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Old April 3rd, 2004, 01:26 PM   #1
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Checking contrast w/o a B&W viewfinder

I know I've read that it's helpful to check your lighting for contrast, etc. in B&W, but while the newer model DVX does have the ability to switch the viewfinder from color to B&W for just such a check, mine (the first model) does not. Is there a filter or other tip/trick I can use/do to test how I have the shot set up? A post on another board reminded me that this was something I wanted to look into, and I haven't found any info as yet.

Thanks in advance,
Marcia
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Old April 4th, 2004, 04:38 AM   #2
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There really is no filter that can turn an image b&w (strange as that may be) however, you could get an external monitor and set it to b&w to check your contrast. It definatly is a good idea to check your contrast in B&w, however it is not a super necesity. With some practice you should be able to get used to the image that you see on your camera, in color even, and be able to judge your contrast from that.
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Old April 4th, 2004, 09:03 AM   #3
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Try buying a Contrast Glass.

http://shop.store.yahoo.com/cinemasu...yelmongla.html

You can carry it around in your pocket and use it anywhere without having to lug your camera around to check levels.

RB
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Old April 4th, 2004, 11:01 AM   #4
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Both excellent options guys. Being short of money, think I'll pick up the contrast viewer. At least it'll give me some added security until my "eye" for this stuff improves.

Thanks!
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Old April 4th, 2004, 04:20 PM   #5
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You should work on your "eye for this stuff," Marcia. Here is a post I wrote awhile back on learning to "squint." I learned this years ago from a film DP, and I cannot recommend it enough.


Your eyes are marvelous instruments which are much more sensitive than your camera in handling a range of contast. What looks fine to you, can end up awful on tape. Here's an example: You stand where you want to place the camera. The talent is standing with a bright sky behind her. She looks OK, until you squint. Then you notice the sky cools down nicely (good), but her face goes into darkness (bad). Don't shoot here. Another example: Your reporter is standing on the sidewalk, behind her is an important sign on a window under an awning. Looks fine, till you squint. Then she still looks good, but the sign goes dark. Solution? Move her under the awning with the sign, or, light the sign up, or, knock off some of the light on her with a grip flag or umbrella. Another example: You are doing an interview indoors and there is sunlight coming through the window behind the talent. You squint and the outdoors looks fine, but the talent is dark. You need more light on the talent or less coming through the window.

In each of the above examples you can identify the problem the same way; by squinting. And you haven't even turned the camera on yet. Squinting will work with people, lanscapes, interiors; anywhere you shoot, you should squint.

Try this. Turn off all the light in the room where you are reading this, so the only light is the computer screen and whatever ambient light is left. Now let's assume you want to shoot the desktop with all the peripheral stuff around the computer. So you squint, and other than the computer screen, everything else disappears. Solution? Add ambient light to fill to the level of the computer screen. Now, just how you add the ambient light is where the art comes in. Hey, if this was easy, they'd get a relative to do it.

Wayne Orr, SOC
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Old April 5th, 2004, 12:10 AM   #6
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My BAD!

Hey Marcia,

I mistakenly turned you on to a B&W contrast glass. There are two types and the one you wanted was for color.

Sorry, I tuned in on the B&W reference to the eyepiece and got carried away.

The link for a Color Contrast Glass is http://store.yahoo.com/cinemasupplie...olviewfi1.html

They are different as B&W and Color have different characteristics when it comes to contrast, shadows, etc.

P.S.

Squinting works, but you look silly and get wrinkles!!! :)

RB
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