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Seeing Red...

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Leo Ticheli
Seeing Red...
on Mar 5, 2008 at 9:33:23 pm

We are now finalizing our Red camera order and expect delivery within a couple of weeks.

Depending on the accessories you purchase, the cost of a properly configured Red camera easily exceeds three times the cost of the body, even before you add the lenses. People who think this is a 17.5K camera are mistaken.

We've elected to forgo the very inexpensive Red lenses in favor of a Cooke 18 - 100 and primes, so our package is coming in at a lot more than many posters have imagined. For a real thrill, check on the cost of an Arri 6x6 Matte Box and Follow Focus. Yikes!

As I promised, I'll be posting our experiences; there may be some delay, as I've just been booked for a cross-country, multi-city shoot, but I'll try to perform my tests as quickly as possible. Preparing the VariCam package today I had the feeling that somehow it knew... "It's been fun and I'm sure we'll always be friends, but..."

I've been playing with some Red clips others have provided and have found the RedCine application to work very well. The images are exactly what I've been expecting; simply stunning and I've had no problems using them in Final Cut.

Did I mention the stunning images?

I can feel the earth moving under my feet.

Good shooting and best regards,

Leo




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Rennie Klymyk
Re: Seeing Red...
on Mar 5, 2008 at 11:27:34 pm

[Leo Ticheli] "Depending on the accessories you purchase, the cost of a properly configured Red camera easily exceeds three times the cost of the body, even before you add the lenses. People who think this is a 17.5K camera are mistaken. "

Things could be worse, I just watched Sony's F35 announcement (last Nov.) on youtube where they guesstimate an F35 system to come in at $250,000.00!









"everything is broken" ......Bob Dylan


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Nate Weaver
Re: Seeing Red...
on Mar 6, 2008 at 4:12:00 am

[Leo Ticheli] "Preparing the VariCam package today I had the feeling that somehow it knew... "It's been fun and I'm sure we'll always be friends, but..." "

Sometimes it's easy to forget both the F900 and Varicam are almost 10 years old now.

In some ways, I think it's somewhat amazing they held in there that long as kings of market segment.



New website, new work online:
http://www.nateweaver.net


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Todd at Fantastic Plastic
Re: Seeing Red...
on Mar 6, 2008 at 2:17:40 pm

Congrats, Leo!

I'm not surprised at the final pricetag. Some other guys here in town have recently started shooting RED, and I heard they spent about $80K on their rig.... and the one time I saw it in action they were just using the cheap RED zoom and no follow focus or matte box. Those nickles and dimes add up in a hurry, I guess.

Yep... the Arri FF pricetag is criminal... it sure is a nice unit though. The matte box is unbeliveably expensive, too... especially the swing-away.

I figured you already had a closet full of PL-mount glass. Just curious, how fast is the Cooke 18-100? I'm almost totally an old-school primes guy (almost never use a zoom), but have to admit at times they are handy.

Looking foward to your report...


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Leo Ticheli
Re: Seeing Red...
on Mar 6, 2008 at 2:32:43 pm

Sadly, I lacked the foresight to hang onto/collect 35MM equipment when it was relatively cheap. Who knew?

The Cooke 18 - 100 is a T3 lens and we're looking at the Russian primes as well as used primes. As you've probably discovered the used primes have about doubled in price and are pretty much unavailable.

Reaching back to my film days, I recall using the Cooke T3 and the earlier 20 -100 T3.1 as my standard lens, resorting to the primes only when I needed the extra stops, very shallow depth of field, or very wide field of view. I hope the Red, rated at the equivalent of 320 ASA will allow me to enjoy the low light levels I've grown accustomed to. I have just received a couple of large Kino Flo Image 85s to give me a bit more key punch. I can always haul out the HMI + Chimera if I need more, but I really prefer the compact, easy to place Kino Flos.

My Red report is probably a month away; a couple of weeks for delivery and then time to run my tests before using it on paying jobs.

Good shooting and best regards,

Leo










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Todd at Fantastic Plastic
Re: Seeing Red...
on Mar 6, 2008 at 3:19:35 pm

[Leo Ticheli] "As you've probably discovered the used primes have about doubled in price and are pretty much unavailable."

Heck yes... so true.

Couple of years ago we went searching for a primes set for P+S Technik use... and was stunned that they had pretty much doubled in price since only a year or two earlier. And were scarce as hen's teeth, as my dad would say. We searched for probably two months before we finally found a set of Panny-rehoused Leitz superspeeds in LA... and paid an arm an a leg for them.

YES... keep on the lookout for Russian lenses, they are GREAT. We have a set of Russian LOMO primes and two Russian Foton zooms that we use when shooting 35mm (the Fotons are definitely warmer, but can be dealt with). I can't say enough good things about the Russian lenses... except that they are too getting harder to find. They used to be very plentiful and cheap. The market has dried up a bit and they are more expensive than they used to be, but still can be had. RafCamera (I think they are in the Ukraine) sometimes has good deals...I have imported several things from them. I love the ones I have... unfortunately they are not PL mounted so I can only use them with my Russian film cameras, but now and then PL mount ones do crop up. I still may have Paul Duclos re-mount some of mine to PL.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Chris Bell
Re: Seeing Red...
on Mar 7, 2008 at 2:40:28 pm

Hi Leo,

I just got my Red, less than a week ago. Starting to shoot some tests, and the results are very encouraging. I am not quite ready to take it on a paying gig, but many directors I work with are very excited about the possibilities.

You are right about the price, a real package costs in the 80-100k range. I kept my Zeiss 2.1 primes and 25-250HR zoom lens from my old Arri package and I am amazed how good they look on the Red. There is a great demand for PL mount optics, and I would suspect NAB will reveal new options.

The workflow is still a concern. I've been playing with Red Cine and it's been buggy. I look forward to it coming out of beta and being more reliable.

Looking forward to reading about your progress.

Chris Bell



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Leo Ticheli
Re: Seeing Red...
on Mar 7, 2008 at 4:11:20 pm

Hi Chris,

I've been testing RedCine as well, on a new Mac Pro, fully loaded with 16GB RAM and all the latest updates including QT, and it seems to be working rather well. I've read that the new QT does not play well with RedCine, but I've not noticed that at all on the new Leopard machine. I have had to use the Reset RedCine application a few times, but I think it's because I moved files around. I don't know how things will go when I try to process a lot of footage, but I'm hopeful.

What really strikes me is the range of correction possible with the RAW footage. Wow.

What I still don't know is how much of my VariCam work will move to Red. There is a contingent of Red evangelists touting the camera for every kind of job, even fast moving, small crew situations. I tend to think they could benefit from professional counseling, but we'll see.

There's no way around the need to drop in large glass ND filters and that takes time; they have to be well protected and spotlessly clean. Focus is a major issue as well and I've read that it's proving more difficult than many had expected. Both ND and focus take time and crew; incompatible circumstances for run and gun.

Red does sell a small, lightweight zoom, an 18 -50 T3, but I've elected to use my Cooke 18 -100 T3 which is the size and weight of something found on Mt. Palomar. Even that lens won't have the zoom range and certainly not the maximum aperture of a good 2/3" video lens, so changing out primes will be required; absolutely not suitable for run and gun.

Naturally, I hope to use the Red for as many of my jobs as possible to enjoy the superior picture quality and shallow depth of field, but there is no doubt in my mind that these attributes will come at a cost. I expect my daily rental rate will increase, I'll get fewer setups in a day,and I'll need at least one additional crew member.

I'm also not yet sure of the cost to the client for media. Our plan now, subject to change, is to backup in the field to mirrored hard drives and then transfer the footage (I refuse to call it "files") to our SAN and two separate LTO tapes for archival storage. My guess is that these costs will be in the neighborhood of the cost of camera original tape. Again, I don't know for sure yet, but there is additional cost for the labor to do all these transfers.

That's about it for now; thankfully I'm booked to travel and shoot for a while so I won't be sitting here in excruciating anticipation of all the boxes arriving.

Good shooting and best regards,

Leo







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Chris Bell
Re: Seeing Red...
on Mar 7, 2008 at 2:41:25 pm

sorry double post


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