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Karl Lee

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Everything posted by Karl Lee

  1. Hi all. I hadn't had my SR3 fully assembled and running in nearly two years, so I thought I'd get it out, run some practice film through the mags, and put it through its paces...kind of like periodically running a car that is in storage. Anyway, all appears to be well mechanically, but after running 300' or so of practice film through one of the mags, I noticed accumulation of debris in the throat of the mag, and a bit of black sooty material on the pressure plate. The material accumulated in throat seemed to have the consistency of carpet lint, but I'm pretty sure it's extremely thin, curled shavings of film. Any thoughts on whether this indicates an issue with the mag, or could it be simply due to practice film that's past its prime? My practice film is some older EXR, and while I've used it sparingly before (maybe running 30' or so through just to do a scratch test), this time I ran nearly 300' through the mag, and even ran the camera at 48 FPS for a minute. I've never had an issue with this mag before, and I'm hoping that it's just an issue with film that I shouldn't be using anymore, even for testing. On that note, what's the best source for acquiring some new-ish test film? Thanks to anyone who might be able to help!
  2. I have a Canon 11.5 - 138 S16 PL mount lens that I use with my SR3, and if possible, I'd like to try some digital cinematography with my S16 lens. A while back I asked about digital cinematography with a S16 lens, and someone mentioned that the BMPCC might be a good choice. I'm guessing that this was referring to the original BMPCC, which was limited to 1080 and had a S16 sensor. Does anyone know if the newer BMPCC 4k would be a viable option, or would its (presumably) larger 4/3" sensor pose issues for using a S16 lens? Or, does the BMPCC 4k have some sort of scaling option that would make the use of a S16 lens possible? I'm guessing that shooting 4k with a S16 lens may not be possible, so I'm curious what the resolution options would be with my lens. Along the same lines, is there particular MFT to PL adapter that's generally regarded as being superior to others? I see that there are a number of adapters available, but as with anything else, my assumption is that you get what you pay for. Without any prior knowledge, I would probably be inclined to go with Wooden Camera's adapter, as I've been pretty impressed with WC gear that I've bought for my SR3 rig. Also, is shimming usually a necessary process when it comes to using this kind of adapter? I notice that Wooden Camera sells an "all purpose" MFT to PL adapter that includes a set of shims, however they also have a MFT to PL adapter advertised as being specifically for the BMPCC that doesn't appear to include shims. That said, I'm curious if these adapters are, in fact, a little different, and if the BMPCC version has been tweaked to ensure optimal compatibility with the BMPCC. Thanks!
  3. Right...I can't imagine that there are any systems that can (accurately and consistently) visually resolve TC from a TC slate in a video clip. Rather, I'd imagine that if the TC slate was the primary visual reference, TC would need to be set manually in the NLE for each slated take.
  4. I should have specified this in my original post, but I'm primarily interested in how this relates to production workflows where the camera itself isn't synced (such as when using a film camera not equipped with Aatoncode / Arricode), in which case the TC slate captured visually on film and the TC-synced audio recorder are the only two reference points for synchronization.
  5. I was curious if anyone might be able to help with a few questions I have about production workflows that use a TC slate for sync sound. While I understand that an external TC generator is used to sync both the TC slate and TC-capable audio recording device, my questions are specifically about how TC on the audio recording device translates to the editing workflow. My understanding is that there are a couple of ways to handle audio TC in double system recording. One method, which seems to be the most widely discussed, is that the TC-synced audio recorder adds a timecode “stamp” to each file to note the exact time at which the recording started. From what I’ve read, .bwf seems to be the most popular file format for TC-stamped audio recordings. Secondly, while this method may not be widely used, another option, on a multi-track recording, would be to record SMPTE timecode (from an external TC generator synced to the slate) on one audio track, thus providing TC reference for the recorded clip by virtue of the SMPTE recorded on a spare audio track. Being mindful of present-day NLE workflows, are both of these TC methods practical, or is one typically preferable over the other? And, for the latter workflow, can most NLEs decode SMPTE timecode from an audio track, or would this need to be done in a third-party program or utility? In particular, I’d be interested to know how these two workflows would translate specifically to DaVinci Resolve or Avid Media Composer | First. It would seem that the second method I mentioned might be a little more helpful in spot checking sync throughout a longer clip, as this method would have a running TC reference for the duration of the audio clip as opposed to a single time stamp that was marked at the beginning of the recording. Any thoughts or information would be appreciated. Thanks!
  6. Hi everyone. I have an SR3 and a Canon 11.5 - 138 S16 PL mount lens. Out of curiosity, do there exist any digital cinema cameras, past or present, on which a S16 lens would provide sufficient coverage for the sensor at all focal lengths? I'm guessing that 4K is definitely out of the question, and that even 1080p might be iffy, but I thought I'd as least ask. I'm just curious if, in addition to shooting S16, I might be able to use my Canon lens for any digital cinema applications as well, provided that I pair it with the right camera. Thanks!
  7. Hi everyone. I'd like to get a follow focus for the Canon 11.5 - 138 S16 lens that I use with my SR3, however I see that there are a few different standards for gear sizes (MOD 0.8, MOD 0.6, and so on), and that even within these standards, there are various tooth counts (MOD 0.8 w/ 35 tooth count, MOD 0.8 w/ 42 tooth count, etc.). Is there any way for me to figure out which "MOD" standard and tooth count would be compatible with my lens? I'm not sure if the gear rings on my lens are factory originals, or if they were added by the original owner (my lens was originally a rental which I purchased from Otto Nemenz). I've included a photo of my lens for reference. From the photo, would anyone be able to make an educated guess as to which follow focus gear I would need for the lens? Thanks to anyone who might be able to help!
  8. This has turned out to be an interesting discussion, and thanks to everyone who has replied to my original thread. I did notice in the screenshot that there appears to be a bit of vignetting around the corners of the slate, so that's why I thought that perhaps there was some sort of optical path integrated into the camera that allowed the internal slate to be filmed. And, if the illumination of the marker (or some other visual cue) and bloop sync tone were synchronized, then I'd assume that the marker must have been filmed during production as either a standard slate or tail slate. Also, could someone explain the difference between ANSI, NISO, and DIN markers? On the surface, the marker just looks like an incrementing counter, so I'm curious about what the difference was between these different types of slates / markers. Thanks!
  9. Hi everyone. I wanted to see if anyone might be able to help explain a slate / marker that I noticed while watching an episode of The Monkees TV series from the 1960s. Yes, I actually became an avid fan of the show in the late 1980s when I was in first or second grade and the show was airing daily on a local channel. Anyway, this particular episode includes a few outtakes at the end of the show prior to the end credits, and between takes there's a momentary shot of what appears to be some sort of slate or marker, accompanied by an audio cue that's essentially just a buzzing sound (or maybe it's overmodulated tone). As expected, the number increments with each new take. Out of curiosity, does anyone know what type of slate this was? I'm curious if this was actually some sort of slate that was filmed during production (perhaps even integrated into the camera), or if it was inserted at some point in post or during the audio synchronization process. Thanks to anyone who might be able to help!
  10. This might be old news, but while I was checking out the S8 section of Kodak's website and reading about their new S8 camera, I noticed that they plan to start offering an all-in-one film/processing/scanning package for S8, presumably to coincide with the release of their new S8 camera. From the website... Easier than Ever Shooting Analogue has never been so easy. When you purchase film you will be buying the film, processing and digital transfer. The lab will send you your developed film back and email you a password to retrieve your digital scans from the cloud so you can edit and share in any way you choose. There's no pricing information yet, but it will certainly be interesting to see how this pans out. Kodak seems to be marketing the new S8 camera under their consumer division, so I'm curious if these will actually be decent quality scans/transfers, or transfers that might be impressive enough for the average consumer but not so much to someone with a more discriminating eye for film transfers. Hopefully the former will be the case. Also, I'm curious if Kodak is establishing their own facility to handle the processing and transfers, or if this is something that will be outsourced. I've read that Kodak will be opening a new film lab in NYC sometime later this year, so perhaps these services will coincide with the opening of their new lab. I've been shooting 16mm for the last couple of years since I bought my SR3, but I shot tons of S8 before I stepped up to 16mm. This might be an excuse to pull the old 7008PRO out of retirement and try shooting some S8 again!
  11. No offense taken, Bill. I can certainly see your perspective regarding the deeper DOF and overall crispness of some scenes, and I'm always interested to hear feedback from others. My lens is a Canon 11.5 - 138. I bought it used, and I'm not quite sure when Canon made this particular lens, but it's specified as a S16 lens, so my guess is probably late '90s or early 2000s. It's not nearly as expensive as a Cooke or Zeiss, but I didn't want to put too much money into a much more expensive lens since this is more less a hobby for me...and I already put enough into buying the SR3! Even so, I've been quite pleased with the lens, considering that I was able to stay under $2500 for a pre-owned PL mount zoom. On a side note, in an earlier post Gregg indirectly mentioned something about the possibility of UV (presumably since it was a sunny day) resulting in less contrast. Under what circumstances would the use of a UV filter be recommended? I don't have any UV filters at the moment, although I was thinking of picking up one at some point to use as an optical flat in my matte box for lens protection if I'm not using any other filters.
  12. Bill, I was using a ND9 when I was shooting 250D in Chicago, and no filter when I was shooting 50D in Toronto and Ottawa. I checked my notes, and with a couple of exceptions, I filmed most of the shots in Toronto and Ottawa at a T5.6 / 8 split (50D / no filter). In Chicago, I filmed most of the shots in direct sunlight at T11, while most shots with mixed sun / shadows were filmed at a T5.6 / 8 split or T8 (250D with ND9). That said, perhaps the narrower apertures and resulting deeper DOF are contributing to your observations. Also, many shots were filmed with my lens at its widest (11.5 mm), so that combined with the narrower aperture did result in a deeper DOF. Generally speaking, when filming exteriors as I did in my uploaded videos, are narrower apertures like T8 or T11 used frequently, or do most cinematographers prefer filtering down to maybe a T2.8 or T4, even on a sunny day to achieve a shallower DOF? There are many variables and I'm sure it all depends on the situation and desired look, but maybe next time I'll give it a try. Focus will be a little more critical, but I wouldn't mind experimenting with a shallower DOF. You hear about trying to make video look like film all the time, but I guess trying to make film look like film can sometimes be an issue as well!
  13. Thanks for the notes and replies. As some of you have already mentioned, I think some of the quality and grain is definitely lost in the YouTube compression. I actually tried exporting a variety of different formats from Premiere and and uploading them to YouTube, but I found that even the higher resolution files ultimately succumb to YouTube's transcoding and compression. Bill, to my eyes grain is much more evident in the original ProRes clip I received from FotoKem, but moreso in the 250D than the 50D which is what I would have expected. As I mentioned, I think the YouTube compression has killed some of the grain detail. Out of curiosity, when you mentioned that it looks a bit too "crisp", are you referring to the lack of grain, or is there something else about the filming and/or transfer that might be making it a little too crisp in your opinion? I don't know exactly which equipment FotoKem used for the transfer, so I'm not sure if it was technically a telecine or scan transfer. The end product, as I requested, was a ProRes 4444 clip, so I don't have discrete, individual frames from a scan. Even so, if you're curious I could try uploading a few snippets of my transfers to Dropbox and make them available for download. I think ProRes is pretty much out of the question on account of its size, but I could experiment with a few different formats. Yes, my project was just processing and transfer for 800' of S16, and they were very accommodating and happy to help.
  14. Well, I'm a little late (ok...really late!), but I just wanted to give a shout out to FotoKem for a really nice S16 processing and transfer job they did for me late last year. I finally got around to uploading a few samples of my filming in Chicago, Toronto, and Ottawa which I thought I'd share, since I know many of us are curious about how others' transfers have turned out. I'm really happy with the transfer, and I think FotoKem's work added a nice, crisp look to my otherwise rudimentary camera work.
  15. On the SR3, just above the pitch adjustment on the dumb side of the camera, there's a mounting bracket for the IVS video tap. Does anyone know if this bracket is some kind of standard ARRI mount, and if so, what it's called? My SR3 package came with an IVS video tap, but since I rarely use the tap I usually just keep it detached from the camera to cut down on weight. With the IVS removed, the mounting bracket would be very convenient for attaching an accessory or two, but I can't seem to find any information about this bracket. I checked, and it's a little wider than a standard hot shoe mount, so unfortunately I can't use any of the readily available hot shoe mounts or adapters. I could probably rig up something on my own, but I thought I'd check here first. Thanks!
  16. Not to take this thread off course, but out of curiosity, is there a reason that the IA logo is often, if not always, the only union logo commonly included in the end credits of union productions? Granted, I'd imagine that the IA usually represents a majority of off-camera labor involved in union films, but you'd think that some of the other unions (like the Teamsters, DGA, SAG, AFM, etc.) frequently involved in production or post would want equal representation with their logos in the end credits.
  17. Thanks for all of the replies. If nothing else, I'm a little relieved to know that the light leaks were likely a result of viewfinder flare and my own error, and not a leaky camera or mag! In the past, I haven't always worn a hat or visor when filming, but I'll definitely keep that in mind from now on, especially when filming outdoors. More importantly, I'll definitely be more careful to not remove my eye from the viewfinder when filming, since I now know from experience what can and will happen if too much light enters the viewfinder when filming. In this case, I think it was largely due to the fact that I was fumbling with the LED sync box in my other hand, but I'm already working on a new sync LED system that will affix to the inside of the French flag on my matte box. The idea is that I'll be able to flip down the French flag prior to filming, start rolling and immediately (well, when the camera is at speed) mark a sync point with the small LED assembly mounted on the underside of the French flag, then flip up the French flag and begin filming. I'm hoping this kind of configuration will work much better than having to fumble with a separate sync box, especially when I'm solo shooting run-and-gun, which is what I'm doing most of the time. To answer Mark's question, the SR3 eyecup doesn't have auto-closing iris / shutter...at least not the eyecup I have, but I don't think I've seen an SR3 eyecup with an auto-closing iris. It does have a lever that can be used to manually close and open the shutter, but it doesn't close automatically.
  18. Hi everyone. I shot some 16mm over the summer and recently had it transferred, and I noticed a few momentary spots of what appear to be light fogging on the transfer. Initially I was concerned that it might be due to a light leak in the mag, but the more I thought about it, a persistent light leak probably wouldn't result in momentary flashes of fogging. That's when it occurred to me that the flashes appear near the beginning or at the end of shots and at times when I may have momentarily removed my eye from the viewfinder, so I'm wondering if what I'm seeing is actually viewfinder flare. I've shot a fair amount of 16mm with my SR3 and haven't noticed this fogging before, but then I realize that many factors can contribute to viewfinder flare, and it could be that on the day I was filming, the angle and intensity of the sun and position of my viewfinder were just right to cause the flare. I've uploaded a short clip of the transfer showing two instances of the suspected flare. The first occurrence is pretty bad, the second isn't so bad but is nonetheless noticeable. So, is what I'm seeing in these clips actually viewfinder flare, or could it be something else? Thanks for any advice!
  19. I just noticed that someone mentioned Filmworkers Dallas in another recent thread. Although Filmworkers still offers transfer services, unfortunately they recently closed their film lab and no longer offer processing services. I used Filmworkers for a small 16mm processing and transfer project earlier this year (for which they did an excellent job, by the way) and contacted them again about a month ago to inquire about processing and transfer for another project, and that's when I learned that they have suspended their film lab operations. Sadly, the options for motion picture processing are continuing to dwindle, but it's all the more reason to be thankful for and appreciate the labs that still offer processing services and allow us to continue shooting film!
  20. Just thought I'd take a moment to put in a good word for Filmworkers in Dallas, a lab and transfer house that doesn't come up in discussion too often here. Today I received a completed processing and transfer order I sent out to Filmworkers last week. I had 800' of S16 processed and a telecine transfer to ProRes 4444 (they do also offer scanning services). I believe they used a Spirit DataCine for the transfer, and it looks awesome...I couldn't be happier with the end product. As for turnaround, they received my order late in the afternoon on a Wednesday and sent it out the following Tuesday, which was actually faster than I expected. I'm guessing that film work isn't the largest part of their business, and typically they don't do a lab run every day, but kudos to them for continuing to offer processing and transfer services. As for pricing, they do offer very reasonable discounted rates for non-commercial / independent processing and transfer projects. If you'd like more information or a quote specific to your project, I'd suggest contacting Kimberly Estrada (kimberlye@filmworkers.com) at Filmworkers. She's a producer and was the primary contact for my project, and she was very good about keeping me updated and confirming receipt of my film, the progress of my order, and providing tracking information when the completed order was returned to me. As I mentioned, Filmworkers hasn't come up too often in discussion here in the message boards, perhaps because people aren't even aware that they're still operating a lab in Dallas. Judging from their online portfolio, it looks like they handle a number of big name projects (film and digital), but as I found, they're still accomodating to a 16mm enthusiast like me with a small project. That said, definitely keep them in mind for your processing and transfer projects...highly recommended!
  21. Aside from Miller's US-based service center in New Jersey, can anyone recommend any reputable service companies for Miller fluid heads? I contacted Keith at TriVision, as he did some excellent, reasonably priced work on my Sachtler fluid head, but unfortunately TriVision doesn't service Miller equipment. Thanks!
  22. I'll preface this post by stating that in no way am I intending to trivialize the duties of any specific role within a film crew. Frankly, I've never worked on a project large enough to have dedicated DP, camera operator, and 1st AC positions, so perhaps it's not even my place to bring up this question...but I'll give it a try anyway :) Anyway, in the pecking order of a film crew, the camera operator typically works under direction of the DP, and the 1st AC works under the camera operator. Could it be argued, though, that despite this hierarchy, in some respects the 1st AC has a greater responsibility and requires more technical skill than a camera operator? Granted, there's certainly a degree of skill involved in being a good camera operator, but from a creative perspective, camera operators typically take their cues from the DP. From a technical perspective, it seems that most responsibility is in the hands of the 1st AC. Making sure aperture, shutter angle, and shutter speed are all set properly? That's up to the 1st AC. Pulling focus, especially for tricky shots with fast motion and/or very shallow DOF? Again, that's all on the 1st AC. Perhaps I'm way off on this argument. Maybe it simply comes down to the fact that there are creative and technical aspects of every production and a camera operator's duties tend to be more creative in nature, while the AC caters to the more technical side of production, and it takes both working together to end up with a quality product in the can. Still, I'd be interested to hear others' thoughts on this.
  23. I was looking through active and sold listings of PL mount lenses on eBay, and I stumbled on some Kern prime lens listings and was surprised to see that some are selling for nearly $1000, and in some cases, well over $1000. Granted, Kern glass is generally regarded as being excellent quality, but aside from those still filming with Bolex cameras, is there much of a use for these vintage lenses elsewhere or in the digital realm? I think the fact that most of them are C-mount might be a big limiting factor, and I'm guessing that many of the Kern cine lenses aren't even S16 safe, which would make them all the more limiting for use in film or digital. Also, didn't some of the Kern lenses have some type of integrated optical adjustment to compensate for light loss from the Bolex beamsplitter? If so, wouldn't this affect the accuracy of the lens aperture markings when used on a non-Bolex camera?
  24. Does anyone know if any of the ports/pins on an SR3 provide either a momentary or maintained contact closure or voltage whenever the camera is switched to run mode? Judging from the accessory port pinouts listed in Jon Fauer's SR3 book, I'm guessing not, but I thought it would be worth asking anyway. Thanks!
  25. A while back...I believe it was in an InCamera article from Kodak...a cinematographer discussed his preferences in selecting a film stock for shooting daylight exteriors. If I recall correctly, I think he mentioned that he preferred 50D when filming in direct sunlight, while he preferred 200T or 250D when filming overcast exteriors with more diffuse lighting. I don't believe the reasoning was simply based on using a faster or slower stock based on ambient lighting, but rather because of his opinion that in terms of grain structure and overall appearance, he believed that 200T and 250D outperformed 50D under cloudy conditions, and vice versa for sunny exteriors. That said, do you happen to have any film stock preferences for filming daylight exteriors under sunny vs. overcast conditions?
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