Seercam, continuing the tradition the company set under its former brand name Motion9, has produced a cage with all the often unique and always top-tier design and manufacturing values for which the brand has become respected.
Some of Motion9’s first camera cages were created for groundbreaking, popular cameras like Blackmagic Design’s BMPCC aka Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, and Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-GH4.
Some Motion9 Camera Cages
The Motion9 website appears to no longer be available but I have located some archive images of the company’s cages for the BMPCC, Panasonic Lumix GH4 and Canon EOS 5D Mark III cameras, from left to right below.
It is no secret that I am a fan of Seercam’s cages due to their design and manufacturing quality, and consider them the default go-to cages whenever acquiring a new camera. That consideration is well supported by their sturdiness and ability to safely support attaching all the third-party accessories upon which moviemakers have come to rely.
While it is true that some other cage makers come up with cheaper, lighter and smaller cages, usually designed in the screw-tapped-ribbon style consisting of a narrow aluminium loop in one piece or screwed-together around the camera, Seercam’s unibody cages offer protection and thoughtful design features rarely seen elsewhere.
Seercam’s Cube 6X for Sony α6500, α6300 and α6000
I will add more and larger photographs here as I receive them.
It is often the little things that make all the difference. In the case of the Cube 6X, that includes Seercam’s customary silver-anodized screw-in righthand finger support, two built-in cold shoes with the option of attaching more as needed, pinky finger support on the base of the cage, and cage-mounted push-button video recording functionality allowing easier and faster access than the sometimes bizarrely positioned video buttons to be found on Sony cameras.
I rarely shoot video without mounting my camera in a cage, the only exception being when I attach a battery grip, and enjoy the extra grip, added protection and counterbalancing of large, heavy zoom lenses that well-designed cages such as Seercam’s afford.
Good grip and balance is even more important in small cameras the size of Sony’s Alpha α6n00 Super 35/APS-C mirrorless range.
The MK 18-55mm T2.9 standard zoom lens is scheduled for an early March 2017 release while the Fujinon MK 50-135mm T2.9 is currently under development and is touted for a southern hemisphere winter 2017 release. Both lenses will initially be available in E-Mount for Sony’s popular A7-series cameras and X-Mount versions for Fujifilm’s own X-T2 and X-Pro2 will appear later in 2017.
Standout features of both lenses are that they are lightweight, are made of composite polycarbonate for lightness and strength, have the same external dimensions, are clickless, focus, iris and zoom gearing, are parfocal, have low distortion and high quality edge-to-edge sharpness, have no focus breathing, have matched constant maximum apertures and matching colour rendering and are fully manual.
Not to forget that they will be affordable relative to Fujinon’s other cinema lenses in the HK, ZK and XK series as well as competing brands of cinema zoom lenses.
Fujifilm’s press release states that:
Cinema lenses are the optimal choice to achieve a shallow depth-of-field and a beautiful bokeh. However, since they are typically large, heavy and expensive, those involved in online and other lower cost movie production often opt for interchangeable lenses for digital cameras, which are more affordable and mobile.
The problem is that interchangeable lenses for digital cameras are designed primarily for shooting still images, and therefore prone to focus shift and optical axis shift while zooming, and so on. In response, Fujifilm has been working on developing new cinema lenses that offer advanced optical performance with compact size and operability to meet the needs of creative emerging cinematographers.
There have been rumours floating around for some time that Fujifilm would be introducing a new line of clickless video lenses suitable for its X-Mount X Series interchangeable lens Super 35/APS-C hybrid stills/video cameras. The first two lenses in Fujifilm’s Fujinon MK Series of ciné zooms are specified beyond expectations and I am looking forward to seeing them in action despite their initial release only in E-Mount for Sony cameras.
As Paul Leeming‘s letter and my own request of Fujifilm attest, Fujifilm’s latest X-Series are very promising Super 35 video production cameras whether currently 1080p in the case of the X-Pro2 or 4K with the X-T2. I hope that the imminent arrival of the MK lenses helps Billy Luong apply more pressure on Fujifilm management to add 4K capability via line-skipping as in the X-T20 to the X-Pro2.
If Fujifilm heeds mine and Mr Leeming’s requests for firmware and hardware improvements, then they will have a very capable Super 35 video camera able to take any of their current and future X-Mount stills lenses as well as the new MK X-Mount zooms.
The sudden tragic demise of Samsung’s promising, much-loved NX1 and its companion the NX500 has left a hole in the affordable 4K Super 35 market that Fujifilm still has a chance of filling, and better yet of exceeding expectations.
Many cinematographers familiar with Fujifilm’s Fujinon stills and cinema lenses have expressed a desire for a fully-featured Fujifilm Super 35 camera able to make the most of them. The ball is in Fujifilm’s court and one hopes they pick it up and run with it.
Why would I want a Super 35 4K as well as a Super 16 4K camera? Foremost, choice in sensor size, lens range and image quality. I am more likely to pick up the GH5 – or rather, watch it leap into my hands as the GH4 does currently – for single-operator documentary projects and rely on a revamped X-T2 or its successor for advertising, corporate and feature film projects. Others’ opinions will differ.
So who did Fujinon make this lens for? I believe this lens is a great option for documentary style shooters…projects that run on the most skeleton [of] crews that need to be agile with their gear. It’ll be right at home on a music video set or a web series looking for a classic zoom range.
I have just one big question for Fujifilm right now, other than when will they act on the Leeming, Gottschalk and Luong X-Series flagship video features requests, and that is, is a super wide-angle MK-Series X-Mount ciné zoom on the drawing board?
Sony owners more expert than I in lens design have stated that the downside of the narrow E-Mount is that it mitigates against a larger collection of lenses at the wide end, though I note that Sony offers a 10-18mm f/4 OSS super wide-angle zoom lens.
Adding a super wide-angle ciné zoom to the MK series would complete its classic three-zoom moviemaking set.
FUJIFILMglobal –FUJINON MK Lens Official Introduction movie / FUJIFILM
FUJIFILMglobal – FUJINON MK Lens – Image movie / FUJIFILM
FUJIFILMglobal – FUJINON MK Lens – Image movie making / FUJIFILM
Fujifilm Europe – FUJINON MK18-55mm T2.9 Footage Shot by Philip Bloom
Fujifilm Europe – BTS FUJINON MK18-55mm T2.9 Shot by Philip Bloom