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PL to Canon EF Mount Adapter

Matthias Uhlig and MBF Filmtechnik of Hamburg win the Ron Dexter Award for first to market with a PL Mount to Canon EF adapter. We just received one and are testing it in LA this week. Beautifully machined and very well made.

The long awaited PL-Adaptor for the Canon 7 D is now available  online:

It works with the following lenses:
Angenieux Optimo 24-290
Arri Shift & Tilt Set
Canon Century 200/300 mm

No camera modification necessary

Price: 399,- € + tax and shipping.

Design your own Kata Bag

Can’t find that perfect camera bag or backpack to hold your new HDSLR, lenses, tripod, laptop and lunch? KATA’s Dream Bag Challenge invites you to design and submit it online. The winner will receive the bag of their dreams, hand made by Kata, along with a Canon 5D Mark II DSLR body, 2 Canon lenses, Gitzo tripod kit and a Litepanels Camera Light.

102,400 ISO and Canon White Papers

Although the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV isn’t available until later in December, you can start reading its Instruction Manual by downloading the PDF. ISO 102,400 (H3) sensitivity is on page 64. White Papers on CMOS Sensors and the major features of 13 Canon EOS cameras are also online.

Dedo Weigert Lighting Seminar at Abel


Dedo Weigert captivated a standing-room only crowd of filmmakers at Abel Cine Tech with an illuminating lecture and demo of his vast line of dedolight lighting equipment. The two-day seminar (Thursday and Friday, Nov 5 and 6) confirmed a long-standing mantra, and Dedo said it himself: “no matter how long you’ve been lighting, you can always learn more.”

I think Dedo was smiling at me when he talked about “New York and Hollywood filmmakers with their 40 foot trucks of available light — every available light, that is.” I’ve been a fan of his lights since he introduced them in 1984 (same year as the first Mac), but mostly had used them for product shots and effects. Learning from the inventor himself was another dimension. In a series of “here’s the scenario, here’s how dedolights can help” explanations, he demonstrated many setups: how to light a painting evenly with a light hung at a 45 degree angle from the ceiling (graduated ND filter/optical scrim for the light or assymetrical aspherical lens for a DLAD light), how to cut it precisely (his articulating barndoors), how to soften the edge of an eyelight, or how to evenly light a very wide wall in a very narrow room (use one of his wide-angle lens attachments). Dedo began building lights to address situations in his own day-to-day work as a cameraman, and like Ross Lowel, developed a large global company with incredibly innovative tools.

Laszlo and Vilmos Nov 17 on PBS


My lightmeter is bigger than your lightmeter

Cinematographers Laszlo Kovacs, ASC and Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC star in “No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo & Vilmos,” a fabulous buddy movie, airing on PBS Independent Lens, Thursday, November 17 at 10pm EST and PST. (check your local listings). The documentary is a seat-of-pants great escape movie, as film students Kovacs and Zsigmond film the Russian invasion of Hungary, and get to the West with the smuggled footage. It’s also a road movie: the two friends make their way to Hollywood, where they help define the American New Wave. Directed by fellow cinematographer James Chressanthis, ASC, with commentary and appearances by a who’s who of colleagues, directors and actors with whom they’ve worked. Required viewing for anyone interested in film.

PhotoPlus Expo

IMG_4643JavitsCenterWebTo see where motion picture production is headed, head over to the Javitts Center in New York for PhotoPlus Expo (last day October 24) where over 30,000 photographers converge to lay hands on convergent digital still and motion picture camera equipment. Both Canon and Nikon have raised the bar with new cameras that seem to be more sensitive than what our eyes can see. The Canon 1D Mark IV and Nikon D3S have a low-noise ISO range of 200 – 12,800, and a breathtaking expanded sensitivity to 102,400. The Canon shoots 1920×1080 24P. Scriptwriters: you can write NIGHT-EXTERIOR with impunity, steering  directors to the dark side with cinematographers who will expect 12,800 and 102,400 in more of their cameras.

IMG_4653Dorn&DutraWebBest of Show: iDC Follow Focus and Run & Gun Kit. Above: Husband and wife Bruce Dorn and Maura Dutra of iDC Photography. Maura is holding the iDC Follow Focus Kit. Imagine a soft skateboard wheel with white focus-scale ring touching your still camera lens without the need for rods, gears or bulky brackets. Bruce says, “Most Follow-Focus rigs are overkill for use with little cameras like the Canon 7D, 5D MK II, 1D Mark IV or Nikon D3S. The gear-driven versions I’ve tried are generally  cumbersome and far too complex.” Bruce knows what he’s talking about. He’s an accomplished photographer and film director; he and I have worked together on fashion commercials: he as director and I was DP.  Bruce is holding the iDC U-Boat Commander Rig for HDSLR cameras. It has lightweight handles and grips, and a bracket for a viewfinder magnifier.

Maura Dutra is well-known for her work in Hollywood visual effects. In future articles, we’ll talk about some other products Maura and Bruce have designed to make your visuals look great: lighting accessories, brackets, soft boxes and more. Meanwhile, Bruce continues, “With many follow focus rigs, gears need to be purchased and installed on each lens. Alignment is a time-consuming process. These over-sized (below) and overly-complex focusing systems might look butch but they effectively waste the stealthy advantages of a compact capture device like the Canon HDSLR cameras.”