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Urgent advice on focus technique


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#1 Phil Brown

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Posted 22 May 2005 - 07:42 AM

I am filming a piece tomorrow night that will be released as a tv documentary.

Will need to follow the interviewer through a backstage tv set, to various points where he will stop and interview guests.

Can anyone advise the best way to keep focus. My plan is to keep zoomed out to zero and set focus at MF99 for walking shots, and then to between MF35-50 for the interview closeups. I'm worried that I will overshoot the focus points under pressure resulting in a second or so of crappy focus during the closeups. Also need to pan occasionally between interviewer and interviewee.

All of the interviews I have shot so far were fixed subjects. Should I just use auto focus and take the heat off?

Would appreciate your expert opinions.

Phil
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#2 Bob Hayes

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Posted 22 May 2005 - 09:57 AM

Since you are using terms like MF99. I think you may be using the Panasonic 24p camera. Go on the internet and hunt down the depth of focus tables. It will tell you what the figures mean in real distances. I taped a copy on the back of the camera to remind me until I remembered. I?m shooting 35mm again so I?d have to relearn it all again. They were how ever really accurate. Then just guess the distance you are at. Also. If you get a chance snap the zoom in and grab focus if there is a segment you won?t be using and see how accurate you are.
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#3 Phil Brown

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Posted 22 May 2005 - 10:42 AM

Thanks Bob,

Yes I'm using the Panasonic DVX100A camera. Great tip about sticking the focus chart onto the back of the camera.

I think I just need to ensure a solid DOF and I'll be OK.


Also picked up on a great DOF discussion on DVXuser.com you might find interesting - mainly based around this camera but ventures into 35mm turf.

DVXuser DOF thread

Barry Green has posted some great info - quite a lively discussion.

Thanks again Bob.

Phil
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Glidecam

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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Rig Wheels Passport