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Looking for Cinefade (Vari ND)

Shi-Hyoung Jeon

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Hi there,

I am preparing for short film at AFI Conservatory, and looking for renting Cmotion Cinefade(variND)

Some scenes, director and I am trying to capture protagonist with changing dof. Therefore I contacted to many rental houses and share grid in LA, but there were no availabilities.

If anyone who has this gear, I want to rent it!



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Keslow Camera is listed as a place to rent the Cinefade, but presumably you've already checked with them.  

Panavision demonstrated a similar system as a prototype at Cine Gear Expo a few years ago; you could check with them, but I haven't heard any updates so I don't know if the filter was ever produced:  https://www.cined.com/panavision-liquid-crystal-filter/

An alternative would be to use a Sony camera like the FS7 II or FX9, both of which have an electronic variable ND which can respond to a manual aperture change if the ND is set to auto.  Those cameras are surely much more available than either filter system. 

For any other camera, you could also add a motor to a dual polarizer style variable ND in a geared filter tray, like the Bright Tangerine One Tray.  You'd need a multi-channel MDR like a Preston system - while I haven't used a Preston this way, it should be possible.  If you go this route, you'd probably also want to be careful in selecting the combination of pola filters to make sure the filters don't introduce color shifts when you change exposure.

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That’s a coincidence, a feature we’re currently supporting is using Cinefades. Nifty little tools. It’s just a motorised two pola variable nd, not like the Panavision liquid crystal one, but slaved to the iris motor it lets you do seamless depth of field shifts. It’s not an effect I’ve seen used too often, but quite effective when done well, like Liam Neeson getting fired in The Commuter. Kind of a modern twist on the Vertigo/Jaws dolly zoom. 

I wasn’t aware you could also do this in-camera with those Sony cams, though. Is it seamless or is there a lag?

Given Arri’s connection with Cmotion I would be surprised if Arri Rental didn’t carry Cinefades.

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The Sony cameras' eND do take a small amount of time to adjust, even at the fastest setting.  I think if the iris ramp were done over the course of about 3 seconds (or longer), the eND would be able to keep up  and the effect would be seamless. 

If the desired effect is for the depth of field to change as fast as possible, a motorized setup would likely be faster - you'd only be limited by the speed of the motors.  Iris rings and dual-pola variable NDs don't have to turn very far to make exposure changes.

I've used the Sony eND in a few scenarios when the exposure changes dramatically, e.g. a garage door opens and sunlight pours in, or the lights come on unexpectedly in a dark room.  In the former situation, the change was gradual so the effect was seamless.  In the latter, since the lights coming on was a surprise to the characters, it made narrative sense that it would take a second for their eyes to adjust, so I lived with the very brief overexposure; the auto adjustment is smooth and otherwise doesn't call attention to itself.  

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