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Using a Digital SLR


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#1 Tim Carroll

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 09:21 AM

Trying to get better at lighting and therefore better at cinematography. Not alot of good film schools out here in Oregon.

How good is a Digital SLR for practicing light set ups? I have a good supply of Nikon lenses from my days working as a still photographer and I could shoot film, but then there is the day or two delay before you see what you shot. Was thinking about picking up a Nikon digital body to use with my lenses so I could see immediately if the light set up was working or not.

Am I missing something here? I know digital will not record light the same as film, but will it be close enough for practicing different set ups? And can you also do black and white with digital, and use color filters, like 25 red and such? Never used a digital SLR before, always used film versions. Anyone have experience with this?

Thanks,
-Tim Carroll
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#2 Rupert MacCarthy-Morrogh

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 12:30 PM

Hi Tim
I have a Nikon D90, and it is one of the best things I've got for improving my lighting, it sees in a way similar enough to film and HD to be a very handy tool, I read in the ASC mag that some DPs are using them on set to take reference stills for grading and DI. The (near) instant result is handy if , like me, you have no patience. ;)
Regards
Rupert MCM
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#3 Tim Carroll

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 01:01 PM

Rupert,

I'm a little confused by your post. Nikon does not make a D90 at this time. There is one rumored to be available sometime in the next year or so, but nothing now. Are you possibly talking about an N90 or an F90, which are both film cameras? Or are you maybe referring to a D70 or D50 or maybe even a D100 which are digital SLR's?

If you could clarify this, I would appreciate it. Also, do you remember which month ASC magazine had the article? I have quite a collection of back issues.

Thanks,
-Tim
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#4 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 03:52 PM

Rupert,

I'm a little confused by your post.  Nikon does not make a D90 at this time.  There is one rumored to be available sometime in the next year or so, but nothing now.  Are you possibly talking about an N90 or an F90, which are both film cameras?  Or are you maybe referring to a D70 or D50 or maybe even a D100 which are digital SLR's?

If you could clarify this, I would appreciate it.  Also, do you remember which month ASC magazine had the article?  I have quite a collection of back issues.

Thanks,
-Tim

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Tim,
Why not use a mini DV cam, that will help you experiment with all the angles of the same set -up? Find one that has manual Iris that u can lock it to the same f/stop,
U can see the light in relation to the camera movement like this.
Dimitrios
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#5 Tim Carroll

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 04:40 PM

Dimitrios,

I hear what you are saying. What I would like to do is have something that I can carry around with me and my miniDV camera is a Canon XL1S, so I would need to carry around a production monitor as well as a power source to be able to see what I am doing. I want the focus to be on the lights and the light set ups, and not so much on the image acquisition, I want to keep that part of it simple, just to see how the light is captured on "film" so I can retrain my eyes to see how "film" sees (I realize that CCD's aren't really film, but you get the idea).

But thanks for the input.

-Tim
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#6 Rupert MacCarthy-Morrogh

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 12:30 PM

Hi Tim
Opps, yup I mean D70 (I traded in my F90 for it, hence the confusion)
Sorry about that, :blink:

But honestly it rocks, I have found it really useful, especially as I can pull stuff directly into PhotoShop and create ideas for different looks.

Edited by Rupert MacCarthy-Morrogh, 13 September 2005 - 12:33 PM.

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#7 Paul Bruening

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 10:02 PM

Hey now,

Heck yea, using a DSLR is a great way to get your lighting chops. Keep in mind that the exposure latitude of whatever DSLR you use may be quite a bit shorter than film. The other thing is that movie lighting has to cover areas larger than still work. Characters have to move through the set and remain lit. In the old days that meant moving from one properly lit spot to another. The biggest hassle here is how close to the lights the subject gets. If they get too close the subjects burn out... too far and they go dim. Other than those two factors, you're definetly barking up the right tree.
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