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2.35 Aspect Ratio on F900/R


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#1 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 02:15 PM

Hello,
I am looking for some advice on how to achiece this aspect ratio, using this camera. I searched the forum first and found nothing, so I have a slight assumption that it might not be possible?

Is 1.85 the "widest" the camera can shoot, without cropping the image in post?

Also, would the F900 enable me to use a 2.35 groundglass? Or would I have to make markings myself?

When it comes to Aspect ratios, I am constantly confused, hearing different things from different people. If anyone can offer a resource for me to read, I would appreciate it greatly.

Thank you.
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#2 Arni Heimir

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 02:46 PM

1.78:1 is the widest. Many productions use the f900 for 2.35:1/2.4:1 aspect ration. But I think that the camera only has built in markers for 2.00:1
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#3 Tomas Koolhaas

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 04:38 PM

Hi,
The F900 can only shoot 1.78:1 aspect ratio (16x9) without cropping, even 1.85:1 crops a tiny bit (not significantly). There is no way to shoot 2.35:1 on the F900 without cropping unless you use an anamorphic adaptor (the only one I have heard of is made by Canon, and there seems to be very little known about it, no one seems to have it for rent/sale/test in LA).
I dont know what you mean by using a "Groundglass" on the F900. Video cameras (except perhaps the D20 and other Digital cameras that have a reflex viewfinder) do not feature groundglass, they have electronic markings inside the EVF (electronic viewfinder) which can be set for different aspect ratios, the F900 can easily be set for 2.35:1, you just have to go to the menu and change the viewfinder markings to "Vista 2" (if memory serves me correctly) I did this on a bunch of shoots and it worked very well.
If you really want 2.35:1 dont worry too much about the cropping, I have seen many cropped HD 2.35 projects projected in the cinema and they almost all looked really good (the ones that didn't were due to DP error not cropping, or use of lots of gain as in the cropped footage in Miami Vice).
Cheers.
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#4 Eric Steelberg ASC

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 06:13 PM

QUINCEANERA was shot on the 900/3 with 2.35 markers. We filmed it out and it looks great, even though it was cropped. Check it out in theaters now.
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#5 Tomas Koolhaas

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 06:42 PM

Eric,
Congratulations on QUINCEANERA if you dont mind me asking, what was the budget on that, and roughly how much was the whole film-out process.

Edited by Tomas Koolhaas, 09 September 2006 - 06:46 PM.

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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 01:14 AM

Hello,
I am looking for some advice on how to achiece this aspect ratio, using this camera. I searched the forum first and found nothing, so I have a slight assumption that it might not be possible?

Is 1.85 the "widest" the camera can shoot, without cropping the image in post?

Also, would the F900 enable me to use a 2.35 groundglass? Or would I have to make markings myself?

When it comes to Aspect ratios, I am constantly confused, hearing different things from different people. If anyone can offer a resource for me to read, I would appreciate it greatly.

Thank you.


An aspect ratio is a ratio of height to width for the frame, either in whole numbers (4x3, 16x9 in video) or with the height always being a single unit (1 : 1.33, 1 : 1.85, etc. as in film.) So a 16x9 frame, which is what an HD camera usually records, is the same thing as saying 1 : 1.78 (divide 16 by 9 and see for yourself...)

An F900, like most video cameras, uses an electronic viewfinder, not a groundglass, which an optical device. The menu system allows you to display a few different framelines inside of 16x9. There are preset framelines called "Vista 1" and "Vista 2" that can be displayed, Vista 1 being close to 1.85 (which is hardly different than 1.78, so all you will see are some tiny horizontal lines just above and below the full frame) and Vista 2 is close to 2.35.

For transfer to 35mm, if you composed for 1.85, they would just transfer the barely taller 1.78 (16x9) frame to the 4-perf 35mm sound aperture area of a negative, so the image would basically be matted (letterboxed) on the film to 1.78, and when the print made off of this negative is projected with a standard 1.85 projector mask, you won't see the black borders on the film because the 1.85 projector mask is slightly tighter than the 1.78 letterboxed image on the print.

If you composed for cropping to 2.35, then the 16x9 image would be cropped vertically to 2.35 and this image would then be stretched vertically with a 2X squeeze onto the 35mm anamorphic aperture area of a negative, to be unstretched by a 2X anamorphic projector lens to appear as 2.35 on the cinema screen.
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#7 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 02:08 PM

Hi,
The F900 can only shoot 1.78:1 aspect ratio (16x9) without cropping, even 1.85:1 crops a tiny bit (not significantly). There is no way to shoot 2.35:1 on the F900 without cropping unless you use an anamorphic adaptor (the only one I have heard of is made by Canon, and there seems to be very little known about it, no one seems to have it for rent/sale/test in LA).
I dont know what you mean by using a "Groundglass" on the F900. Video cameras (except perhaps the D20 and other Digital cameras that have a reflex viewfinder) do not feature groundglass, they have electronic markings inside the EVF (electronic viewfinder) which can be set for different aspect ratios, the F900 can easily be set for 2.35:1, you just have to go to the menu and change the viewfinder markings to "Vista 2" (if memory serves me correctly) I did this on a bunch of shoots and it worked very well.
If you really want 2.35:1 dont worry too much about the cropping, I have seen many cropped HD 2.35 projects projected in the cinema and they almost all looked really good (the ones that didn't were due to DP error not cropping, or use of lots of gain as in the cropped footage in Miami Vice).
Cheers.



To understand this correctly... If I set "vista 2" in the menu, it will show me the 2.35 markings and I can shoot accordingly to that. In post, will there be any confusion for the editor if there is a 16x9 (1.78) image, and they need to crop it to 2.35?

I'm trying to clear up some misunderstandings on my part.

Thanks for the response.

QUINCEANERA was shot on the 900/3 with 2.35 markers. We filmed it out and it looks great, even though it was cropped. Check it out in theaters now.

I sent you a PM a while back, and last night I saw quincenera for the 2nd time. Great movie.
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#8 Tomas Koolhaas

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 03:11 PM

To understand this correctly... If I set "vista 2" in the menu, it will show me the 2.35 markings and I can shoot accordingly to that. In post, will there be any confusion for the editor if there is a 16x9 (1.78) image, and they need to crop it to 2.35?

I'm trying to clear up some misunderstandings on my part.

Thanks for the response.
I sent you a PM a while back, and last night I saw quincenera for the 2nd time. Great movie.


Hi,
As long as you tell the editor that you framed for 2.35 you should be fine, they will just throw a 2.35:1 mask over the 16x9 (1.78:1) image in FCP/AVID and it should line up to exactly were you had the markers in the viewfinder, I never had a problem with it when I did this.
Cheers.

Edited by Tomas Koolhaas, 10 September 2006 - 03:12 PM.

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#9 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 04:11 PM

Hi,
As long as you tell the editor that you framed for 2.35 you should be fine, they will just throw a 2.35:1 mask over the 16x9 (1.78:1) image in FCP/AVID and it should line up to exactly were you had the markers in the viewfinder, I never had a problem with it when I did this.
Cheers.


Ok, that sounds fine. Thank you for the help. I was thinking that maybe the editor would have to crop unequal lengths off the top and bottom and them move the frame to fit inside the mask. If it's as simple as you say it is, then I am excited.

Thank you again.
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#10 Mike Williamson

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 04:38 PM

You may want to shoot a framing chart at the head of the first camera roll, that way the editor will know exactly where to place the mask. The idea is that you shoot a 2.35 rectangle so that it lines up EXACTLY with the frame lines that you're seeing in the viewfinder. As Tomas said, it should be as simple as dropping a pre-set mask over the image is post, but shooting a framing chart allows you to check the accuracy of that in case something doesn't line up.
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#11 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 06:29 PM

You may want to shoot a framing chart at the head of the first camera roll, that way the editor will know exactly where to place the mask. The idea is that you shoot a 2.35 rectangle so that it lines up EXACTLY with the frame lines that you're seeing in the viewfinder. As Tomas said, it should be as simple as dropping a pre-set mask over the image is post, but shooting a framing chart allows you to check the accuracy of that in case something doesn't line up.


Yes, just shoot a framing chart matching your viewfinder 2.35 framelines and have the editor always cut this chart at the head of reels while editing, and he can use it as a guide for masking his own monitor or for letterboxing his NLE offline outputs.
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#12 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 06:39 PM

Yes, just shoot a framing chart matching your viewfinder 2.35 framelines and have the editor always cut this chart at the head of reels while editing, and he can use it as a guide for masking his own monitor or for letterboxing his NLE offline outputs.



Thank you so much to both of you guys. That has helped a whole lot.
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#13 Tomas Koolhaas

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 02:18 AM

Hi,
Yeah shooting a framing chart never hurts but as I said I have done this numerous times and never had a problem, I can't think of any reason why the 2.35 mask in FCP/AVID wouldn't line up exactly with the 2.35 markers you had in the viewfinder, it is just masking-off equal portions off the top and bottom of the 16x9 image underneath, the same as the markers on the EVF do (That is assuming your editor does it correctly -but its not hard, I have FCP and I can do it myself).
If David and Mike know of some reason why this is not always the case I would like to know (perhaps I will start shooting framing charts from now on Haha).
Cheers.
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#14 Mike Williamson

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 10:06 PM

There's no reason that there should be a problem, just like there's no reason a high-end post house should have any trouble locating the proper center-extracted 1.85 frame within an Academy aperture, but it happened to me.

I shot a 35mm feature that I ended up finishing to HD-D5, framed 1.85 Academy, and put it up on the Spirit. The colorist and his boss both assumed without looking at the film that I'd shot Super 35 because why not use the extra negative? I explained that I shot with the intention of being able to print directly from the neg, I drew some pictures for them, they understood and then spent half an hour digging up the hundred feet of Academy framing leader lying in the closet, putting it up on the machine, setting the frame, recleaning the rollers because nobody uses the Academy leader so it's dirty, and we're ready to go. If I hadn't been so charming, all this would have been to the tune of $500 an hour which is the low-budget, bumpable student rate.

So once we had the proper frame up and started running through the shots, my suspiscions were confirmed that the initial dailies transfers (from a different lab) had been misframed with too much headroom. And believe me, it was not for lack of written directions that the initial misframing occurred, as I spelled it out very clearly in all my transfer instructions that went to the lab.

Point is, if I'd shot a framing chart at the head of the first camera roll, I'd have saved time and potentially money in the telecine bay and probably had correctly framed dailies for the editor. There's no reason that a lab should have difficulty in following an industry standard formatting convention that's existed for many years, but it happens.

So, with digital cameras and NLE's that come from the video world that suffers greatly from a lack of standardization, why would you want to trust that they have the same definition of a widescreen frame? Does Sony define it's "Vista 2" setting as 2.35, 2.39 or 2.40? How about FCP, Avid, Premier or whatever NLE you're using? Are they really center-extracted or is there a small offset that's not lining up? Even though I'd expect them all to match, that doesn't mean they will and without a framing chart there's no way to double-check.
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