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DETROIT-BASED DP CHOOSES FUJINON E SERIES HD LENSES FOR NIGHTTIME COMMERCIAL SHOOT DP with Extensive Automotive Spot Experience Prefers Speed, Depth of Focus of Fujinon HD Lenses to Achieve Film Look

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  • November 8, 2024

    by -- Fujinon Inc.

    Director of Photography Peter Klein, based in Detroit, has been involved in the motion picture business for 25 years. With experience in feature films and corporate/industrial video, Klein, along with Camera Assistant Dave Brush, has turned his focus to the commercial spot business over the past 15 years. Klein and Brush were recently hired to shoot a Volvo commercial in New York City, which included a great deal of nighttime shooting. With the option of using film or HD, Klein selected Fujinon 10-100mm (HAe10x10) Super Cine Style HD Zoom and HAeF8 Super Cine Style Prime lenses.

    “Historically, the first choice for shooting commercials is film,” said Klein. “The viewing audience is accustomed to the level of quality and visual texture of motion picture film. I felt strongly that HD would be right for this project considering the nighttime shoot, our budget, and the large amount of material we had to acquire. I am always adamant about using the best optics available for shooting in HD and recommended the Fujinon 10-100mm. I’ve used Fujinon Cine Style HD Zoom lenses for automotive shoots in the Detroit area. They’re extremely fast and read well at night — both important factors for this shoot.”

    Klein added that the HAe10x10 was versatile enough to lend a film feel to the commercial: “The Fujinon 10-100mm lens is remarkably similar to the motion picture zooms we are accustomed to using on film shoots. I treated the actors with soft light, just the right amount of diffusion, and a short depth of focus to mimic the look of film. Video tends to keep everything in focus, so I used the longer lenses to throw the background out of focus and make the images feel more film-like. This lens, with its wide-open T1.8 aperture, allowed me to obtain the short depth of field I need to achieve that film look.”

    The commercial, which will be shown in Asian markets around the world, was shot outside of the Brooklyn Museum and in downtown Manhattan near Times Square. The Fujinon HAeF8 fixed focal length prime lens was used for a running sequence of the car being driven through the bright lights of New York City. The lens was attached to a stabilized head on a remote arm crane.

    “The stabilized head was required to compensate for bumps in the road and smooth everything out,” said Klein. “We needed as little weight on the end of the arm as possible to enhance our chances of getting a truly stable shot. The Fujinon prime lenses are extremely lightweight (1.4 kg) with a small footprint. And like the 10-100mm lens, this offered the high quality results we routinely achieve using film lenses, particularly in terms of lighting.”

    Brush’s job as camera assistant routinely involves much focus pulling and distance estimation. According to Brush, the Fujinon lenses consistently offer an accurate representation of distances, which is critical for shooting wide open scenes with an HD focus.

    “These are fantastic lenses with no guesswork,” said Brush. “The lenses are well-marked with zoom and focus measurements, which speeds up the entire process and provides the feel of shooting film wide open. Corner to corner and edge to edge, the lenses are as crisp and sharp as anything I’ve used, as well as being more user-friendly. The lack of lens flaring for the Volvo spot was amazing, considering the amount of back and side lights used for portions of the shoot.”

    Klein and Brush used a Panasonic Varicam HD camera with the Fujinon lenses. The lenses were supplied by Fletcher Chicago, and the camera was supplied by Bexel in Burbank, California. Clockwork 906, based in Los Angeles, hired Klein and Brush and produced the shoot. The spot was co-directed by Duane Rakeshaw of Clockwork 906. The advertising agency Dentsu Y&R of Japan produced the commercial.

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