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Jon O'Brien

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  • Occupation
    Camera Operator
  • Location
    Brisbane/Sunshine Coast
  • Specialties
    Camera operator for Filmreel Pictures. Promo films, events, weddings, short films, and music videos.

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  • Website URL
    filmreelpictures.com.au

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  1. That's an important point Dom, about wear. How repairable/adjustable would these wear issues in, say, a Tokina 11-20 be? It reminds me of musical instruments, as the better ones tend to stay in exact adjustment longer .... and are usually far more repairable. Were these rental Tokinas you've seen, or were they owner-operator? Owner-operated mightn't be subject to the demanding life of a rental lens. Kevin, I really liked the look of the Hurt Locker (the images themselves but not necessarily the style, with many sudden zooms), plus the other films and videos made with the 8-64 that I've seen. I also very much liked the S16 shots in First Man, taken with a close relative of this lens. To each his own I guess 🙂
  2. I think the problem is that many industry people don't realise Australia still has film processing. It's not a huge operation but that doesn't make film shooters unprofessional. I understand how a rental business would be concerned with someone damaging their equipment. Considering that I'm very careful with my own gear, and would certainly be very careful with a rental firm's equipment, and that I've grown up operating expensive film equipment, I did find it frustrating, and from a business angle a bit odd. I guess they've got more than enough customers. Anyway, onward and upward. So, I do a lot of research, and go my own way. People often say rent gear but to me it's not ideal.
  3. To explain further, they have a rental department and a retail department right next door. So if I do test I will find another business that would like to do business with me. It seemed my reply that the equipment was for filming with 16mm was cause for some doubt as to my professionalism. This isn't the first time I've encountered this, in businesses in Brisbane. Here, it's digital digital digital. Which is fine with me.
  4. I agree. With film taking a while to be processed then scanned, it can be a long-drawn out affair but worth it. However, I was in for a surprise when I turned up at a cinema rental business recently. I was asked for a professional reference before they would do any business with me. I replied that I don't have film industry references but I could supply other references including character references. This wasn't good enough and I was told that their gear is very expensive. I found this unprofessional and I won't be bothering with that business again.
  5. There was a Tokina 11-16 T3 that was converted by Duclos. It was a popular lens for a while with DSLR shooters apparently. This lens is discontinued but can still turn up for sale. The Canon 8-64 has an excellent reputation and it's just such a versatile lens. I haven't filmed enough with it yet to get a strong sense of its look but what I've seen so far has pleased me. I do wonder about some of these newer, lower-priced cinema lenses and to what extent they vary from the look of classic brands such as Zeiss. It depends on what you want to do, too, to some extent. However, undoubtedly the Zeiss lenses and similar quality lenses are the very best available and will give the most satisfying results, and be entirely dependable. For a professional production with camera crew they would be a necessity. Still, I can't help but wonder that if a lens is quite sharp, has little or no chromatic aberration, good contrast etc, and has a pretty good build quality, for one-man-band operations it might be quite a fine lens. It may not have some desirable qualities that the Zeiss and other lenses have but perhaps this doesn't matter. If buying a lower-cost lens can get you filming the projects you want to do, right now, then it seems to me worth considering. As an investment a Zeiss lens would be the way to go as it's not likely that a much cheaper lens is going to hold its value or rise in value. Such are my thoughts at the moment. I'm open to listen to advice, always. Regarding using 35mm lenses on 16mm cameras, I've received this advice: "Original 35mm lenses fit on 16mm cameras, but if they were designed for digital cine cameras they won't fit. The rear element sticks out too deep for the shutter and the lens will damage the shutter. You will have to watch for stray light inside the camera too. Since a lot more light comes through it can cause ghost images from bright objects around the edge of the frame." However, the rear section on the PL mount Tokina 11-20mm doesn't look very long at all. I've heard about how too much light can get into the camera from the wider image circle of 35mm lenses. I don't know how much of a problem this could potentially be, but from what I've heard it sounds like quite a few 16mm filmmakers get by with 35mm lenses on their cameras. I really appreciate the input of Dom and Uli in this discussion.
  6. I've found that something like the Zeiss T1.3 PL lenses of around 18mm and 25mm (what I'm most interested in so far) are generally found as part of a set, which I can't at this stage afford. Do these lenses come up for sale as single lenses very often?
  7. Yes it's looking like the 11-20 might fit on an SR1 and SR2. Thanks for the great picture. It would be great if Tokina published a detailed schematic of the lens, giving the diameter of the T stop and focal length geared rings. This seems like a great lens. I just found out there is a similar version of this lens, with thinner diameter. It is only 11-16 but it has (or had) a good reputation among DSLR shooters apparently. It's available in PL mount and comes at a lower price.
  8. A full-frame prime lens in PL mount I've been looking at is the Laowa 12mm t2.9. I've no idea at this stage what the diameter of the lens barrel is or whether it would work with an SR. It looks a pretty slim and light design. A small zoom would be much more versatile though.
  9. Tyler, what a great little film! Well done!! I really enjoyed watching it. The look is really gorgeous. I like how you intercut Super 8 with the 16mm, too. You have, I think, inspired me to keep my Super 8 camera, rather than sell it.
  10. This is very helpful! I've been considering the Tokina 11-20. I have a Canon 8-64 and so far I like it a lot but it's very heavy and long. I think I will keep it but also seek out a lighter lens. Are you using the 11-20 with an Arriflex SR series model? If you are, could you tell me how much clearance there is between the lens barrel and the viewfinder 'elbow'? I'm wondering if this distance could be similar or the same as it is with the SR1. Does anyone happen to know?
  11. I'm looking into this myself. I'm after a small, light zoom or prime lens that will fit on a Super 16, PL mount-modified SR1 for mainly hand-held shooting. Many lenses won't fit on the SR series Arris because the viewfinder barrel gets in the way. I think a lens with a maximum diameter of about 80mm, or not much over that, should be suitable for me. The lens should of course also cover the Super 16 frame without vignetting. I will post later on some lenses I'm looking at. I'm looking after something not too expensive. Is there a particular lens you are thinking about getting?
  12. Yes, if I was by some miracle one day involved in the production of something even remotely along these lines (a historical feature movie on a similarly weighty topic, with big characters and big interiors) I would probably go for a more modern, earthier look for 'reality' value. I'd try to make it feel we were really 'there'. But I can't help admiring the care and artistry that has gone into trying to match the look of great painters in this and other films. So often as well as the lighting it's the art direction and the quality of the costumes and surrounds. Light falls off really wonderful, high-quality costuming (eg. real woollen fabric) and background props and furniture (etc) even better.
  13. Thank you for all the advice everyone. It's very helpful. At this stage I'm tending towards trying out Davinci Resolve. I did try this once years ago on a PC and had problems figuring out how to use it. I recall someone saying it wasn't so good for use with a PC. Is it now okay using this with a PC?
  14. I haven't seen Cromwell but will seek it out. The third frame down from the top in the first post literally could be a great painting. Just as an aside, my wife and I watched a movie on DVD the other night that she really likes and I hadn't seen. I was really impressed by the painterly look achieved in it, even though it was a low-quality transfer to DVD. It is Jane Eyre (1996), directed by Franco Zeffirelli. DP was David Watkin. Shot on film of course, which I think helps to achieve a more painterly look 🙂
  15. What's a great, simple editing program that's easy to use for someone new to it all, that is preferably free or low-cost, and good enough to provide great-looking videos for clients? I will be using a PC, and most likely working with ProRes 442 and ProRes 4444 files. DPX, H.264 and custom file outputs are possibilities, too (I'm quoting the business I use for film scans). I've done a lot of editing with physical film, splicer etc, but I've not done digital editing yet. I will be doing simple editing (nothing terribly complex at this stage). My footage will be scanned 16mm film. Thank you for any advice! What is editing like using DaVinci Resolve? Is this really more of a color grading program?
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