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Old January 20th, 2003, 09:21 AM   #16
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oke everybody i tested the mini 35 adapter this weekend with a range of filmlenses from 16 to 130 mm. I have the canon xl1 and i noticed that i was in short of a lot of light....I think with the xl1s you have at least one stop more light possible, i had to shoot most of the time with 12 db to get an acceptable picture... I dont know how you can shoot inside without at least a couple of 10 kilowat lamps !! by far lack of light was my biggest problem. Next time however i am going to use superspeed lenses , they will be more light sensitive i think.


It never really looked sharp...and i think using the mini will require upping the countour in post.. the "wide angle" lenses did not look good, very very soft and "wolly" I have been told that this in itself is the dv format, not being able to take in so much information, it could not have been the lens i used!
By the way if your planning to use a sony pd 150.... forget it! you can't take the lens off so you can imagine the quality of the image being as good as the sony lens.. Handheld poses the problem of balance and probably would require an aftermarket application.
The good news :
The depth of focus of the 35 lenses (Zeis u prime lenses) is incredible and looks fantastic!! it really gives you that filmlook and i think for us videographers the best choice should be the 35 mm pro adapter, it will be compatible with 2/3 inch cameras... sony 700 or more should be great with this adapter... However you will need a assistent because the depth of focus is so thin...you are easily out of focus, a collegae of mine did work it alone, but he worked under very confined conditions.
There is also not to much noise coming from the spinning glas much less then i had read about...

greetings
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Old January 20th, 2003, 10:27 AM   #17
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I think the feeling behind that adapter is that if you have the budget to work with it, you also have the budget for full-blown lighting. Thanks for the report,
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Old January 20th, 2003, 01:31 PM   #18
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thanks Chris
ofcourse you need to light your scene, otherwise why use the film lens ? the xl1 is really not very light sensitive and by using film lenses you do have a problem....putting up so much extra light would only make working circumstances unbearable for actors and crew. The lighting would also become very low in contrast. The answer has got to be a more light sensitive camera for this adapter: the xl1s might just do that job.
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Old January 22nd, 2003, 11:57 AM   #19
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Response to Slingerland

After I saw your posting regarding the Mini35, lighting and softness, I happened to read the following:

Allen Daviau, cinematographer, was quoted in the most recent issue of Film and Video magazine: "I conducted a lighting workshop for students at a local film school . . . When a student asked why I needed to light with a digital camera, I explained I was using light to describe a model's face. I also demonstrated how the color and angle of light defines the characters and their relationships. . . Will digital cameras make cinematography so simple that anyone can do it? Will digital cmeas replace film and free directors from the tyranny of lighting? I believe the answer to all of those questions is no. . . Film and digital images are fundamentally different types of media. The new tools will give us more options for expressing and interpreting the visual language of stories, but the role of the cinematographer will remain the same."

One factor to take into consideration when lighting is the speed of the film lenses you will use on your system. If you use a Cooke T2 lens, which is very fast, you have to light accordingly, etc.

Also, you mentioned that the look you got was fuzzy or soft. That's because the ground glass in the Mini35 gives you a film look which is more velvety than starkly sharp video images.

You now have depth of field and the cinematic look with the Mini35. The new P+S Technik PRO35Digital Image Converter for 2/3 inch HD and standard definition video cameras works the same way as the Mini35 does with DV cameras: the subject needs to be lit equivalent to the production value your seeking now that you're using a film lens for a cinematic look.
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Old January 22nd, 2003, 04:12 PM   #20
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Well put Barbara. I would go one step further and point out that the XL1 is very capable of a cinematic look with or without the Mini 35 if one commits to taking this approach to lighting (of course, the added depth-of-field characteristic of the Mini 35 will further the cause).

Digital cameras are not currently "faster" than available filmstocks, i.e. they require at least as much light to capture the image as a film camera. I usually rate the XL1 at 250 ASA, whereas Kodak makes several excellent 500 ASA filmstocks, netting an additional full stop of exposure. If one is attempting to achieve cinematic results with a DV camera, the only reason not to use a similar lighting package as one would when shooting film would be budgetary.

I was approached to shoot a DV movie a few years ago. Coming from a primarily film background but also having shot some narrative work on Digi Beta, once I discovered that the director wanted to achieve a feature film look as opposed to a Dogma style, I convinced him that we needed a significant lighting package. Even the gaffer was a bit baffled that we were pulling out 4K HMI's with a" little video camera" but the results were well worth it (and can be seen here). Now if the Mini 35 had been around then...!
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Old January 22nd, 2003, 05:00 PM   #21
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I know others have said this and it's the Number One thing you need to have any kind of "Film Look" and that is basic Filmcraft and the primary tool of filmcraft is lighting.

You can have a million dollar DV camera and still turn in a piece of crap... take Mr. Lucas' last two films as great examples in reference to the 'script phase' and the 'taking the time to help your actors give a good performance' parts of Filmcraft and the lack thereof.

I read everything there was to read about getting the infamous "film look" from DV till I read someone say something like "you can do all the tricks and all that but if you don't light it and shoot it like a film nothing will matter." and it hit home.

That said... I'd love to get my hands on the Mini35 and give it a try. It would make the above easier.
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Old January 22nd, 2003, 05:09 PM   #22
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FIRST BORN

Charles,


Watched FIRST BORN. Can you give some details on how big a production this was, what sort of stuff you did on it and all the gory details?

What kind of budget was there? What camera did you use?

thanks in advance.
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Old January 23rd, 2003, 12:25 AM   #23
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Kevin,

I'll start with the easy stuff--it was an XL1 with the 14x manual lens, in frame mode.

Then it gets a bit fuzzier (we shot it 2 years ago); the budget was around $25K and it was a 5 day shoot.

The G/E package was a large van package, with grip up to a 12x12 set and lighting up to 5K tungsten and HMI up to 2500 par (I confused this with another job when I mentioned 4K's earlier). It was just big enough to handle the day exteriors, but only just (the scene that takes place around the car when the wife is leaving was particularly tough with that size package). Contrast control is always the challenge with video in general and it took plenty of nets on the windows and all our firepower to balance windows with interiors. For the Steadicam shot that followed the couple through the door of the house with the newborn baby, we tented the area outside the door only allowing a bit of daylight in to balance with the interior level.

I'd be happy to answer any other questions--but we may be getting off-topic here...?
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Old January 23rd, 2003, 07:58 AM   #24
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Thanks... I started a new thread specifically for First Born and quoted over your messages from here so people can catch up easily.
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Old January 23rd, 2003, 08:01 AM   #25
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back to the topic

I know I can rent this set up here in the NYC area and my partner and I have talked about it so later this year when we have the budget meeting for the project set to go then we're going to try and squeeze it in so we can play with it.
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Old January 26th, 2003, 07:17 PM   #26
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My Short Film Shot With the Mini 35

I recently shot my short film THE CHINESE SHOES in Paris, France using an XL1, the Mini 35 and Cooke S4 lenses.

The finished film will be ready to be released at the end of February, but the trailer and stills are available for all those interested. Go here: http://thechineseshoes.com
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Old January 27th, 2003, 11:56 AM   #27
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perceived "softness" and the mini35

In response to slingerland's post about the images never looking "sharp" along with Barb's post concerning the velvety look of film everyone should check out the April 2002 issue of American Cinematographer where a test by Jon Fauer is detailed (pg. 119).

To sum up the results, the XL1s by itself (along with other MiniDV cameras of this size) can only resolve into the 6th degree of the Putora 7A9 sharpness indicator chart.

When the lens is removed from the XL1s and the Mini35 is attached directly to the camera the XL1s can resolve into the 8th degree of sharpness.

So, while the Mini35, especially with the ground glass spinning, has a perceived softness to the image you are acutally getting, at least with the XL1s, a significantly higher resolution image then standard MiniDV.

So while you will get an excellent image with the PD-150 version of the Mini35, if your starting from scratch the ability to remove it's video lens from the XL1s and receive the higher resolution makes it the obvious front runner of choice for use with the Mini35 and as Jon Fauer commented "it just goes to show that the better the lens, the better the image."


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