Before zoom lenses arrived on the scene, film makers used cameras featuring a few different lenses mounted to a rotating disc – meaning that they could switch from wide to close up to telephoto in the blink of an eye. Looking for a quick way to switch between different zoom ratios on large format modern cameras, award-winning cinematographer Ian Kerr, CSC, tapped into the past to create the MultiTurret.
"This turret began as an exasperated joke," explained Kerr. "A frustrated, hands-thrown-up-in-the-air reply to the problem I've encountered again and again since verite documentaries began to shoot on larger (S35) sensors: I can't get a wide shot and then, a moment later, a close-up."
"I decided to reach back in time and build something from the pre-zoom lens days: a re-imagined lens turret with a twist," said Kerr. " By using the flange focal length difference between a traditional camera lenses and those of mirrorless digital cameras, I could eke out enough space to do lens and camera adaptions and perhaps jam a filter in there."
The device allows the videographer to switch between the attached lenses – from prime to zoom to wide angle perhaps – without needing to take an assistant along for the shoot. Currently in prototype form, it works with Sony FS7 Mk2, A7S/R, Venice and other alpha mount cameras, and is compatible with "select EF mount lenses" at the moment. The MultiTurret also potentially allows for different mount systems to be catered for on the same turret, with PL and F mounts given as an example.
The prototype is attached to the camera via the body lens mount and an extra bracket, with a couple of bolts supporting system weight. The aim is to allow users to install or remove the MultiTurret in less than 45 seconds, though switching between lenses while filming is of course much quicker.
Kerr and team showed off the prototype at NAB 2019 last week, where it won Best of Show, and are currently looking into bringing the device to production.
There's a video of the device in action via the source link below.
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