About CinemaTechnic

Originally founded in 2000, CinemaTechnic has evolved over the years from servicing professional motion picture film cameras, to specializing in high-end optics for cinematography. After nearly 20 years in the film industry, we have now shifted into a technology and innovation company melding science and engineering with art and design.

Our focus is now on helping larger companies develop innovative new products, with a concentration on imaging systems. Future areas we will be exploring include: computer vision, robotics, autonomous systems, UAV’s, wheeled vehicles and more.

The original CinemaTechnic, Inc. was established in Miami, FL in 2000 and operated until January 2010. The new CinemaTechnic, LLC was established in Hollywood, CA in 2016. (NOTE: CinemaTechnic is no longer operates California as of 06/2019)

We are located in the historic Pepperell Mill Campus in Biddeford, ME

CinemaTechnic History:

1994-1997: Founding and Early Stages

With the help of Jorge’s father Orlando, the original company Diaz-Amador Productions, Inc. is formed, based in Miami, FL. Jorge begins working as a cinematographer, first camera assistant and ARRI film camera owner-operator, based in the South Florida area.

He is involved in the 1990’s Independent Film movement, and works on many projects, including the feature films Fractured, Never Look Back and Suicide Blonde, music videos for various artists including Shakira, and countless commercial spots.

Always a mechanically inclined creative type, Jorge designs his first camera accessory, a modification of a Cinema Products J5 Zoom Control to make it compatible with the Arriflex 16SR.

CinemaTechnic workbench 2002
The original CinemaTechnic workbench in 2002

The original CinemaTechnic workshop in Miami. In this photo a vintage Kinoptic Tegea 9.8mm prime lens is being serviced.

1998: Transition to Technical Services

A short lived and long forgotten rental house hires Jorge as their film camera and lens technician while he is still freelancing in film production. He takes the first steps in the long path to becoming a master level technician by servicing vintage Cooke, Schneider and Zeiss lenses, and vintage ARRI film cameras such as the Arriflex 35IIC.

The second camera accessory designed by Jorge Diaz-Amador, a bracket to adapt ARRI 15mm studio rods to Panavision 5/8″ side rods was designed and built during this time.

Richter Collimator
The original Richter Cine autocollimator that helped start CinemaTechnic.

1999: Tooling Up

The original tool set comes together: a Richter Cine autocollimator, a set of ARRI film camera service tools and Sherline miniature lathe and mill. Jorge begins doing film camera and lens service for a select group of customers.

Angenieux 11.5-138mm custom zoom gear by CinemaTechnic
Custom support ring and lens support post, large zoom gear and right-side focal length scale for Angenieux 11.5-138mm HR lens. Developed in 2000, this was the first CinemaTechnic cine lens modification.

2000: Name Change to CinemaTechnic, Inc.

CinemaTechnic is chosen as the new name for the company. The first CinemaTechnic camera product was the Superlite Bridgeplate for the Arriflex 16SR.  The first custom cine lens modification by CinemaTechnic is an upgrade for the Angenieux 11.5-138mm HR zoom, providing a larger zoom gear, additional focal length scale visible from the right side of camera, and an integrated lens support.  Jorge begins doing independent film camera and lens service full-time, while also developing new products.

2001: CinemaTechnic.com Website Launched

The CinemaTechnic.com website goes live on the first day of the new millennium, and eBay sales begin. A partnership begins with P+S Technik of Munich, Germany to provide upgrades for the ARRI 16SR series cameras.

2002: Film Camera & Lens Service, Southern Justice

Motion picture film camera and lens service increases. Principal photography on Jorge’s last feature film as Director of Photography Southern Justice filmed in Super 16mm. Afterward Jorge concentrates on CinemaTechnic’s service business and only works occasionally on short duration film productions, such as the short film Thanksgiving.

CinemaTechnic PL mount for ARRI 16SR
An ARRI 16SR-II upgraded to Super-16 format with a CinemaTechnic PL mount conversion.

2003: In-House Super 16 Conversions Begin

In response to a customer request for a conversion that P+S would not perform, Jorge develops an Arriflex Bayonet mount Super 16 conversion for the ARRI 16SR.

This began CinemaTechnic’s heavy involvement in ARRI Super 16 conversions that was to last several years. Complete Super 16 conversions were being performed  in-house by Feburary, and a PL mount version is developed later in that year. Customers include Eastman Kodak, NFL Films and multiple university film programs.

CZ_Badge_JDA_2004
Carl Zeiss Badge
Jorge Diaz-Amador at Zeiss Oberkochen 2004
Jorge during service training at Carl Zeiss Oberkochen in 2004.

2004: Lens Service goes into Top Gear – Training at Carl Zeiss

Jorge’s first service training at Carl Zeiss in Oberkochen, Germany. He is certified for the Ultra Prime lenses. The purchase of a rare Swiss-made Schaublin 102N  brings CinemaTechnic’s metalworking capability to the highest standard.

Jorge Diaz-Amador at Cooke Optics in 2005
Jorge during training at Cooke Optics, Leicester in 2005.

2005: Continued Growth, Training at Cooke Optics

Service training at Cooke Optics Leicester, England. Jorge is certified for the Cooke S4 lenses. CinemaTechnic now has customers throughout the world.

Lens Test Projector
Century Precision Lens Test Projector

2006: Upgraded Optical Test Equipment, Construction of New Workshop

CinemaTechnic acquires a super-precision Möeller-Wedel autocollimator. Along with a Century Precision Lens Test Projector, these instruments form the cornerstone of CinemaTechnic’s optical testing equipment.

Checking FFD of Red One camera on Collimator
Moeller-Wedel autocollimator being used to precisely set flange focal distance on a RED ONE camera.

2008: The Great Recession and Collapse of Film Camera Service

In the grips of the worst recession since WWII, and the introduction of inexpensive large sensor digital cinema cameras, demand for ARRI film camera service collapses. CinemaTechnic begin to focus exclusively on cine lens service.

CinemaTechnic Workshop 2009 Anamorphic
The CinemaTechnic workshop in 2009. This image was captured with a LOMO anamorphic prime lens.

2009: A Difficult Year Leads to Big Changes

The difficult conditions from 2008 continue into 2009. Operations of the original CinemaTechnic begin winding down in preparation for relocation to Southern California.

Jorge Diaz-Amador in Burbank, CA 2010
Jorge in Burbank, CA 2010

2010: Move to Los Angeles, Zeiss Level 5 Service Partner Training

Jorge relocates to the Los Angeles area in January to begin working full-time at AbelCineTech in Burbank, CA as lead lens technician. The original CinemaTechnic of Florida ceases operations in 2010.

In October he attends an intense two week service training at Carl Zeiss Oberkochen, covering the service of every currently manufactured Zeiss cine lens product and every test instrument.

Jorge receives a new certificate that certifies him for service on every current Zeiss lens. This is the highest level of training (known as “Level 5” Authorized Service Partner) available to anyone outside of direct employment by Carl Zeiss.  After 12 years of dedicated work, master technician status is attained.

Jorge Diaz-Amador at Carl Zeiss Oberkochen 2010
Jorge Diaz-Amador learning to use the Zeiss K8 MTF Tester at Carl Zeiss Oberkochen, October 2010

2011: Jorge Becomes Lead Technician at a Carl Zeiss Authorized Service Center

The Carl Zeiss Authorized Service Center for the U.S., North and South America opens at AbelCine Burbank. At the time Jorge is the only lens technician working there. He is authorized to do warranty service, including taking apart brand new Master Primes to correct problems without voiding the factory warranty and avoiding having to send the lens back to Germany. For a time Jorge is the only person in the U.S. authorized to do this work.

2014: Angenieux and Canon Training

Jorge attends service training for Angenieux Optimo and Canon CN-E Cine lenses.

2015: Change Brings New Opportunities

April – Jorge leaves AbelCine to join Applied Minds doing contract work as an electro-optical  imaging and vision systems rapid prototyping engineer. He  works on projects such as the Genworth R70i Aging Experience Suit and the Applied Minds KiraVan Expedition Vehicle, plus other undisclosed projects. Since he is no longer working for a company in the motion picture equipment business, Jorge is free to pursue his cine lens projects.

Modified Zeiss Standard Primes
Set of Zeiss Standard Primes modified by CinemaTechnic

November 2015 – A partial re-housing of a set of vintage Zeiss Standard Primes is completed. It includes custom PL mounts, focus gears and new laser engraved focus scales. Development begins on custom lens test equipment projects, including the long focal length autocollimator and adjustment test projector.

2016: CinemaTechnic, LLC of California Founded

January 2016 – CinemaTechnic.com website begins a major update.

February 2016 -CinemaTechnic.com moves to a new server and CMS platform,  modernizing the site.

March 2016 – CinemaTechnic, LLC of California is established

April 2016 – CinemaTechnic opens its new location in the heart of the Hollywood Media District.

Summer-Fall 2016: Increased interest in film origination results in a pronounced increase in Motion Picture Film Camera service. CinemaTechnic is one of the few facilities in the U.S. that is equipped to service vintage cinema cameras.

2017: Move into larger Burbank Facility

January 2017 – Construction begins on the new CinemaTechnic workshop in Burbank, CA near J.L. Fisher and ARRI USA’s original West Coast office.

March 2017 – Prototyping Shop  completed.

April 2017 – Clean Room / Lens Workshop completed
Collaboration with P+S Technik to support their vintage lens re-housings in the U.S.

May 20, 2017 – Grand Opening Event in conjunction with Hot Rod Cameras and J.L. Fisher.

May 27-28 – CinemaTechnic teams up with ShareGrid for the Ultimate Anamorphic Lens Test.

June 2017: CinemaTechnic becomes the only authorized service center for P+S Technik lenses in the U.S.

July 2017: A super-precision Hardinge HLV-H is added to CinemaTechnic’s prototype shop, greatly expanding capabilities.

October 2017: A series of Cine Lens events is held at Hot Rod cameras, focusing on Sigma, Carl Zeiss, Leica and ARRI lenses. At each event Jorge gives a entry-level technical talk about lens qualities.

November 2017: CinemaTechnic begins offering a reconditioning and calibration service for Richter Cine collimators. Development of the IMS Conversion and Digital Conversion for Richter Cine M2 Focal Plane Micrometer.

2018: Richter Collimator Calibration / Upgrades, Upgraded Equipment, P+S Technik Service Training

March 2018: First prototype IMS Mount conversion for Richter Cine Collimators

April 2018:  A large-aperture long focal length focusing Moeller-Wedel autocollimator is added to our equipment.

June 2018: Service training with Peter Eckenweber of P+S Technik on the Evolutinon 2x Anamorphic lenses

August 2018: First iPhone compatible version of the Padcaster Optical Relay

November 2018: First prototype of new EF Mount  for Richter Cine Collimators.

2019: Transition to Product Design and Research and Development

April 2019: The Padcaster Uni-Verse compact Director’s Viewfinder prototype (optical relay and housing designed by Jorge Diaz-Amador) is completed. The physical prototype for the optical relay system is built in the CinemaTechnic workshop.

The Uni-Verse, consisting of a compact optical relay system with lens mount (Sony E mount version in the photos), and a Micro-PL mount that allows it to quickly attach to the smartphone cage.

Padcaster Uni-Verse Prototype: Director’s Viewfinder (E-mount version) for Apple iPhone
Testing the Padcaster Uni-Verse Prototype

Above: Testing the Uni-Verse with a Leica-R Summicron 50mm and an iPhone 7+. The system preserves the field of view, depth of field, and the character of the lens being used. Resolution is sufficient for 4k cinematography on the iPhone.

April 2019: The Padcaster Uni-Verse first public showing at NAB in Las Vegas.

May 2019: Second showing, and first hands-on demos  of the Padcaster Uni-Verse at the Pacific Northwest Lens Summit at Koerner Camera in Portland, Oregon

June 2019: CinemaTechnic, LLC ends business operations in California at the end of June.

August 2019: CinemaTechnic relocates to Portland, Maine.

September 2019: New workshop space within the historic Pepperell Mill Campus in Biddeford, Maine begins setup. The Padcaster Uni-Verse is shown at IBC in Amsterdam.

Optics for Motion Pictures and Digital Cinema

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