Wine anyone? Letus35 FE footage at

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Old November 8th, 2007, 02:29 AM   #1
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Location: Gainesville, VA, USA
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Wine anyone? Letus35 FE footage

This past weekend my wife and I visited a winery. I had my HV20 and D40 with me and since I don't drink I was busy shooting hand held.

When we got back home and I took a look at the video I decided to make a mockup and setup a "wine shoot".

The 3 photos at the opening were take nwith a 40D 17mm wide.
All the handheld footage was taken using an HV20.
The "studio" footage was shot using the A1 and Letus35 FE with a 50mm f/1.4.
I used one 900W 42"x42" softbox for lighting and a black screen at the back.


I should have used a snooted light to backlight the wine glass or add a colored background with a tight shot of wine pouring into a glass, but we were pretty beat by the end of what you see that I just wanted to stop.

I'd appreciate feedback, comments, suggestions etc. Be frank, be brutal, I'm here to learn.

Canon XH-A1, Libec LS-55M, Letus Extreme, Steadicam Merlin, PPro CS3
Shiv Kumar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 9th, 2007, 08:50 AM   #2
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For some reason even the downloaded video was struggling in playback - not sure if it's an issue at my end or not so it's a bit hard to tell how smooth the camera movements in the store really are.

but the wine glass (studio shots) are lush. The colors with the added candle lighting are great and definitely inviting as is that last shot outside with the beautiful arrangement. great detail on the focused parts

would be nice if the pull focus could be smoother on those glass to bottle focus shots (happened a bit fast for the mood and music) but I'm assuming that's why people buy the follow focus gears - I'm not sure how you could get it done without

Trish Kerr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 9th, 2007, 09:30 AM   #3
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Shiv, this was a very nice piece. Very warm and inviting, like Trish said.

Here are some thoughts, and these are just my own preferences:

1. I'm assuming this was shot at 24fps? If so, you really need to slow down your camera movements. Moving too fast makes the viewer almost noxious...I have to say, there were a few shots, particularly the ascending shot of the various shelves, that made me feel almost dizzy. So slow it down a bit.

2. There was a lot of repetition in the piece. Too many shots of wine being poured into a glass. It's just that each shot was too similar to the last so it felt like I had already seen it.

3. There is a real temptation to use, like, a millimeter of in-focus area when using 35mm adapters and I felt like it was a little overdone here. The point is to keep the viewer focused on the subject but the subject needs to be in context, not just floating out there surrounded by a blurred void. Maybe I'm just more aware than the average viewer of the adapter component but it seemed like you could have opened up the DOF quite a bit and still gotten the same sense of intimacy. I liked what you were doing with the multiple glasses shot but, again, I was really wishing for some more "in focus" area.

4. I would have slowed down the zoom of the photos at the beginning. I would also have varied the Ken Burns effect by maybe panning on one photo and zooming on another and varying the speed...

Don't get me wrong, this piece was done quite well but it didn't make it as a complete unit to me because of the things I mentioned above.

Keep it up, though, the stuff you are posting is getting better and better.

By the way, I had the same issue with the playback, kinda stuttering but more like it was part of the encoding rather than my computer struggling to play it.
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Old November 9th, 2007, 03:35 PM   #4
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Trish, Steven,

Thank you both for your feedback. It is greatly appreciated.

The studio shots were shot in 24f while the hand held shots (HV20) were shot in 30i. I think as a result when encoding them into one video you see the jerkiness.

I realize that one shouldn't mix footage together but as I said, this stuff wasn't planned. Now when I play it back in the NLE (PPro CS3) I don't see this. I've even recorded this back to tape and it plays back just fine on an HDTV played back via the HV20.

I even recaptured the recorded edit and tried to encode that to WMV, QuickTime etc. but it has the same effect when encoded. Apparently I can't record edited footage back to tape from PPro when the footage is in 24f.


The instant focus pulling was intentional. I was kind of trying to do it like you see in some movies when the focus shifts from one actor to the other without the POV changing. But I see now that in order to stick to the mood it might have been better to go slow. Point in fact, itís actually easier (at least for me) to shift focus slowly because you then know when to stop before you overshoot. I had to practice the focus shifting before every shot so I could get the hang of how much I need to twist the focus ring.

I was using a 24Ē HDTV as my focus assist monitor and boy is that thing sharp. I have a Dell 24Ē widescreen PC monitor as well, but the HDTV is way sharper than that (and the picture is not squished). I think Iím going to modify it to be battery operated so I can use it in the field when I need to.


Slow down Pans and movement:
Yes I'm learning that one has to be quite slow with movement (especially up when close). Gosh there's so many thing to remember :)

In one sense it was intentional in that I did a number of those shots and wanted to show them all. But I see your point. Essentially there has to be a story one tells. And it's that aspect that is missing since its just a bunch of footage put together synchronized to music but without a story per se.

Shallow DOF:
Again, this was intentional, but as you point out, it may not be the best way to portray something because the viewer might have to fight the urge to rub their eyes to clear their vision or something. So what would be (in your opinion) the correct DOF to use for this sort of thing? As in, should the DOF be such that a complete (the depth of) wine glass or bottle is in focus or much wider than that too? From a cinematographerís perspective, is it ok to have a medium DOF in one shot and a narrow DOF in another?

Photo Zoom:

Youíre correct there again. I did actually have it like that in the original edit. Because I wasnít able to export the 24f project to tape I re-did the edit in a 30p project. The second time around I was simply lazy and ended up copying the animation of one to the other two. You donít let anything get by you do you?

I appreciate folks being honest (brutally honest even) and taking the time and effort to write down their thoughts. So no, I donít take anything the wrong way.

Thanks again both of you for your feedback.

Canon XH-A1, Libec LS-55M, Letus Extreme, Steadicam Merlin, PPro CS3
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