Wayne, N.J. – On a given shoot they may be capturing the grueling tension of a 24-hour car race or the adrenaline excitement of a 400-foot motorcycle jump. But veteran extreme action sports cinematographers Mike “Mack Dawg” McEntire of Mack Dawg Productions and Jay Schweitzer of Powerband Films know one constant: the rock solid performance of lenses from the Optical Devices Division of FUJIFILM North America Corporation.
McEntire and Schweitzer recently put FUJINON’s Premier PL mount zoom lenses, the 75–400mm/T2.8 – T3.8 (HK5.3×75) and the FUJINON 24-180 mm/T2.6 (HK7.5×24) to an extreme test, shooting “Red Bull: New Year. No Limits” jump event for their independent feature documentary on daredevil distance jumps. Both lenses were mounted to Red Epic cameras in this extremely challenging environment. The shoot occurred at night with dense fog. For the event, a snowmobile and a dirt bike jumped in tandem over a section of the San Diego Bay. The snowmobile jumped over 400 feet, and the dirt bike soared just shy of 400 feet. In order to capture the jumps in their entirety, the two cinematographers needed lenses that were sharp, wide open with a long range on the zoom. They found the ideal fit with the Fujinon Premiere PL glass.
McEntire is the owner of Mack Dawg Productions, a company known globally as one of the top action sports film companies. Mack Dawg has been producing extreme sports films since 1988. McEntire and fellow extreme sports cinematographer Jay Schweitzer started Powerband Films to collaborate on the “On the Pipe” series of freestyle motorcycle films 10 years ago. The “On the Pipe” films have been the definitive films on dirt biking since their collaboration began.
McEntire relied on the versatile 75-400mm again on a RED Epic camera to shoot the Rolex 24 GRAND-AM car race in Daytona Beach for Continental Tires. McEntire explained, “Both events required varied focal lengths. I found the 75 to 400mm range to be incredibly useful. It’s the longest range PL mount zoom lens available and with unbelievable 4K performance. Even shooting at a wide open T2.8 aperture for the Red Bull event, staged at night with serious fog to contend with, images were razor sharp edge to edge. It provided great-looking, slow motion footage that we like to use a lot.”
For the Rolex race, Continental wanted artsy footage for a one-hour television feature. “I was able to shoot all night in marginal light and produce amazing results,” McEntire described. “In the daytime, I captured high-speed action employing ND filtration to shoot wide open without any flare problems. My goal was to capture beautiful shallow depth of field material that you don’t normally see in a car race. I would’ve had a very hard time trying to do this with any other lens. Having a long zoom that performs like the FUJINON 75-400 in all types of light was a dream come true. This lens made a real difference in my images – at both events.”
Many of the events that McEntire and Schweitzer shoot are daredevil jumps, stunts and professional sports where the athlete has just one attempt to get it right. They have to nail a perfect shot every time. McEntire said, “The FUJINON 75-400 mm is absolutely the best lens I’ve ever come across for this type of work. The build quality is fantastic, with buttery smooth gearing that makes pulling focus a treat. It delivers a punchy, crisp image with black blacks and colors that pop. After such a great experience on these very demanding shoots, I’m looking forward to trying out the other two zoom lenses in the Premier series with upcoming productions.”
To view footage cinematographer Jay Schweitzer shot for the “Red Bull:New Year. No Limits.” event with the 24-180 mm Premier Series PL Mount lens, please click on the link above.
About MackDawg Productions
MackDawg Productions was formed in 1988 and has been at the forefront producing action sports content since that day. To date, Mack Dawg Productions has released over 40 films encompassing skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, dirtbiking, as well working on motion pictures, national commercial spots and TV programs. Today MDP is alive and well, focused on several documentary projects as well as continued work on high-end commercial, viral marketing and TV programming. http://www.mikemcentire.com/
About Powerband Films
With more than 30 years experience capturing the full-throttle excitement of athletic competition, Powerband Films boasts a crew of some of the top action sports cinematographers in the world. Whether shooting landscape scenics, time-lapses, or high-speed competition. On the water, in the mountains or off the road, Powerband strives to deliver a masterpiece of art and wonder using motion picture images.. Visit http://powerbandfilms.com/
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