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Arri 16-S aspect ratio


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#1 Joe Zakko

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 07:23 AM

I'm going to take a course next week in New York for six weeks and I'm shooting entirely on an Arri 16-S. I own a bolex and have adjusted the ground glass to compose for 2.40:1. I would like to do the same for the arriflex when I shoot, what different ways are there to compose for that aspect ratio? How do I do it? I have never worked with that camera before, so I currently don't know the parts. Also, since it's not my camera, I need something that's not permanent.

Thanks for the help.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 10:20 AM

I'm going to take a course next week in New York for six weeks and I'm shooting entirely on an Arri 16-S. I own a bolex and have adjusted the ground glass to compose for 2.40:1. I would like to do the same for the arriflex when I shoot, what different ways are there to compose for that aspect ratio? How do I do it? I have never worked with that camera before, so I currently don't know the parts. Also, since it's not my camera, I need something that's not permanent.

Thanks for the help.


Not sure what you mean by the different ways to compose for that aspect ratio.

If you mean the framing guidelines for extraction, generally there is either center extraction or common top, or near common top (1/4 offset from top.) Whatever you do, just shoot a framing chart so that anyone handling the footage knows where to extract 2.40, and try to use cameras that all do it the same way.
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#3 Tim Carroll

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 11:06 AM

Hi Joe,

As always, David's comments are spot on.

If you are asking about how to mark the ground glass for composing in 2.40:1, that's pretty straight forward, and not permanent.

The eyepiece of the Arri 16S is removable, with the silver threaded collar right in front of the eyepiece. Removing the eyepiece reveals the camera's ground glass.

Point the camera at a 2.40:1 framing chart, or a 2.40:1 black rectangle on a white field and focus on the rectangle, moving the camera close enough so the rectangle fills the viewfinder from side to side. Then take off the eyepiece and carefully place a piece of Scotch transparent tape along the top edge of the black rectangle (that will be projected on the ground glass) and another piece on the bottom edge of the black rectangle. You may need to do this a few times to get it in the right position. Then trim the excess tape so the eyepiece will screw back on, and you're all set. Now when you look through the eyepiece and compose, you will see the 2.40:1 image area clearly, and above and below that image area will be foggy because of the tape.

When you finish filming, remove the tape, and if there is any left over residue on the ground glass from the tape, remove it by pressing a fresh piece of tape over it and lifting it off.

A six week filmmaking course in New York, shooting film with an Arriflex 16S, sounds like alot of fun. Enjoy.

Best,
-Tim
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#4 Joe Zakko

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 07:30 PM

Thanks a lot, yeah I worded it a little oddly in the question. All I needed was where to get to the groundglass on that camera. I actually have never heard of a framing chart. I did essentially the same thing with my bolex, except I picked a movie in that aspect ratio that I had downloaded on my computer, measured it to make sure it wasn't slightly cropped for some reason (a lot of torrents are) and picked a bright shot from the film to contrast with my dark background. I also used black gaffer's tape so I could focus better on the image while shooting.

Thanks again.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 07:52 PM

You make a big white board with black lines that match your camera's framelines in the viewfinder and then roll the camera on the chart once it is lined up. When you edit the piece, put the framing chart at the head of every edit or supply it to the post house separately.
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#6 Joe Zakko

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 07:55 PM

This is for them to crop it down for me? Why can't I just tell them that I want it cropped to 2.40:1? Is it because of possible imprecision when masking the ground glass?
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 09:08 PM

Certainly if you can be present when they do the cropping to 2.40 at the post house to supervise the work, you don't necessarily need a framing chart, but otherwise, how are they supposed to know where the 2.40 framelines were in your viewfinder? Are they clairvoyant?

You want the cropping of the footage to match what you composed for in the camera, otherwise you are just eyeballing it in post.

Now if the amount of cropping is equal top & bottom, you can make a pretty good guess in post where the framelines were.
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#8 Joe Zakko

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 07:22 AM

I see, I just assumed the adjustments you made to the groundglass would be equal top and bottom, thanks for the explanation
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 10:15 AM

I see, I just assumed the adjustments you made to the groundglass would be equal top and bottom, thanks for the explanation


Then you never read post #2 in this thread...
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#10 Joe Zakko

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 11:41 AM

Then you never read post #2 in this thread...

I just didn't understand post #2, but I get it now, thanks.
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#11 John Sprung

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 12:49 PM

Is it because of possible imprecision when masking the ground glass?


Yes, and throughout the mechanical systems involved. There are tiny errors and loosenesses in every mechanical device. An error the size of a hair in 16mm blows up to maybe 6 - 8 inches on a theater screen. Shooting a good chart on each camera body is the best way to help the telecine operator zero out all those little errors and give you what you saw in the finder.




-- J.S.
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