FujiFilm, Sydney, 28 January 2015: According to ex-pat Kiwi cinematographer Callan Green ACS, his new Fujinon 19-90mm Cabrio zoom lens is so good that he has been able to sell his set of primes and is more than happy to zoom it alone from now on.
Green explained, “Last year one of my MK3 super speeds was dropped on set and was unable to be repaired due to the MK3’s discontinued production. This worried me a bit so I started exploring a replacement set like the Leica Summicron T2s. They were beautiful lenses however at AUD$120,000 I was unable to afford them even after the sale of my supers.”
Green needed other options and after some research decided to look at available zoom lenses.
He continued, “I have always respected Director Of Photography John Seale’s ACS approach to camera operating as he was one of the first to shoot only with zooms on a production. I remember him telling me that he copped a lot of flack, even from his own 1st AC on Harry Potter – The Sorcerer’s Stone for this decision. So much so that he had to fire him and get a new, more forward thinking 1st AC. I can fully understand that only using a zoom on a job would scare many filmmakers. In the past drawbacks with most zooms involved their range, resolution, weight and speed – important factors to consider as a cinematographer. However in recent years – since the MK2 Angenieux 25-250mm HR came out – zoom technology has come on leaps and bounds and in the past five years I feel that zooms have become a perfectly good alternative to primes, if not better due to their time saving attributes.”
Green researched available options and found that Fujinon Cabrios were definitely a range of zooms worth exploring.
He explained, “I already own a Fujinon/ARRI Alura T2.8 15.5mm – 45mm as well as a T2.6 45mm – 250mm Alura – so I got in contact with Fujinon here in Sydney and tried out their new MK2 19-90mm Cabrio zoom on a music video and absolutely loved it – so the following week I bought one.”
The Fujinon 19-90mm Cabrio zoom lens features an exclusive detachable servo drive unit, making it ideal for doco work and productions involving a lot of handheld shooting. The Cabrio also features flange focal distance adjustment, macro function and is LDS (Lens Data System) and /i metadata compatible. It is also made from the same glass as the ARRI Alura and Leica Summicron lenses.
Green continued, “The more I used the Cabrio the more I loved it, so much so that it has now replaced my primes entirely. Quite honestly the quality is so good that I would challenge anyone to distinguish the difference between a shot taken on a high-end prime at T2.8 and the Cabrio at T2.9. If there is anything even borderline not so great about the Cabrio it could possibly be the T2.9 speed of the lens. However after many years of shooting everything at wide-open T1.3 I have moved on and feel that T2.8 – T4 is better on the eye and a far healthier stop for focus pullers. It is also my opinion that very soon most professional mainstream digital cameras will move on from an 800ASA native base to 2000ASA and beyond, which will also negate any lens speed and lighting issues we may experience right now.”
Such was Greens enthusiasm for his new Cabrio that he recently used it exclusively to shoot the latest Audi TVC at Sydney’s Fox Studios.
Green concluded, “We had a reasonable amount of shots to complete in the one day we had at Fox Studio’s studio 7 so I didn’t want to be slowed down by anything other than what was totally necessary. The Cabrio was so good that we shot the entire TVC with it and never took it off. Not only were the images great but also the fact that we never had to change lenses, recalibrate remote focus or re-balance the head saved us a massive amount of time. The 19mm wide end of the Cabrio is also excellent for shooting cars as it stops you from shooting too wide and therefore forcing them to appear a bit bulbous which can so easily happen if shot at 15mm or 16mm for example. I can’t say enough good things about the Cabrio – it looks fantastic, its range is the same as a standard set of primes, it’s lightweight, sharp but not too sharp and the macro function saves the need for diopters. Before you couldn’t shoot with zooms as they were too soft, too slow and too heavy. Now you can. I simply don’t miss my super speeds any more – despite how beautiful they were.”
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