by Nino Leitner | 27th December 2015
Christmas season is the time when most of us finally have the time to spend with loved ones and indulge in long-neglected hobbies like overeating or excessive movie watching. It also gives us the time to sit back, relax and to watch behind-the-scenes documentaries about movies and filmmakers we love. The Weinstein Company has released a wonderful 40-minute conversation with two of my all-time favorite directors, Paul Thomas Anderson and Quentin Tarantino, recorded on Christmas Eve in Tarantino’s very own basement theater at his Los Angeles home. Most of you know cinema5D as a very gear-centric website and we don’t spend a lot of (or enough) time talking about the content of films. Be that as it may, I found it liberating to watch the conversation between these world-renowned filmmakers geeking out on numerous classic films that were shot and/or projected on 70mm film, only to prove their point that is the superior format to digital and 35mm projection. Particularly Tarantino’s encyclopedic knowledge of films is staggering, but that comes at no surprise – his films are like minefields of references to an uncountable number of film genres and particular classical films. For cameramen/cinematographers who never had the chance to shoot in 70mm (that would be 99.99% of us) it’s also very educating to hear for what creative reasons in particular these filmmakers value the scope of the 70mm over anything else. (Christopher Nolan, Tarantino, JJ Abrams and other filmmakers managed to “save” the production of 35mm film stock just over a year ago.) What is much more surprising than Tarantino’s knowledge though is the fact that he has succeeded in convincing a number of theater chains (like AMC) to bring back 70mm projectors to project his new film “The Hateful Eight” in this very format, which oftentimes meant necessary adaptations to the screening rooms that involved cutting additional holes in the projector walls in some cases. In the second half of the conversation, they turn to the score of “The Hateful Eight”, which was composed by none other than Ennio Morricone, who hadn’t composed any Western score since the early seventies. It’s particularly noteworthy as this is the first time that Tarantino uses an original score in one of his movies. He recounts the day he visited Morricone in his Rome apartment to sit down with him discussing the film and music, which is particularly entertaining. Happy holiday viewing!Read more
by Tim Fok | 10th September 2015
SLR Magic has announced a set of vintage look anamorphic prime lenses that will be available to view at IBC in Amsterdam this weekend. The trio of PL mount lenses are designed to work with 16:9 sensors to offer the cinema aspect ratio of 2.35:1. Fresh for this weekend’s IBC show, SLR Magic has announced the ANAMORPHOT-CINE 35mm T2.4, 50mm T2.8 and 70mm T4 lenses. The set have a squeeze factor of 1.33x making them compatible with 16:9 sensor cameras to achieve an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. This is nice as it keeps their compatibility broad (rather than 2x which would require a 4:3 able camera to produce a reasonable wide aspect ratio). The set promise to deliver “the classic contrast, distortion, chromatic, color aberration, and flare characteristics of vintage anamorphic lenses”, often on the more modern and easy-to-use anamorphic lenses you lose the aesthetic and character many filmmakers look to obtain when turning to the format. The lenses will come in PL mount with a PL to EF mount accessory, here’s the spec list: SLR Magic ANAMORPHOT-CINE 35mm T2.4, 50mm T2.8, 70mm T4 Lens Type: Anamorphic lens Squeeze factor: 1.33x Objective front filter thread: Φ82 Mount: Aluminium PL or Titanium PL compatible with optional EF adapter Lens Coating: Multi Coated Close Focus: 3’6 Weight (oz./g): 38.8/1,100 Length (cm): 13.5 Diameter (cm): 10 Optional accessories: PL to EF adapter Suggested aperture setting: T4-5.6 Image Circle: S35 for 35mm T2.4, FF for 50mm T2.8 and 70mm T4 The anamorphic lens game can be a bit of a mind field. Good quality easy-to-use lenses can get very expensive and in the process lose some image characteristics (namely flare) that many filmmakers often seek. Cheaper examples can be very tricky to use often requiring the use of two focal barrels, with wider apertures and longer focal lengths struggling in image quality department. It seems SLR Magic has sensed the gap between vintage and high quality anamorphics, offering a relatively affordable set of lenses that maintain easy of use and that vintage look. If you’re heading to IBC I’d strongly recommend checking these out, they can be found at the Atomos booth in Hall 9 Stand D.25. SLR Magic has also announced a 2x MFT set that will work on the likes of the Panasonic GH4 in 4:3 mode for 2.35:1 (or super wide on 16:9 cameras). Below are recommended retail prices for the set: $2,499 for SLR Magic ANAMORPHOT-CINE 35mm T2.4 $2,999 for SLR Magic ANAMORPHOT-CINE 50mm T2.8 $2,999 for SLR Magic ANAMORPHOT-CINE 70mm T4Read more
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