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Best definition and less depth of field


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#1 Mr. Macgregor

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 10:55 PM

hello.
We are planning to shot a shortfilm. As always i am concerned with quality. So i want the best definition in my negative.
These are kind of images that we want to get:

- 2.35 (2.40) aspect ratio
- very very low depth of field
- flares are welcome
- highest definition once we are in the theater and very clean images.

We will go with a digital intermediate and some digital FX. So the film will have to be scanned at some point.

So i have doubts:
Should i go with super35 and Cooke Ultraprimes T1.3 at almost the widest nºT?
Or should i shot anamorphic? This would give me more quality in the negative and less depth of field, but i am concerned with field of focus, so in the end shooting with a closer T (to avoid this) would give me the same result as a super 35 at T2.0, wouldn´t it?

Maybe i am saying stupid things. I am not a proffesional yet but i am trying hard. What do you think i should do?

Edited by macgregor, 27 November 2005 - 10:56 PM.

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#2 Nate Downes

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 01:04 AM

MIght I suggest 2-perf?
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 01:09 AM

IF you can get high-quality anamorphic lenses, this sounds like the look you want. Remember that you are talking about using 40% more negative with anamorphic versus cropping Super-35 to 2.35. This also means more vertical resolution in the scanning & outputting if you are working in data mode (2K or 4K as opposed to HD.)

I'd say that the anamorphic format has about two stops less depth of field than Super-35, so a f/2.8 in anamorphic looks like an f/1.4 in spherical. Of course, anamorphic in itself doesn't have less depth of field -- its's only because the focal lengths tend to be twice as long (the equivalent of a 20mm lens in Super-35 cropped to 2.35 is a 40mm lens in anamorphic) and longer lenses have less depth of field.

But all of this assumes you find a good set of sharp, contrasty anamorphic prime lenses.

Though if you are not a professional yet, I'd be surprised if you had the budget to shoot in 35mm in either anamorphic or Super-35 and do a 2K D.I. It's still a struggle for me to get all of that!

Anyway, if you're not experienced, you might find it easier to shoot in Super-35 instead of anamorphic. My only suggestion is to use more contrasty prime lenses, like Zeiss Ultra Primes, Zeiss Master Primes, or Panavision Primos instead of Cooke S4's. Unless getting flares is what you want the most, in which case I'd use older lenses like Zeiss Super Speeds or Cooke Speed Panchros. Panavision has some old Ultra Speeds that flare like crazy.
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#4 Max Jacoby

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 03:44 AM

If you are shooting anamorphic, keep in mind that closed down to at least T4 these lenses start looking their best. That would give you an equivalent of T2 in spherical, which still very little depth of field. But to be shooting anamorphic and then do a DI seems kind of like a waste, unless you go 4K.

The Ultra Primes are T1.9 by the way.
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#5 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 05:17 AM

the budget when you start renting good anamorphic goes up.

Before making any decisions drop into your local panavision and get a demo of the lens you think you might want from a projector. As said before the primos and other anamorphic lenses really shine around the T3.5 and up mark - any more open than that and you can see the results on the wall from the projector.

Make sure you get a good focus puller - the money spent on a good FP will save you money in buzzed and soft shots - both in time and stock

thanks

Rolfe
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#6 Mr. Macgregor

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 05:19 AM

Thank you.
Our budget is limited but all our efforts go in the visual field: photography and art.

So...
I think panavision is out of our budget, so i guess i will have to go with arri and hawk lenses. Does this sound good to you?

The other option is to use the Cooke T1.3 (yes, they told me they have T1.9 and T1.3 lense sets).

Is a 4k DI affordable or it is just a lot more expensive than 2k DI?

If going anamorphic we have to think that some shooting will be performed inside a car, so under some circunstances i will have to focus closer than 1 meter... :blink:
A big and long lens won´t help me in a reduced environment. but i can sacrifice space if the anamorphic format really gives that 40% extra image than s35 cropped.

So I guess s35 T2.0 against anamorphic T4.0 would more or less give the same DOF with the same horizontal image angle....

Flares are welcome but i dont want to loose contrast and sharpness.
Also small DOF does not mean to me soft images or blurry.

I still have doubts. Rental prices would be similar. Doubts, doubts, doubts...

Edited by macgregor, 28 November 2005 - 05:21 AM.

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#7 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 05:36 AM

go to Panavision with your budget - it cannot hurt to speak to one of their producers. Maybe they have a quiet time coming up (for christmas)

If you are looking for the UK branch mail me off list and I can send you some names - or you can just call them up

And it never hurts to meet more people

thanks

Rolfe
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 11:52 AM

I think you'll find the D.I. to be a bigger financial stumbling block than the anamorphic lenses.

I was talking to one D.I. company the other day and they said something like a 2K D.I. for a feature there would cost about $200,000 at 2K. Doing a 4K scan and downrezzing to 2K after that would add about $50,000 to the costs, and he said that was a bargain because 4K is four-times the data of 2K and it adds a lot of scanning time and storage space. He said that an all-4K D.I. would double the costs of the D.I. compared to a 2K D.I., so $400,000.

This is why some people switch to 3-perf to save some money on the stock costs and help contribute to the costs of the D.I.
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#9 Mr. Macgregor

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 12:43 PM

Thanks for your answers.

Now, lets do it more complicated.

3 perf could be interesting. If using the full gate, what is the aspect ratio that i get (by full gate i mean using the soundtrack space too)?

The problem is that i think it would be very hard to convince the rental company to modify one of their cameras, and if they do, they will do it with some old BL4, which of course is ok, but also heavy and less sophisticated.
3perf would save around 25% of negative, but will it be an extra charge in the scaning?

So, do you think making a DI at 2k will give away all the extra resolution of the anamorphic or the super35?

I think a 4k Di is unafordable for us, unless some DI company pull their pants down and make it for the same price as a 2K DI.

Now, for some time i have been thinking in using super35 mm full gate and anamorphic lenses. This would give something like 2.70 format, quite a panoramic aspect ratio but with very high definition.
I guess the final print in anamorphic would need black bars so images have a pixel aspect ratio of 1.0, but this could be easily done in DI.
Yes, this is a shortfilm. We can do things like extra panoramic film. Trying new things is fine to me.
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#10 Max Jacoby

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 01:34 PM

The other option is to use the Cooke T1.3 (yes, they told me they have T1.9 and T1.3 lense sets).


Who said that?

Cooke S4s are T2, the older Cookes are even slower (T2.3 and up)

I think you might be confusing them with Zeiss lenses. The only T1.3 lenses comonly available are the Master Primes and the Super Speeds. There are also the spherical Elites. The Zeiss Ultra Primes are T1.9, as are the Panavision Primos.

If I were you, I'd forget about the DI, unless you wanted to create a look that couldn't be achieved photochemically. It's like David said, a proper DI is really expensive. There are plenty of companies that offer cheaper versions, but that always comes with some tradeoffs (not scanning on a dedicated film scanner, not working uncompressed, etc...), so things like sharpness and colordepth would be less than ideal.

I don't see the point of anamorphic Super 35 either because that would certainly give you less definition than standard anamorphic, because the lab would have to do a DI to make a print.
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#11 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 01:38 PM

Cooke S4s are T2, the older Cookes are even slower (T2.3 and up)


Maybe he's confused with super-speed Canons -- weren't there some T/1.4 Canon's made in the 1970's?
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#12 Mr. Macgregor

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 01:43 PM

I think film scanning is not essential but necessary.

This will be science fiction. So i want to desaturate some colors, and tweak the image a little bit. I could go without it. I know.

But some compositing needs to be done accross the story. So in the end maybe 50% of the film has to be scanned. So why not finish the job?

Also i am afraid that budget at the end is soooo big that we cannot afford it.
In that case shooting in 16mm does not seem to me very helpfull, because we save some money in rental and film, but DI is needed too, as well as digital print to 35mm.
What do you think about this?
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#13 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 06:03 PM

What you need to do is sort out the budget limits then get a good UPM on board.

Let the UPM take the budget stress

You also need to be very honest about your final format and what you are trying to achieve - going to 35mm print for a short on your own money is tough BUT has been done. Getting SFX in 2k is going to be expensive as well

If you are using the short to sell a script or feature development - most execs or people with access to execs are not going to ask for a 35mm print but rather a region free DVD

Many of the film festivals now accept digital format.

Unless you have amazing producers or grant money backing you I would not mortgage the house....

Sounds like you are trying to produce and DP at the same time which is stressful ( I know I have done it :) )

Thanks

Rolfe
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#14 Mr. Macgregor

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 08:34 PM

A 35mm copy is needed. Unfortunately for us, shortfilm festivals do not have digital projectors yet, or at least it is not common yet. However that could save as a lot of money if we could end in a HDCAM SR tape.

We are collecting money from many sources. Lets see how much we can find. Right now film process is not our main issue. We need to build a concept car and that is taking at least half of the budget. So i want to know what format to choose in order to ask for final prices and know more or less how much money i can spend.

After some years working in the video industry we want to jump to the film industry and there is no better/other way than making this huge shortfilm and try to win festivals. It is now or never.
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#15 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 09:16 PM

You could also consider professional 24P HD and use a P&S Technik Pro-35 adaptor with cine lenses to get the shallow-focus look you want. Just another option that gets you digital color-correction at least, with no scanning costs, plus it would probably crop to 2.35 better for a transfer to film than Super-16 would. For an efx-heavy film, it may make more sense.

Now if you're talking about a lot of chromakey composites, it's not necessary to shoot in a shallow-focus style since the foreground and background are separate elements.
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#16 Tim J Durham

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 09:28 PM

A 35mm copy is needed. Unfortunately for us, shortfilm festivals do not have digital projectors yet, or at least it is not common yet. However that could save as a lot of money if we could end in a HDCAM SR tape.

We are collecting money from many sources. Lets see how much we can find. Right now film process is not our main issue. We need to build a concept car and that is taking at least half of the budget. So i want to know what format to choose in order to ask for final prices and know more or less how much money i can spend.

After some years working in the video industry we want to jump to the film industry and there is no better/other way than making this huge shortfilm and try to win festivals. It is now or never.

Lemme see if I've got this straight... You're an amateur (aspiring) film-maker and you want to:

1) Shoot a spec short in 35mm,
2) Use Anamorphic primes,
3) Do a 4K D.I.,
4) Build a "concept car", presumably a functioning one, and at half your budget (the rest costing 100's of 1000's) so you're talking about building a $250,000 car,
5) Raise enough money to do all this as a first-timer.

Is that about it?
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#17 Mr. Macgregor

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 09:34 PM

Thanks. But I have shoot a lot with HDcams and 35 mm adaptors and that is not what i am looking for. I need the latitude, texture and color of film.

I said compositing but there wont be any chromas. The whole action will take place on exteriors.

Here:

http://www.km77.com/...r_gt/gra/22.asp

Thanks!
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#18 Mr. Macgregor

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 09:47 PM

Lemme see if I've got this straight... You're an amateur (aspiring) film-maker and you want to:

1) Shoot a spec short in 35mm,
2) Use Anamorphic primes,
3) Do a 4K D.I.,
4) Build a "concept car", presumably a functioning one, and at half your budget (the rest costing 100's of 1000's) so you're talking about building a $250,000 car,
5) Raise enough money to do all this as a first-timer.

Is that about it?



It all depends in what you mean with amateur.

I studied cinematography for 2 years.
I studied for 5 years at collage.
I have worked in production companies for a while.
I have shot many shortfilms some in DV, some in HD, many in 16mm and some in 35mm.
I have shot some comercials in S35 as well Pro35+F750p.
I have edited tons of videos at HD resolution.
I have worked almost 2 years as digital creator and 3d designer.
I have won half a dozen awards at festivals for best cinematography.

But NO, i have not ever worked in a movie yet. Sorry. :(




Note: concept car will be built with the help of a concept car designer company, which will help to reduce around 80-90% of the price that you mentioned, which is more or less what a concept car costs.
Also $300,000 concept cars are built to be innovative. Ours only need to look good and run at 100km/h. We do not need fiber carbon body shell, nor electronic drive steering wheel, no HUD displays, no ESP, no hybrid engine, no nothing.

Edited by macgregor, 28 November 2005 - 09:52 PM.

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#19 Tim J Durham

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 09:59 PM

It all depends in what you mean with amateur.

Sorry, perhaps I was thrown by your own description:

I am not a proffesional yet but i am trying hard.

I'm in the skepticism business and it was all starting to sound a little grandiose by half. But I certainly wish you good luck.
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#20 Mr. Macgregor

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 10:03 PM

Sorry I meant i was not a professional in the film industry because all the fiction films that i have done were shortfilms stuff, which as you know, is not usually paid.

Maybe it was my mistake. I am not an englishman as you can see. :blink:
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