cPRO first hands on

with cteam member Vincent Aaron Segers

Back in December we invited our friend, focus puller and cmotion cteam member Vincent Aaron Segers to Vienna for a two days hands on experience with the new cPRO system. And, despite being a prototype, Vincent was really hyped about this new and exciting product line. Read his full story here:

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About Vincent Aaron Segers

  • Date of birth: 8/04/1991

  • Residence: Belgium, Ghent

  • Pulling focus since: 2012

  • cteam member since: 05/2017

  • Favorite LCS: cvolution with cdistance

  • left / right handed: right handed

  • Favorite camera: Arri Alexa SXT

  • Favorite lens: Panavision C-serie

  • Where are you from?

I’m from Ghent, a town in Belgium

  • When and how did you become a focus puller?

I think it must be 5 years now, being a full-time focus-puller. Before that I did a lot of 2nd AC jobs. After personally renting camera’s/lenses and practicing a lot (judging distances and measuring them) I’ve started working on smaller projects first and slowly growing in to the “big” business.

  • How did you enter the “cmotion” world?

Well, I knew a lot of the established focus pullers used the cmotion coperate system before the cvolution range was introduced. After trying out all the brands and type’s I noticed that cmotion was the perfect match for my needs.

  • What was your most exciting project you have worked on?

I think that must have been “Als De Dijken Breken” a Belgian/Dutch production shot by Laurens De Geyter. Working together with the wonderful focus-puller Didier Frateur (A-unit) as the B-unit focus-puller (afterwards the A unit), and working in the most demanding weather conditions was challenging yet so much fun.

  • Shout outs to any focus pullers, or camera crews?

I respect all the focus-pullers. But I’ve learned so much from Didier Frateur, just by looking at his style of pulling

  • Please explain in which environment you have tested the cPRO system and which setups you have used?

Well, I’ve tested it on the Arri Alexa SXT on an Angenieux Optimo 44-440 anamorphic zoom PL mounted lens. And on the Red Scarlet Dragon with a Canon rehoused pancake 40mm EF lens.

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  • How do you like the overall concept of the cPRO hand unit?

I like the way it’s totally designed from scratch and cmotion has listened to their users. Everything is so demanding and growing so fast that the cPRO is a perfect companion not only for the “mid-range” users (docu, run and gun shoots) but also for the high-end productions. It’s lightweight, compact, well balanced and the components feel sturdy.

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  • How was your first experience using the cPRO hand unit?

“Fits like a glove” haha. It’s so ergonomically built that you will not have wrist fatigue after a long day of shooting. The user interface is very easy to use, the start up and connection time is lighting fast. The one thing I loved the most is the new, re-designed knob. The cut-out in the rubber is at a slight angle so your fingers will grip in it very snug even in those sweaty shots. Interface-wise I love the option to create and store much more lenses in the hand-unit itself. You can even import or export them via USB. Also the many assignable buttons is a nice thing to have.

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  • How did you like the monitor bracket for the hand unit? 

The monitor bracket is a great option for the cPRO hand unit. It’s light-weight and gives you the option to mount a 5” monitor without compromising in balance. You can position your monitor in the the angle you want due to the locking mechanism.

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  • In your opinion, what are the 5 most stand out features offered by the new cPRO hand unit?

  1. The new ergonomic focus knob design

  2. The user assignable buttons

  3. The big round, bright display for meta read-out

  4. The option to mount a monitor with the designated bracket

  5. The very fast start-up

  • What did you not like about the hand unit?

Tricky one.. If there is one thing, it’s the yellow colour haha.. But there is a poll running, so people can choose the best color. Maybe it would be nice to have the option the have an “advanced knob” option to choose the torque of the knob.

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  • Talking about the cPRO motor setup on a PL lens. What´s the advantage of using the cPRO motor instead of a regular lens motor? 

When trying out the cPRO motor on the Angenieux I was surprised how fast I could set-up 3 motors. One motor having the internal RF module, 2 regular cforce motors daisy-chained. It’s a very lightweight yet pretty fast motor compared to the standard “transmitter-motor” set-up. I can see this set-up being used on the “older” Alexa Classic when no plus module is available. Would work out great on the Arri Amira too, especially because this camera isn’t really built to have a lot of accessories on it. Also on camera’s like the Sony F55, F5.. I can see it on a RED too. When you would use some kind of gimbal rig (Movi, Ronin a-like), lightweight handheld rig then this is the device to have.

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  • Talking about the cPRO camin setup with an EF lens. How did you like this setup and what´s the advantage in your opinion? 

This is similar to the cPRO motor, but the big difference is that this device can control the RED (or other similar) internal lens protocol. So no need for external motors when using the cPRO camin. I can see this very useful when using this with EF lenses (with internal motors) for drones, gimbals etc. when weight is an issue. The nice thing about this, is that I can be used on all camera’s / lenses supporting the internal lens control protocol.

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  • In your opinion, what are the 5 stand out features of the cPRO system?

I would say that this whole new system will be a nice companion for all different kind of shoots.

1. lightweight

2. ergonomic

3. future proof

4. solid interface with a lot of options

5. flexibility

  • What should we still improve for the serial production units? 

It’s always a guess. At this moment it’s always tricky, but with the feedback of users, the interface will be adjusted to everyone`s needs. I’m sure this will work out well, because of the cTeam members! Hardware-wise I would like to see a way to “hang” or stand your handunit on a stand or something similar. Maybe in the future a “cPRO-plus” motor with more torque could be available, this for the old, tough lenses.

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  • We have tried to make our customers part of our SW development and they where able to vote for their favourite features. Which SW features are important for you? 

I love the feature that I could have my Cinetape/UDM read-out on the handunit, (maybe with a link to the cdistance) like I have when using the cworld. Also the implementation of creating your lens data internally and saving it for future use in combination with the pre-marked rings. Also streaming the lens data with cooke i lenses would be a nice feature! Last but not least an option to have advanced camera control or user button control would be awesome.

  • What do you think about the price point for the cPRO motor kit at € 6.280 and the cPRO camin kit at € 4.980. 

My opinion on pricing is: If you want quality, you pay the price. When you want something that you can trust every day in any condition then this is a good investment. And with cmotion you have more. You have a great technical support team which is there when you need it!