldberg saw how the Xelmus Apollo and Lomo 40mm’s 2x squeeze factor produced an image with noticeably more horizontal information than the Technovision 40mm. In between the two sits the Cooke’s squeeze rate of 1.8x, producing an image in between. These squeeze factors are in inherent to the lens, and can be chosen to accompany the user’s visual preference. The higher the squeeze factors, the more a lens leans into its anamorphic format. With all things lenses, at the end of the day it comes down to taste.

Notice the Lomo 40mm’s squeeze factor below:


Lens Flares

The Xelmus Apollo takes the cake here, which isn’t surprising, since it leans so hard into its 2x anamorphic squeeze factor. Not only does the Apollo have the most active flaring onscreen, but it also has the most hue in its flare. This anamorphic lens is bold in reproducing the coveted anamorphic flare, with lines reaching across the frame in blue streaks that seemingly verge into purple shades. Similarly, it has the most layers within its flare design, creating a nuanced, unique look. Some users might find this exaggerated taste appealing, as there are plenty of popular anamorphics built specifically for enhanced flares.

Next is the Technovision 40mm with its loud flare design. While light into the lens causes a blue-white streak to extend across the frame, there are additional, more abstract blue artifacts when sources point directly at the sensor.

The Cooke SF 40mm does have several blurry, blue layers that seem to reach into the lens, but less prominently. These blue artifacts are less prominent than the Technovision’s, suggesting that the Cooke FF lens is less sensitive to light. This Cooke lens is also a SF, or “Special Flares” version of its regular line of anamorphic primes, suggesting that the “Cooke Look” generally errs towards a controlled flare response. However, even its Special Flares builds have flares that are less exaggerated than the Xelmus Apollo.

Lastly, we found that the Lomo 40mm has the most controlled flare response of these anamorphics. While it has short thin streaks emanating from the light source, flaring artifacts don’t tend to reach across the frame. This stands in comparison to the Apollo and Technovision, which seem eager to reach across the image with bold blue streaks, opposed to dressing only the source corner.

Keep in mind that more or less flaring doesn’t make an anamorphic lens better or worse. It simply comes down to user preference.

View our Technovision 40mm T2.2 test in full resolution below:


Focus Breathing

Focus breathing is when the image shifts as a result of changing focus. When doing lens tests, it’s common practice to rack from the close focus to infinity to assess the maximum focus breathing you’ll see on a lens. During Bokeh Rentals’ lens tests, we found that the Xelmus Apollo exhibited the most distracting breathing.

This isn’t surprising though, given the much smaller retail price of the Apollo, compared to the Cooke 40mm, which has great breathing control and a much higher price.

Watch our Cooke anamorphic 40mm test below, shot exclusively at the Bokeh Rentals facility:


The Bottom Line

Overall, these lenses show the wide range of possibilities within the anamorphic format. Between the different flare responses, squeeze factors, and even basic differences in image such as contrast and color rendition, it’s up to each user to decide which expression of anamorphic works for them.


Considering renting? Why not check out Bokeh Rentals’ Anamorphic Prime packages!

•Rent the Cooke FF 1.8x Anamorphic SF 2.8 Lenses at Bokeh Rentals

•Rent the PS Technik Technovision Anamorphic 1.5x FF Lenses at Bokeh Rentals

•Rent the Round Front Lomo Anamorphic Lenses at Bokeh Rentals

•Rent the Xelmus Apollo 2x FF Anamorphic Lenses at Bokeh Rentals

Contact us to customize a package to suit your production needs at low prices!

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