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Tungsten lighting and the Red camera


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#1 JD Hartman

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 08:31 PM

Anyone run into or been told about this issue? A DP I spoke with today told me that he prefers to use all daylight balanced lights for interiors, when shooting on the Red. Something about the blue sensitivity of the CCD chip being very low.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 08:41 PM

Anyone run into or been told about this issue? A DP I spoke with today told me that he prefers to use all daylight balanced lights for interiors, when shooting on the Red. Something about the blue sensitivity of the CCD chip being very low.


It's a CMOS chip actually, and all sensors are less sensitive to blue and generally are therefore less noisy in daylight-balanced lighting.

The Red One is a bit noisier in 3200K lighting than some of its competitors, so you'll get better results in daylight lighting or in tungsten lighting with some degree of blue filtration. But at 320 ASA in tungsten with no filters, the blue channel noise is OK, not great, but certainly useable. Some recent improvements in the color science of the RAW conversion is being beta-tested that shows some improvements in this regard.

I did this shot on the Red One on Build 16 back in July 2008, 320 ASA in 3200K lighting, though processed at 3800K:

http://www.davidmull...4Kstaycool1.jpg

This is a compressed JPEG with minimal correction.

If you are able to light with daylight lamps or with tungsten but with a blue filter on the camera, you'll have more flexibility in color-correction later. In my posted example, it would be difficult to "blue up" the image in post without a lot of noise kicking in, not that there would be a reason to do that. But if you had some plan for lighting a scene with ungelled 3200K tungsten lamps and then turning it into blue (like for moonlight) in post, I'd rethink that.
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#3 Matt Workman

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 05:48 AM

For a blue/green screen shoot or a set extension shoots, tungsten is less preferable because of the above mentioned grain. So you could render the plates unusable if there was too much grain to match the BG plates or pull a key off hair/fabric.

On a feature/location shoot however its usually impractical to shoot all daylight especially if you are trying to match sodium vapor or practicals. Unless you have the extra stop to introduce a blue correction filter. The RED "grain/noise" isn't too bad looking either, a few people like the look.

Several techs I've worked with recommend rating the camera at 250 asa when shooting tungsten so you don't get tricked by REDRAW into underexposing and making the grain issue even worse. With daylight however we rate back at 320 or even 400/500 to protect for highlights.

This is all good in theory but when things get moving quickly I'm usually comfortable keeping everything at 320 and just not underexposing on tungsten balance. Its all meta data anyway.

Build 17/18 are much better than 15, which I did my first video with. :ph34r:

Matt
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#4 JD Hartman

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 09:40 AM

Thank you to both David and Matt.
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