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Mitch Gross

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Everything posted by Mitch Gross

  1. Selling for a friend. Privately owned lens, maintained by Panavision. Angenieux 45-120 T2.8 lightweight zoom in PL mount. Includes motor bracketry and case. Very limited use on lens. Excellent condition. Located in LA. Serious inquiries only please. Pictures & inspection available on request. Owner ready to move on to new investment so this is a good opportunity for someone to make a smart "tax purchase" before the end of the year. Please contact me at mitchgross@aol.com.
  2. Looks like a traditional soft overhead light with a bit of bounce fill for the eyes. I would skirt the light with some duvatyne or other fabric to drop the light on the walls some and get a bit of depth to the space. I personally would prefer a paper lantern "China ball" rig to a kino for this, but a kino should do just fine.
  3. Actually, the first thing to do is determine if it is the groundless that is out of alignment or the viewfinder optics (mostly likely the prism). pull off the mag cover and the port cap. Shine a light into the viewfinder. Look through the lens port and slowly rotate the mirror. If the groundless is in line with the gate then the problem is with the viewfinder. If it is out of alignment it most likely just needs to be reseated. Do you have a short eyepiece and a long eyepiece? It is possible that you stuck the eyepiece on the wrong way, with the registration pin not going into its little hole. That would cause the eyepiece to shift out of alignment and create just the issues you describe -- the framing would be off and focus would shift across the field. Check to make sure everything is seated properly. If it is seated correctly, try rotating the eyepiece a full 360 degrees, meaning spin the eyepiece so that the eyecup gpoints toward the front of the lens and then keep going around in a full circle until it lands back where you started. This can help reseat the eyepiece prism (the one that's right there next to your eye, not the one that is centered above the lens). If that doesn't fix it, try pulling off the camera lens and doing a 360 rotation at the other prism point (the one over the lens port). Note that many Aatons cannot do a 360 rotation at this location due to a patent issue with ARRI. If these steps do not fix the issue, you really best take it in for service. Last things you want to have happen are (A) all your footage out of focus or misframed or (B) some part coming loose while rolling and dropping onto the spinning mirror (yikes!).
  4. Getting back on topic, I rather enjoyed the series. It started off a little stiff for me, but by around episode three or so I was drawn in. I knew it had the group of kids and I was afraid that was going to wear on me, but the teenage story and the adults' story gave it a much needed sense of balance. It was three movie tropes in one: childhood fantasy, teen horror and adult conspiracy thriller. Interesting balance weaving the three together. I found the sheriff's story particularly compelling. I was fine with the use of the RED camera, although there were a couple of moments with the flashlights where a highlight like a flashlight said electronic instead of chemical to me. And there was the use of fog filters or some other low contrast filter that would cause a distracting change in overall contrast when a flashlight was waved around on screen. But those are just some minor points in what I found to be a very well done production. The Art Department did a great job.
  5. I saw the last several Christopher Nolan films in true 15/70 IMAX at the AMC Loews Lincoln Center theater in NYC. It's one of the premiere facilities for such screenings.
  6. Sometimes these shots were done with a large sheet of glass in between the actors and the camera, so that the sets could be built to a certain size for the actors to walk through and then the painting extending for the rest. Amazing what they could high and everything was lined up perfectly with a nodal head. But this false background appears physically behind the talent, so I would agree that it's a massive painted backdrop. Forced perspective could allow the canvas to be closer than it appears, but not by much.
  7. Try showing the rear of the lens and stick a ruler next to it so we have a clue.
  8. The original LTR manual was more a pamphlet than anything. Pretty sparse. If you can find it, I suggest getting the XTR manual written by Peter Abel of AbelCine (then called Abel Cine Tech). While there's obviously much in the manual that doesn't apply to the LTR cameras, there's so much more info in general that it is more helpful than the old LTR manual. IIRC, there's even some specific LTR info in there to help differentiate the models. Hard to recall details -- it's been a few decades.
  9. Yes, sorry. I meant to type M18. I'll correct that. Note that the HIVE 1K Wasp is both less expensive and uses considerably less power than the M18.
  10. The Odyssey7Q+ is the best device for this (caveat: I work for the manufacturer and I helped design its anamorphic desqueeze function, so I'm a bit partial). The Odyssey7Q+ offers multiple desqueeze options. It can desqueeze at 2x, 1.5x, and 1.33x ratios. Because a 16x9 sensor will yield a very wide frame on most anamorphic lenses, much wider than most people want, we also offer a cropped monitoring mode. This is a center extraction of the desqueezed image so that a traditional aspect ratio is shown that fills the screen, chopping off the unwanted sides of the image. The center extractions are a 1.33x desqueeze with 1.78 aspect ratio, a 2x desqueeze with a 2.39 aspect ratio, and a 2x desqueeze with a 2.67 aspect ratio. Other monitoring functions such as Pixel Zoom and exposure meters work as normal when Anamorphic Desqueeze is enabled. The video outputs of the Odyssey7Q+ will show the selected desqueezed view so that other monitors on set have the desqueezed view. The Odyssey7Q+ is the ONLY device on the market that does this. Note that the original signal is not altered at all. The recording is still squeezed, which is then best addressed in post. Also note that the Odyssey7Q+ is the best recorder available for the FS7. If the FS7 has the XDCA accessory back it can output RAW, and if the Odyssey7Q+ has the Odyssey RAW Bundle enabled it greatly increases the recording capabilities available. The combination can record in 4K up to 60p or 2K up to 240p. Recordings can be made in CinemaDNG RAW files or in Apple ProRes. No other device available offers these capabilities. You also mention using S-Log. The Odyssey7Q+ has an advanced LUT system included. There are a number of preset LUTs available and you can load an additional 140 custom LUTs. Preset LUTs include S-Log2 and S-Log3 to Rec709A and Rec709(800%). There are also Exposure Compensation LUTs for S-Log2 & 3 to Rec709A for when one wants to overexpose by 1 or 2 stops. That way you can choose to overexpose the image to reduce noise and increase effective bit usage while also viewing a "corrected image" so that you and your clients can see what you're doing. You can choose to have the Odyssey monitoring tools (waveform, spot meter, etc.) read either the source signal or the LUT-applied image. You can choose which signal goes to the different video outputs (there are three outputs, one HDMI and two SDI, and the LUT application can be selected individually) and you can choose if the monitoring tools are sent to the individual outputs as well. That way you can have a set monitor that shows the same thing as the Odyssey screen (perhaps a LUTTED image with a waveform reading the underlying signal), a signal to a DIT that is the original signal with no tools on the screen, and a signal sent to the Director/client monitors that is the LUTTED image with no tools. I know that this is WAY more info than you asked and there's a lot that has nothing to do with anamorphic viewing, but I thought that you might like to know of the other advantages this presents with the camera you mentioned.
  11. I would suggest the new Hive 1K Plasma light. The Par version is called the Wasp. It's more powerful than either of those lights by a wide margin but competitive in price. In fact it's the most powerful fixture available that can be plugged into a regular outlet. More punch than an ARRI M18. I find that when making a proper booklight you need two things: A lot of space and a lot of lumens. A booklight really eats up the foot-candles when you bounce and then diffuse.
  12. They use much more green because that's how the human brain perceives the visible spectrum. We basically see a bit of red on one end and a bit of blue on the other with a huge mass of green in the middle. When we rose from the primordial ooze we were surrounded by a whole lotta green and that's pretty much stuck with us. This is why the basic color adjustments work the way they do: color temperature is essentially adjusting the relative strength of red v. blue, and tint control is plus/minus on the green strength (green/magenta balance).
  13. Sensors have been "aggressively cooled" for many years. The inside of the Dalsa Origin was one big heat sink. The original Phantom HD was about 12 pounds, and almost 9 of them were spent on huge copper heat sinks and a heat radiating casing. There's pies cooling, heat pipes, directed fans, liquid cooling, on and on. Performance of the chips has gotten much better but then we just keep cranking up resolution and sensitivity, so temperature control remains one of the major barriers to performance. The Canon 8K demo system that uses 4x Odyssey7Q+ recorders to capture 8K60p is most impressive to me not because they built an 8K S35 chip with nice sensitivity and dynamic range, but because they could do so without the thing melting.
  14. Phantom cameras are available with different lens mounts, but it is a shop job to switch them. Most houses only have the PL mount, AFAIK.
  15. Having been involved in several of these camera designs as well as arial optics as used in scopes and periscope lenses (which is exactly what we are talking about here), I can tell you that it is a pretty horrible thing. The only way to even try to make it work is to start with the lens pretty far away, have the image land on an optical plane that is then reemerged at a further distance. That's how you get past your prism block. But you have to make a pretty big arial imager using doublets and triplets (multiple sandwiched optical elements) otherwise you suffer massive amounts of chromatic aberrations and other artifacts. You can get a pretty clean image (although it will NEVER be as good as it would be without this in the mix) but the camera will need to be 8"-12" longer and - oh yeah - you'll probably lose about two stops in the process. Also, if you have a three chip prism block on a 35mm-sized imager then it's going to be HUGE, which means that the camera will of necessity be really fat or tall or both. In one direction or another it will have a big hump, like Igor. Getting all this stuff aligned properly and at high resolution (HD/4K/8K/whatever) is that much more of a challenge the larger they are, and I would expect such a camera to have to sell for at least $100K just to make it worth attempting. So now we're talking about a very, very expensive camera system that is huge, heavy, isn't particularly light sensitive and may or may not have optical quality loss, all so that one can use current glass. Yeah, it's not going to happen for a lot of good reasons. No matter what anyone thinks of Bayer pattern and chroma subsampling, just remember that as nature went through it's own evolutionary process it arrived at pretty much the same configuration inside our skulls. There's probably a reason for that.
  16. They both noticeably improve a couple stops closed, but the Zeiss is sharper stop for stop. Depending on generation, the Ang. standardly opened to T1.9 and then you could push a little tab to open it up to T1.6. Performance really suffered when you did that, which is why they made it an extra step choice. I think they color coded the aperture ring as well for that one. But in doc work sometimes you have to do what's necessary to get the shot. These are really not modern lenses, either mechanically or optically. Well, the Zeiss 10-100/T2 is a lot more modern, but there's still a lot of history there. Use one of these for a bit and you quickly understand what people mean by a lens "having a personality." Modern glass is kinda boring in comparison.
  17. Companies such as Century Precision Optics and Optex used to convert telephoto Nikon and Canon lenses to PL mount. A good rental house should have a number of options available in the 300-800mm range. They'll have various mounting solutions available as well. I'm sure a place like Clairmont will have a variety of lenses (I think they even made their own 1000mm that weighed a ton).
  18. The 16mm Zeiss zooms always breathed a lot, including the 10-100/T2. Certainly they did it a lot more than the Ang. 9.5-57. The Zeiss lenses were fairly consistent but the Ang. lenses had a LOT of variability rom lens to lens. In it's heyday, Angenieux had a facility in Long Island that took all the lenses important from france and REBUILT them to try to even things out a bit. And these were factory-fresh zooms! That said, I could never quite get the snap to the image on a Zeiss 10:1 that I could on a Zeiss SuperSpeed. And an Ang. 9.5-57 HEC was a terrific little lens. That was actually my first lens when I first bought my old Aaton kit and it got me through several docs before I sold it to go all Super-16. One thing to note is that the Angenieux exhibits some odd pincushion distortion in the middle of its zoom range. You wouldn't expect to see that around 20mm or so, but the lens was fairly well corrected on either end of the zoom. Just a tad funky in the middle. All part of that Angenieux look. You definitely want an HEC (High Efficiency Coating) version of the 9.5-57. Makes a big difference in performance. Zeiss still has better contrast, but contrast isn't everything.
  19. First 5: Sunrise The Grapes of Wrath The Third Man Night of the Hunter Manhattan Second 5: Citizen Kane The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari Paths of Glory Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Last Year at Marienbad Honestly, there are so many wonderful examples of B&W cinematography out there, but few pushed the boundaries and led to such sublime visual moments.
  20. It was a hyper-stylized look and even if it was kinda insane they went with it and in the end decided that they liked it. Otherwise given the landscape and environment it should really have been just pure blackness. It's such a stylized film anyway that I just thought "well, okaaaay," and went with it. I'm also quite sure that they overexposed two stops (meaning, rated the camera at ISO 200) and let it clip. Then they did sky replacements as necessary. There's so much sky replacement throughout the film as it is, that was really no big deal. Overexposing by a consistent two stops expressly to pull out shadow detail is very different from ETTR. ETTR is just efficiently filling a bit bucket and not considering at all how shots intercut. It's just giving information in post without making decisions on set. It's good for stills work but I find little use for it in motion picture work where one must have consistency between shots in the edit. For that one must consider the level of the key and keep it as consistent as possible within the scene, while controlling the relative contrast of the rest of the image based on that key level. True ETTR loses that out the window and shifts exposure in every shot to just capture the most information. I don't always want the most information, but instead the information I consider important or consistent with the rest of my shots.
  21. The beauty of what Deakins does is that it all looks so simple, so matter of fact. But in reality there is a vast amount of careful consideration and detailed planning. He doesn't just randomly go into a location, look at the natural lighting and then boost that. He thinks about what he wants to say visually, finds a way to express it that can appear simple and invisible to the audience, and then carefully executes it without intruding in the director's or actors' work. That takes an incredible amount of talent and skill to pull off. Anyone can emphasis a moment with a fast dolly in and a shaft of backlight. Deakins does it with a simple closeup and soft light coming from just outside of the frame. That is craft.
  22. Don't forget that one's work must be appropriate to a given project. For much of his earlier work with Jeunet he used older, softer Cooke zooms, but I'm sure that would never be appropriate for a Fincher film. And sometimes it's a matter of a director or producer allowing the DP to spread his wings a bit. To reference an outside example, The Graduate was lauded for it's of-the-minute style using strong colors, extreme angles, calling attention to the CinemaScope frame, handheld POV and other types of imagery that certainly didn't fit into "accepted Hollywood norms" of the time. Yet it was photographed by Hollywood veteran Robert Surtees, who was in his sixties at the time with something like 50 feature DP credits to his name over a span of more than two decades. None of that is to take anything away from Khondji's work, which I find exquisite. His use and control over shadows and hanging images just at the edge of exposure is really quite lovely and expressive. He's lucky to have gotten the chance to show what he could do.
  23. There are several LED panel or array fixtures that have very good color rendition and decent output. Where it is still a bit tough is in the lensed lights. If you like hard point sources that can be flagged and otherwise shaped then the choices shrink rapidly. There are a few manufacturers, but these lights are still expensive compared to the tungsten equivalents. But yes, you can definitely work entirely in LED/remote phosphor these days with excellent results. Some talent and clients demand it as they do not want to deal with the heat of tungsten fixtures.
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