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Korhan20

Going to shoot a feature w/ DVX100a

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Hey guys, first of all I want to say that I plan on shooting a feature length film with a DVX100a. I have some questions and perhaps some of you can help me out a little bit.

-My budget is going to be around 15k, and I was wondering specifically what kind of accessories should I invest in? I know that I want to us an anamorphic lens to have a widescreen film w/out loss of resolution. Also, I was looking at renting some fixed lenses and/or a zoom lens depending on how the images will look. I also was wondering if I NEED a matte box for filters and what not or if the screw-on filters are sufficient.

-Is it worth using a Pro35 mini lens adapter like the P+S Technik? For example, let's say great things happen and I end up blowing it up to 35 mm, will it look horrible without this adapter?

-A lot of my budget will be spent on a gaffer, so I was wondering what the prices are like for something like this (I have never had this much money to spend on a film before)

 

Over all I would just like advice on what kind of accessories to buy/rent, mainly lenses and adapters, filters. I want to make it look as good as possible with my budget. Thank you very much guys.

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The camera has a fixed zoom lens so you can't remove it. If you are going to use an anamorphic attachment, I don't know if you can use as well a wide-angle or telephoto attachment -- and even if you could, it may not be a good idea in terms of resolution to stack two lens adaptors. So I think the choice will be between using the anamorphic adaptor and working within whatever limited zoom range that gets you. Or using wide-angle and telephoto adapters to extend the zoom range but giving up on the idea of optically creating a 16x9 image.

 

Same with the P&S Technik adaptor -- I don't think you'd want to add this to the front of the camera with an anamorphic adaptor on the front of the camera as well, so again, you'd have to choose one approach or the other.

 

I don't think the P&S Technik adaptor adds "quality" per se, at least not optically although some would disagree. Especially when considering you still have the basic quality of the permanently-attached zoom lens on the camera so you can only LOWER the optical quality from there with optical add-ons of any kind (except for flat filters.) What the P&S Technik gives you is the depth of field qualities of 35mm photography, so it depends on how much the deep focus look of small-CCD DV photography bother you. You can minimize this look by staying with a telephoto lens approach, i.e. shooting at the long end of the zoom at the widest lens aperture. But if that's not practical or if you want to shoot a lot with wide-angle lenses, then the P&S Technik Mini-35 adaptor is the only way of getting a shallow-focus look.

 

I'd recommend a mattebox that takes square filters more than screw-on round ones in general, for convenience sake of adding and removing filters quickly. Either way, a sunshade is essential -- and a mattebox is a sunshade and filter holder combined. Plus it's easier to use grad filters with a mattebox since you can slide them up or down to adjust the placement of the grad.

 

Spending the money on a gaffer won't help you much if it doesn't leave any money leftover for lights and grip equipment for him to work with, so spend your money wisely. At your low-low-budget range, I'd put more money into the lights and hope you can find someone to practically volunteer to help you with them.

 

I also don't know if it's in your budget range to consider the P&S Technik plus renting a bunch of 35mm prime lenses plus the mattebox, rods, support, tripod, etc. needed for those sized lenses.

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I?d get a wide angle adapter and, if your movie is a tripod style of film, get a good tripod.

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So what would be more cost efficient and give me a better image overall..........should i just go with the anamorphic adapter and only use the zoom capabilites of the camera? Or should i get the wide angle lens and telephoto lenses?

-I think it's a given that I must get a matte box. I was wondering what kind of prices there are for matte boxes and filters for the 100a.

-Since i am not going to use the 35mm adapter, will the film look horrible if it is transfered to film (given the fact the it is going to be lit well)

-What exactly are the job responsibilities of a gaffer?

 

thank you

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What the P&S Technik 35mm adaptor gets you is less depth of field. Without it, you can minimize depth of field by lighting and shooting at near wide-open on your lens aperture, plus trying to shoot at the longer end of the zoom. You'll still have a lhigh depth of field but it won't look horrible unless your background art direction is so horrible that it really needs to be completely out of focus!

 

A gaffer is the chief lighting technician, i.e. the head electrician who executes the lighting designed by the DP. Often there is some creative collaboration between the DP and gaffer on lighting although the gaffer works under the DP.

 

Someone on the CML just posted that they did a comparison test with the DVX100A, both with and without the anamorphic adaptor, and said that the transfer to 35mm looked better with the adaptor, so they are going to work within its limitations in terms of the zoom range.

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I heard (read) that anamorphic adaptor did not not make that much

difference after transfer to 35mm film(sorry I can't remember what

film) I know I read it somewhere. I would think you would want to use

matte box/shade,filter holder for DVX-100A due to ease of use. I have

used screw on filters with my PD-170 but then I used a french flag to

shade the lens. I am a photographer so I'm used to paying attention to

the frame and looking for extraneous light. I would not suggest this for

everybody due danger of un-wanted light,reflection,specular highlight

on lens. I've done it one time in my still experience with a wedding and

believe me I have'nt done it again! Needless to explain I presume. My

advice about tripod is get the most heavy duty one you can afford,same

as film camera if you can! Double legs so to say,braced. I admire your

courage my friend! I am trying to produce a mini-dv film for direct sale

to dvd. You have an excellent camera to use(DVX100A) superb camera.

I might also add that if you are going to shoot from the shoulder that DV-

Tec makes an excellent shoulder mounted,camera supported brace. You

can adjust the position of the camera in relation to the eyepiece and your

eye. I have experimented with use of ND filters for film look but then you

have excellent camera to achieve your film look. Best of wishes for your

success with production. Why do we all want to be in this crazy business?

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At your low-low-budget range, I'd put more money into the lights and hope you can find someone to practically volunteer to help you with them.

 

You might consider spending the money on a talented gaffer who already owns lights. Then you're buying tools AND experience all bundled together.

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I found some places online to purchase the matte box for the dvx. But i was wondering about what kind of filters i should purchase. I know that there are color filters and natural density filters but to be honest i don't really know what a ND filter does. I am assuming there are a lot of other kinds of filters out there and i just want to know what i need to use at all times. Is it mandatory to have a certain kind of filter in front of the lens at all times? Or does the use of the filter depend on the mood of the scene, and the lighting and so fourth. Thanks guys.

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>>But i was wondering about what kind of filters i should purchase.

 

Pola... different grades of ND... ND grad(s)... diffusion... Whatever you need, I guess.

 

>>I know that there are color filters and natural density filters but to be honest i

>>don't really know what a ND filter does.

 

ND= Neutral Density. Cuts down light without affecting anything else, like contrast or color. Good for situations where you must cut down light but cannot change shutter (due to different motion rendering) or aperture (due to depth of field choice). .3, .6, .9. Higher numbers indicate stronger filter.

 

>>I am assuming there are a lot of other kinds of filters out there and i just want

>>to know what i need to use at all times. Is it mandatory to have a certain kind

>>of filter in front of the lens at all times?

 

Not really mandatory, but I always have a UV filter on because not only does it (obviously) block out UV, but is good, cheap lens protection. If someone throws a pebble at me, I'd rather have it break a $15 dollar filter than crack the lens. Also, if it gets really dirty somehow, it's always easier to clean a filter than clean an entire lens.

 

Hope this helps,

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I built a skateboard style dolly and get an enormous amount of use and production value. I shot a feature in the Caribbean and used it a my only dolly. If you see yourself moving the camera a highly recommend this investment. I works on PVC pipe. But I usually use it on regular dolly track.

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Here are some sites for building or buying skateboard dollies. I bought my skate board dolly from http://www.modernstudio.com/pages/1/index.html

for $500. It has 4 wheels per bracket on each corner. Most people use the style that has 2. It is lighter and cheaper. 4 is heavier and much smoother. You can build your own and here is the site. http://www.solutioneers.net/cinema/projects.html

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hi

i own a camera like yours. would like to give you some opinions.

 

no matter what adapter you get or accessories you buy, test all of them trying to simulate situations as on the script.

rent a matte box/filter holder and a bunch of filters for one day and test them all. it´s minidv: it´s cheap and you dont have to wait for processing.

watch them on a monitor and see what you like.

 

now regarding transfer quality, i would go for the wide angle / telephoto adapters rather than the anamorphic converter. for what i´ve heard, that doesnt make a real big difference and with the telephoto / wide adapters, you have many more possibilities regarding lens perpective and distortion.

PLUS: the telephoto adapter shallows your depth of field, which is always good to achieve the film look.

 

the idea of having a gaffer that owns lights is the best.

when renting light equipment, try to get lights that will be used in many scenes.

 

want to know more about filters and their effects, visit: http://www.tiffen.com/Header_page_tiffen_filters.htm

 

good luck to us all

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dont buy or rent a matte box, they're too expensive and has no cost/benefit.

go with the screw-on filters, check out Hoya and tiffen.

jon

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It's odd to me that the "film look" is so often equated with narrow depth of field. I watch great films all the time which have near-infinite focus and they look just fine.

 

Tim Burton's "Edward Scissorhands", Ingmar Bergman's "The Magician", Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange"...the list of films which use very wide depth of field and favor wide angle lenses is extensive.

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Sure, they look "just fine." But anamorphic films with shallow depth of field look "just fine" too! ;)

 

A shallower depth of field, especially in closeups, is certainly more common with 35mm photography and more characteristic of that format. You see it all the time with 35mm material, but rarely do you see it with 1/3" video footage.

 

But maybe 1/3" video camera users should study those films you suggest and learn how to exploit deep focus creatively, as much as they try to limit d.o.f. technically.

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dont buy or rent a matte box, they're too expensive and has no cost/benefit.

go with the screw-on filters, check out Hoya and tiffen.

jon

 

I suggest exactly the opposite and say always use a matte box.

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Okay so who do I listen to? I know that matte boxes are expensive but the only real gain from them that i am gathering from these posts is the ease of changing filters, and the sunshade. Are the 4x4 filters very different from the screw on ones?

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Certain filters need to be specifically oriented to function as desired, such as a polarizer or a graduated filter. These are difficult if not impossible to use in screw-on. Also, if you put on more than one or two screw-on filters they will start to cut off the image when you zoom out wide. Don't minimize the importance of shading the lens from stray light. I always have a mattebox or sunshade on any camera whether I am using filters or not.

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Greetings all.

 

New to the board.

 

I'm also going to be shooting a feature on the DVX-100a and am considering my options. This feature will be laserprinted to 35mm so I need the highest image quality possible with the DVX.

 

1. Anamorphic attachment vs. 16:9 squeeze mode. Is the attachment that much better? I hate to lose the capabilities of telephoto and wide angle adapters. And is squeeze mode really better than plain letterbox?

 

2. 24p vs. 24pa. I know that we will want to shoot 24pA. My concern is will we be able to easily output an NTSC version via FINAL CUT PRO to DVD for viewing.

 

Thanks

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I don't have personal experience with shooting DV for a film-out. I think the key is to get ahold of one of these anamorphic attachments without having to buy one first and do some tests. In theory, you'll get a smoother (more pixels compared to cropping) look using the attachment even if the image doesn't necessarily look sharper. I don't think there is light loss, just limitations on the zoom range, maybe some focusing issues, plus dealing with fitting a mattebox in front, etc.

 

There is no impediments to using 24pA for a smooth NTSC master because you're going to get rid of it when you import the footage into FCP and cut in true 24P. 24pA is only designed to be removed, not left in. Then for the final NTSC master, you'd add a normal 3:2 pulldown back in. My main question would be if it were possible to skip the final conversion back to 60i/480 for the master that you send for the film-out -- i.e. is there a true 24P/480 delivery format that can be given to the company? Bring it in on a hard drive? I'd talk to the company doing the film-out.

 

I saw a trailer of the fake Herzog documentary ("Incident at Loch Ness") which is mainly made up of DVX100 footage shot by John Bailey -- the trailer looked pretty good. All of that overcast Scottish weather sort of worked well for the DV format. It was shot without an anamorphic attachment, by the way.

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You've already received some great advice, and I don't have much to add other than some basic stuff:

 

Don't be cheap buying tape. Spend the extra buck and use the good stuff. (I've had zero problems with the Pana DVM63-MQ, even in pretty sketchy conditions.)

 

Trust the viewfinder, not the LCD. If I move my eye a quarter of an inch one way or another while looking at the LCD, I can make a poor exposure look okay. While this makes me feel better, it doesn't help my movie one bit.

 

I've never used a mattebox with this camera, but I can't count the number of times on the doc I just did that I complained about not having one. (Using a lot of polarizer. Wishing for ND, etc...)

 

Oh yeah, and listen to folks on this forum (other than me). I asked a bunch of beginner questions here about nine months ago, before going to shoot a doc in Mexico, and every bit of advice I got was good.

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With so many choices and different mothods chipping in, I will advise you to get dp and a producer that will help you to choose the equipment you want and do tests so you can actually see the differences before investing your money, just by just reading us.

 

That's my two cents

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