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Shutter Angle


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#1 Camera

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 01:25 PM

I want to know (and see) what happens when you vary the shutter angle of a camera.
Also, if you could really explain your process and whether you would recommend it - that would be great too!
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#2 John-Erling Holmenes Fredriksen

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 02:34 PM

Well, basically, you alter the way movement is captured on the film. With a larger shutter angle, the film will be exposed to light for a longer time, and you will get more motion blur, movement will therefor be perceived as smoother. On the other hand, a smaller angle will give you sharper frames, but more "stuttered" motion. In extreme cases, with a very small shutter angle and a lot of movement, objects can even appear to be jumping about. Obviously this also affects your exposure, as less light will be hitting the film if you decrease the shutter angle.
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#3 timHealy

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 02:39 PM

I want to know (and see) what happens when you vary the shutter angle of a camera.
Also, if you could really explain your process and whether you would recommend it - that would be great too!


Changing your shutter angle is a creative tool like everything else in a cinematographers tool box. When to use it is just as important as not to use it. It all depends if your subject matter warrants one angle over another.

Lowering your shutter angle say down to 45 degrees shortens your exposure time creating a sharper image per frame. Increasing your shutter angle will increase your exposure time so anything moving fast will blur a bit more.

It is like using a still camera and shooting action at a 500th of a second or a 60th. a man running down the street will blur at 1/60th of a second. At 1/500th the man will be sharp.

In terms of moving images, a 45 degree shutter will start to strobe and seem jittery. This was most recently famous in the beginning of Saving Private Ryan, but was used before and after in many things including parts of Sopranos and other movies, TV shows, commericials, and music videos.

You can take this a step further by using Unilux type lighting which can have very short strobe exposures to freeze things like juice or the spray from an orange. The strobe will freeze the droplets of liquids in a way you really can't get with a normal motion picture camera.

That's the brief version

Best

Tim

Edited by timHealy, 26 May 2008 - 02:40 PM.

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#4 Glen Alexander

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 03:07 PM

I want to know (and see) what happens when you vary the shutter angle of a camera.
Also, if you could really explain your process and whether you would recommend it - that would be great too!


i tend to keep it simple

shutter angle / 360deg * 1/fps = exposure time

depending on available light, film you have loaded, lens, camera available.

if you have old camera with arri IIC or something with fixed shutter angle, film stock with ISO rating, you vary the fps to correctly expose the film or to maintain 24fps, use the correct film stock for the lens and light available.
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#5 timHealy

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 06:47 PM

i tend to keep it simple

shutter angle / 360deg * 1/fps = exposure time

depending on available light, film you have loaded, lens, camera available.

if you have old camera with arri IIC or something with fixed shutter angle, film stock with ISO rating, you vary the fps to correctly expose the film or to maintain 24fps, use the correct film stock for the lens and light available.


Hey Glen,

Respectfully, I don't think varying the film speed to change exposure doesn't really show how changing the shutter opening really affects your image. You really need to keep the film speed constant to truely appreciate how varying shutter angles really affects the aesthetics of the image. That is the way I interpreted Cait's original question.

I mean you may be able to compare single frames and exposure times like I briefly mentioned, but not the motion that has been captured in the shot and ultimately that is the important part.

Best

Tim
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#6 Camera

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 12:04 PM

Thank you to everyone - you guys have been a big help.


Tim, I'm a little curious about this Unilux lighting - can you explain that even more? - I went to their website and was really impressed. How does this effect your exposure or does it limit what stocks you can use? I'm really new to strobe lighting - how is it best used?

I see that it's great for things that splash - but what about people dancing? How would that change things?
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#7 timHealy

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 10:31 PM

Hey Cait,

To answer your questions

It affects exposure greatly but If I recall they do supply a special light meter for their gear.

As far as people dancing, I would think they would just make things strobe even more so than a 45 degree shutter. One thing though, I haven't used their stuff in a while, but the did not have very large fixtures. But maybe they have bigger heads now for bigger shots.

and I wouldn't think that this would limit your choice of film stocks.

But I would call them and get the proper answers to your questions. Maybe they can set up a demo too. I think they are in Hackensack NJ or perhaps they will set something up at a lighting show near you.

Best

Tim
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