Every year, the National Association of Broadcasters holds the NAB Show, one of the year’s most important events for people in the film industry.
Even though film makers technically don’t qualify as broadcasters, this is the event where many manufacturers debut the newest technology and support equipment. And now that video-enabled still cameras have penetrated the market, this year really featured something for everybody.
NAB Shows offer a mix of notable personalities and very intriguing pieces of kit, and NAB 2011 was no exception. Here’s a quick run-down of the things I saw last week.
Vincent Laforet has managed to make the jump from still photography to motion in very short order, and his perspective on process played a big part. I got the chance to do a quick interview with him, and he one of the things we discussed was the key to that perspective: Admit that you know little or nothing.
It’s easy to get obsessive about speed. That’s why I was stunned when Richard Schleuning from Carl Zeiss Lenses said that the new 35mm f1.4 was built not for speed but for a narrow depth of field. It seems that photographers are demanding this from their lenses, and Zeiss was happy to comply. Their new 35mm f1.4, which will be available in the fall of 2011 for around $1800, looks stunning.
Texas-based equipment manufacture Ikan has released a very compact yet powerful on-camera LED light that lets you dial in color temperatures. This is a very useful tool, as it will let you fine-tune skin tone within a scene rather than having to affect an entire image. It runs on Sony L style batteries and has a nifty little battery life indicator. Given that LED lights tend to flicker when their batteries get low, this is huge. That flicker has ruined plenty of shots. The Ikan iLED 144 will cost you around $350, and it’s available now.
Lens manufacturer Lens Baby announced the Sweet 35 Optic to work with the new Composer Pro. The Sweet 35 Optic has a built-in 12 blade aperture system. No more little aperture discs to mess with. The Composer Pro is an all-metal selective focus ball mount system. Combined with the Sweet 35 Optic we now have a fast way to create that “lens baby” look. The Composer Pro with Sweet 35 Optic will run you around $400 and is available now on the Lens Baby website.