Camera System Details
For the past 15 years he’s been making natural history films, mostly underwater and has filmed in locations from the equator to Antarctica. He’s also worked as a DOP on features and live performances, predominantly using cine-style camera setups: RED Epic cameras (of which he owns two), Arri Master Prime and Leica lenses and variety of camera motion and fixed grips.
His films have won many awards, including the "Best Documentary" award at the New York International Film Festival, two awards at the International Wildlife Film Festival and the First Prize, Gold Camera Award at the US International Film and Video Festival.
“My underwater filming passion was always associated with my drive to achieve better images underwater,” he says. “I have always been designing and building optical ports, housings and underwater lighting. Four years ago I designed a CinePort™, which to my knowledge still remains the sharpest and the highest contrast underwater port ever made”.
Over a year ago, with his background in structural engineering (in which he holds a master’s degree), he started feasibility and performance testing of Nikon Nikonos submersible lenses with the intention of adapting them to underwater motion picture usage. In the process, he’s now patented a new style of underwater housing, with the lens actually outside the housing – making the best use of genuine underwater lenses.
“As a scientist, I knew that I could not improve anything without the ability to measure or quantify the performance of underwater optics,” said Pawel. “I have built several testing rigs allowing me to measure MTF (modulation transfer function) of underwater ports and lenses. From those tests I learned that Nikonos lenses were the only underwater optics actually able to match (and surpass) the performance of 5k sensors”.
It’s a lens and housing combination that eliminates the considerable image degradation that’s found with conventional lens housings. Perhaps for the first time ever, he’s now producing underwater images that a genuinely sharp from one edge of the picture to the other. He’s called the housings DeepX and 3Deep (for 3D) and is now overseeing the manufacture of the first batch for international export.
With his Red cameras and new housing, Pawel is currently based in the middle of the Freycinet National Park on the east coast of Tasmania, on a private nature reserve, where he has built his own film studio - just 15 minutes from some of the best underwater and terrestrial wilderness in the world.