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5D and focusing


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#1 sven rahsen

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 06:12 PM

So I have a couple of beginner questions.

We've acquired camera, lenses, shoulder rig (still missing a few parts). We're going to be making a couple of short films then a feature. We're just debating on focusing, a lot. Most issues we've thought of have been ironed out but we keep coming back to focusing.

I guess we're looking for reasonable options to go with.

In the case of shoulder rig shots, our option is for camera operator to also do focus, or have we have to use an AC, in which case we're wondering: will we have to use 2 field monitors for this job? Because as soon as you connect one monitor you lose the camera LCD. It might be hard for both AC and Operator to use the same monitor? But if we need two, man, that's expensive.

How is this usually done on films? Whether they use film or digital. I'm guessing for film, and cameras like Red, the operator can use the viewfinder and then there's one monitor for the AC?

Then there's steadicam shots, do a steadicam operator ever do focusing himself? Or is it the same here, need a monitor for the AC and for steadicam the focusing needs to be remote operated? But I think we can rule out remote operated focus, the systems I've found are too expensive. That narrows steadicam shots down to using deep depth of field I guess?

Could use some advice here, thanks.

Edited by sven rahsen, 14 February 2011 - 06:13 PM.

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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 06:59 PM

It's an AC normally on film shoots and steadycam shoot. On a steadycam you'll have a wireless follow focus, without one, a normal follow focus or a wireless. A good AC won't need a monitor. it's nice and it helps, but they should be reasonable able to judge focus distance. For this to work on a 5D you'll probably want to use proper lenses, as in not typical stills glass but something like compact primes.
You could, in theory, split the monitor feeds out, of course, but as the 5Ds output, is, 480p, if memory serves, it's not the most useful thing for finding focus.... even a video tap off of a film camera isn't something to judge focus from, only the OP will know if it's in focus or not and will inform the AC/DP at the end of the shot.
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#3 Nathan Blair

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 11:55 AM

If you're on a tight budget like me, I recommend looking at http://indisystem.com. They have great prices on follow focus systems. Mine has been very reliable thus far.

For short-term projects, consider renting a nice set of primes. If you're in an area without rental facilities, consider http://borrowlenses.com

For steadicam or dolly shots, like Adrian said, you should just rent a wireless follow focus system.

Your AC and Camera Op can feasibly use the same monitor for most shots. Like Adrian said, an AC should typically focus to preset marks, and not rely on the monitor's image.
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