About CinemaTechnic

Updated 12 May 2016

CinemaTechnic, LLC is a new optical services company, founded in 2016 by Jorge Diaz-Amador. CinemaTechnic provides factory-certified service for professional cinema camera lenses, design and manufacture of cine optics and accessories, custom precision cine optics test equipment and custom modifications for cine lenses.

The original CinemaTechnic, Inc. was established in Miami, FL in 2000 and operated until 2010 The new CinemaTechnic, LLC was established in Hollywood, CA in 2016.

Jorge Diaz-Amador is unique among founders of cine lens service companies in having been a camera owner/operator working in the film production industry for nearly 10 years prior to founding the original CinemaTechnic.

I understand the challenges that owner-operators face because I was one of them in the pre-digital era. Things are even more competitive now. I know what a big risk owner-operators take investing in very costly cine lenses, and the pressure they face to perform on set, where a million different things can go wrong. I feel that eliminating the possibility of problems with the equipment is the least we, as technicians, can do to help the professional working in production.

My goal is to only have the best products and services and take the extra time to give my clients and their equipment personal attention and ensure that their needs are met and that they are completely satisfied.

-Jorge Diaz-Amador

CinemaTechnic is equipped with all the specialized tools needed to properly maintain the latest generation of professional cinematography lenses.

Among the specialized tools employed is a customized Moeller-Wedel Autocollimator, and a P+S Technik / Kish Optics lens projector. The collimator allows for checking back focus and focus/zoom curve on lenses, as well as very accurate back focus calibration of digital cine cameras and viewing screen (ground glass or fiber optic) focus calibration on motion picture film cameras.

A laminar flow cabinet with HEPA filtration as well as micron-level filtered compressed air allows for glass cleaning and  dust-free lens assembly to factory standards. This system also gives excellent results in sensor cleaning.

New, custom made lens testing equipment will be added in 2017. The first project planned is a large-aperture vertical collimator.

A full set of precision tools for servicing Angenieux, Canon, Cooke and Carl Zeiss lenses and ARRI and Moviecam film cameras. Some of the tools are made by the manufacturers, some are Jorge’s own design and custom-made.

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 early 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.

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 and Schneider lenses, and vintage ARRI film cameras such as the 35IIC.

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 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 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.

CinemaTechnic begins performing complete Super 16 conversions 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 super-precision lathe 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 Change

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 4 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 4+” 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.

January 2017 – Construction begins on the new CinemaTechnic workshop in Burbank, CA near ARRI USA Burbank.

March 2017 – Machine Shop and Prototype Room 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.

Optics for Motion Pictures and Digital Cinema

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