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Jon O'Brien

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Everything posted by Jon O'Brien

  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?
  16. Thanks for the input Pavan. I'm encouraged that it might only be a simple problem. The service manual says that a completely jammed camera can be caused by improper loading of the film (a previous owner could have done this) which can cause the claw follower to disengage "from the cam track" (page 2 of the third document that Dennis posted, above). Could you let me know what type/brand of sealer and lubricating oil you use for repairing these cameras? I'm still interested in getting you to do a S16 conversion on a K100 some day (after I get some other gear I need first).
  17. That is very helpful Simon -- the simple check of rolling the spool over a table. I will do that from now on. I will also make a gauge of thick card to double check. I still have some film left from this mishap so will reload it soon and see how the film turns out. Hopefully nothing is out of adjustment. I'm now wary of filming at 64 fps with this old camera as that may have been a factor too. For now I will avoid higher speeds until I know for sure that all is okay with it.
  18. Yes that's right, it's for a functional reason. I think it's a great camera and I'm really keen to get mine working, if I can. The service manual mentions replacing a 'cord' between the shutter and film compartment with a bead of sealant. It also mentions different types of lubricating oil. The sealant and oil are identified only by a Kodak product or parts number. Can anyone advise what sealant and oil could be used? I'm not very handy when it comes to fixing things so, for me, this kind of thing is a bit of a mystery so far. My K100 is entirely jammed. I do get the impression though that the spring motor is okay as I can feel the spring being tensioned as I turn the winding lever. The camera just won't run or do a thing when the exposure lever is turned to its various positions. Also, the shutter is in the open position -- which makes me wonder if the problem is located somewhere in the shutter and claw area at the front of the camera.
  19. Sorry, it was more like 10 feet or less of film actually got onto the take up. Don't know where I came up with the figure of 50 feet. Must have been thinking of 35mm or something.
  20. Ahh, Filmmaking! The joys you have of that sense of some really fine shots surely sitting there on your exposed film in the camera. Everything went well. The light was indeed great. You just know you nailed the focus and exposure. You finish the roll and the sense of anticipation builds as you decide to unload the film and get it posted off quickly. But, Alas! Filmmaking with real film also knows times of great pathos. Opening the film compartment, you see there before you a great mess of pretzelized, zig-zagging film compressed wherever it might fit into whatever space it could fit into. A sinking feeling. A sigh. "I didn't get the shots" ...... you quietly mouth the words. So, what happened? I didn't check my take up spool carefully before loading the camera last time. I was in a rush, and grabbed a spool from a bag I'd had in storage. I found out later that the metal spool was slightly bent, being too narrow on one side, and was causing the film to seize in the take up. It looks like a clutch must have slipped within the mechanism, allowing the camera to keep running even though the film wasn't actually being exposed. A lot of the feed spool still had unexposed film on it. Looks like around 50 feet of film got onto the take up spool. I did notice some odd sounds during filming. I took this to be that I'd been doing some slow-motion shooting early in the real, up to 64 fps. To the Bolex experts out there, does it sound like I might have damaged the camera? I loaded some film in it afterwards to check it (already-exposed film, used for loading training) and it seems to run fine now, after I bent the take up spool back into shape. Is the mechanism in a Bolex tough enough to not go out of adjustment by the mishap described above? I learned a big lesson yesterday. Onward and upward. It's worth it for film.
  21. ... That is, the single lens version of the K100 looks a bit like a large camcorder. The Turret model is (to me) a somewhat strange-looking beast, and looks a bit like an old studio TV camera. I don't like how the lenses on the lower part of the turret actually droop down a bit due to the curve of the turret front plate. It's functional, but it's not a great look in my opinion.
  22. This is very helpful! I bought a K100 Turret the other day but it doesn't run at all. I will be opening it up soon. If I can't find out what's wrong with it I might send it to someone who can. If it's a broken spring I will just keep it for spare parts, for instance the pressure plate. I agree entirely about the look of the K100 compared to a Bolex. With a Bolex, you do get a lot of looks and curious passers-by stopping and wondering what on earth that amazing looking shiny contraption is. The K100 from a distance could almost pass as some kind of (large) digital camcorder. I like that.
  23. I really don't think in my case that it's a matter of pride. I genuinely am interested in film. Perhaps I'm a bit of a nerd about this particular subject but there is almost an emotional connection to me and film. I like how it is 24 little photographic pictures on a celluloid strip of film per second, that light physically shines through. To me, that's always been 'magical' and I can't shake that. Would I shoot digital? Yes, I would. I've always said I would ..... if I have to. But it's not a pride thing. Just a deep feeling that film is what I find meaning in. David Lean is seen on one of the 'behind the scenes' films for Ryan's Daughter basically saying the same thing and I was surprised (or rather not really surprised) that he said what he did. Maybe these days he'd really be into digital. If I could make a buck shooting digital I would. But there are so many other people doing this out there, at least around here, I figure I may as well do what I'm sincerely interested in, and that gives me personal value and meaning. If I can supplement my income shooting film (which I love), then that's great. I've never knocked digital people for choosing to shoot digital. Digital cinematography is an incredible medium. It just, personally, doesn't really float my boat. It's something I'd do if I needed to do it in order to make a buck. I'm a bit arty I suppose. I've always been particular about what I wanted to do. I look at digital cinema and to me it's functional and it does the job well but that's about all it does. I don't get that extra sense of magic with digital. Perhaps I'm in the minority. Same as when I go to the movies and watch films. I like the magic of the picture, as well as the story. It's like hearing a concerto on a classical instrument. Some like one instrument. Others really prefer another. They find extra meaning. It's personal. On the price of silver, and all that. Don't worry about it, everyone. Worries about resources come and go. It's like Frank says: worrying about it is futile. Film will survive. Any bets.
  24. By the way, when I say 35mm projected I'm referring to the old system of multiple film prints being sent out to cinemas. I'm not talking about 35mm which is scanned and projected digitally, as in many films shot on 35mm today. To my eyes, such digitized films look just about as sharp and high definition as any movie would ever need to be. I don't like extremely high definition videos. I see them a lot in TV/appliance shops. To me they look awful. But if you like that, then go for it.
  25. After a certain point, why is increasing picture definition even important, or 'better'? This technical fascination with increasing definition reminds me of someone going into an art gallery, finding a beautiful picture of a landscape painted by a true master, and walking up and standing as closely as possible to the brushstrokes and looking to see how well the artist painted the individual leaves on the trees. But doing this misses the point of what the painter was trying to achieve. We aren't meant to walk up and examine individual leaves. Painting isn't a contest of definition. It is the overall effect, from a distance, that's important. I started out this way, however. When I first got into filmmaking as a kid I was absolutely appalled at the poor definition of Super 8 movie film compared with full-frame 35mm still film slides (usually Kodachrome 64). But with growing appreciation I grew to love the look of standard 4-perf 35mm as seen in the average movie theatre. It was grainy, and even a little fuzzy at times, but I loved the look. If you really like high definition film/video, I'm not knocking you for it. Fair enough, if that's what you like. But I think 35mm looks absolutely great projected. I don't care at all that it looks a bit soft and grainy.
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