Short film shot using mini35 + Zeiss Superspeeds at DVinfo.net

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Old June 8th, 2006, 08:33 PM   #1
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Short film shot using mini35 + Zeiss Superspeeds

Hi Guys,

I just came off a short film I shot with the HD100(A) with a mini35 rig, using Zeiss Superspeeds (18,25,35,50,85) We also had a Canon 300mm lens which was amazing. See pix of the rig below. It was a very nice rig indeed and very impressive on the set. The footage turned out quite amazing. The producer and director are very happy. In fact, in their words, the footage looks "phenomenal." Here I will share my experience with this rig and the resulting footage. We shot for 5 days straight in San Francisco and had a 3 ton grip/ lighting truck.

I used Paolo Ciccone's Tru color v3. with a slight difference, however, I still like shooting with Black Stretch 2 for latitude later in post - so that's the only diff.

Some quick grabs from the footage. The film is a 15 min Wacky Comedy called "The Wondrous Woman" (these have been saved as JPEGs and most color corrected)

See if you can make up the story from these images:

http://www.pointzeropictures.com/video/WW-in-Park.jpg
http://www.pointzeropictures.com/vid...Restaurant.jpg
http://www.pointzeropictures.com/video/Cops-and-WW.jpg
http://www.pointzeropictures.com/vid...igure-Play.jpg
http://www.pointzeropictures.com/video/Park-Sean-CU.jpg
http://www.pointzeropictures.com/video/Meeting-MM.jpg
http://www.pointzeropictures.com/video/WW-Dance.jpg
http://www.pointzeropictures.com/vid...The-Horror.jpg

Two major things that I notice that are due to the JVC's shortcomings are a pruple to green gradation from top to bottom:

http://www.pointzeropictures.com/vid...oom-before.jpg

...but it can be fixed painstakingly by removing the purple -green color cast later in post:
http://www.pointzeropictures.com/vid...room-after.jpg

and the other one:

Serious Color Fringing example on highlights:
http://www.pointzeropictures.com/video/WW-waking.jpg

...but nothing that can't be color corrected by secondary color correction:
http://www.pointzeropictures.com/video/WW-waking-2.jpg

images of the actual rig :
http://www.pointzeropictures.com/vid...ni35-rig-1.jpg
http://www.pointzeropictures.com/vid...ni35-rig-2.jpg
http://www.pointzeropictures.com/vid...ni35-rig-3.jpg
http://www.pointzeropictures.com/vid...ni35-rig-4.jpg

.. and last but not least - yours truly (this is NOT how I go on the set - I'm home, OK? so give me a break!): http://www.pointzeropictures.com/vid...35-rig-me2.jpg
...........................
Miklos Philips
DP
Point Zero Pictures
http://www.pointzeropictures.com
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0680106

Last edited by Miklos Philips; June 8th, 2006 at 10:28 PM.
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Old June 8th, 2006, 08:51 PM   #2
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Thank you, Miklos.

Looking great !
Can I ask you if you were rolling tape in the cam or was this an analogue capture to a deck/other codec ?

tia, Rob
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Old June 8th, 2006, 10:00 PM   #3
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Capture

Recording to good 'ol tape only. It was clean - no drops, using the Panasonic AY-DVM63MQ.

We used a bunch of IDX bricks for power with a D-tap that powered the HD LCD Matshall 7" on board monitor as well as the camera. The camera was running pretty much all the time for our 10-11 hr days. We usually went through 2 "double-bricks" the E-10s Endura batteries, and one E-7S "singe-brick."

The mini35 was powered by a JVC battery mount in the back. We only used about 2 /day (BN-V428U). Much to my dismay I discovered 4 shots out of 5 hours of footage that were shot with the mini35 OFF. This was usually accidental - as much as we constantly checked to make sure the mini35 was running it somehow happened anyway in the madness of shooting. The design is pretty stupid and the battery contacts are atrocious the way it's mounted on the back of the mini35 rig. We even gaffer-taped it to secure it better, but when one moves the camera it can be bumped easily and the mini35 will go OFF.

Always ALWAYS check and check again the mini35 is ON before you roll tape!
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Old June 8th, 2006, 10:09 PM   #4
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Thank you !
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Old June 9th, 2006, 12:40 AM   #5
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You sure the color fringing is the JVC's fault? You're not going through any of the stock glass with the mini35, maybe it's just the lenses you're using.
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Old June 9th, 2006, 07:00 AM   #6
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I believe that the color fringing may be due to the cinegamma on the JVC. Many posts were made regarding this when the DVX was released some time ago as it suffers the same problem--as do most video cameras--as they don't do well with blown-out highlights.

Is ths something that you can verify Miklos? What gamma were you using?
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Old June 9th, 2006, 07:29 AM   #7
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Mikos:

Next time with the Mini on an important project, you should consider using the Anton Bauer mod for the Mini35--will power both rig and camera for many hours, much more dependable than the camcorder batteries and you can leave the "ozzie" on all day which helps prevent shooting with it off. I have a custom one that I rent out if interested.
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Old June 9th, 2006, 01:22 PM   #8
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Sounds good

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert
Mikos:

Next time with the Mini on an important project, you should consider using the Anton Bauer mod for the Mini35--will power both rig and camera for many hours, much more dependable than the camcorder batteries and you can leave the "ozzie" on all day which helps prevent shooting with it off. I have a custom one that I rent out if interested.
Cool. Does it also have the D-tap to power an onboard LCD monitor?
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Old June 9th, 2006, 01:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Brown
I believe that the color fringing may be due to the cinegamma on the JVC. Many posts were made regarding this when the DVX was released some time ago as it suffers the same problem--as do most video cameras--as they don't do well with blown-out highlights.

Is ths something that you can verify Miklos? What gamma were you using?
I used Paolo's True Color v3. which has the cinegamma settings "Gamma = Cinelike". (BTW: Paolo, I asked the Producer to credit you in the film.)

The fringing problem showed up with different lenses. Since these are super fine glasses, Zeiss Superspeed primes, I don't think we're talking about the same sort of issue as you get (CA) with the cheap miserable stock lens. Using different focal length primes this fringing showed up around contrasty highlights or even just plain contrasty sharp lines as purple or green fringing.

I do believe this is the CCDs in the camera and not the lenses. I haven't tested it this time, but I can bet you anything if you did some tests with contrasty subjects/ lines you'd get the fringing or simply pointed the camera at a flat white wall you'll see purple-green color gradation. This seems to be a JVC "feature" (thanks very much) and has to be dealt with later in post. I shot other films with the SD SDX900 with the pro35 adapter and nothing like this showed up. That's where we're talking about a $30 G camera vs. a $5 G camera.
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Old June 9th, 2006, 01:51 PM   #10
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The fringing reminds me of the effect you used to get with out of registration tube cameras. Of course you could sort this by lining up the camera using a registration chart and adjusting the settings on the other tubes to match the green tube.

The alignment could be a bigger problem on the large production runs that you'd get on the 1/3" cameras compared to the more expensive 2/3" cameras. HD will be pushing the tolerances compared to SD.

It would be interesting to test the same optics on different cameras to see if there are variations in the fringing.
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Old June 9th, 2006, 02:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miklos Philips
I used Paolo's True Color v3. which has the cinegamma settings "Gamma = Cinelike". (BTW: Paolo, I asked the Producer to credit you in the film.)
.
Thanks you very much Miklos. BTW, I'm in Santa Cruz, if you need a second camera you just have to ask :)

The images looked great, BTW. Nice look. When do we get a chance of seing the movie, looks hilarious!
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Old June 9th, 2006, 02:46 PM   #12
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things I learned using this rig

Here's a list of things I learned using this rig (as I think of them):

-- Need a lot of light to give yourself room to play with the F-stops and DOF (otherwise your Focus Puller/ AC will kill you) here I mean do not work at wide open. I usually hovered between 4 and 5.6 and we had a ton of lights. I usually set the desired F-stop for my desired DOF depending on the lens and then used the relay F-stop (behind the mini35 - this doesn't affect the DOF) to stop down if I needed to. Even on the relay I avoided shooting at wide-open as I noticed a slight softness when at wide open. (I read somewhere else NOT to use the relay at wide open as well)

-- Definitely have a good focus-puller/ AC

-- Definitely have an HD monitor on set

-- Remind your AC to handle the lenses very carefully when swapping. The rear element (glass) sticks out (on the Zeiss Sueprspeeds at least) and can be easily scratched on the mini35 mount - that's abut $3 Gs.

-- Forget handheld shots unless you're Hulk Hogan and have a "steady-stick" or something

-- Watch the battery that powers the mini35 on this rig, the design is awful and the contacts are flimsy (we had 4 shots where the mini35 was OFF out of 5 hrs of footage) EVEN THOUGH we constantly checked, not a bad ratio but you don't want it to happen on the best take the director wants to use

more to come...

Last edited by Miklos Philips; June 10th, 2006 at 11:04 AM.
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Old June 9th, 2006, 04:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miklos Philips
Here's a list of things I learned using this rig (as I think of them):

-- Need a lot of light to give yourself room to play with the F-stops and DOF (otherwise your Focus Puller/ AC will kill you) here I mean do not work at wide open. I usually hovered between 4 and 5.6 and we had a ton of lights.
A gaffer I was on a job with with the HD100/Mini rig rated the combo at 50ASA with Cinegamma on.

That's nothing to sneeze at.
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Old June 9th, 2006, 09:07 PM   #14
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Ouch!! I was always under the impression that the color fringing was due to the cheaper factory 16x lens, not the CCD. You are hurting my reality. ;)

Regardless, thanks for sharing!
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Old June 10th, 2006, 05:54 AM   #15
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I still think it's a possibility that since this was a film lens, the color fringing we're seeing is in a wavelength that film is not as sensitive to as a CCD, so the manufacturers of the lens didn't get rid of the CA at that wavelength.
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