When cinematographer Lauren Haroutunian shot a promo for a new toy and card game from Mattel, there were a lot of very small, detailed, colorful pieces to capture. Not only did she want the bright polish of a product shoot, she needed the video to feel dynamic, fast-paced and fun, with lots of movement. Haroutunian selected the Schneider-Kreuznach FF-Prime lenses to help her tackle the tricky production.
"The biggest practical asset of the lenses was their identical barrel sizes. It made them so efficient and easy to use with our follow-focus system, and it saved us time switching focal lengths, going from small, detailed product shots to wide gameplay shots without wasted downtime and resetting."
The FF-Primes come in focal lengths from 18mm to 100mm T2.1. Haroutunian favored the 35mm for wide shots of gameplay with the actors, while she chose the 50mm and 75mm for product shots. She was impressed with the reliability and consistency of the lenses throughout the shoot and appreciated their ability to intercut with the Canon zoom she also used. The lenses' minimum focus distance allowed her to get in closer to the toys and cards than she had expected without an overly sharp or digital look.
Haroutunian appreciated the lenses' minimal breathing and the smooth mechanical operation of the focus rings, which "helped nail the extreme close-ups featuring different miniature-sized pieces and cards, and made it easier to keep the unpredictable, high-intensity action in sharp focus."
Lauren Haroutunian on Twitter: Follow @laurasaurusrex
Schneider Optics on Twitter: Follow @schneideroptics