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Karim D. Ghantous

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Everything posted by Karim D. Ghantous

  1. From what little I know, this is what you have to do: measure the distance to the live action subject. Say, it's 6'. And the vertical FOV, for arguments' sake, is exactly head-to-toe. So, how do you imitate that with a miniature? Well, you use the scale of the miniature. So, if the live action actor is 6' tall, and you are 6' away from him, and if the miniature is 6" tall, then you put the camera 6" away from it. Then match the FOV. That is all I know and even here I might be wrong, because I've never done it. But, you should be able to test this via experiment.
  2. From what I understand, prints have less DR than negatives due to the increase in contrast. I think? But, was this 4K scan done from the negative? If so, let's keep in mind that EXR was years away. EXR I think was an innovative stock which greatly expanded DR. Black & white film had more DR than any colour stock for a long time, AFAIK.
  3. A minor note to this discussion. For the few people who don't know, Red has a process called Advanced Dragon Debayer, or ADD, for the Dragon sensor. I don't know if this is now the default algorithm for newer sensors, maybe it is, I'm not sure. What it does is quite significant - it's almost like a resolution upgrade. But it's so processor intensive that you can't do this in real time yet. Maybe one day you'll be able to, and eventually RAW will be truly redundant (which is one of the aims of camera manufacturers at the demand of photographers). Back in the day I used to shoot slide film when I could. Not merely for the colours or contrast, but for the fact that a slide is its own reference, and it requires absolutely zero interpretation. Negative film had the edge on resolution, though.
  4. A lot of people testify to this. I assume you're referring to the Blackmagic 2K Pocket. I almost bought one to use as a DSMC (i.e. a stills camera that is always recording). But it didn't quite have the features I needed.
  5. From what I know about cinema cameras, the advice given above is pretty solid. Stay with Sony and maybe consider Red. I think Tyler is right about post-ready file formats. I am not sure what you mean when you write, "I love having a wider native field of view". I hate to be a smart-aleck but I have no idea what that means. Digital S35 is the sweet spot in the size-price-quality triangle.
  6. Let me play devil's advocate: isn't that a good thing? You're telling me I can get really nice images out of a camera whose price is always falling? Sold, mutha**(obscenity removed)**a!
  7. Sounds fun to me. I wonder why you are mixing in VFX with miniatures, though. Although that would be easier. But why not do it all with VFX? The only thing I can think of is that for the miniatures, you will have to pay attention to light fittings. If you're using clear miniature bulbs, find the ones with the smallest filament possible.
  8. That looked pretty darned good! Even the best ARRI and Red cameras wouldn't be able to hold detail in the light sources (although the upcoming Alexa 35 might be able to...). BTW what was the shutter angle and stop? And I just realised this is Vision 2, not 3. Wow man. It still turned out well, nonetheless.
  9. I have an idea, although it's perhaps not necessarily practical. You could schedule the shoot for a day where you know it's going to rain. Have the actors rehearse the scene, as if they were rehearsing a play. Do it in one take while it's raining with one or two cameras in the back. Then, you will have to do another take with perhaps an exterior camera. Hmm. In your case maybe this won't work either. Even without the rain it's a problem. Unless you can find a suburb with very little traffic - that might help a little. You did say it's set in the city but I'm not sure you can do all of this quickly or cheaply.
  10. Okay so I'm not a DP so take what I say with a grain of salt. It sounds like a fun challenge. I have lots of free time so... what the hell, right? My first question would be, how long is the film? Is the car moving or stationary? Anyway, I suppose a bonnet mounted camera would work, although getting it rock solid might be an issue. You could consider putting the car on a trailer. That would cost money but it will make your life much easier. You might want a polariser maybe. I would stop down to maybe T5.6 or so. Focus would be locked. I wouldn't try to follow the action. You would also want to use interior lights, though not too much, and not in any obvious place like the roof. You could place a subtle light on the rear vision mirror, perhaps. Or you could place external lights on the wing mirrors if that works. You could maybe even bounce a light from the rear seats onto the roof as long as your WB isn't affected. You could establish to the audience that the car has a lot of lights inside it, if it were sufficiently modern. I drove a car the other day with a dash mounted LCD. If the car isn't moving, that makes the shoot much easier and much cheaper. I just would be prepared to spend some money on the proper rigs and perhaps, as I suggested, a trailer and a driver who knows how to drive it. Whatever you end up doing, I'd like to know.
  11. It depends on which subtlety you want to invite into your life. Some love zooms, some shoot on primes only. Some love format choices, some think there are too many. Some love lens options, some think there are way, way too many. Some love film stock options, while others... want even more. But I'll also make a peripheral point: line extensions are bad for branding, in general. Many business have a problem understanding this concept.
  12. FWIW, I photograph stage actors. My exposure, with relatively bright rehearsal lighting, is 1/40 sec, f/4 (IIRC), ISO 800. This translates to f/2 and ISO 200, which seems pretty reasonable to me. I think you're going to want data from more people on this one. I also checked the photos I took a few years ago at a gig. It was a smallish space. Exposure was the same but at ISO 1600, although I could have shot at 800 perhaps for some of the shots.
  13. Sometimes having a spectrum is helpful. Sometimes, it's clutter. There are too many iPhones. There are also too many bolt head sizes - one for every millimetre, it seems. Unnecessary! Fujifilm offers only two sensors: APS-C and medium format. Leica offers three and is possibly going to ditch APS-C. But, Leica only offers one variant of the S line, whereas Fujifilm offers four medium format cameras. Red arguably offers too many cameras, too.
  14. Agreed. So my hypothesis, to sum it up, is this: shoot S16 for that beautiful raw look, and shoot VV or 65mm for the cleaner, smoother look. Ignore S35 because it is stuck in the middle between the two, offering the best of neither world. It's a thought experiment, not a prescription.
  15. I occasionally watch an episode of Poirot (or Miss Marple), starring David Suchet. Thankfully there are a lot of them, and most are shot on 16mm. I also recently watched The Girl Who Played With Fire, shot on S16. I only got an HDTV last month, which was a hand-me-down from a neighbour (we all have our priorities!), and I watched it on BluRay. I had no idea what this was filmed on - it looked like maybe pushed 35, I thought. Either way the image was fantastic. I'd describe it as rich, organic, and contrasty. Turns out it was S16. But IMDB doesn't say which stock was used. Perhaps others feel this way, but I believe that if you're shooting on film, you should go for formats that are close to the extremes. 16mm is one extreme, VV and 65mm are another. With 16mm, you get an obviously grainy image, but it's still sharp. With VV and 65mm, you almost don't notice the grain at all. But with S35... it's sort of there, but not as obvious as with 16mm. So it's this middle ground that does not have the clarity of VV/65 but also has a graininess that is not as raw as 16mm. 35mm doesn't commit to either clarity or rawness. It's like a Dutch tilt: there is no "slight" Dutch tilt. If it's slight, it's not a Dutch tilt - there is no spectrum. A slight Dutch tilt is another way of saying that you didn't hold the camera straight. If that analogy makes any sense. I think that digital cameras change the way we look at film. It's not a competition so much as a set of new paradigms and new ways to reflect on old technology.
  16. So those of use with some spare cash might be able to snap up some bargains? Assuming that they will be in demand later on, of course. I almost bought an Aaton A-Minima some years ago. It was fairly cheap. Quite frankly I didn't even know if I was going to use the thing. Try finding one now.
  17. I'd love to know the answer to that one. My guess is that you can - it's just that you shouldn't if you want to find the ideal aperture. Leica's S 007 had the same resolution as the S2, because the engineers understood that users wanted more flexibility with apertures, and that more pixels could end up being wasted with smaller apertures. However, the demand for more resolution caused Leica to go to 64Mpx for the S3.
  18. All I will say here is that ARRI's 35mm cameras are just beautiful. Imagine being in the right place at the right time to buy a discounted 435. That was perhaps 10 years ago? I'm sure someone here remembers when film cameras were at their cheapest.
  19. I only know him via his interview on The Wandering DP Podcast. 60 is too young.
  20. If you want an opinion from a non DP, you can have mine. It's free! Let me take your last question first. You're asking about focal length. I don't think it matters specifically which focal length (or AOV) it is. It just matters if it's wide enough to achieve this look. I'd say it was stopped down, at least a few stops. I'll only comment on the three frame grabs for now, unless you would like my opinion on more of the video. I can say for sure that small interiors are hard to light, because the light source is never far away enough. Frame 1: the windows are diffused, and big-ish lights are blasting through them. Or, instead, they are not diffused, but there are large floppies behind them, and lights are bounced off of them. But, there seems to be an edge light coming from camera left, although maybe not - the windows might be enough here. On set, you would have to judge that. There is a mirror on the wall at camera right, which might be enough to give some illumination from that direction. Frame 2: tough one for me. The practicals are obvious. As is the light in the background, source obscured, coming from camera right towards the woman in the pink cardigan. The red lights above are low power, and the reflections are apparently an artefact of the semi-brushed metal slats. See the girl with the denim jacket? I have no idea what is lighting her. I can't tell where that light is. Is it behind one of the metal slats, perhaps? Frame 3: similar to frame 1. But there is obviously light coming from behind the camera. Maybe a pair of 4x4's, one on either side. Lights could be behind those, or in front, bounced. Is there a top source here? Probably not. There are windows to the right of frame, as well as in the background.
  21. I just realised that Portra 800 is an amazing looking film. I always ignored it due to its low tech compared to Portra 400, which has all the Vision3 magic. As of right now, Portra 800 is my favourite film. If you could shoot Portra 800 in a movie camera, would you shoot a project with it?
  22. From what I remember reading about this stuff, condensation is a warming process. It also requires a minimum amount of humidity. So... if I am correct, you can increase the humidity, and have a warm interior with a cold exterior. I think if you make the glass cold enough, the condensation will form easily if the warm interior is humid enough. Can someone check me please on that logic.
  23. FWIW, I have seen unmolested Scarlet-X footage (save for a natural grade) and it looked fantastic. If I can find the link to the clip, I will put it here.
  24. Much better than photo scanners, save for drum scanners. Photo scanners exaggerate graininess and do not output a file format like DPX. Very interesting. It depends how much the scanner costs. I might be able to pay out of pocket - once Bitcoin hits $250K!
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