Cinefade – Get Creative With Iris Pulls Without Changing Exposure

The Cinefade system allows you to maintain a constant exposure while opening or closing your lens aperture, resulting in a seamless transition between a soft and sharp background. We talked to Cinefade Founder Oliver at Cine Gear Expo 2017 to find out more.

The Cinefade system is essentially a variable ND filter made up of two Schneider Optics circular polariser filters in a TLS Raven 3-stage matte box. One of the filters goes on a proprietary geared filter tray, and is rotated by a motor that’s connected to a cmotion cvolution Lens Control System, which translates any changes in the iris ring to an opposite exposure adjustment on the ND filter.


The main components of the Cinefade system

The result is a smooth change in the amount of background blur of the image, allowing you to go from a very shallow depth of field bokeh-wonderland to a sharp, everything-in-focus, deep depth of field image in one continuous shot without a shift in exposure. Check out the video below for some examples of real productions that have used the effect:

As you can see, the effect looks quite unique: technology hasn’t really made it possible to pull it off smoothly in the past as it requires a simultaneous and very coordinated iris and ND pull, so it is not something that you see every day. Of course, the Auto ND feature in the Sony FS5 and Sony FS7 II also allows for the same effect thanks to the Sony electronic variable ND without any external equipment. Whatever system you choose, though, you will need a lens with a de-clicked iris ring – such as a cine lens – to pull off the effect.

The Cinefade system is available for hire from Keslow Camera in Los Angeles and ARRI Rental in London, but they can also travel worldwide. For more information and to request a quote, please visit their website.

Have you ever had the need to achieve an effect like this? Can you see yourself hiring the system to pull off this in-camera effect? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!