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Why Bigger is Better (but not much else) S35mm vs. Alexa LF Comparison

large format alexa signature primes arri vistavision alexa lf cinematography

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#1 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 09:32 AM

G'day everyone,

So, I compared some stuff and wrote a thing:

http://dreamsmiths.c...t-not-much-else
 

If you're interested in the objective differences of large format cinematography to regular S35mm images, you might find it worthwhile.

It's a quick test comparing regular S35mm Alexa, matched for both field of view and depth of field against the shiny new Vistavision-sized sensor of the Alexa LF, using spherical lenses.

If you click through to the vimeo link, you can download the full 4.4k ProResHQ file in all its glory, which I'd highly recommend pulling into a piece of grading software to look at up close.

The test certainly helped clarify a few things for me.

Cheers,

Mark


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#2 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 10:36 AM

Is there a clear difference? Yes.

I just can't see it being a 5 digit difference though.


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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 11:21 AM

Thanks for the test, it goes along with my thinking, which is that the main advantage of larger sensors is less noise and usually more resolution -- the lower depth of field is there too but you can get a shallow focus look in S35 if that's important.  I suppose if someone makes a T/2 zoom for full frame then you can get a shallow focus look while still using zooms, which might be interesting.


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#4 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 11:28 AM

Thanks for the test, it goes along with my thinking, which is that the main advantage of larger sensors is less noise and usually more resolution -- the lower depth of field is there too but you can get a shallow focus look in S35 if that's important.  I suppose if someone makes a T/2 zoom for full frame then you can get a shallow focus look while still using zooms, which might be interesting.

I think it becomes quite interesting with zooms. I was hoping to put my Zeiss CZ.2 zooms on the camera, but unfortunately they didn't have an LPL to PL adapter with them when I did the test.

At T/2.9, the Zeiss 28-80mm CZ.2 becomes equivalent to an 18-52mm T/2 zoom on S35mm, and the 70-200mm CZ.2 becomes equivalent to a 45-130mm T/2. So you'd get the benefits both of zooming and shallow depth of field all in one. 


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