Three Lenses on One Camera at Once – VERTIGO by MultiTurret Coming To Kickstarter Soon

At long-last, VERTIGO by MultiTurret (spelled Multi Turret in the past), a multiple-lens turret for EF and select PL mount lenses, will be available to the masses through a Kickstarter campaign from June 3rd – 8th. You might remember this nifty contraption from our coverage of NAB 2019. Let’s look at how it has changed since then!

We originally reported about this fantastic invention by award-winning cinematographer Ian Kerr, CSC, at NAB 2019. Check out our post from NAB 2019 Multi Turret – Three Lenses at Once on Your Camera. We even gave Ian one of our coveted Best-of-Show Awards at NAB 2019.

It was only a prototype then; however, Ian has spent the last four years traveling all over the globe testing the MultiTurret and is finally ready to bring it to market.

Ian Kerr VERTIGO Inventor | Image source: Multiturret

“After the overwhelming response at NAB 2019 to the MultiTurret, I’ve spent the past four years beating the s*** out of the prototype, and it’s still working great!”

Ian Kerr csc

Creating the VERTIGO lens turret

VERTIGO mounted on AMIRA (left) pictured next to ARRIFLEX film camera with turret (right) | Image source: Multiturret

Ian initially developed VERTIGO to allow himself to properly cover a documentary scene with a single camera. Beginning his career in the days of Betcam and Super 16mm film, Ian recalls a time when two zoom lenses were all he needed in his bag.

I’d generally travel with two zooms: An 11:1 “wide” zoom and a 21:1 “standard” zoom. With these two lenses I could cover any scene between a conversation in a car or bathroom, to a nature shot of a largish animal in the wilderness,” Ian says. What’s more, he could switch between the two lenses in seconds and not miss crucial moments.

Canon 17-120 vs VERTIGO | Image source: Multiturret

Things changed with the development of large sensor cameras. The range of the zoom lenses Ian cherished does not exist in the world of 35mm sensors. “An Optimo 24-290mm (12:1) weighs 24 pounds (!) and gave me half the reach of my old 21:1. Oh, it also cost twice what the 21x lens did and forget using it handheld,” he recalls.

Ian had to carry many lenses in his camera bag to get the same coverage. All these lenses meant more lens changes, downtime, and missed moments. After several years of tinkering with various methods to speed up his workflow, he finally realized, “I need a bloody lens turret!“.

That’s when Ian got to work on what would eventually become VERTIGO.

VERTIGO design and key features

Image source: Multiturret

VERTIGO is a three-lens turret adapter that accepts EF or PL lenses and works with a camera with an E or RF lens mount. The dual plate design incorporates electronic contacts that allow the lenses to be fully controllable by the camera when rotated into position.

It can be mounted and unmounted from an E-mount camera within 5 seconds. The system is bolted to Arri and Red cameras, requiring about 2 minutes for installation and removal.

Image source: Multiturret

The VERTIGO turret weighs approximately 2 lbs (1 kg) plus the weight of the lenses you choose. They note that “A set of three Canon L-series lenses plus the VERTIGO is roughly 8 lbs – similar to the weight of a Canon 17-120 T3 zoom but half the length.”

The benefits of using a turret design over a large, heavy zoom lens include:

  • Quickly switch between lenses
  • Select multiple focal lengths while using prime lenses
  • Reduced length and weight compared to larger zooms
  • Customizing lens package for the scene.

VERTIGO design updates

Image source: Multiturret

After rigorously testing the lens turret since its first debut at NAB 2019, Ian has been working hard with improvements to his original design.

The VERTIGO prototype, when not attached to a camera and without lenses. Image source: CineD

The latest design incorporates refinements to make the system lighter, more versatile, and easier to use in the field.

  • Reduced material and overall weight
  • Allows for threaded flanges / grips
  • Adds thumb rest for rotation leverage
  • Adds threads for .08 geared ring accessory
  • Allowance for lens support bracket
  • Increased clearance for select EF & PL lenses
  • Adds kickstand rigging threads

Useful tool or niche product?

Ian Kerr with VERTIGO | Image source: Multiturret

As an award-winning cinematographer, Ian Kerr believes in the value of this product. He developed it to solve real problems he was having in the field.

However, if you don’t feel the same way or if you’d like a good laugh, head over to the Mean Comments section of MultiTurret’s site. Ian took the time to sit down and respond to some of the negative comments he has received about the turret since it first debuted online.

Kickstarter campaign starting soon

the Lensturret / lens turret called Vertigo by Multiturret, on a Sony FX6 and a Sony FX9
The VERTIGO by Multiturret on a Sony FX9 (background) and a Sony FX6 (foreground). Image source: CineD

A Kickstarter campaign to produce a limited number of VERTIGO turrets will run from June 3-8. The VERTIGO will initially work with the Sony FX9, FS7, and Venice cameras, but the campaign will help determine which future cameras will be supported. 

Information about the price of VERTIGO or when the final product will ship has yet to be released. We’ll report about it again when we know more and when the campaign has started.

Visit MultiTurret’s site to learn more about VERTIGO and subscribe to the Kickstarter mailing list for updates. 

At the end of every crowdfunding-related article, we remind you to please be aware of the risks when backing a project on a crowdfunding platform. Please read the platform’s terms of use and remember there can be significant delays when delivering the product. Some projects don’t get delivered at all.

What do you think about the VERTIGO? Would this tool help speed up your workflow in the field? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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