micro35 vs xl1 wide angle 3x lens at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Alternative Imaging Methods

Alternative Imaging Methods
DV Info Net is the birthplace of all 35mm adapters.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 13th, 2005, 01:23 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Lafayette, LA
Posts: 268
micro35 vs xl1 wide angle 3x lens

I'm new to all of this... in fact I'm really the audio guy, but I'm also better at understanding the technological side then my partner. I presented this micro35mm idea to him and he seemed to not be very interested thinking that his xl1 with the wide angle lens can get good enough DOF. He says build one and will try it but I don't see that it's worth the investment (crazy considering how little of an investment it is!)

I guess my question is, how correct is he? OR maybe it could be stated like this:

Given the same conditions
On a scale of 1-100, 100 being real deal 35mm camera and I guess 1 would be the cheapest DV came you could get at best buy? Where does the XL1 fit? Does the different lenses help... what about dropping in ND filters... where does it put it on that scale then?

Again I've never gone to film school and have barely even held the xl1... I have been an audio engineer for the last 12 years of my life and just happen to be some what of a techie kind of guy to.

Thanks for listening to my ill phrased question ;)
Kevin
Kevin Richard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2005, 02:15 PM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Wall, NJ
Posts: 31
I own an XL2, and ive worked with XL1's on many occasions, and as far as raw, undoctored footage from an XL1... i'd give it, at best, a 25. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice camcorder, just you aren't going to get anywhere near the hollywood quality you're thinking of.

I think, if you are going for that hollywood look, a micro 35 is probably worth your while. I love playing with depth with my slr, and i find the lack of it very limiting in video. Depth is going to be even more limited with a wide angle lens because of the short focal length.

Dropping in an ND filter will increase your depth, only because you have to open up your aperature more. I personally can't wait for the micro 35, and i'm going to use it on my new feature as soon as i get it.
__________________
--Devereaux

]:-( --->

http://geocities.com/anarchist_lb
Jon Laing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2005, 06:37 PM   #3
Tourist
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Burbank, CA
Posts: 3
I'm a little worried that people on this board are starting to think that the micro35 is "the" secret weapon for their DV movie. I watched the footage shot with the micro35, and to be honest, it's not nearly as nice as some footage I've seen shot with a XL1 and the manual lense. The depth of field is nice, but the image still looks like video. Not that there is anything particularly wrong with that, it just seems like a lot of people here are looking for a "magic bullet" in the micro35 system that I just don't believe it will deliver.

The biggest problem I notice in watching the footage is a definite resolution loss. Any time you put an image through more and more glass, you're going to lose resolution. I speak from experience, having built and used 3 separate mini35 systems, with moving and static GG's, and one of them strikingly similar to the micro35. All of them had substantial resolution loss, especially apparent in wide shots when watched on a large screen.
__________________
www.ntnmstudios.com
Brian C. Weed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2005, 09:23 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Lafayette, LA
Posts: 268
Thanks for the replies... I for one am not looking for a "magic bullet" but more so looking at "what makes film different/better than video? How can I eliminate or minimize those things?" So this isn't the end all be all but it might be a step in the right direction... maybe I'm wrong?

Since I'm new to this camera thing I will ask is this lost of resolution looked at by some as "softening" the image. Wondering because that is another thing I think most of us are after since video has all that sharpening circuitry that is a necessary evil.

I have seen some really nice footage achieving very nice DOF with the canon, but it was outside on a very sunny day using a LOT of ND filters. Is that the only way you can practically get a similar DOF? Is there a difference between a ultra bright set and using ND's vs starting with that amount of light to start with?

Let me get that article that I'm referring too.... ok here:
http://www.dvinfo.net/articles/production/berube1.php

Keep the opinions coming!
Kevin
Kevin Richard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 14th, 2005, 04:05 PM   #5
Tourist
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Burbank, CA
Posts: 3
That is certainly one way to get a nice looking depth of field with a video camera. Another technique (which I personally think works the best, especially w/ the canon 16x manual lense) is to get back away from your subject, and zoom into frame. This will give a very nice depth of field, but it's not always practical, especially if you're shooting in a tight location. Also rack focuses don't look quite as good because most camcorders focus ring is on a servo. That means when you turn the ring, a little motor comes on moving the focus. That's what makes the canon 16x manual lense so cool - no servo, all manual controls = really nice looking rack focus.

Yes, some will look at the loss of resolution as "softening" the image, and it can work nicely depending on the look you're going for. But its a two way street - make no doubt about it, you will lose resolution in wide shots, and it will be most apparent when you see your film on a big screen (or television). It's really impossible to tell true quality from the small compressed video posted on the internet. There are countless ways to soften an image without putting it through a ground glass (adjusting the sharpness control on your video camera is a good place to start).

I suppose you can use a huge lighting rig and a lot of ND's to get a particular depth of field look. Then it becomes of question of how much to spend on your lighting kit.

But in the end, regardless of whether you use a mini35 system for depth of field, or not, never skimp on lighting. It's the single most important aspect (my opinion, of course) of creating an interesting picture that people will want to look at. To me, the footage done with this micro35 ultimately fails because the lighting is very poor. And I've seen beautifully lit DV films done w/ no mini35 system that were gorgeous to look at. Look at what was accomplished w/ "28 Days Later," which shot with the XL1s and no mini35 system.

Lighting and cinematography is key.
__________________
www.ntnmstudios.com
Brian C. Weed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 14th, 2005, 05:48 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Hollywood, CA
Posts: 293
Brian - did you watch the footage from the micro35.com web site? I realize "The Ancient" sample footage is misleading because it was designed to be dark - and lord knows DV cams aren't particularly great in low light environs. I'm just curious if you have the same reaction after seeing the horse footage, for example. Without seeing it in a theater, I'd say that would be hard to distinguish from film
__________________
==========================
Brian Valente
Redrock Microsystems
Brian Valente is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 14th, 2005, 06:58 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 587
For wide shots... why use the adapter at all? Unless you need a very specific look you would get just about the same results shooting with the camera itself because wide shots have a very deep DOF.

Quote:
get back away from your subject, and zoom into frame. This will give a very nice depth of field, but it's not always practical, especially if you're shooting in a tight location.
Just to be clear, this won't change the DOF at all, it will change the percieved DOF.

One thing that bothers me about people always shooting zoomed in (whenever possible) is the lack of creative focal length use. This to me is more important than percieved DOF. Each focal length has very specific characterisitics and should be chosen based on the look desired IMO. I think this is where we see a real separation between pro cinematographers/directors and independent film makers.
Aaron Shaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 14th, 2005, 07:30 PM   #8
Tourist
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Burbank, CA
Posts: 3
If you're using a homemade rig like the micro35, and you take it off for your wide shots, you're going to get footage that doesn't quite match.

I agree with you about the lack of creative focal length, but that of course is the next step. First you have to learn what it is (DoF), and how to get. Then you figure out how to use it responsibly.

Oh, and no doubt about it, the horse footage is great. But I've seen equally amazing results with interchangeable lenses on the XL1 and 2. Also, properly lit and well shot clean DV footage (w/o a mini35 system) can be indistinguishable from film when it's compressed for the internet. Being outside on a good sunny day at the right times can give you much more favorable lighting conditions (strong shadows, good contrast, key, fill and backlight coming from sunlight bouncing around, etc). Watch the horse footage, and take into account the angle of the light and the placement of the camera in respect to that. Then ask yourself if you think the footage is so good because it's in micro35, or because it's lit well.

I'm not trying to say that the micro35 isn't cool as all get out, because it certainly is. Depth of field is a great tool to have to play with. But it's not going to make or break any film. It's another tool that may or may not work for certain situations. I just want to keep it real, know what I'm saying?
__________________
www.ntnmstudios.com
Brian C. Weed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 14th, 2005, 07:43 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 587
Good point Brian. I would love to see how well wide footage without the adapter would intercut with the adapter footage. Maybe someone can run a test when they build their unit?

I hear you on the focal length. In addition to the different DOF looks created by focal length I'm also talking about the seeming compression (telephoto) and emphesis (wde angle) that the focal lengths provide. I could, for instance, get the subject to be the same size by moving forward and going wide and or by moving back and going telephoto but each will look quite different from the other.

I agree about the footage though. Even the horse footage wasn't spectacular to me. If some creative lighting was done I'm guessing you could get really cool results!
Aaron Shaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 14th, 2005, 07:47 PM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 132
The biggest drawback for me, when pushing for shallow DOF, is that Ihave to push pretty far and really decimate my perspective's degree of latitude. If I want to make the conscious choice to use 40 mm perspective for storytelling reason, I could get killed unless I really perfect my light.
Getting the depth through lighting is undeniable. But for a no-budget VIDEO filmmaker it sure is a bonus to get all the help I can get in the way of 3 dimensionality and suspending my viewers's disbelief with a micro 35.
James Klatt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 14th, 2005, 08:04 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 587
Oh I quite agree! I was merely talking about getting shallow DOF via zoom :). With a 35mm adapter you can choose any focal length you want and it will look like 35mm film!
Aaron Shaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 14th, 2005, 08:15 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Hollywood, CA
Posts: 293
<<<-- Originally posted by Brian C Weed : I'm not trying to say that the micro35 isn't cool as all get out, because it certainly is. Depth of field is a great tool to have to play with. But it's not going to make or break any film. It's another tool that may or may not work for certain situations. I just want to keep it real, know what I'm saying? -->>>

Agreed - like any tool (Magic Bullet, 24p, cinema gamma etc.) there's a saying I like to use "Great tools won't make a bad story good, but they can make a good story better". Let us not confuse our tools with the art of storytelling.

Now, that being said, I would much rather have a micro35 and a set of nikon primes for the same price as the XL's manual focus lens!
__________________
==========================
Brian Valente
Redrock Microsystems
Brian Valente is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 15th, 2005, 11:07 PM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Lafayette, LA
Posts: 268
Thanks for all the responces you have given me... now just to some how convince my partner that I'm not saying his camera sucks and that I just want to get the best possible "advantage" we can when it comes to "film making" :)
Kevin Richard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 21st, 2005, 10:34 AM   #14
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Turin (ITA)
Posts: 30
Just to add my 2 (euro) cents... I've seen yesterday 28 days later (ok, no , I won't open AGAIN that thread) and it is shoot all with a XL1 and no adapter at all.
Believe me looking at it on DVD doesn't mae a great difference, I believe being able to get the maximum from a digital camera leads to a GOOD footage, even with the "tricks".
On the other side I must admit that getting a shallow DoF even in some critical circumstances is quite usefull. Sometimes you don't have time-money-will ;) to setup the right lighting for a small DoF and an adapter can comes handy.

Just my 2 cents...
__________________
--
rIO.sK
www.offiCineItalia.it
Dario Corno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 21st, 2005, 10:50 AM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Hollywood, CA
Posts: 293
Dario - I agree you can get certain looks without DOF etc. You can also get certain looks without lighting, makeup, and a lot of other things.

I think the point is that we want to expand our toolset of available options, so that we are not forced into a few 'looks' but rather have choices. For many high-end projects, this expanded toolbox is critical to their work.

the Micro35 promises not just shallow DOF, but I think three really important improvements:

Shallow Depth of Field - we all know about this one
Selective Angle of View - wide angle, macro, everything inbetween
Focus - ability to rack focus, follow focus, etc.

So to me it's not just about achieving a one-trick pony, but rather opening up a whole new area of options.

my two cents
__________________
==========================
Brian Valente
Redrock Microsystems
Brian Valente is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Alternative Imaging Methods

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:26 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network