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Transposing diffusion from 35mm to 16mm


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#1 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 01:16 PM

I have several scenes to shoot in which a young woman is descending a staircase while sleepwalking, and there is a lot of ambiguity in whether or not it is "a dream".  I'm trying to select 4 x 4 filters to provide a "dreamy" look - without going overkill.  I would specifically like something that keeps a stable, sharp image overall, but "scatters" the highlights or "rounds things off" into a haze or burred rim of light.  I've heard lots of good things (and viewed examples) of Pro Mist and Black Frost filters but I cannot figure out if these are only noticable on 35mm film stock. 

 

Since I am shooting on 16mm, I am wondering if the effects of these filters are going to be as perceptible as they would on a standard 35mm format, or how you would "transpose" their use from 35mm to 16mm?  For example, would a 1/4 Pro Mist need to be bumped to a 1/2 on 16mm?  Is the idea similar to the transposition of a 50mm lens on 35mm system to a 25mm on a 16mm system?


Edited by Matthew B Clark, 28 November 2014 - 01:18 PM.

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#2 Albion Hockney

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 01:33 PM

Yea people use these filters on the 35mm all the time. Its not such a simple thing to get a comporable look going from 35-16mm .... the filteration effect will be the same, but 16mm is lower resolution so the effect maybe be a little more subtle....at a certain point though it depends on what resolution your film is getting scanned/screened in.

 

I use these filters on a digital camera and If I know something is Web Only even at 1080p im more likley to use strong filtration if I know its going on a larger screen I am more apt to use a lighter weight diffusion.

 

 

I think as everyone on here kinda always say you just need to do tests.


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#3 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 01:57 PM

I have a TIffen Pro-Mist 1/2 and a PM 2 that I've used on 16mm.  The 1/2 is very subtle indeed and the 2 is a bit too much.  A PM 1 may suit your needs.  In my experience, you will notice the effect of the filter more with an over-exposed backlight than anything else.


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#4 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 01:58 PM

2K on a Scanity.  I hope that catches whatever's on the film!


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#5 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 02:02 PM

Bill, do you have any screen grabs you can share of something done with the PM 1 on 16mm?  I'm curious.  But not "blow $200 to test it" curious! 


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#6 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 02:40 PM

I found this guy's tests on 16mm stock.  This Black Warm 1 looks nice. 


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#7 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 02:54 PM

It's this exact balance I'm pretty much after.  By the way, this is an amazing short film by Walerian Borowczyk.  Check out around 2:25.  The way the light bounces around in the highlights but keeps stable in the blacks.

 

 

I was going to suggest this but they took it off the web.  Good thing it's getting a new transfer.  This is epic. 

 


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#8 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 02:54 PM

I found this guy's tests on 16mm stock.  This Black Warm 1 looks nice. 

 

Sorry Matthew...all of my stuff is on film.  I really need to start transferring this stuff so I can post it.  Anyway, I don't have any tests with a PM 1...only a 2.

 

On a separate note, I looked up the exact same videos and they give pretty accurate images of how the pro-mists react on 16mm.


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#9 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 02:59 PM

It's this exact balance I'm pretty much after.  By the way, this is an amazing short film by Walerian Borowczyk.  Check out around 2:25.  The way the light bounces around in the highlights but keeps stable in the blacks.

 

 

The overall softness of that entire scene is closer to a PM 2 than a 1.


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#10 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 03:16 PM

The same diffusion on 16mm is going to look
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#11 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 03:36 PM

Check out 44:30 here:

 

 

What's that making such a subtle flare on the rim lights?  It comes and goes in terms of how noticable it is.  I know this is mostly achieved through excellent sets and lighting.  But there is definitely some kind of treatment going on with the photography too.


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#12 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 03:37 PM

I tend to think that the same diffusion looks heavier in 16mm than 35mm, but I haven't tested side by side. I just know in the past I have at times regretted over-filtering Super 16. 16mm is also not super sharp to begin with unless you are using modern glass with high contrast or stopping down older glass quite a bit. I think for 2K, that could be a concern.

Promist filters may be appropriate for a dream sequence. They will lower contrast overall and soften your image though. If you only want glowing highlights, I would try Classic Soft HD, Hollywood Black Magic, or netting the lens with black nylons (get a low denier # under 10 and stretch it as tight as you can. The black net should be the equivalent of a 1/4 BPM.

I would avoid the regular Classic Soft family of filters if you are going to have a lot of bokeh in the frame as the large lenslet bubbles will be super distracting.
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#13 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 03:49 PM

Check out 44:30 here:

 

 

What's that making such a subtle flare on the rim lights?  It comes and goes in terms of how noticable it is.  I know this is mostly achieved through excellent sets and lighting.  But there is definitely some kind of treatment going on with the photography too.

 

The light on the columns looks to be softened, but not nearly as obvious as the previous clip I commented on.  This is much more subtle (maybe one full grade sharper.)

 

What kinds of shots will you be doing?  Long, medium, CU?  All of the above?...


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#14 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 03:51 PM

 

The light on the columns looks to be softened, but not nearly as obvious as the previous clip I commented on.  This is much more subtle (maybe one full grade sharper.)

 

What kinds of shots will you be doing?  Long, medium, CU?  All of the above?...

 

All of the above.  With some dolly movement and pulling in spots too.  Some weird shots.  There's one with wind blowing this girl in slow motion that involves the dolly creeping into her face.


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#15 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 03:54 PM

Based on what you need shot-wise and what you say you are going for thematically, I wouldn't go above a PM 1.


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#16 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 04:09 PM

I'll give the nylons a try first.  They usually look sexy.  Hopefully my lady doesn't notice a missing leg.  Hey-o!


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#17 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 05:33 PM

Ok, renting a couple sets Black Pro Mist and Soft FX filters. I'd go for the regular Pro Mist except but I don't want to lose all the darks. This will e for a short film on 7266 stock and it's got to feel very rich in the blacks with dreamy and creamy pastel white halos busting out of the highlights (while retaining sharp and deep blacks). I was wondering if stacking a Yellow filter with Black Pro Mist might compensate for the back loss? I also have a few colored circular filters....and needless to say I'm curious if there are any real qualitative pitfalls to the idea of combining consumer circular filters directly on the lens with other 4x4 filters in the matte box. I have 2 trays so I can already see using my circular colored filters with ND and diffusion for this in the MB. Mostly curious about the compensation of blacks for black and white stocks though.

I'm not sure the order to stack them in. Though I'm thinking if the light signal gets diffused first, it softens the entire image (which even softens the darkest parts of shadows and all the shadow edges, producing a little less graphical look), but maybe then the diffused light could be treated to compensate in sharpness of blacks only...possibly through careful use of color filters...scene by scene depending on the composition of what's in te frame and what needs focus. This is tricky though, because affecting color spectrum only could break down the overall "look" and instead be really amoebic feeling the way it would kind of slide around the scenes affecting the viewers attention to different things but without any natural uniformity.

Anyway...other options is to see what's out there that might just add back in uniform contrast. ND? Polarizers? It's going to be fun doing tests with my gear to see, but it's also something I figured id ask about.
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#18 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 05:39 PM

Apologies for the poor spelling. My phone and my haste to ask are a marriage made in grammar hell!

Another note too...I guess diffusing the light first may cause a little "garbage in garbage out" to happen, since I'd be then trying to "un-diffuse" the blacks by adding sharpness or contrast. Maybe I should focus on low key lighting and controlling what ISN'T illuminated carefully to keep rich blacks and make the light so the blacks are super deep and dd the yellow or red filter first to help that along if needed, then diffuse whatever is left on the top end? It's exciting seeing how theory turns into reality. Images are pretty insane things.
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#19 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 05:58 PM

Since contrast affects the perception of sharpness, it helps to compensate for contrast-lowering diffusion on the lens by keeping the light a bit more contrasty, and creating visual edges like from a kicker or backlight that create some feeling of sharpness.

 

One of my favorite looks is to combine diffusion with some high-contrast technique like a skip-bleach look with crushed blacks.


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#20 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 06:10 PM

Thanks David. It sounds like a little bit of every phase of production...and becomes a sum of all it's parts in the end.

This is very interesting to me...the difference between perception and reality (manufacturers specs in a bubble versus actual, usable looks), or I guess, it's of interest to me this idea of finding the totally malleable and fluctuating sense of image making...the art of "handling" that orbit of different modes of thought, meaning between knowledge of specs and real applied changes and shifts in image making...almost how a painter sets up layers of oils on the canvas. It seems like a lot of people who start painting try to do it in one layer (one step), and that seems to be what I'm getting over in my own mind when concepting shots. That it needs to be positioned for subsequent and future steps.
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