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Engineering Service, Inc.   »  News 

Chrosziel has unveiled the Rota-Z, an innovative lens mount featuring an integrated 90° optical converter system. This allows you to shoot 9:16 videos on conventional 16:9 sensors without having to physically rotate the camera. The mount is designed exclusively for Sony E-mount bodies and comes in two versions: PL-to-E and EF-to-E.

If you’ve ever shot something specifically for a 9:16 deliverable, then you know the struggle of rigging a camera on the side to maximize capture resolution and avoid cropping the image in post. While this is relatively easy to do with a small mirrorless camera, the form factor of most high-end digital cameras, like the Sony Cinema Line FX6 or FX9, is just not meant for that!

However, placing the camera on its side to capture vertical content will soon be a thing of the past, since these new Chrosziel Rota-Z mounts are capable of rotating the picture before light even reaches the sensor. “Optically impossible”, you may argue. Well, let me tell you this: when there’s a will, there’s a way. So let’s take a closer look at how the Rota-Z can achieve this!

The Chrosziel Rota-Z 90° Optical Converter mount is engineered for use with Sony E-mount cameras and comes in two variants: the premium Rota-Z Ultra and the affordable Rota-Z Budget. While the former is designed for use with PL cinema glass, the latter takes Canon EF mount lenses.

Regardless of the model, the mount integrates a system of two main translucent, phase-dependant mirrors. By exploiting the potential of millions of micro-mirrors DLP beamers, the two main mirrors work synergically to rotate the image pixel by pixel.

Hence, light dances back and forth between the two surfaces twice, before being projected onto the sensor “tilted”. While the DLP beamers used for the prototype stage are only optimized for HD capture, the final version of the Rota-Z Ultra will feature 4K-ready beamers.

This ingenious intuition was initially born out of the mind of DP Ulrich Mors in partnership with Chrosziel. They then passed the torch to a group of students at Münster University of Applied Sciences in Germany, led by Prof. Henning Tietz, for further testing.

As with any optical adapter, the benefits of the Rota-Z come at a cost. Indeed, when using the “entry-level” EF-to-E mount version, you will end up losing about 2 stops of light. However, the premium “Ultra” version features an internal Phase Inversion Lighting technology that significantly reduces light loss by a full stop.

This also leads to another major difference between the two models. While the mirrors are rigidly in place and don’t require any additional mechanical or electronic parts to perform this magical, optical trick, the Phase Inversion Lighting of the Rota-Z requires the accessory to be powered by a 3.3V-17V source via D-Tap or USB.

The Chrosziel Rota-Z adapters are still in the prototype stage and will make their first public appearance at NAB Show 2023 in Las Vegas. The company claims that we can expect the PL version to start shipping around December 2023.


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