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Alternative Imaging Methods
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Old May 27th, 2006, 07:25 PM   #1
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Some basic questions

I have a HC1 and am considering the Letus as a way to improve my filming technique but one thing nags me:

The very small DOF sounds like it could be an absolute nightmare to work with -I have no auto-focus so everything has to be done by hand. How do you maintain the subject in focus while moving? (The Panasonic online DOF calculator gives me just 6cm of in focus depth for a 50mm f1.4 at 1.5m...)

The more I watch films the more I think it must be done by magic!

Thanks for any tips on 'budget' techniques for managing the very shallow DOF on offer.

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Old May 28th, 2006, 12:11 AM   #2
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nick, if im shooting actors i make sure to stop down the lens lower than the 1.4 to give myself a larger area in focus. you can only use manual lenses. auto focus doesnt work on these. i just finished shooting my first short with the letus35xl. Yes it adds more work.. youre not simply doing the point and shoot/run and gun video style of shooting anymore. block the shot correctly. know exactly where your actors are going to be for every point in the shot,, and you should already know and practiced a few times before every shot the focusing, and camera moves if there are any. If youve got movement in the camera you may want to enlist someone to be the focus puller. run through the shot before hand and figure out all the focus points that your focus puller has to be hitting. you work the camera.. and he hits the focus points according to the action in the scene.
video : xl2 / letus35xl / bogen 503
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Old May 29th, 2006, 05:34 AM   #3
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Better filmin

Thanks Andrew, I was kind of expecting that would be the answer -all part of "improving my technique"!

I suppose using some form of external rangefinder might help -or a tape measure... I have seen pre-filming shots of this happening. It just goes to make those films with flowing continous action seem all the more incredible. the art of "action" filmmaking takes incredible patience...

Do you know if in the really high end productions they use some form of auto-focus mechanism?

Regards, Nick.
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