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Messages - Policar

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Lenses / Re: 17 - 40mm for Architecture?
« on: October 11, 2012, 02:03:32 AM »
Go tilt shift! Or at least be prepared to correct in post if not, at the cost of resolution and how precise you can get your composition. For professional work you really need the 17mm and 24mm at LEAST if you want to compete, imo.

The 17-40mm is okay...  Soft at the edges particularly at 17mm, but not unusable. Better stopped down but never great. Performance improves as zoomed in; so does distortion, which is an issue but not terrible at 17mm. Weirdly, I like the bokeh with this lens. It's not smooth, but it's not yucky either, not that you'll often get much sufficient out of focus for it to really matter.

The 14mm Samyang is an odd one. Seems plenty sharp, but the distortion is very bad. If you don't mind correcting it in post (both for mustache and barrel, which makes it feel less wide in a bad way) it's good, plus if you want to correct for converging parallels I guess that can be part of the same process. But the 14mm L is a lot less distorted, for instance, and even the 17-40mm L is way better.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5D2 + 17-40mm or 500D + 10-22mm?
« on: October 07, 2012, 11:51:38 PM »
I sort of preferred my t2i and 11-16mm Tokina cominbation to my 5D3 17-40mm combination, but like...not by a lot. IQ was similar and the t2i was smaller with a little less distortion.

The 17-40mm doesn't make that much sense on APS-C since the 17-55mm f2.8 IS is just better. But on FF it's fine. I think it's too wide for most landscapes, but that's a matter of taste, and I can't stand the lack of shift, tbh, so I'd far prefer the 24mm tse, but the price....

EOS Bodies / Re: 46mp sensor useless for landscape?
« on: October 07, 2012, 06:17:38 PM »
So what if 19 megapixels is the most a FF red-sensitive sensor can resolve at f8? A 46 megapixel bayer sensor only has 11.5 million red-sensitive photosites. No problem at all...

At a certain point it does get kind of pointless, especially if you shoot landscapes without a T/S lens (in which case--what are you thinking?). We're not there yet. There's a test online between 80MP backs and 4x5 and 8x10 and 8x10 is still best by far, though 80MP is sharper with less fine detail than 4x5.

With film enlargements you're limited by the size of the grain. 4x5 isn't that much sharper than 6x7 when stopped down to equivalent DoF but the tonality and grain are better. Same with 8x10, you can make a wall-sized print (80''X100") that holds up to scrutiny even up close, but an equivalent enlargement of 135 (to 8''X12')' is sharper (just way, way smaller and with the same granularity and tonality). With digital, there's no grain, but when you can see the pixel structure, that's bad, so there's still that matter of tonality but to a much less significant extent.

And despite diffraction, landscape shooters have shot at f64 on 8x10 and even 4x5 for quite a while and made huge prints. We might not get sharper than that without stitching, but unless you're printing bigger than wall-sized in a venue where people will stand right next to the print (extremely rare, and obviously you would want to use stitching in these cases), then you'll be fine.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: First Canon EOS C100 Short Hits the Web
« on: October 02, 2012, 07:05:47 PM »
That's fine, but I'll reiterate, how much work have you actually done posting in 4k? It's not easy. To this day, 90% of vfx shots are done at 2k, and most DCPs are delivered in 2k, too. People whose work goes to cinemas (most major studios) are still only delivering in 2k and 1080p. The Genesis and Alexa are pretty popular cameras and neither approaches 4k resolution. Very few films shot on red are delivered in 4k; most 4k film scans are downressed at some point along the chain--the only reason for scanning at that resolution is to avoid aliasing (nyquist), not to get extra detail.

Congrats on the festival acceptances and distribution deals, though. And, as a frequent festival reject who used to work for a company that picks up the occasional indie film, I mean that--it's an incredibly tough field and anything you get is a real win. To have the majority of your content see theatrical distribution or even major festival play is an incredible thing and something to be extremely proud of. That said, I've never heard of a festival that cares about format, beyond whether it's HD or not. Most submissions are made on DVDs. The fs700 does look like a nice camera, though, and I could see why someone would choose it over the cs100, though not for the 4k resolution specifically. I would take either over the BMC camera for form factor and sensor size, primarily.

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: First Canon EOS C100 Short Hits the Web
« on: October 02, 2012, 05:10:07 PM »
I see the BMCC has already been mentioned a good bit, but just for the guy who thought about upgrading from the mk3 to the c100, I would definitely take a look at this video:

Comparing the Cinema Camera & 5D Mk III on Vimeo

This puts the BMCC in perspective against the mk3, and it literally blows it out of the water. Now, I have nothing against the mk3 as I own one, but for video I would definitely take a closer look at the BMCC over the c100. You could get the BMCC, matte box, shoulder mount, SDD drives, an L lens, larger external display and a follow focus and still have change left over for the same price as just the c100 body. That, my friends, is tempting.

And this is just my opinion, but I'd still rather the Sony FS700 over the c100 from the looks of it. Same price range and the FS700 has a 4k firmware upgrade coming out.

It all honestly boils down to what you want though. People have made beautiful films dealing with the horrid H.264 compression in the 5Dmk2 (and nearly all other DSLRs). If you're serious about making movies, you'll find a way to work with whatever you get.


4k is marketing fluff. No one needs it. Have you every tried posting in 4k? Exactly. The c100 has a great sensor, awesome image processing, much less skew, an anti-alaising filter, everything but a solid codec, but an external recorder fixes that. An L lens does no good to make the BMC's sensor the right size or fix skew and aliasing...what l lens is wide enough to get you a usable FOV on the black magic camera? 18-85 is the range of every cinema package on super35 (zooms or 18, 25, 35, 50, 85 primes). That's equivalent to 12-55. So that's an 11-16mm zoom and a 17-55mm zoom and those are f2.8 on a tiny sensor, so shallow focus and low light suffer. There's no compelling prime kit and the UWA options are poor.

That video is obviously biased (the part on wide angle is particularly ludicrous), and consider how much additional work in post it takes working with raw footage. What if you shoot ten hours of that for an event video. How do you cope with that? 24Mbps has the advantage of recording a lot of footage--for doc or videography or wedding it's not so bad at all. Furthermore, apply HTP (which is only necessary in the tough shots that video focuses on) and sharpen the 5D footage in post and you've split the difference in that video at the expense of a bit more grain. But let's be realistic...the 5D is no video monster in the first place. Or just compare the C100 and BMC camera and I think you'll be surprised that the C100 outdoes it in everything except flexibility of the codec in post, again an easy fix and having that small codec can be nice for other gigs.

There's a lot of hype around buzzwords like 4k and raw, thanks mostly to Red. But 90% of new tv shows are shot on the Alexa (which can use raw, except no one is shooting in that format for tv, just for cinema). Likewise almost all content is posted in 2k or 1080p for tv or for cinema. And there are no consumer 4k tvs with any market share and 2k DCP is still the standard. If you can sell clients on 4k and raw, it's worth something, because clients are as ignorant as most people who buy into that kind of fluff...except they also are less likely to care about it (but some will!). But for actually getting good images to delivery the C100 is a lot more impressive than its specs and conservative design indicate, and I would take on over the BMC camera ten times out of ten EXCEPT in a studio setting or a greenscreen shoot or such.

Software & Accessories / Re: Who uses a handheld light meter?
« on: October 02, 2012, 03:57:36 PM »
When I shoot film I always use one, when I shoot video I use one sometimes.

For digital stills...nah.

"Flat" for stills involves shooting raw, and making sure all of the extra settings (auto-light optimizer, noise reduction, etc) are turned off.
Aren't those settings affecting only JPEG preview of the image? Could someone confirm what settings affect RAW files (I assume, HTP)? And do those settings (Picture Style, Noise Reduction, Auto-Lighting Optimizer) affect the initial image you get when you open the RAW file in LightRoom?

I think only HTP and black frame subtraction do anything to the RAW file maybe other than tagging it with some settings.

I have no idea why anyone would want cinestyle for stills when they have raw or even neutral jpeg. Cinestyle for video was designed to fit into a log-based workflow, NOT because it has more dynamic range. And it looks really bad out of camera and tonality is generally worse once graded than material shot with the neutral mode. The proper answer is just control your light better. If you need that much dynamic range to capture the scene, you're probably going to get a flat image, which is a major problem because screens and paper are low contrast, or you'll have to use HDR or something tacky. Just light correctly or, if shooting landscapes, wait for good light. It's hilarious to me that DXO mark's "landscape" metric is measured by dynamic range...most good color landscapes are still shot on Velvia (four stops of dynamic range); even zone system, the first real HDR technique, is only ten stops!

Another vote for Color Correction Handbook except most of it is extremely obvious and basic and, if you're serious about grading, you should be way beyond any of its techniques.

As for Resolve training, I have no idea! I need to make the transition from Color myself! I have heard that there are some good video series (Ripple, Lynda, I think?) online, but have not watched them.

The DR of the 5D Mark III does not seem that great. DXOMark shows it only DR of 11.7 at best. It just gets worse at the higher iso. I was considering of upgrading to the 5d Mark III. I am not sure now after seeing this video. I am now waiting for Canon to come out with DSLR camera with 1080p at 60 fps under $3k. 60fps with MagicLatern HDR video would allow someone to cheat a little bit to increase the DR. I am hoping that Canon is going to come out with something better next year.

If I was just into doing video I would consider the Blackmagic.  I currently need something to do both video and photography.

These lighting conditions were meant to stress the cameras, and they really don't get much more punishing, and the 5D would have done much better were highlight tone priority set to on although that would also make the dark areas noisier (if it was, then these tests reflect really poorly...), but it's clear that the BMC camera does very well. It's the softness that really gets to me, though. If Canon can fix that a bit I can surely live with the poor DR. The DR is also much better for stills, particularly when shooting raw.

I think the issue is that Canon's sensors have a ton of read noise and the technology to prevent it is proprietary to Sony sensors. It's introduced between the sensor and the ADC and it's not terrible in stills, but since the sensor bins on-sensor, in effect the read noise is 4X more present (or scaled up 4X larger) for video. And when using highlight tone priority it really gets noticeable, but that can help the highlight detail a lot.

The returns are diminishing, but if you need the better AF and better low light performance that's pretty significant.

The finder is GREAT on the Mark III.

The low light for video is much better.

The look of fast, sharp, wide primes wide open can be really striking on full frame, but the differences in IQ at normal ISOs are not that startling otherwise.

Lenses / Re: Canon 24 f/1.4L and 24mmL TS-E ii
« on: September 03, 2012, 09:28:08 PM »

So can we tell from this photo whether it offers the flexibility of the Canon TSE II or if it is limited to a switchable 90ยบ setting like the older TSE and Nikon lenses?

Because if it's the former...I'm ordering one.

"Despite all our "oh I wish I had that feature" comments, the current technology itself is already awesome ... imagine what an Ansel Adams would have done with the current cameras/lenses ... who knows 6 - 8 years from now there could be some very revolutionary advancements that could very well surprise us."[/quote][/b]
Yes. And as I stated: I am absolutely crazy, about the capacity of this cam. Due to rain over here, I cannot go out to do nightskyphotography. This is the next step at ISO 6400 and 12800.  8)
If memory serves me correct, angel Adams didn't even use the top tech of his hey day. You dont need to spend tens of thousands to take a creative picture

No, but I'm taking pictures now that I couldn't have taken just 3 months ago.  So nice to be able to leave your shutter speed at 1/2000 at night at a football game and not have to open up wide.  So nice.

I think that's exactly the trajectory we're following.  8x10 still beats any digital capture; if Adams were shooting today (who am I to speculate?  whatever...) I think he'd still be shooting 8x10 or with a tech camera and MFDB, but would be using photoshop and possibly stitching, hdr, etc.

Cameras aren't getting better at taking pictures under controlled circumstances...view cameras are still better at super high quality landscape and studio stuff.  But in terms of shooting photos under bad circumstances (low light, fast fps, etc.) progress is incredible.

I think we'll be seeing more of a shift toward photography and video coming together.  Super high speed with pixel binning, 24fps full frame, pellicle mirrors, etc.  I would like to see lower read noise on Canon sensors and a better body for tilt/shift work to replace a view camera...but that's unlikely.  The shift from strong bayer filter arrays with RGB to some sort of orange/green/blue thing that's more light sensitive but less color accurate explicates the trend pretty clearly:  IQ isn't what's getting better, flexibility is where we're going.

I don't think high ISO will improve that much since we're reaching the limits, but read noise and highlight rendering are huge.  After working with Alexa footage I can't believe how bad the clippy 5D III seems, particularly in video but also for stills--rough highlights and bad noise patterns.

Lenses / Re: Lenses for 1DC?
« on: September 01, 2012, 06:05:26 PM »
Also, although the site is full of absolute garbage information for the most part, the lens section of reduser.com has some good info on affordable high quality glass.

Fwiw, I really love the MF Nikkors and they have hard stops and good focus throws and are almost free (of course you need adapters, which are a pain).  The 105mm f2.5 is a gem so you can put together a great full kit, but...  The 24mm f2 is garbage (I think the 24mm f2.8 is better, but maybe not much and it's slow; the 28mm f2 has spherical aberration wide open but is otherwise excellent), though so the wide end becomes tricky.  For a "vintage" look these lenses are amazing, though, and so inexpensive.

Another option is the 24-70mm and 70-200mm zooms, but then you have issues with pulling focus.

Lenses / Re: Lenses for 1DC?
« on: September 01, 2012, 05:54:16 PM »
They're comparable to the Canon L equivalents (well, the 35mm outperforms the 35mm L wide open and the others are not far behind) and, in my experience, they outperform the Cooke S4s and Zeiss Superspeeds as well in terms of sharpness and micro contrast wide open.  Granted the mechanics and "look" are worse, but just because you CAN spend more money doesn't mean you need to, especially when the rest of a decent package (tripod, camera support, matte box, filters) can add up so fast.  I know a lot of Scarlet users are using these lenses, and that's the same price range (though I'd much prefer the 1DC!).

That said, if money is no issue, the Canon cinema primes seem like the best things going; the selection is just very limited and the prices are high.

First off, the CP.2 Super speeds aren't even available until October 14th, so how you're qualified to say the Samyangs outperform them is beyond me.  Maybe you're talking about the older Super Speeds, but that would be just as ridiculous.  And are you seriously trying to say that the Samyang outperforms (as in are better than) $20,000+ Cooke Primes?  Are you out of your mind or just joking? 

I mean don't get me wrong, they're great for the money and if you're on a budget, but you're giving them way, way, way, way too much credit.  Yes, the Samyang 35 is comparable to the 35L in terms of performance, but that's the exception, the rest of the Samyangs have gotten pretty mediocre reviews.  So let's say he does get the Samyang 35, what about every other focal length? 

How you can slam Cooke's and Zeiss CP.2's yet be cool with the Canon's are beyond me, since the Canon Cine's aren't even available, how do you have any idea how they perform? 

And OP was clearly interested in the Canon Cine's and the CP.2's, I suggested the Duclos modded ZF.2's which are reasonably priced cinema lenses.  But if a guy says he wants a Lamborghini and you think it's too much, try talking him down to a Corvette or something first, not a Geo Metro.

What are you talking about?  Super speeds are all time classics.  I am referring to the Mark IIIs.  They're super35 only, of course.  They are a bit older (1980s and 1970s) but still command $35,000 used for a a good set.  Divisive lenses due to bokeh, harshness, coma wide open, and poor close focus but they are my favorite cinema lenses in some respects...so small and fast.  But not as sharp as the Samyang 35mm!  I am also dead serious that this lens is as sharp if not sharper than the Cooke S4 primes, but the Cookes have a beautiful dreamy effect (that actually reduces resolution) and gorgeous bokeh and no breathing--all I'm saying is, resolution isn't everything!

Fwiw, I have the 85mm Samyang and it's pretty close to the best of the best fast 85mms.  There's a bit less resolution, but micro-contrast is still excellent and bokeh is fine.  Build quality is just okay, but your comparison is ridiculous.  Maybe MPs to kit lenses is Lambo to Metro, but MPs don't even cover APS-H reliably (though they are probably fine from 14mm+)....this is more like Benz to Bentley...you pay for fit and finish, performance is better but with diminishing returns....  Worth it to some, of course, but diminishing returns is key and performance and utility wise they are in the same category as the CPs.  Not MPs or Cookes, of course, though performance is surprisingly close in terms of sharpness alone.  If you put a high end cinema lens on a still camera and shot it against still glass I think you would be surprised--performance is not that much better.  The reduction in breathing is something, but the CPs breathe a bit and aren't even true cinema lenses.  (Which aren't really options for the 1DC, anyway, because of its oversized sensor.)

Canon cinema lenses haven roughly the same designs as their L lenses except better coatings and different aperture blades and build quality is better...so speculating on their quality is easy and they will trump the CPs for the price.  24mm f1.4 II is a great lens and I can't imagine the Zeiss lenses are worth it by comparison when price is taken into account.  They are pretty sharp but slow for the money and the super speed CPs should be expensive for a $10,000 kit.  Modified ZE lenses seem like a better idea, but again performance won't beat Samyang or Canon to a field significant extent.  (Canon L is a bad choice, though, only since there are no hard focus stops!).  Zeiss lenses do have nice coatings and good micro-contrast and flare control, so that is worth something.  Whatever you can afford is best, though--having the right focal lengths, filters, and useable mechanics is 1000X more important than a little resolution at stops you will almost never use--who shoots wide open (except David Fincher) and gets away with it?  t2.8-t5.6 are the stops that count--all these lenses will be great at those stops.

The 11-16mm will be fine if you don't mind soft corners with a little CA and zooming in to 14mm or so before using it.  It works great on the Epic, usable with major vignetting even at 11mm, and kind of works at 16mm on full frame.  I wouldn't recommend it if you can afford better, but I wouldn't recommend the 17-40mm f4 L, either, which is optically poor.  These are extreme UWA focal lengths of course, cool for music videos and cramped locations but not classically useful.

Btw, a normal cinema kit needs to cover the 18-85mm on super35 (approx 24-110mm on APS-H) range and then wider or tighter or zooms as needed for the specific project...no one wants one or two good lenses if they don't have the proper focal lengths and in terms of IQ you will not be able to detect a difference between any of these lenses at normal stops.  You are paying for build quality; yes it is worth it but not to the exclusion of having the right focal lengths.  It is worth it if you plan to rent, though.  A Zeiss CP kit with appropriate focal lengths will rent over the alternatives, I would wager, because of the name recognition, important to less experienced shooters who don't realize they're just expensive Cosinas, not that there is anything wrong with that.

Also get a full complement of NDs: .3 .6 .9 1.2 1.5, a polarizer, a set of diffusion filters if you can afford it, a .6ND hard, soft, and attenuator, a follow focus (not cheap) with whip, and tripod of course...

Lenses / Re: Lenses for 1DC?
« on: August 30, 2012, 10:34:29 PM »
For the money the Samyang lenses can't be beat.  If a little breathing (not that bad) doesn't bother you and flare isn't an issue they are really on par with the best of the best and super inexpensive.

24mm f1.4 on APS-H "feels" like 18mm on super35, 35mm feels like 25mm, etc.  So a 24m, 35, 50, 85 kit at f1.4 would cover things great.

Optically these lenses are more than up to the task, too.

He's buying a $10k camera and the first lens he seemed seriously interested in is $5200, the Samyangs are great if you're on a budget but clearly he's not.

They're comparable to the Canon L equivalents (well, the 35mm outperforms the 35mm L wide open and the others are not far behind) and, in my experience, they outperform the Cooke S4s and Zeiss Superspeeds as well in terms of sharpness and micro contrast wide open.  Granted the mechanics and "look" are worse, but just because you CAN spend more money doesn't mean you need to, especially when the rest of a decent package (tripod, camera support, matte box, filters) can add up so fast.  I know a lot of Scarlet users are using these lenses, and that's the same price range (though I'd much prefer the 1DC!).

That said, if money is no issue, the Canon cinema primes seem like the best things going; the selection is just very limited and the prices are high.

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