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Using DSLR for reference with film


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#1 Shawn Sagady

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 02:20 AM

Previously on a shoot I noticed the DP taking photos pretty constantly during set ups with a DLSR (They were shooting 35mm).  I was just a guest on the set so I didn't get in the way or ask questions but as I prepare for my first film shoot it occured to me that it might be a really valuable tool to bring along my 5D to take quick reference photos both for documentation of what a setup looked like, but to see how the light is playing at a specific ASA.  

 

Would this actually work to give you an idea of what your exposure might look like?  I know it wont be exact but if you are using similar ISO and Fstop should be in the right ballpark?  Would just be a nice security blanket in addition to metering.


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#2 aapo lettinen

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 02:52 AM

stills are great for general lighting reference and quick look tests if done right. they of course can't emulate correctly the camera used for actual shooting but one can take for example photos where both the actors and the lights can be seen so that it is much easier to remember the lighting setup when needed. it may also be faster to check the photos than to watch dailies if the video village is not near the set etc. dslr can also be used as a "dp/director viewfinder" to quickly reference/test shots without needing to move the main camera. video camera ISO:s are not fully comparable because of the rating technique so the light readings are very rough at least to the point of unusable for comparison


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#3 John E Clark

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 11:11 AM

In the olden days continuity was done by hand writing detailed notes. Then came Polaroid, and that was used to document the set. These days a DSLR or perhaps even a smart phone camera can serve the purpose.

 

For a DP I would imagine using a DSLR to record the lighting setup would be good for setting up the lights the same way later if required.

 

Or just personal archives...


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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 01:53 PM

I also sometimes like to use a DSLR on scouts, to approximate how it might look untouched when recorded later on. On the day these can be helpful as well for similar reasons-- especially if you're breaking off to go look at the next location while you're still setting up previous shots-- and to get an idea of how it's looking.

However, I'd also say that as you work more you tend to use it a bit less on set, or at least I have, as you start to see it all in your mind's eye, at which point the stills are just a tool to ease communication etc.

 

Bear in mind, though a 5D is a much larger format than a Super35 styles camera (which is closer to APS-C)


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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 04:43 PM

I think you can set-up your DLSR to create jpegs that aren't too far off from what your Rec.709 dailies might look like. I find that I have to lower contrast, color and sharpness to match the flatter look of film transferred to video for dailies.  If you use an APS-C DSLR then you can also match focal length and depth of field, but you can also do that with a Full-Frame camera if you match field of view and remember that 35mm film would have 1.5-stops more depth of field than FF35 more or less.


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#6 Shawn Sagady

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 05:59 PM

Thanks guys, im not so worried about matching the FOV or the shot specifically but just seeing approximately what light levels look like.  I am actually shooting S16 so compared to the FF it will be WAY off, but again just looking at levels and exposure not worrying about composition, I can use my phone as a basic directors view finder for scouting since ive calibrated it for S16 focal lengths.


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#7 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 06:05 PM

Shawn,  which lenses are you using?


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#8 Shawn Sagady

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 12:25 AM

Planning to rent ziess or arri 16 primes, 8mm - 50mm


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#9 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 12:49 AM

Those 8mm T2.1 that look like a MKII superspeed don't quite cover S16.  But I supose these days people just zoom in a bit in post.


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#10 aapo lettinen

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 01:42 AM

I highly recommend using real light meter for light level readings if you are intending to shoot on film. A stills camera helps you to find and remember camera angles and composition so it is helpful in that way
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