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Miami Vice Zeiss Lenses

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Michael Mann was the first American director to try out the new Zeiss DigiZoom lenses. Using the DigiZoom 6-24mm T1.9, distributed by BandPro Film & Digital, cinematographer Dion Beebe was able to shoot Miami Vice in “places one usually cannot go with a zoom.“Michael Mann has a very dynamic visual style. His camera is never static. He creates anticipation, a tension in the frame that comes from a feeling that your peripheral vision has been taken away,” said Beebe. “Achieving this on Miami Vice came down to a combination of great operators with almost entirely handheld cameras. A critical part of this combination was the Zeiss 6-24mm DigiZoom.”Beebe, who earned a BAFTA award and an ASC nomination for his work on Collateral, explained that the lens lived on the A-camera, and added that, “Imperceptible zooms were constantly part of the visual storytelling, always pushing in and pulling you closer to the action. In realizing Michael’s vision, the DigiZoom was a perfect fit.” The DigiZoom is Zeiss’ first precision zoom lens developed for B4-mount HD cinematography. On Collateral, Mann used Carl Zeiss DigiPrime lenses. “We now have a lightweight zoom that gives me the look that the DigiPrimes gave me on Collateral,” said Mann.

Written by Scott Lehane

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