Jump to content
Charles Haine

RED vs. 35mm shoot-out

Recommended Posts

With my LACC advanced cinematography class, I just completed a RED vs. 35mm shoot-out and figured I would post my results.

 

I've attached some links to some behind the scenes photo's below for people to get a sense of our set-up. I personally think it's tricky to learn from someone else's test if you weren't there when they were shot, but I also figure this footage might be of interest to some people.

 

RED camera use was donated by Shawn Booth, an owner/operator from Hawaii with http://www.r3dguerilla.com/. We used Shawn's RED len's, a 300mm and an 18-50 zoom.

 

35mm camera's (Kinor with Lomo spherical and anamorphic glass) were donated by Bruce Taylor from http://www.indi35.com/.

 

Transfer we donated by Paul Korver at cinelicious. Transfer was done on an SD Ursa Diamond with Diamondclear then upresed to AppleProRes (HQ) 1080p. You can read more info on their upressing system at http://http://www.cinelicious.tv/.

 

35mm footage was shot on 5219 (the over/under tests), 5229 (the key-fill ratio tests), and Fuji Real 8593 for the daylight shots. Processed at Deluxe.

 

Maura Milan brought in her HVX with the Letus set up for OCT-19 mount. http://mauramilan.net/

 

RED footage was processed in REDcine. The over/under footage was output in the 709 color space to ProRes HQ, then the rest of the footage output in the LOG space.

 

When watching the clips, you'll notice the timing change in the middle of a clip section. For the 35mm footage, this was done in the Da Vinci to show you a "flat pass" (the base mem for the session, created for the "normal" exposure) then a corrected version of a shot side by side. With the RED footage, this was done using Final Cut Color.

 

I am reluctant to summarize my thoughts on the footage, since that might bias how people are able to respond to it, but I might write a later post with thoughts.

 

This is obviously a very limited test; REDlog gives us a bigger space than 709, and projection in 4K would of course be different than watching the SD or HD files on your home system. This is just meant to be a test of one workflow, and since I did it in a class, the focus is on a workflow I expect my students to probably use if they do shoot the RED (Apple ProRes HQ is quite popular with my students, since they mostly don't own machines capable of dealing with Uncompressed HD). This is by no means intended to be a definitive case for or against the RED.

 

The files are uploaded in H.264, which of course is yet another problem with this test. Basically, what we are left with is a test comparing 35mm and RED footage for Blu-Ray/SD-DVD/web distribution. This is useful in some cases, of course, but a very limited test. However, I think especially in area's such as dynamic range this test is very interesting.

 

I'm happy to share with anyone the original AppleProRes(HQ) files, or even the .r3d files (REDcine is a free download for anyone, so if you are curious about red footage and want to see what it can do, I'm happy to share). I will put up the .r3d files to redrelay; if anyone would be willing to host the AppleProRes(HQ) files, let me know. They are large.

 

My sincere thanks to Shawn, Paul, Bruce, Maura and Steve Restivo at Deluxe for making this test possible.

 

SD h.264 (39MB) http://www.mediafire.com/?cymm9gneepj

 

HD h.264 to follow

 

 

RedShootout12.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This step alone makes the entire "shootout" moot and pointless.

Well, actually, they just need to get a freebie on some HD telecine or maybe even a 4K scan. They have the film and the RED data. Maybe the week after next when pilots are all done that'll be easier to find. To do a really accurate shootout, it would be better to get a PL mount film camera and use the same lenses on both. The better the lenses, the more clearly we'd see the difference between the cameras.

 

 

 

-- J.S.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting the footage and even though, not 4k res it does not make it a pointless exercise!

 

What ASA did you rate the RED at?

 

I take it that the RED is the wider shot of the two:)

 

 

 

Mike Brennan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would actually argue that not posting in 4k doesn't make the whole test moot. It limits it, sure, but for a test that was free, I still think we learned a tremendous amount.

 

I think, and others on this forum have made the point, that measuring a medium only in it's resolution (not counting its latitude, for instance) is a bit of an error. Large number of jobs are shot on film and finished HD, or even plain old SD (even some commercials for large agencies still have 4x3 SD deliverables, though I imagine that will stop next year). They still shoot a higher resolution medium in order to get a higher quality original.

 

I would love to do a full 35mm vs. RED 4k to film-out test; like I said in my post, what we were testing was one workflow for the RED, which is shooting with a finish in Blu-Ray or some other home format.

 

To me, I learned a tremendous amount about the latitude and color rendition of the RED, even though I was only comparing the footage at HD resolution.

 

I guess it was kind of nerdy.

 

We rated the RED at 320 up through 3 over; above 3 over we increased the ASA in 1 stop increments, since the lens could not open any wider. Again, not ideal, but we had the RED zoom instead of Super-speeds, which I would've liked.

 

I don't mean to give the impression that this is a definitive, final test; I personally think the only real way to know a format is to do the test yourself, and see what happens on set. I just did a little test and figured I would share it.

 

Ch:H

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Glen Alexander

Where's the audio?

 

I wanted to see the guy walking in and everyone else saying, " NORM!! "

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would actually argue that not posting in 4k doesn't make the whole test moot. It limits it, sure, but for a test that was free, I still think we learned a tremendous amount.

*snip*

To me, I learned a tremendous amount about the latitude and color rendition of the RED, even though I was only comparing the footage at HD resolution.

 

*snip*

That we did, unfortunately what we learned is that the RED is a video camera, retaining video camera limits for latitude and color. What I expected. But I did learn that RED did handle things a lot better than I am used to for video, which I must give credit. I did notice that the 35mm used was a russian rig, not the best quality glass but decent enough for a HD test. A true 4k test I'd recommend using the same lens on both, something like a Zeiss or Cooke.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, ideally you'd use the same lens on both cameras to take the glass out of the equation.

 

But even though this is standard definition and you cannot judge sharpness, it still tells you volumes about the color rendition where film simply wins hands down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
it still tells you volumes about the color rendition where film simply wins hands down.

 

Hi Max,

 

Most of my money comes from making people look good, hopefully all my competitors will shoot on Red.

 

Stephen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Chuck for posting the results.

 

The RED is just a tool folks. Stop hating on it. You are not accomplishing anything positive replying to this thread with your comments about Revenge of the Nerds/ hope my competitors all use REDs...

 

But thanks for stopping by none-the-less.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Glen Alexander
Thanks Chuck for posting the results.

 

The RED is just a tool folks. Stop hating on it. You are not accomplishing anything positive replying to this thread with your comments about Revenge of the Nerds/ hope my competitors all use REDs...

 

But thanks for stopping by none-the-less.

 

These comments seems harmless and actually funny, wait until the 'heavies' respond. Where is Carl? Keith? JJ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stop hating on it. ....... hope my competitors all use REDs...

 

Hi,

 

I don't hate it at all, I am very happy that everybody around me is so happy with its performance.

 

Stephen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
it still tells you volumes about the color rendition where film simply wins hands down.

 

Do you have an explanation for this fact?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree totally on the lens issue, when LACC wants to pay for a full 4k test, I'll rent matching Master Primes.

 

However, for something put together on an LACC budget (it's the best film school secret in LA, but they have very limited resources), I think the lens's are a close enough in quality for an HD test (or, more likely, an H.264 SD test, since I imagine that is most of what you are looking at). But I deliberately avoided shooting any lens or sharpness charts, since the lens quality difference seemed to be to make those tests moot.

 

The footage is in AppleProRes (HQ) Rec. 709 from REDcine. After talking to some RED owners, it seems like I should expect a little more latitude if I export in REDlog, so I will attempt to re-export in that. All timing down in COLOR or DA VINCI was aiming for a neutral (blacks balanced and whites balanced) grade with blacks around 7 and whites around 100 with a good stretch to the gamma.

 

The workflow chosen was the workflow recommended by RED at RED DAY as being what they would like to call a "common" one; they were careful not to recommend any specific workflow (one of their pluses is that there is so much flexiblity), but they also said that they expected Rec. 709 to be a common workflow.

 

My students have asked me to play with the RED footage to see if I can get it to saturate without noise the way the film does; I will work on it and post.

 

thanks for the thoughts.

 

Ch:H

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Who's who in the above still?

 

The blonde in shorts with the RED T-shirt is Shawn Booth, the brunette with bangs is Maura Milan, and the dude in the black shirt with the long hair and beard is me, Charles Haine.

 

We're on Stage C at LACC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do you have an explanation for this fact?

 

Hi,

 

FWIW I think the same can be said for any digital camera, I also personally prefer skin tones on Fuji film, some will call me a Kodak hater :lol:

 

Stephen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi,

 

FWIW I think the same can be said for any digital camera, I also personally prefer skin tones on Fuji film, some will call me a Kodak hater :lol:

 

Stephen

 

You are right. Same can be said about any digital camera. I agree.

 

I was more wondering if there is some reasoning based upon the chemical decomposition of film when exposed in relation to skin tones.

 

I do have a feeling that Rec 709 is not very amenable to (certain) skin tones.

Edited by DJ Joofa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I do have a feeling that Rec 709 is not very amenable to (certain) skin tones.

I'm wondering how that could be. Does 601, for instance, look significantly better to you? In both cases, the gamut covers far more than the region of skin tones in 1931 (x,y) space. With a bit depth of 10 or more, we shouldn't be running out of codes because of the larger gamut (especially towards green) of 709. My guess is it's more likely to be specific implementations -- cameras, monitors, etc.

 

 

 

 

-- J.S.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I havn't been able to get the video to download but this seems like a lot of fun! I'm glad you included the HVX too to give it a whole range of cameras. I hope everyone had a good time!

 

As for revenge of the Nerds, I know this is Mr Boddington being full of mischeif as usual, but I know some people who are huge fans of that movie and would probably be honoured by such a comparison. There is a tendancy in our society to value stupidity and to put down people intrested in science and/or experimentation and/or learnning. I sometimes think we are all paying the price for that these days.

 

Anyway at least Revenge of the nerds is a cinematic referance! :)

 

love

 

Freya

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We rated the RED at 320 up through 3 over; above 3 over we increased the ASA in 1 stop increments, since the lens could not open any wider. Again, not ideal, but we had the RED zoom instead of Super-speeds, which I would've liked.

 

Interesting test, but adjusting ASA on the Red to compensate for Iris limitations is a little misleading I do believe, specially since the Red ASA adjustments are somewhat non-traditional.

 

And as Mcgregor pointed out on RU you cannot use the same principles as Film for exposure - Classic mistake to people that just start shooting digitally. This is a great post to read, I learned alot from it : http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?t=12863

 

You can see the results of this on some of the shots that clearly show that the RED was not exposed correctly for comparison by the variation in luminance levels, even if the linear adjustment in stops was correct on the iris.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Interesting test, but adjusting ASA on the Red to compensate for Iris limitations is a little misleading I do believe, specially since the Red ASA adjustments are somewhat non-traditional.

In that case, the right solution would be to light the whole thing hotter in the first place. The more things you keep the same, the more sure you are that what you want to change is causing the differences you see.

 

 

 

 

-- J.S.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Paralinx LLC



    Visual Products



    CineLab



    Ritter Battery



    Wooden Camera



    Glidecam



    Rig Wheels Passport



    Tai Audio



    Serious Gear



    Abel Cine



    New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment



    Broadcast Solutions Inc



    Metropolis Post



    Gamma Ray Digital Inc



    Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS


×
×
  • Create New...