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EPIC first impressions


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#1 John Brawley

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 08:50 AM

I had a visit today from Ted Schilowitz of RED and he brought along an EPIC and Scarlet to show off.

Just some first impressions here....

jb
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#2 Matt Stevens

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 09:00 AM

Holy cow, it's smaller than I anticipated.
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#3 Francesco Bonomo

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 09:04 AM

thanks for the report, John.
you wrote:
"they’ve cleverly made it easier to backfocus by putting in a device that moves the entire sensor to change the backfocus"
So that means that the sensor position is relative and not fixed? I'm asking this because while it could be a good thing for adjusting back focus, it will have some influence on measuring focus from the sensor plane, if I'm understanding this correctly.

You also mentioned 14 custom buttons: no problem with that, though it looks like the RedMote or touch screen would be good enough for 99% of situations, but once you've assigned a function to each one of them, how do you identify them?

Edited by Francesco Bonomo, 02 March 2011 - 09:06 AM.

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#4 John Brawley

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 09:09 AM

thanks for the report, John.
you wrote:
"they’ve cleverly made it easier to backfocus by putting in a device that moves the entire sensor to change the backfocus"
So that means that the sensor position is relative and not fixed? I'm asking this because while it could be a good thing for adjusting back focus, it will have some influence on measuring focus from the sensor plane, if I'm understanding this correctly.


I wouldn't have thought so...we're talking hundreds of a millimetre adjustments for backfocus....have you got actors that can hit marks like that ? ;-)

You also mentioned 14 custom buttons: no problem with that, though it looks like the RedMote or touch screen would be good enough for 99% of situations, but once you've assigned a function to each one of them, how do you identify them?


I'd use what i use now....a DYMO labeller !

jb
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#5 Francesco Bonomo

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 09:14 AM

I wouldn't have thought so...we're talking hundreds of a millimetre adjustments for backfocus....have you got actors that can hit marks like that ? ;-)


nope, but even though it may sound incredibly strange to you, I got DPs who could freak out for things like that :-) luckily, not many.

I'd use what i use now....a DYMO labeller !


Yeah, I was referring to custom labels, I was just wondering, since it's so small, if in your opinion there's enough room for that.
(14 custom buttons seem a LOT to me, anyway, but that doesn't mean we MUST use all of them, so it's ok)
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#6 John Brawley

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 09:17 AM

nope, but even though it may sound incredibly strange to you, I got DPs who could freak out for things like that :-) luckily, not many.



Yeah, I was referring to custom labels, I was just wondering, since it's so small, if in your opinion there's enough room for that.
(14 custom buttons seem a LOT to me, anyway, but that doesn't mean we MUST use all of them, so it's ok)



I don't think it's going to contribute to focus issues unless it's way out of it's correct depth...but by then the lens would be *out* anyways....

The buttons had labels on them such as "A" "B" "C" etc....i guess you'd end up maybe remembering what you program them to be after a while...i's one of those *good* problems to have though !

All the menus are very quickly accessed via the menu anyway.....

jb
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#7 Francesco Bonomo

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 09:24 AM

I don't think it's going to contribute to focus issues unless it's way out of it's correct depth...but by then the lens would be *out* anyways....


I agree.

The buttons had labels on them such as "A" "B" "C" etc....i guess you'd end up maybe remembering what you program them to be after a while...i's one of those *good* problems to have though !


As I wrote earlier, i'd rather have 14 buttons and use 1 than have none when I need it. Besides, the camera will be bigger with modules, so nothing prevents from making labels as "A=*function* and attach it to the side anyway.

All the menus are very quickly accessed via the menu anyway.....


I've only seen pictures or shitty youtube videos of the display or the redmote, but it surely looks easy, and that's a huge relief considering it comes from the people who gave us the original Red menu.
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#8 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 12:12 PM

I wouldn't have thought so...we're talking hundreds of a millimetre adjustments for backfocus....have you got actors that can hit marks like that ? ;-)


There are days when I'd be happy with actors who could stop within 3' of their marks..... ;)
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#9 Francesco Bonomo

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 12:33 PM

There are days when I'd be happy with actors who could stop within 3' of their marks..... ;)


...after hitting them at least 5 times during rehearsal... :lol:
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#10 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 07:24 PM

thanks for the report, John.
you wrote:
"they’ve cleverly made it easier to backfocus by putting in a device that moves the entire sensor to change the backfocus"


This is one of those ideas that sounds like a good thing but could actually prove to be a hindrance.

Unless it's incredibly well engineered and machined, having a large sensor on what is presumably some sort of motorised rack and pinion mechanism could introduce all sorts of problems. For one thing the sensor needs to remain flat with respect to the mount to within 10 microns from edge to edge (both vertically and horizontally), so any contamination of the sliding surfaces, wear or play in the mechanism could result in a slightly tilted sensor.

It needs to be held in its setting securely enough that a knock to the camera body or any external vibration won't cause even the slightest change in the flange depth.

How will the mechanism cope with temperature changes? How easy is it to accidently adjust?

I can foresee scenarios where each time a lens is changed the flange depth gets adjusted.

Of course I could be wrong, and it's a fine idea. Time will tell I guess.
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#11 John Brawley

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 09:14 PM

This is one of those ideas that sounds like a good thing but could actually prove to be a hindrance.

Unless it's incredibly well engineered and machined, having a large sensor on what is presumably some sort of motorised rack and pinion mechanism could introduce all sorts of problems. For one thing the sensor needs to remain flat with respect to the mount to within 10 microns from edge to edge (both vertically and horizontally), so any contamination of the sliding surfaces, wear or play in the mechanism could result in a slightly tilted sensor.

It needs to be held in its setting securely enough that a knock to the camera body or any external vibration won't cause even the slightest change in the flange depth.

How will the mechanism cope with temperature changes? How easy is it to accidently adjust?

I can foresee scenarios where each time a lens is changed the flange depth gets adjusted.

Of course I could be wrong, and it's a fine idea. Time will tell I guess.



You have to take the top handle off completely to adjust it from what I understand.

The Aaton's XTR PROD has a similar system with their ground glass adjustment. You pop a small cap off the side and adjust the flange depth of the ground glass through a small hole with a hex key and in the the company of a good collimator.

There never seemed to be any problems with it going *out* in my 5 years in a rental company with 8 of them. You always would check it before each job though...just like backfoucs....

jb



I didn't see the mechanism in action, but you had to take the top handle off the camera off to actually get to the adjustment, which was a hex key buried down deep inside ( i think)

I know that there is a similar mechanism for adjusting the flange depth of the ground glass on an Aaton XTRprod as well. Pop the little screw on the side and adjust ( in the company of a collimator)

It never seemed to be *out* for no apparent reason either, but one would always check it before goin out on a job with the camera. Just like back focus....

jb
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#12 Keith Walters

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 09:26 PM

I had a visit today from Ted Schilowitz of RED and he brought along an EPIC and Scarlet to show off.

Just some first impressions here....

jb

There's an actual Epic in the country?!
That probably explains all the floods, earthquakes and freezing summer weather.
All to no avail of course :rolleyes:

By the way, what ever happened to Lowdown?
Was it only ever a short series, or did the ABC ship it off to some forgotten timeslot?
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#13 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 06:58 AM

You have to take the top handle off completely to adjust it from what I understand.

The Aaton's XTR PROD has a similar system with their ground glass adjustment. You pop a small cap off the side and adjust the flange depth of the ground glass through a small hole with a hex key and in the the company of a good collimator.

There never seemed to be any problems with it going *out* in my 5 years in a rental company with 8 of them. You always would check it before each job though...just like backfoucs....

jb


Right, so it's a mechanical adjustment. Sorry, from your description of a clever new 'device' I imagined something electronic.

Still seems a bit risky though. As you observed with the Aatons, ground glass adjustments tend to be made once and then left alone. 35mm Arri cameras have several set screws to adjust the depth, flatness and position of the ground glass, and it certainly isn't a procedure I'd want to do in the field. With something the size of a 5K sensor I would think the adjustment would need to be even more critical, notwithstanding the fact that a ground glass image isn't what's actually being recorded.

I'm not directing this at you John, just throwing it out there, but I guess my query is: why the need for an operator-adjustable flange depth in a professional camera? Shouldn't professionals be using properly collimated lenses? And if the flange depth does require adjustment, why move the sensor and possibly introduce alignment issues when it's much safer to just re-shim the mount?
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#14 John Brawley

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 09:01 AM

There's an actual Epic in the country?!
That probably explains all the floods, earthquakes and freezing summer weather.
All to no avail of course :rolleyes:

By the way, what ever happened to Lowdown?
Was it only ever a short series, or did the ABC ship it off to some forgotten timeslot?



CMON Keith it's on RIGHT NOW on the abc. It's in it's second screening after premiering last year.

http://www.abc.net.au/tv/lowdown/
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#15 John Brawley

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 09:16 AM

Right, so it's a mechanical adjustment. Sorry, from your description of a clever new 'device' I imagined something electronic.

Still seems a bit risky though. As you observed with the Aatons, ground glass adjustments tend to be made once and then left alone. 35mm Arri cameras have several set screws to adjust the depth, flatness and position of the ground glass, and it certainly isn't a procedure I'd want to do in the field. With something the size of a 5K sensor I would think the adjustment would need to be even more critical, notwithstanding the fact that a ground glass image isn't what's actually being recorded.

I'm not directing this at you John, just throwing it out there, but I guess my query is: why the need for an operator-adjustable flange depth in a professional camera? Shouldn't professionals be using properly collimated lenses? And if the flange depth does require adjustment, why move the sensor and possibly introduce alignment issues when it's much safer to just re-shim the mount?


I'd rather adjust the depth with a hex screw than having to re-shim. What a pain in the arse.

I've got 5 RED bodies on a show right now. We checked the back focus at the begin inning and weve not yet had to change it.

For some reason, some people have lots more trouble with RED back focus. I often make it though a show without changing in it once.

There are two things that can go wrong. A lens can be out or the mount can be out.

On a film camera there are three things so it's actually more complex than you're giving credit for.. The lens can out. The mount can be out and the ground glass can be out.

There are tolerances and if you're on the + and - sides momf those then you can still be out. I'd much rather be able to make a simple mechanical adjustment than to have to carry a aet of shims, pull the entire mount off ( which can introduce more issues..not seating...shims not seating etc...) then put it back together. The thing is, that these higher resolution digitval cameras seem to have less wriggle room. I reckon you could get away with more on film. Ask any focus puller...RED is less forgiving....

Just assuming a lens is collomated makes no allowance for temperature differences, freight, differences in mount machining...let alone if the lens is even right in the first place. You're wanting to get rid of the potential for a back focus error from mis-seating vs assuming that every lens you get is perfectly collimated ? You're much more likely to get a lens that isn't perfectly collimated in my opinion....

JB
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#16 John Sprung

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 04:35 PM

The devil's in the details. How do they move the sensor? How do they lock it in place without any shift in the adjustment? Having a lens or two that need special tweaks every time you go to them, and every time you go back to the others, would be a royal pain in the tush no matter how easy the back focal adjustment is. To get the body and lenses all set up correctly before you start production should be a bench job at the rental house, not something the AC's are supposed to do in the field.




-- J.S.
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#17 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 04:41 PM

The devil's in the details. How do they move the sensor? How do they lock it in place without any shift in the adjustment? Having a lens or two that need special tweaks every time you go to them, and every time you go back to the others, would be a royal pain in the tush no matter how easy the back focal adjustment is. To get the body and lenses all set up correctly before you start production should be a bench job at the rental house, not something the AC's are supposed to do in the field.




-- J.S.



Keep in mind that this is also an owner-operator camera so this may make things for owners to adjust the back-focus. Ideally, you wouldn't have to touch it very often, but over the years, there have all sorts of oddball issues with back-focus and digital cameras, particularly the Red One, like the fact that Master Primes, for some reason, need to have their back-focus adjusted for the Red One. Not sure why, you'd think all PL-mount lenses would focus at the same distance exactly.

Anyway, I wouldn't lose too much sleep over this issue until more is known. If the back-focus can be set, locked, and forgotten about until the next time it becomes an issue, I don't see a problem with making it user-adjustable as opposed to needing shims and whatnot.
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#18 Keith Walters

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 06:27 PM

CMON Keith it's on RIGHT NOW on the abc. It's in it's second screening after premiering last year.

http://www.abc.net.au/tv/lowdown/

????

This is what it says on the link you gave me:

"Latest Episode
Project Runaway
Wednesday 9 June 2010

Project Starsearch finalist Joss Miller (Jane Harber) has absconded from the show's compound, jeopardising the multi-million dollar TV final.
Wednesday 9pm on ABC1
Thursday 8:30pm on ABC2"


After laborioulsy wading through my Electronic Program Guide, I've discovered re-runs of the original series are being showing on ABC2 on thursdays, but at 9PM.
No sign of it on ABC1

I'm sorry, I'm a bit confused. Was there asecond season, or not.?
If there was, did you mention it here?


I have to admit I'm not much in the habit of scanning through the secondary channels; it's hard enough finding anything worth watching on the main channels!
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#19 John Brawley

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 09:19 PM

????

This is what it says on the link you gave me:

"Latest Episode
Project Runaway
Wednesday 9 June 2010

Project Starsearch finalist Joss Miller (Jane Harber) has absconded from the show's compound, jeopardising the multi-million dollar TV final.
Wednesday 9pm on ABC1
Thursday 8:30pm on ABC2"


After laborioulsy wading through my Electronic Program Guide, I've discovered re-runs of the original series are being showing on ABC2 on thursdays, but at 9PM.
No sign of it on ABC1

I'm sorry, I'm a bit confused. Was there asecond season, or not.?
If there was, did you mention it here?


I have to admit I'm not much in the habit of scanning through the secondary channels; it's hard enough finding anything worth watching on the main channels!



Yeah i think the ABC aren't great at updating their micro sites. That's all from the first airing, but yeah they are re-running the show now. It looks like a second run of the series is going towards the end of the year.....you haven't even seen the first run yet though !!!

jb
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#20 John Brawley

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 09:23 PM

Not sure why, you'd think all PL-mount lenses would focus at the same distance exactly.
.


Exactly.

locked[/u], and forgotten about until the next time it becomes an issue, I don't see a problem with making it user-adjustable as opposed to needing shims and whatnot.



It's not an issue unless they totally screw up the design. And that would be a deal breaker of course. To me It's an improvement over their current approach which was a pain in the arse, but was at least better than re-shimming. I think a lot of the back-focus issues are more to do with a lack of understanding and knowledge about how to actually set it properly in the first place.

jb
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