Leica Summilux C Primes now at Gulf Camera

Leica Summilux C Primes

Leica Summilux C Primes

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Alexa XT Plus Camera has arrived at Gulf Camera

Alexa XT Camera

Alexa XT Camera due to arrive June 2013

The Alexa XT Plus camera is now available at Gulf Camera.

  • Faster, lighter and more affordable ARRIRAW
    • In-camera ARRIRAW up to 120 fps onto XR Capture Drives
    • Fast, rugged and reliable 512 GB XR Capture Drives
    • Proven, efficient and flexible Codex ARRIRAW workflow
  • Faster and longer ProRes/DNxHD in-camera recording
    • ProRes or DNxHD up to 120 fps onto XR Capture Drives
    • 107 minutes of ProRes 4444 at 24 fps
    • In-camera ProRes or DNxHD up to 60 fps onto SxS PRO cards with SxS Adapter
    • Proven, efficient and flexible ProRes/DNxHD workflow
  • High quality internal full spectrum ND filters
    • Internal Filter Module IFM-1 reduces weight, reflections and hassle
    • Neutral color balance at all densities through full spectrum (FS) ND coating
    • High contrast through anti-reflective multi-coating
    • High image sharpness through precision polishing
    • ALEXA XT cameras have IFM-1 filter holder pre-installed
    • Filters available separately in 8 densities from ND 0.3 to ND 2.4
  • True anamorphic with a 4:3 Sensor
    • 4:3 on all ALEXA XT models
    • Anamorphic de-squeeze license included
    • Greater reframing options for spherical shoots
  • High speed license included
  • More efficient VFX through lens metadata
    • LDS PL Mount on all ALEXA XT models
  • Viewfinder Mounting Bracket VMB-3
    • Greater operating comfort and flexibility
    • Strong and rigid construction
    • Special hard, low friction anodizing on all moving parts
    • 15 mm lightweight rods hold viewfinder mount
    • Rods can take lens motors, matte boxes, follow focus etc.
    • Built-in bubble level
    • Optional new, stronger Viewfinder Extension Bracket VEB-3
    • VEB-3 fold-out arm holds viewfinder when moving camera
  • Super silent ALEXA XT fan


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Arri Master Macro 100 at Gulf Camera

Master Macro 100 available now

Arri Master Macro 100mm

For those who want the ultimate in image quality for table top cinematography, product shots, close-up inserts on feature films or any other applications that require a macro lens, the Master Macro 100 delivers images of breathtaking beauty.

Designed for the ANSI Super 35 image format, the Master Macro 100 can be used on any PL mount 35 mm film and single sensor digital camera.

With a 1:1 magnification ratio, a maximum aperture of T2.0 and an optical design developed specifically for macro work, the Master Macro delivers phenomenally sharp and contrasty images with vibrant colors for extreme close-ups of the highest visual quality.The use of aspherical lens surfaces and exotic glass types with anomalous partial dispersion, like fluor crown and barium dense flint, greatly reduces chromatic aberration (color fringes). Modern optical design techniques ensure the optimal light path for reduced stray light and mini- mized geometric distortion, another feature the Master Macro 100 shares with the Master Primes.

The front element of the Master Macro is set back within the lens housing, which protects it from the reflected light that can so often be a problem when lighting sub- jects positioned close to the front of a lens. In effect, the forward section of the lens acts as a shade, absorbing any stray light.

This, in combination with the T* XP anti-reflection coating, strategically painted lens rims and special light traps, means that cinematographers may spend far less time worrying about unwanted light on the image than with any other macro lens. It also means that the Master Macro 100 exhibits unsurpassed contrast, low veiling glare and rich, vibrant colors.

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Light wieght zoom lens round up

What light weight zoom lens is right for your job?  We take a look at the zoom range of each lens and then show how close each lens can focus.[vimeo]https://vimeo.com/54627631[/vimeo]

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Optimo 45-120 now at Gulf Camera

We are proud to announce the addition of the new Optimo 45-120  light weight zoom to inventory.

Now available for rent is the beautiful and long awaited Optimo 45-120 T2.8.  This lens completes the line of hand held zooms from Angenieux along with the 15-40 T2.6 and the 28-76 T2.6.

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Fujinon Premier 19-90 “Cabrio” T2.9

For many jobs this lens will go on the camera at the beginning of the day. . . and still be there at wrap.  And it may well be on the “A” camera.

This new lens provides a whole new level of flexibility in PL mount light weight zooms.  For example, shooting Alexa in 16X9 at an 11 foot distance from a six foot tall person you can produce a full figure shot using 19mm and then zoom to a tight head and shoulders shot at 90mm.  And if run and gun suits your style, Fujinon provides an integrated and removable hand grip with zoom control that will allow operators to sneak in smooth shifts in focal length.

19-90 with hand grip

The hand grip attached to the “Cabrio”

The new Fujinon 19-90 is shipped with the hand grip – zoom rocker attached to the lens.   I removed the four screws securing the the hand grip and set it aside.

Hand Grip removed



With the hand grip off of the lens it weighs in at 4.8lbs and is just about 1.5 inches longer  and  slightly (.3lbs) heavier than the Optimo 15-40 and 28-76 and 1/2 inch longer than the new 45-120.  The front diameter is 114mm just like the small Optimo lenses.

Instruction sheet for re-attaching the Hand Grip

Putting the hand grip back on the lens is not too difficult.  Fujinon provides a nice plastic coated set of instructions for use when re-installing the grip.  It took 5 minutes while following the instructions carefully and would be faster after a time or two.  I would recommend doing this chore on a well lit bench with no distractions – not on a lens mounted to a camera on a dolly with the first AD breathing down your neck.

Mechanically the lens looks and feels like a quality cine lens should.  The iris is very smooth and goes from T2.9 to T22 and then closes completely.  The zoom is also quite smooth with a small but noticeable difference going from wide to tight (more drag) than from tight to wide (less drag).

All the markings on the lens are large and clear and should be easy to read in low light.  The minimum focus distance is 2 feet 10 inches  which is 10 inches longer than the 15-40 and the 28-76 and 3 inches closer than the 45-120 Optimo.

Exposed lens contacts

There is a rubber cover that protects the exposed pins when the hand grip is not attached.  A hard plastic or metal cover would be more durable and secure.  Adding this to list!

Gulf Camera designed lens support

The 19-90 is shipped with no lens support bracket on the lens.   That seems like a serious omission and we felt that using this lens with no lens support with or without the hand grip attached would put too much stress on the lens mount.   With high demand for these new lenses we wanted to get something done quickly.  Gulf Camera partner Alan Degen was able to design and manufacture a mount bracket in less than one week.  The prototype was ready just in time for one of our lenses to go out on its first rental.

The 19-90 has a knob at the back of the lens that allows quick adjustment of back focus. A  check on back-focus proved painless on our UniQoptics collimator.  I  worked at 3 feet from the Century chart.  The contrast on this lens is superb and checking for focus is a snap.  The procedure is to zoom to 90mm then front focus – zoom back to 19mm and back focus – then repeat.  With the back-focus knob loosened up the lever is well damped and it is easy to find focus and then to tighten the knob while maintaining calibration.  In most cases I would advise users to make sure the back focus is properly set at prep.

Once the back focus was set I put the lens through my normal lens check for focus accuracy at minimum, 4 feet, 6 feet, 10 feet and infinity.  All were spot-on at both 19mm and 90mm.  Then I put the lens on an Alexa and checked for zoom tracking and found it also to be very good.

Macro slider on 19-90

My first shoot with the 19-90 was a 4 day commercial in North Georgia.  I paired the 19-90 with an Angenieux Optimo 24-290 on an Alexa camera.  The new lens was a great compliment to the big 12-1 and for tight interiors and hand held work it was a great choice.  I even got a chance to use the “macro” mode on the lens. . . I discovered that when using a diopter on the front of the lens that the “macro” slider allows a fine adjustment that comes in very handy.




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IBC Highlights 2012

The weather  in Amsterdam was spectacular for the IBC with sunny days in the upper 70′s and cool clear nights. I was looking forward to the 20 minute walk to the RAI where the IBC conference and exhibition is held but the hotel provided a water taxi from the dock out back right up to the RAI so that was too good to pass up. The ride in was a relaxing and scenic start to each day. Once at the RAI it was all hustle and crowds. The plan was to learn everything we could about new lenses, lens accessories and cameras in the 3 days we had allowed for the show.  Arri, Zeiss, Fujinon and Angenieux were at the top of the list.

The new Zeiss 28-80

Zeiss provided me with the big surprise of the show. I was looking for the new 70-200 Compact Zoom and  stumbled  into a new lens I had heard nothing about – the brand new 28-80 Compact Zoom. Both the CPZ lenses have a wide aperture of T2.9 and a front diameter of 95mm. The 28-80 focuses as close as 2 feet 8 inches and wieghs 5.5lbs. The 70-200 has a close focus of 5 feet and weighs in at 6.2lbs.

While the 70-200 will be a “must have” lens as a long zoom for people who are using the Compact Primes, the 28-80 looks to me like it might be a great option for steadicam or hand-held situations where the Optimo 28-76 is either too pricey or  too unavailable.  In addition to the full-frame DSLR crowd, these zooms should also be great for Red Epic shooters who have a tough time finding zoom lenses that cover the 31.5mm image circle at 5K. The 70-200 should start arriving this November and the 28-80 is scheduled to start shipping April 2013.  You can watch my interview with Michael Schiehlen Director of Sales for Zeiss here:  Zeiss Interview

3 fast CP-2′s now shipping

Also on display at Zeiss were the new super speed Compact Primes.  These lenses, 35mm, 50mm and 85mm have a wide aperture of T1.5 and like the other CP-2′s (except the 50mm macro) have a front diameter of 114mm.


The super speeds are just now starting to ship.

The eagerly awaited 15mm CP-2 will begin shipping in October and the 135mm has been promised for February 2013.

Zeiss Lens Porn

50mm Master Anamorphic



The Zeiss display of Cine lenses was spectacular – with the full line of Master Primes, Ultra Primes and CP-2 lenses lined up behind glass.  Window shopping for lens geeks has never been better.  My favorite parts of the display were the sectioned lenses that reveal the inner workings of these high tech devices.





At the Zeiss booth (and at Arri) was the working 50mm Master Anamorphic lens shown mounted on an Alexa Studio camera. The prototype “Blue Lens” anamorphic seen at NAB this year had been sporting a T1.5 aperture so it was interesting to note that the new much more finished lens now comes in at a T1.9 wide aperture. Mr. Thorsten Meywald who is heading up the anamorphic project for Arri says that the entire promised set of Master Anamorphics will have a wide stop of T1.9 which is still very fast for an anamorphic lens. The full set of lenses are 35mm, 40mm, 50mm, 60mm, 75mm, 100mm and 135mm.

Arri will be rolling out the anamorphics in stages with the 35, 50 and 75 due to ship April 2013 and the 100mm to follow June 2013 with the others due by the end of 2013.  Mr. Meywald says it is too early to talk about the development of zoom lenses to support the Master anamorphics but he hinted that there might be something to talk about in the not too distant future. You can see my interview with Thorsten Meywald the Product Manager for Arri here: Arri Master Anamorphic


Zeiss 50mm Master Anamorphic masterpiece


I thought the 50mm Master Anamorphic on display looked very good through the Alexa Studio viewfinder.  There was no obvious geometric distortion while racking through the focus and the mechanics were very smooth and solid.  The Master Anamorphic lenses are priced at 30,000 euros each.


Fujinon 19-90 "Cabrio"

The 19-90 “Cabrio from Fujinon – meter scale

19-90 FBack-focus knob

Back focus adjustment knob – maybe too inviting?



Fujinon had the new 19-90 “Cabrio” hung on the front of an Alexa camera.  The lens looked good through the electronic viewfinder with smooth focus and zoom.  The lens on display was marked in meters so still looking forward to the US production lens to evaluate the focus marking.

The ‘macro’ feature at the rear of the lens so familiar to ENG shooters could be a very nice bonus on the “Cabrio” to go with the attached servo.

I was not able to talk the Fujinon folks into removing the servo from the lens at the show – it will be interesting to see how the mechanics feel with the servo drag absent.  The 19-90 does not have a lens support built into the lens so I bet the aftermarket accessory shops will be jumping on that situation.  This lens is the first S35 lens I have seen with a readily adjustable back focus much like the Fuji ENG 2/3″ lenses on the market.  I am considering removal of the knurled knob that adjusts back focus and replacing with something a little less inviting to the user in the field.

85-300 Mock up lens

Fujinon did have a mock up of the 85-300 “Cabrio” on display.  The lens was behind a glass window with what looked like a plastic front lens element.  With over 500 Cabrio 19-90 lenses already on order Fujinon is probably focused on getting that lens off to a good start before concentrating on the longer 85-300.  This will be a wonderful lens for B-camera situations and I’ll bet more than a few 1st AC’s will really hate it!  You can watch my interview with Gordon Tubbs, VP Fujifilm North America here:  Fujinon Interview.

Alexa 4:3 Camera

Arri had a very prominent display with the entire Alexa line present.  The New Alexa 4:3 was available to monkey with along with the Alexa Studio, Alexa M and Alexa + in the more common 16X9 flavor.  Maybe even more interesting were the number of Alexa cameras on display in the booths of OTHER vendors.  Alexa cameras were everywhere.  There were no whispers about a higher resolution Alexa in the works but I’ll bet the 4K bug will eventually infect the German camera manufacturer.  You can find my interview with Stephan Ukas-Bradley the Product Manager for Digital Production at Arri here: Arri Interview.

Optimo ENG style

La noblesse at Angenieux were showing off the much coveted and very rare 45-120 Optimo hand held lens which was seen sporting the new ENG style zoom servo attachment.  The 45-120 looks to be La Belle of the Optimo line with the new 12-1 Optimo 28-340 T3.2 being the beast.

The big 28-340 will cover the 31.5mm image circle of the Red Epic camera as will the new 19.5-94mm T2.6 Optimo zoom.

The Angenieux booth was an oasis of warm 3200k light in a sea of cold blue through the rest of the exhibit hall and more than one cardiac pace maker went into over-drive at the Angenieux area when a certain beautiful representative of the French company was present.  Angenieux does know how to present their products in an elegant fashion.

Aaton Penelope Delta – love at first sight

Speaking of elegance: sexy, lithe and stylish would also describe the Aaton Penelope Delta camera lurking with the Optimo lenses at angenieux.  The Delta was sporting a 45-120 Optimo and was a joy to play with.  The viewfinder is clear and bright and unlike the Alexa Studio camera the Delta does have a video tap so it is not necessary to run the shutter all day in order to provide an image for the director to keep an eye on things during set up.

Delta Camera


The Aaton Delta really brought to mind the Dalsa Evo camera that showed such wonderful promise before the demise of the Dalsa digital cinema company.  It is interesting that the Aaton is using a Dalsa chip.  I really look forward to learning more about this camera and hope someday soon to give it a try.



Schneider Cine Xenar – 3rd time the charm

Schneider Kreuznach was showing off the new Cine Xenar 3 set of prime lenses at the show.  The previous versions of these lenses received kudos for the optical performance but tepid response to the mechanical design because the front of the lenses telescoped out while focusing.  The new lenses look a lot like the much loved Cooke S4 primes with a silver trim band to set them apart.  These lenses focus very close, all have either a 2.0 or 2.2 wide aperture and a 104mm front diameter.  The iris and focus rings were smooth and solid.  These lenses come in 18mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, 75mm and 95mm focal lengths with more sizes promised.  I have requested a set to test from Schneider and look forward to giving them a look.

Solid Camera is a young California based company that was present at the show.  This company is busy building support equipment for various brands of cameras.  There were quite a few parts for the Red Epic camera such as viewfinder support and power distribution.  Michael Bravin is the Director of Business Development for Solid Camera and he was very interested in helping diverse camera users with ideas to improve ergonomics and efficiency.  The accessories on display looked very well designed and fabricated.  This company looks to be a valuable resource.

Between the 28-80 CPZ, the Arri Master Anamorphic and the Aaton Penelope Delta I would be hard pressed to pick my favorite new product this year at the IBC.  All three products look to be special in their own way.  I look forward to using each one and my congratulations to the very smart and clever people who made them real.








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Alexa 4:3 and Alexa Studio at IBC 2012

We speak with Stephan Ukas-Bradley the Product Manager of Digital Production for Arri about the new Alexa 4:3 camera, Alexa Studio camera and the new WC-4 wireless lens control.[vimeo]https://vimeo.com/49235317[/vimeo]

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Arri Master Anamorphic shown at IBC

We interview Mr. Thorsten Meywald the Product Manager Optical Systems at Arriflex about the new Arri Master Anamorphic lens being shown at the IBC in Amsterdam.[vimeo]https://vimeo.com/49114427[/vimeo]

The 50mm anamorphic I played with looked beautiful through the viewfinder of the Alexa studio camera.  No breathing and very subtle focus changes with no vertical or horizontal shifting through the entire focus range.  The mechanical feel is what you would expect from a 30,000 Euro lens – very smooth and solid.

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Zeiss introduces the new 28-80 compact zoom

Michael Schiehlen, Director of Sales for Carl Zeiss talks about the new compact zooms at the IBC in amsterdam[vimeo]https://vimeo.com/49081547[/vimeo]

Mr. Schiehlen also let us know that the new 70-200 CPZ will be shipping in November of 2012.  The 28-80 will be available in April of 2013.  Both lenses sell for $19,900.  There are also new super speed CP-2′s now starting to ship.  The super speed lenses include a 35mm, a 50mm and an 85mm all with a wide aperture of T1.5.  The new wide CP-2 15mm is due to ship October of 2012 along with a 25mm T2.1 and a 135mm scheduled to arrive Feb. 2013

New super speed CP-2 lenses


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