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Old September 17th, 2007, 04:38 PM   #1
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reduce depth of field on Canon HV20

Any way to reduce depth of field on the Canon HV20 without breaking the bank? (I.e., getting a 35mm adapter and 35mm lens?)
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Old September 17th, 2007, 05:48 PM   #2
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You just need to zoom-in all the time to your subject. About 80% when using the normal lens and about 30-50% when using an ND filter in front of it. There's no other way to get background blur on most shots with these consumer cameras without modifications/adapters/etc. Also, using manual focus in some situations might help. That's it.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 07:59 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Brian Boyko View Post
Any way to reduce depth of field on the Canon HV20 without breaking the bank? (I.e., getting a 35mm adapter and 35mm lens?)
Not tried this but.....

You'll get the shallowest depth of field if the aperture is fully open.
In a brightly lit scene, I guess adding some neutral density filters could allow this to happen.

Of course you don't want to lose so much light that the electronic gain kicks in.
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Old September 20th, 2007, 01:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Glyn Williams View Post
Not tried this but.....

You'll get the shallowest depth of field if the aperture is fully open.
In a brightly lit scene, I guess adding some neutral density filters could allow this to happen. .
I prefer polarizing filters - you get a variable ND that way:

http://hv20.com/showthread.php?t=1132
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Old September 20th, 2007, 03:02 PM   #5
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Zoom

It's all abot zoom and 'enlarging out of focus areas'.

If you have a subject, make sure the background is 10 feet or so behind them, then you take the HV20 and make sure you're 10-15 feet away from the subject. Then zoom in and focus on the subject.

Ta da. The HV20's sensor is large enough that if you use this technique, you'll be able to yield great results!
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 02:59 AM   #6
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The question was how to make that 'DOF' effect. Answer remains: open aperture, and/or zoom and focus maually if you need to make the effect the most apparent.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 02:07 PM   #7
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Green screen the actors in a very quiet place, then go shoot your background out of focus. This also does beautiful things for your audio. There's also a plug in for After Effects that claims it can do this for you. I'm just assuming it's a mask technique.
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Old September 25th, 2007, 10:18 AM   #8
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Green screen the actors in a very quiet place, then go shoot your background out of focus. This also does beautiful things for your audio. There's also a plug in for After Effects that claims it can do this for you. I'm just assuming it's a mask technique.
You know...I've actually thought about doing this. My question is....does big budget movies do this also? I know they would have the cams that can do this naturally...but I wonder if some are using this method.
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Old September 25th, 2007, 10:20 AM   #9
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You know...I've actually thought about doing this. My question is....does big budget movies do this also? I know they would have the cams that can do this naturally...but I wonder if some are using this method.
"300" is shot fully greenscreen in a studio... well, in an empty hangar, except one scene with horseback riding. Then about year and a half in post.
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Old September 26th, 2007, 05:40 AM   #10
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The camera I want is the one captures scene with deepest dof and 'somehow' generates greyscale depthmap so that I can add custom and precise dof in the post ;-)
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Old September 27th, 2007, 12:46 AM   #11
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Yes 300. Less than recently, Sin City.

There's a romantic sunset balcony scene in Heat where Di Nero is talking with a woman, LA sunset in the background. I'm almost sure normal productions are never scheduled to include a green screen shot. Maybe a second unit "oops we missed this" or a prod co's funding cuts might make some of these types of things necessary but I don't think anyone starts out thinking this is a good idea.
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Old September 28th, 2007, 04:51 PM   #12
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...on the green screen "solution": blurring is NOT the same as having low DOF. It's so synthetic!
A calculated gaussian or other blur delivers a totally different light scatter than a lense. The HV20 proves this in a peculiar way by delivering a weird blur effect I have never seen before in a cam: I would call it square blur. Bright objects that are out of focus blur like this:

<>

Not round, but a 45degrees rotated square (actually, a little bit squashed). Maybe you can even see it on Wes' shots in this thread (thanks Wes)

To tell you the truth: once I started to notice this HV20 square blur, I diminished my low DOF shots. It looks somewhat artificial...

Pieter
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Old September 28th, 2007, 08:30 PM   #13
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I've been looking for a plug-in that would simulate bokeh after some rotoscoping. I know SDOF is not desirable in all situations, but I have one interview with a famous author, in front of a bookcase. Everyone wants to see what books he has! Maybe my After Effects wizard can figure this one out. Pieter, I know what you mean by the <> blur of the HV-20.
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Old September 29th, 2007, 03:18 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Pieter Jongerius View Post
To tell you the truth: once I started to notice this HV20 square blur, I diminished my low DOF shots. It looks somewhat artificial...

Pieter
It's the shape of the camcorder's iris. Lock your aperture fully open at the widest zoom setting, and you'll get a nice circle.
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Old September 29th, 2007, 03:24 AM   #15
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It's the shape of the camcorder's iris. Lock your aperture fully open at the widest zoom setting, and you'll get a nice circle.
Even then Steve, Pieter is right. The fully open Iris on the HV20 is still shaped like a diamond - it only consists of four-blades. So Pieter, that's the best you'll get! And, it's not bad, really.

This principle applies for any camera.. in the right situations, you can 'see' the shape of the Iris in the bokeh.

And Dennis, right on: the question was HOW to get the DOF look without the cost, not the merits of DOF. So, again, wide open with the iris, and if you're in the right situation, zoom and focus on subject (with foreground and background out of focus).
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