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shooting through nets


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#1 fstop

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Posted 19 March 2006 - 03:30 PM

Can anyone provide me with screengrab examples of shooting through a net on S16? Are there any risks at this gauge compared to 35mm?

Many thanks in advance!
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 March 2006 - 05:17 PM

The only two issues I can think of are: (1) 16mm has less resolution than 35mm so you probably want to use less diffusion for a comparable effect; (2) 16mm has more depth of field so you have to test to find out what's the most you can stop down at different focal lengths to avoid having the net pattern come into focus.

I'd probably carry some glass diffusion (Soft-FX maybe) for wide-angle shots where you are having a problem seeing the net pattern. I would say "Classic Soft" except I'd worry about the pattern in those filters coming into focus too in wide-angle shots in 16mm...
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#3 fstop

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Posted 19 March 2006 - 07:14 PM

Thanks David.

I'd thought about the depth problem, and as I want higher fstops anyway, seems the net is something I should save for an opportunity in which I can properly test for S16.
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#4 Richard Vialet

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Posted 19 March 2006 - 07:38 PM

Here's a still from a recent picture that I shot on video with a net during a night exterior...the "net" was a cheap black women's stocking that I bought from Hecht's...I know its not S16 like you're asking (im shooting 16 next month and I'm using the stocking for a few shots on that as well), but I know video (the DVX100) has less depth of field than S16 so I'm guessing if it shooting through a net can work with video, it can work on that format as well.

The effect is very noticeable but you cant really see the pattern of the actual net (ive seen this scene projected as well and still saw no pattern). I used it to: 1. soften the video image...and 2. for the interesting light flares to make the lights more aggressive. Even though i was cautious about using the stocking...I found that if i kept away from lights flaring directly into the camera, kept my aperture wide open, and kept my focal length long, it was ok. But maybe you would think that this effect is too harsh I don't know.

Hope this helps in some way and makes u more confident about the net

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#5 fstop

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Posted 19 March 2006 - 08:53 PM

Thanks.

I use to do nets wide open when i first started doing DVCAM and 35mm stills too, loving the halation and the fact you can lessen the contrast of video, and found the "rule" in always being wide open (yes I know in video there's the two stop difference). Such an eye popping, obvious texture. I thought it was weird that DPs like Robert Richardson and Ossie Morris occasionally had very tell-tale "chain-link fence" patterns in some of their movies that use nets; why didn't they just stick to the wide open formula?

Then as my knowledge of nets grew I realised for my own personal tatse, the best stuff is subtler without the blown out lights, et al. I've found higher end medium fstops (5.6-8) to be best for nets, because you can get the halation with a bit more subtlety, but it is a fine line, and now I'm more forgiving when I see failed nets in big budget stuff, because now I know what they are after and the fineline that goes with it. As I'm shooting low contrast Fuji 500T on this project especially, and all of the wider daytime shots, best to play it safe clean, methinks.

Still, if anyone experienced in S16 net photography has any words/images to bring to the table they'd be most appreciated. :)
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#6 Daniel Stigler

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Posted 19 March 2006 - 09:47 PM

Still, if anyone experienced in S16 net photography has any words/images to bring to the table they'd be most appreciated. :)


I found out that there are huge differences in stockings. My DoP is very happy with vintage Dior stockings from the 50s. They are are mentioned some place else in this forum as well when i remember it right. Every now and then you can find them on eBay for a few bucks. I just bought a pair for $5.
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