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Hello,

I'm going to do a lens test for an upcoming TVC. Shooting on the Sony Venice so I'm looking for FF lenses. 

I'll be testing Zeiss Supreme and Radiance primes as well as Canon K-35's.

I'll have a subject to shoot and a small lighting setup.

I was wondering if anyone has a guide for how to go about the testing. What are the different variables I should be looking at? 

Thanks!

 

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Well, what do you want your commercial to look like? The point of testing to try out different ideas on how to get the look you want.

If you want a soft diffused look, try out different old lenses vs filters.

If you want a warm golden look, try out in-camera white balance vs gels on lights vs LUTs.

If you want a grainy look, try underexposing vs adding film grain in post. So on, and so forth.

It’s all related to what you’re trying to achieve, rather than just testing for no reason.

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On 1/12/2021 at 12:37 AM, Satsuki Murashige said:

It’s all related to what you’re trying to achieve, rather than just testing for no reason.

Exactly. 

I would try to test the lenses at different t/stops to try to notice the different performance wide open vs. stopped down, how they reproduce skin tones and different colors, how many optical aberrations show up when wide open, or how sharp they are at the intended shooting stop. I would also try to shoot in different lighting conditions, and use direct sources against the glass, or very bright sources on the frame, etc. to see how contrast is affected by them. With the Canons you may want to test all the different focal lenghts to see if they match each other, etc. as older lenses tend to be in worse shape and some of them didn't match at all even when they were new. 

But after all, it's all up to what you're trying to achieve, and your own taste. Bear in mind you may find both sets of Supremes quite sharp and contrasty (with the Radiance more prone to catch flares and veiling) while the Canon K35's are much older lenses with a distinct soft look and not so good performance below a T/2.0 or so. 

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On 1/13/2021 at 3:38 PM, Ignacio Aguilar said:

Exactly. 

I would try to test the lenses at different t/stops to try to notice the different performance wide open vs. stopped down, how they reproduce skin tones and different colors, how many optical aberrations show up when wide open, or how sharp they are at the intended shooting stop. I would also try to shoot in different lighting conditions, and use direct sources against the glass, or very bright sources on the frame, etc. to see how contrast is affected by them. With the Canons you may want to test all the different focal lenghts to see if they match each other, etc. as older lenses tend to be in worse shape and some of them didn't match at all even when they were new. 

But after all, it's all up to what you're trying to achieve, and your own taste. Bear in mind you may find both sets of Supremes quite sharp and contrasty (with the Radiance more prone to catch flares and veiling) while the Canon K35's are much older lenses with a distinct soft look and not so good performance below a T/2.0 or so. 

I'm sorry I took so long to respond. Thank you for the advice.

I wasn't able to test the K-35's. I found both the Supremes and the Radiance were really sharp and kind of sterile looking. I wasn't crazy about them clean but I tried some filters (BPM, HBM and Satin) and it looked much better. 1/8 BPM felt the best.

Would you recommend any other filters that might take some of the edge off of the sharpness but retain contrast? Even at the lightest the BPM made the blacks a little milky.

Thanks 

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1/8 Black Promist is a workhorse, you can't really go wrong with it. I use it a lot to make modern lenses have more feeling (slight halation) and to take of the edge of sharpness. 

If you just want to lower the apparent resolution, you may want to try something like a 1/2 Soft FX, which is another workhorse. It's light enough to remain unnoticed and, if you like the effect, you can always go to the 1/4 or 1# strenghts to adjust it to your taste. 

You may also like Glimmerglass (the 1/2# or 1# are quite like the 1/8 BPM in effect) though it's a more evident filter effect than BPM. Some people also like Pearlescent for this purposes, but I'm not keen of it. Others like Black Diffusion FX, it's a rather interesting but not so well known filter.

You may want to have a look at Tiffen's Triangle of Diffusion: TriangleOfDiffusion-Web.jpg?8477

And this excellent filter test by Stephen Murphy BSC:

But always, test, test, test...

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36 minutes ago, Ignacio Aguilar said:

1/8 Black Promist is a workhorse, you can't really go wrong with it. I use it a lot to make modern lenses have more feeling (slight halation) and to take of the edge of sharpness. 

If you just want to lower the apparent resolution, you may want to try something like a 1/2 Soft FX, which is another workhorse. It's light enough to remain unnoticed and, if you like the effect, you can always go to the 1/4 or 1# strenghts to adjust it to your taste. 

You may also like Glimmerglass (the 1/2# or 1# are quite like the 1/8 BPM in effect) though it's a more evident filter effect than BPM. Some people also like Pearlescent for this purposes, but I'm not keen of it. Others like Black Diffusion FX, it's a rather interesting but not so well known filter.

You may want to have a look at Tiffen's Triangle of Diffusion: TriangleOfDiffusion-Web.jpg?8477

And this excellent filter test by Stephen Murphy BSC:

But always, test, test, test...

Thanks. These both will be super helpful

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