FORUMS: list search recent posts

Focusing with a track dolley

COW Forums : Cinematography

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
john shand
Focusing with a track dolley
on Feb 22, 2010 at 1:34:32 am

Hello, im using a canon xh a1 and a track dolley. I am trying to achieve a shot where by the track is facing my subject head on and i want to do quite a quick track to the persons face. Im just having problems with focusing.

Are there any tips you can give?
Thanks


Return to posts index

Todd Terry
Re: Focusing with a track dolley
on Feb 22, 2010 at 3:27:25 am

You'll probably get the best results with use of a good follow focus unit (preferably one that has "hard stops" that you can set on the focus wheel), and probably a speed crank, too. And an AC who is a darn good focus puller.

Also, if it is possible to do so without compromising what the scene looks like, you can also overlight it a bit. That way you'll be shooting with a higher f-stop and the depth of field will be deeper and more forgiving.


T2

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






Return to posts index

John Cummings
Re: Focusing with a track dolley
on Feb 22, 2010 at 3:37:19 am

I would try increasing the light level--that will allow you to work with a more forgiving f-stop and a deeper depth of field.

Those cameras have a notoriously bad viewfinder...try hooking up a decent monitor as a better reference?

If you simply can't nail it, try starting out of focus and allowing the subject to come into focus as you push in and set. Not exactly what you're after, but possibly an alternative?

Good luck...those shots are always boogers to do!

J Cummings
Cameralogic/Chicago
cameralogic.tv
HDX-900/HDW-730S/DXC-D50


Return to posts index


John Cummings
Re: Focusing with a track dolley
on Feb 22, 2010 at 3:41:26 am

LOL--like Todd said!

J Cummings
Cameralogic/Chicago
cameralogic.tv
HDX-900/HDW-730S/DXC-D50


Return to posts index

Todd Terry
Re: Focusing with a track dolley
on Feb 22, 2010 at 4:48:22 am

I just thought of another "trick" that might be apropos...

If the scene, action, and background will allow it, can you shoot the scene backwards (starting close, then dollying out) and then reverse it in post?

If you can do that, you can start with your closeup razor sharp... and when you dolly out, since the subject will be farther from you the depth-of-field at the point of talent will be deeper and easier to hit.

Of course, if there is any dialog in this shot or any action or background that would give away the reversal (cars driving by, etc.), this trick becomes much less of an option.


T2

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






Return to posts index

john shand
Re: Focusing with a track dolley
on Feb 22, 2010 at 12:18:19 pm

Yes luckily it is inside a house and the subject is not saying any dialog. I will have a go in reverse and keep trying and trying!
Thanks a lot guys.


Return to posts index


Paul Hudson
Re: Focusing with a track dolley
on Feb 22, 2010 at 2:30:30 pm

I did the same thing last week. Here is what you do. Mark your camera barrel at focus points about every two to three feet. Also mark corresponding points on the floor. Then have an AC pull the focus to match these point. Gently flow between the points.

Paul Hudson
Lizardlandvideo.com
Phoenix Video Production


Return to posts index

Emre Tufekci S.O.A.
Re: Focusing with a track dolley
on Feb 22, 2010 at 4:31:07 pm

Back in the old days of filming documentaries here is trick I used to use since I didnt have a 1stAC.

Put your dolly in the starting point (a) and focus the camera. Place your index finger on on the top, between the lens and the zoom control (essentially creating a hard stop).

Then with out lifting your finger have the dolly move to the end of shot (b) and re-focus. Now place your thumb under the lens leaning on the bottom end of the zoom control.

Now you should have 2 hard stops that you can pull focus without looking at the lens.

It might not work if your subject moves back and forth as opposed to linear move but its worth a try.

Emre Tufekci
http://www.productionpit.com



Return to posts index

john shand
Re: Focusing with a track dolley
on Feb 22, 2010 at 6:24:12 pm

What a great idea, its for a doc too. Im going to give it a go. Thanks


Return to posts index


Hunter Mossman
Re: Focusing with a track dolley
on Feb 25, 2010 at 7:16:05 am

Are you using the stock lens? This could make this shot tough because the focus ring on the stock Cannon lens doesn't have a hard stop making follow focus marks and any other marks for that matter unusable. I remember years ago shooting with the XL-1s and using the manual lens instead to get full manual control. over the focus, zoom, and aperture. Pretty sure Cannon hasn't released an HD version of this lens. More light to decrease DOF is a good idea as well as the "reverse shot" plan. But with the stock lens it's one of those "feel it out till you nail it" type of shots.

Hunter Mossman
Director of Photography
http://www.huntermossman.com


Return to posts index

Hunter Mossman
Re: Focusing with a track dolley
on Feb 25, 2010 at 7:20:19 am

Also, I think that lens has focus presets built in. I'm not sure how well they work but you may be able to set a focus preset at your first and then final position and switch between them as you dolly. Might not work but worth a try.

Hunter Mossman
Director of Photography
http://www.huntermossman.com


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]