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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old February 19th, 2005, 01:11 AM   #1
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PD170/how to soften focus behind subject being interviewed...

The setting:

single camera positioned slightly left or slightly right of interviewer. single 2k light with softbox. at subjects home, typical room dimensions(average12' x 15').

Is there any way to manipulate the PD170 to narrow its depth of field and soften the focus behind the subject ?
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Old February 19th, 2005, 04:17 AM   #2
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Get the camera as far back as possible and tighten the shot with the zoom; reduce the intensity of the light or change your shutter speed to 1/100th or higher. You need to be working with the lens aperture wide open...

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Old February 19th, 2005, 08:06 PM   #3
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go to F1.6. Add ND filters if you're overexposed. Up the shutter speed if you still need to cut light (as Robin mentions). Get back as far as you can and zoom in as much as possible. If you have to cut light I'd think about cutting some light from the 2k before doing the other things mentioned above though but it depends on the look your after.
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Old February 19th, 2005, 08:38 PM   #4
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Two other options, someone makes a 'soft focus' scrim that you can hang behind a subject, sort of difuses the background... not sure that's practical, and kind of expensive.

Second option, create a mask around the subject in post, put a very slight gaussian blur on the background.... VERY slight. This will fool the eye a bit.
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Old February 19th, 2005, 09:30 PM   #5
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Shoot through an open window if the weather is OK. Or an interior door way.
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Old February 20th, 2005, 06:02 PM   #6
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That 2K in the softbox is way overkill, Ken. Assuming you are shooting your subject in a nice bust sized shot, you should be able to get away with a 500w light in your softbox, unless you are using a Chimera with an interior baffle, which may require a 750. Certainly, no more than a 1K. To get the best soft, wrap around look out of your softbox, you want to position the light as close to your subject as possible. With a 2K you'll be burning him up at close range.

That "soft focus" scrim can be found here: http://indietoolbox.com/

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Old February 20th, 2005, 07:02 PM   #7
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Appreciate the great response.

I stand corrected on the light. It was a 500 watt.

The last interview shoot was done in the home of a well known musician and my partner borrowed a less watt light and softbox special.


That soft focus screen would have been ideal for that mornings shoot. Thanks for the link.
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Old February 22nd, 2005, 02:24 PM   #8
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Trouble is that f2.5 is top whack Craig, much as we'd all like to use f1.6 at full telephoto.
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