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Old July 18th, 2006, 10:20 AM   #1
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Not just DOF, Opinions?

Hello Everyone,
I have thought for a while that shallow depth of field was only a part of what makes the 35mm image pleasing. Even when I shoot a landscape with 28mm wide angle, where shallow DOF does not come into play, it has a 3 dimensional, cinematic quality that I could not achieve if I were to shoot wide angle with my camcorder alone.

I think this is an important distinction when weighing the benefits and costs of moving to a 35mm adapter setup. If it were just DOF, I feel the novelty would wear off quite quickly, but it's not.

What do you think?
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Old July 18th, 2006, 12:31 PM   #2
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I think most cinematographers would agree that 90% of the picture quality we recieve into our cameras is dictated by the lenses.

Unfortunatly, most Video cameras are created with a fixed "do-all" type lens, which usually leaves the optical quality, sharp, precise, and soulless.

Most 35mm film lenses, have a lovely warm look to them, and simply "feel" more cinematic (whatever that means).

A great example of how lenses affect the image is in Anamorphic 2:35:1 pictures. Watch a film like "Pirates of the Carribean" (1st) and compare the image with "King Kong"...

The anamorphic lenses used in Kong (I am almost 99% sure) squeeze a 2:35:1 image onto a film strip and the image is then projected througha lens to unstretch, while pirates was shot in typical 16:9 and cropped in post (again, 99% sure).

Both are shot on film, both are 2:35:1, but they loo kdifferent cause of the glass...

Try out some cheap AF lenses on your 35mm adapter, then try out an Arriflex PL mount Prime...

You'll see the diff.
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Old July 18th, 2006, 01:20 PM   #3
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Totally agree, I for one am not buying any adapter simply because of DOF, it's the cinematic langauge that changes for me. I can decide what I want to show, wide angle, CO, ECU etc. That's what it's all about.
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Old July 18th, 2006, 01:59 PM   #4
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Hi Donnie!

I am going to say that the biggest part of getting a 'cinematic' sequence is the frame rate. Shallow DOF at 29.97/30fps is still going to 'feel' like a home video, even with careful camera movement.

I agree with the use of professional lenses...and also with careful lighting (which often comes up in these discussions), etc... but shoot anything at 24 frames per second and it will look more cinematic.

Just my thoughts. ;)
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Old July 18th, 2006, 03:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Nayman
The anamorphic lenses used in Kong (I am almost 99% sure) squeeze a 2:35:1 image onto a film strip and the image is then projected througha lens to unstretch, while pirates was shot in typical 16:9 and cropped in post (again, 99% sure).

Both are shot on film, both are 2:35:1, but they loo kdifferent cause of the glass...
No, Pirates was shot 2.35:1. What made you so sure it was cropped?
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Old July 18th, 2006, 04:29 PM   #6
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I was almost entirly sure I saw a documentray whikch showed the uncropped 16:9 frame with 2.35:1 guide lines.

Either way, doesnt Cameron shoot some of his stuff and then crop? I need to find some good examples and then post some screens. Without VFX (throws it all off)
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Old July 18th, 2006, 06:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Ladner
Hi Donnie!

I am going to say that the biggest part of getting a 'cinematic' sequence is the frame rate. Shallow DOF at 29.97/30fps is still going to 'feel' like a home video, even with careful camera movement.

I agree with the use of professional lenses...and also with careful lighting (which often comes up in these discussions), etc... but shoot anything at 24 frames per second and it will look more cinematic.

Just my thoughts. ;)
I completely disagree with this statement. I believe the framerate is a very small piece of the puzzle...as is shallow DoF. I've seen very videoy looking film and very filmy looking video. Citizen Kane is almost entirely screaming wide DoF...still looks like film. The difference is the $$$ you put in front of the lens...the camera is nigh irrelevant...if anything, the lattitude is more important than anything else in camera as per looking cinematic...but I've said many times before, the Cinematic feel is a combination of many things...the least of which is the frame rate. Set dressing, Costumes, Lighting and prefessional acting is the defining "Picture" pieces...along with smooth, professional camera movement and great editing. Everything else is secondary.
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Old July 18th, 2006, 08:37 PM   #8
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I'm in total agreement with Cole here.
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Old July 18th, 2006, 09:25 PM   #9
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I came off angry up there...I apologize, it was unintentional...I don't retract anything I said...just imagine me saying it while smiling cheerfully :)
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Old July 18th, 2006, 09:39 PM   #10
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I will also add that the money you put in front of the camera doesn't have to be from your budget...if a construction company is tearing down a building and you can get them to let you shoot there for free/cheap...that is an environment that is pre-dressed...that saves $$$...location scouting extensively and consistently.

look around once a month or two for things in your town that have changed or that catch your eye...talk to the owners - "Hi, my name is Cole McDonald and I'm a local independant filmmaker...would it be ok if I used your front yard/business/home/garage/whatever to shoot a scene, we can be out in X days...great...could I have you sign a release form saying it's ok for us to do so?"

Keep props on hand...guns come to mind (airsoft, $15/3 handguns, ebay)...paint them to look real, you can examine real guns at a local sporting goods store for free to match the painting job to.

Own your own gear...save up to get a good camera and tripod, buy lots of ACDelco clamp lights outfitted with GE Soft white flourescent screw in bulbs ($15/light & bulb). Get 3 or 4 lighting stands, one with a boom. Couple of halogen 500w worklights for bringing the night to life. You car can act as a generator using a plug in transformer thingy from walmart ($20). Have lots of long orange power cables 200' or more. foamcore bounce cards tucked in the garage with one side of each painted silver or gold (or lamae fabric strectched and paper clamped onto the foamcore.

build what you can't afford...it's not that hard...my rod system cost $20...just have to fashion mounting brackets for it now.

You can make up for lack of $$$ by spending time instead...time really is money, if you choose time, you don't need money.
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Old July 18th, 2006, 10:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Ladner
Hi Donnie!

I am going to say that the biggest part of getting a 'cinematic' sequence is the frame rate. Shallow DOF at 29.97/30fps is still going to 'feel' like a home video, even with careful camera movement.

I agree with the use of professional lenses...and also with careful lighting (which often comes up in these discussions), etc... but shoot anything at 24 frames per second and it will look more cinematic.

Just my thoughts. ;)

Both sides are right.

The real answer is, "shoot anything at 24 frames per second and it will MAY look more cinematic."

Shallow DOF at 29.97/30 fps won't necessarily feel like a home video. It may, but it may not - it very much depends on the scene.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 05:49 AM   #12
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DOF /frame rate / film look

Hi,

I just got back from holiday in Paris where I shot some great footage using my new Letus35 and a Cannon 50mm lens.

The image quality is pretty good -it has a nice 'warm' feel to it, way better than the standard lens but somewhat less sharp. The 50mm f1.4 lens creates a very shallow DOF -good for focusing in on snails at the dinner table!

I find with this setup you concentrate much more on 'planes of focus' -panning between objects with a static camera -in other words you gain a new dimension to play with not available b4...

I let the camera choose the shutter speed and it still looks good in conversations when rendered in Vegas at 25fps...


Nick.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 10:07 AM   #13
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Question at Hand

Cinematic Look is a broad topic. My question is more specific...

Setup #1- 3ccd 1/3" camcorder zoomed to 7.4mm (equal to 50mm in 35)

Setup #2- 3ccd 1/3" camcorder with adapter, NO diffuser, just a field lens to capture full frame of the aerial image. And a 50mm lens.

I'm trying to figure out if and why these two setups look differnt in regards to the 3d nature, perspective, depth; even though they have the same FOV. Maybe I'm not using the right words to describe what I'm seeing. Or think I'm seeing.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 12:25 PM   #14
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What are you referring to by "field lens"?
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Old July 19th, 2006, 12:58 PM   #15
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I beleive what Donnie means is with a strong enough achromat and condesner lens, you are able to remove the GG without hotspot. This will give a good comparision between the 50mm SLR lens and the equivalent without adapter. This will remove shallow DOF, and the comparision will focus on the other attributes.
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