Definition November 2023 - Web



IB/E Optics has been doing for a while, building hardware for the aerospace and medical sectors as well as devices for the moving-image world. The company’s catalogue is replete with pieces of precision glass, and its work on cinema optics consistently pushes the boundaries – as seen with Angéniuex’s Optimo Prime series and the more experimental Tribe7 lenses. There are also a series of filters made from what we might call innovative materials, things like dandelion seeds and mesh fabrics. To an extent, it’s reminiscent of the sort of filters people may once have improvised, albeit to a much more reliable, convenient and repeatable standard. These now range from subtle to bold, striking effects which seem to have found a lot of use in commercials and other short-form content that needs to establish its intent clearly and quickly. IB/E’s Manuela Seidl reports that the company’s success in the world of custom optics has grown significantly. “It’s because the softer lenses aren’t always available that camera crews use these approaches. We regularly develop products that produce certain reflections and flares or other effects. That might mean certain coatings that we can produce in-house, or mechanical parts that make a difference. We can also offer customers effect filters and, to a certain extent, customised filters.”

IMAGE Examples of IB/E filters and their impressive results

SHIFTING PARADIGMS For decades, the goal of lens

wants to achieve a special, more organic, analogue look. Diffusion filters, like our Hollywood Black Magic or Radiant Soft, are very popular and in demand.” With such a lot of choice, Thiele recommends an iterative approach. “First you choose the lens, then the filter. Your favourite filter does not necessarily harmonise with the selected lens. It’s a constant trial and error for the best combination for the desired result.” The philosophy of that choice is informed, Thiele goes on, by the technical reality that filters know no limit – to all practical purposes – for dynamic range or resolution. “We think that despite all the developments in software, filters still have a clear benefit. Filters always work with the infinite variety of light in the environment. Once an image has been recorded, an interpretation has already taken place. Whether or not you can conjure up the same results in the computer as with the optical solution, that’s the question.” With that in mind, Schneider’s development people have been busy

manufacturers was to create lenses which made as little impact on the image as possible, though it’s been a while since that was the goal of cinematographers too. IB/E’s work on the Tribe7 lenses is an example of the counter-reaction, and one that James Friend used for night scenes on the Oscar-winning All Quiet on the Western Front . The effect, as Seidl puts it, is visible without being noticeable. “Tuning lenses and other tools that create effects are very popular. But if you ask people about the effects after the film, they usually can’t remember any of them, but only say that it looked good. People from the industry usually see these effects straight away, while the average person usually doesn’t notice.” At Schneider-Kreuznach, Piet Thiele reports similar experiences with some of the company’s best-known designs. “Filtering is a big thing that is becoming more and more popular with amateurs and high-class DOPs alike. Everyone

The new Formatt Hitech custom diffusion kit allows cinematographers to craft their own custom looks that can then be manufactured into a single filter



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