Depth of Field Management with NDs?
Reading Todd's recent article about DOF management with adapters for 35mm lenses.
To accomplish the same thing on my XL2, I've been plannning to get a selection of ND filters. Won't that work also?
Actually I see from some forum searches that the DOF on these cameras is still quite broad even wide open - embarassed to admit I haven't fully explored that enough to realize that.
I guess sooner or later I'll test all this thoroughly myself. No substitute for that. But still I'd be curious to know what sort of luck folks have had photographing ordinary domestic scenes (let's say something like people in a living room having a conversation) using ND filters to get a bit of separation happening (maybe not as much as the 'PGSsed' gnomes on page 37 of Todd's article, but more than the 'non-PGSsed').
(by the way - I wonder if the aparrent difference in gamma and saturation between the 2 gnome images on that page is also a result of the 35mm gear, or something else.)
Thanks, David... now I know at least one person read it.
Unforunately ND filters are going to do virtually bupkus for DoF with your XL2. Well, they may have some effect, but it would be barely noticible... they certainly won't let you knock out a very soft background or foreground. The tiny 1/3" chips in your XL2 just simply natively give a very very deep depth of field, even with the iris wide-open. Of course the XL2 has built-in ND filters in the lens, so you can very easily test that.
Just about the only way to give the illusion of a shallower DoF with the XL2 (or a similiar 1/3" camera) in addition to shooting wide open is to put the camera as far from your subject as you can and use longer lenses... probably not very practical in the living-room situation that you described.
As for the color differences in the two shots, that's simply because two different lenses were used... the 35mm DoF converted shot was using a Leitz-Panavision superspeed prime motion picture camera lens. The non-converted shot was using the stock video zoom lens that comes with the Canon XLH1. The lenses have very different characteristics, plus very different coatings. Video zoom lenses are typically quite cold and very contrasty. Mopic lenses on the other hand can vary wildly but are typically somewhat less contrasty and warmer in tone. That's why big-shot cinematographers on feature films very carefully choose the particular lenses they use on a project... for example they might choose something like Cooke S4 primes for an action movie since they are a bit cool and very contrasty... but something more like Cooke Speed Panchros or LOMO primes for a romantic comedy since they are softer and warmer. Most of us don't have the luxury of multiple sets of primes (since they cost several times as much as the camera itself) so we often don't get to pick and choose. That's why when we made the plunge to buy lenses we got the Leitz-Panavision superspeeds that we have... they are right middle of the road as far as color/sharpness/contrast goes, so they are a fairly good choice for most any project.
I will tell the gnomes hello. Tim Wilson wanted to know if they have names... yes, they are all named Steve.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
Thanks. Yes, say hello to the Steves. And Snow White, too.
I'd certainly tried the built-in NDS and decided that I'd have to try something with a higher D to have an effect; but I guess it isn't worth it. (I usually work in a state of underexposure of up to 2 stops - and boost the gamma in post - so I can maintain good highlights. So I've been thinking my high DoF was from unusally small aperatures.)
I knew there was a difference in contrast and colour between lenses, but I had no idea it was that extreme. Great to see.
I've got some wonderful Leica 35mm still camera lenses. I wonder if they can be made to work. And also how AF and AE function with these adapters.
[david grantham] "I've got some wonderful Leica 35mm still camera lenses. I wonder if they can be made to work."
Very possibly. P+S Technik makes both Leica R and Leica M mounts for the Mini35 adapter. They could give wonderful results, Leica/Leitiz certainly made great lenses. In fact our Leitz primes started life as still-camera lenses... but were rehoused by Panavision which basically turned them into cine lenses (PL mounted, regeared, and re-housed to give the long full-barrel-turn focusing of cine lenses)... it's still the same Leitz/Leica glass though. If your lenses have either the R or M mount they might work with the Mini35 right out of the box (although focusing is quite a bit harder with still lenses compared to cine lenses).
Some of the results will depend on what "vintage" your Leicas are. Earlier-era Leitz glass is warmer/softer, while later Leitz/Leica lenses are harder/sharper/cooler. Even the later ones though are still in the middle-of-the-road range, and are not nearly as hard/sharp/cold as say late Zeiss or late Cooke. That makes later-era Leitz glass an excellent choice for all-'round shooting in various conditions for various looks.
[david grantham] "And also how AF and AE function with these adapters."
That's the easiest question I will answer all week... they don't. Lenses retain no AF or AE functions whatsoever when used with the Mini35 (or any other DoF converter). They become full manual lenses only.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
AE - wouldn't aperature priority (camera choosing shutter - not that it's ideal) work?
mini35 - that's a costly piece of gear for me to consider, maybe I'll look into the less expensive options. (Sitting in front of the stock XL2 long zoom, one of these things would make for a lot of machinery.)
Yeah with such a small chip an the glass the way it is, you might be able to narrow your DOF a little but not as much as you probably want, and you'll have to start fussing with lighting again too, and fighting shadow grain etc.
I don't know what your filter diameter is, but I'm getting a jag35pro DOF adaptor for my HV30 and if you look on Vimeo for jag35pro, you will see tons of great DOF work using 35mm lenses on video cameras. AND you won't have to sacrifice any light to do it.