Installed across the globe and now at SUNSTUDIOS Sydney, the MYT Works Opti-Glide System is here to remove any guess-work from the camera checkout process, eliminate doubt and save time that could be better spent shooting. Company founder and product designer Etienne Sauret spoke to Sunroom about how he’s used knowledge from his film maker days to revolutionise products for modern cameras.
Image by Sergio Martin
Who is the Opti-Glide System designed for and what makes it unique?
In the industry we are known for our slider systems - very accurate systems. Around five years ago a company asked us if we could do a chart system that would have the same level of smooth start and stop and precision.
We said, “Yes, of course we can do it!” then, the next thing you know, we got carried away.
It took us around three years and we developed a far more sophisticated system than we anticipated originally. And we decided to add a host of features that were never available before.
We thought making the process faster was equally important to the client as it was for the rental house, and also what was very important was to have an extremely accurate system, so that when people check out a lens, there’s no hesitation knowing it’s perfect.
My background is as a filmmaker, so I’ve done numerous checkouts in films that I’ve done.
Image by Sergio Martin
The number one thing we noticed is that people had troubles with other charts moving, wobbling slightly and taking a long time to settle. It might move ¾ of an inch or an inch – which was acceptable 20 years ago. But now with digital cameras and much higher resolutions, that’s absolutely not acceptable anymore.
So number one – we wanted to resolve that. Number two: we wanted to reduce the time taken to complete checkout in an average session. Say if someone is taking out a bunch of prime lenses and a zoom, they walk somewhere between 40-90 times between the pedestal/tripod and the chart, to adjust it and measure it with a laser. We asked how do we reduce that or eliminate it completely? That had never been tackled before.
There is no other system in the world that does what ours does:
We give an instant digital read out of the distance to the camera film plane. In real time. So, as you move the chart, the numbers change in real time, accurately, down to 500th of an inch. Which is an insane amount of accuracy! So no more need of a laser, or measuring tape to line up with the film plane and to the chart to measure. We felt it was important to have a calibration-free system that offers an instant digital read out, in any measurement – whether it is feet, inches, mm, centimetres, you name it. You just need to line up the laser to the film plane, and you’re done. And it’s in real time.
We’ve provided a system where people no longer have to moving back and forth between the pedestal and the chart. That’s why we developed the crank system. So you can look through the view finder and move the chart back and forth. And very accurately – you can feather it in and out. That was also an industry first.
I think it’s the same in Australia and the States where here people are paid by the day rate so if they go out of the session in six hours rather than seven-and-a-half, everyone is happy. So is the rental house. We also made the process as intuitive as it can be. There’s no tutorial needed for staff to show clients how to use the system. People use it and they are just blown away because it’s so accurate and it’s also much faster.
Image by Sergio Martin
There is certainly nothing like it. For us it is something that nearly brought the company to its knees because we certainly got carried away!
For us the most important thing is to save the client time, and to give them reassurance.
How much time does it save people generally?
In broad strokes, if you check anywhere from six-nine primes (which is a pretty standard package, plus a zoom) and let’s say you check four different distances for each lens. That’s 50 times walking back and forth at different distances - at least 45 minutes to an hour saved. Definitely more once you get used to the system as you can get faster. Beyond the speed, it’s also an insurance as once you check your lens on this system, it’s hard to argue with it.
And if you can remove doubt for someone responsible for lenses on a shoot that could cost tens of thousands of dollars per day, or hundreds, minimising any potential for doubt during the shoot is invaluable.
The Opti-Glide System is now installed at SUNSTUDIOS Sydney. Speak to our rental team about accessing before your next shoot.