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A PV mount is a lens mount developed by Panavision for use with both 16 mm and 35 mm movie cameras. It is the only mount offered with Panavision cameras and Panavision-designed lenses, and since the company only rents its equipment, this is likely to remain an exclusive arrangement for the time being. However, Panavision also modifies ("Panavises") its third party camera and lens equipment in the interest of allowing clients to retain their personal preferences regarding equipment. As they are the only company who can offer this, customers wanting to use Panavision lenses on non-Panavision cameras or vice versa must rent this equipment directly through Panavision.
The mount itself contains four pronged flanges, one of which contains a locating pin in the center. This pin must be seated at the bottom of the camera lens mount, the only place in the seating where a complementary hole exists. Whilst this means that the lens can only be oriented in one position, which may be perceived as a disadvantage in certain shooting conditions, as Panavision lenses are indexed on both sides, this issue is practically moot. (Although this was originally likely by design to prevent mis-orienting anamorphic optics, it remains an issue for spherical lenses.) The mount is locked into place using a friction locking ring which, in conjunction with the four prongs of the flange, creates a very strong lens seating. This has become a crucial factor in recent years, as bigger lenses with zoom capabilities, longer focal lengths, or larger lens elements have raised the bar on requirements for mount stability. Furthermore, the tendency is for flange focal distance to become a more critical factor as sharper lenses, film stock with higher resolving power, and post-production workflows which preserve more of the original camera negative's information continue to make technological progress and advancement. Flange focal distance is also more likely to be rigorously checked as tastes for wider angle lenses continue to push the envelope, as wider lenses have a much narrower tolerance for lens displacement. Because of all of these reasons, along with the exclusivity of the mount for virtually all shoots renting from Panavision, the PV mount has become a massive success since it was first released in conjunction with the Panaflex in 1972. Because of the strength of the mount, it remains, along with the Arri PL, one of only two lens mounts still in major usage by a large number of professional productions.
- Flange focal distance: 57.15 mm
- Diameter: 49.50 mm
- 35 mm all Panavision models and several Arri and Moviecam models (as available)
- 16 mm Panavision "Elaine", several Arri and Aaton models (as available)
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