VX2100 - Getting a smaller Depth of Field? at DVinfo.net

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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old January 6th, 2007, 09:15 AM   #1
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VX2100 - Getting a smaller Depth of Field?

Hi guys,

I'm going to be shooting my band's music video with my vx2100 and wanted to make it as professional as possible. It will be a very low budget and such (using already available light sources, guerilla filmmaking on locations) but wouldn't mind in investing in a new lens/set-up to give the video a more 'professional' look, I find that a small DOF helps in this.

I was wondering if there are any lenses or techniques (other than zooming in to the max) that anyone could suggest.

Thanks!
-AP
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Old January 6th, 2007, 09:48 AM   #2
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Shooting with the iris open all the way and/or zooming in is really about all you can do on the camera itself. The only other alternative would be to use on the "35mm" adaptor systems but that might not fit your definition of "low budget." Visit our forums dedicated to these here:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/forumdisplay.php?f=70
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/forumdisplay.php?f=128

You might also find the "film look" forum interesting:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/forumdisplay.php?f=34
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Old January 11th, 2007, 09:54 PM   #3
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How about ND filters to force the widest iris setting? It might give a more pleasing result than forcing fast shutter speeds by manually opening the iris.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 03:27 PM   #4
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Camera dude just having fun

With regards to shooting concerts, I have done 8-10 indoors and 2-3 outside. Using a zoomed in shot and employing the ND filters to open your iris will both achieve a shorter depth of field. Shooting a concert inside will likely require that your aperture be fully open, but if automatic settings don't achieve the desired depth of field, then try going to manual mode and bump the shutter speed up (actuall down) to a higher number so your iris will open to max. Make sure you lock your gain to not more than 8 so it does not try to compensate for the low light and get grainy. I often am zoomed in from a balcony with the 1.7 teleconverter which really gives me a short DOF.

It sounds like you may want to use a creative "rack focus" where you frame up a band member that is closer to the camera and blur the background, and then slowly change the focus to blur the closer performer while bringing the background subjects into sharp focus.

Hope this helps

Richard
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Old February 1st, 2007, 03:46 PM   #5
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For what it's worth, rack focus is really hard to do with the VX2000/2100. Because focusing is servo-controlled, there is a little bit of lag and you can't really put focus marks on the barrel. I've done it, but only in situations where I had time to set up the shot and do multiple takes until I hit the focus points just right.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 06:30 AM   #6
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Paul - I do a lot of 'pull focus' work with my VX2k. Of course you need full telephoto, max aperture, closest focus and the background as far away as possible. How you get these is up to you, but a rock-steady tripod and a calm focus hand is needed as you cannot bump the camera even the tiniest amount.

But for flowers in a church, say, before the wedding guests arrive, a simple technique is not to pull focus at all. Set the camera up on a triopod (natch) and film the distant flowers.

Pause the camera.

Now manually refocus (keep the framing the same) and shoot the nearest flowers. On the imeline later you can cross-dissolve between these two shots. You can now vary the 'pull focus' time with ease, there's no camera movement and you can apply blur in post to the out of focus shot. Easy!

tom.
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