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Old March 10th, 2010, 07:35 PM   #1
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Saturation values for Canon (L series?) Lenses

I recently got some feedback on a video that I posted in the "Sample Clips" section suggesting that the colours looked a bit over saturated. You can see the clip here

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/eos-5d-m...phone-app.html

I was using the 24-70mm L lens with a neutral picture profile, which, if I'm not mistaken, sets the saturation to zero. I agree that the colours are still quite saturated even with the neutral setting so I wanted to ask what saturation setting people are using with Canon lenses and what your rationale is for the setting that your using?
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Old March 10th, 2010, 10:08 PM   #2
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I agree. Even with a Neutral setting and the Saturation one tick down, the biggest adjustment that I typically make in color correction is to desaturate.

Speaking of which, I just got Red Giant's Magic Bullet Colorista. It's amazingly smooth at adjusting things. Low saturation is definitely part of what I personally experience as The Film Look. That and green/blue lows and warm highs.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 11:50 PM   #3
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Canon always had the over saturated color with their video cameras, I remember when I used XL1 I had to reduce the saturation too and A LOT.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 06:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
I just got Red Giant's Magic Bullet Colorista. It's amazingly smooth at adjusting things.
Yes I was just playing with magic bullet to desaturate some clips for another project. It was shot with the same neutral settings (saturation zero) and I found that I had to crank the saturation down to 85% from the default 100% setting to get it down to something that didn't pop off the screen. Although perhaps a touch of colour correction to cool-off the warmer canon lenses might make for a slightly less dramatic desaturation.

I would be interested in hearing people's thoughts on the pros and cons of setting a lower saturation value in camera vs desaturating in post, particularly if those thoughts go beyond the general comments about doing anything in camera vs doing it in post.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 09:09 PM   #5
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I think it's good to avoid under saturation in post. Adding color that isn't there is asking for trouble. Removing a bit of color is pretty straightforward. But it's nice to get it close to your target out of the camera, so it looks good in review.

Another nice thing about a bit of desaturation in the camera is that you're less likely to clip a color component. So, I recommend some desaturation, but never less color than you want to deliver in the end product.

Back to Colorista, the thing that makes it silky is being able to push the lift and gamma (lows and mids) towards blue or green, and then compensating by pushing the gain (highs) towards pink or orange. This gives a nice color cast while keeping the faces natural. Vegas has similar controls, but they don't have that buttery feel to them. By pushing the colors like this, you can desaturate even further. It removes the natural color, but by applying the cyan/pink-yellow push, the overall image doesn't feel black and white.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 03:46 AM   #6
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Thanks Jon. That all makes sense to me. I'm gonna have a bit of a play with your cc techniques. I'm just starting to get a bit more specific with my colour correction so this type of approach is great.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 06:09 AM   #7
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Watch your scopes!
You will instantly know where your color values are at.


All the Best!
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Old March 12th, 2010, 11:21 AM   #8
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Check out this tutorial:
Red Giant Software: Red Giant TV - Episode 22: Creating a Summer Blockbuster Film Look

Click "View Tutorial" to watch the video.
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Old March 27th, 2010, 06:47 PM   #9
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Hi Jon,
That's an interesting tutorial. I had a go at applying some of its principals (along with some desaturation) to this video.


(click through to vimeo for HD) I think it worked quite well because there was naturally blues in shadow areas and skin tones in the highlights of the landscape itself (it was shot in the Blue Mountains).

I'm a little bit unsure about whether or not I've gone to far with the desaturation in parts.

Sound design by my musician/audio engineer friend Greg Seiler aka comatone.

Last edited by Ben Denham; March 27th, 2010 at 07:22 PM.
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