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David Mullen ASC

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About David Mullen ASC

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  • Birthday June 26

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    Cinematographer
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    Los Angeles

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    http://www.davidmullenasc.com

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  1. Sometimes it's less planned or designed, when editing two scenes together, the director and editor might feel that an establishing shot gives the pacing a bit of a pause, a breather, before it picks up again, but it partly depends on the surrounding shots -- if the previous scene ended with a cut to a powerful, dramatic distant shot, then cutting next to a wide establishing shot might dilute the power of the first wide shot by following it with another. However the last scene ended on a close-up and the director and editor feel that the start of the next scene would begin better on a close-up, they may find a need to create or find a wide establishing shot so they aren't cutting from close-up to close-up.
  2. But this is a day interior so many DPs would not turn on the practicals...
  3. No, that wasn't the mindset of the time... certainly not the mindset of James Wong Howe.
  4. It’s a bit odd to me that after 100 years of shooting movies inside cars on 35mm movie cameras, suddenly we need to shoot on a full-frame camera to avoid distortion... What about all the digital movies shot in the past 10 years, suddenly their car stuff all looks too distorted?
  5. I saw this in film school and even then, I felt that James Wong Howe should have stopped at some point when it started to go from simple, clean, and motivated to looking overlit, but I think he was giving the students some insight as to why you sometimes add additional spots on things lest they fall-off. Plus I think this was shot on slow Ektachrome 16mm film so he had to work with some pretty harsh lights and deal with a more contrasty piece of film.
  6. The Alexa LF is 4.5K compared to 3.5K for the regular Alexa. You can get a shallower focus look at the same f-stop because the focal length is longer on average. More resolution with larger sensors tend to give you less noise (or the same noise is magnified less) which either allows you to work at higher ISOs or gives you a bit more dynamic range in the shadows to work with. There are full-frame lenses that have certain characteristics that someone might like, though they could be used on a Super 35 camera... on the other hand, if the artifacts that interest you are around the edges, those edges will be cropped out in the smaller format.
  7. I want to clarify that lens designs do produce variations in distortions, not everyone’s 50mm lens create exactly the same artifacts. If you like the view and artifacts of a 50mm Helios lens shot wide-open at f/1.8, for example, on a full-frame camera, there’s no Super-35 equivalent to that — there is a 35mm Helios f2 lens for Super-35 but it would have to be almost an f1.0 lens to get the same effect. Larger sensors generally, not always, allow more resolution with less noise, and since the lenses tend to be longer to get the same field, they tend to create less depth of field unless you stop down to compensate, so it is easier to get a wide-angle image with shallower focus in larger formats. If you use a smaller format and want a wider view, you just use a shorter focal length.
  8. Here is a crude comparison I just did now -- the approx. 4mm on my iPhone to about 26mm on my full-frame camera's zoom. It's not perfect because I was handholding both cameras and it looks like my full-frame camera was an inch closer and a bit lower SO THEY DON'T MATCH EXACTLY. But we're talking about distortion of a wide-angle shot, one 4mm and the other 26mm!
  9. Distortion is determined for the position of the lens and its distance to the subject. If you match field of view (and depth of field) between formats, you would not see a difference if you match distance. The camera's "perspective" of a subject is determined by where it is relative to that subject. All the format is doing is cropping the size of the projected lens image. So if you put an 18mm lens on a Super-35 camera and a 24mm lens on a full-frame camera, the 18mm image is basically being cropped by the Super-35 format to the same view as the 24mm on the full-frame camera. Think of it this way -- the wider-angle lens on the iPhone has a focal length of 4.25mm -- you'd use a 26mm lens on a full-frame camera to get the same view. So if you think that an 18mm lens on a Super-35 camera is more distorted than a 24mm on a full-frame camera, a standard iPhone image must have a crazy fish-eye effect because, after all, it's only 4.25mm! See: http://www.yedlin.net/NerdyFilmTechStuff/MatchLensBlur.html Here he matches Super-35 to IMAX!
  10. This is a selfie I took with a 35mm on a full-frame and a 24mm on Super-35 frame (APS-C). The distortion is the same, the only difference between the two is how much my head is tilted forward between shots.
  11. Full-frame isn’t going to solve any problem with needing wide-angle lenses, the distortions are the same if the field of view is the same and the distance from lens to subject is the same. A 24mm on a full-frame camera isn’t less distorted than an 18mm on a Super-35 camera,
  12. 2X anamorphic lenses tend to already have less depth of field because on a similar-sized width of film or sensor, you use a longer focal length compared to spherical. But if you can find some anamorphic lenses in that f/1.4 to f/2 range, then I'm sure you'll have plenty of softness...
  13. Thanks Jarin -- that's something I've learned too -- if your key is going to end up, let's say, 2-stops under in the final shot for moonlight and the shadows go to near black at 5-stops under, then you basically have to have your fill only 2.5-3-stop under the key if you want detail. So to your eye, it seems a bit low-contrast on set. Satsuki, I seem to recall using a very tall condor but it took a lot of leveling. On her face, I think it was a daylight Litemat with a soft crate plus some flags.
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