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Mike Krumlauf

Panavision HD900F Questions

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Hello fellow Cinematographers,

 

This will be my first post on here (minus my introduction) and I hope its a good one.

 

I have been having problems with the optical block on my HDW-F900/3 and was very lucky to find a mint condition Panavision HD900F body on ebay for cheap. It arrives tomorrow (very excited) and my plans are to remove Panavisions front plate and install the stock plate from my HDW-F900/3 which has the B4 mount and control panel (which panavision made as a remote with a lemo cable.) My question is, is this going to be possible? I'm thinking the one hurtle i might have is the control board that hooks into the panel on the front of the camera which is located below the cooling fan for the sensor will not be installed in the Panavision version so i will have to transfer that as well. If the pin connectors to these things are not on the mother board, im pretty much screwed.

 

I know its been ahwile since these two cameras' heydays but I have to believe someone with some engineering background could help answer some of my questions before the camera arrives tomorrow.

 

Thanks :)

Edited by Mike Krumlauf

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I've talked to guys at Macie Video and they really don't recommend tinkering around with those cameras unless you're trained. I had a broken F900 imager last year, sent it in to them, and Macie just suggested buying an entirely new F900 due to the cost of repair exceeding another body altogether.

 

I have an F900 if you're looking to buy.

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I know what Im doing, I have engineering experience working at VER. Im just asking if anyone knew if the boards were the same as I havent seen inside the panavision model.

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Just wanted to make note that for all who need answers for my questions, yes, the front plates on the cameras are perfectly interchangeable with minimal work needed to do it.

Edited by Mike Krumlauf

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New Question: Panavision listed in the 900F manual to keep the Knee settings off.. my question is why? Do you get more tonal information if you leave the knee off and just expose accordingly? Did most features that used the HD900F abide by panavision's suggestions?

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Are you talking about the auto knee or the internal manual menu settings?

The internal menu settings. I never have used auto knee. I'm just trying to figure out the reasons as to why Panavision stressed to just leave all KNEE circuits in the camera off.. im a getting a better image by leaving knee off? Ive already realized that leaving detail off is best but it just seems like the dynamic range on the panavision camera is limited as hell when no knee support is applied. you have to be very mindful of highlights.

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Knee compresses the highlights ,as you know I guess..which Panavision deems to be NG it seems.. without it I suppose its a straight Rec709 camera .. 6/7 stops.. ?

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Knee compresses the highlights ,as you know I guess..which Panavision deems to be NG it seems.. without it I suppose its a straight Rec709 camera .. 6/7 stops.. ?

 

Yeah my thoughts exactly.. I know that the gamma curves Sony made with Kodak seem to compress the highlights.. gives you more room up there but then they compressed the darks so unless you are shooting in daylight as you would with 250D stock, you are really limited to what you can do. The HD900 in panavision's default settings actually has about 10 or so stops but those highlights clip so damn fast, i know there is a happy middle ground but from professional studio level things ive seen done on the panavision model like spy kids 2 and collateral (granted collateral was shot at night) it seems like they were getting more ladditude out of the camera than what the pana settings allow? I will say that the tonal range with the pana settings are the best i have seen but the highlights just clip hard, they dont roll off like what ive seen out of the camera in older films. Maybe they were sneaky and just shot interiors with a crap load of ND on the windows or something?

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Is there anyway of loading Sony HG curves into that beast.. that sounds like what your looking for as happy medium..

Edited by Robin R Probyn

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Is there anyway of loading Sony HG curves into that beast.. that sounds like what your looking for as happy medium..

Yeah, mine has tons of HG curves from a mem stick.

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HG7/8 might be a bit strong.. similar to early Canon Clog in the C300 Mk1..but if you wanted to keep it more in Rec709 land.. 3 or 4 would do the job.. no Knee in HG curves..nicer roll off that standard 709.. but of course no free lunch ..to achieve it ,compression starts earlier .. and so grey levels lower ..but more gradual roll off..

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Yeah, mine has tons of HG curves from a mem stick.

Anyway you could share these HG Curves? All i have are the Kodak curves and the curves from digital praxis which i think were more Log like or cineon emulating?

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Anyway you could share these HG Curves? All i have are the Kodak curves and the curves from digital praxis which i think were more Log like or cineon emulating?

If I owned a memory stick reader then yeah I could... but I don't have a memory stick reader...

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If I owned a memory stick reader then yeah I could... but I don't have a memory stick reader...

Dang. Did you make them or buy them/download them somewhere?

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Dang. Did you make them or buy them/download them somewhere?

I bought it off someone with the stick pre-loaded a year or two ago.

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If you can go to a rental house with a Sony camera that has HyperGamma, you can point it at a 11-step chip chart and look on a waveform monitor to see how the x shape is modified by the gamma, then you can point your F900 at a 11-step chart and play with the gammas to create something similar (but milder).

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If you can go to a rental house with a Sony camera that has HyperGamma, you can point it at a 11-step chip chart and look on a waveform monitor to see how the x shape is modified by the gamma, then you can point your F900 at a 11-step chart and play with the gammas to create something similar (but milder).

I was thinking of that.. if i was still living in my homeland of Chicago where i had contacts at Panavision, VER, Keslow, probably would be a good idea but im really not that familiar with the outfits in Denver here and there are very few of them. If i was still in Chicago I would just take my camera over there and have them help me.

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Could you shoot in the Cineon curve gamma you already have and apply a Slog3 or Arri LogC LUT.. the gamma curves at least are almost identical .. ?

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Most of those log gammas were designed for cameras with more dynamic range and a better noise floor. I'd stick to a very mild adjustment from a Rec.709 base with the F900, something like whatever the mildest form of Hyper-Gamma is, if that.

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Most of those log gammas were designed for cameras with more dynamic range and a better noise floor. I'd stick to a very mild adjustment from a Rec.709 base with the F900, something like whatever the mildest form of Hyper-Gamma is, if that.

David, given you used the panavision model quite a lot back in the day.. did you adhere to keeping the knee off and sticking to panavisions default settings or..? :)

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I tried both. Panavision's method is safest but there are times when auto knee or changing the knee gamma helps hold a bit more overexposure detail without looking odd. Sometimes things get weird when you have the knee compressed too much and you have knee saturation on so you have to watch that.

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