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Old July 27th, 2002, 01:05 PM   #1
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Billups & Neutral Density

In his book Digital Movemaking, Scott Billups (pp. 114f) talks about using neutral density filters to "stablize and and reduce the 'low-light' sensitivity of the camcorder so that it begins to echo the light-handling charateristics of a conventional film camera."

Has anyone tried his "finding the sweet spot" procedure with an XL1/XL1s? I would really like to hear about your results.

I've read through this section of the Billups book a few times, but I still not quite sure I understand what he's recommending exactly. He recommends never changing the gain (introduces noise, he says). If I understand what he is saying it is to fix on a single f-stop and fine tuning by using ND filters and careful lighting. Yes?
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Old July 31st, 2002, 06:50 AM   #2
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I would say that is a good plan if you can control your lighting to that extent. Auto gain is a big problem in the small CCD cameras. The lenses have a definite sweet spot around F5.6 or F8. This link http://www.lafcpug.org/curseofdigital_feature.html has been posted here several times and I think might be of interest to you.

Jeff
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Old July 31st, 2002, 07:32 AM   #3
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Thanks, jt, for the link. Interesting and gives me some ideas.

A pretty harsh judgement on the image quality of the XL1s, esp. as I have read other completely contradictory judgements (see, for example the note on www.dvcreators.net that praises the Xl1 for its "warm" picture).

I note the article does not address ND filters per se.
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Old July 31st, 2002, 07:41 AM   #4
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Well, he did say subjective. But I agree. I've never thought the Sony' had pleasing skin tones. To my eye, Sony (Prosumer models) skin tones are very magenta. Nice, if you've never seen the light of day, but Floridians all look like lobsters. Not very accurate in my book. Filters are one of those things you have to experiment with. The ND filters are used to adjust exposure to keep the lens in the sweet spot. A good ND neither adds or subtracts from the color balance.

Jeff
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