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determine camera information from analysing frame??


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#1 sam williams

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 10:40 PM

hi all,

i was wondering if there was a way of determining the specifics of a camera setup by analysing a particular frame of a film, or photograph and maybe even the particular camera and lens that was used in the individual scene/shot.

i know that by analysing perspective lines, perhaps determining distance with motion parralax, the obvious aesthetic distinction between film and digital and observing the aspect ratio of the screen your watching a film on can all provide information in constructing information about focal length and film stock etc. but just how accurate can you judge these things just by looking at the final print?

so, more specifically, without having inside knowledge of the making of a film or photograph can one determine the following about an individual frame of film or particular photo:

1) type of camera used

2) type of lens used

3) focal length of lens

4) distance away the camera was positioned

5) what type of film was used eg. 35 mm 16 mm, or size of ccd panel in digitl cameras

6) anything else you can think of



thanks,

sam
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#2 Antonio Cisneros

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 10:10 AM

Wouldn't it just be easier just to look it up in the American Cinematographer archive?
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#3 sam williams

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 07:19 PM

Wouldn't it just be easier just to look it up in the American Cinematographer archive?


im not sure if i went to the right site, but where i went didnt seem to contain any information on the specific cameras and lenses used for each individual shot of a particular movie, let alone for photographs.

What i wanted to achieve from this was to be able to pause a movie or pick up any photograph and logically derive the type of lens used, camera used and other details like focal length. If every lens and camera has different characteristics its only logical that the images they capture will give the viewer all the information they would need about the device that produced it.

any useful imput would be greatly appreciated at this point.
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#4 Chris Keth

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 07:41 PM

im not sure if i went to the right site, but where i went didnt seem to contain any information on the specific cameras and lenses used for each individual shot of a particular movie, let alone for photographs.

What i wanted to achieve from this was to be able to pause a movie or pick up any photograph and logically derive the type of lens used, camera used and other details like focal length. If every lens and camera has different characteristics its only logical that the images they capture will give the viewer all the information they would need about the device that produced it.

any useful imput would be greatly appreciated at this point.


It's not quite that cut and dry. I would be very surprised if anyone could just look at a film still and derive all of the information you want just by looking at it.

There are some things that are possible to have educated guesses about, though. The series of lenses used is a good example. A lot of the time you can look at out of focus highlights and, by the shape of them, have a good idea of what lenses were used. You can often have a very good idea what film or video format was used; there are clues that one can look at.

Some other things, like the camera used, can be nearly impossible to tell. Film exposed by one camera can easily look identical to film exposed in another camera. Add to that the intricacies of what is being photographed and how it is being done, and your chances of figuring it out are nearly nil.

I think you're being unrealistic in your expectations. It's not a simple thing to teach. I've been studying and practicing cinematography for several years and I can't do most of those things other than in broad terms. I can tell if a lens is very wide, wide, normal-ish, et cetera. What I can't do is tell a 25mm from a 28mm. I doubt there are many people who can do that in such specific terms.

I would suggest you hang out here a lot more. Read a lot from the archives. You'll start seeing the subtle differences between certain HD cameras and film stocks. You'll start to learn what various types of lenses look like.
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#5 sam williams

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 05:57 PM

thankyou for your help
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