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Has anybody used the Varicam with the Pro35?


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#1 Michael Maier

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 06:02 PM

I was wondering if anybody has used the Varicam with the P+S Pro35 for something that was projected?
I was discussing it with somebody who saw some material done that way project on a big screen, and he was saying it barely looked any better than clean standard def video (meaning SD shot without the pro/mini35). His explanation was that the Pro35 softens the image so much, that the slightly resolution gain of 720p over 576-25p was basically lost, making the projected Varicam material look like project SD video like from a DVX100.
I have never seen anything done with the Pro35 and Varicam, so I was wondering what's everybody's opinion on this?
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#2 Christopher Bell

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 07:36 PM

I have used a Pro35 with Varicam and the results were impressive. Your mileage may vary.

The Varicam's 720p resolution should never be compared to PAL. While it is easy to look at the numbers, the comparison ends there. The Varicam creates substantially better images. I have done a side by side comparison and it was no contest.

Chris Bell
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#3 Michael Maier

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Posted 07 December 2005 - 01:47 AM

Oh yeah, I'm sure 720p looks way better than PAL, all things being equal. But his claim was that the Pro35 softened the image a lot and up on a big screen it barely looked better than project PAL video shot without any special diffusion.
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#4 Gary McClurg

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 08:20 AM

I was wondering on the Pro 35... can you still use the frame rate features... I know on the M2... and those style adapters if you do a slo-mo for example you'll see the spinning ground glass....

I was thinking of maybe getting the new HPX 500 and rent the Pro 35 with a good set of primes... I guess you could use a HD Prime for those shots...
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#5 Paul Wizikowski

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 10:05 PM

The Pro35 has a back focus and perhaps that was off on the footage your pal saw that was soft. Either way the comparison to me doesn't make sense. The Pro35 doesn't lower resolution but merely allows you to use 35mm film lenses and achieve their shallow depth of field. I would bet that there was more going on with the soft footage than just the Pro35 "softening" the image. I would also question the lens that was attached to it, the AC responsible for focus (and backfocus) and so on. I have used the Varicam with the Pro35 with Zeiss Super Speed primes and the final look was beautiful. Granted it was all for broadcast and not projection so my experience doesn't exactly line up with your situation but none the less I would think the footage would hold up better then what you've described this persons opinion of it to be.

I'll also add this, the back focus must be watched carefully! I have had shots that looked fuzzy and the culprit was the backfocus 9 times out of 10. (That is more of an issue with the mini-35 on an HVX (Due to its mounting over the fixed lens) than this but either way be vigilant)

Edited by Paul Wizikowski, 18 June 2007 - 10:07 PM.

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#6 Glenn Hanns

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 10:44 PM

I was wondering on the Pro 35... can you still use the frame rate features... I know on the M2... and those style adapters if you do a slo-mo for example you'll see the spinning ground glass....

I was thinking of maybe getting the new HPX 500 and rent the Pro 35 with a good set of primes... I guess you could use a HD Prime for those shots...


I've done some 50Fps with the Varicam and pro 35 adapter and had no issues with "seeing" the GG in the pro35, It was used at a setting of 8 on GG mirror speed and I didnt vary it when doing slow mo, although it always records at 50Fps (PAL). At slower speeds it could cause a problem, even through the viewfinder it was pulsating at the lower speeds.
If your doing low light coverage be wary of the 2 stops the Pro sucks out of your lens.
One reason for the comment about softness is its often used for the DOF effects of the taking lens at wide stops, so often people shoot wide open all the time, in day exteriors or lit scenes, which does tend to have a overall softer look than something at T2.8-4.
If you look at my web sight and look at "The Von", it was all shot on the varicam with the P+S zeiss SS and has slowmo. MP4 so the quality isn't great but you get the idea.
http://web.mac.com/c...F122EB2324.html
Cheers G.
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#7 Anna Baltl

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 10:07 AM

with the pro 35 it also depends a lot on the lenses used, i really like the look it creates together with the master primes a lot. it seemes to me very suitable for filming human skin, because it makes it look very realistic as opposed to somewhat crisper lenses. anyways... i would admit that the picture gets slightly softened. but i guess that is the price you have to pay for the depht of field.

its no problem with the variable frame rates just dont forget to adjust the speed of the pro35 every time you change the frame rate. for that its the easiest to stop the lense down till about 5.6 and double ckeck on a monitor if possible. a 9" (eg. btlh900) monitor mounted on the camera handle makes working with that combination really comfortable ...
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Rig Wheels Passport

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Willys Widgets

Tai Audio

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Wooden Camera

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Visual Products

Aerial Filmworks

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The Slider

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Ritter Battery

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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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