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Messages - Policar

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241
Video & Movie / Re: Wide lens for video
« on: November 25, 2012, 07:46:15 PM »
Thanks, that makes a lot of sense.  In the portrait photography world you usually can't get tight enough.  Some how the rules of video appear different.  I also notice it's common to cut people's foreheads off in close ups. 

I can imagine panning at 60mm or greater would require really steady hands and slow movements.  Panning at 100mm+ would give the audience motion sickness.  You'd have to spin 90 deg using a a 14mm to even change the scene.

Is the fact we're mostly using hand held DSLRs a factor in wide lens popularity.  Are large commercial cameras (shoulder mounts) as wide?

Actors are prettier than non-actors, but CUs are still usually shot with tight lenses. Someone once commented that Audrey Tautou had such small features that she looked best shot with a normal/slight wide angle (28mm) lens. And that's Jeunet's preferred style so it works well, but usually actors won't be pleased to see a wide angle lens right in their face. You can always back up the lens and just shoot with a wider frame. Cutting off the forehead is not abnormal, though I worked with a gaffer once who got mad at me for doing that for whatever reason.

I haven't done much videography, but if I remember right videography cameras went to about 28mm FF equivalent or 18mm APS-C equivalent and zoomed in to 10X+ that.

You can get smoother pans with a gear head: http://www.visualproducts.com/storeProductDetail02.asp?productID=553&Cat=48&Cat2=50#bigPic

A lot of action directors will shoot action with extreme telephoto lenses and gear heads. The inertia of the heavy cameras helps (a Panavision package can weight 60+ pounds easily even with lighter prime lenses), but I honestly have no idea how people pull this off. I have only seen a gear head in action once and never used one; I've only been on a few tiny small indie sets, nothing big.

242
Video & Movie / Re: Wide lens for video
« on: November 25, 2012, 06:17:39 PM »
On APS-C 35mm is around "normal" but most directors shoot a lot wider most of the time. Spielberg, Gilliam, Kubrick, etc. love going wide but mix focal lengths a bit. Ridley Scott likes longer lenses. Action directors like Cameron, Bay, and Woo mix wide and tight. The artsier guys stick to one focal length in the 40mm or 50mm range, usually.

For narrative cinema 18-85mm is the normal range you'd usually cover with a set of lenses. As wide as 12mm or as tight as 150mm+ is not unusual.

For location-based photography going really wide is normal because locations are often small.

Fwiw, I like the 11-16mm Tokina for APS-C and the 14mm Canon L for FF, though I use a 17-40mm L because it's cheaper.

243
EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: 5D3 vs. BMC
« on: November 25, 2012, 05:22:32 PM »
I'm just saying all the lighting in the world can't truly compensate for superior DR, particularly in exteriors or when practicals are used.

As a practical matter, I agree. But as a matter of theory i wonder, if someone could have complete control over the light, couldn't they bake the same "cake" as you would get from doing a film to digital transfer?  Film has 15 stops DR, but even that get's compressed to 8 bit color when being viewed digitally.

So logically there must be some 8-bit input(5D3 with perfect lighting) that creates the same digital projection as film.  It's all about creating the perception of DR. Which film does naturally.

It's not possible to control light like that. When the light source (a practical, a window, even a white tabletop that bounces light and also receives it) is in frame there's a set ratio between the source's brightness and the light it projects on a given subject at a given distance. Change the source's brightness and you change how much it lights the subject. Let's simplify this and say it's a one-light set up. If the ratio between the source that's in frame and the object it hits is higher than the DR of the sensor, you can't capture the subject and the source without under or overexposing one to the point you lose detail.

If you're in a studio you can compensate with off-camera lights, reflectors, etc. but those will change the shape of the light, not just the ratio.

So you can light (very carefully) to simulate high DR and might even get very good results. But you'll never get the same shape to the light, no matter how you light and manipulate in post.

Tree of Life could not have been shot on digital. Except maybe the Alexa. High DR lets you light with fewer sources, less fill, etc. and provides a better look not just in terms of roll-off but in terms of shape. That said dSLR have gobs of DR relative to video a few years back and most good DPs could shoot footage that looks as good as their Alexa or Red footage except for sharpness (and the Alexa rolls of highlights better than either).

244
EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Best movie settings?
« on: November 25, 2012, 05:05:35 PM »
Policar, it's marketing? It's FREE.

Most marketing is free.

The cameras aren't.

I've used both neutral and log extensively. I recently shot some B roll for a made-for-tv feature (A camera was Alexa, B camera Epic) and because it was a log show I shot most of the footage in cinestyle. (Cinestyle was introduced for intercutting with log footage and NOT as a "flat" high DR alternative, as it offers no additional DR over neutral with contrast set at low.) I accidentally shot some footage in neutral with contrast low, too.

Ultimately, even in a log show, there was no material advantage to shooting cinestyle. Sure the corrections were closer to the corrections for the Alexa footage, but not significantly. And there was no more DR and tonality was slightly poorer. A total wash when the footage was exposed well, but cinestyle footage exposed wrong looks dreadful.

As for manual white balance, I disagree very strongly with suggestions to white balance manually. I shoot 3200K for tungsten lit scenes and night exteriors with uncorrected HMIs (personal preference) and 5600K for daylight. Fluorescent preset for fluorescent to ward off the green cast. Then adjust in post. I can understand using cloudy white balance for cloudy scenes or to add a warm pop to a daylight image, but if you white balance every shot or set up manually you will have catastrophes in post. Not all light sources are meant to be neutral and when they are 3200K, fluorescent, and 5600K have you covered for 99% of set ups. I've heard stories of very inexperienced first timers doing this--white balancing every shot--and the cast and crew laughing behind their backs and the footage coming out just horrible. DO NOT do this. It's such a bad idea it's almost comic. At best it's innocuous; at worst it will ruin your footage and cost tons of time in post. DO NOT white balance each shot manually unless you have a very good reason to.

24p is NTSC. PAL is 25fps.

Basti187's recommendation is excellent. You can try cinestyle but you will come to the same conclusion the rest of us have--it's useful in theory for intercutting footage with a log show. In practice, all it does is hurt tonality. Look up prolost flat. That's what his recommendation is similar to.

245
EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Best movie settings?
« on: November 23, 2012, 12:47:57 PM »
What about Cinestyle from Technicolor? How does that work? Is it a post color correction thing or in camera? Good option?

Technicolor mode is marketing, mostly. In theory it's for integrating a dSLR into a show that's otherwise shooting on log, but it does not resemble a log scan or Arri's log c one bit and it offers no more DR and worse latitude.

Google prolost flat. Use that.

Meter using a calibrated incident meter.

246
EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: 5D3 vs. BMC
« on: November 23, 2012, 12:45:26 PM »
Another way of stating my point is, you can't boil down a full 12-stops (in the case of the 5d3) of usable detail in an 8 bit codec.

That's true, and the 5D's capture codec is quite bad even relative to prores. A superior 8 bit codec could do pretty well, but the 5D's does not do great.

I'm just saying all the lighting in the world can't truly compensate for superior DR, particularly in exteriors or when practicals are used.


247
EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: 5D3 vs. BMC
« on: November 22, 2012, 11:12:49 PM »
It's all about using raw to manipulate the the exposure curve. You can get the same end result with an 8 bit camera, but the set lighting has to be perfect.

Simply untrue. First of all, everything isn't on a set. This argument holds no weight for location photography, particularly exteriors.

Secondly, on any set in which practical light sources play a significant factor, they will blow out to a greater or lesser extent on cameras with more or less DR. But you want your subjects lit so they are not underexposed. It's a tricky balance. And your light will be shaped differently if you use lights off-frame (not always a possibility, either) to fix your exposure so you can't just do that.

There are reasons that "digital cinema" came to prominence much later than dSLRs did and why only the Alexa (with dual gain paths) has really proved a viable replacement. Highlight headroom is crucial with motion picture film, much more so than with still cameras (for which you can use strobes and dodge and burn or shoot multiple exposures more easily or just wait for the right light, whereas films must be shot fast).

Yours is a bold statement to make. Either somewhat ignorant or extremely hubristic, imo.

That said, the 5D has enough DR for most work. Just because it's only very good for very cheap doesn't mean everyone's entitled to great for just a little more. The BMCC might be great with DR, but sensor size, usability in post and on set, etc. is terrible from the perspective of anyone except the hobbiest who shoots test charts or the small production company that runs a very small, tight ship and only really does one style of work (studio short form).

The Alexa blows them all away and you can shoot on it as you would shoot on film and it's an affordable rental. So thankfully there's that.

248
EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: 5D3 vs. BMC
« on: November 21, 2012, 01:47:07 PM »
5d3 video looked really crappy in comparison. If u do mostly video i think better get the Cinema cam.

What the 5D has in its favor is that it's incredibly easy to use and durable. The BMCC is more of a studio camera. I can take my 5D out in the rain and use cheap $20 per 32gb SD cards and ergonomically it's great. The batteries are tiny and last quite a while. Lens compatibility is amazing. Low light is incredible; the availability of 24mm f1.4 (UWA equivalent to 16mm on super16) for cheap and 10000 ISO is remarkable. Image quality is not.

There are ways to push the image quality closer (sharpen a bit in post, use HTP when appropriate), but if you shoot exclusively in studio and don't need UWA lenses or a lot of speed, the BMCC has its merits. But trade offs either way.

249
Lenses / Re: Help me choose a lens
« on: November 20, 2012, 09:10:30 PM »
I find the 17-40mm f4 L considerably worse on APS-C than the 18-55mm IS kit lens. It's not bad on FF, though. Bad corners but punchy and compact. Oddly good bokeh. The 11-16mm on APS-C is much better, so too should the 10-22 far outclass it.

Choose what focal lengths you like first. IQ won't be that much better than you get with what you have with any set up.

The 17-55mm IS f2.8 zoom is great, but expensive for what it is. But the verstilitiy is great. Or you could go full frame; that 50mm would be very nice on full frame, but a zoom might be more versitile.

250
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Too much dynamic range?
« on: November 20, 2012, 07:49:58 PM »
It's a valid concern, but someone did some posterization tests and found that noise is still the limit by a very big margin. Even 8 bit JPEGs are good enough for most purposes.

I have worked with Alexa footage (14 stops DR quoted, but in practice it feels like dramatically more than any dSLR) and it's compressed into a 10 bit wrapper... almost no posterization no matter how you grade it. I wouldn't worry.

251
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« on: November 09, 2012, 05:46:13 PM »
I think there's valid reasons to shoot either JPG or RAW, and it sound like the OP has gotten the feedback that he/she was looking for.  I'm not sure it's necessary to try and convince people who have clearly established a functional workflow for themselves that their workflow is not ideal - everyone shoots their own way and manages their files their own way.  while I shoot RAW+JPG always, I appreciate what awinphoto is saying regarding shooting JPG-only for certain jobs, and it certainly looks like it works well for him/her.

Yes, you're right.  Awinphoto is welcome to shoot how he wants and there is nothing wrong with that.  But this is a forum discussion and I find some of his arguments to be inaccurate and/or based on very specific circumstances and assumptions that aren't generally applicable.

Meh... what part am I not correct... exposure, I shot how I want it exposed, WB I shoot how I want it WB...  As I said, I trained back when I had to present 4x5 negatives, 4x5 transparancy's and 4x5 prints of everything I shot... I didn't have the luxury to photoshop everything... I had to get it right, in camera...  That's what I aim for now.  I do some raw shots in which I intend to tweek and upsell in terms of wall prints, but in a small print (11x14 and smaller) trust me, there is little to no difference...  The juice isn't worth the squeeze... my large wall portraits, you betcha it's worth it.  While my company isn't as big as Doug Gordon's or as lucrative as Sal Cincotta's or fluid as Sandy Puk's or Sue Bryces, but i'm an artist, I'm a photographer, and frankly, time I would sitting in front of the computer, I could be doing other things... I've done the whole raw weddings... hello... remember 5d3, 5d2 and 7d's... I've processed them, saved to firewire HD's, processed them, I know EXACTLY how long they take to process... do not think i'm exaggerating... Granted my imac is 2 year old, so it's practically a dinosaur in todays speeds, but screw it, I've got my business set up for efficiency and maybe I'll be as profitable and busy as some of these top pro's... enough said.

Agreed. PP is often a crutch for those who can't get it right in camera. It's like when the red camera came out and everyone flipped over being able to switch WB in post, reframe in post, change exposure in post, etc. and declared it the only usable cinema camera. Aren't those all the things it's your job to do correctly on set?

That said, if there's a sign post or something in your otherwise perfect landscape, it's easier to clone it out than reframe, same goes for blemishes, etc. So overall efficiency and quality rather than dogmatic adherence to one part of the process or the other makes the most sense. No reason to criticize anyone's work flow if they're getting good results efficiently.

Agreed for the most part... and dont get me wrong, a sign post, blemish, etc... that stuff I'll take care of... i'm not afraid of photoshop... All i was referring to was as meh suggested that a jpeg converted from a raw was better than a standard jpeg from OOC was that I thought that extra step wasn't necessary for my workflow and what my clients want.  Packlight, I do spend a bit in PS editing images that I know will sell...  if i see an image that I know will be a hit, and usually i'll switch to raw for that shot, but even if I missed that during shooting and only have a jpeg, I will PS the heck out of it if needed until i've got a salable image.  If shot and exposed and balanced correctly and if the settings are similar to how you normally would set your raws, you can get a great base image to jump off on...  So i will do what I need to take my photos to the next step, but for me and my workflow, it's just quicker going that route than taking extra steps in raw conversions and typically a client would never tell the difference if I did an OOC jpeg or raw conversion jpeg.  I know this is a sensitive topic as it flys in the face of everything everyone has learned, and me, but just keeping it real as a working pro.

In no way did I suggest that the jpeg converted from RAW was better.  I said it was the same and can be produced by the computer in batch mode and therefore requires very little extra time/effort.

You betray your position when you agree that sometimes you have a need to edit an image in PS to get a salable image... if there is ever a need to edit then you are far better off having the RAW file for any editing.

The clone tool works better with raw than jpeg? Didn't know that. Probably because it's not true.

252
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« on: November 09, 2012, 04:58:06 PM »
Agreed. PP is often a crutch for those who can't get it right in camera. It's like when the red camera came out and everyone flipped over being able to switch WB in post, reframe in post, change exposure in post, etc. and declared it the only usable cinema camera. Aren't those all the things it's your job to do correctly on set?
If you can reframe a high mp shot in post, why not shoot with a security margin? If you can change exposure in post, why risk blown highlights? If you can set the correct wb later on, why not use awb that usually gets it right? Imho that enables you to put more energy into creativity and (if shooting with people) communication?

Why shoot with a proper composition rather than reframing? Why expose properly?

Because you're a skilled photographer and you can. Of course this holds true more for landscapes and architecture than for street portraits (which is such a strange genre) where a little margin of error might help, though I don't see the point of intentionally doing a bad job just because you know you can improve it. If you're afraid of blowing highlights then an underexposed shot might be the best exposure. And shooting raw in high contrast areas makes a lot of sense. Intentionally underexposing and forcing yourself to do NR and tone mapping or whatever, or framing wrong just so you can frame right later makes no sense to me. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

But the better it is in the first place the better the end result will be. I'm just of the mindset that you should do as much as you can with each step, and more earlier on (either with efficiency or best product possible in mind), rather than falling back on post. Get the right subject, get the right light, get the right composition, enhance it in post--in that order and in order of decreasing priority. My favorite photographers do tons of PP (Adams, Crewdson, etc.), but those whose entire style is PP (Trey Ratcliff, for instance) are usually horrible photographers.

253
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« on: November 09, 2012, 04:22:17 PM »
I think there's valid reasons to shoot either JPG or RAW, and it sound like the OP has gotten the feedback that he/she was looking for.  I'm not sure it's necessary to try and convince people who have clearly established a functional workflow for themselves that their workflow is not ideal - everyone shoots their own way and manages their files their own way.  while I shoot RAW+JPG always, I appreciate what awinphoto is saying regarding shooting JPG-only for certain jobs, and it certainly looks like it works well for him/her.

Yes, you're right.  Awinphoto is welcome to shoot how he wants and there is nothing wrong with that.  But this is a forum discussion and I find some of his arguments to be inaccurate and/or based on very specific circumstances and assumptions that aren't generally applicable.

Meh... what part am I not correct... exposure, I shot how I want it exposed, WB I shoot how I want it WB...  As I said, I trained back when I had to present 4x5 negatives, 4x5 transparancy's and 4x5 prints of everything I shot... I didn't have the luxury to photoshop everything... I had to get it right, in camera...  That's what I aim for now.  I do some raw shots in which I intend to tweek and upsell in terms of wall prints, but in a small print (11x14 and smaller) trust me, there is little to no difference...  The juice isn't worth the squeeze... my large wall portraits, you betcha it's worth it.  While my company isn't as big as Doug Gordon's or as lucrative as Sal Cincotta's or fluid as Sandy Puk's or Sue Bryces, but i'm an artist, I'm a photographer, and frankly, time I would sitting in front of the computer, I could be doing other things... I've done the whole raw weddings... hello... remember 5d3, 5d2 and 7d's... I've processed them, saved to firewire HD's, processed them, I know EXACTLY how long they take to process... do not think i'm exaggerating... Granted my imac is 2 year old, so it's practically a dinosaur in todays speeds, but screw it, I've got my business set up for efficiency and maybe I'll be as profitable and busy as some of these top pro's... enough said.

Agreed. PP is often a crutch for those who can't get it right in camera. It's like when the red camera came out and everyone flipped over being able to switch WB in post, reframe in post, change exposure in post, etc. and declared it the only usable cinema camera. Aren't those all the things it's your job to do correctly on set?

That said, if there's a sign post or something in your otherwise perfect landscape, it's easier to clone it out than reframe, same goes for blemishes, etc. So overall efficiency and quality rather than dogmatic adherence to one part of the process or the other makes the most sense. No reason to criticize anyone's work flow if they're getting good results efficiently.

254
EOS Bodies - For Stills / It's all about volume...
« on: November 09, 2012, 02:33:51 PM »
If you shoot a lot, particularly as a professional who doesn't want to be mired in PP, JPEG is the way to go. The flip side of that is since you'll be supporting yourself off your work, you can probably afford to invest in a fast rig and storage and Lightroom and Aperture, for instance, should have good file management and fast processing. But for whatever reason if you shoot a lot and don't want to spend time processing in post, go JPEG. Especially if you're a good shooter.

If you don't shoot much and want either the best image quality (Canon's JPEG engine is softer than Adobe's and DXO's) or want to recover blown highlights, RAW can be great. Plus some of the tools available in Adobe's developer are super useful.

255
Lenses / Re: EF 24-70 f/4L IS & EF 35 f/2 IS
« on: November 05, 2012, 04:38:43 PM »
Equivalent to a 56mm f/2.0 prime with 4 stops of image stabalization on a full frame camera. 

Closer to a 56mm f3.2.

I agree that 35mm is a nice focal length for APS-C (and for FF, too). But if this lens is $800-$1200, as expected, will it be worth the one-stop advantage in speed (and likely slightly better IS) over the 17-55mm f2.8 IS, which is the king of the crop for APS-C?

What I'd really love to see is something like Nikon's amazing 35mm f1.8 or sigma's 30mm f1.4 (except better optically and cheaper, even if it means slower speed). The 50mm f1.8 is fine for APS-C, but it is a much harder focal length to use well because it is so subtle and elegant.

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