Last night I was working as a B Cam 1st AC on an indie film shooting with Arri Amiras + Master Primes on an overnight. The majority of the time, we were sitting in the range of T/1.4 - 2.8 (regularly opening up all the way or near) and often were on fairly long lenses (sometimes B cam was on a 135mm, yikes) and pulling focus was quite challenging.
Now I understand that pulling wide open on longer lenses is never going to be an easy feat, and I consider myself pretty solid at pulling focus in more healthy conditions, but I'm just wondering if any long-time seasoned ACs out there would be willing to share any insight they may have about his process.
Are there any tips you may have for pulling with such shallow DOF besides just doing it over and over again and developing natural muscle memory? The frustrating thing was that we had very little rehearsal time during many of our scenes, so I was left to just "feel it" and do my best as the cam-ops frantically floated around, leaving little room for marks (which were pretty useless anyway with the slightest mark adjustment rendering them quite off).
Also, how kosher is it to request a deeper stop in order to get the shot easier? Is this something that is acceptable to do?
Edited by Matthew Greiner, 30 March 2015 - 03:04 PM.