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Jingtian Wang

Difference Between Alexa 65 and LF in 1.85:1 Delivery Format

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I just watched Joker (amazing film), and looked up the camera spec on ShotOnWhat.

One thing I found interesting is how they used Alexa 65, LF and the mini for the film. The Alexa LF and 65 parts were interesting to me, since considering with budget of 55 million, there shouldn't be a reason not to get another 65 instead of LF. Especially considering DP Lawrence Sher ASC also shot Godzilla II: King of the Monsters, another alexa 65 show, and should be able to negotiate the rate down quite a bit. Using the LF feels a bit odd, since there will be another crop ratio to consider, as we would need to crop in on top and bottom to get 1.85:1 in the LF, where as we can keep the full height on the 65.

This leads me to wonder is there any advantage to shooting LF over 65 (besides cost and that it doesn't matter if you shoot anamorphic)?  

Jing

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The LF is available in Mini format for more flexibility and the the LF records internally in the camera, the 65 requires an external codex recorder.

So Stedicam on a 65 is harder, as you'd either need to be tethered by cable to the recorder, or deal with the extra weight if mount it to the camera. So that potentially makes  the LF and mini-LF are a bit easier to work with operationally. A 65 won't work on a drone etc... 

Quality-wise i'd imagine intercutting between LF and 65 is very close visually unless you pixel peep,.  Its not a massive visual issue to use LF's on a 65 show. On a 4K or 2K finish the different won't be noticed by most people in the audience. Plenty of shows have intercut standard Alexa and 65 without audiences revolting. 

Moving forward,  I would imagine a lot of  big 65 shows would find a LF Mini for drone, gimbal and stedicam  potentially more useful then a second 65 body

And cost is still potentially a factor - even big budget shows would keep an eye on it.

Also availability, there aren't  a vast amount of Alexa 65's in the world. So you could run into a supply issue - especially if you needed several cameras for a big stunt sequence. You might find there aren't enough 65 bodies available. 

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I'm not sure... but don't think they used the LF and Mini because they couldn't afford another Alexa65 -- I assume they needed the smaller, lighter cameras with internal recording for things like Steadicam, Movi, drones, and occasionally sticking the body in small spaces like car rigs. Sure it's possible to use an Alexa65 for some of those things but it would be difficult.

But maybe there was a budgetary restriction or a lack of Alexa65's, ARRI didn't make that many of them and they are rental-only.

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10 hours ago, Phil Connolly said:

the 65 requires an external codex recorder.

That explains a lot, never thought about that. I though the 65 also records internally, since it has what seems to be a media bay on it's left just like any other alexa. Does anyone know what the bay is for? Just curious.

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Gregory Irwin told me they used the LF only for steadicam since it's considerably lighter than the A65 (and they have the Mini now) and the Mini for small spaces where they can't fit the larger cameras.

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3 hours ago, Jingtian Wang said:

That explains a lot, never thought about that. I though the 65 also records internally, since it has what seems to be a media bay on it's left just like any other alexa. Does anyone know what the bay is for? Just curious.

The Alexa 65 records internally on Codex cards. 
There is no need to tether the Alexa 65 to anything else in order to use it or record with it. 

Have a lovely day. 

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Another interesting I found out about was during one of Larry's interview, where he talked about using Canon, Nikkor and some Leica lenses in joker to get certain looks. And I guess this explains parts of why LF was used...I suppose Larry were talking about still lenses, since Nikkor never made cine lenses. Which means they will cover LF's full frame sensor and still maximize the dof.

But this makes it more confusing since as Manu said, the LF was only used on steadicam and mini was only used when the other were too big. Was it a coincidence that these are the exact shots Larry wanted with these lens? Seems unlikely to me, but possible. Or these lenses might have image circles larger than the advertised full frame, as with many lenses and Larry just knows more than I do (statistical certainty).

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2 hours ago, Jingtian Wang said:

Another interesting I found out about was during one of Larry's interview, where he talked about using Canon, Nikkor and some Leica lenses in joker to get certain looks. And I guess this explains parts of why LF was used...I suppose Larry were talking about still lenses, since Nikkor never made cine lenses. Which means they will cover LF's full frame sensor and still maximize the dof.

But this makes it more confusing since as Manu said, the LF was only used on steadicam and mini was only used when the other were too big. Was it a coincidence that these are the exact shots Larry wanted with these lens? Seems unlikely to me, but possible. Or these lenses might have image circles larger than the advertised full frame, as with many lenses and Larry just knows more than I do (statistical certainty).

I believe many Nikkors cover 5k on the LF and the longer ones cover 6k.

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On 11/26/2019 at 11:57 PM, M Joel W said:

I believe many Nikkors cover 5k on the LF and the longer ones cover 6k.

The LF sensor in open gate mode is almost identical in size to a 35mm stills frame. Any lens made for 35mm stills should also cover an LF sensor

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