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Old September 5th, 2011, 08:00 PM   #1
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Shutter Speed/180˚ rule

I shoot at 30p with the XF300 (and, for that matter with the T3i supplemental shots).

I'm wondering: how important do most folks consider the 180˚ rule (keeping shutter speed to 1/60 at 30fps and 1/48 at 24fps, for example) for that "filmic" look?

Outdoor shots, for example, when it's sunny or even hazy, if you're looking to keep the iris pretty open (to get shallower depth of field), there's no way one could keep shutter at 60. But, if you stop down this becomes more possible, but you lose some shallowness of depth of field.

With DSLR, it's a nice thing to keep the shutter at 60 outdoors, because this allows you to get RID or some of that extreme shallowness of DOF.

So, I'm just wondering what people's thoughts are on this and how strictly you keep to the "rule" -- if at all.
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Old September 5th, 2011, 08:13 PM   #2
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Re: Shutter Speed/180˚ rule

There isn't any serious problem with moving up to 1/60. My personal limit is about 1/125 (and I won't go there unless there is a compelling reason). Above that and it looks too much like an effect has been applied.

95% of what I shoot is 180 degree @ 24fps.

I recommend getting some ND filters to keep your settings where you want them. The difference in 1/50 and 1/100 is only 1 stop of ND.
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Old September 5th, 2011, 10:59 PM   #3
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Re: Shutter Speed/180˚ rule

Kind of a two part question and ill touch both since i use a 7D and XF300...

My disclaimer is i normally dont go for the film look with the 300.

The 300 gets a 180 shutter for me in two situations and for different reasons. I do a ton of greenscreen and the shutter reduces motion blur making the keys much easier. The thing that makes this possible is i have strong enough lighting in my studio. And as mentioned, outdoors, in place of the onboard ND filters but i never more than 120. (at 30p) The ND works really well so usually its 180 deg and nd 2.

I use a Singh Ray variable ND on my 7D outdoors and iso 100, f4-f6.4(range) and generally 180 shutter. I cant imagine not having the variable ND as it makes setting exposure so easy. Since i shoot with a bunch of lenses, i bought a 77mm and step down rings for 67 and 58. Basically dial in the DOF and control light with the ND.
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Old September 6th, 2011, 04:00 PM   #4
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Re: Shutter Speed/180˚ rule

Thanks for the helpful replies. As I use the T3i more, will definitely be looking toward an ND filter.
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Old September 6th, 2011, 10:51 PM   #5
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Re: Shutter Speed/180˚ rule

The 180-degree rule has nothing to do with shutter speeds. It's about how you set your cameras up on axis with the subject(s).

Regarding shutter speed, traditionally it should be double your frame-rate ... but it really doesn't matter with DSLR's.
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Old September 6th, 2011, 10:59 PM   #6
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Re: Shutter Speed/180˚ rule

He is referring to shutter angle and rather ironically you just recommended a 180 degree one
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Old September 6th, 2011, 11:07 PM   #7
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Re: Shutter Speed/180˚ rule

Hi, Travis,
No, there actually is one for shutter speeds, too. The first time I heard it, I had your same reaction.

Yes, the 180 plane/axis is the more spoken of in common parlance about general cinematography and film making, but the 180 degree rule that I was referring to in this thread was the one regarding shutter speed. The basic premise goes back to the original mechanics of the shutter and how many times its closing per frame looks pleasing to the eye.

P.S. But, to Travis' point, It would be neat though to hear if folks ever consciously abide by the 180
Degree/axis positioning rule in weddings. (that would negate having a cam both in the balcony and in the choir behind the couple -- or completely encircling the first dance.
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Old September 6th, 2011, 11:13 PM   #8
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Re: Shutter Speed/180˚ rule

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Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
The 180-degree rule has nothing to do with shutter speeds. It's about how you set your cameras up on axis with the subject(s).

Regarding shutter speed, traditionally it should be double your frame-rate ... but it really doesn't matter with DSLR's.
As mentioned, 180 deg shutter is a different term than 180 deg rule. The shutter controls light and motion blur. And shutter speed is absolutely critical on DSLRs. If you use it like you're shooting stills (super high for outdoors or speeds that aren't multiples of your frame rate) you will end up with strobing and other motion anomalies. I made that mistake when I first had my hands on a DSLR and since learning the rules (thank you dvinfo.net) my DSLR video now looks perfect.
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Old September 7th, 2011, 06:17 AM   #9
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Re: Shutter Speed/180˚ rule

When in doubt, always stick to the 180 degree shutter rule. However, don't be afraid to break it if for a specific purpose. For example, if you have a very static shot (ie an extreme close-up of a posed shot) that you would like to have shallow DOF for, then you can use a higher shutter and it will likely go un-noticed. Like many 'rules' it's there to be broken in the right circumstances - It's all about balancing movement agianst shutterspeed. The more movement there is, the more critical the 180 degree shutter rule becomes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Bakland View Post
It would be neat though to hear if folks ever consciously abide by the 180
Degree/axis positioning rule in weddings. (that would negate having a cam both in the balcony and in the choir behind the couple -- or completely encircling the first dance.
I generally try to stick to the 180 degree line rule and avoid 'crossing the line.' Although the example you gave of encircling the first dance doesn't really break the rule - assuming you are talking about walking aroung the couple in a circle using a steadicam or stabiliser - becuase one of the excpetions to crossing the line is if you physically move the camera during a shot, so the audience sees the camera cross the line and understands that the perspective in the scene is changing.
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Old September 7th, 2011, 06:42 AM   #10
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Re: Shutter Speed/180˚ rule

Re: the shutter, I will go as high as 1/125 and as low as 30, even though 30 is still a bit weird to me. I understand that a fast shutter and resulting jittery effect can be used creatively, such as action scenes or anything with fast movement, but in my opinion (no-one bite my head off) it has become a bit cliche with weddings. I don't know if its a case of people not wanting it invest in ND filters, but fast shutter speeds seem to be popping up everywhere. I think that one of the best parts of film is the right amount of motion blur, and unless I have a solid reason for it, I want to keep the shutter speed in the 1/30-1/50 range.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Bakland View Post
P.S. But, to Travis' point, It would be neat though to hear if folks ever consciously abide by the 180. Degree/axis positioning rule in weddings. (that would negate having a cam both in the balcony and in the choir behind the couple -- or completely encircling the first dance.
The 180 degree rule is very important to me. There are few things that will take an audience out of the piece more than a broken 180 degree rule. You don't even need a film background, or know that the rule exists, to be effected. When you have a scene where two people are talking, and the viewer doesn't have to move their eyes when you cut between scenes, it feels weird. Whether you're Kubrick or some Joe Schmo off the street.

That being said, there are safe ways to cross the 180. For example, the problem we always come into is that we have two cameras at the side of the church, and one in the main aisle shooting straight on. During the vows - no problem. We can cut back and forth between the two side cameras with no issues. We can cut to the centre camera with no issues. But during the readings or when the officiant is speaking, it becomes more tricky. If one side camera is shooting the speaker or officiant, and the other is shooting the bride and groom, no matter which side camera does which, everyone is looking the same way in the frame. If we cut from a side camera, to the middle camera, to the other side camera, we're safe.

Two ways to cross safely that come to mind right off the bat are to physically move the camera over the line, and cut to a wide shot before cutting back in. There are a few other ways, but it's early and I can't think of them. Brain isn't fully awake yet.

Sorry if this is hijacking the thread. Maybe this would be best in a new thread?
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Old September 7th, 2011, 09:22 AM   #11
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Re: Shutter Speed/180˚ rule

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Craggs View Post
Sorry if this is hijacking the thread. Maybe this would be best in a new thread?
Haha, we've actually talked about this before somewhere, but I'm too lazy to do a search.

I've thrown out the 180-degree "crossing the line" rule for weddings. The audience is the B&G, their family and friends who already know how a church is set up and who was where -- you're not trying to entertain and general audience and hold their "suspension of disbelief". The rule much more applies to drama and other events where continuity between cameras is very important -- sports, plays, etc. But something like wedding ceremonies and receptions do not need this rule.
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Old September 7th, 2011, 01:14 PM   #12
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Re: Shutter Speed/180˚ rule

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Originally Posted by Tim Bakland View Post
Hi, Travis,
No, there actually is one for shutter speeds, too. The first time I heard it, I had your same reaction.
I've known of doubling your shutter speed (and used to always do it) but just never heard it referred to as the '180 degree rule', lol. Still, I would say with DSLRs it's not necessary. I've shot with shutter speeds from 30 to 4000 and the imagery is just fine.

But hey, don't take my word for it. Shane Hurlbut ASC has been DoP of all sorts of major films (Terminator Salvation, Swing Vote, The Greatest Game Ever Played, Mr. 3000, Drumline and more) and he claims that you don't need to double your shutter speed with DSLR's. d;-)
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Old September 8th, 2011, 04:06 AM   #13
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Re: Shutter Speed/180˚ rule

I think that most people are completely oblivious to shutterspeed or motion blur effects even if they are quite obvious to us proffesionals. These days many people consume most of their video content through Youtube or Vimeo, and shoot their video either on a phone or compact camera, so they are used to 30p/24p stuttering video. Just another example of how the Youtube revolution is reprogramming people's expectations of video quality.

However, maybe that is a good reason you should adhere to the 180 degree rule - because it will further seperate your work from the millions of youtube videos, even if it is something subconcious that the audience are not consiously aware of.

By the way, can anybody tell me how to insert the little circle 'degrees' symbol into a post?
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Old September 8th, 2011, 06:28 AM   #14
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Re: Shutter Speed/180˚ rule

ALT + 176 =

Hold down the ALT key while entering 176 on the keyboard. Then release the ALT key.
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Old September 8th, 2011, 10:44 PM   #15
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Re: Shutter Speed/180˚ rule

This is a great discussion and very helpful.

I would agree that most consumers will probably never really know the difference regarding the adherence to the shutter speed rule (or at least that most of the stuff they see on YouTube etc will muddy their viewer palette), but all the more reason, as one other here said, to have the discussion and have a high standard and enrich the clients' experience.

I'm glad that the 180 plane rule got discussed too. I will keep it more on my mental radar from now on.
No question: I've always found it peculiar to use a camera from behind the couple (in the choir) while ALSO using views from the front and sides. And clearly it comes down to that rule and the reasoning behind it.
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