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Two lenses, one cool shot


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#1 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 10:32 AM

So I did an interesting shot the other day for the feature I'm currently on. The director wanted a shot of a tear on a guys face with a reflection of another face in the tear. The first thought was to use a close focus lens (we had a CF 135mm), but the DP had heard that if you put a 100mm on the camera and then a 50mm face to face with the 100mm you could focus through the back element of the 50mm very close. Hope this is making sense.... So we actually ended up doing the shot with a 100mm and an 85mm, and we had to have the tear less than an inch from the back element of the 85mm to get focus, and I had to slide the camera on the baseplate to get it sharp. The shot looked great and worked really well once we figured out the logistics and after a bit of fiddling and trial and error.
Has anyone done a shot like this before? I'd never heard of this technique, but it was pretty cool and worked great for what we were doing. It looked so cool in fact that the whole cast and crew was crowded around the monitor looking at what we were shooting.
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#2 Mike Panczenko

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 11:44 AM

This sounds very interesting- I've never heard of it, but now I am extremely curious!

What would be the benefit of this, or how would this be preferable over a close focus lens? You'd think an inch from the rear element of the 85mm would be probably a greater physical distance than the minimum focus of the CF Primo- (trying to remember their min focus- 9 inches thereabouts?). So what aesthetically is different visually using these 2 stacked lenses than the CF 135?
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#3 Jon Myers

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 03:40 PM

Hey Brad don't tell everyone all of my tricks.

Jon
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#4 Jon Myers

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 03:52 PM

When I first read the script it said that you could see a persons reflection in a bead of sweat. As soon as I read that I remembered what an AC friend of mine showed me while I was doing B camera on a show during our many hours of down time. It's almost like looking through a microscope. I haven't worked with any close focus lenses that could get as close as we did. The show we are on can't afford to get the right equipment for the job so we made due with what we had. I love doing stuff like this. Like Brad said we had the whole crew standing around watching what we were doing it was pretty cool if I do say so myself.

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#5 Daniel Sheehy

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 03:52 PM

So we actually ended up doing the shot with a 100mm and an 85mm, and we had to have the tear less than an inch from the back element of the 85mm to get focus, and I had to slide the camera on the baseplate to get it sharp. The shot looked great and worked really well once we figured out the logistics and after a bit of fiddling and trial and error.

Any chance you have some set photos and / or framegrabs to show?

Edited by Daniel Sheehy, 11 March 2008 - 03:54 PM.

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#6 John Brawley

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 04:07 PM

Has anyone done a shot like this before? I'd never heard of this technique, but it was pretty cool and worked great for what we were doing. It looked so cool in fact that the whole cast and crew was crowded around the monitor looking at what we were shooting.


That sounds pretty cool....

Ive actually shot by taking undoing the whole lens from the mount and just physically holding it out from the camera. In this way you can cheat how close the focus actually is. Kind of like an extension tube i guess. It only works for about the first inch that you take it out from the mount otherwise light starts to get in around the lens mount and fog...;-)

jb
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#7 Michael Nash

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 04:20 PM

That sounds pretty cool....

Ive actually shot by taking undoing the whole lens from the mount and just physically holding it out from the camera. In this way you can cheat how close the focus actually is. Kind of like an extension tube i guess. It only works for about the first inch that you take it out from the mount otherwise light starts to get in around the lens mount and fog...;-)

jb


That's basically what a bellows macro lens does (you could wrap duvetyn around the opening to act as a bellows). The farther you move the lens from the focal plane though, the more stop you lose (as with any extension).

Cool thing about the "sandwiched" lenses though; I'd never heard of that.

http://en.wikipedia....cro_photography

http://en.wikipedia...._Umkehrring.jpg
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#8 Dan Goulder

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 04:59 PM

So we actually ended up doing the shot with a 100mm and an 85mm, and we had to have the tear less than an inch from the back element of the 85mm to get focus, and I had to slide the camera on the baseplate to get it sharp. The shot looked great and worked really well once we figured out the logistics and after a bit of fiddling and trial and error.

Hey Brad, what did you do to physically couple the lenses together, and did you figure T-stop as the sum of the two lenses, or some other way? Thanks.
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#9 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 05:24 PM

That's wicked cool, old school and so great that you got it without CGI!
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#10 Chris Keth

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 07:37 PM

I heard from a prof in school that you could do that, but I never had occasion to try it out myself. He was an old hand at product photography.

How do you figure out an f-stop for the whole system sandwiched together?
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#11 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 09:53 AM

Any chance you have some set photos and / or framegrabs to show?

I should be getting some photos within the next couple days. One person took photos of the monitor and the actual setup and he said he'd email me, so I'll post them when I get them.
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#12 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 09:58 AM

Hey Brad, what did you do to physically couple the lenses together, and did you figure T-stop as the sum of the two lenses, or some other way? Thanks.

This is an HD show, so of course Jon just adjusted the stop based on the monitor. But according to Jon if we'd been shooting film he'd have just added the two stops together. So in this case we were using Ultra Primes, so if they were both wide open (T1.9) then the stop would have been a hair under a T4.
To couple the lenses we just used camera tape. I thought they would need more support than that, but once we put two or three pieces of tape firmly around the lenses they were very secure and we didn't need anything else.
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#13 John Sprung

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 12:47 PM

.... but the DP had heard that if you put a 100mm on the camera and then a 50mm face to face with the 100mm you could focus through the back element of the 50mm very close.

What this amounts to is using the 50mm (or in your case 85mm) as a high powered super high quality diopter. I'd suggest having the iris wide open on the "diopter" and using the lens on the camera to adjust the stop. The 50mm would be plus 20 diopters, 85mm a little under plus 12.





-- J.S.
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#14 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 08:32 AM

I'd suggest having the iris wide open on the "diopter" and using the lens on the camera to adjust the stop.



-- J.S.

Good to know. If I do this again with film I'll keep that in mind.

I'm still waiting on those pictures....I'll post when I get them.
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#15 Jason Reimer

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 02:39 PM

Good to know. If I do this again with film I'll keep that in mind.

I'm still waiting on those pictures....I'll post when I get them.


I can't wait to see what the shot looks like. After reading this thread, I happened to be browsing through my B&H catalog and found lens couplers that were made for this very purpose. They average about 8 bucks, and you don't have to get tape all over your lenses. I'm definitely going to have to get one and try this out now.
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#16 Michael Nash

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 03:50 PM

Good to know. If I do this again with film I'll keep that in mind.

I'm still waiting on those pictures....I'll post when I get them.


Where did you set the focus for the two lenses?
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#17 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 09:28 PM

Where did you set the focus for the two lenses?

We tried infinity and then minimum and we really couldn't tell the difference. With either setting the subject had to be so close to the lens that it didn't seem to make any difference. I believe we ended up shooting with the lens set to minimum. Either way I had to use the sliding base plate to find focus. I'd be interested to know exactly what the depth of field was. It was so minimal that the actors breathing was more than enough to throw the shot way out of focus.
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#18 Phil Savoie

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 07:33 AM

It was so minimal that the actors breathing was more than enough to throw the shot way out of focus.


Brad,

Stacking lenses is a great way to open up your eyes to macro/micro photography. Macro is a hoot and DOF can be a killer. Have a gander of this sequence shot with Zeiss Luminar microscope objectives. The subjects were 1mm in size - the tilt down into 'Amber' was a borescope dipped into a pint glass of honey. The sequence was shot outside - the slightest breeze threw everything out of focus.

http://philsavoie.com/ant.html

For more micro images check out:

http://www.nikonsmallworld.com/

cheers,
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#19 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 06:15 PM

I finally received the photos from this setup. I posted a handful of them on my flikr page. The pictures are a bit dark, but I think you get the idea.
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#20 Hemant Tavathia

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 10:19 PM

Thanks for this Brad. I love in-camera tricks. Wish I were as smart as some of you guys.

After reading though this and looking at the pictures, my understanding is that the shot is:
A tear falling down and as the tear falls down, you see the face reflected, and then the tear goes off frame and all thats left is an extreme close up of the actors skin- no camera movement. Am I understanding the shot correctly?
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Aerial Filmworks

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