"Connections" Shot on Canon C500 in 4K with Canon's One-of-a-Kind CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9 Zoom Lens

Canon recently commissioned a short film called "Connections" which was shot by DP Tim Arasheben on the Canon C500 in 4K via the Convergent Design Odyssey7Q+, rigging from Hollywood based Cinoflex, and shot on only one lens - the mighty Canon 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9 Cine Servo Zoom Lens.

Recently, ProductioHub sat down with Arasheben and discussed what it's like to shot with Canon's 50-1000mm lens on set on the short film, “Connections."

Learn the pros and cons of the lens, along with info about the short and what projects Arasheben has set for the future.

Canon C500 rig 1

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about "Connections" and where the idea for the short film came from?

A: “Connections” is a short film about 10 people, 5 stories, and 1 city…..Los Angeles. The individual characters intersect through the story and the city plays a character as well, acting as a forum where each scene plays out. The idea stemmed from character driven films from the 1970’s American Cinema (specifically “THE LONG GOODBYE” 1973 by R. Altman), also multi-character / multi-layered films like “MAGNOLIA” 1999 by P.T. Anderson.

Q: Why did you choose to use the Canon 50-1000mm lens? How was your experience with it?

A: We chose the Canon CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9 lens based on the unprecedented zoom range. The ability to cover the real estate between 50mm and 1000mm gave us the opportunity to create a stage for the actors to perform from very far distances while maintaining conventional coverage I.E. – close-ups, over-the-shoulder, medium, and master shots all in one take.

Every shot in the film was a “one-r” where the lens would utilize the entire range from 50mm to 1000mm, or vice-versa, depending on the performance and location. Our experience with the lens was very good, because the lens gives great versatility while maintaining a very high optical standard. In fact, a zoom lens traditionally has some hindrances like heavy breathing and lack of accurate tracking, but with the Canon CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9 lens, it was just the contrary.

Whiling prepping at Panavision Hollywood, the lens techs put this thing through its paces, and we’re very surprised at how well it tracked with minimal breathing -- we were all very impressed by the technical performance!

Canon C500 rig 2 Canon C500 rig 3

Q: What pros and cons did you notice from using the Canon 50-1000mm lens?

A: The Canon CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9 is inherently sharp and contrasty, which can be a little difficult to deal with on large locations that don’t allow for huge light fill instruments that help control contrast. We avoided the urge to use any filtration for softening, because the Canon EOS C500 with C-LOG gave us the opportunity to offset that contrast from the image sensor. We produced this film in 2.40:1 Super Anamorphic format, so we had to have a lens that would track perfectly, and we got exactly that from the Canon CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9!

Admittedly, I usually prefer glass that is more forgiving in the highlights and complimentary to the texture of the actors’ faces. For this reason I mostly opt to use Panavision “C” and “E” series Anamorphics, Panavision Primo spherical lenses, or the Vintage Panavision Leica “R” lenses for a more flattering and rounded look, but the Canon CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9, proved to be a great all-around tool. Also, a very surprising and welcomed element of the Canon CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9 lens was the bokeh.

The bokeh was natural and rounded, which is difficult to find in a sharp zoom lens, especially stopped down around T8.0.  The 11 blade iris was extremely pleasing to the eye!

Canon C500 rig 4

Here's some frame grabs from the 4K footage from the Canon C500:

Canon Servo at 1000mm Canon Servo bokeh at 1000mm Canon Servo cars at 650mm Canon Servo sundown at 1000mm

We absolutely love this lens over here at Visual Impact and were completely blown away by its ability to deliver stunning images at an unprecedented zoom range. We have the lens for hire in our rental fleet, as well as for sale and we can discuss the package that's right for you.

For more information on the Canon CN20x50 IAS H E1/P1 Cine Servo zoom lens on how to order get in touch with our Canon specialists at 0208 977 1222.

For the full interview head over to ProductionHub.com.