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Old June 1st, 2006, 11:50 PM   #1
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Footage/Stills from JVC-HD100 + mini35

http://association.aerieproductions.com for some full-rez JPGs, WMVs, and Cineform AVI's.

Our shoot was April 29-30th, and about 10 minutes from a feature film I'm planning.

It was our first time using the mini35, and overall very pleased. The JVC is well-suited to 24P filmmaking, and performed wonderfully-- though I can't imagine living with out the IDX battery system (4 hours per battery). We used Zeiss 35mm Super-Primes T1.3, with the Matte Box and follow focus, it's a great little rig. We recorded to tape.

My two complaints...
1) It's all a lot softer than I would have liked, despite paying very close attention to focus. I'm not sure if we were doing something wrong with it, or if that's a by-product of the ground glass look. There apparently is not an adjustment for backfocus between the mini35 and the JVC. We were using primes, so it wouldn't be necessary anyway. Maybe also related to being off 1/3" CCD's?

2) The ground glass seems to cause the MPEG2 compression to behave poorly when there's a lot of detail-- more in the exteriors.

But these to things I can get over-- the look is still wonderful compared to the standard 1/3" video depth of field.

I wish we had more time to experiment with the iris on the relay lense-- it might have helped make the ground glass disappear more? I'm not sure on that one.

On a couple scenes we didn't realize that the battery ran out of the mini35, and the ground glass stopped moving. Be sure to check that frequently!

We monitored on a standard PC monitor with a TVone convert box taking the analog YUV HD and converting it to close to pixel-accurate 1280x768 on the PC monitor. Not a great way to figure out color, but you can see everything, and yet we still missed the ground glass stopped problem.

I'm also using Premiere with Cineform AspectHD to edit-- and so far am happy with that too, despite a couple bugs here and there.

Special thanks to Eric at IndieRentals.com for renting us the mini35-- he's great if you're looking for a rental house or co-production insurance.

Andrew
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Old June 2nd, 2006, 12:40 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Wahlquist
1) It's all a lot softer than I would have liked, despite paying very close attention to focus. I'm not sure if we were doing something wrong with it, or if that's a by-product of the ground glass look. There apparently is not an adjustment for backfocus between the mini35 and the JVC. We were using primes, so it wouldn't be necessary anyway. Maybe also related to being off 1/3" CCD's?
Andrew, there is a backfocus adjustment in the Mini35. It's the barrel that connects to the camera. You need to loosen the set screws, turn it and tighten the screws. It's different from the one on the stock lens, it doesn't have the knob.

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2) The ground glass seems to cause the MPEG2 compression to behave poorly when there's a lot of detail-- more in the exteriors.
Correct. This was initially reported, I believe from Nate, because the grain of the glass adds noise that simply makes the compressor go crazy.
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Special thanks to Eric at IndieRentals.com for renting us the mini35-- he's great if you're looking for a rental house or co-production insurance.
We used the same for the commercials shot last month, that sticker in your pictures sure looked familiar :)

Thanks for the all the behind-the-scenes material and for the report.
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Old June 2nd, 2006, 10:37 AM   #3
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Backfocus

I'm renting it again in the near future, so I'll look into that. From your description I can't picture what you're talking about, because the relay lense system only seemed like there was one way to go on there, and no other adjustment to it. The guy checking out equipment that day said it was his first time running the show by himself, and I think he was in a bit over his head to really know what to show us.
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Old June 2nd, 2006, 11:07 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Andrew Wahlquist
I'm renting it again in the near future, so I'll look into that. From your description I can't picture what you're talking about, because the relay lense system only seemed like there was one way to go on there, and no other adjustment to it.
Here is a picture, I annotated it to point to the adjustement.
http://www.paolociccone.com/images/HD100-mini35-bf.jpg
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Old June 2nd, 2006, 04:26 PM   #5
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Backfocus picture

I see. Is that little grey dot one of the screws you're talking about loosening?

Thanks for going to the trouble!
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Old June 2nd, 2006, 04:54 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Andrew Wahlquist
I see. Is that little grey dot one of the screws you're talking about loosening?
Yes, it's clear when you see the unit in front of you. Next time ask the rental house about it, you will need a small Allen wrench to loosen the screw.
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 09:14 AM   #7
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Hey Paolo, what's the breakout box behind the battery holder? Also, the sticker on the handle, right above where you connect the viewfinder is different than mine. I wonder if it says the same or if there's any new important information on there. Mine just says: Warning: Shock hazard do not open.
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 10:48 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Michael Maier
Hey Paolo, what's the breakout box behind the battery holder? Also, the sticker on the handle, right above where you connect the viewfinder is different than mine. I wonder if it says the same or if there's any new important information on there. Mine just says: Warning: Shock hazard do not open.
The breakout box has a bunch of video and 12v out connectors. It powered the Mini35. The sticker is the standard JVC one, I have the same on my Hd100
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 12:05 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Andrew Wahlquist
http://association.aerieproductions.com
On a couple scenes we didn't realize that the battery ran out of the mini35, and the ground glass stopped moving. Be sure to check that frequently!
How can you tell when the battery runs out?
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 12:24 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Alex Christenson
How can you tell when the battery runs out?
You see very visible grain in the display. Try looking at the monitor with the Mini35 turned off, then turn it on and you'll see the difference.
After doing it a few time you'll be able to spot the grain pretty quickly.
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 07:11 PM   #11
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Hey guys - looks like you're both customers of mine. Thanks!

Andrew - sorry the person checking you out didn't point out the backfocus adjustment. That was, in fact, his first time with a new rental. Unless we ship it to you, it's standard procedure for us to show you step-by-step how to set backfocus and provide you with a free lens chart to use. I'll make sure we do that for you next time, along with a full camera test/checkout if you have the time.

Also a few notes

- The pictured breakout box in Paolo's photo also lets you use a Sony b/w viewfinder (optionally) or just the Anton Bauer batteries with multiple power outputs to power the mini, camera, accessories. It's paticularly nice when used with the JVC because that camera eats the stock batteries quickly, and with the pro kit adapter you can run the mini all day (no start/stop) and the camera during takes on three batteries.

- That the little green LED above the on/off on the mini35 usually turns red when the battery is low.

- I haven't had time to fully test this theory - but I talked to ZGC about a potential "fix" to the MPEG compression noise and "swirling" in dark areas of the image. They're response was that it wasn't necessary because you should be able to adjust the speed of the ground glass using the dial on the side of the Mini35 to take away those problems. Of course, you'd probably need an HD monitor to see that on set, but I do plan on testing that advice.
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 07:25 PM   #12
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Hey guys - looks like you're both customers of mine.
Hi Eric. The setup that I showed was actually rented by Image Line Media, I worked with them on a series of commercials that we shot with that rig. Can't claim the monetary contribution to your company :)

Quote:
- I haven't had time to fully test this theory - but I talked to ZGC about a potential "fix" to the MPEG compression noise and "swirling" in dark areas of the image. They're response was that it wasn't necessary because you should be able to adjust the speed of the ground glass using the dial on the side of the Mini35
Good point. We kept the speed at the maximum level. It was hard to find out the difference by naked eye even with a Sony LED HD monitor. We kept it at high anyway. I'm not 100% convinced that that solves the issue. The image does look more grainy than the default and that, very likely, is going to affect the compression algorithm
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Old June 4th, 2006, 05:25 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Paolo Ciccone
The breakout box has a bunch of video and 12v out connectors. It powered the Mini35. The sticker is the standard JVC one, I have the same on my Hd100
So it has video out connectors? What type? Only composite?
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Old June 4th, 2006, 03:55 PM   #14
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Andrew, first of all, Kudos on shooting your project! If one thing in particular stood out in the grabs it was the severe magenta fringing on subjects rimmed with natural light.
You can see it in the grabs with the woman being framed by the background light by the front door of the house and the roofline of the house itself.
Did you notice the severity of this while shooting or was it unavoidable?
Best of luck with the rest of the job.
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Old June 5th, 2006, 03:18 PM   #15
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Fringing

Yeah, I noticed the fringing, but it seems to be only on things that are blown out above what the camera can record. What we didn't try, like I said, was playing with the mini35's iris that adjusts how much light from the ground glass hits the video sensor on the JVC. I'm not sure if that would change the effect at all-- because I'm pretty sure the JVC doesn't do that when connected to the stock Fujinon lense.

If anyone has ideas on how to reduce it (besides stopping down), let me know.

http://association.aerieproductions.com/Fringe.jpg

Also, thanks all for your other suggestions about backfocus, ground glass speed and such. All things that will make the next time better.
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