Jim Frater ACS Chooses Fujinon MK Cinema Lens For Documentary Shoot

When cinematographer Jim Frater ACS got the job to shoot a major historical documentary for Radiant Entertainment, a shoot that would take six months and cover multiple continents he decided on a different approach to any he’d used before. This time he was going to use new Fujinon MK 18-55mm cinema lenses.

Frater explained, “The main reason for choosing the new [Fujifilm] Fujinon MK lenses for this series was quite easy – their light weight and excellent functionality. We are spending six months overseas with a lot of flights to exotic destinations and long car rides. With this in mind I knew I needed a small, light zoom lens that wasn’t a still camera zoom lens. I also wanted a lens that could cover most of our demands without having to do a lot of lens changes. The new MK lenses fit the bill perfectly.” Frater undertook the shoot with B-camera operator Ben Berkhout.

Jim Frater (R) with Ben Berkhout (L) on location in Uzbekistan.

Jim Frater (R) with Ben Berkhout (L) on location in Uzbekistan.

He continued, “Both Ben and I are loving this lens. We are working really quickly and anything that can save us time and is simple to use is a bonus. The size of the lens and weight, or should I say lack of it is amazing and the 200-degree barrel rotation is just right of single handed focus pulls. It also has an in-built macro option and adjustable back focus. We are shooting with Sony FS 7 Mk II camera so the native E mount is rock solid. The 18mm-55mm range is a great length and we are lucky that we are acquiring in 1080p which means we can centre crop our sensor and the MK lens covers most situations.”

Frater and Berkhout are also often shooting off the shoulder on location for documentaries so the weight of the lens particularly comes into its own then too.

Frater comes from a television background so he is very familiar with Fujinon ENG lenses. This familiarity is paying dividends with the new MK lenses as he explained, “These new cine lenses are very similar. The fact that they are parafocal and have the macro ability puts them streets ahead of what else is on the market at the moment. I have yet to see anything that comes close. From the first time we mounted them to the camera and saw the results, the decision was made, it was that simple. The image is very pleasing, the lenses are versatile and light and they also match quite well with the Sony G series 70-200mm we are also using. I must also say that while the MK lenses are light they are strong, well made and robust.”

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