Cine Gear 2018 ATL: New City, New Lenses, New Lights

Gear highlights from Atlanta’s first ever Cine Gear Expo

Ahhhh trade shows…endless amounts floor space and people vying for your attention. More importantly, they gotta scan your badge to get you on their mailing list! Having been to NAB in Vegas many times, I was curious to check out Cine Gear Atlanta. This is Cinegears FIRST year in the big ATL, so I made the haul to Pinewood Studios from Nashville with my buddy Jiayoa.

I think trade shows are more about the people you meet than the gear you see. Making a commitment to attending is a way to expand your network on a literal global scale. So I highly recommend it. Atlanta didn’t disappoint in the number of vendors. It was likely smaller than Cine Gear LA and tiny compared to NAB or IBC, but it was focused and relevant. Most of all, it had an intimate feeling. I definitely got more attention in ATL, which generated more meaningful conversations than I would have had at NAB.

Yea, yea…the gear was great too. So here’s some quick snippets about gear that got me excited. We’ll start big and go small. Usually the little innovations are my favorite.

Large format cameras & glass are all the rage. Zeiss had their Supreme Primes showcased on an Alexa LF. They were creamy & organic. The close focus on the 50mm was insane. It’s basically a Macro Lens. The price point on the Supremes is $112k for 6, so this is obviously a “Supreme” price. But in the large format spectrum, this is more cost effective than Arri’s Signature Primes, Leica Thalias, & Cooke S7’s.

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K won’t fit in your damn pocket. So that name is silly. My buddy calls it the Blackmagic Fanny Pack Camera, which is spot on. It’s literally a full sized DSLR. It felt larger than Canon’s new EOS-R. Still, it felt good to hold and was surprisingly lightweight. It has lovely dynamic range and color, 4K 60fps, and familiar touch-screen. A future firmware update will bring Blackmagic’s new RAW here too. I’m impressed!

Canon’s EOS R Mirrorless Full-Frame camera has some unique innovations. I love that the flange distance is so short. That’s my main issue with EF mount, because you can’t modify it to other lens mounts like you can with E-mount. The EOS R changes all that with the new RF lens mount and series of lenses. My favorite innovation is the RF to EF adapter that includes built in Variable ND.

Canon was also showing off their C700 FF full frame cinema camera which shoots 5.9K large format. It was flexing its ability to handle high resolution anamorphic with this 32mm Cooke anamorphic.

Leica — whose cine glass line is now Leitz Cine, changed from CW Sonderoptic — was showing off their new compact & classic M0.8 cine primes. These are full-frame, lightweight and fast. The whole set is f1.4 with the Noctilux hitting f0.95. These are modern cine lenses with a vintage look. Leica’s 95mm Macrolux diopter set of +½, +1 & +2 are a great lightweight and stackable solution for macro needs.

I was fascinated to see that Chapman-Leonard has designed some dolly and telescoping cranes for “smaller” camera packages. Their Miniscope 5 & 7 can fly a camera/head combo as low as 50lbs. And they can be adapted to use a Ronin 2 as the pan/tilt head. I was also impressed with their tiny & smooth Cobra VT dolly. The prices were surprisingly affordable too. Hope to be bringing some of these products into Nashville from Atlanta from time to time.

Teradek and SmallHD continue their mashup. Now there’s a 5” Focus monitor with a built in Teradek Bolt receiver. I love the simplicity of this wireless setup. And it’s practically the same price as a Teradek receiver all by itself.

Aputure listens to their users. Ted ran us through so many improvements to their C120d. Better ballast system, improved cabling, brighter light and even built in lighting FX like TV, lightning, and paprazzi. Plus, accessories like the Light Dome were drastically improved and can now be setup 5 times faster, with a well designed clamp in gel holder. I can’t wait to see what’s next for the C300d!

Cinemoves got crazy with Freefly’s Movi Cabon, rigging it to a motorized bike on a Flowcine Black Arm. This wacky thing stabilizes the Carbon’s built in Fujinon 20-120 cine zoom on the go. Wowza.

Matthews MQ Mount looks like a safer, low-profile way to mount T12 lights like Quasar tubes. I get annoyed when those metal Kino clips keep scratching up my Quasars!

Tiny blazing fast SSD’s up to 2TB from G-Technology. These can literally save hours of file transfers at the end of the day. They have a big sticker price, but I’ve found the time saved is worth the invesment. They’re so small, just make sure you don’t misplace one!

Blueshape now has a 290wh battery. It’s about the size of their previous 190wh battery, so there’s not a lot of added size and weight. This is designed to power the Arri Alexa LF, which is a power hungry monster. I’m really interested in the possibilities of powering high output LED lights with this puppy! Aputure C600d anyone?!

Rosco & DMG Lumiere released their ‘Mix’ line of RGB LED lights. This is the Mini Mix. They have 6 LEDs that produce a super wide color gamut. My favorite part is that you can take a picture, open it in their app, and then select the light’s color right from the picture. It’s a fast, unique and impressive customization.

Yes, I want my Inovativ cart to be able to hold my Black Rabbit Coffee!

Wooden Camera / Anton Bauer’s robust new pro power plates could save your accessories from getting fried. They have a built in fuse that selectively cuts power to accessories overloading the system, while keeping your camera running and rolling. Once the overload is sorted out, just hit the reset switch and you’re back in business.

Wooden Cameras Zip Boxes are the lowest profile, lightest, simplest 2 stage matte box solution I’ve seen. They’re $100! This would have been the perfect cost effective matte box when I was shooting a multi-cam pilot with 6 cameras all needing ⅛ Hollywood Black Magic filter. A really welcomed innovation that doesn’t overcomplicate.

K5600 have taken their popular Joker line to the next level with the Joker 2. You can quickly swap from HMI to Tungsten now. This is nice for using their amazing Kurve reflectors, which can become a gorgeous beauty light with a 2k tungsten lamp. The lamp cover is now threaded and toolless; another time saver. And the yolk lock is improved and ballast has wireless DMX.

This is my favorite discovery of Cinegear Atlanta. An egg crate for Quasars! This is like a dream come true. Having precise control of Quasar spill is something I’ve had on my mind for quite some time & Honeycrates figured it out.

While I’m at it, this Quasar battery mount is super handy.

My Case Builder could be a game changer for our rental biz. You take a picture of a piece of gear and their online software automatically scans every edge. Then you specificy the length, width, and depth, and it now has the exact specs for slicing a custom insert. The software also allows for customized layouts for a truly precise case.

Modern Studio Equipment’s MP-9 both compresses and expands. So you can clamp it onto something, or expand it in a gap. It also has removeable baby pins that can be mounted all over the clamp. So many rigging possibilities with just one piece.

Well, I guess I know how I’m going to rig overhead camera rigs on a goalpost now. Thanks Modern!

Lindsey Optics is a releasing about 37 new flavors of rotating filters. These are some of the most innovative filter updates I’ve seen. Spinning streak filters, star, confetti, split field diopters. You name it, they’re putting it in a rota tray. I also appreciate their new tray mounted diopters, which could replace the need to use fairly clunky 138mm diopters.

I think cinematic lighting should feel natural within a scene. So this flexible RGB LED system, Firefly FloppyFlex, looks like a promising way to fake some custom neon.

That’s what got me excited at CineGear Atlanta 2018. Did you go? What got you pumped? I hope this gives you some ideas to be more creative, inspired, and successful!


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Nathan is the owner of produciton company and rental house Contrast Visuals. He has filmed all walks of life, from short films, documentaries, and commercials, to humanitarian efforts in Africa and the war in Afghanistan.…