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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
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Old October 5th, 2007, 01:38 PM   #1
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More XHA1 Footage for you Letus Extreme Junkies

More of the same kind of setup with the softbox and 3 x 250w spots this time...

Softbox is 1000w and I used it for the main key light to the right of the subject.
250w Lowel Prolight high and to the right of subject for rim light
250w lowel Prolight to the left as a fill light set to flood
250w Lowel Prolight near the fill light directed at the table for additional kick.

Practicals were also on for ambience although for this set up they didn't really make an impact to the general exposure. The room I shot in is pretty huge but I was trying to go for some intimate atmosphere.

Lenses uses were my 3 favs...
Nikon 50mm f1.8
Nikon 28mm f2.8
Nikon 100mm f2.8

Mostly full open on the Nikon lenses and made incremental adjustments on the Canon...I don't remember the settings, sorry. This will be the last of the tests for now. I have a life to get back to :)

In one of the shots, I cut it where I was finding focus but didn't have time to edit it out so just ignore that.

Shot with Academy FOV and matted in post to Cinemascope

720 version: http://www.pinelakefilms.com/XHA1/homework720.wmv
1080 version: http://www.pinelakefilms.com/XHA1/homework1080.wmv
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Old October 5th, 2007, 04:13 PM   #2
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Steven,

I'm download your clip at this moment, however I have a question or two.

Would you mind explaining Academy FOV (Field Of View is guess)? What does that mean and what other FOVs are there.

Just saw the clip. As usual, you just make things look SO good!
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Old October 5th, 2007, 10:57 PM   #3
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Nice work

I have been admiring your work for some time now, Steven. This segment with your daughter is brilliant in its simplicity and it really shows off exactly what you were trying to show. I am inspired.
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Old October 5th, 2007, 11:38 PM   #4
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Very good Steven, as always. Looked very film-like.

Hey I'm trying to get a lighting kit, but I'm kind of low on money. What would you suggest for a good, cheap lighting kit?
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Old October 6th, 2007, 04:16 AM   #5
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question

Hi Steven,
just brilliant, as usual.
I'm quite new regarding digital video and I would appreciate i someone could answer a couple of questions.

In order to shoot this last clip you have used (obviously) Canon Xh-A1, Nikon Lenses and the Letus Extreme adapter. Is that right? Is is possible to use the adapter without the lenses? If the lenses give you more DOF, what does exactly the Letus do? Does it give you sharpness? or what?

Sorry, this may sound silly but I'm completely overwhelmed by the possibilities of this camera. Thanks...

Joan
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Old October 6th, 2007, 12:06 PM   #6
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Joan,

I'll attempt to answer your questions :)

The adapter (Letus) allows you to use an SLR lens as the "primary" lens. SLR lenses typically have the option for a narrow DOF. Larger the aperture narrower the DOF.

The SLR lens' focal plane is a ground glass (inside the adapter) and the camera is adjusted to zomm in on and focus on this ground glass. So effectively the camera "sees" the picture projected by the SLR lens.

Therefore you *have* to use a lens with the adapter. Keep in mind that there is a loss of light (the Letus Extreme looses about half a stop while the Letus35 FE losses about 1.5-2 stops). So the SLR lens ideally should be a fast lens of good quality. If you don't have such lens you should budget for the lenses (you'll eventually need more than one) along with the cost of an adapter.

I've just started down this route myself and find things overwhelming as well. It's just part of the journey. In time (I'm sure) you begin to understand all the techniques and terminnology. The "skill" and "eye", well that's the part that makes all the difference eventually :).

Shiv.
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Old October 6th, 2007, 10:36 PM   #7
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"Shot by Shot" on the table. Nice touch. :-)
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Old October 6th, 2007, 10:39 PM   #8
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Beautiful, Steven. You're getting some amazing shots there, as always.

Only comment -- get some dulling spray when you have a big shiny vase in the foreground like that. It will take the curse off of seeing that big matte box highlight reflection and the smaller lights in the green vase, which become particularly distracting if you start dollying the camera.

e.g:

http://www.studiodepot.com/store/ind...=-1012&id=1087
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Old October 7th, 2007, 03:39 AM   #9
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Hey Steven, that's truly some of the best A1 footage (adapter or no) I've ever seen, and it beats a lot of adapter footage from higher end cameras as well.

I know you must be busy, but would you mind posting a pic of your rig and a very brief description of how the camera was set up? I'd like to know what you're using for camera/lens support (tripod/dolly/rails etc). I'm on an ultra-low budget and just wondering if these kind of results are way beyond my reach or if I'd be able to get something close without selling my kidneys. :) Thanks!
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Old October 7th, 2007, 04:55 AM   #10
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Thanks

Thanks a lot Shiv and everyone!
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Old October 8th, 2007, 03:58 PM   #11
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thanks for the replies everyone. I've been out of town for four days so when I catch up with everything else, I'll answer your questions.
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Old October 8th, 2007, 05:44 PM   #12
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Thank you Steven for sharing with us.

I'm in the process of ordering an A-1 and your video did nothing but impress me with it's possibilities.

Also, I'm a grandfather and loved the way you presented this video....reminded me of my grand daughters.

Nice work.

Thank you again.

Rog Lee
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Old October 9th, 2007, 12:57 PM   #13
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Shiv, the Academy Field of View is the same one used for motion picture lenses instead of photography lenses so you zoom in a little more...There's an explanation elsewhere on this forum...do a search for "Barry Green"... I quoted his explanation.

Thank you Steve, it always feels good to inspire.

Jerrod, I would suggest you go to Home Depot, get a few 500w work lights and then go to a party supply store and get some China balls...they are super cheap and give off a nice soft light. Google "cheap lighting kit" and you'll find many more great ideas.

Joan, thank you. It looks like Shiv answered your questions.

Yeah, Kevin, a bunch of people have commented on the Shot by Shot book. Believe it or not, it wasn't placed there deliberately. It's a bible for me and I just happened to be reading it earlier and it was just sitting there :)

Yeah, Jeff, thanks for the tip. If I was doing something for a real production, I'd be way more careful with that kind of stuff. I appreciate the link.

Jason, there's nothing special about my rig. Just a basic rails system from Cavision and the adapter itself. I use a bogen tripod, the details are not important because any good fluid head tripod capable of supporting about 8lbs or above would be adequate.

I bought a Lowel light kit a long time ago that consists of 3 x 250w prolights, a reflector, some clamps, stands, a diffuser cover, a scrim and a half scrim...pretty basic. I'm not at home so I can't remember the brand of softbox I'm using but it's a middle of the line model...again anything would do. Work lights with a big white sheet on a cheap laundry roller frame would work too...just don't put the sheet to close to the light.

Thanks Rog, for your kind comments.

Okay, I think that's it. I've said this elsewhere but I want to make sure that everyone understands that the Extreme looks great if you are willing to put a little into the production, specifically composition and lighting. Even a Panavision camera is going to look less than average if the shooter doesn't know what he or she is doing. The tools aid the shooter, they don't create the picture.
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Old October 13th, 2007, 03:33 PM   #14
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Wow. Even your test shots are absolutely inspiring. Thank you for this. I learn a lot watching you work (and I'm really looking forward to those tutorials!).

One slightly off-topic question though if I may... I figure it can't hurt to ask. One thing that really grabs me about your clips/work/you-name-it, aside from the incredible camera work... is your music selections. I find myself searching places like revostock trying to find the pieces used in this homework clip, as well as the great acoustic guitar pieces used in DisjectaLetus (your daughter on the porch), and your marymoorHD test... but I can never seem to find them. Where do you find these? Are most of them by the same musician?

Thanks again for sharing. Your work is just fantastic.
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Old October 14th, 2007, 02:04 AM   #15
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Steven,

Thanks for the reply related to the Academy FOV. I'll do a search and do some reading.

Thanks.

Shiv.
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