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Dan Finlayson

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Everything posted by Dan Finlayson

  1. Totally understand this perspective and I really wish delivery compression wasn't geared exclusively toward smallest file sizes across the board. When I do really want grain though, I usually trial and error a higher grain level for streaming vs my prores output. It's imperfect but I usually end up somewhere I'm happy enough with.
  2. Spectra is decent for super 8. I try to go to Fotokem for 16mm or 35mm.
  3. This happens to an extent with split diopters in front of the lens too, correct?
  4. There's been a few comments addressing the length of your short - I really think this is a major factor here. I shot a "short" that ran 18 minutes. We got accepted to a pretty good shorts festival and I spoke to the programmer about it. It's really important to remember the perspective of the people running the festival - they schedule blocks of shorts, usually tied together with some sort of common theme. They really don't want one short to dominate a screening block unless it *really* matches the theme well. We got super lucky. So making a long short is really stacking the cards against yourself in the festival world. Don't take it personally if it doesn't get accepted - you're absolutely at a disadvantage going up against 5-10 minute films that are easier to program.
  5. This serves a different purpose! The Alexa is 10 years old and has had false color since the beginning. The EL Zones are making the translation from IRE values to stops as your meter would see them. It's a small difference but notable since no one's really taken that last step. It is worth noting that the Alexa false color is kind of in-between. The green and pink levels are telling you stop values while the rest are IRE information. Which is probably why I like that implementation the best
  6. We'll always have to learn each camera. But Lachman is doing something different here. He/Panasonic are calibrating the false color specifically to V-log on the varicam before any creative luts or compression is applied. The point isn't to know much about the varicam's latitude - it's just to make the camera a really detailed spot meter.
  7. How many "bad" lenses check all the boxes the K35s do? Full frame, decent focus breathing control, limited LoCA for their age... The price is inflated but they're definitely unique.
  8. I used one of those 3 bodies shortly after! On my very low budget project with limited accessories - I enjoyed working with it. I was in Abel's LA location in 2019 and asked about the Penelopes - they told me all the bodies had been sold. I can totally see how big feature production could test the limits of that camera. On the other hand I'd shoot a music video on one in a heartbeat... if I could ever find one to rent!
  9. True but I don't think anyone's picking K35s to shoot at f/4... they want that sweet, low con, WFO look
  10. I've shot with standard speeds extensively - they are absolutely distorted! There is a decent amount of field curvature that gives a three-dimensional quality to center-framed subjects. There is also a moderate amount of barrel distortion on all the lenses wider than 40mm. I think they are beautiful lenses and part of why I like them is their distortion compared to anything newer.
  11. From a safety perspective, as a cinematographer, I would veto any shot like this as soon as it involves crossing a street. I've worked a lot on low and no budget projects (more than I wish lol) and that's one point where I draw the line. I do think, under certain circumstances, you could steal something like this if you're entirely on a sidewalk and never cross any car paths. Even a busy driveway or parking lot entrance is too sketchy for me to sign off on. I were your collaborator, my first question would probably be "why does it *need* to be a single take?" Maybe you've had this conversation already and have an excellent answer for that of course! Regarding lighting: One counterpoint for 35mm is that if you're pushing the limits on exposure, grain will be less overbearing. If you can shoot at a 2/2.8 split or deeper, consider 35, especially if you're shooting 3-perf or 2-perf (and have a great 1st AC)
  12. @Daniel Klockenkemper Just gotta shout it out - that was a really excellent explanation!
  13. I take it you're interested in a monitor that does these functions? As opposed to a stand-alone box? I'm interested in any solutions people recommend for this too
  14. I know this is an old thread but I just picked up the Benro S6 Pro and it's pretty decent for what it is. Also I HATE bowl mounts. Give me a 2575 on real sticks any day of the week. Even with tiny heads I prefer the flat base and to level with the sticks.
  15. Ahh thank you! That dramatic defocus in the center is definitely reading here. I captured my test images with a Sony A7s. I then cropped the image to 2814px across which, according to my math, should closely match the horizontal FOV of an Alexa Classic. Here's one more image, this time focused at about infinity: https://imgur.com/a/BPu8Xuu I'm really glad you included this in focus image as well because it raises some questions about the particular lens I shot through. In the infinity focus image there's quite a bit of softening at the edges. Is this a characteristic of infinity focus on these old Distagon lenses or should I be seeing flatter focus across the image circle than this like on your lens projector shot? I shot this image wide open.
  16. Thank you so much Dom! I'm so glad I posted here - your lens test is an amazing resource! I've definitely seen this sort of phenomenon as you describe and demonstrate on your website. New lenses like the Leica cine lenses have so little of this that I don't enjoy their images. What I'm seeing on your test charts lines up with my anecdotal experiences. Something about this wide shot I took (shot open at T2.1) just feels more pronounced than anything I've seen before. I know this is hard to evaluate from my shots but does this strike you as normal performance out of a 28mm Standard Speed? Also - based on my very limited understanding of the history of these lenses I'm under the impression the 28mm was one of the later designs they manufactured. Is this true? Did they make multiple iterations of this lens?
  17. Yesterday I needed to evaluate the basic condition of a lens quick and dirty - no fancy equipment at my disposal. I decided to shoot some stills through it at a grassy field to get an idea of what field curvature the lens has and if there's any weird tilt. I was expecting a gentle curvature with the plane of focus curving toward camera at the edges. What I got was pretty surprising: https://imgur.com/a/GZDs7Wy In this shot the lens is set to focus just a few feet in front of me. The plane of focus sweeps away from me dramatically toward the edges. This is a Zeiss standard speed. I've shot on standards probably more than any other lens and I've NEVER noticed one do this. At the same time, I've never really gone looking for the focus plane like this before. Is this anywhere close to normal? If not, what would cause it?
  18. Do you consider Chungking Express a real film then? I agree efficiency is a virtue but all power to anyone who's willing to chop up and re-imagine their work if it makes it better. From the trailer though... 1000% wont be watching this haha
  19. Wow these really are phenomenal on S16mm!
  20. Really beautiful work! As much as you didn't write it as a covid film, I think it will be all the more accessible to people who may not have confronted loneliness to the extent that they have this year. Your camera placement and lens choice are so strong! Keep trusting your intuition in this department with your next film! I didn't mind one bit when the star filter wasn't perfectly aligned - I think it worked super well with the aesthetic of the 16mm and the way you move the camera. With a "cleaner" approach it might have bothered me I wish I had more criticism but I truly think you're on a great trajectory and should just keep making concise films like this.
  21. Something else to keep in mind -- the teeth of the gear of your zoom motor/the teeth on the focus ring and how they mesh. You want constant contact to avoid any micro stuttering as one tooth hands off to the next. In theory, creating firm contact between your motor and the lens can solve this - but this relies on the barrel of the focus ring being perfectly round. If it isn't, too much pressure will create problems that will be exacerbated by the slow zoom. My recommendation: Newer zooms will be in better shape with perfectly round barrels and cleaner teeth. Also seek out a new gear for the lens motor you're using. You could consider buying or even 3d printing a new one if you have access to that or know someone who can help you out.
  22. For prores encoding it really doesn't make a difference - just use what's convenient for you. For h264, people have opinions on this. I personally am happy with Adobe and have my settings dialed in there.
  23. Ah I thought the 416 shipped earlier than that! I think you make a lot of good points but suspect they did indeed produce more than they could sell at the price they wanted like you said. Such a beautiful camera!!
  24. I'd bet quite a bit more than 50. Rule/Boston Camera had 2 of them as a point of reference. Plus Aaton made about 60 Penelopes which was a camera released deeper into the digital shift. 4 years earlier in 2004 I'd imagine a lot of rental houses pounced on the 416. But I'd love to know a definitive answer!
  25. 1 Absolutely interested in the scope you have discussed! Something that can do a faithful reproduction without abandoning the modern DI entirely 2 Only the most rudimentary grain application and occasional gate-weave. I also often use an upper highlight qualifier to give the brightest highlights that particular redish orange you often find when there's halation. I don't create the halation itself though. 3 Yes! Even a tool that was Alexa specific. 4 1000%. I fall in the category of DP who shoots things that can't afford the expensive post house so I likewise don't have many resources to offer. One I thing I do have is a Moviecam Compact and access to my friend's Alexa. I've dreamed of going down the rabbit hole you have with developing a homemade process but I haven't had the money to even take the first step. I'd gladly offer my cameras and time to the cause if it's worth anything. And last, the results you've already achieved are really fantastic!
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