Zoetrope Optika – The Camera Forum®
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Zoetrope Optika

Zoetrope Optika

Zoetrope Optika from August Bradley on Vimeo.

No sooner do I finish my story about the new Sony Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 Sonnar, then out pops this fine example of creative filmmaking using it’s sister lens, the Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus.  Without question, the Otus is one outstanding lens.  Especially in the hands of a master filmmaker like August Bradley, with an excellent concept in mind for Zoetrope Optika.  Bradley’s vision and imagination are legendary.  His color pallet and use of the breathtaking sharpness combined with fantastic shallow depth of field work in Zoetrope Optika are exceptional.  Zoetrope Optika was not an inexpensive production, as the best in everything was used to the ultimate benefit – shaping Zoetrope Optika into one beautiful piece of art.

August Bradley gives to this project and us his own perspective, but the inclusion of David Lovejoy’s artistic photographic inventions is what ultimately puts this film over the top for me.  Their inclusion cements the fantasy visual in my mind, allowing my own imagination fill in the blanks in the storyline.  And continue it far beyond…. Magical.  Visual Eye Candy.  Camera Porn.  Absolutely Unabashed Lens Porn Of The First Order.  Along with masterful filmmaking.  Wow, can you tell I really liked this piece of work?  A+ all the way around!

Bradley’s own words on Zoetrope Optika:

“We had early access to the new and innovative Zeiss Otus lens and wanted to work with it on a short concept film. This is the first short film shot on the new lens (it was shot shortly before the lens was released).”

“The ideas in this film are based on my experience at Zeiss Cine Lens Day, where invited cinematographers from around the world toured the Zeiss lens manufacturing facility in Jena, Germany. In addition to manufacturing a wide range of lenses (a process that is both highly mechanized and also involves a significant hands-on human touch), Zeiss makes planetarium projectors and watching the stars in the Zeiss Power Dome had an impact on this short piece as well.”

“When I approached artist David Lovejoy about building a scene with his elaborate fantasy lens machines and planetary sculptures for a Zeiss-inspired project, he was excited and explained the coincidence that it was the Zeiss planetarium projector at Griffith Observatory that inspired him in the first place to create these pieces of sculpture.”

“This project was created by team of people with a lot of talent and passion — they are credited at the end of the piece. Our entire creative team was exceptional, it was a privilege to work with all of them.”

-August Bradley

– – –

Concepted & Directed by: August Bradley (
Artistic Inventions: Dave Lovejoy (
Music: Big Swede (
Actress: Melinda Cohen (
Cinematography: Joe Tamel & August Bradley
Designer: Louis Verdad
Stylist: Patty Cruz
Hair Stylist: Anna Estella Patterson
Makeup Artist: Mynxii White



Chuck Jones

Digital Media Producer, Photographer, Video Storyteller, Cinemagraph Master. Only Semi-Reformed Hippy. Managing Editor of http://TheCameraForum.Com

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