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Old May 7th, 2005, 12:01 PM   #1
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Guerilla35 footage - uncompressed!

I am curious about learning anything I can about DOF devices/adapters, both static and dynamic. I download every test picture and every piece of sample footage that I find, and save them all, for my own learning. I am not a pro or semi-pro; I have a tiny camera I use to film my family and friends, nothing more. I simply want to make my memories look better than the old horrible "home camcorder movie."

Although I am not currently in the market for a G35, I had the opportunity to view their raw test footage. I don't know the guys and before viewing it I hadn't decided that I loved or hated their product or themselves. To be frank, I was a bit skeptical. I must admit that the first time I viewed their site I figured, "Here are some guys who are having a machine shop make them an anodized aluminum tube, and are using somebody's off-the-shelf GG or screen, and trying to make money on it." I assumed it would have SOME grain but not a lot.

So I was very curious to view their footage, as many people have claimed that it must have grain that is simply not visible due to the compression in the sample footage available.

All I can say is: Wow!

There is no grain, hotspot, or vignetting, whatsoever. None. Not in bright light, not in "flare" situations, not in contrasty situations, and not in dark situations.

They redefine the DIY DOF device community's phrase, "You are there!"

Many people may be skeptical but in my brief conversations with Jonathan I learned just how much work and how many months of time these guys have put into development: a LOT. More so than I have seen out of the most prolific of DV Info.net contributors.

I think the G35 guys have arguably made two mistakes and these are theirs to make:

1) Maybe they should have posted small clips of uncompressed footage on their site, or using rapidshare.de, etc.

2) Perhaps their site should have mentioned the myriad combinations of optical elements they've tried, and the fact that they are having elements custom made for them.

I think this would have quelled a lot of the instant nay-sayer attitude that a some people have about this device. It's ironic because those same people haven't seen the uncompressed footage so they really shouldn't decide one way or the other in the first place.

Jonathan mentioned that they have upgraded their host and that some uncompressed footage will be available very shortly.

BP
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Old May 7th, 2005, 07:30 PM   #2
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Welcome to the board Jonath...Bill (joke)
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Old May 7th, 2005, 08:22 PM   #3
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I get your joke and I take it with a grain of salt but it's an insult nonetheless. I'm a real person and I went out of my way to share an unbiased opinion of a product I am not even going to purchase any time in the near future as far as I can tell.

My intent was to show people that if you work hard enough, a static device can create grainless images. Jonathan and Doug have proven that. Shame if my good intentions were met with cynicism.

If Jonathan were such a shameless promoter of his own product as to stoop to fake screennames then he'd have started by putting up more than a barebones website. The product pics and screencaps aren't even up on the guerilla35.com site(!), they're tucked away in the forum.


edit: I should have said, "My intent was to show people that if you work hard enough, a static device can create grainless images, [or buy a solution if you don't have time or interest to devote to developing your own."

Last edited by Bill Porter; May 7th, 2005 at 09:13 PM.
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Old May 8th, 2005, 01:59 AM   #4
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Bill:

I surmise that your feeling is that shallow depth of field alone will transform what would otherwise look like an "old horrible home camcorder movie...?". Perhaps that "tiny" camera might have something to do with it--not to say that the right camera will sudddenly make everything look like a Hollywood movie, but perhaps the ability to shoot at 24 or 30 fps might make at least as much difference, if you like that look.

Your honest assessment of your shooting ability "not a pro or a semi-pro" is appreciated. It might be worth mentioning that for uncontrolled circumstances, it is pretty tough to shoot documentary (i.e. home movie style) and maintain focus onesef with 35mm optics. In other words, be prepared for a lot of soft stuff if using long enough lenses to really see the shallow depth of field, unless your subject is pretty static.

Also consider the added bulk and potential physical awkwardness of a setup outfitted in this manner. It may become harder to hold the camera steady with the added weight, especially at longer focal lengths (the same ones that will take the most advantage of the shallow depth of field), and may be more of a burden to take along on certain events or activities.

Finally there is the light loss, meaning that events that could have been captured with the camera by itself now would require supplemental lighting to get a useable image.

I'm certainly not trying to talk you out of anything--perhaps just reminding that the beauty of a 35mm optical path comes with a certain set of penalties and compromise.
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Old May 8th, 2005, 02:57 AM   #5
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That's a pretty big leap to surmise ("assume" is more accurate) that I would think a shallow DOF would transform what would otherwise look like an "old horrible camcorder movie." As I said, "I simply want to make my memories look better than the old horrible "home camcorder movie." Now that I'm using my adapter, they do look better.

I do however think it's clear that your feeling is that 24 or 30fps might make as least as much difference as a shallow-DOF-adapter. It won't. Have you ever used one? I have seen lots of 24 and 30 fps films sans adapter and the biggest difference lies in the DOF by far, not the frame rate.

I guess I appreciate the spirit of your post, although it seems you are anti-static adapter, which, again, I wonder whether you've used one. I've already built my adapter and I'm using it happily.

The added light loss is almost nil - I have done tests with and without the adapter - and the bulk is unimportant to me as I have not built a super-long tube. My camera overall is just barely longer than my old Sony Handycam.

Other than that a DOF adapter is a lot nicer than you make it out to be. You should try one yourself!

Anyway, most people who would be using the G35 are pro's or semi-pro's (or wannabe pro's) and that is who I am sharing this info for. I simply mentioned my own camera and use of it, to give some background about myself. I find that when you post a favorable review of something, the nay-sayers and people accusing you of being a shill (or of being someone else posting under another name) come out of the woodwork, so the background on myself was to at least give some depth (pardon the pun, considering the topic ;-) ) to an otherwise empty name.
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Old May 8th, 2005, 03:41 AM   #6
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Bill, I think you took Charles' comments the wrong way. And if you had been on here a little longer you'd realise Charles has a tad bit of experience with those lensy recordy things we hold in our hands to take pictures with.

I also would also argue that, in my experience, the film cadence of 24fps or 25fps (in my case) has WAY more to do with a film, or should I say "non video" look than the DoF. Of course this is personal preference, but 50/60i SCREAMS video to me, but deep Depth of Field doesn't necessarily.

Back on topic, I'm really interested in some of these adapters that are being made and interested to see some footage from these guys. I'm looking at investing in one of these things myself.

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Old May 8th, 2005, 08:26 AM   #7
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I'm aware Charles has a lot of experience, as I looked through this old posts. But nowhere did I see him having used a static DOF device. Did I not look back far enough?

As far as taking his comments the wrong way, I'm sure he didn't mean ill, and his tone was very kind, nor did I take them as an attack. But I do disagree with the points he has made. This board has a real woody for 24p, as is also evidenced by your comment: "I also would also argue that, in my experience, the film cadence of 24fps or 25fps (in my case) has WAY more to do with a film, or should I say "non video" look than the DoF. "
I never said anything of the sort that I was interested in a film look or non video look. All I said was I want my videos to look better. Mission accomplished, that is why I am still using my static DOF device. :)

I agree wholeheartedly that this thread should stay on topic (if anyone wants to add anything) and thank you for pointing that out. I simply am very impressed that this soon-to-be-released product works as well as it does. So it's nice to see that A) anybody who wants to just plunk down for one can have a solution, and B) if you don't want to or can't afford to pop for one, there is a lot that can be done if you persevere.
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Old May 8th, 2005, 10:04 AM   #8
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Bill,

Did you say you built a static adapter? I would love to see it and some screen grabs! Also the g35 guys don't have a price for their unit - do you have any idea what it is? The static vs moving debate shouldn't stop anyone from trying either. Whatever works, I say. That is why this board thrives.
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Old May 8th, 2005, 12:43 PM   #9
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For anyone who has carefully analyzed any footage from G35 will see that is A) The best static imaging quality footage to date, and B) You can still see static grain on the footage if you are being hyper critical and very picky.

When you get to a certain point of quality with this DIY approach, just jump in and go for it. In other words:

Go buy the Guerilla 35 - www.guerilla35.com

Get the Micro35 - www.micro35.com

Go build your own - www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=38743

Do it today, and in the meantime, figure out what you're going to do with it when you get it, because that's more important than anything else that anyone is talking about here. Hopefully the ambition is to make videos, movies, and tell stories. Make as many as you can, and get ready for when something better comes along in the coming years, or you achieve such success that you can shoot on film or high end HD (Dalsa, Arriflex, Kinetta, Panavision). Yes!!

Peace,

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Old May 8th, 2005, 01:12 PM   #10
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Bill:

I can well see that based on the first response to your initial post that you were on the defensive; can't say as I blame you. It didn't sound like you had already built your unit, so my intention was to possibly throw a little counterpoint into the mix--I'd hate to see someone go through all that work and then find out that the results were not what they thought they were going to be. Not that the system doesn't work, but that having shallow depth of field wasn't the Holy Grail. I read plenty of threads in which members have built themselves this or that rig and can't figure out why their footage doesn't immediately resemble studio-quality.

Interestingly, I find that there are many members of this board who have a real "woody" for shallow DoF--(13,000 posts in "Alternative Imaging Methods"); I hear very few individuals claiming a preference for deep focus, whereas there is plenty of debate over the "stutter" of 24p vs 60i. As someone who implements both shallow DoF and 24p whenever possible (yes, I do in fact own a Mini35), if you put a gun to my head and said I could only use one tool of the two, I would go with the 24p. 60i with shallow DoF doesn't do much for me, at least not enough to justify the "hassle" of the adaptor. It's a personal choice, and I have no argument with anyone who feels otherwise.

I will point out that I haven't used a static adaptor, so I wasn't aware that there wasn't a light loss, and that the system is compact. Those are great assets! When a production model of this type of system appears, I look forward to evaluating it.

On the grammar side of things--I do stand by the use of "surmise", and I think it wasn't a big leap to say that video is "transformed" by the use of the adaptor--obviously enough to elicit a "wow" from you! But I do appreciate your challenging my choices, I'd much rather debate language than camera technology!

All the best,
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Old May 8th, 2005, 05:55 PM   #11
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So I read this thread I posted on yesterday. I made a joke as first reply.
I think we are a bit tricked, although I don't know why.
Someone new starts with explaining he only films his family with a tiny camera. He's not a pro and he's interested in learning about DOF machines.

Than he's insulted by the very fist comment, my stupid joke, and begins to debate every suggestion people make. Not in a nice way I'd say.
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Old May 8th, 2005, 06:01 PM   #12
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Super Troll, I'd say.
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Old May 8th, 2005, 06:46 PM   #13
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Oh, I don't think so. No troll dares to set foot on these boards; no troll that does ever lasts very long. As the owner of this joint, I'd really prefer that we always give new folks such as Bill the benefit of the doubt and *please* do not always assume the worst with regard to intentions. We want to keep this place fresh. I'm the only one here with the authorization to feel jaded.

Honestly I have to admit to feeling just slightly miffed over the fact that the Guerilla 35 was not born here. This forum is supposed to be the place where all good concepts come from, but G35 started somewhere else; we had no part in it. Does that make me just a tad bit jealous? Sure it does. But it doesn't take anything away from the G35; I'm sure it's really "all that" and more. I just wish we had germinated it like we did the Micro35 thingy and the Reel Stream Andromeda.

Y'all please feel free to discuss Guerilla 35 all you want here. There are no constrictions on good healthy discussion topics, even if we didn't invent the dang thing. Full speed ahead,
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Old May 8th, 2005, 07:04 PM   #14
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I don't think he's a troll; the product actually looks pretty cool and pretty innovative. That said....

Citizen Kane used rear projection to get a deeper DOF, as well as fast stock, stopped down lenses, and wide angle lenses.

Did it look jaw-droppingly amazing? Yes....

Wes Anderson shoots with a very deep DOF. Did Royal Tenenbaums look pretty? Hmm....let me think.

It's 3 things that determine "film look": 24fps, dynamic range, and depth of focus. In my mind, all three are important, and depth of focus isn't everything.

However, the ultra-wide DOF of video makes blown highlights look a lot worse (they don't bloom; they look sharp and awful.) So if I can use a DOF adapter to smooth the background out, and make the foreground "pop" I will, although it alone won't make my footage look like film. And I plan to buy one this summer to do just that.

Edited for general coherency.

Last edited by Matthew Wauhkonen; May 8th, 2005 at 08:51 PM.
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Old May 8th, 2005, 07:41 PM   #15
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Matthew I couldn't agree with you more. The softness of film and the GG makes perfect sense because it tends to get rid of the sharpness or hardness of video.

Chris, thanks for the input. I am glad that you, as the owner of this forum, support and endorse other products even though your bro is in the same business! Kudos to you!

(James is your brother, right? Maybe?)
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