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Sigma’s New Cine Lenses Deliver Sharp Optics for Short Film “Blur”

Indie short film “blur” is the first short film shot with Sigma’s brand new cinema lenses by director of photography Yohei Tateishi. It tells the story of a father’s love for photography, and how that love both binds his family – past, present and future – and, at times, drives them apart.

Working on a tight turn-around and within confined spaces, Tateishi selected the ARRI Amira 35mm camera paired with Sigma’s new Cine High Speed Zoom lenses to realize the creative vision of “blur.” Shooting in ProRes 444, with a final output to HD (1920×1080), the 18-35mm T2 and the 50-100mm T2 delivered incredibly sharp optics and cinematic results, even when shooting wide open at an aperture of T2.0 – an aperture not often seen on cinema zoom lenses. Shooting the film at T2.0 and T4.0, Tateishi captured beautiful bokeh with perfect falloff and smooth skin tones, even in the film’s bleak desert locale. 

“Sigma cine lenses are a huge plus for indie filmmakers who need to shoot run-and-gun with limited access to lighting gear,” Tateishi explains. The compact zoom lenses are exceptionally fast, which gave the “blur” production the versatility of a zoom with the optics of a prime lens, making the Sigma Cine Lenses ideal for smaller productions with similar time and budget constraints. “On ‘blur,’ we shot in a small trailer house in Lancaster, CA, and only had one day to shoot everything interior. Typically, cinema lenses are prohibitive in small spaces due to their size, making it impossible to get handheld shots or move around freely. The compactness of the Sigma Cine lenses made it possible for us to shoot in the trailer with ease.”

To create dynamic shots, Tateishi rigged the main system with Sigma cine lenses on dollies and sliders, capturing overhead and even handheld shots, in addition to shooting inside the trailer house. “Having a small, light zoom lens like this gave me the freedom to move around and get a really nice shot,” says Tateishi. “Usually with cinema lenses, a handheld shot is impossible, but these Sigma lenses make it possible.”

In addition to the practicality of using a cine zoom lens, the Sigma cine lenses are optimized to shoot 4K and higher.

Watch “blur” and a making-of below.