Filmmaker Creates DIY 65mm Camera Rig Using Panasonic EVA1

Whether you call it 65mm digital video, or 70mm film, large format is without a doubt my favorite film format. I just wish I could afford to shoot in it. Well, with a little math, a special rig, and the Panasonic EVA1, one filmmaker created his own large format camera image like what you get through the ARRI 65.

We are going to do a little math and built a crazy rig that will allow us to reposition a smaller sensor behind a medium format lens in a fashion that will allow us to capture an Alexa65 equivalent sensor size. We will then compare the large sensor against the same framing with the original sensor size. – Media Division

65mm was used on some of my favorite films, from 2001, to Rogue One. So to create a DIY version, Media Division did a little math and then took their EVA-1 and did the same thing. They do point out that any Super35 or even Full frame camera would work here, from a Canon C200, C300, Sony FS5 or even the full frame Sony A7s or the Panasonic S1R.

Flipping it on its side, the resolution goes to 3720×5760. Then, they would effectively have four create the 12K image by overlapping all four and then working it within After Effects. We saw something similar done with three REDs a few months ago.

But since they didn’t have four of them, they created a rig that would enable them to move the ALEXA down the line, re-recording the same image over and over and then syncing all four images in post. The result is 1 master 12K image.

To achieve this, he got a 4 Way Macro Focusing Rail and a medium format Mamiya Sekor 80mm f1.9. They chose this lens because at f1.9, this 80mm medium format lens is one of the fastest lenses ever built. To attach it, he used a modified bellows system, also from Mamiya to hold the lens in a stable position while the camera moves around the frame. Then the footage was placed into After Effects, aligned and synced as best as possible, and then added a feathered mask to handle any image sync aberrations. The results can be seen on this single frame (which I had to scale down to 6K just to upload it!):

You can also watch a clip on YouTube (see above), or download the uncompressed 12K ProRes video file here. The single image file can be downloaded here as well.

Now even Media Division, admits that nobody is going to be shooting their next feature this way, because it would be maddening to your actors and your post production people to do it, not to mention the need to control the lighting coming in from the side of the sensor because of the rig separation. So for the best results, this technique would be done in a controlled lab condition, where you can motion control or repeat the same shot in the exact same way over and over again.

What do you think?

About James DeRuvo 598 Articles
Editor in Chief at doddleNEWS. James has been a writer and editor at doddleNEWS for nearly a decade. As a producer/director/writer James won a Telly Award in 2005 for his Short Film "Searching for Inspiration. James is a recovering talk show producer from KABC in Los Angeles, and a weekly guest on the Digital Production Buzz with Larry Jordan.

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