There are a number of reasons why people like old lenses, and they’re all very valid. Cameras and lenses so good they’re invisible are a recent development. Most of the best films ever made, by default, predate today’s spotless pictures, and artists have always been a rebellious bunch in any case. This, though, is an article about why it’s not always a good idea to rebel, at least without knowing exactly what we’re getting ourselves into.
Ikegami has introduced the UHL-F4000, a compact and lightweight 4K HDR camera with very low power consumption. Designed for use in applications such as aerial video capture and studio robotics, it is capable of capturing broadcast quality color video across an extremely wide range of night or daytime conditions. Image adjustment capabilities include haze removal, backlight correction and digital zoom.
After hinting for months that it was working on a new high-resolution production camera for digital cinematography, Blackmagic Design announced the new Ursa Mini Pro 12K—for under $10,000. The camera is targeted at high-end filmmakers looking for pristine RAW recording in multiple resolutions. The camera begins shipping to select DPs in a few weeks.
Planning the cinematography of a production which is quite literally about darkness is a challenge. Shooting a documentary with a skeleton crew in a place where power cuts are every day is an even bigger challenge. Director of photography Miguel Angel Viñas faced all that and more on The Road Bad and the Place Dark, a documentary shot in Sierra Leone for medical charity Médecins du Monde.
Cinematographer Geoffrey Hall ACS used Cooke Optics’ S7/1 Full Frame Plus prime lenses to shoot “Halifax: Retribution”, a reboot of a popular Australian TV crime drama series, Halifax f.p. that ran from 1994-2001 on Channel Nine.
The image of a director crouching to line up a shot with an optical viewfinder is one that’s been pushed aside somewhat by the less romantic modern image of a director squinting at an LCD monitor. The monitors have a lot to recommend them – in an ideal world, they can show color, exposure, and contrast in a way that’s close to how the final production will appear, for some value of “close.” It’s enough to make us forget that the cameras of decades past – film cameras – didn’t even need batteries to make a picture that has lots of extra look-around room, miles of resolution, no rolling shutter, a completely accurate depiction of lens flare and depth of field. And, of course, no issues handling all the dynamic range and color of the real world.