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extremely shallow depth of field


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#1 Mate Widamon

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 06:11 PM

Hi there,

In some sequences of my upcoming feature I would like to achieve extremely shalow depth of field. I am shooting on 5218 with the intention of having prints for screen. I don't have a chance to go for anamorphic, I intend shooting with Arri 435 + Cooke S4 lenses with 1:1.85 aspect ratio. The location does not always allow me to use long lenses, bu I can run wide open. My characters are sort of 'trapped' in a situation so when I give a close up I would only like the eyebulbs to be in focus, but the nose and ears already unsharp. Cooke S4 on 135 and 180mm go macro mode, apart from that any other ways, lenses/filters to achieve that very shallow depth?

All replays are greatly appreciated.

Rgds,

mate widamon,

budapest, hungary
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#2 Bobby Shore

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 06:32 PM

probably not exactly the answer you're looking for, but have you tried shift and tilt lenses? you won't exactly get shallower depth of field, but by fu**ing with the plane of focus and the position of your characters in the frame, you may be able to create an equally claustrophobic feeling... just an idea.

Bobby
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#3 David Regan

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 06:48 PM

Use ND filters, which will allow you to go all the way open. Telephoto will help, but if you go all the way open and put the camera close that will help.

Good Luck
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 07:03 PM

Use f/1.4 lenses and shoot wide-open.
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#5 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 03:49 AM

Get as physically close to your subject as your framing allows.
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#6 Max Jacoby

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 03:55 AM

You could use Diopters.
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#7 Evan Winter

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 05:31 PM

Good swing and tilt use always makes me feel claustrophobic. :)

For an easy and quick look at some recent swing/tilt use (not necessarily for claustro feel) check out the opening speaking scenes in this JT vid: Swing et Tilt
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#8 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 07:23 PM

Mate,
Changing the subject....Why are you using a 435 for a feature? Are you dubbing the whole movie?
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#9 Mate Widamon

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 11:52 AM

Mate,
Changing the subject....Why are you using a 435 for a feature? Are you dubbing the whole movie?

Thank for all replays.

This week I will have a chance to play a bit with diopters and shift and tilt at the rental house. I will quite likely swap to Ultra Primes instead of S4 since it is going for screen and I would prefer a bit sharper and contrasty look. I wanted Master Primes for the shallowest depth, but the production would not allow me.

Thanks for the 'warning' question Brad, I did not want to get into deatails, but here we go;
We have a four day pre-shoot where no sound is recorded and mainly running 32fps on 5218 with Arri 435. Than I shoot pov sequences with Aaton Minima rigged on chest cam., running also 32fps on 7217.
Afer that we will be shooting the narrative sequences with ArriCam on 5218, 25fps( shallow depth).
We have news footage to record, I plan too use Sony Beta Sp Dx50 for that and also some very limited archive-looking footage on 40ASA S8mm Ektachrome.
We will be finishing with the dream sequences; I'll shoot them on 7285 Ektachrome Reversal for exterieurs and 64T Fujichrome in interieurs with Arri SR3.

This time it is approppriate to have all these different formats to tell the story. Everything goes to 2k scanning than digital grading before blowing up to prints.
Tons of people telling me to shoot a safe negative because at post I will be able get the desired look (for dream, archive etc sequences) out from the neg at digital grading.
What I say is that before getting to the digitalising stage, 7285 is already processed in way which is completely different to how the neg gets treated. Different process, different emotions... Neg and Reversal as two photocemical process is actually symbolising being asleep or awake as the dream is the reverse of reality or vice-versa depending which one you prefer your reality. The film is about this sort of questions, it is a Stanislav Lem adaptation.
This is my first feature and I am aware that this way is more risky especially considering that all Reversal footage gets processed with E-6 in my friend's house lab, in the basement... But that is the look I am after! In commercials I have been trying create an Ektachrome look out of the neg at digital grading, but never been satisfied with the result.

It feels great sharing all this with you, perhaps not everyone in the production can follow this. But they give me enourmous trust so I do not want to blew up things...

Any replays are greatly appreciated,

ps; I was thinking of shooting a short test on Ektachrome Infra Red Photo Reversal stock rolled and loaded into 35mm motion picture camera then processed with E-6.
But I don't dare asking the production for a test...

Kind Regards,

Mate Widamon,
Hungary
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