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Super Focused Look

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Robbie lynn
Super Focused Look
on Oct 6, 2010 at 7:03:17 am

Anyone know how to achieve this look? Its super focused on the subject while the background is significantly blurred. It almost looks 3d. The best example is at 1:49 while they are on the beach.







I would really appreciate any help, thank you!


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Mark Suszko
Re: Super Focused Look
on Oct 6, 2010 at 2:55:23 pm

I think what you're after is a narrow depth of field. An easy way to achieve this is to shoot from farther away than usual, using telephoto lenses.


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john sharaf
Re: Super Focused Look
on Oct 6, 2010 at 3:12:23 pm

While this topic has been thoroughly discussed here and many other places, the way to achieve the narrow depth of field "look" is:

Use as large an imager as possible. This is why the current fad of DSLR's is so popular. Small 1/3" consumer and prosumer cameras are at a particular disadvantage. Furthermore, this is why 35mm cameras as used in the cinema are well known for this effect, and essentially created the example that everyone now tries to emulate.

Shoot at the widest iris setting. This minimizes depth of field (DOF).

Use as long (telephoto) a lens as possible as this increases the short DOF effect. You'll note in your example video that the background noticeably softens when they zoom in.

On cameras with small imagers you can use adapters such as RedRock or Pro35 to shorten the depth of field with larger lenses refocused on ground glass that then becomes a relay image.

Finally, there are even ways in the edit room to "de-focus" portions of the frame, but this requires a lot of work matting out the backgrounds, especially when the foreground or camera moves.

It is noteworthy that you've identified a "look" that you like and aspire towards. Pre-visualizing the result and thinking how to create it is exactly the path to success.

Good luck!

JS



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Todd Terry
Re: Super Focused Look
on Oct 6, 2010 at 3:26:40 pm

What the other guys said.

I'd say since this is obviously a video shoot and since they did not restrict themselves to long focal lengths it seems pretty likely that they used a 35mm DoF adapter.

I use the one called the "Mini35" made by P+S Technik, but there are tons of other ones (and much cheaper ones) around that do basically the same thing as well.

Search the COW for "DOF," "DOF adapter," and "Depth of field" and you'll find endless threads about this.

You might also read an article that I wrote about it for the COW magazine a while back, you can find it here:
http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/focus-on-controlling-depth-of-field...

T2

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



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Mark Suszko
Re: Super Focused Look
on Oct 6, 2010 at 3:47:22 pm

Digital Juice also has a tutorial video on shooting this way. Perry Jenkins does awesome tutorials, I miss him.

http://www.digitaljuice.com/djtv/detail.asp?sid=48&sortby=&page=30&rpid=0&r...


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Robbie lynn
Re: Super Focused Look
on Oct 6, 2010 at 10:05:10 pm

What do you guys think about using a ND filter to shorten the depth of field?

and i will look into the 35mm adaptors, thanks!


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john sharaf
Re: Super Focused Look
on Oct 6, 2010 at 10:10:01 pm

Whatever it takes to drive the iris wide open; neutral density filters, pola filters, shutter speed, gain, extender, you name it!

JS



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david braman
Re: Super Focused Look
on Oct 8, 2010 at 7:13:17 pm

I think the hardest part of this job would be to keep from throwing up while shooting it.


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Steve Kownacki
Re: Super Focused Look
on Oct 9, 2010 at 9:25:48 pm

Looks like the cam is only about 10 feet from the subject but the subject is probably 100 feet from the background.

Steve






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Rick Wise
Super Focussed -- tutorial problems
on Oct 10, 2010 at 5:18:08 pm

There are two problems with the Digital Juice tutorial on focus. While some of the information is correct, one part is not, and the "solution" ignores the emotional impact of wide vs. long lens shooting.

Depth of field is a function of three things:

  • distance from the camera to the subject

  • focal length of lens

  • iris


  • If you keep the field of view the same size, there is only one way to increase the depth of field: stop down the iris. If you keep the field of view the same size, there is only one way way to decrease the depth of field: open the iris.

    If you keep the field of view of the foreground action the same, you do NOT reduce depth of field by going to a longer lens. The reason is, you move the camera much further away. At that distance, you will have exactly the same depth of field that you did when the camera was close and wide.

    The tutorial is correct about iris: by introducing a high ND filter in front of the lens or else internally, you then have to open the iris, which in turn reduces the depth of field. The author could have kept the camera close to the subject and added the heavy ND filter. He would have obtained the same depth of field he got when he moved the camera further back, assuming he kept the field of view of the speaker (frame size) the same.

    What does change when you move the camera back and go to a longer lens is that you see much less of the background left-to-right. But the depth of field does not change.

    If you close down the iris two stops, you double the depth of field. Equally if you open the iris two stops you cut the depth of field in half.

    The other problem with this tutorial is that it ignores the effect on the viewer when you go to a long lens. If you shoot an interview on a long lens, the viewer consciously or not realizes s/he is seeing the interviewee at a distance. There are two giveaways: when the subject leans toward the camera there is very little change in size; also, background is compressed towards the subject. When you are close and wide, the subject's leaning toward the lens or hand gestures become much more noticeable and in fact mimic much more closely our real-life experience of talking to someone. Unless we are lecturing to a classroom or auditorium, our daily interaction with others is fairly close and personal, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse, but that's the way it is.

    Rick Wise
    director of photography
    San Francisco Bay Area
    part-time instructor lighting/camera
    Academy of Art University/Film and Video (grad school)
    http://www.RickWiseDP.com


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    Andrew Evans
    Re: Super Focused Look
    on Oct 10, 2010 at 12:23:58 am

    they are probably using a dslr. the DoF and the quick zooms give it away.


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    Bernhard Oehler
    Re: Super Focused Look
    on Apr 4, 2011 at 3:54:07 pm

    Sorry guys, the usual iris, zoom, chip size is not the whole truth here... I am looking to create this look as well... I have found out that using old primes like Canon FD lenses or USSR stuff is recommended and also filters like Tiffen Ultra Contrast (which lower the contrast) or net filters. Using Tiffen filter software is also an option. I have not yet found the ultimate solution though. Any help would be much appreciated.. ;)


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