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Old December 5th, 2008, 08:22 AM   #1
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Theater performance: which scene file ? (251, stock lens)

Hi all,
Am currently experimenting with shooting theater performances (dance, cabaret, plays etc) with very low available light in a small theater, no film lighting at all. Plus sometimes there's a smoke generator.

Have tried two scene files, but I either loose detail in the dark or I get noise:
- superwide: quite clean images, very little noise, but I lose a lot of detail in the (almost) dark corners of the stage
- lowlight: wonderful detail, almost better than my eyes and certainly MUCH better than viewfinder/lcd, but some noise, especially in grey areas (stage floor) and in purple costumes.

You guys have any ideas about tweaking so I could have the cake and eat it, too ?

Thanks !


ps - found nothing on this sublect for jvc in the "stage shows" sticky
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Old December 5th, 2008, 08:33 AM   #2
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Try tweaking the superwide by lowering the black stretch, instead of 5 try 1 or normal. Increase your detail to say, -1.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 03:59 PM   #3
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not really about lighting but.. I recently filmed a play and by cutting together 2 rehearsals got quite a good result, I used more light and could position myself in various areas of the 'audience'.
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Old December 7th, 2008, 02:56 AM   #4
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Thanks, Ted, will try out tonight & give feedback.

Paul, not possible in this production (no rehearsals) but good tip,

thanks.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 03:00 PM   #5
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here are some screenshots of the various (experimental) performances.

There was almost NO light at all - sometimes only the light from the beamer.

we all felt the camera recorded pretty well under such circumstances.
shutter was 1/50, with the exception of the sisou performance where it was +/- 1/60.
lens was mostly full open.

any comments ?
Attached Thumbnails
Theater performance: which scene file ? (251, stock lens)-filmon_superw_mod.jpg   Theater performance: which scene file ? (251, stock lens)-sisou_superwide.jpg  

Theater performance: which scene file ? (251, stock lens)-fautedefrappe_lowlight.jpg   Theater performance: which scene file ? (251, stock lens)-loulou_pier_lowlight.jpg  

Theater performance: which scene file ? (251, stock lens)-kiko_thierry_lowlight.jpg  
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Old January 5th, 2009, 05:35 PM   #6
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Claude, all things considered, those look pretty good. With a three way colour corrector, you should be able to pull a bit more from the dark mids and still keep the jet blacks.

Edit: Just realized the scene was noted in the file name. I think the Superwide is giving you a bit more to work with and a wee tad less noise to boot.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 05:40 PM   #7
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How come the scene file is called super wide as it appears to be good for things other than super wide?
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Old January 5th, 2009, 08:04 PM   #8
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Super wide is for super wide LATITUDE, a large difference between the darkest and lightest items in a scene. In other words, a large contrast ratio.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 09:37 PM   #9
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Ahh. I am foolish:)

Is that the setting people use the most for ordinary shots?
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Old January 5th, 2009, 11:54 PM   #10
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Super Wide is designed for extensive colour grading in post and will look fairly lackluster in terms of contrast without grading. In an ENG-style workflow where video will be used "as shot" without the benefit of post production filtering and grading, Super Wide and other such wide latitude scene files would not generally be recommended.

My "standard" setup is a derivative of Super Wide that looks to give a slightly more "video detailed" image with a slightly more useable contrast ratio "as shot" without grading, but still leaving me enough latitude for my needs. 90% of my footage sees 3 way colour correction before final delivery, to set blacks, highlights and gamma. Colour correction as required.
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