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Magellan 65 Presented in Hollywood
Magellan CineGear 2018 - The Talk of the Town

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Tyler Purcell. Pictures By: Orla Nielsen Date: 02.06.2018
The Magellan 65 finally arrived in Hollywood.

In years past, Cingear has been littered with film cameras, but those days are long gone. This year however, we are introduced to a new film professional film camera; the Magellan 65. Guests swarmed the booth trying to get a look at the two rough prototypes brought by the three-person team from Denmark. They were a sight for sore eyes in a expo dominated by digital cameras and for sure one of the highlights of the show.

I sat down with the engineering team for the Magellan 65 and started learning about the design process. From the ground up, the camera is designed to be not like anything else on the market. Everything anyone else has done before was ignored because if you do what everyone else does, you no longer have a unique and different product. The Magellan 65’s design is based on the Logmar Super 8 camera in essence, with an oscillating mirror digital viewfinder, built-in video recorder with audio and very slim movement. This design philosophy is nearly identical to the Magellan 65, using a very simplistic movement, super clever shutter/mirror design and a beautiful 1080p or 4k video based viewfinder. Optical viewfinders are very difficult to make, heavy and bulky. Without them, the camera can be made much smaller and that was Logmar’s design philosophy.
More in 70mm reading:

Designing Logmar's ultra-light Magellan 65 Camera

Logmar Camera Solutions premieres a new hand-held 65mm Camera

Panavision and the Resurrecting of Dinosaur Technology

The Hateful Eight is a Wonderful Cinematic Experience for the true Cinefile

Nolan's "Dunkirk" will feature over 100 minutes of IMAX material

Internet link:

The CineGear Jury taking a look a the Magellan 65

65mm seems like an unusual product for 2018, the last “new” 65mm camera came out in the mid 90’s and it was a complete failure. This was mostly due to it’s size, reliability and cost. To most people’s shock, there are only 7, 5 perf 65mm cameras for rent in the entire world today. Panavision has 5, two of them are “sync sound” cameras, each weighing 80lb, but super quiet. Three of them are “MOS” cameras, each weighing 54lb, but producing around 70db of sound, so incapable of being used for critical set audio recordings. Arri has 2 765 cameras, of which I believe there were only 8 ever made. One of those cameras is in the US and the other is in Europe. Arri has been unsupportive of the 765 project for the last 6 years, so when cameras fail, they basically aren’t fixing them. So with 7 cameras in the entire world for rental in 2018, there is absolutely a demand, especially a lightweight camera for sync sound production.

The Magellan 65 project has been going on for around 2 years now. The goal was to produce a lightweight 5 per 65mm film camera that could replace the current aging cameras and offer design features that would modernize film cameras in general. There are so many 16mm and 35mm cameras on the market, 65mm seemed to be the best format to start with. It’s also a niche that nobody has touched since the 90’s and one that even the mighty Panavision, whose 5 perf 65mm cameras are constantly being rented, wouldn’t get near.
Logmar's Rodolfo Zitellini, Chief Technology Officer demonstrating the Logmar 65 to Ziryab Ben Brahem

Clearly the model shown at cine gear is a prototype, it’s missing so many of the critical things like light seals on both the body and magazine. However, they do work and they will be the basis for the final camera which they’re hoping will be ready for shooting sometime towards the end of this year. The prototype has many things missing, but rest assured, nearly all the comments I made, were things they knew and are going to address. Little things like an inching button, more power taps, PL mount, some sort of integration for Arri base plates, etc. They have been talking to Arri about a partnership when it comes to lenses and accessories, but it’s early stages. For the time being, Logmar needs to continue development, do film tests and eventually make a finished product. Also, the current product isn’t very quiet, so they are already developing a “sync sound” version, which will be slightly bigger to offer more room for soundproofing. This is actually done in most cameras by separating the movement from the housing with rubber mounts, something that is not very difficult to do. The “studio” version would also be capable of using 1000ft magazines, which the current model is restricted to 500ft.

Logmar’s current plans with the Magellan 65 are up in the air. For the time being, they will be trying to use rental houses as the means to get the camera into the hands of filmmakers. They’re also thinking about opening up a development office here in the states to help oversee production with the camera when it does happen. As of this writing, I would assume these things are a year or so away, but we’ve waited this long for a decent small 65mm camera, so what’s a little bit longer?
Logmar's Rodolfo Zitellini, Chief Technology Officer demonstrating the Logmar 65 to Ziryab Ben Brahem, a young film maker working with VistaVision

• Go to VistaVision Strikes Back

I personally am very excited where this camera is going because I do see a finished product being successful. I think some of the design philosophies are brilliant and well executed. Arri and Panavision have re-used movements from other, much older cameras to make their 65mm variants and now we have an all-new design that’s radically different, what could be better? Yes, there will need to be some significant changes made for this to be a viable solution for Hollywood, but I do think the Logmar team are not only up for the challenge, but I think they’re going to deliver a fantastic product in the end. A few top cinematographers were on hand to check out the Magellan 65 and all of them had positive things to say, including myself. I can’t wait to see their next iteration and I hope to one day get the opportunity to use one.
Hoyte van Hoytema

• Go to "Dunkirk" filmed in 65mm with IMAX cameras

Dutch-Swedish cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema trying the Logmar 65
Linus Sandgren
Swedish cinematographer Linus Sandgren trying the Logmar 65
Dave Strohmaier and Orla Nielsen. Picture by Carin-Anne Strohmaier
Orla Nielsen. Picture by Carin-Anne Strohmaier
Magellan 65. Image by Dino W

Magellan 65. Image by Dino W
Magellan 65 brochure. Image by Dino W
Magellan 65 brochure. Image by Dino W
Magellan 65. Image by Dino W

Danish Magellan 65 Camera Team

Left to right (Picture by Paul Rayton, Hollywood):

Orla Nielsen, DoP, DFF - Director of Photography, and Product Test Manager, Logmar Camera Solutions, Denmark.

Tommy Madsen - Chief Executive Officer. Logmar Camera Solutions, Denmark

Rodolfo Zitellini, Chief Technology Officer, Logmar Camera Solutions, Denmark.

• Go to Designing Logmar's ultra-light Magellan 65 Camera

• Go to Logmar Camera Solutions premieres a new hand-held 65mm Camera

• Go to Gallery: The Magellan 65 Camera

• Go to Gallery: Behind the scenes with Tommy Madsen, CEO Logmar
Go: back - top - back issues - news index
Updated 21-01-24