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Ways to degrade 5K footage IN camera


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#1 Alexander Disenhof

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 12:41 PM

Hey all, this could fit in several different topic forums, so I'll post it here...

I'm shooting a commercial next week, and was just contacted by the director that he wants to "degrade" the 5K Epic footage in camera to make it feel rougher and less sharp, almost like 16mm film. Now, you ask, why don't we just shoot 16mm film? There are several reasons, some involving specialty body mounted camera rigs we are using, overcranking issues, and VFX to be done in post. So lets just assume the Epic is the way I must go.

I'm thinking lenses and filters will be my main tool to achieve the desired effect, but I also have some caveats on that end:

the filters must be available as screw ons - we need the camera to be as lightweight as possible and so a mattebox wont do.
The lenses must be relatively fast - we are shooting day into night using available light in an urban environment at night.
the lenses must be lightweight - for the same reasons we need screw on filters.

Lastly, during the day we need to be able to stop down a fair amount, as the shots call for a great amount of DOF. So finding old lenses (like the Super Baltars) and opening them up all the way to get flares and softness isn't really an option.


Any ideas? The director wants flares too, which would help degrade our images, but of course if we have to stop down our lens we are working against that idea....

Maybe I shoot at a high ISO and throw a ton of screw on ND's in front of it?
Put vaseline on an optical flat?
Any lenses that people love that could fit this job?


Thanks all!

Alex Disenhof
DP
www.alexdisenhof.com
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#2 Alexander Disenhof

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 02:04 AM

anyone??
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#3 Kristoffer Stranden

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 07:41 AM

There's always some Tiffen filters like Soft FX etc, etc. But, why can't you add this desired effect in poster after the VFX has been applied? Regraining it using CineGrain, rGrain or anything that can give you an overlay for a 16mm film stock would help out a lot. This can also include diffusion and CC to give the optimal 16mm film stock look.

As for lenses, there's always the Russian Lomo lenses which creates a rich and characteristic vintage look.
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 08:47 AM

My big question is thus:

if you need high quality 5K images for your post work-flow, ect, then wouldn't it make sense NOT to do it in camera? If that's the big hold-back for going with 16mm ect, then you'd want high quality in camera looks; without too much degrading going on, and I"d leave all the "finessing," for post, in this case-- though I do love doing things in camera-- in order to make sure the VFX work goes smoothly.

Now; if you still want to try it; then yes, Lomo lenses can look "older," as can K35s. Problem with the Lomos is that I don't think they have a screw-able front, and i'm not sure about the K35s either.
You can tape filters onto the front of the lenses; lord knows I've done that before.
Also instead of using glass filters; perhaps look into Geletin from Kodak/Lee/Formatt and scratch em up with some steel wool?

I've also used Cd/DVD jewel cases and xacto knives to cut nd scratch and scrape ect to really gunk up images.
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#5 Phil Connolly

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 10:01 AM

As others have said - its probably best to add grain to the image in post.

Also, I'd consider shooting in 2k mode - the cropped sensor is going to help match the field of view of 16mm. A 35mm size sensor - looks like a 35mm size sensor, in terms of depth of field and the way len's behave. The other advantage of the cropped sensor would automatically make the footage softer and would make it easier to achive deeper focus.

Then maybe look at using 16mm lens, since I belive they would cover the 2k part of sensor.
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:36 AM

If the director wants a lot of depth of field, the soft, shallow focus isn't going to be the image characteristic that "degrades" the image, it sound more like, besides using an older flaring lens with some diffusion, you really need to be looking into adding grain in post. Trouble with most older lenses is that they are not fast, in which case you may have to settle for Super Speeds and do more with diffusion and post grain.
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#7 John David Miller

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 11:17 PM

Go get some different kinds of ladies Pantyhose and net the end of lens that mounts to the flange. This may be an "out of the box" and cheap way to give you something interesting.
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