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Celestial Avenue - First SI-2K shoot


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#1 John Brawley

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 04:41 AM

Hi all...

Just wrapped my first shoot with the SI-2K. I ended up using the Panasonic anamorphic adaptor they built for the DVX100 to get a *sort of* anamorphic look happening with it. With the 1.3x squeeze the 2k DCI spec became a (virtual) 2661 x 1080 or something close to 2.46:1. Close enough for me.

I'll upload some frame grabs shortly but here are a couple of shots. Hopefully you can pick the adaptor on the front (16mm format Superspeeds were the lenses)

Was actually very impressed with the camera, more so that I expected. It was really easy to use and the workflow is possible even easier than RED.

And the pictures were SURPRISINGLY good considering the bastardisation of the lensing on the front. More to come on that.

Also note the kooky steadicam rig to follow a special order of "startled pigeon" ordered in this Chinese restaurant.

Also note the bastardised SR viewfinder. It has a small OLED panel in it ;-)



jb

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#2 Rohan Dadswell

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 09:16 PM

very cool JB,

Love to hear how the Panasonic anamorphic adaptor measures up compared to the SI-2Ks native 'scope of 2048x856. Does the extra resolution outway the extra glass on the front? Are you limited to certain size lenes or will the adaptor work with wide angle and telephoto?

Apart from having to drag cables was there any other reason for using the full SI-2K instead of the Mini on the steadicam?

cheers
Rohan
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#3 John Brawley

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 09:27 PM

very cool JB,

Love to hear how the Panasonic anamorphic adaptor measures up compared to the SI-2Ks native 'scope of 2048x856. Does the extra resolution outway the extra glass on the front? Are you limited to certain size lenes or will the adaptor work with wide angle and telephoto?

Apart from having to drag cables was there any other reason for using the full SI-2K instead of the Mini on the steadicam?

cheers
Rohan


Hi Rohan. Wow Canberra hey ?

I've attached a frame from some testing that I did. This is my loader Eszter on a 25mm MK3 Superspeed. There's no extra resolution it's the same resolution of course, but by optically compressing the image then you get the wider aspect ratio AND the anamorphic look.

The size of the adaptor is small which limits the size of the lenes you can use with it, but it's not a big deal to physically work with. Basically Superspeeds. I didn't try an 8mm but 9.5mm, 12mm, 16mm and the 25mm looked great. The 50mm sort of fell away and was never really super sharp.

Frankly it was a pain to work with but the pictures were pretty cool coming out of it. It was different.

I only used the camera in mini mode once, doing some handheld in a really small room. I think running cables when the camera's on steadicam is a waste of time. It has to be wire free to get the best results i think. Also, and this is my opinion, but the larger the mass the better the steadicam work generally. I don't have to carry it though so of course it's easy for me to say that. LArger mass means more stability is my observation. And i think the mini may have benn too light to actually work with a PRO rig. They need a certain amount of weight to work properly.

jb

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#4 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 12:29 PM

Man, your AC is HOT!! Must be hard to concentrate having her around!! :lol:

Seriously now, Good job, the still looks very good for what I can see _for a front of lens anamorphic adaptor. How did you deal with the picture unsqueezing on set?

I have a Kowa 2.1 ana adaptor that I want to use with one of my 16mm cameras, but my lenses are all external focusing, which makes it a pain . . . :angry:
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#5 John Brawley

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 04:05 PM

Seriously now, Good job, the still looks very good for what I can see _for a front of lens anamorphic adaptor. How did you deal with the picture unsqueezing on set?

I have a Kowa 2.1 ana adaptor that I want to use with one of my 16mm cameras, but my lenses are all external focusing, which makes it a pain . . . :angry:



Well that was the ( cough cough ) genius of the system. It's only a 1.3x so plug in 16x9 monitor. Force menu to display 16x9 AS WELL. Hey presto. Instant monitoring.

THe MK3 SS's I was using aren't internal focusing either. The rental company I used BUILT me a holder that would physically hold it in place. My focus puller then developed a system where he would rack the lens out to minimum focus, touch the adaptor to the lens and wind it back again.

The Lens focus marking on the barrel went out with the adaptor too, so it was a way for him to get them to go out in a consistent manner.

I figure this would work equally well with a super 16 camera and I was originally going to shoot Super 16....before politics got in the way....:-)

jb
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#6 John Brawley

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 01:49 AM

OK.

Now some actual frames. Not graded just balanced via the groovy metadata application within FCP and exported.

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#7 John Brawley

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 01:52 AM

One more

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#8 Rohan Dadswell

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 05:07 PM

Yes John, Canberra - it's the heart of our nation ! (or so they tell me)

I'm impressed with the results. I was expecting more distortion and softening - I might have to get one of these to have a play with.
I've done a couple of shorts with the SI cropping to scope but this does give a different feel to the shots.
What stop were you shooting at?
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#9 John Brawley

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 05:54 AM

Yes John, Canberra - it's the heart of our nation ! (or so they tell me)

I'm impressed with the results. I was expecting more distortion and softening - I might have to get one of these to have a play with.
I've done a couple of shorts with the SI cropping to scope but this does give a different feel to the shots.
What stop were you shooting at?



Hi Rohan...

I love Canberra...all it's roundabout and sex shops...

I was shooting around T4 most of the time. Anything wider than T2.8 and the image started to go really soft.

Is there an SI-2K in Canberra ?

jb
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#10 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 04:18 PM

I was shooting around T4 most of the time. Anything wider than T2.8 and the image started to go really soft.


That is great looking stuff, man. Kudos!
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#11 Oliver Christoph Kochs

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 07:10 PM

The images look great.
Vantage has a new line of 1.3x Anamorphic lenses built for shooting 2.4:1 on 16:9 sensors.
I have only experimented with Kowa 2x and Isco 1,4x on a Bolex for projection but i know the issues.
It would be a great to have a demo comparison shot beween the 1.3x anamorphic and a spherical (cropped resized).
John, have you done any of that test?
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#12 John Brawley

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 09:01 PM

The images look great.
Vantage has a new line of 1.3x Anamorphic lenses built for shooting 2.4:1 on 16:9 sensors.
I have only experimented with Kowa 2x and Isco 1,4x on a Bolex for projection but i know the issues.
It would be a great to have a demo comparison shot beween the 1.3x anamorphic and a spherical (cropped resized).
John, have you done any of that test?



Hi oliver...

I did look into the new 1.3X lenses but they are apparently VERY expensive. No-one in Australia has forked out to buy them as yet.

I didn't try shooting a cropped side by side test, but the *naked* superspeed was certainly a bit sharper. I was forced to shoot in this way several times for very long lens shots. The adaptor didn't really work well beyond 25mm.

jb
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#13 Rohan Dadswell

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 01:13 AM

I love Canberra...all it's roundabout and sex shops...

and if you miss the shops the first time you can turn around for a second try - now that's what I call planning.

Hi John,

Yes there is a SI-2K in the ACT - sitting in my shed with a set of Optar Illumina lenses and a few Nikons for telephoto shots.
I've had the Mini for a bit over a year - SI sent me the full body about 6 months ago.
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#14 John Brawley

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 01:09 AM

Breaking News.

Celestial Avenue has won the grand prize for best short at the 2009 Rhode Island Film Festival. This was the 1st screening of the film so it's great to have it so wel received.

jb
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#15 Rohan Dadswell

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 04:59 PM

Congrats John - well done

Good on you for trying something different (anamorphic adapter) and pulling it off with great looking shots.
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#16 Stephen Price

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 05:43 AM

The images look great, thats a really inventive way to achieve an anamorphic look. I have many questions, but currently I am most concerned with finding a practical way to get a bnc feed out of the SI-2K camera body. I can't quite tell how you have got a composite feed for the steady cam rig? I have a way but it involves VGA cables, more power and an external VGA conversion box. I'm looking for other suggestions.

Any advice would be welcome

Steve Price
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#17 Peter Moretti

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 04:47 AM

John,

What did you use to edit the footage, and can you give an overview of the editing workflow?

Thanks very very much.
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#18 John Brawley

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 02:33 AM

The images look great, thats a really inventive way to achieve an anamorphic look. I have many questions, but currently I am most concerned with finding a practical way to get a bnc feed out of the SI-2K camera body. I can't quite tell how you have got a composite feed for the steady cam rig? I have a way but it involves VGA cables, more power and an external VGA conversion box. I'm looking for other suggestions.

Any advice would be welcome

Steve Price
Digital Camera Technician
London



Hi Steve, thanks for the feedback.

P+S / SI really dropped the ball on their monitoring. I had to use the VGA conversion box as described. it's the blue box velcro'd to the battery !

Boring....but that's how it is....

jb
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#19 John Brawley

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 02:41 AM

John,

What did you use to edit the footage, and can you give an overview of the editing workflow?

Thanks very very much.



Hi Pete...

I was a bit distant from the minutiae of the post process but I believe that the AVI's from the camera (the raw footage) was transcoded to prores and cut in FCP. Although it was certainly possible to playback the camera AVI's within quicktime with the cineform plugin loaded (and we did so on-set) we ended up just rendering them for speed in the edit.

Deluxe / Efilm in Melbourne did an AMZING job with the grade. I can't reveal how they did it, but they use a DPX based workflow. They took our EDL and the AVI's, turned them into DPX's and we graded using a regular DaVinci.

They got a great result and they seemed to do a lot of work before it hit the grade....there was certainly a lot less noise than what I was expecting when I hit the grade. The images up here are pre "deluxe". Im still waiting to get my finished copy of the film so I can post some grades.

jb
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#20 Gus Sacks

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 05:30 PM

Saw the film listed as playing at Slamdance. Congrats on that as well.
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