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Old February 5th, 2005, 05:46 PM   #1
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Need help sorting out settings for well lit XL1s shoot

I've read and read on AE Shift, gain, setup, sharpness and color. I'm a bit bewildered.

I have a well lit shoot coming up using my XL1s. Last time, I was dissappointed with the results as I felt the image was noisy (I shot with the custom presets all at 0). I'm ready to try something different. I would like clear vibrant video. Nothing special or film-ish.

I've set the camera to the following:
gain to -3
AV 4.0
SETUP -2

Why do some people increase SHARPNESS? Won't that add noise?
Should I set COLOR to +1?

Will using the 3x wide angle give me a better or worse image than the 16x?

TIA
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Old February 6th, 2005, 05:51 AM   #2
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You cannot talk about 3x or 16x as better or worse, they just
produce different images. The glass in both lenses is excellent.

What is AV 4.0?

In what mode is your camera? You want the camera in full manual
mode. In this way you have full control over how it looks. If you do
that and have gain at -3 db and everything is lit properly you should
see almost no grain.

Setup is your black level and has no influence on grain etc. It simply
controls how black black is and this can be very important if your
stuff is broadcasted (where 0 IRE black is not good to have in
NTSC country).

" Should I set COLOR to +1? "

That's a question no-one can answer for you. It depends on the
look you are after and how vibrant or muted you want the colors
to be. I always kept this in the middle and did color correction on
my computer instead of in the camera.
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Old February 6th, 2005, 06:10 AM   #3
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Thank you. What I meant by AV 4.0 was Aperture Priority (AV mode) and an f-stop of 4.0 as I read something about it being optimal for the glass.

I'll do color porrection in post but I am still wondering why some people add +1 sharpening
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Old February 6th, 2005, 06:17 AM   #4
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Rob,

Av is aperture priority mode. Tv is shutter priority. What I call semi-automatic exposure modes. Ernest is holding the aperture at f4 while the camera adjusts shutter to maintain optimal exposure. BTW, that terminology is more common to still cameras.

Ernest,

Try putting the camera in full manual (M) and you will get an exposure meter in upper left of VF. I like to run my camera with the meter just below center to allow some headroom for sudden bright areas that might show up in the scene. When you are in full manual mode, the AE shift dial has no effect. Setting the gain to -3 will give you good video but it may mute the colors a bit. Leave the gain at 0db and see how you like the picture. In well lit settings, the XL-1 and XL1s typically produce beautiful images that tend a little towards red which gives a warm look to the scene.

Good luck,

=gb=
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Old February 6th, 2005, 07:14 PM   #5
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<<<-- Originally posted by Ernest House : Thank you. What I meant by AV 4.0 was Aperture Priority (AV mode) and an f-stop of 4.0 as I read something about it being optimal for the glass.

I'll do color porrection in post but I am still wondering why some people add +1 sharpening -->>>

I won't talk aout color sharpening in camera as I really don't feel I know it well, but I can talk about exposure.

There are two reasons for choosing an f-stop in the mid range of the aperture scale. First, lenses (any kind of lens) will have the best edge to edge sharpness at the middle of the scale. Second, the depth of field is still relatively shallow, which allows the subject in focus more attention. It "pops" out of the image, as it were. F4.0 is ot quite mid point. Rather like 40% of optimal sharpness, with optimal being 50%.

Aperture is a mathematical relationship between the diameter of the lens and its focal length at the plane where the lens iris is located. An f2.0 aperture on a fixed 50mm lens means the diameter of the iris is 25mm. With the same focal length, an f4.0 is 12.5 mm, etc. Each full stop change represents (depending upon the direction) either a reduction in aperture diameter by one-half or a doubling of the diameter. The maximum diameter is the "speed" of the lens or, how much light passes through it. The very best lenses have a "speed" of less than 1.0.

A zoom lens, by design, allows you to change the focal length. Changing focal length automatically changes the aperture setting. That is why lenses list their apertures as a range, as in f3.5-5.6. Most video lenses rate a speed of 1.6 at the widest angle, and as low as 5.6 at the extreme telephoto position.

OK, as fascinating or boring as that information may be, it is only support knowledge to exposure. Exposure is based upon delivering just enough light to the film/CCD chip to represent a balance between pure white and pure black that produces an image that looks very much like what you would expect to see. Ideally, setting an exposure exactly between black and white should produce the image you expect to see. In fact, it is only the subject within the frame, not the bakground, that needs this mid-point exposure as a starting point. Under-exposing that subject intensifies color saturation and contrast. Over-exposing softens and brightens everything. Movement in either direction will shift the mood of the image. So, what is the exposure that gives you the image you want to see?

There is really no right or wrong in exposure, just missing the mark by a little or a lot. The easiest thing to do is to find what looks right. The process that gives the greatest rewards is to learn all of the elements of exposure (I've only touched upon the subject), and then CHOOSE what looks right.
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Old February 8th, 2005, 06:28 AM   #6
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Thank you to all for the explanations. I used aperture of 2.0 to reduce the DOF but for some reason, the image was over exposed (I was in AV mode so this puzzles me). I shot take 2 with an aperture of 4.0 and the results were just what I wanted. My settings were:
Gain -3
Setup -2
Color +1
Aperture priority f4.0
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