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How to zoom out from macro to wide

from macro to wide

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#1 Artyom Zakharenko

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Posted 21 August 2015 - 03:15 AM

Hi all,

 

Currently im working on a project in which i'll have to zoom out from a supersmall diamond stone to a wide shot in 1 take. I guess it's something typical what they do for zooming out of still pictures, except this time the object is very very small. The problem is i have no idea how to handle this… is this something i should do using  high resolution, or switch lenses during the take and glue the two seperate shots together so that it looks as if its 1 take?

 

Thanks!


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 August 2015 - 10:59 AM

"Jurassic Park" had that pullback on a dolly from the ECU of the mosquito in the amber to a wide shot, which I think was done with a 50mm macro.  The issue with that approach, besides the focus-pulling challenge, is whether you can get close enough on a 50mm macro for your diamond insert and at the other end, can you get a wide enough view of the room on a 50mm.

 

Because if you need to get tighter on the diamond, like on a 100mm macro, it gets near impossible to get a wide shot at the other end of the track (plus you are tracking on a 100mm lens, which is hard to get smooth.)

 

You could also do this with a big zoom on a dolly, like a 24-290mm Optimo, and start out at the 290mm end for the insert and zoom out, and then start to dolly back on the wider end of the zoom.  The trick here, besides burying a zoom in a dolly move, is whether 290mm at minimum focus on the zoom without a diopter is close enough on your diamond.  The other issue is the steadiness of the camera at 290mm -- you may want to operate on a geared head.

 

Another option, as you mentioned, is to combine two shots in post using some sort of morph vfx software to blend them.  In this case, it helps if the pullback is sped-up in post to hide the transition in the fast zoom out.  You may want to do this anyway because it might get boring to watch a pullback from macro to wide at normal speed.


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#3 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 21 August 2015 - 12:39 PM

One way to do this might be to use a lens with a built-in macro or back focus adjustment and dolly back. Most ENG style lenses like the Fujinon Cabrio zooms will have this feature. However the macro function only usually works on the wide end of the lens. It would certainly be a very difficult focus pull due to lack of marks, you'd have to do it by eye looking through the eyepiece or a large monitor.

Alternately, if you are good with just a zoom and not a dolly move then a big honking zoom lens like the Angenieux 24-290 could do the trick.
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 21 August 2015 - 05:12 PM

Depending on camera and delivery format, I don't see why you couldn't also help yourself shooting at say, 5K for a 2K delivery-- then you'd get some ability to zoom in the image at the beginning later on to get you a bit closer so you don't necessarily need to start with a Macro lens. All depends on what you have available to you.


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#5 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 03:30 AM

I've used the pull back and zoom out method for years. I remember first seeing it in a Terry Gilliam film as a kid and was like, "wow, what a great trick".

The whole idea is to keep the object not so close to the camera, but zoom into it all the way, to get the closeness you're looking for. Then zoom back and dolly out to reveal your shot. I used trackless doorway dolly's to achieve the effect most of the time because you'll always get the track in the shot at some point. A crane arm on a doorway dolly helps change perspective from the first part of the shot to the last.

Focusing on such a small object can be challenging as well. A cute trick could be to put a magnifying glass in front of it as a prop, ya know… throw it into the story. That's a commonly used device to solve problems like this.
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#6 Leon Liang

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 06:35 AM

Doesn't Scorsese use the pull back and zoom out or push in and zoom in method a lot? I've always wondered why the push in and pull out shots in his films look so rapid.
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#7 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 08:23 AM

I know he does that zoom out track in trick,or the opposite .. so the subject stays the same but the background perspective changes..  classic one in Good Fella,s .. with Mr de Niro in the roadside diner.. I think its when the main character realizes they want to kill him... could be wrong..something like that..  


Edited by Robin R Probyn, 23 August 2015 - 08:25 AM.

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#8 Artyom Zakharenko

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 11:07 AM

Thanks all, i think i'll go for a combination of digital zoom, optical zoom an track out


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