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SEVEN: lenses used


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#1 Mr. Macgregor

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 06:35 PM

Hello,
Does anyone know what lenses did Kondji use in Seven?
For sure it is spherical but i was wondering if someone had the cinematographer issue were they wrote about it.

Thank you very much.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 07:06 PM

It was shot in Super-35 using Panavision cameras with Primo lenses, plus the Panaflasher.
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#3 Mr. Macgregor

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 06:55 AM

What is panaflasher? something like the arriglow?
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#4 Alex Haspel

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 08:09 AM

What is panaflasher? something like the arriglow?



googled a bit:


It is an accessory used to push
up the exposure of the black
in the film to a level of visibility
when normally may appear to as a total black picture.

In general the level of black is adjusted during the final post production lab processing.
The lab flashing adjustments of each scene becomes a rather difficult task in compared to the effect which can be easily achieved through the Panaflasher device.

The Panaflasher uses the empty magazine port and the flashing percentage can be adjusted.
It is a rather compact device which will not interfere with any lens change.
The device contains a halogen lamp and through six 216 diffusion filters (in order to flat light) and a 80C filter, the flashing is applied to the negative film.
Accurate flashing amounts are read and calculated in accordance with it's special exposure settings and internal exposure meter.
It also provides the useful option of inserting a color filter if needed to colorize the dark area.

The Panaflasher certainly helped the volume of meticulous lab work otherwise then would be required from the camera department.
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#5 Mr. Macgregor

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 08:19 AM

Sorry i made a mistake, i said arriglow but i mean the other arri product that obviously is the same as the product you are mentioning.

I´ve seen this in action.
But i have never seen the effect that it makes. I mean, i would love to see the same image with and without the arriglow to see how the black level is changed.

Since kondji used bleach bypass in seven he used this glow mechanism to lower the contrast since the chemical process takes away a lot of stops.
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#6 Alex Haspel

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 09:01 AM

Sorry i made a mistake, i said arriglow but i mean the other arri product that obviously is the same as the product you are mentioning.

I´ve seen this in action.
But i have never seen the effect that it makes. I mean, i would love to see the same image with and without the arriglow to see how the black level is changed.

Since kondji used bleach bypass in seven he used this glow mechanism to lower the contrast since the chemical process takes away a lot of stops.



you mean the Varicon?

there is a article comparing the panaflash and the varicon here: http://mywebpage.net...s9/Flasher.html
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#7 Eric Steelberg ASC

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 12:45 PM

It was shot in Super-35 using Panavision cameras with Primo lenses, plus the Panaflasher.



I'm not sure about the Panaflasher. In the commentary Khondji was very specific about using and even described how the Varicon worked. I don't think he would use both, wold he?
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#8 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 01:36 PM

Darius Khondji says in an interview in 'New Cinematographers' that he didn't flash the neg at all, because he didn't like using the Panaflasher, as he doesn't think it's as good as a Varicon.
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 03:10 PM

Darius Khondji says in an interview in 'New Cinematographers' that he didn't flash the neg at all, because he didn't like using the Panaflasher, as he doesn't think it's as good as a Varicon.


Yes, I read that. But in the AC article on "Seven" (Oct. 95) he directly says in a quoted statement that he flashed using the Panaflasher "sometimes". However, none of the production shots with the camera visible have a Panaflasher on them. Even when he uses the Varicon, it's not for everything, especially if he can control contrast with smoke & lighting instead.

In terms of how well either flash, they both work well. In some ways the Panaflasher is easier to use because you don't have to think about it, just check to make sure it is set to the right level. The Varicon is in front of the lens so can be affected by flare and by the lens aperture used, etc. It tends to be set more by eye. On the other hand, that's what some people like about it, that you can dial the effect in by eye. But your eyes can get tired. Plus you have to use a 6x6 mattebox all the time.

Tests have shown that in terms of increasing shadow detail and sensitivity, the Varicon works slightly better. One theory is that simultaneous flashing during image exposure helps "boost" electrons in silver halide that normally would not have enough energy to form a latent image (latensification) -- sort of like the old "bias light" used in early tube video cameras to improve sensitivity. Whereas the Panaflasher or any lab flashing works before or after exposure but not during.

Since the Varicon uses something similar to an UltraCon glass in its design, it tends to flare more when a light hits the lens directly. Some people feel that the Varicon acts as a mild form of diffusion, more so than the Panaflasher.
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#10 Mr. Macgregor

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 03:50 PM

We went out of the topic here, but still this is interesting:

Is the flashing process or the Varicon tool still worth the effort or we can skip that using modern DI? What do you think?
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#11 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 09:22 PM

It absolutely is worth using. A very low con neg always looks better when you add contrast in telecine compared to a neg where the contrast is already built in. You can't really subtract all that much, but you can always put in. At least that's my experience.

I've used the Varicon on some projects, but unfortunately it's always quite hard to get a hold of the damn thing unless you're in major film towns.
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#12 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 09:27 PM

We went out of the topic here, but still this is interesting:

Is the flashing process or the Varicon tool still worth the effort or we can skip that using modern DI? What do you think?


It sort of depends on what you're using the Panaflasher / Varicon for -- if to make the colors more pastel and the blacks milkier, then you can do that with less hassle digitally. But if it's to lower the contrast and bring up buried shadow detail, then it still may help as would using a low-con stock. But maybe not help enough to be worth going out of your way for. Something to test...
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#13 Mr. Macgregor

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Posted 19 March 2006 - 08:14 AM

But lowering the contrast (making the blacks less black) is not the same as gaining latitude.
So in fact, with less contrast we can make better bleach bypass processes or any special lab effect that involves our negative to have less stops.

But since DI era is the bleach bypass still done?What if we shot normally, decrease the black level during DI to go to grey and then apply the bleach bypass when creating the final internegative?
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#14 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 March 2006 - 10:08 AM

"Jarhead" did a 50% bleach-bypass to the negative and then did a D.I.

Sure, you could optimize a film-out so that a silver retention process could be done to the IP, IN, or print -- but considering how expensive D.I.'s are, it would be hard to convince a producer to do that, produce a digital negative that required further special processing to look correct.

I've considered such a thing for an HD-shot project, outputting a "flashed" looking image to 35mm so that I could use a skip-bleach print process. But since that's so expensive, most producers are going to want the final output to be able to be printed normally and have the look built into the negative.

Raising the blacks is not exactly the same as improving shadow detail (and thus exposure range) but there is a connection; you do tend to lift up and make visible some minor detail whenever you lift the black level above "0". Combine that with a low-con neg stock and subtle flashing and you will have more shadow information visible to work with in the D.I. But ultimately you'll probably want to reset your blacks to "0" when doing the final digital color-correction.
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#15 Max Jacoby

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Posted 19 March 2006 - 12:55 PM

The Panaflasher uses the empty magazine port and the flashing percentage can be adjusted.

The drawback of which is that there are some cameras that you cannot use it on, becaue they only have one magazine port. The Millenium XLs and the Lightweight come to mind.
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#16 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 March 2006 - 05:27 PM

The drawback of which is that there are some cameras that you cannot use it on, becaue they only have one magazine port. The Millenium XLs and the Lightweight come to mind.


If the point of using the flashing is to counteract some of contrast from later silver retention printing, so that the final image does not look flashed, in a pinch you can get away with using an UltraCon filter for the shots where you can't use the Panaflasher or Varicon, like for a Steadicam shot or something done on an Arri-2C.
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#17 Michael Nash

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 12:32 AM

I've considered such a thing for an HD-shot project, outputting a "flashed" looking image to 35mm so that I could use a skip-bleach print process. ... Raising the blacks is not exactly the same as improving shadow detail (and thus exposure range) but there is a connection; you do tend to lift up and make visible some minor detail whenever you lift the black level above "0".


You'd be better served by raising the "black stretch" (and adjusting its attendant parameters) than by simply raising the black level. It's the closer equivalent to what flashing does to a film image.

But of course it's not exactly the same, and there are limits. As always, test.
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