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Focusing the Red

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Jeffrey Cirbes
Focusing the Red
on May 14, 2008 at 1:03:33 pm

to continue the focus discussion ( "I'm never shooting video again")

http://provideocoalition.com/index.php/awilt/story/random_red_revelations/

So the only way to check Focus is to record and then "process".


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Focusing the Red
on May 14, 2008 at 3:01:28 pm

They did conclude this when they were setting back focus before the shoot, however during the shoot, that's not exactly what they said:

"In our tests and on Art’s spec spot, our subjects were stationary, or far enough away that minor distance changes weren’t an issue. There was plenty of time to rack focus back and forth, using both the LCD and the 720p output displayed on a 17” monitor, and most of the time that worked fine.

But I’d hate to have to focus the RED by eye on a dynamic, moving target. There just isn’t enough detail in the low-res outputs to be sure of focus.

Focusing by tape measure and the lens witness marks is how the Hollywood folks usually do it, and that seems to be the rule for RED ONE, too. Just be sure that you’ve set the flange focal depth properly before you try this, or you may be disappointed, especially with wider lenses or wider zoom settings.

Robert Harrison reported using the Accuscene viewfinder’s false-color “exposure meter” setting as a focusing aid: the posterized false-color image made it much easier for him to snap things into focus. Since RED acquired Accuscene, that false-color mode is now part of RED’s monitoring; I’ll try using it as a focusing aid the next time I have a chance to work with the camera. Try it for yourself, too, and see if you find it helpful.
Some folks also say that the RED EVF is a much better focusing finder than the LCD. I’ll be keen to test it out at some point.

Finally, we can always hope that a future build of RED ONE firmware will include a higher degree of magnification in its image-enlargements mode, for when critical focusing is required."

Jerry


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Jeffrey Cirbes
Re: Focusing the Red
on May 14, 2008 at 8:16:33 pm

"But I’d hate to have to focus the RED by eye on a dynamic, moving target. There just isn’t enough detail in the low-res outputs to be sure of focus."

Episodic shows are all about dynamic, moving targets (at least the 3 I work on) This is ONE of the reasons why we will not use RED.



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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Focusing the Red
on May 14, 2008 at 9:41:54 pm

TV? So shoot 2k and get a much deeper depth of field... Deliver HD from the 2k... it will look like film with a greater depth of field...

Jerry

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Nate Weaver
Re: Focusing the Red
on May 16, 2008 at 7:16:20 am

[Jeffrey Cirbes] ""But I’d hate to have to focus the RED by eye on a dynamic, moving target. There just isn’t enough detail in the low-res outputs to be sure of focus."

Episodic shows are all about dynamic, moving targets (at least the 3 I work on) This is ONE of the reasons why we will not use RED."


The 720p output gets you 80% of the way there, but there's still room for error.

The real question is, is the final output of your job high enough res for it to matter? In addition, if you're shooting Red, you should either be working "film" style where you have a 1st and he gets to have a rehearsal and take eye marks, if necessary...or be ready to have a few buzzed shots here and there.

BTW, even if a show was all about hustling run and gun all day long, I wouldn't rule Red out just because of focus issues. You'd have them with any camera. You can buzz with a F900 just as easily.

Nate Weaver
Director/D.P., Los Angeles
http://www.nateweaver.net


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Jeffrey Cirbes
Re: Focusing the Red
on May 16, 2008 at 1:29:15 pm

Nate,

That's how we work, 1st Ac ,eye marks, 2nds calling marks on walkies, the whole 9 yards. When there's a mistake, mainly an actor missing a mark, we see it on the 20" monitor in real time. We have 2 exceptional 1st ACs who catch a lot on the fly, but when they miss, back focus drifts or something else goes wrong we see it, in real time. We can even playback tape, or data instantly at full res. That's what's expected from "Digital". I guess that genie's out of the bottle.

Picture this: Martini shot, 2 cameras, hand held, night exterior, t 2.8, 3am, your pushing 16hrs.,
performance is good, they yell "cut, check it, how was that for camera?" & I say "we're 80% sure it was good..." or
they have to wait for what ever process I've worked out for getting a decent res view. 40 PO'd grips, electrics, teamsters etc. who just want to get the (you know what) out of there.

As far a final resolution goes, the show is broadcast in HD & sold on Blu Ray DVD. I can see when a shot is soft on a standard def TV.

When I started working with the Genesis a few years ago, it became clear to me that when working with 35mm sized sensors and optics you need either 1; highest res output (real time) or 2; direct access to the optical path. It's only fair to the people have to work with this stuff.

Thanks




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Nate Weaver
Re: Focusing the Red
on May 16, 2008 at 9:55:10 pm

Naw, I feel your side of the story. I really do.

But I would argue that in such a situation, back in the day when film was the only real option, that shooting wide open in the dark the operator never had a 100% good look at focus at all time then either. There has always been that "I know I took my marks correctly, I know the actors hit their mark, and the operator said we had it" consumate pro sense of faith. Lord knows the video tap was useless for that then, why is it indispensably important now?

In the end I come around to your point of view, though. I guess I'd say that if such things are simply not negotiable in your neck of the woods, then the Genesis/Dalsa/whathaveyou is really what the production should have. Something has to go for such a cheap price point, and RT monitoring is one of them. C'est la vie.






Nate Weaver
Director/D.P., Los Angeles
http://www.nateweaver.net


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Jeffrey Cirbes
Re: Focusing the Red
on May 16, 2008 at 10:23:45 pm

video taps; another genie long out of it's bottle...



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gary adcock
Re: Focusing the Red
on May 14, 2008 at 10:17:04 pm

[Jeffrey Cirbes] "So the only way to check Focus is to record and then "process". "

Not true the RED EVF is more than capable enough to determine whether an image is in or out of focus and while the HDSDI output is 720p is has enough detail for an experienced operator to judge focus on.

As for adjusting the "backfocus" on RED.
PL mount systems traditionally use a shim (small thin metal adjustments) under the lens mount, RED on the other hand uses custom helical adjustment system that IMHO is NOT adjustable for the average user.

gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows
Inside look at the IoHD




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Jeffrey Cirbes
Re: Focusing the Red
on May 15, 2008 at 12:08:30 pm

"while the HDSDI output is 720p is has enough detail for an experienced operator to judge focus on."

That's about as accurate a statement as...

"While 4 minutes per card is rather short for many video shooters, film guys are accustomed to this length of “load,", ie: a100ft film magazine of 35mm film only lasts about that long."

It would be good to hear from some working PRODUCTION
professionals, not just "editors/retired performers" & "whose who consultants"



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Jeffrey Cirbes
Re: Focusing the Red
on May 15, 2008 at 2:14:28 pm

"As for adjusting the "backfocus" on RED.
PL mount systems traditionally use a shim (small thin metal adjustments) under the lens mount, RED on the other hand uses custom helical adjustment system that IMHO is NOT adjustable for the average user."

Gary, have a look at this:

http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?p=219168#post219168



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gary adcock
Re: Focusing the Red
on May 15, 2008 at 3:21:39 pm

You insult me and then tell me to go look at something.

Since you are a DIT, have you personally ever adjusted the PL mount on a RED camera?
How about any PL mount system? Arri for example?

I have access to an optical bench, I own a collimator, and I said it was my opinion that it was not for the average user.

what is your point?

gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows
Inside look at the IoHD




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Jeffrey Cirbes
Re: Focusing the Red
on May 15, 2008 at 3:48:28 pm

my point: your opinion seems to be at odds with the current reality.

http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?p=219221#post219221



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gary adcock
Re: Focusing the Red
on May 15, 2008 at 4:42:06 pm

How so?

the link you reference talks about the possibility of an issue with the sensor adjusting focus due to heat in later camera model numbers - not about how users will or need to adjust the mount,-- even the VERY first post talks about how this task is best left to people who know how to adjust lenses.

Once again - have you personally ever adjusted the mount on a RED?


gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows
Inside look at the IoHD




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Chris Bell
Re: Focusing the Red
on May 16, 2008 at 5:19:49 am

Just got my EVF... you can focus with great accuracy. Next best thing to optical viewing. Puts B/W HD video cameras to shame.

Chris Bell





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Ben Holmes
Re: Focusing the Red
on May 17, 2008 at 9:08:23 am

Hi Chris

What camera number for your EVF? My colleague is waiting on 616's EVF, so just wondered if we're getting close. Seems like a much better tool for focus - apparently excellent quality...

Many thanks

Ben





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Chris Bell
Re: Focusing the Red
on May 17, 2008 at 1:34:00 pm

I have camera 346. It seemed like it took forever for delivery.

Chris Bell



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Ben Holmes
Re: Focusing the Red
on May 17, 2008 at 1:45:07 pm

Thanks Chris. Only 300 more to go. Should be ready for christmas!

Ben



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