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grain and vignetting


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#1 Cherukuri Kiran Kumar

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 10:01 AM

I am new to the film industry. i was talking to a cinematographer yesterday about red camers footage. during the discussion i happened to mention film grain. he said that grain doesnt show nowadays because film available now is totally clear of noise. further he said that lenses are also so advanced that vignetting doesnt occur anymore. according to what i have seen or learnt so far, this seems illogical, but hearing that from a senior, i'm confused. somebody please provide me the right info.
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 10:54 AM

Grain and glare are, to a large extent, well controlled. While Film stock still has grain in it; part of the film look, this can be mitigated numerous ways both in camera (by over exposing) and in post with grain reduction software during the scan and/or telecine, to the point where it appears nearly grainless. Furthermore, how you're watching something will dictate how much grain you see--you'll see less grain on an SD tv than an HD one as a lot of it will be lost in the resolution downscale.
As for lenses, they have gotten much better, but even the best will still flare and veil when exposed to light from certain angles. Whether or not this will be perceptible, and distracting is a function of scene content, and of course, with fligging and placement of lights properly and the use of matteboxes you can essentially control it to the point of using it for a desired effect, should you want.
As for vignetting, lenses are designed to to, and hell, even Arri has an amazing 8mm rectilinear lens which doesn't distort. Of course, you'll still vignette if you throw a S16mm lens on a 35mm camera but for the most part edge to edge sharpness is there, as is color control .
The anti-reflective coatings in modern lenses are truely pretty remarkable and getting better all the time, as is their optical design, as is film, as is digital, but one must remember, nothing is perfect, not even perfection ;). So while it's not "perfect," it is so much so controlled that it almost becomes a non-issue. I think what they were speaking about was not to worry about these things and concentrate on the best way and tools to tell a story, as things are very mature and this, in turn, allows you to modulate a look you want.
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#3 Ben Brahem Ziryab

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 12:44 PM

I don't really see grain as being a "bad" thing, per say. Grain is most definitely a part of film and there is no such thing as film without grain; that being said, it's somewhere true with fast stocks nowadays to have tremendous fine grain structures, in particularly 16mm stocks have come a long way...
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