Jump to content

Dominic Jones

Basic Member
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Dominic Jones

  1. We actually ended up doing a shoot with the M2 and nikon lenses (because that was the only system I could find which was rentable for the days we were shooting) and I have to say the light loss and focus softening really turned me off from the whole 35mm adapter concept. Before I ever used one in a professional realm again I woud really have to see a different system working better in action.

    I've used an M2 on many shoots with a Z1 or XL-H1 on the back of it, and whilst light loss is certainly a problem, sharpness should not be.


    I found that getting the correct setup for your camera is crucial, and it took me the best part of 2 days testing (with charts, of course!) to get a setup I was happy with - after that, plain sailing though. The other thing to mention is that there are a *lot* of seriously under-powered Nikkor primes out there - I found several lenses far too soft to shoot with on these systems (although fine for 35mm stills use), including the 105mm f2.5, 50mm f1.8, 24mm f2 and 35mm f2.8.


    If you get the adapter setup properly and use the best glass available (Nikkors are fine, you've just got to pick your battles, or better yet PL mount/other cine lenses) you should be fine.


    For reference, Nikkor lenses known good for 35mm adapters:

    20mm f2.8

    35mm f2

    50mm f1.4

    85mm f1.4

    85mm f1.8

    105mm f1.8

    180mm f2.8 ED


    I've used the P+S adapters (Mini and Pro) as well as the MovieTube and SGPro, and there's really very little in it between them - for my money the M2 edged it for speed and ability to stop down (all the way through the full range of the lens' iris without grain, undoable on any of the other systems), but there's really not much in it, imo...

  2. Well, it's much the same as any other coloured light - it's all about relative intensities. So, if your blacklight is registering at the upper end of your exposure scale then the effect will be strong, and as it drops from, say 3 stops over to 3 stops under you will see the effect decrease until, at around 2-3 stops under depending on what stock you're shooting on it starts to dissappear entirely.


    Again, just like coloured light, if you hit the same subject with a lot of white light you will also wash out the effect of the blacklight.


    As for how far it will travel from your source it will depend on the type of source - I have only ever seen blacklight produced from flourescent fixtures (I don't even know if it *can* be produced any other way - anyone?), and flouros are soft and therefore fall off in intesity pretty rapidly, so if you want to throw the light a long way you've basically got two options:


    1) Find a harder source of blacklight - ideally something like a fresnel or par fixture that can concentrate the light into a tight area, thereby allowing you to throw it further. As previously mentioned, I don't know how plausible this option is.


    2) Use more fixtures, although if you're wanting to light wides you'll probably need a *lot* of them...


    There are a couple of other things you can do to help - firstly, keep all of the other light very low in intensity and shoot on a fast stock - as I said earlier, it's all about relative intensities, so if you can't get that much blacklight on the subject, reduce the other light to match it and expose for the blacklight. Of course, you'll still need a *reasonable* amount of light falling on the subject!


    Secondly, you might be able to hide the lights behind something in frame, and thereby bring them closer - try talking to your art dept/props manager/whatever you have. Remember, when all else fails, cheat!!

  3. I haven't found any decent info on the web, despite a good few in-depth searches, but if you don't mind spending a few bucks (well, probably *quite* a few bucks, as these are all rather expensive!) then:


    The "standard text" on the issue is "Colour and Human Response" by Faber Birren (ISBN: 0-471-28864-0)


    You might also want to check out "Theory of Colours" by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (old school but very interesting) and, of course, any books by Him - Vittorio Storaro (I think part 2 of "Writing with Light" is Colour)....

  4. You could try using the CineGamma modes (there's two levels in the Z1, type 1 is more subtle, type 2 more accentuated) - they will crush your image somewhat, giving you a helping hand, but you need a fair bit of light to work with them indoors, in my experience, as they darken the image a bit. Most importantly, in terms of camera settings, make sure Black Stretch is turned off.


    Of course, as you rightly surmise, it's really all in the lighting - you may already know all of this, but: Take a lot of blacks and soak up as much spill light as possible. Smoke and lots of backlight always look great for low-key noir-esque effects (but can get cheesy if overdone) and try to use as many lensed lights (either fresnels or pars) as possible. Remember, it's easier (and quicker) to get the low-key look with hard light than with soft, so if you're strapped for time go a little old-school on it!


    Have fun!...

  5. Hi,


    If you are using tungsten film in daylight or with HMI's an LLD can be used in place of an 85. Its big advantage is NO STOP LOSS! The film can be printed normally.




    I've recently come across LLD filters - yet to use one though - but my question is:


    I've only ever heard of them being used as camera filters - can you buy them in gel form for using on the front of tungsten lamps in daylight (I've looked through my Lee swatch and there isn't one listed there, but it's a *very* old swatch given to me by my tutor at film school, so if it's a newer gel it might not be in there)? Also, presumably the effect is not as accurate as CTB (or at least there is some downside), otherwise why do people still use CTB with it's 2-stop loss?


    Sorry if these are obvious questions...

  6. Well, for my tuppence worth I'd say that your best bet is going to be shooting the 500T uncorrected, which will give you plenty of light to play with from the 125's and will give you the blueish look of moonlight right out of the box.


    You might want to stick a 1/4 CTB or something like that on the HMI's (or even a 1/2 CTO if you want whiter moonlight) as a lot of people seem to dislike HMI's on tungsten stock for moonlight....


    Otherwise, if you want more interesting colours and you're shooting with shops or bars/clubs in the bg, you could use a pink or cerise gel for a neon effect, etc etc.


    As for positioning the lights, there's obviously quite a lot you can do as long as you always want to stay in CU - wider shots may prove to be a problem, though. I personally, for the look it sounds like you're after, would probably think about opting for something like a back-cross with a bounce high and central-ish for your frontal fill. And yes, if that's not strong enough to catch then a smallish flashlight would work well for eyelight. You might want to try a few different grades/types of diff out on the 125's, as it's nice to have diffused soft back-cross light, but intesity might be a challenge with such small fixtures.


    Oh, and if it's possible to do so, wet the streets and get as much streetlight, moonlight and shop window light reflecting off the ground as possible - that always helps a scene have that beautiful romantic hollywood look, as well as stopping the whole background being dark...

  7. Those strobing high detail effects ala Saving Private Ryan are accomplished with a short exposure time - that's part of a constant across all forms of photography:


    The longer the exposure time, the more blurred motion will become, and vice-versa.


    I don't know what the shutter angle was for SPR (I'm sure someone here will, it's probably fairly common knowledge), but I'd guess the exposure time was around 1/500th - 1/1000th, giving a shutter angle determined but the following (just to provide a demonstration of the maths the other way around):


    The reverse equation, which is actually often more useful is:


    Shutter Angle = <exposure time> * <framerate> * 360


    So the shutter angle for SPR was probably between (1/500th sec):

    1/500 * 24 * 360 = 17.2 degrees


    And (1/1000th):

    1/1000 * 24 * 360 = 8.6 degrees


    It's worth noting that the maths here is pretty secondary. The trick is to learn the creative effects of shorter and longer exposure times and decide what you want to shoot for a particular scene or effect - then all you've got to do is plug the numbers into a calculator and hey presto!

  8. I'm not John, but I can explain shutter angles to you, if that's ok?!


    The shutter angle determines the percentage of the shutter's spinnning cycle it is open (and therefore passing light through to the film) for - so the shutter speed for a film camera is a factor of the framerate (or how many cycles the shutter does per second) and the shutter angle (or how long the shutter is open for per cycle).


    A 180 degree shutter angle, which is about normal, gives half the time per cycle for exposure - so 1/48th for 24fps as previously mentioned.


    A 90 degree shutter angle will give you a shorter exposure - 1/96th at 24 fps whereas a 270 degree angle will give you a longer exposure period of 1/32nd...


    Many cameras (the Bolex H16 is an example) use a shutter angle of 172 degrees to give the easier to work with shutter speed of 1/50th of a second.


    The mathematical equation for calculating exposure time for a given shutter angle and framerate is:


    1 / (<framerate> * (360 / <shutter angle>))


    So, for the example of a 150 degree shutter angle whilst shooting at 24fps you get:


    1 / (24 * (360/150)) = 1/57.6, to be precise!


    I hope that's fairly lucid and helps rather than hinders...

  9. I haven't used S4's either, but they are optimised for performance wide open, which (unless you go for the dusk approach) you won't be using them at on a 250D stock, obviously - so *perhaps* that's something to take into consideration?


    They're probably pretty bloody good well up the range though, to be fair...


    And, that said, the same will be pretty much true of superspeeds I would image (Mr. Mullen?!) - so maybe not a big deal at all.

  10. Sorry to be a pain, but I'm very interested in learning more about negative fill myself - I've been searching around but have not been able to find the full length threads, just this one...


    Anyone got any idea where they are?!



  11. Hi David,


    Very impressive work on Northfork, congratulations. I saw the article on it here a while ago and have just today found the forums - this is an amazing resource...


    I'm planning on lighting a 35mm short for a friend and colleague of mine, Callum Reid, at some point entitled "Layman" in which we are also seeking to use non-digital desaturation techniques such as ENR and flashing the neg - could I ask you a few questions about stocks, level of ENR used, etc. as long as you don't feel it's encroaching on your preofessional territory, so to speak?


    I'd be very interested to get the benefit of your wisdom - needless to say, we'll be testing extensively ourselves, but I have not used many of these techniques before and would be very grateful for any and all advice you have to offer...


    I hope you don't feel this question rude or invasive (and of course, please feel free to decline if you feel it is) - it seems to be the season for it, doesn't it?!

  12. Sounds very interesting...


    I can offer (having never done this either!) a little, perhaps obvious advice.


    You say you want to film the projection from all angles. To do this you will need to film it in 2 setups, one for each side of the smoke.


    Smoke only picks up on film when it is backlit, so filming from the same side as the projector will get you nowt!


    Are you projecting film or video?


    If film, you will need it to be dual perf (if it's 16mm) so you can turn the film around in the projector to mimic the "other side" of the projection. If video, make sure you get a projector that has a rear projection mode, as this will reverse the image for you.


    Shoot in a totally darkened room (or at least allow no light to spill onto the smoke other than the projector's lamp) - bear in mind that if you do want to light the room you will have to light to the exposure you get for the projector - I'd do some testing, if I were you!


    If you get enough smoke in a fine enough plane (this will be difficult!), then you should get an image of *some* kind - obviously it'll be distorted and diffused to some extent - how much will depend on the volume and thickness of the smoke.


    You might want to try, just thinking aloud here, shooting with a polarizing lens on your camera and "encasing" the smoke in two sheets of perpex or glass to help "wrangle" it into a fairly uniform sheet (there's a job no-one wants - smoke wrangler!). If you decide to go this route, then you may find that shooting from the front and back (perpendicular to the panes of glass) becomes unacceptable due to reflection, as the polarizer will be all but ineffective.


    Hope that helps - if you shoot it, I'd love to see some frames, it's an intreaguing idea!

  • Create New...