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Old January 15th, 2013, 11:09 AM   #1
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EX3 auto iris and highlights

I have been shooting plays & musicals with a pair of EX3s - I run one with manual exposure, which I use for closeups, etc. and the other I leave unmanned, getting a wide shot. The trouble I'm having is that the actor's faces often get blown out on the auto-iris wide shot. The best option, obviously, would be to get another shooter to run that camera, but sometimes, for various reasons, that is not possible.

Is there anything someone could recommend I can do to keep the highlights down while in auto-iris? The light levels on stage constantly change, so I can't set the exposure at an appropriate level and just leave it. Perhaps there is a picture profile or gamma setting that would help?

Thanks.

Nathan Lawrence
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Old January 15th, 2013, 04:23 PM   #2
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Re: EX3 auto iris and highlights

This is dependent on your TLCS level, Try -0.5 or -1 for your TLCS level and you should be good. You can also set that by selecting iris in the Direct Menu and setting the TLCS level on the fly. You can also change your mode to Spotlight to see if that helps and only changing the TLCS level if you still get blown highlights.
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Old January 15th, 2013, 04:26 PM   #3
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Re: EX3 auto iris and highlights

TLCS lets you set the parameters for auto mode. For the auto iris, there's three TLCS modes: Backlight, Standard and Spotlight. These are three preset adjustments to the auto iris exposure calculation. In your case, you'd want Spotlight. If that isn't enough, then there's an adjustment to the AGC that you can set in TLCS. See your manual (it's page 121 on the EX1r) and look for some articles on TLCS. It's often used for Sunrise and sunset interval recording and an article that explains how to use it in those situations may be enough for you to get the hang of it.

The way I think of it is that unlike most cameras where pressing Full Auto means the camera decides on everything, you can actually lock down some things (turn them off) and define the range allowed for other things. YMMV
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Old January 15th, 2013, 04:30 PM   #4
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Re: EX3 auto iris and highlights

You can add a +/- 1 stop-off set to the auto iris. Using direct menu use the little joystick on the handle to highlight the aperture indication on the viewfinder display. Press the joystick and then you can add a +/- offset. A negative offset of -1 stop should help. If you don't have direct menu set up you can also add the offset in the TLCS settings by going to the TLCS menu and setting the level to -1.

Edit: crumbs everyone else answered while I was writing my reply.
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Old January 15th, 2013, 09:12 PM   #5
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Re: EX3 auto iris and highlights

Thanks for the very helpful tips here!

Exactly what I needed.

--Nathan Lawrence
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Old January 16th, 2013, 06:38 PM   #6
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Re: EX3 auto iris and highlights

I attend the dress rehearsal and lock the camera exposure for the brightest scene. Since I'm usually doing an archive shoot they want a static camera shot. I find the EX3 has enough latitude to handle the darker scenes. SInce a lot of the theatrical lighting is controlled via computer, the lighting levels can be depended upon.
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Old January 16th, 2013, 07:14 PM   #7
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Re: EX3 auto iris and highlights

If you're not overly fr from the EX3 you might try controlling its iris manually with one of the hard wire sony remotes. (Of course you'd need to have a monitor from the wide camera as well, but you'd know you need an iris change on the wide camera when you do one on the tight...)
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Old January 18th, 2013, 08:23 AM   #8
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Re: EX3 auto iris and highlights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Spahr View Post
I attend the dress rehearsal and lock the camera exposure for the brightest scene. Since I'm usually doing an archive shoot they want a static camera shot. I find the EX3 has enough latitude to handle the darker scenes. SInce a lot of the theatrical lighting is controlled via computer, the lighting levels can be depended upon.

Yeah, I attended the dress rehearsal on the last show I shot, but the lighting range was pretty extreme, and the spots on the faces in particular made it tough. I think your approach would work for about 90% of the musicals I shoot. Thanks for the tip!

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Old January 18th, 2013, 08:25 AM   #9
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Re: EX3 auto iris and highlights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Sperling View Post
If you're not overly fr from the EX3 you might try controlling its iris manually with one of the hard wire sony remotes. (Of course you'd need to have a monitor from the wide camera as well, but you'd know you need an iris change on the wide camera when you do one on the tight...)
That might be an option in these situations too-- I do have a monitor, so I'm set with that-- just need the remote. I haven't checked... but if it's something I need, it's usually expensive. :-)

Thanks for your help.

--Nathan Lawrence
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Old January 18th, 2013, 09:05 AM   #10
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Re: EX3 auto iris and highlights

I don't think there is a lens remote that will control the iris on an EX.

You can use a Remote Control Panel (RCP-750 or similar) connected to the remote port on an EX3 but they are not at all cheap.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 09:39 AM   #11
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Re: EX3 auto iris and highlights

I've been on theatre shoots where we've controlled the EX3 iris with the RMB-150. I believe the RM-B750 will also work with it. A bit on the expensive side to buy, but usually not too bad to rent for a day... especially if it means getting proper exposure as opposed to potentially overexposed or changing footage. The other big advantage is that you can control gain as well, so if you're shooting one of those shows that goes from wide open at +6 to f/5.6 at -3 gain, you can deal with that without having to walk over to the second camera.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 10:13 AM   #12
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Re: EX3 auto iris and highlights

Wow - those units are very expensive. In most cases, I can hire another operator cheaper than renting one of these. The TLCS settings really cover what I was after.

Thanks to all for your help!
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