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Aaton's Penelope


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#1 Vincent Sweeney

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 06:31 PM

http://www.aaton.com...ummer-2008r.pdf

I just noticed this interesting piece of marketing material.

Did you guys get an official word yet Mitch?
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#2 Mitch Gross

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 03:13 AM

What kind of official word? On how sweet it is, or quiet, or comfortable to handhold, or super bright & clean the viewfinder is? Or that the first units will ship this summer? Or the fact that we'll have one in our booth at Cine Gear this week? Come visit if you want to see a sexy film camera.
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#3 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 05:24 AM

Stop seducing us who are waiting for the Penelope to be released. It's almost unbearable to wait... and the material (ever as great as one would expect from Grenoble) is almost sexually harrassing me...

*faints*
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#4 Paul Bruening

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 01:51 PM

Any word on purchase price, yet? What about lens mount options?
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#5 Vincent Sweeney

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 04:43 PM

I got to play at NAB a little. The 3/2 perf gate swap was impressive, along with everything else. I could even use S16mm support gear for it I'd think as it didn't weigh anything for a 35. I guess I was looking for some word on when one might be able to rent. Oh and the guys didn't have official specs yet but I was curious if when setting up for 2perf, if it's noise level was really hitting 19-20db or not.
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#6 Mitch Gross

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 03:02 PM

The camera is supposed to deliver in the Fall. Right now the prototype is 21db in either 2 or 3 perf and they're hoping to get it a bit quieter for the production models. Camera will be in the 130K Euros price range and will come standard with a PL mount, although I'm sure Panavision will "Panavise" one should they buy it. We had it at CineGear and it was the ONLY FILM CAMERA AT THE SHOW!!! Any other questions?
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#7 Jason Anderson

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 07:00 PM

So the surface area exposed for each frame is cut in half, does this have any negative side effects?
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#8 Paul Bruening

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 07:33 PM

So the surface area exposed for each frame is cut in half, does this have any negative side effects?


http://en.wikipedia....iki/Techniscope
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#9 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 04:59 PM

We had it at CineGear and it was the ONLY FILM CAMERA AT THE SHOW!!! Any other questions?


:blink:

HUH? What happened to Arri, then? Did they spend all their trade show budget on the D21 :P ?

Well, actually, I have some questions as I won't see one as soon as I had hoped:

- JPB wanted the weight to go down to 7 kg. Any news on that?
- Portability on shoulder as comfi as with X-series, or does it go more into the classic Aaton 35 area? I ask this from a documentarist point of view - with cam on shoulder more often than not (this question is sponsored by my medical insurance ;) )
- Is the viewfinder's peri.-coverage bigger than on the Aaton 35 (might be a stupid question, sorry, but I didn't follow that aspect's development as I should've :unsure: )
- Any news on the DigiMags state of affair?
- Did you had some time to test the magazine loading (threading/open-looping). How neat is it really?

Sorry if I asked too much and you don't have time to answer, Mitch. Just took up your offer to ask questions B) !
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#10 Mitch Gross

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 05:09 PM

:blink:

HUH? What happened to Arri, then? Did they spend all their trade show budget on the D21 :P ?

Well, actually, I have some questions as I won't see one as soon as I had hoped:

- JPB wanted the weight to go down to 7 kg. Any news on that?
- Portability on shoulder as comfi as with X-series, or does it go more into the classic Aaton 35 area? I ask this from a documentarist point of view - with cam on shoulder more often than not (this question is sponsored by my medical insurance ;) )
- Is the viewfinder's peri.-coverage bigger than on the Aaton 35 (might be a stupid question, sorry, but I didn't follow that aspect's development as I should've :unsure: )
- Any news on the DigiMags state of affair?
- Did you had some time to test the magazine loading (threading/open-looping). How neat is it really?

Sorry if I asked too much and you don't have time to answer, Mitch. Just took up your offer to ask questions B) !

- Weight with 400' of film a prime & two onboard batteries is under 20lbs.
- The camera is VERY comfortable on the shoulder, much like the XTRprod.
- The viewfinder is fullyorientable, is extremely bright and has wider coverage than the old 35-3.
- No news on the DigiMag and don't expect any for quite some time. At least nothing that I can post.
- The mag loading is vastly easier than the old 35-3 but still not as easy as the Prod.
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#11 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 06:14 AM

Mitch,

thank you very much! Answers all my points in relation to 35-III and X-series!

-Michael
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#12 John Brawley

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 04:33 AM

Mitch,

thank you very much! Answers all my points in relation to 35-III and X-series!

-Michael



The camera is sweet. I had a play very quickly when a prototype was floating around at the local rental company. The gate has these very cool magnetic plates that enable the switch between 2, 3 perf etc. They have also changed the magazine design a little and gone away from the almost too clever design of the Aaton 35-3. Instead of the ratcheted moving reel, it's now just a teeny bit bigger and doesn't move at all. It seems about the same size as the older 35 but more XTR *styled*....

I heard the digi version won't be around for a long time, at least until JP can do 6k+ sensors. Plus the usual Aaton development time of course....;-)

jb
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#13 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 06:26 AM

Hi John, you lucky guy, playing around with that girl! ;)
(please overlook overtly sexist remark above)

so are you saying that the 2/3-perf gates are now entirely fixed by being magnetised, like magnetic clip-on camera gates? That would make the change between 2 to 3-perf really a child's play (which is what I was hoping for - no endless screwing around, just in and out).

I think the changes to the magazines sounds very good, although the 35-III was a stroke of genius in that respect. But personally, the simpler the design and the fewer the moving parts, the less can go kaputt in the field (which was always my major concern, but then, I can be too fearful, I guess :) )

If the ergonomics are closer to the prod or Xtèra, than this is already a major thing for a 35mm camera. If you can accommodate the camera on your shoulder without much cushioning (a.k.a. Arriflex comfort helper, even for the 235 which I briefly checked out in Vienna), then the Penelope's slight increase in size over the 35-III and in weight over their X-series doesn't really matter for me - can't be worse than that stupid flatbase 16 SR design we had to endure for 3 decades.

Thanks for the 6K DigiMag update. I guess that was to be expected in light of where self-declared "industry leaders" such as RED stand at the moment. Nevertheless looking forward to it as this would finally be the ideal solution to combine the best of digi with the best of film (starts up Red... waits eternally... viewfinder dark... nothing... switches his MacBook on and off three times in between... Red powers up... drinks a pint of coffee... viewfinder is showing pic... ready-to-shoot... but all the crew has left yawning)

-Michael



P.S.: Is the camera report USB key more a gimmick or really working?
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#14 Mitch Gross

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 09:06 AM

The gates exchange fairly easily, but it is a bench job to change the movement, which should never happen in the field.

The mag design is far simpler and elegant than the 35-3. It is also very easy to adjust the loop size after loading and with the mag closed. Good for pitch control.

Ergonomics are excellent, of course. It's Aaton!

Don't hold your breath for the DigiMag. There is a sensor concept they like, but getting from that to a complete unit is a long haul.

The USB port works perfectly fine. The idea is to grab jpegs from the videotap along with metadata such as timecode. There is also an ethernet port on the camera for firmware upgrades and added functions in the future.
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#15 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 09:18 AM

Don't hold your breath for the DigiMag. There is a sensor concept they like, but getting from that to a complete unit is a long haul.


So it's unlikely to at least demo at next year's NAB?
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#16 Mitch Gross

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 09:32 AM

That's a good guess.
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#17 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 09:40 AM

The gates exchange fairly easily, but it is a bench job to change the movement, which should never happen in the field.


I wasn't expecting anything else! Just to exchange the camera gates with greater ease is already a great helper in modifying the format.


Don't hold your breath for the DigiMag. There is a sensor concept they like, but getting from that to a complete unit is a long haul.


Oh, okay, so they are still at that stage. Good to know. Sounds intriguing what you write about their sensor concept. Let's see in a few years time. After all, there isn't a point to have a 35mm rig being delivered with a digital system delivering below-35 quality. Like selling a SUV with a V8 plus an electric motor... no, wait, that happened and undermines the entire congestion charge idea here in London... :rolleyes: .

The USB port works perfectly fine. The idea is to grab jpegs from the videotap along with metadata such as timecode. There is also an ethernet port on the camera for firmware upgrades and added functions in the future.


So I read and heard, I've just never seen a print-out or screenshot on how it will actually look.

Can't wait to get my hands on a Penelope. I must say over the past 4 years, one really gets spoiled in respect to new cine-film cameras being launched from all manufacturers.
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#18 Tim Carroll

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 10:22 AM

Mitch,

Sounds like a really cool camera.

A little confused about the gate situation. I know there is a different gate for 3-perf and 2-perf. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and assume the 3-perf gate uses the whole "Super-35" negative area, leaving no room for soundtrack, like other 3-perf cameras I have seen.

But what about the 2-perf gate. Is it like the 2-perf of old, where it is only the width of the "Academy" gate, or does it use the whole "Super-35" negative area, giving you a wider image?

And finally, if the 2-perf gate is like the 2-perf of old, how is lens centering dealt with, as the center of the image area would be different between the 3-perf "Super-35" and 2-perf "Academy"?

Thanks,
-Tim
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#19 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 02:04 PM

But what about the 2-perf gate. Is it like the 2-perf of old, where it is only the width of the "Academy" gate, or does it use the whole "Super-35" negative area, giving you a wider image?

And finally, if the 2-perf gate is like the 2-perf of old, how is lens centering dealt with, as the center of the image area would be different between the 3-perf "Super-35" and 2-perf "Academy"?


If you look at the photos on pages 2 & 4 of the pdf in the 1st post,

http://www.aaton.com...ummer-2008r.pdf

you'll see that the 2-perf image is centered in the full frame.
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#20 Mitch Gross

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 02:16 PM

If you look at the photos on pages 2 & 4 of the pdf in the 1st post,

http://www.aaton.com...ummer-2008r.pdf

you'll see that the 2-perf image is centered in the full frame.



Correct. More image east-west to work with, less danger of hair in gate on sides and you'll always need to do a DI anyway so centering not an issue. Just shoot a framing chart, which you should do on every job anyway.
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