No More Kodak Moments?

6 01 2012

Kodak considers the possibility of Chapter 11 filings.

The struggle for film and film technology in the motion picture industry has been slowly giving way to the digital spectrum for nearly 20 years.  Actually, video formats were said to be the way of the future as far back as 40 years ago.  But, like a faithful canine companion, film has managed to stay its ground in the industry much longer than anyone expected, and we are just now seeing the “new kid in town” gaining the reigns.

In regards to still photography, I think it is safe to say that the battle between digital and film has been over for some time.  Even up until 10 years ago, I could remember bringing my film to a processor more often than using a digital format.  However, the business of photo processing has all but disappeared over the past decade.  A once booming industry now only caters to the nostalgic interest of hobbyists and diehard enthusiasts.  However, in the motion picture realm, though the cost efficiencies of shooting on a digital format are generally cheaper, the quality had always been the point of contention and the largest reason to opt for 35mm motion picture film in a production.  With the development of cameras like the RED One, ARRI Alexa, Sony F65 and other large format, high resolution digital cinema cameras however, the motion picture industry too is finally giving way to the digital takeover.

Undoubtedly. the consumer still photography market collapse is likely the largest culprit, but the compound effects of loosing out on motion picture stock and printing as well, might be the death knell for the longtime champion of the celluloid image.  According to an article released this past Wednesday from The Wall Street Journal, Kodak is preparing to seek bankruptcy protection as it continues to struggle with finding buyers for parts of its patent portfolio.

With the recent appointment of Laura Quatela as co-president, it seems that the company is trying to do its best to stay above water.  Yet, even with the possibility of major restructuring, the long gold standard for what Kodak produced, still and moving image film, will likely not continue to be the focus from a corporate standpoint.

It hurts to see an industry giant die, especially when it is one that gave us as many memories as Kodak.  We all were given the medium to capture our family and life moments, see places we may never have the opportunity to travel or images of people long dead before we were born because of this company.  Furthermore, many of the movies over the past 100 years that have brought us laughter, joy, romance, anger, excitement and tears were captured because of the product that this company built as its foundation.  Long on lists of companies that will likely soon become insolvent, I guess it was only a matter of time before these drastic measures were on the table.  I will say, however, that I feel the world will be a little less bright without the magic of a “Kodak Moment.”





The Fenix is Rising!!!

3 10 2011

No, I didn’t misspell the title, it stands for the new production company I am affiliated with that is starting active promotion today, Down Fenix Media.  The principals of Down Fenix Media, outside of myself, are Patrick T. Griffin, Bryan R. Higgins and Jon Fredette.

We were the backbone of the UNC-Greensboro Office of Online Learning Multimedia Team from July,2010, when Patrick came on board, until July,2011, when Jon and I left.  Finding a great deal of satisfaction in working together, as well as realizing the product potential, we decided to work on several projects outside the confines of UNC-Greensboro.  Following an award-winning short film entitled “Eat Me!”, which I have provided a link to on a previous post here on the blog, and several projects we collaborated on for various clients, we came up with the idea of starting our own company.  Talks began early in 2011 and the ball/idea has continuously been rolling, but it is just today that with great pride I announce the official beginnings of Down Fenix Media.  Our business cards are in tote, our Web site is live and our readiness to produce amazing content for a diverse client base is insatiable.

So, without further ado, I give you Down Fenix Media:

WWW.DOWNFENIXMEDIA.COM

 

 

 

 





Gear Review: Zeiss Compact Prime .2 Cine Set

20 09 2011

Stock Photo from Zeiss who owns Copyright

Make: Zeiss

Model: CP.2 Set

My use: I ordered the 7 lens set while at UNC-Greensboro.  Primarily, this lens set was to be used for the Panasonic AF-100; however, the lenses were also perfectly compatible with the 7d, 5d and RED One.  In fact, I got the Canon mounts on the lenses, as adapter rings on the AF-100 or RED One would sustain the weight better than on a DSLR.

Average Price: $26,700 (for 7 lens set; they are sold in a 5 lens set or individually as well)

My thoughts: To date, these are my favorite lenses that I have used.  They are compact, precise and an excellent quality of glass.  At UNC-Greensboro, we had a set of RED Pro Primes with the RED One package which included a 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 300mm and 18-85mm zoom; these Zeiss CP.2 blew them all out of the water.  Not only are they smaller and easier to handle, but more precise in measurements and calibration.  The 7 lens set includes an 18mm, 21mm, 25mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm and 85mm prime lenses and two sturdy, well-padded hard plastic carrying cases with rollers.  Though the price sounds high, in terms of good lens cost, it’s actually very reasonable.  If I had the cash on hand and one lens set to buy, it would likely be these wonderful cine lenses.  Though I love Cookes S4s and ARRI Master Primes, these little guys can stand their own and are a fraction of the cost.  If you’re shooting regularly and have the cash on hand, these would be a wonderful investment.

Technical Specs from the Manufacturer (for 35mm Prime as representational of other 6 prime lenses included): 

Mount Interchangeable PL
Focal Length 35mm
Aperture T2.1
Elements/Groups 9/7
Front Lens Diameter 114mm
Minimum Object Distance (M.O.D.) 12″ (0.3m)
Length 3.15″ (8cm)
Weight 2.2 lbs (1kg)

Bottom Line: If you are ready to make the jump to professional grade cine glass, but want to do so at a fraction of the cost in regards to some of the competitors, then I highly recommend the Zeiss CP.2s.  In a perfect world, going with the 7 lens set complete with carrying cases, is a great buy.  But, these are still expensive lenses for small companies and individuals and can be bought separately and built into a nice set over time.  Either way, you will not be disappointed in the sharpness and quality of the image these lenses produce.  Furthermore, you won’t be breaking your back to lug these primes around on set.








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