One of the booth videos I featured at CineGear was from a company called CineFade (no relation 🙂 ) They are using mainly existing technology in a novel new way. Their system allows you to modify depth of field, without changing focus or exposure. Say what? They have synced a FIZ unit to change aperture value (affecting DOF) while counteracting the respective change in exposure by simultaneously adding or subtracting neutral density value. They do this by making a variable ND filter out of two polarizers. The iris and the ND are mapped to each other over the length of the variability so there is no “stepping” or anything to give the change away.
Sony is doing the same thing on their FS5 and FS7ll cameras, but this is the first system I’ve seen that does it for any camera/lens combination and is designed for cinema use. Remember the first time you saw a Dolly Zoom? (There’s actually a pretty good one in Guardians of The Galaxy 2 when Peter realizes -SPOILERS- that Ego killed his Mother). The effect on DOPs that are seeing the process for the first time is pretty profound. Oliver from Cinefade put together a little film of their reactions at CineGear. Fun to watch, and nothing makes you “get it” like watching the effect happen in real time. Fair warning: strong language if that’s not your thing.
Check it out by clicking here.