Chicago Director, Cinematographer and Camera House Compare Lenses in 5K on the New RED Dragon

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Chicago commercial director Jeremy Pinckert and cinematographer Jamieson Mulholland team up with Daufenbach Camera to develop a non-technical Visual Lens Comparison for Directors and Producers.

A group of Chicago commercial production professionals have teamed up to develop a non-technical visual lens comparison video.

Chicago director Jeremy Pinckert, cinematographer Jamieson Mulholland, and Daufenbach Camera used RED's new Dragon camera as the baseline camera to test the different lens offerings. The footage was all captured using RED's 5K sensor size and then finished in 4K. The comparison features prime and zoom lenses from Angenieux, Cooke, Zeiss, ARRI/Fujinon, RED Pro and Canon.

The lens comparison came out of a need Pinckert found he has in pre-production, "On every production we usually figure out the camera systems pretty quickly, but when I discuss lenses with cinematographers and rental houses, I find myself needing a visual lens comparison to help narrow down my choices. Finding which lens can create a tone and mood to further the storytelling can be a challenge for Directors, Producers, and Creative Directors. Together with some industry friends, we've put together a guide to offer a solution. One where you can see the differences between lens qualities in the aesthetic, non-technical space where many creatives reside."

An initial challenge after capturing the footage was deciding on a baseline color correction to accurately show and compare lens characteristics. Colorist Kelly Armstrong from Color Playground created this strategy which brought the RED 5K raw image up to a point where comparisons were even and evident, "We chose the most color neutral lens to set our initial, 'base' grade to, the RED Pro Prime. Primarily using the chip chart featured on screen, gain levels were kept under peak 100 and pedestal was left well above 0 so any anomalies with how each lens handled shadows or highlights could be easily seen and compared. This base correction was applied to each image regardless of which lens was used."

The first feature in the video is a full-frame shot repeated for each lens. Pinckert and Mulholland used 50mm as the base comparison for focal length in both zooms and primes. The camera system, lens specifications, and camera settings are displayed as a super on-screen. Next there are split-screen, side-by-side lens comparisons between Angenieux, Cooke, Zeiss, RED Pro Prime, ARRI/Fujinon Alura, and one Canon still prime. As a secondary addition, each lens features a focus rack and a close-up shot to determine different focus and minimum focal distance characteristics.

Link to 4K Visual Lens Comparison for Creatives:

Collaborating on this video were a group of all-Chicago commercial production professionals: Stephen Wheeler and Lawrence Daufenbach from Daufenbach Camera (, Director Jeremy Pinckert, Cinematographer Jamieson Mulholland, Producer Dave Wingate from Auslynn Films, Camera Assistant John Waterman, Editor Michael Dicken from production company Explore Media, and Colorist Kelly Armstrong ( from Color Playground all teamed up on the visual lens comparison video.

Jeremy Pinckert

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Jeremy Pinckert
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