Cine Dealer Takeover – Hot Rod

About Hot Rod Cameras

When it comes to lenses and cameras it’s not too hard to find a company that can sell you equipment.  There are fewer places that can repair a broken camera or lens, and even fewer can use, train you to use, and successfully integrate the products they sell.  

There are few companies that will sell equipment and also create original products.  But the absolute rarest of the rare, is a company that does all of the above, and also influences the industries they serve.  In just 11-years Hot Rod Cameras has become one of those outlying companies.

Hot Rod Cameras Showroom in Burbank, CA

Hot Rod is a premiere dealer for every major brand of camera, lens, lighting and all related equipment covering production and post.  Hot Rod is the exclusive home of several brands and enjoys a reputation for concierge level sales, service, training, custom solutions and support to the most diverse customer base in the world; including Hollywood and foreign studios, individual industry professionals, production companies, corporations, government organizations, academia, and students.

Hot Rod Cameras Founder, Illya Friedman

Founded in 2009 by Illya Friedman, Hot Rod Cameras started off as a manufacturer of original industry-changing products that became adopted by mainstream Hollywood and is widely credited with kicking off a movement of professional productions using small cameras.  Hot Rod quickly grew and diversified offerings and is now a high-end and unique retail experience with a policy of price matching competitors and specializing in extreme technical competence.

“We are often asked to do something very complex, like building a 4K multi-camera studio from scratch, lights, sound, everything.  And sometimes it’s something very simple.  What makes Hot Rod different is that we treat every request the same and help our clients with earnest consideration.  It’s probably the main reason Hot Rod’s clients are fiercely loyal.” 

This kind of customer experience has proven to be so popular that Hot Rod recently moved into a 7,000 square foot retail space in the heart of the Burbank’s production district.  Hot Rod’s new building also contains a 4K screening room and podcasting studio where CinePod – The Cinematography Podcast is recorded every week.

As part of the Sigma social media takeover, a special mini-episode of the podcast was created and shared on Sigma’s Facebook page.   You can watch/listen to it right now and hear Michael FitzMaurice, who served as an Aerial Director of Photography on the new Top Gun: Maverick talk about working with Sigma Cinema lenses.

Cinematographer Michael FitzMaurice

Contact Hot Rod Cameras

Cine Dealer Takeover – AbelCine

About AbelCine

AbelCine was established in 1989 as a service company by Pete and Rich Abel, two brothers who started on the bench as camera technicians. They expanded the company’s offerings through their close relationship with their customers as the needs of production professionals evolved. Their integrated model provides all the products and services that professional content creators need to understand, evaluate, and produce high-quality digital video. Over the years, they grew from a service company to a sophisticated sales, rental, and service organization.

“We carry over 150 product lines, carefully curated to offer the most relevant professional gear available. We specialize in outfitting features, episodics, non-scripted, multi-camera, and more through our rental department.”

One of their essential skills is to work with the customer every step of the way, no matter their knowledge level. Long time veterans or fresh new filmmakers receive the same undivided attention from the AbelCine team. Not only to provide the best equipment but also to help educate on any topic and to provide outstanding technical support. 

“Thanks to these deep roots in service, our offerings are always crafted with the needs and satisfaction of the professional customers in mind.”

Service and Technology

As to be expected from a company founded by camera technicians, AbelCine provides expert in-depth knowledge of the ever-changing technological landscape. Their ability to adapt to emerging technology allows them to integrate that expertise into all aspects of their customer service. AbelCine’s team can support customers in all aspects of video production, from equipment rental and equipment sales and finance to tech services, integration, and training.

“While technology continues to redefine the boundaries of what’s possible at a breakneck pace, consider us your grounding, your back room, your source.”

Their highly trained techs provide general maintenance and repair of most pro cameras, lenses, and accessories. Their NY and LA facilities are equipped with advanced optical calibration equipment, and they’re authorized to perform warranty repairs for several top optics lines. They also calibrate monitors and projectors to scientific industry standards.


AbelCine innovates based on their customer’s needs, and one facet of that was the need for more educational opportunities. Their interactive showrooms and lab environments allow customers to get hands-on with gear and evaluate it all side by side. They implement in-person learning with workshops taught in small groups by experienced instructors. .  

Educating customers is not limited to just the store; they have curated a robust online experience as well. They’ve adapted their in-person workshops into virtual learning, giving their customers the ability to learn and grow from their own computers. They cover courses for camera operators, digital image technicians, independent filmmakers, post-production editors, and anyone else looking to expand their knowledge base. AbelCine even goes as far as providing custom training for those who wish for complete flexibility in terms of educational scope, training style, and subjects. 

“At AbelCine, we believe in the power of the moving image to evoke, enlighten, and inspire.”

Sigma and AbelCine

Whether you’re a Sigma photographer or cinematographer, AbelCine carries both the latest still lens line and the cine lens line. They’ve hosted a variety of Sigma related events such as “Gear & Schmear: Sigma Cine Lenses” and “Sigma Lens Night at AbelCine.” They typically see Sigma customers as individual owners/operators, working professionals in the cinema space, and institutions such as film schools.

“Sigma lenses offer some of the best value in our market. They offer cine style optics and features at very competitive pricing.”

Contact AbelCine

In addition to their interactive showrooms in NY, LA, and CHI, they have state-of-the-art theaters where they host workshops and events. 

Their rental facilities in NY and LA are built for comfort and efficiency. Private areas are available for large jobs, and all their bays are equipped with state-of-the-art resolution analysis systems. Their service facilities have earned authorized service status from a number of manufacturers.

Cine Dealer Takeover – Band Pro Film & Digital

About Band Pro

For the past 35 years, Band Pro has been one of the best one stop shops for cinematographers, videographers and professional filmmakers. Their wide range of equipment and accessories spans across all needs from audio, batteries, cable, lighting, lenses, filters, monitors, tripods and more. Band Pro also supplies technical and warranty repairs with their on-site engineers. However, they set themselves apart by not only supporting filmmakers but by being filmmakers themselves.  Band Pro was built on knowing how production tools perform and helping their clients navigate what tools will work best for them. When a Tai Chi master came  into town, Band Pro jumped at the opportunity to make him the subject of a short film and to shoot with the Sigma Cine Prime lenses. 

Artist Profile: Adam Mizner

Sifu Adam Mizner (founder of Heaven Man Earth Internal Arts International) discusses and demonstrates T’ai Chi Ch’uan.

Testing Sigma Lenses on Set

The main goal for shooting with Sigma lenses was to see the color transmission, resolution and, most importantly, just how it is to use them in a real shoot. They also needed to see how well the Sigma Cine Prime lenses can match with other brands. 

“We wanted to see what could be accomplished with these Sigma lenses especially at the wider and longer end of the focal length, and to play around with them at T1.5-T2.”

The camera package for this film consisted of the Sigma Cine Prime lenses, Angenieux EZ zooms, and the Sony FS7II. The Sigmas were able to blend seamlessly together even with the significant price difference between the Sigma Cine Primes and Angenieux EZ zooms. 

“Once the subject matter was determined, Sigma primes made sense.  We knew we had plenty of architecture, people and colors, and also we wanted a long lens to isolate people against the horizon in kind of a 2D shot”

Band Pro knew that to truly understand the Sigma Cine lenses they needed to highlight their strength as well as thoroughly stress test them. They felt shooting at the beautiful Korean Friendship Bell would be the perfect backdrop for this test.

“We wanted to get all the detail on the carvings, and also just shoot wild style handheld and go hunting for focus, doc style.”

Now that it’s all said and done, the film completed, edited, and distributed. What does Band Pro have to say as their final thoughts on using the Sigma Cine Prime lenses:

“A great option for a budget-minded, crystal clear modern look prime lens set.”

Check out Band Pro

If you’re curious about the film or want to learn more details about the equipment used in the film, look no further than Band Pro in Burbank, CA. If you can’t stop by in person, they offer phone calls, video calls, and direct loans. Band Pro can even set up a time with the filmmaker of Artist Profile: Adam Mizner to share his hands-on knowledge from using the products on a shoot and taking the whole thing all the way through post. 

Cine Dealer Takeover – B&H

About B&H

With nearly half a million items in stock for photographers, musicians, and creative professionals, B&H has earned its household name. They carry both the newest and greatest tech but also hard to find electronic collectibles. They have a strict focus on helping customers over making sales; their expert team is there to make sure you find precisely what you’re looking for and need. Customers can walk-in knowing that B&H carries what they’re looking for with a New York superstore that spans over 70,000 square feet. 

B&H and Customer Support

B&H is not only a retailer but also a source for product demos, in house experts, and educational discounts. They don’t just hire sales associates but instead train all employees as in-house specialists, so you go in confident with any technical questions. With a store that expands 11 football fields, B&H holds as many as 10,000 demo products. If you need an in-depth tutorial, then you can make an appointment with the “tech corner” for a more personalized experience. If you’re a teacher or student looking to expand your knowledge, then you can head over to B&H EDU Advantage. There you can find a collection of available experts as well as significant discounts on all the tools you need to exceed. 

B&H with NAB Express

Recently, B&H has been the official retail partner of this year’s NAB Express. An online NAB experience with content curated and customized for the global media and entertainment community. B&H is helping NAB Express to provide industry-leading technology partners to update you on the latest gear and trends for workflows and solutions. They will also be unveiling exclusive access to deals and promotions.

Click Here to check out the Sigma page on NAB Express

B&H Contact

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