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Old November 5th, 2007, 04:54 AM   #1
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Shots using Letus FE and Steadicam Merlin

This is a large file 257MB with 7 minutes of video. You'll have a better experience if you wait for the video to download 100% before playing.

Please also ignore the images/text on the page the video plays in. The video content is no connected to the images/text.

http://thehomefront.dynamicarchitects.com/staging/test

The video includes mainly clips using the Letus FE and some shots using the steadicam merlin and some the bare A1 (night shots). The shots with on the train are hand held since I was not allowed to take my tripod on board.

These are mainly clips that I've rejected due to one reason or another (mainly technical reasons). Some issues you will notice are:
1. The vibrator of the Letus GG is not on in some clips.
2. The Letus frame is seen partly in the frame in some clips.
3. Some vignetting again due to the camera's zoom not being adjusted correctly.

The other issue I see is that shots that include moving (steadicam shots or simply tripod panning shots) are jerky. These jerks don't eixst in the captured footage but only in te encoded footage. I've tried bitrates upto 10,000 with no luck.

I found that Quicktime rendered the video very bland, as in it looks like one needed to bump up the levels when viewed as a Quicktime file. WMV lost some sharpness and Flash video seems not to have these issues. If anyone knows how I can solve the jerkiness issues, please do let me know.

I'd be interested in feeback, comments and suggestions as they related to cinematography, lighting, techniques and such. Basically anything besides the kinds of flaws I've already cited.

Oh and please do be as critical as you like.

Shiv.
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Old November 5th, 2007, 07:54 AM   #2
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Shiv, I've monitored your posts about the A1, looking to buy one myself. My favorite shot here was the rack focus looking along the train. Very appealing. I liked it.

By the way, it appears that some of these clips were outtakes. In that regard, I'm not sure that the interview with the spokeswoman early in the movie would be particularly helpful for the client. Unless, you know, um, if you really...um, are looking, like you know, to take things to the next level. :P
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Old November 5th, 2007, 09:20 AM   #3
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for the interview shots I thought the lighting worked best on the couple seated indoors (looked very well set up - not sure what you had for that one) - the lighting on the blond haired girl inside seemed too bright behind compared to how her face was lit. And, yes, she did trip up the words.

the only thing that stopped me up here and there were the big home shots that weren't as in focus as you'd want them to be, not sure if you were trying out the letus on these or not and that's why

the kitchen shots - with people walking thru some kind of showroom - worked very well

the hoe digging shot was very interesting - and when in focus was quite nice

trish
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Old November 6th, 2007, 12:44 AM   #4
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Steven,

Thank you for your feedback.

Yes :) as I said, most clips are those not being used in the final edits. However, since lighting and things were consistent these clips would still help in getting people's opinion.

Trish,
Thank you for your feeback. Yes, I thought (only during the editing process mind you) the hair light was a bit too strong, or I could have used a fill on the far side of her face to balance it out.

For the interview of the couple I used two 42x42 inch 900W softboxes ( http://photoalbum.matlus.com//AlbumView.aspx/6 ) (one on each side angled such that the key light of one interviewee acted like a fill for the other. A 600W tungsten for back light and for flower vase and another 600W tungsten for the background.

Since the softboxes are cooler (color temperature) than the tungsten, white balancing for the softboxes made the tungsten warmer.

On the panning shot of the first home (that's the home of the couple being interviewed) it was just the bare A1 (No Letus). I'm not sure why the home was not in sharp focus in that shot. Must have been my mistake. It was my first shoot for a customer, A lot of dust flying in the air, it was my last day of a week long (14 hour a day) shoot and I had to still pack all the gear back into their boxes, so they could be shipped back here and catch a flight after these shots and 30 minutes of steadicam shots. I'm just make excuses :)

Luckily, I did a few pans from various angles, heights and directions. So I have some shots I can use for the final edit. I'd say I can use about 30% of what I shot that day. I was very disappointed really. Plus I had a heck of job cleaning out the camera.

Yeah, I love the "excavator" (I called it a back hoe and was corrected by my customer) shot too. I have others that are better in some ways, but only this one that kind of stopped following the excavator and stayed focused on the home in the background. Here again, it was the bare A1 and I would have expected the camera to have focused on the home but it's didn't (at least not in the time I or it had). You live and learn.

I learnt many lessons after my first shoot. One of them was "Use a Monitor"!.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 03:04 PM   #5
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The colors are very rich. Did you touch up any of the shots with Color Correction?
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Last edited by Sam Ren; November 6th, 2007 at 03:26 PM. Reason: Spelling :)
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Old November 6th, 2007, 08:53 PM   #6
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Sam,

No I didn't color correct per se, just bumped up the level in post. I don't use any presets (as in I shoot with the default preset settings) and then just adjust the levels in post.
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Old November 12th, 2007, 05:02 AM   #7
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I would like to ask what happened that the letus frame became visible and how you will avoid that in the future. I have never worked with a 35 mm adapter but I know someone who has one on order and would like to know more about working with these adapters and the A1.

Also I have to admit that the music got on my nerves a little after the first third. Thatīs probably just me though.
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Old November 12th, 2007, 09:32 AM   #8
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Roland,

The Letus like any other 35mm adapter need to be "set up". Essentially, the camera needs to zoom in on to the ground glass such that all you see in the frame is the ground glass. Plus the camera needs to be sharply focused on the ground glass as well.

When hand holding the camera with the Letus (something I didn't want to do nor was it planned) you can't touch any of the camera rings (focus and zoom) because the setup will then be out of wack. In the situation I was in with a lot of people moving about I essentially had to keep the camera on my lap making sure no one bumbed into the camera/letus combo when not shooting and that I believe turned the zoom and or focus rings. The change in zoom brought the Letus frame into the picture.

Also, I was shooting in bright sunlight and without a focus assits monitor so it was very difficult to see things in the LCD, besides which, the LCD only shows 90% of the view while what you see on a computer (after capture) is the complete frame.

The solution the way I see it is make sure the settings are up to spif each time before recording :) I set up the zoom and focus presets on the camera to the settings required so it's very easy to flick the preset switches before reecording. This is something I should have done since the presets were setup correctly.

The music...well, I'm sure that's personal taste :). The client has provided me with music they want me to use (which I don't like at all) and since the clips I posted were the "rejected" clips I chose my own music.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 07:34 AM   #9
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I understand. Run&Gun-shooting with a 35mm adapter must be very stressing and difficult. Thanks for the tip of using the preset focus and zoom functions before each recording, I hadnīt thought of that.
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