Kish/Bolex Lenses on Sale Today

Those of you who have followed our progress since Kickstarter know that as soon as our campaign ended, we surveyed all of our backers to ask what accessories they were most interested in, and overwhelmingly the winner was lenses.

After 2 years in development, our Digital Bolex/Kish Optics Series 1 Primes are now available to order through our online store.

IMG_0073 Continue reading “Kish/Bolex Lenses on Sale Today” »

International Shipping and New Products in the Store!

As of today, international shipping will be available for all Digital Bolex products. Since we announced the Digital Bolex in 2012, the question of international shipping has been our most frequently asked, and as we cross an important milestone in our project and prepare to ship our final Kickstarter cameras this week, we’re happy to finally be able to extend the Digital Bolex community beyond North America.

We will be shipping all international orders via FedEx, who will handle VAT through their service. If you have any questions about international orders, please feel free to reach out any time through info@digitalbolex.com.

NEW PRODUCTS

Also in our store, we are excited to announce that we’re carrying some new products!

LED Lights

bi-color-store

 

Check out F&V’s amazing K4000 and K4000S LED panel lights! Extremely portable with long-lasting battery life that can also be used on AC power, the lights are available as 3-light kits and with an Anton Bauer battery plate option. These can be found under the Lighting category!

Cold Shoe Accessories

20130611-Metal-Cheese-Plate 0684

 

We’re excited to bring you F&V’s articulating arms! Sleek and durable with a stainless steel option at both lengths, these arms are perfect for mounting EVFs and other side shoe accessories.

Last but certainly not least, the custom D16 cheese plate from Wide Open Camera (final color black anodized), is the perfect accessory to mount multiple gear you your D16, with a plate made specifically for stability on the D16. All of these items can be found under the Cold Shoe accessories category!

All new products start shipping 6/1!

The D16M: Native Monochrome

The history of black and white is the history of motion pictures, and from Thomas Edison’s early experiments to Sundance Award-winning COMPUTER CHESS filmmakers have used black and white images to create bold visual choices that cannot be reproduced in color.

Since the D16 went on sale back in December, we’ve been asked by educators, filmmakers, and members of our forum to produce a native monochrome camera that can take advantage of the latitude of black and white raw images. After a few months of testing we’re very excited to announce the D16M, boasting a black and white sensor for highest quality monochrome capture without the need to debayer, retaining a higher sensitivity to light and preserving the full dynamic range of the sensor.

_MG_2008 _MG_2016

Continue reading “The D16M: Native Monochrome” »

The Digital Bolex Grant for Women Cinematographers

The statistics are startling. Fewer than 2% of working cinematographers are women. No female cinematographer has been nominated for an Academy Award. There are 11 active women in the ASC–out of 330+ active members. The first studio film to have a female cinematographer was released in 1980.

Women have been discouraged from getting behind the camera for decades, and these statistics prove that the problem is systemic and culturally enforced. Laura Mulvey’s much-discussed concept of the “male gaze” puts women’s place in front of the camera, as living props to be photographed and judged, not to make decisions about how they are portrayed or participate in the creation of their own image.

Rarely do you see a set with women in the camera department, which I lovingly dub the “dude swarm”. There’s nothing wrong with the dude swarm, inherently, except it creates a set culture where anyone not wearing cargo shorts is an outsider. And too many women in the camera department as treated as outsiders.

I’ve heard plenty of horror stories–women cinematographers with strong reels who, making it to a live interview, are told “oh, we thought you were a man,” and suddenly not the right fit for the job. I’ve had male crew members fight every camera choice I make on set, I’ve seen female cinematographers work retail at clothing stores because directors (90% male) didn’t have confidence in their abilities. The cycle is vicious; men and women start in the industry as equally green amateurs, and as men hire more men, suddenly the women become “unqualified” to work alongside their former peers.

As Rosalind C. Barnett and Caryl Rivers wrote in the LA Times this past December, studies show that “for promising men, potential is enough, whereas women are judged on what they’ve actually done.” In the film industry, men judge each other on what they could do, if they pooled their resources and worked together as a team.

Women don’t count as resources because, with “potential” and brains left out of the equation, women are less likely to own the expensive, tangible resources like film equipment that more and more play a deciding factor in who gets hired for what job. But how can a woman cinematographer who has to fight for the lowest of the low jobs afford the hot new camera on the block? They can’t.

Women are less likely to own equipment not only because of the cost of equipment versus the amount of work they’re being hired for, but because women are taught to look and not to touch when it comes to technology. I can’t count the male and female partners I encounter at trade shows where the male partner grabs a camera excitedly while his female partner watches passively over his shoulder. And try to engage a single woman perusing a tech booth? Forget it–ask if they have any questions and the answer is “no thank you” and they’re gone. Women aren’t taught to be entitled to technology in the way that men are. Men are entitled to put their hands on cool gadgets. Women are entitled to watch, but not to participate.

Just listen to the way men explain technology to women at a trade show and this dichotomy becomes readily clear. Women are expected not to be able to use technology, instead of trying it for themselves and playing, they must be hand held, guided, ‘splained. And that’s a huge turn off to wanting to participate. It’s not a surprise to me that 99 of 100 requests I get to borrow one of our cameras for a project come from men. Women are taught not to ask. And if we as a company choose to work with, say, 5% of people requesting cameras, the numbers aren’t looking too great for the ladyfolk.

But let’s say that’s not the case. Let’s say a woman has surpassed all these odds, and has a fancy camera and knows how to use it. Would the industry be willing to accept the potential of such a woman and hire her to shoot a film?

I think so.

Which is why I’m going to stop soapboxing on the internet (okay, maybe not) and put my money where my mouth is. I’m very pleased to announce the Digital Bolex Grant for Women Cinematographers.

Starting this summer, we will be offering a pair of Digital Bolex D16 kits, featuring $10,000 in gear and accessories from some wonderful soon-to-be-announced sponsors, on a rolling basis to any narrative short or feature film project to be shot by a female cinematographer.

As one of a handful of female cinematographers at the SXSW Film Festival, I am acutely aware that my ability to purchase, train with, and bring equipment to gigs over the past decade is what has gotten me to this wonderful festival with a feature film. I want to give other women that same ability to use their potential.

The relationship between a director and cinematographer is perhaps the most important in filmmaking–we see male duos with collaborative relationships spanning decades creating masterpieces. I’d like to see women involved in that kind of intimate collaborative process, and I hope that I can start to help move our industry in that direction.

Stayed tuned over the next few weeks to hear about our sponsors and application process. And for those extra proactive ladies, feel free to start reaching out to me at elle@digitalbolex.com

Macro Photography on the D16

Macro photography is awesome because it allows you to see everyday objects in a fresh way. Our team feels similarly about the D16–that when you review footage from our camera, you see footage differently than you would view video; there is a quality to the image that makes you see the images in a new light.

So it made perfect sense to throw some macro lenses on the D16 and capture some fresh perspectives in a new way. But always with a bit of vintage flair, of course!

The following piece was shot with a series of different macro lenses and regular lenses on extension tubes. All of the lenses were set on F5.6 or F4 / 5.6 split to try and regulate the light / depth of field a little bit. The intention was to find macro lenses that would lend a narrative feel to 3 inch tall characters.

After shooting many tests across a few days, here’s our finished piece! We’re really proud of this one and we hope you enjoy it and share it with anyone you know who loves macro photography!

Macro Droids – shot on the Digital Bolex from Digital Bolex on Vimeo.

For those of you interested in a more detailed breakdown of how this piece was shot, here’s a step by step walkthrough of what we did for each image: Continue reading “Macro Photography on the D16” »