Covering the technology, gear and talent behind film and video production

Cooke Optics appoints Rich Eilers as ZGC Director of Sales - Americas

Patricia Greene  February 22 2016 05:14:10 PM
ZGC, the American distributor for Cooke Optics, the multi-award winning manufacturer of precision lenses for film and television, has appointed Rich Eilers to the role of Director of Sales, effective from 29 February 2016.

Image:Cooke Optics appoints Rich Eilers as ZGC Director of Sales - Americas

Rich Eilers based at ZGC, brings the company 25 years’ TV production industry experience from working exclusively with Canon in a variety of senior sales roles. He most recently served as Canon's Director of Sales for its TV Production group, overseeing sales and relationships with the major TV networks in the United States. His vast knowledge spanning across the broadcast industry will benefit both ZGC and Cooke Optics.

Rich also was involved in the launch and establishment of the Cinema EOS business for Canon in the United States, as well as the introduction of the Canon Electronic Cinematography lenses into the United States in the early/mid 2000's. He has been the driving organizing force behind the support of major sports events for Canon including the Super Bowl and the Olympics, and is a three-time recipient of the Sports Emmy award with NBC as part of its Outstanding Tech Teams at the Beijing, Vancouver, and London Olympics.

“Rich’s knowledge of cameras and lenses for the broadcast industry is unsurpassed,” said Les Zellan, Chairman and Owner, Cooke Optics, “We are confident he will broaden our reach in the TV production sector across the Americas.”

Alex Buono’s Visual Storytelling 2 Tour w/MZed

Patricia Greene  July 23 2015 11:09:37 AM
ZGC Inc. is proud to sponsor Alex Buono’s Visual Storytelling 2; Style & Subtext in Cinema Tour!

Image:Alex Buono’s Visual Storytelling 2 Tour w/MZed

This all day, interactive workshop is a great opportunity to learn about visual subtext and valuable lighting and production techniques from an experienced DP, known for his dedicated work on Saturday Night Live’s Film Unit. Don’t miss this one when it comes Philadelphia PA on September 12th and to Fairfield NJ on September 17th. To register visit https://www.zgc.com/t/toolbox/Alex-Buono's-Visual-Storytelling-Tour-2015.html . Don’t forget to use our discount code “AVS2ZGC” during checkout!  


Phileon Productions‬ "Soul Song" - shot with ‪Cooke‬ miniS4/i lens

Patricia Greene  June 11 2015 11:15:01 AM
Phileon Productions is comprised of two female producers, Sarah Philips and Laetitia Leon, who want to make a difference in the film industry. Their focus is on female-driven fare, as well as increasing the number of women in front of and behind the camera.
 
Image:‪#Phileon Productions‬ "Soul Song" - shot with ‪#Cooke‬ miniS4/i lens

They recently produced Soul Song, a musical short film set in LA. “It’s about the idea that everyone has a melody in their soul, and when you meet someone you know that if your melodies combine you’ve found someone special,” Sarah explains. “It’s the story of finding and losing your soulmate, set to music.”

DOP Olivia Kuan shot the film on an ARRI ALEXA. “I bought the ALEXA because it’s the most beautiful camera around at the moment,” she says. “It was ideal for this film as it gave a filmic look and a nice natural aesthetic to capture the romance of the story.”

Olivia and Sarah had both used Cooke lenses many times and were interested to see the miniS4/i range. “I like that ‘soft’, gentle look that Cookes give, and the combination of the ALEXA and Cooke miniS4/i lenses make a beautiful image,” says Olivia. “Also, there’s never a lack of light shooting with the ALEXA, so we would never have to open to a 2 – I usually shoot at a 4 so there’s not really a need for faster lenses.”

Sarah adds, “We watched hours of lens tests and loved all the Cookes. For me, they have an almost ‘vintage’ feel, in the best way possible – like the equivalent of music from an old recording studio. The mini/S4i’s looked amazing, and were also great for our budget.”

Image:‪#Phileon Productions‬ "Soul Song" - shot with ‪#Cooke‬ miniS4/i lens

The film was shot in November, largely in exterior locations. “We really lucked out with the weather and lighting - we actually got three overcast days, which is unheard of in LA!” says Sarah. “We were completely prepared to be fighting the sunlight but all we really used was something to shield the actors’ eyes.”  

“We captured the sky in a lot of shots,” adds Olivia. “Normally that would blow out and look flat but the mini/S4i’s diffused the light so it didn’t look so abrupt, it was very natural. We were also able to play with the colour in post because it gave us so many options, and we’re very happy with the way it came out.”

Image:‪#Phileon Productions‬ "Soul Song" - shot with ‪#Cooke‬ miniS4/i lens

Soul Song can be seen on the 2015-2016 film festival circuit
www.phileonproductions.com

Cooke Optics launches new 65mm Macro Anamorphic/i Prime lens at Cine Gear 2015

Patricia Greene  June 3 2015 04:46:03 PM
-        Award-winning lens manufacturer makes second big announcement of the year, following launch of front anamorphic zoom lens at NAB 2015 -
 

3 June 2015 – Cooke Optics, the multi-award winning manufacturer of precision lenses for film and television, today announced the launch of a 65mm Macro Anamorphic/i 2x Prime lens. A prototype of the new lens will be available to view on Cooke Optics’ booth at Cine Gear 2015, and the first production lenses are expected to ship in 60 days.

The 65mm Macro anamorphic lens boasts a close-up magnification ratio of 4:1:1 and, unlike many of its competitors, has a close focus of 5.5” from the front of the lens, which is almost unheard of in an anamorphic lens. The key feature of Cooke’s macro lens is that its focus does not fall apart as it gets to macro focuses, making it ideal for close-ups and product shots.

Les Zellan, Chairman and Owner, Cooke Optics, said, “We are very proud to present the 65mm Macro anamorphic lens, which we believe will be an extremely valuable addition to our Anamorphic/i range. The development of the 65mm Macro and the recently-announced Anamorphic/i Zoom lens is testament to the hard work and dedication of our R&D team, which constantly strives to bring film makers new tools to realize their visions.”

Image:Cooke Optics launches new 65mm Macro Anamorphic/i Prime lens at Cine Gear 2015

Visitors to Booth 67 at Cine Gear 2015 can see a prototype of the new 65 mm Macro Anamorphic/i 2x Prime lens, along with Cooke’s Anamorphic/i, 5/i, S4/i, and miniS4/i lens sets.

Cooke Optics announces new Anamorphic/i Zoom lens - - First in a series of front anamorphic zoom lenses revealed at NAB

Patricia Greene  April 13 2015 08:49:25 AM
Las Vegas, USA – 13 April 2015 – Cooke Optics, the multi-award winning manufacturer of precision lenses for film and television, today announced that it is working on an Anamorphic Zoom lens. Like the rest of the Cooke Anamorphic/i Prime set, it will be a true front anamorphic lens with 2x squeeze.

Image:Cooke Optics announces new Anamorphic/i Zoom lens - -	First in a series of front anamorphic zoom lenses revealed at NAB

Les Zellan, Chairman and Owner, Cooke Optics, said, “In the storied tradition of Cooke 5:1 and 10:1 zooms, this is the first in a series of front anamorphic zoom lenses that will complement Cooke’s set of Anamorphic/i primes lenses.”

The unveiling of the Anamorphic/i Zoom lens is the first of several expected announcements from Cooke in the coming months.

Visitors can hear more about the new Anamorphic/i Zoom lens, and see Cooke’s Anamorphic/i, 5/i, S4/i, miniS4/i prime lens sets, on Stand C8643 at NAB 2015.

ZGC’s New Service Location

Patricia Greene  January 6 2015 01:45:25 PM
We are pleased to announce our new lens service location. Beginning on January 12, 2015, Guy Genin, ZGC Inc.’s Technical Director, will service lenses and other equipment in our new Florida office at:
ZGC, Inc.
Attn.: Guy Genin
2430 Vanderbilt Beach Rd, #390
Naples, FL 34109
USA

Guy can be reached by calling: 973-335-4460 x215 or by email: repair@zgc.com orguy@zgc.com

ZGC Inc.’s primary Sales office will remain at 264 Morris Ave, Mountain Lakes NJ 07046. Our sales team can be reached by calling: 973-335-4460 or by email: sales@zgc.com.

With over 30 years of experience, ZGC has the expertise to maintain and repair your professional motion picture lenses. We specialize in the service and repair of Cooke Optics lenses and do preventative maintenance and repair on some of the products we carry. Please download and fill out the Repair Request Form and email it to us at repair@zgc.com. Include a copy of the form with your shipment to avoid unnecessary delays. If you have specific questions about a lens repair or service, please contact us anytime. We’re happy to help you. 

Since 1986, ZGC has represented many of the leading names in products and services for film, cinema and video production. ZGC was founded to meet the needs of professionals looking for one place to buy, lease and repair, or learn how to use all types of image capture and film production equipment. We are a boutique sales and service provider who specializes in assisting our customers with individual requests. Our friendly, attentive and enthusiastic staff is only a phone call away.

                                                                                                         Image:ZGC’s New Service Location                                                                

First Commercial with Cooke Anamophic Lenses Shot In Brazil

Patricia Greene  September 3 2014 09:33:41 AM
First Commercial Shot In Brazil with Cooke Anamorphic Lenses

 Ricardo Della Rosa, DoP ( http://o2filmes.com.br/diretores/ricardo-della-rosa), shot the first commercial with a set of Cooke Anamorphic lenses in Brazil. The SKY commercial was produced by O2.  Cooke Anamorphic lenses provided by TOP 35 Locadora, in São Paulo.  

         Image:First Commercial Shot In Brazil with Cooke Anamorphic Lenses

ZGC-Cooke Brazil Technical Assistance Services Ltd. - Serving customers Throughout South America -

Patricia Greene  August 27 2014 08:44:49 AM
ZGC-Cooke Brazil Technical Assistance Services Ltd.

- Serving customers Throughout South America -

August 2014

ZGC-Cooke Brazil Technical Assistance Services Ltd. located in Sao Paulo, Brazil, is open for business and serving customers throughout South America. We offer comprehensive service for Cooke Optics, Zeiss, Angenuiex and all other professional brand lenses.

Since 1986, ZGC has been representing many of the top names in products and services for film, cinema and video production. ZGC was founded to meet the needs of professionals seeking one place to purchase, lease and repair, or learn how to use the equipment needed for motion picture and cinema productions. With their expertise in servicing Cooke, Zeiss, Angenieux and all other makes and models of cinema lenses, ZGC -Cooke Brazil Technical Assistance Services is proud to serve the needs of a growing South American market.

We are confident that you will be happy working with us. Please contact Daniel Silva Carvalho by phone 55 (11) 99 465 3551 or e-mail: daniel@zgc.com to discuss your needs. We look forward to working with you.

Image:ZGC-Cooke Brazil Technical Assistance Services Ltd. - Serving customers Throughout South America -

Contact:         Daniel Silva de Carvalho
                   55 (11) 99 465 3551
                   Rua Dr. Alberto Seabra, 1040
                   Cep:05452-001
                   Alto de Pinheiros
                   Sao Paulo SP, Brazil

You say your lens went swimming?

Patricia Greene  August 21 2014 03:26:00 PM
You say your lens went swimming?

By Rich West

It happens in real time; so quickly you can only watch as that lens, which costs many thousands of dollars, plummets to the floor.  An expletive escapes as you attempt to stop the lens mid-fall but, alas, you just aren’t fast enough to overcome Newton’s Law.  There’s that horrible feeling in your gut as you watch the lens hit, and maybe bounce a time or two, because you know you are the responsible party: How are you going to explain what happened?

OK, look on the bright side.  Maybe it’ll only be a few parts that need to be replaced.  It’ll put the lens out of service for a while, but the lens will most likely go on to live another day.

Now let’s take a look at the “Dark Side”.  Instead of the lens landing on the floor it lands in the drink.  No, not that drink. (You know, the one you’ll probably have to calm yourself after “The Drop”).  The drink I’m referring to is that body of water that covers the majority of the planet:  sea water.  Unlike a fresh water pond or river, sea water has an element that just doesn’t mix well with lenses.  Sodium Chloride (NaCl), otherwise known in its common term as SALT.  NaCl, aluminum and brass don’t go well together.

While dropping a lens into a fresh water pond or river is reason enough to cause the onslaught of anxiety, it’s generally not the end of the world.  The lens can be shipped in a plastic zip-lock bag to a repair facility where technicians will dismantle the lens, clean it as they go, check for parts that may need replacing, and then reassemble the lens to factory specs.  Hours of work, and maybe the cost of some parts but the lens will likely live to work again. Not too bad, considering.

On the other hand, if the lens was dropped into salt water (ocean, salt water aquarium, brine tank, etc.) more severe challenges await.  The salt water must be promptly flushed from the lens or corrosion will set in.  “What”, you exclaim, “Put the lens in more water?” Yes! Not only put it in fresh water, but thoroughly flush it with fresh water to try and displace as much of the salt water as possible.  After doing this, seal the lens up in a zip-lock bag and immediately send it off to the repair facility with a big note providing notice of what happened and what steps you took.  Delays here will only make recovery more unlikely.

Maybe, if you’re lucky, there will be minimal damage.  Yes, there will probably be parts that have to be replaced, and there will be many hours of billable time for the technician to strip the lens down to individual parts, to wash each and every one of them in fresh water, and to carefully dry them so they don’t rust and/or corrode.  And, again if you’re lucky, the technician will provide you with an estimate of what the charges will be to put everything back together again instead of announcing it was a total disaster and loss. Unfortunately, because of the nature of the “accident” the technician can’t provide you with a warranty on the service he’s performing.  You sigh, as you realize you won’t have to buy a new lens; but if the lens was insured, you’ll probably now have to pay higher insurance rates due to the claim you file.  Life goes on.

To illustrate the disastrous effect salt water has on lenses, take a look at some photos of a lens that wasn’t flushed with fresh water and wasn’t sent immediately in for disassembly and service.  Not a pretty sight.


Image:You say your lens went swimming?

Front of lens showing sand and heavy deposits of salt

Image:You say your lens went swimming?

Visible are heavy deposits of caked-on salt

Image:You say your lens went swimming?

Salt and sand are everywhere

Image:You say your lens went swimming?

Salt has had time to work on the brass

Image:You say your lens went swimming?

Caked-on salt deposits

Image:You say your lens went swimming?

No hope for this iris


This lens was not repairable: i.e., a total loss.

Jeffrey Reyes Joins ZGC Inc.

Patricia Greene  August 13 2014 02:37:24 PM
Jeffrey Reyes joins ZGC Inc.
August 2014


Jeffrey A. Reyes has joined ZGC as Director of Sales for the Americas.  Jeffrey brings with him 18 years of sales and customer service experience as well as 12 years of production experience. He recently served 6 years at ARRI as Director of Sales for Latin America.

Les Zellan, President of ZGC Inc, says “We are pleased to welcome Jeffrey to our sales team. With his extensive experience in Latin America and wide range of sales and industry knowledge, he will be a great asset to our organization.”

States Reyes, “I feel that we have a dynamic team in place with the potential to accomplish great things together. ZGC is synonymous with a great customer experience and I look forward to continuing and expanding that tradition.”

Jeffrey will be based in Los Angeles, California.

Image:Jeffrey Reyes Joins ZGC Inc.