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.

Cinefade

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!

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Angus KhanJacob RoseJon PedersenMiguel CornejoDavid Bouscarle Recent comment authors
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Tim Olsen
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I don’t think the interviewer knew what he was talking about. This is not the same as the FS5, nor has this ever been implemented into prosumer and consumer cameras. Variable ND is different than what this product is actually doing. This is essentially variable DoF, providing almost the effects of shooting with light fields. I’ve never seen another clever solution like this.

Nino Leitner
Guest

I don’t think you know what you are talking about – you are aware that the FS5 can do the same exact thing BECAUSE of the variable ND it has? That’s exactly what Cinefade is doing, just more flexible and usable on all cameras.

Christian Herrera
Guest

This product has two Schneider variable NDs. You can’t change DOF without changing exposure. Nothing to do with light fields whatsoever, just an electronic ND and electronic aperture control.

Christian Herrera
Guest

Light fields?? Honestly, what are you on about

Tim Olsen
Guest

Honestly, I know the FS5 has variable ND, but if it can shift field of view in coordination with the ND, that’s something I did not know. So I apologise for that. I do think what Cinefade is trying to do has the potential to be big for the industry. I was just a little put off by the vibe of the interview. This is a really cool universal solution. Thanks for sharing though.

Tim Olsen
Guest

I also said it gives the “effect” of a light field. In that you can shift DoF at constant exposure. Of course it’s not actually the same thing.

Matteo Carbone
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Matteo Carbone
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Sony have done the exact same thing few year ago with a different, and in my opinion better, technology

Khechkhouche Samy
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David Bouscarle

David Bouscarle
Guest

Je matte ça (y)

Basil Yeo
Guest

Eh this is farking cool Aydeel Djoe

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