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i Lenses & Cinetape/cMotion Readers


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#1 MatthewJClark

MatthewJClark
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Posted 16 January 2006 - 03:55 PM

I've been researching and demoing the new reader boxes from cMotion (www.cmotion.at) and soon to have the new reader box from CE and the Cinetape. I'm wondering if other list members have some comments and feed back on these systems. I'm also curious to hear about different people's use of the i technology and application of the technology on set. The Cooke lenses are optically amazing, but the i interface is still a bit of an unknow. Even speaking with different rental companies, they seem sceptical of the technology.

If you buy a set of Cooke's these days, you can only get them with the i port and contacts for Arricams and 435s. Apparently, there is a new system coming out in this winter or early spring that integrates the i system with post and production plus a new integration with motion control. It all sounds cool, but how practical will it be for use on set by cinematographers shooting spots and brand films and low-budget feature work?

Your comments will be much appreciated.

Matthew J. Clark
New Cooke S4i Owner
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#2 MatthewJClark

MatthewJClark
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Posted 20 January 2006 - 03:18 AM

Just an update for the few of you interested in this topic. I ran the New Cinematography Electronics ("CE") iReader box through some tests with the help of one of my AC's. We also had the Cine Tape hooked up with the reader box. It is a bit more robust than the cMotion box. I liked the familarity with the CE box. It looks, feels and acts like their other products. There seems to be a little delay with lens action (either aperature or focus) and the output of the reader. You pull the focus and the data comes out about a half second behind. In all fairness, we saw the same thing with the cMotion box. Having the Depth of field information displayed in a graphic manner is probably the best function of the system. It is great having that feedback right there all the time with hyperfocal and depth of field range being easy to read. The Cinetape functions as normal in this configuration so nothing new to report there.

The cMotion box is cool looking and has an interesting interface. On first inspection, the idea of a touch display and scaleability of the device with new software all seemed cool. After working with it a bit, we discovered that the touch pad was inconsistent. It didn't always react to input. There are hard buttons to work with to get around the touch screen. Seems like the cMotion box would be a good long term purchase since you can upgrade it and add on to it with different software. With the right software, you can also manage camera control including ramps and have wireless transimission of all lens data. That could be nice when the camera is on a long arm or crane. We found the cMotion box to be a bit "buggy" at times. It crashed on us and locked up here and there during tests. We never got a chance to use it on set during a shoot last week. We felt it would have gotten in the way of our hectic schedule.

It is hard to say which system will be the one for us. We may wait it out a while before we make a purchase. Lots of new technology revolving around the i system is on the way to us this spring. Curious to see what will be laid out for us. For now, the technology seems to be a little ahead of its time. The cMotion is over engineered and doesn't hold up to lots of input; it just gives up and crashes. The cMotion box does have a better way of displaying the data in a graphic form...better than the CE display. The CE box does just the one function with an O.K. graphic display but overall seems robust and durable.

I'm still curious to see if anyone else has some thoughts on this stuff. Thanks.

Matthew
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