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Pro 35mm Vs. Digiprimes for theatrical


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#1 Stephen Whitehead

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 03:42 PM

Hello, I am prepping for a low budget feature shoot. Originally the plan was to shoot it on 35mm with a low shooting ratio, as that was all the budget could afford. I suggested that since the director is younger, he might benifit from shooting the project on the f900 instead. Since therefore he could get more coverage, and roll more takes. Now the director really wants the shallow depth of field look. My plan is to shoot using the pro35 adapter with cooke s4's. What do you guys think? Am I better doing that, or just shooting with digiprimes wide open? The ultimate goal for distribution would probably be the video market, but of course the director/producer wants to keep theatrical release an option. So what would be the best bet? Shooting with the pro35mm and cookes (Maybe ziess ultra speeds), shooting with digiprimes wideopen, or just shooting 35mm with a low shooting ratio? I of course would prefer 35, but ultimately I think HD would create a better product in this circumstance.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Cheers,

Steve
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#2 jan von krogh

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 07:09 PM

the pro 35 will have a blurry look on all images and cost >1.5 stops...

... so if look & locations allow, i would strongly recommend rather shooting non-adapted & very open, if theatrical release is an option. there is a reason that in all mayor hdcam/viper A/B/C-budgets you rarely found any 35mm adapter but plenty of 2/3 zooms and primes.
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#3 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 04:04 AM

Having read what a number of DPs have said regarding this choice, they seem to agree that Pro 35 is fine for broadcast TV but for big screen work the Digiprimes are the way to go.
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#4 jan von krogh

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 08:05 AM

Having read what a number of DPs have said regarding this choice, they seem to agree that Pro 35 is fine for broadcast TV but for big screen work the Digiprimes are the way to go.


there are very good zooms as well, meanwhile.
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#5 jan von krogh

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 08:17 AM

there are very good zooms as well, meanwhile.


just to explain - when we want shallow dof we often use our 7.8-208 angenieux zooms at 150-180mm wide open.
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#6 Jayson Crothers

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 05:53 PM

Technically speaking, there's little question here - the Pro-35 looks great for broadcast, but when blown up to 35 the resolution is gone; it appears soft and muddy. I shot comparison tests about 2 years ago for a feature that was in a similar situation; the director had used the Pro-35 quite a bit, but we were contractually bound to deliver a 35mm film-out. After the tests were screened there was never again a discussion of the Pro-35.

If it's a video market only, you're fine. Otherwise, look at the digi-primes and digi-zoom (if you can afford them). I also like the Canon Cine-Style zooms; I find them to have very little breathing and they remain sharp even with a blow-up (though, as to be expected, not nearly as nice looking as the digi-primes).

This is all from a technical stance - you may find you like the look of the Pro-35 blown up...........I couldn't imagine that for an entire feature, but who knows? =)
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#7 Stephen Whitehead

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 05:59 PM

Technically speaking, there's little question here - the Pro-35 looks great for broadcast, but when blown up to 35 the resolution is gone; it appears soft and muddy. I shot comparison tests about 2 years ago for a feature that was in a similar situation; the director had used the Pro-35 quite a bit, but we were contractually bound to deliver a 35mm film-out. After the tests were screened there was never again a discussion of the Pro-35.

If it's a video market only, you're fine. Otherwise, look at the digi-primes and digi-zoom (if you can afford them). I also like the Canon Cine-Style zooms; I find them to have very little breathing and they remain sharp even with a blow-up (though, as to be expected, not nearly as nice looking as the digi-primes).

This is all from a technical stance - you may find you like the look of the Pro-35 blown up...........I couldn't imagine that for an entire feature, but who knows? =)


I got a quote back for a package today with canon primes, and it was quite good. I still want to do a blow-up test though. I am gonna shoot similar scenes on both lens setups, and have a print made. Thanks for the advice though. On a side note, how do the Canon primes look when they are opened all the way to 1.5?

Cheers,

Steve
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#8 Jayson Crothers

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 06:28 PM

I've never used the Canon primes, only the Cine-Style zooms. I thought the zooms looked quite good even wide open - it's a matter of relativity though; they look good, but when you compare them to an identical shot done on the digi-primes, they look softer in comparison.

I've done three features exclusively with the zooms and I've always been happy with them.

And those are my 2 cents.
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#9 Mitch Gross

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 11:41 AM

The Canon primes look great, especially the "red lin" EJs series. They perform better wide open than the older EJ set.
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