Cine Gear Expo L.A. 2018

A photographic tour of the exhibits

Cine Gear Expo Los Angeles ran May 31 – June 3, with exhibits June 1 – 2. The show occupied two soundstages, the “New York streets” outdoor set, and the Blue Sky Tank on the Paramount lot in Hollywood.

Sunny skies and highs in the mid-70s made for an exceedingly pleasant environment, and the streets and aisles were filled with visitors. Cine industry vendors from around the world had plenty of interesting things to show them.


If one new thing stood out at the Expo this year, it was the explosion in LED lighting, especially the ever widening range of full-color, infinitely adjustable luminaires.

It’s no longer good enough to be able to set one color for a tube or a fixture, so many vendors offered the ability to program multiple different colors and brightnesses in and across a tube or fixture…

…not that garish color was the only thing happening. Mexican manufacturer Fluotec has been focusing on bicolor fixtures, and not doing too badly at it if industry awards are any indication:

Meanwhile, LumenArc touted their LED panels with integrated power supplies:

Fortunately their controllers can be remoted for easier use when the panels are out of reach:

Profound‘s ProFlex and PanFlex light can be curled, daisy-chained, and spilled onto the floor:

Chimera makes softboxes for LEDs:

Hive Lighting has added color to the snootable, lensable, focusable WASP with the 100-C:

Litra demoed their existing LitraTorch, a waterproof, rechargeable, 800 lumen, 5700 K cube light…

…and showed prototypes of the bi-color, 1200 lumen LitraPro (currently on Kickstarter)…

… not to be confused with the Lume Cube, a similar waterproof, rechargeable, 6000 K, 150 lux @ 9 ft. cube light, shown here strapped to a drone:

Mind you, it wasn’t only LEDs on display. There’s still room for a great big honking HMI, like this Cinemills Super Silver Bullet:

And if an 18kW HMI still doesn’t do it for you, how about a 100kW linear plasma SoftSun:

This image was deliberately underexposed, in broad daylight, to show the SoftSun running at idle: a mere 3kW. This 320 lb /145 kg lamp head comes with a 335 lb / 152 kg ballast guzzling three-phase power at either 380 or 480 volts. In return you get flicker-free, 5000 K light and no excuses about it ever being too dark! When they turned this bad boy on full, it brightened the wall opposite (just off camera) considerably, broad daylight notwithstanding.


Sony’s big news was the separable VENICE, designed at the behest of James Cameron for shooting the next couple of Avatar films, along with Version 2 firmware. The “VENICE Extension System” lets you separate the camera head from the body by up to 20 feet:

Radiant Images showed a curved array of Sony RX10s for doing “bullet time” style wraparound shots. RX10s shoot video as well as stills, so you’re not limited to “dollying around” just a single moment in time:

Logmar demoed prototypes of their Magellan 65mm film camera:
Logmar Magellan 65mm

Logmar Magellan 65mm

Logmar Magellan 65mm

The SoC‘s Panavision Panaflex Platinum on a Panahead gearhead is always a treat:

Panavision Panaflex Platinum

360º video was alive and well, and driving itself around:

360º video

3D mirror rigs, too:

3D rig with Alexa minis

The Preston Light Ranger 2 consists of a camera-mounted rangefinder…

Preston Light Ranger 2

…and a receiver / display module, shown here on a SmallHD monitor:

Preston Light Ranger 2

The LR2’s target  focus area appears as a yellow box. The white bars show 16 focus points ahead of or behind the current focal distance (horizontal line); when a point is in focus (within the depth of field) its white box turns green. It makes focus pulling much easier and more certain — and with the right FIZ hookups, it’ll even auto-focus a cine lens.

Big lenses are fine, but don’t forget the small stuff. Infinity Photo-Optical has “the amazing lenses you’ve never heard of before!”

Jay Margolis

Infinity’s Jay Margolis displayed a variety of probe and microscope lenses, for making small things bigger:

Infinity Photo-Optical lenses

NiSi brought their F3 full-frame lenses (based on the Bokkelux lenses briefly seen last year):

NiSi F3 lens

NiSi F3 lenses

“I’m sorry, Dave, I can’t do that.” Seriously, it’s Entaniya‘s HAL250 4.3mm fisheye lens:

HAL250 4.3mm lens

It’s mounted on an Astro Design CM-9010-A 8K camera; the combo is intended for recording VR video with enough resolution that it doesn’t totally stink (snark added at no additional charge):

Astro Design CM-9010-A

How about twin RED Geminis?

RED Geminis

They’re rocking Atlas 2x anamorphics and are showing off low-light prowess.

Panavision brought the updated Millenium DXL-2 camera  and new lenses, including the Primo X prime on this one:

Millenium DXL-2

Notice the lack of manual focus or iris rings? The Primo Xes are internally motorized and controlled through the camera; all you puny humans get is a rather spiffy illuminated readout. Oh, and some spiffy pictures made by the lenses, too.

Panavision also demoed an electrically variable liquid crystal ND (LCND) filter:

Variable ND filter

ND 0.3 to ND 1.8 at the push of a button.

Something old: TLS rehouses stills and classic cine lenses in modern barrels:

TLS rehoused lenses

TLS rehoused lenses

Something new: Chinese company Spirit Lab had an empty booth, but with a little prompting they pulled out a prototype of a titanium-housed lens:

Spirit Lab 50mm

Spirit Lab 50mm

These lenses cover a 50mm image circle, cost about $5000 each, and should be available in August.


Rogue Aviation


Chapman crane

Chapman dolly

The Matrix

The Matrix

camera bike

camera car

camera cars

ShotOver on RC car

ShotOver art

cable cam

And More…

Y’know what a pain it is to carry an iPad around on set? Gig Gear has the Two Hand Touch, a chest harness that keeps your tablet handy, hands-free. It flips down partially so you can use it, or fully so you can show it off to a colleague:

Gig Gear Two Hand TouchGig Gear Two Hand Touch

Gig Gear Two Hand Touch

Brother showed off the AiRScouter head-mounted display, a lightweight 720p EVF on a headset:

AiRScouter HMD

AiRScouter HMD

The Rag Place tells it like it is…

Size Matters

This being Hollywood, if you don’t have fog when you need it, you can always make it:

fog maker

If you need handles, handgrips, handwheels, or hardware of any sort, JW Winco has you covered:

JW Winco

Vintage underwater:

Vintage underwater kitThat’s a Kodak Instamatic in the plexi housing. But where do you get 126 film these days?

Put a bird on it
Put a bird on it!

Does Cine Gear look interesting, but L.A. is just too far to go? Cine Gear Expo Atlanta comes up in October, so East Coast folks can play, too.

The Usual Disclaimer: I had a free press pass for the Expo but paid for my own travel, lodging, and food (e.g., breakfast at Astro Burger, $13.11; dinner at Cactus Taqueria #1, $10.24).

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PVC Staff
Adam Wilt has been working off and on in film and video for the past thirty years, while paying the bills writing software for animation, automation, broadcast graphics, and real-time control for companies including Abekas,…