Adjustable depth of field using variable ND filtration — for use with Arri, Panavision, Red and more.
Now with motorized remote control via a partnership with Cmotion, the Cinefade FilterTray system, available for rental and soon for sales, allows cinematographers precise depth of field adjustments while maintaining a consistent exposure value. Providing transitions from shallower to deeper focus with constant exposure, to dial in precise iris changes between up to five stops. For creative shots, when transitioning from interior to exterior scenes, for example, it can also be used as variable ND to make precise exposure adjustments without affecting T-stop or other camera settings.
While other approaches to depth control use shutter speed or ISO compensation methods, which affect motion blur and sensor noise, Cinefade employs an universally applicable light filter, claiming initial light loss of 1.5 stops at full transmission with no color casts. Holding Schneider Optics filters, the Cinefade FilterTray is sandwiched in a matte box that affixes to the front of the lens. One 4 x 5 filter is static, while the geared Cinefade FilterTray holds another circular polarizer for 90 degrees of rotation to achieve minimum and maximum light transmission levels.
Now, with new support from Cmotion, the Cinefade unit can be remotely controlled through Cmotion Cforce receivers. (Arri CLM4/CLM5-compatible motor kits can also be used with the custom Cmotion Cforce receiver.) The complete system includes customized Cmotion Cvolution lens control with motors, hand unit and camin for control of focus, iris and zoom of cine style lenses for Arri and others. A TLS Raven matte box is included.
Taking two stages, one for the static polarizer and one for the geared FilterTray, Cinefade will also fit other matte boxes, including Arri LMB5/25, 4 x 5 and MB18 models. Without need for extra mounting equipment, the Cinefade variable ND filter has geared ring, accessible with a mount on the FilterTray housing, that connects to the motor for wireless or wired receivers through standard 15mm rods. There are mechanical end stops to determine immediate calibration, and the Cmotion hand unit also has marks for the slider to perform manual transitions between filtration levels, much like a focus pull.
“When transitioning from dark to bright lighting conditions, most filmmakers employ an iris pull during the transition from one lighting extreme to the other to maintain a good exposure,” according to the press release. “This drastically changes depth-of-field and has always been a drawback that DPs have had to accept… The Cinefade variable ND filter is remotely controlled, so even if the camera is mounted on a Steadicam, the exposure can be adjusted to maintain a well exposed image during the transition from a dark interior to a bright exterior lighting environment with a consistent stop, allowing for a shallow depth-of-field inside as well as outside and maintaining the look of the project.”
Available at Keslow Camera in Los Angeles and Arri Rental in London, worldwide demonstrations of the Cinefade FilterTray can be scheduled by contacting Cinefade directly.