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Messages - Policar

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EOS Bodies / Re: A New Cinema EOS DSLR Body in 2013? [CR1]
« on: December 29, 2012, 04:02:21 PM »

From the perspective of post, both RAW and 4k are a pain in the ass. The Alexa (which has an image sharper than 35mm when shot at 2.5k RAW and very close at 1080p). is so popular because of this. It's what's used on most new TV productions and its image is generally more pleasing than the Red's. It's easier to work with, too. Why do you need better than that? Are your videos going theatrical? Are your clients screening at 4k? We don't even have affordable 4k monitors to post on. There will be a significant market for 4k video some day soon, but until then "true" 1080p is extremely sharp, and a $6000 C100 is cheap enough that replacing it in five years (without replacing any lenses) won't break the bank.

I think your perception of the advantages of Raw are all wrong. In a way, it's easier for big budget productions to get away with not shooting in raw because they can light everything very well on set. For the indie guy, Raw affords the artist a lot of latitude to nail the proper exposure and WB in post. Just like film, there is more detail to recover in the shadows and highlights using RAW.

In short, Raw offers the same advantages for cinema as it does for photography, and these advantages are far from trivial.

Now, i agree that it can be a pain in the ass in post, but if you get the right workstation it's easily managed.  And within a couple of years the firepower needed to handle the Raw workflow (at least in 1080) will become standard issue.

What leads you to believe any of that? The Alexa has far better latitude than the Epic and is MUCH easier to light for; DPs I've worked with who've worked with both always say as much, and I've been on set with the two as A/B cams and the difference in highlight rendering is very dramatic in the Alexa's favor, despite it recording Prores 444 (at 10 bit) and not 14 bit RAW. This is because the Alexa has two gain paths and it merges a tremendous amount of information into one high quality, very gradeable flat image. I've posted extensively on both Alexa and Red (for TV, in 1080p) and the Alexa footage is much more flexible with better latitude. The only situation in which RAW offered me an advantage was when white balance was totally off, but that's a sign of an incompetent DP.

What experience has led you to believe what you've written? Because it contradicts what everyone else who has used those two cameras has found. The footage coming out of the Alexa looks nothing like your dSLR jpegs. It's flat and in a true log colorspace and has more latitude by far than any other video or still system.

Furthermore, 1080p raw would be a terrible format to work in; the "real" resolution would be 2/3s that at best. And 4k raw downscaled to 1080p takes all the horsepower of debayering and then the horsepower of downscaling for a deliverable that will ultimately not be much sharper than "true" 1080p (like out of the c100 and c300) in the first place. Those are "4k" bayer cameras; they just do an immediate conversion to "true" 1080p; unfortunately they have fake log curves and poor dynamic range. Fwiw, I've rendered hours of red footage (both in 4k and quad hd) on super high end mac pro work stations maxed out with ram and it takes days and days without red's $5,000 proprietary card. With CUDA you could surely get real time 1080p raw, but that's got the equivalent sharpness of 720p at best. You're talking out your ass about this stuff, frankly. Some day something similar will be here, but it's not as close as we think and in that time you can recoup the low cost of a camera system purchase (spend more money on the lenses than the camera).

Rent an Alexa. Rent an Epic. Shoot difficult footage side by side. Post side by side. Then get back to me on how much inherently better RAW is than Prores.

EOS Bodies / Re: A New Cinema EOS DSLR Body in 2013? [CR1]
« on: December 28, 2012, 06:48:19 PM »
1080p is IMO sufficient for 99% of all applications and if 1080p beamers in GOOD quality are roughly 1000 EUR/$ we will wait another 10 years.

I agree. 1080p looks surprisingly very good, even on a big screen. A whole generation of movies (the vast majority of DIs from the past decade) were done at 2k or a least with VFX done at 2k (2048X1080 at 1.85:1), so if 4k media requires 4k resolution then we are in trouble. The difference between a 2k and 4k scan is pretty trivial and has more to do with avoiding aliasing (oversampling) than producing signifiant additional sharpness. First generation 35mm prints have significantly more resolution than 1080p video, but the sharpness (area under the mtf curve) is not that different. Toy Story was originally rendered just above 720p. Most theatrical prints have around the same resolution as 720p video after they've played for a little while and on imperfectly calibrated projectors. I don't think 4k content distributors will ignore any movie posted in 2k so we will get 4k releases of movies posted in 2k the same way we have blu rays of 28 Days Later. Remember Avatar was shot at 1080p. But 4k is important for marketing because 3D HDTVs failed to catch on. It is also important from the perspective of camera marketing. Red has banked their whole business on it.

And, fwiw, the C300 and C100 shoot at 8MP resolution (4k), then downsampling to 1080p. And lenses show their full MTF. So the perceptual sharpness is much higher than a 1080p crop from a still image.

From the perspective of post, both RAW and 4k are a pain in the ass. The Alexa (which has an image sharper than 35mm when shot at 2.5k RAW and very close at 1080p). is so popular because of this. It's what's used on most new TV productions and its image is generally more pleasing than the Red's. It's easier to work with, too. Why do you need better than that? Are your videos going theatrical? Are your clients screening at 4k? We don't even have affordable 4k monitors to post on. There will be a significant market for 4k video some day soon, but until then "true" 1080p is extremely sharp, and a $6000 C100 is cheap enough that replacing it in five years (without replacing any lenses) won't break the bank.

RAW does have some value. Even Canon's "C" line has poor dynamic range. But the Alexa has the same latitude in arriraw as it does in prores and its prores444 can handle crazy grading, despite only being 10 bit. The video out of Canon's dSLRs is relatively poor compared with true high end video. Even very good 1080p is a huge step up. Don't think 1080p and associate that with the mediocre (but impressive for the money) video from the 5D Mark III.

Personally, RAW and 4k I'd rather not have. Too much work in post for insignificant advantages if you shoot half competently in the first place. I do wish Canon could manage better dynamic range and 10-bit HDMI out. I'm considering buying a C100 but a 7DC or somesuch could prove even more compelling just by virtue of likely being half the price and maybe having a more robust codec.

Those who need 4k and RAW can easily buy a Scarlet at a very good price.

Lenses / Re: New lenses for 46mp camera?
« on: December 24, 2012, 11:25:18 AM »
Not all lenses perform very well with the new camera.

But the "workhorse" lenses like the EF 24-70 f/2.8 II L do the job very good.

Interesting... Here's the hoping the 45mm TS-E II comes out soon and delivers good performance... My new most-wanted lens. (Well, maybe the 200mm f2 IS, but who's counting.)

I've long read how most of the current lenses are more than capable of out resolving anything on the MP horizon, and I thought it very likely to be true, but when i look at DXO's "mpix" rating of lenses, i start to wonder.
BTW-I'm ISF certified, yet i have no idea what a quad-HD television is, but i don't disagree with Bob's point.

Their megapixel ratings don't make sense to me... are they meant to be wide open (I can't find any reference to them except briefly in a dpreview article). Anyhow, it just seems like MTF stuff. Like it will always be lower unless it's 100% all the way to extinction at the camera's highest resolution, and nothing really achieves that.

Canon General / Re: Canon sent me an opinion survey
« on: December 23, 2012, 07:04:00 PM »
I got one, too! Canon seems to love to send me these.

I shoot on a 5D Mark III, but I put down a cheap EF-S 35mm f1.8 for my APS-C buddies.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: New to video...advice needed
« on: December 20, 2012, 04:48:59 PM »
Buy this book:


Just trust me! It's simple to read but the information is super advanced. Ignore the stuff on film camera mechanics, but pay attention to the stuff on stops, fov, etc. The composition chapter is amazing. Even gets into basic lighting. You can find some of the same info online, but this book is sooooo much better.

A normal kit for cinema production is 18mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm (sometimes 14mm for on location or 135mm for some stuff), but that's for Super35. The focal lengths you'll need to cover for a "normal" kit are about 28-135mm.

So you're there. A 70-200mm zoom or 135mm f2 would complete things if you like that look, but you can shoot with the 35mm and 50mm alone or the zoom alone or whatever.

You WILL however need ND filters (.3., .6, .9, 1.2, etc.) and a polarizer. You want to keep your shutter speed as 1/50 and your f-stop no deeper than maybe f8 or f11 outside (usually) so for bright day exteriors those NDs are crucial. Most frequently ignored part of a complete kit, maybe. And get a nice fluid tripod, too.

Lenses / Re: Lens choice advice please??
« on: December 16, 2012, 09:14:40 PM »
Re: Policar
Yes, would be great to have a 17mm TS-E or even the Zeiss 21mm I keep reading about.  For those
prices though it had better grow arms and legs, walk out and pose every dang tree and bush for my
landscape photo, walk back, mount itself on my camera body and reach back and hit the shutter release.
Of course that's fantasy and it's nice to hear about those sorts of lens but they are totally impractical
for lego_boy's or my budget.  Currently I'm about at about his budget going towards a EF 20mm 2.8 early next

I would have to greatly disagree that his or my own budgets make getting a lens impossible.  Challenging
perhaps but not impossible at all.  I've been doing quite a bit of research and I'm still looking at adapting
an M42 mount, for $50US and $10 for an el cheepo adapter it's right in the price range my wallet likes.

As for other options; the 2 lenses I've also been looking are the old-ish Tamron 17-35mm f/2.8-4 and the
Canon EF 20-35mm f/3.5-4.5.  Both seem like decent lens from what I have read.  When they are available
the Tamron is less than $200US (about 130GB) and the Canon less than $275US (about 180GBP).

Don't be intimidated by having to adapt and old style lens.  Canon's EF mount being as verstile as it is and
in our budget range it's actually a very real option.

The 17mm TSE isn't very expensive for what it does. Compared with a Master Technika and a 65mm LF lens ($12,000) and $6 per frame to shoot and $200 to scan for LF or a tech camera and MFDB (which could run $60,000+ for a decent set up) a 17mm TSE and 5D II is an incredible deal.

Granted I'm not a very good photographer and don't want to give the impression that my gear snobbishness correlates with an ability to get much out of it, but I still can't see how an UWA with T/S can be replaced with a cheap, not terribly wide zoom without any lens movements. (Unless you're shooting FF, in which case 17mm is legitimately UWA, but still lacks lens movements and sharpness.) If you're taking pictures of buildings then that's fine… if you're serious about architectural photography I just don't know how you can make this work. Maybe a panoramic head, stitching and perspective correction in post, but I couldn't pull it off. More power to you if you can.

That said, if you're not worried about having the sharpest print and are willing to recompose a bit in post, any very wide lens could work for architecture. Just stop way down to give infinite focus and fix perspective in post and it's as good as T/S.Or if you're in an area where you can back up really far from the subject, even a not-so-wide lens could work. I just wouldn't want to rely on it professionally.

Fwiw, the 14mm Samyang, while dreadfully full of distortion, is a great deal and could pull this off with a lot of post work. The 10mm f2.8 Samyang (when it's released) might be a very viable option so long as you're okay with fixing perspective in post.

I'd take the 28mm f1.8 or 30mm f1.4 but not for architecture. Of the lenses you've listed in your price range none are even close to as good for it as the kit lens (but you'll still need to fix perspective in post). For architecture, I'd get a tripod.

Lenses / Re: Best landscape lenses
« on: December 16, 2012, 02:42:09 AM »
That sounds a lot easier than with a view camera. And picking the right aperture is just a matter of stopping down until the rest is in focus? And since it's displaying single pixels anyway, determining the circle of confusion is trivial if you just assume it's at the pixel level? And I can shoot in raw with an ultra-high contrast picture style to preview the changes I'll make and not worry about spot metering everything in frame? And not worry about exposure compensation? This sounds so ridiculously easy!

Do you use MLU and a cable release? I'd like to have the option to do long exposures, so I guess ND filters would help.

Looks nice, btw, and technically immaculate. Not my style (lens is wider than I like) but nice.

What software do you use to develop? That's sharp enough for a 12X15 print that will give me no problems and sharper than I'm used to with JPEG.

I think diffraction is way overrated, especially since you can sharpen in post. The perception of sharpness from deep focus and the lens's inherent micro contrast seems to matter a lot more. But past f16 things get hairy fast, so I do want tilt.

Lenses / Re: Best landscape lenses
« on: December 16, 2012, 01:03:02 AM »
That's great, then. I'm not super technical at all, I just want three things: enough tilt that I can photograph most reasonable landscapes with deep focus before incurring tons of resolution loss from diffraction, enough rise to correct perspective, and a reasonably sharp lens.

Are there any guides for focusing tilt/shift lenses for ideal sharpness or should I just apply the same principles as I would with a view camera?

Lenses / Re: Lens choice advice please??
« on: December 15, 2012, 11:53:50 PM »
Gees does no one ever actually read and understand the original poster's post?  I see that SO much
that it finally got to me that I had to register and stop lurking; to which I will be going back to momentarily.

Currently 150pounds is about $235 US.  In that range there is no new canon EF or EF-S lens he could
purchase.  That is about the current cost of his 18-55mm.

I think this is the sort of thing you were asking about: (or something like it I would guess)
Do not buy these sort of auxiliary lenses at all.

The one most of the other useless replies are mentioning is this:
Too expensive for your budget though a very nice lens.

What you will have to try for you budget is winning something like this:
Zeiss are always good and getting an adapter shouldn't be more than another
10 to 20pounds.  Though nearly any M42 screw lenses will fit a Canon EF camer lens mount.
If you want to be more sure look through this list:
and then choose a lens and check ebay for price and availabilty.

Hope that helps lego_boy.  Happy shooting!

The issue is he's asking for something impossible. The 18-55mm IS is a reasonably fantastic lens and the best cheap wide angle available for anything, really. At f8 it's quite strong across the frame. Wide open it's decent, too.

What he's looking for is a 17mm TSE and FF body for $200. Something wider, sharper, and appropriate for architecture (lens movements). That's $4000 minimum. Either you can ignore his price concerns or what he wants to use the lens for...

I'd recommend a tripod, honestly. If you're getting image shake that can help, and then you can stop down all you want to improve image quality. Or saving up for the 11-16mm or 10-122mm (for architecture) and fixing distortion in post. Or getting the 30mm f1.4 Sigma (or 28mm f1.8 Canon) as a general purpose lens, though it is not great for architecture.

The $12 fotodiox macro tube is nice for macro, though. That's one thing that's cheap and useful.

Lenses / Re: Best landscape lenses
« on: December 15, 2012, 11:47:01 PM »
For about $150 you can get a back for your 4x5 camera that will let you put the 5D3 body on.  I would suggest starting there; that way, you can use your LF lenses to create a baseline for comparison.  You might find that the optics have quite a bit to do with it.   And you get to use all the movements with your digital 'back'.  I realize that it doesn't cover the full field of view, but then again, with live view, you get skip the part where you trade the ground glass for the film pack.

It would be a cheap way to experiment until you find the settings that get you what you want.

I've been playing around with some old Ektar lenses on my 5D3 (with a real kludge of an attachment), and I find the images very interesting, so I just bought myself a LF camera (a Graphic View w/203mm lens), and plan on getting one of those back as soon as the camera arrives.  I'll even be doing some film, because there is still something about it that strikes my fancy.

If you are a serious LF user, the TS lenses might not be enough for you movement wise.

The trouble with them is the small format cameras mirror box, it is so deep you often get shadowing.

As for the smaller lenses having less movements, well they need less! Tilt degrees are directly related to the focal length, Policar's 4x5 lenses have a 135 format 3x crop factor, that means any lens he used to get the same fov would need one third the tilt. If he used 30º of tilt with his 300mm on the 4x5, he could use 10º tilt with a 90mm on a 135 format for the same identical image.

Yeah I don't think the 4x5 back is the answer. I'd have to stitch like 15 frames to get the same FOV and the shadowing might mean it wouldn't work at all.

I'm not a serious LF shooter. I never really got into it. So I don't think the transition would be too painful for me, but I don't know yet.

Is that true about needing less tilt? If it is, great. Isn't Scheimpflug the same for any focal length, though?

Lenses / Re: Lens choice advice please??
« on: December 15, 2012, 09:02:49 PM »
35mm f/2 is great on a crop sensor. I used that lens on my 7D more than any other lens. It isn't wide, but not too tight. It also focuses close and gives nice shallow DOF, anything wider gets more expensive.

Difference in field of view between 35 and 50 is minimal, and certainly not worth the price difference. If you can afford a 35 f/2, you might as well save a little more and get a 28 1.8.

As I see it the 50 1.8 is really the only logical option given the OP's parameters.

I strongly disagree. The difference in FOV between 35mm and 50mm is very significant--although I find both to be not so great on APS-C. On FF, for instance, I love the 50mm focal length and can't stand 85mm for most purposes (I like 135mm). You ask an experienced DP like Roger Deakins and he claims he wishes he had a prime lens for every 3mm difference toward the wide end (21, 24, 28, 32, 40, 50, etc.). I can't tell the difference at those extremes, but it illustrates a point. It boils down to personal preference and you might like 35mm and 50mm equally well (I love them both on FF quite a lot), but on APS-C I find 50mm to be a tricky focal length to love and 35mm a lot better but still just a bit long.

The 50mm f1.8 is a nice lens, but I'd rather get the 28mm f1.8 or 30mm f1.4 Sigma (neither of which I've used, but a useful focal length trumps sharpness by a lot) on crop.

For architecture, of course, none of these lenses are particularly appropriate. For that it's UWA and perspective correction in post or T/S. That's really the only way to do it well. And a tripod, of course.

Lenses / Re: Lens choice advice please??
« on: December 15, 2012, 08:37:55 PM »
I love the 18-55mm IS, but it does have its weaknesses (corners). In my experience the 50mm f1.8 is a mixed bag because build quality is poor and there's a lot of sample variation. I have a terrible sample that's very bad on APS-C but brilliant on FF, even wide open. My favorite lens on my Mark III because it's small and light and fast and I love the FOV. It's not the sharpest and bokeh sucks stopped down, but it is quite good! On APS-C, it's an awkward focal length and the softness becomes an issue.

I love the 17-55mm f2.8 IS but it's not that much better on the wide end than the kit lens. The rest of the mid-priced Ls are kind of mediocre on FF, worse than either of those two except in terms of build quality. If you can afford a 24-70mm II I'm sure that's amazing, but if you can afford that why are you shooting APS-C?

For architecture you really need to go T/S, but the 17mm is $2000, I think. The easiest way to fake it is getting an UWA (11-16mm Tokina is awesome or the 10-22mm Canon is maybe better, never used it) and correcting for keystoning in photoshop or shooting with the horizon level and cropping. Architectural photography all-but requires perspective correction. You lose a lot of resolution this way, but perspective correction is crucial for architectural photography.

Others have found otherwise, but I think the 18-55mm IS is nearly world class if you get a decent sample and shoot at normal stops. Get a tripod, maybe. I don't know what to say; if the IQ isn't up to snuff it's a lot of money to do significantly better, but significantly better stuff does exist. It's also much more special-purpose; the kit lens is a very multi-purpose lens. If you want shallower focus that's easy, though. Get the fast fifty or 30mm f1.4 Sigma or even the pancake.

Lenses / Re: Best landscape lenses
« on: December 15, 2012, 08:26:55 PM »
The 45mm is the worst of the current TS-E series.  The 24mm II is actually better with a 1.4x TC, and the 24mm + 2x isn't really much worse.

Egads, but doesn't the TC ruin microcontrast? Microcontrast is everything with deep focus photography.

As much as the true "artist" would prefer 45mm for its elegant neutrality (for landscape; 17mm makes tons of sense for real estate, architecture, etc.), I'll take 24mm and 35mm. I might even stoop to using an ND grad filter or HDR. I'll plan on renting a 24mm, 1.4X TCIII, and 90mm TS when I take a trip west. Thanks!

Lenses / Re: Help me choose: EF lens for 60D
« on: December 15, 2012, 08:06:43 PM »
The 17-55mm f2.8 IS is amazing in that way something that underwhelms you by virtue of having no weaknesses is. Resale is good, too. And it's sharp and the right set of focal lengths for portraiture and landscape (could be a little longer for portraiture, I like 85mm on crop). Some weird, gnarly CA but whatever... No distortion. Punchy, nice micro-contrast. I liked it for stills and for video. It's the lens I miss most now that I've gone to FF. Build quality was as good as my L lenses.

And to be perfectly honest, I preferred the 18-55mm kit lens to the 17-40mm L on crop. I like the 17-40mm L much more on FF, even though the corners are bad. It is a fine lens by f8 and it's contrasty, but so is most everything else.

Lenses / Re: Best landscape lenses
« on: December 15, 2012, 08:00:57 PM »
If you can wait then the much rumoured MkII 45 and 90 TS-E's are bound to be huge improvements over the MkI's, well if the 24 MkI and MkII are anything to go by they will be. The 24 got a massive gain in IQ and functionality, I will 100% be in the market for the 45 when the MkII arrives.

With regards Nikon, lenses, especially their TS lenses, really do let them down, there is zero point to a D800 if you use their weak lenses for big high quality prints. Slightly farcical, Canon have the lenses but no medium format competing sensor, Nikon have the sensor but not the lenses!

The 90mm already looks good... But yeah I looked at sample images with the 45mm and it doesn't seem as good as the 24mm or 90mm. If the new one is under $1500 and has great image quality I'll just go ahead and buy it. I'll rent for now...

It's funny about the Nikon T/S lenses. Nikon makes this amazing landscape camera and don't have the lenses to support it. I do prefer the D800E files to the 5DIII ones, but not nearly enough to make up for my huge (and probably about to get much huger if I pick up a C100) investment in Canon's system.

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