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Trevor Ward
PL lenses or cinema lenses on C100
on Jun 13, 2013 at 9:45:34 pm

Is anyone here using PL lenses on the C100? Or, for that matter, Cinema zoom lenses?

Even though they are expensive, I'd like the idea of using cinema style zoom lenses on the C100 versus using still picture lenses. When shooting for documentaries and interviews, I like to change composition as the story dictates and that throws out using primes. It also means having to constantly adjust focus because we know that still picture lenses don't maintain focus through the zoom range.

I'd love to know what options I have for this kind of glass.

-Trevor Ward
Red Eye Film Co.
http://www.redeyefilmco.com
Orlando, FL


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Todd Terry
Re: PL lenses or cinema lenses on C100
on Jun 13, 2013 at 10:31:46 pm

I can't speak to the C100 specifically, as I shoot with the C300... but it's close enough that the situations are almost identical.

But first of all, I'm slightly confused by your question about using PL mount cine lenses... while the C300 and the C500 are available in either EF or PL mount versions, the C100 is an EF mount camera only... you can't natively put a PL mount lens on the C100. The only way to do that is with an PL-to-EF adapter, and they are big, clunky, eat a fair bit of light, and are quite expensive (they are more than just a mechanical fitting, they have an optical element in them as well). They are also really hard to find.

But... that being said...


When we decided to get the C300, the only thing that I didn't love about the camera was that you had to choose whether to go with the EF or PL mount... I really wish that Canon had made the mount interchangeable... but they didn't, you have to pick one or the other. Since we already had a lot of PL mount glass that we really loved, we went with the C300PL.

I usually shoot cine primes (and almost always prefer to shoot primes), but I do have one cine zoom. I never really got to use the zoom much before because it's pretty slow and that limited it to exterior use only. But the C300 is so great in low-light situations that I can now use the zoom for interiors, and do on occasion.

I greatly prefer PL mount cine lenses, either for primes or zooms... you'll find that real cine lenses are hands-down better and much easier to use than SLR still-camera lenses, no matter what your mount. They are much easier to focus than an SLR lens, and cine lenses are purposely built so that they do not breathe... whereas since that doesn't matter at all for still photography, many still lenses breathe pretty badly.

Canon has a new batch of cine zooms that are available in either EF or PL mounts that look to be pretty nice, reasonably fast (I think they are in the f/2.8 neighborhoods), and are half the price of the first two zooms that they offered for the C100/C300/C500. Then again, those original two lenses were $43,000 and $47,000... so even half of that is still a bit more than a lot of people are comfortable spending for a single lens. Then again, it still a fair bit less than a good set of cine primes.

T2

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



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Trevor Ward
Re: PL lenses or cinema lenses on C100
on Jun 14, 2013 at 10:55:55 am

Thanks for the response. My question was sort of a two parter. First, about putting PL glass on the C100. I didn't realize the adapter was more than just the mechanical fitting. Is that the case for the reverse adapter (using EOS glass on a PL camera)?

I'll have to look into the various zoom lenses and prices. It's a definite downside to DSLR/large imager shooting versus camcorder. I was used to have such a large zoom range that worked for everything. Now, I have to put a lens on that tries to match the situation. But situation change quickly. Heck, I may even want to go wide for an interview, but zoom in pretty tight. A 24-70 is just not enough and the 24-105 lenses are too slow.

-Trevor Ward
Red Eye Film Co.
http://www.redeyefilmco.com
Orlando, FL


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Todd Terry
Re: PL lenses or cinema lenses on C100
on Jun 14, 2013 at 2:56:29 pm

[Trevor Ward] "First, about putting PL glass on the C100. I didn't realize the adapter was more than just the mechanical fitting. "

Unfortunately PL adapters aren't like the simple "click on" adapters that most people are familiar with to, say, use a Canon lens on a Nikon body. It's a lot more complicated than that.

There are two kinds of PL-lens-to-EF-camera adapters...

A lot of PL-mount lenses have a very long "butt end" with a rear element that extends far back past the mounting flange. This makes them extend deep enough into the camera body that it causes physical/mechanical problems. Some people have hot-modded DSLRs such as the Canon 5D to enable them to install a PL mount. What those people have had to do is permanently remove the camera mirror (and seal up the inside of the viewfinder prism) because the mirror would literally hit the lens when it tried to move. A PL adapter doesn't require that alteration, because it moves the entire lens forward so there is enough clearance. Unfortunately that puts the lens way out of the proper distance to the sensor plane, so other lens elements are used inside the adapter to correct that. These kind of adapters sort of look like an oversized 2x teleconverter between the lens and body. They run about $3500.

The other kind of converter (one is made by Triad just for the C100) does function pretty much like the adapters you are used to, nice and flat against the camera. These can be used with most PL lenses, but some that have very deep rear elements might cause problems (on the upside, most cine zooms do not have deep rear elements, you see that mostly in primes). The upside to this adapter is that it is a lot cheaper than the other type, half the price at about $1800. The downside is that it is a permanent installation, you have to take apart your camera, remove the EF mount, and install the PL mount.


[Trevor Ward] " Is that the case for the reverse adapter (using EOS glass on a PL camera"

Unless someone has invented one in the last few months there is no such thing as an EF-lens-to-PL-body adapter. When I was contemplating the C300 I inquired of this one company that makes every conceivable adapter combination... except EF-to-PL. See, most EF lenses have powered electronic mounts, controlling iris, focus, stabilization, and in some cases zoom. The PL mount is a purely dumb mechanical thing. So the mount adapter would have to have all the electronics (and power) in it (and some kind of controller box) for the lens to function (especially iris). This one company said they toyed with the idea of making one for the C300PL, but decided not to since Canon "already had a solution for people wanting to already use their EF lenses" (that solution being buy another camera body with EF mount).


[Trevor Ward] " I was used to have such a large zoom range that worked for everything."

Welcome to real cinematography :) It's a lot different than video shooting.


[Trevor Ward] "the 24-105 lenses are too slow."

Really? The C100, C300, and C500 all go up to 20,000 ISO so there's almost no such thing as a "too slow" lens for them anymore (you can easily shoot up to 10,000 ISO or more without getting any grain or "gain up" look). My cine zoom (a Russian Foton 37-140mm) is slow as molasses at f/3.8, but with the C300 it's absolutely fine for even fairly dim interiors. How fast a lens are you looking for? Keep in mind that zooms are inherently much slower than comparable primes (unless you spend reeeaaaal money for a fast cine zoom).

T2

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



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Trevor Ward
Re: PL lenses or cinema lenses on C100
on Jun 24, 2013 at 7:53:57 pm

Thanks Todd for your reply. I typically like working with a minimum of f2.8 on lenses for interviews because I often want the bg out of focus. For wide angle stuff and run and gun, the faster lens is more about light than depth of field. So in the case of these cameras, you're probably right, with such a high iso, it's probably not a big deal.

It would be great if I could get a decent zoom that went down to f2.8, had a zoom range of 24-150, and could be found for $4000 instead of $40,000.

-Trevor Ward
Red Eye Film Co.
http://www.redeyefilmco.com
Orlando, FL


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Todd Terry
Re: PL lenses or cinema lenses on C100
on Jun 24, 2013 at 9:41:45 pm

[Trevor Ward] " I typically like working with a minimum of f2.8 on lenses for interviews because I often want the bg out of focus. For wide angle stuff and run and gun, the faster lens is more about light than depth of field. "

That's pretty much exactly what I do. I don't do too much "run-n-gun" because, unlike documentary work, most of our projects are fairly planned out and there's not much spontaneity. But when I do find myself in those rare instances, that is when I will throw on my zoom. I usually say I "rarely use it," but as luck would have it I just arrived back from a location shoot where I did. I shot some talking heads with 50mm and 80mm primes at f/1.3, then some action shots with the zoom.

If I were you, that's what I would do to. For those planned interviews, use a nice mid-to-longish fast prime that you can shoot wide open and knock out that background. Run-n-gun, switch to a zoom so you don't have change lenses.


[Trevor Ward] "It would be great if I could get a decent zoom that went down to f2.8, had a zoom range of 24-150, and could be found for $4000 instead of $40,000."

Um yeah...haha, wouldn't we all love that. The one I have my eye on is, I think, $47,000 the last time I looked and is still only half that range (it's fast, though). Although Canon's latest generation of fast zooms (in either EF or PL) is about half that. Still pretty pricey, though. Although if you think about it, it's still a lot less than an equivalent set of superspeed cine primes to cover all those focal lengths. I do love the primes, though.

T2

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



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Craig Alan
Re: PL lenses or cinema lenses on C100
on Jul 5, 2013 at 6:49:12 pm

Todd,
How ergonomic is the c-300 in run and gun shoots? Like you pointed out, the traditional work flow is way different in cinema than video. I see a lot of out of focus shots coming from DSL and large sensor cams when used video style. Does your zoom lens really make it the best of both worlds or does it still require a more disciplined work flow?

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Todd Terry
Re: PL lenses or cinema lenses on C100
on Jul 5, 2013 at 7:24:40 pm

Well Craig, it may sound snobby, but to me cinematography and videography are pretty much two different things... being that cinematography is a fair bit tougher, requires a fair bit more discipline (and I dare say, talent), and attention to get the good stuff. A great cinematographer that has, say, shot lots of 35mm film or large-sensor electronic footage can easily pick up a video camera and shoot great stuff. But the other way around?... not so much.

That's why for years I advocated that people learn to shoot real film first, even if they didn't intend to do that in their day-to-day camera work. Real film is almost a dinosaur now, but learning large-sensor digital cinematographer is a good replacement.

While I do love the C300 (it's probably my favorite camera that I've ever used), ergonomically its not super ideal for handheld or run-n-gun type usage. Configured right out of the box it's a little unwieldy, like trying to shoot handheld with an oddly-shaped brick. It's no where nearly as easy for handheld shooting as a "properly" configured shoulder-mount video camera, with a way to easily and comfortably hold it and with a proper and correctly-positioned viewfinder.

If you want to do much handheld or run-n-gun work you really have to configure the camera in a way to make that easier. Actually I'm still working with mine to make it like I like it, and am not quite there yet. Close, but not completely. For handheld work I have a baseplate, rods, shoulder pad and two forward handgrips added at different points. It's close to being good, but still needs some refining. I'm taking a day-after-the-holiday holiday today, but when back in studio Monday I'll try to remember to take a picture of it. You'll always find little quirks come up... for example my Foton's zoom and focus levers (the screw-in sticks) are too long to completely rotate the full distance they should... they'll either hit the rods below or the viewfinder above, depending on where they are positioned. A colleague in Belarus who specializes in Russian cine gear is custom-making me some shorter sticks, they should arrive next week and solve that problem. Still, it's a lot tougher than throwing an ENG video camera on your shoulder and shooting. Fortunately my handheld work is minimal.

Even in a studio setup the C300 is not the greatest thing ergonomically. The odd shape of the camera makes it very topheavy if you put in on one of the taller (and cheaper) baseplates. We went through several configurations before biting the bullet and buying the special baseplate that Zacuto makes just for the C's... it's a very thin "pancake" plate that's just barely thicker than the rods, so the rig doesn't become top-heavy. It's expensive (just like everything from Zacuto), but it's worth every penny.

There are other little weird ergonomic things. For example, the camera has this weird little "lip" on the bottom front. That prevented me from using my follow-focus unit... it wouldn't slide back quite far enough to engage the lens gears, so I had to buy a different FF unit that had the gear on the other side (and my nice Redrock FF is now lonely and unused). Just several little things like that.

Focus is still the big issue when shooting with the C300, or any larger-sensor camera (just as it is with 35mm film cameras). You've really got to pay attention to it. If you are a veteran of only small-chip shooting and you're not already a good focus-puller yourself, you'll have to learn to be one. I'm happy to say that the C300's focusing aids do help a great deal, but it all does re-enforce the fact to me that really great focus pulling is quite an art form.

The ergonomic "up sides" to the C300 is the features, functions and controllability. Almost all cameras let you control the same features, but so many of them make you drill down through on-screen menus to do that. The C300 has tons of physical buttons and dials on it to quickly control everything I need. For example, I'm always tweaking color temp. That's just a knob on the side that I can dial in the temp I want to the exact degree. I do that so much and I hate cameras that force you to log into a menu to make those changes. Here, it's easy.

I realize that I've listed a lot of "negatives" here... but I sure don't want it to put anyone off the C300. Like I said, it's my favorite camera. Its stunning images (and low-light capability) just blow me away.

T2

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



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Craig Alan
Re: PL lenses or cinema lenses on C100
on Jul 5, 2013 at 8:20:12 pm

Thanks so much Todd.

You are not being snobby and if you are it is in a constructive way.

I agree with everything you said. However, video style is still a craft and small crew shooting is becoming a powerful and professional reality.

Why is it that they can't put a large sensor chip in a "video" form camera and Black Magic proved it could be at a prosumer level price?

I understand why you'd use your zoom lens on your cinema style cam to match shots in a production that was shot primarily with prime lenses.

I will say that on a film shoot the first assistant camera op is often pulling focus.

And it's almost always a group effort. Lots of hands and lots of eyes.

Video style is still a craft and can still tell stories and the two styles seem to be merging.

I can see technology improving the focusing ability of the cams even on large sensor chip cams with greater control over depth of field.

Canon is adding continuous auto focus and continuous auto iris on their C-100 cam so they seem to be addressing prosumer or at least run and gun style needs. Still wonder why this has to be tied to the center of the image instead of user controlled or at least at the rule of thirds markers.

I do not think that shallow depth is always the best choice.

Deep focus has its place and brings up another aspect of a professional workflow: design your set and light the entire image. Or if not designed at least pay attention to the entire image.

To me a shot that smells of pretense is a dialog shot with back and forth-back and forth rack focus. It reminds me of the quick pans used a few years ago. Now a show like Boston Legal pulled these off beautifully by using the beats of the sound track and emotional flow of the characters and as a humorous take on the power grab, but mostly they are just calling attention to the camera work and it is often distracting.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Trevor Ward
Re: PL lenses or cinema lenses on C100
on Jul 9, 2013 at 2:25:55 pm

I just spent 6 days shooting with the c300. So many great things over DSLR shooting. Great image. Sound and monitoring super easy, like a real video camera. Waveform proved useful for me exposing shots and even matching to b-camera (c100 shooting on ninja 2).

More than half of the time, I was handheld, sort of cinema verite style while the main character was moving around doing his life. The other half was interviews.

Interview shooting is great. Easy to set up everything on the camera. Verite style was a bit of a challenge. Though tons better than DSLR, there are still some quirks. I didn't like the way to change ISO. The button is in an odd place. Actually much easier to change iso on the c100. I also didn't like how difficult it was to change color temp. There is a menu and specific temps can be dialed in. However, the controls aren't intuitive and even after a few days with the camera, it still took me a minute to change the settings. I like the side grip on the c300, though wish it was easier to rotate, like the ex1. I would rather just pull out and twist than have to completely unscrew the thing. The sony takes about 3 seconds to reconfigure the handle. The c300 takes 30 seconds or more.

I also don't like the wheel placement on the side grip. It's difficult to get my finger up the high.

Todd, you're right about the camera being top heavy. It was also side heavy and seemed to almost always be flopping over, especially if you have a shotgun in the mic holder. The camera is a bit heavy, espcially with shotgun and a wireless receiver (where to put it?). After a couple of days holding it, my biceps were so sore. But that's the form factor of handheld versus shoulder mount. I guess I could rig it out with a bunch of stuff for a couple of thousand dollars. It would be nice if someone make a shoulder mount, large sensor camera. It's only a matter of making something long vs tall.

Focus is still an issue. With this large sensor thing and low f-stop, pulling your own focus is difficult. I used still lenses. Not ideal but we didn't have the budget for cine lenses.

-Trevor Ward
Red Eye Film Co.
http://www.redeyefilmco.com
Orlando, FL


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Todd Terry
Re: PL lenses or cinema lenses on C100
on Jul 9, 2013 at 3:10:49 pm

[Trevor Ward] " I didn't like the way to change ISO. "

Hey Trevor, you know you can assign any of the thumb wheels as the ISO, so whatever is convenient for you. I have mine set as the right handgrip thumbwheel... I probably change it 100 times a day, it's super easy.


[Trevor Ward] " I also didn't like how difficult it was to change color temp. There is a menu and specific temps can be dialed in."

You don't have to go into a menu at all to change the color temp... I probably change that more than anything else so it would drive me crazy if it wasn't super easy... depending on the buttons and wheels you have assigned. I have one assigned button on the "port" side of the camera, push it and instantly one of the same-side wheels dials in my exact temp. Easy breezy.

It has taken us a while to get the setup exactly like we like it, and it's still a bit in progress....

I promised some photos of our C300PL setup a while back, here is our studio setup...



That's with Zacuto plate, 6" rods, follow focus, matte box, swingaway bracket, prime lens.

Here is our handheld setup...



That's with Zacuto plate, 12" rods, shoulder mount, swingaway bracket (locked), zoom lens, matte box, and two additional grip handles.

It's still a work in progress, probably will be tweaked some again...

T2

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



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Trevor Ward
Re: PL lenses or cinema lenses on C100
on Jul 9, 2013 at 3:37:34 pm

I wasn't sure I could assign the thumb wheels. I rented the camera and didn't have a whole lot of time to learn everything it can do. I also assumed I could re-assign the buttons but didn't have time to figure that out. I should have. The iso was a bigger deal to me than the white balance.

I was using a smaller handle. Not sure who makes it. I'll try to take a picture of it and post it. It was nice and I think better than the handle it comes with.

-Trevor Ward
Red Eye Film Co.
http://www.redeyefilmco.com
Orlando, FL


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Craig Alan
Re: PL lenses or cinema lenses on C100
on Jul 9, 2013 at 5:21:05 pm

Wow that looks like a killer set up.

Sample clip?

Curious about a couple things.

When you shoot studio style do you have someone pull focus?

If so, what do you use as a monitor?

Is the built in monitor good enough for sharp focus?

How well balanced is the run and gun set up? Are you able to stay focused with that set up?

I'd guess it takes a good bit of practice and skill to pull that off?

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Todd Terry
Re: PL lenses or cinema lenses on C100
on Jul 9, 2013 at 5:37:38 pm

Thanks Craig...

[Craig Alan] "Sample clip?"

Any of this...
http://fantasticplastic.com/portfolio/news082.html
http://fantasticplastic.com/portfolio/news081.html
http://fantasticplastic.com/portfolio/news083.html

[Craig Alan] "When you shoot studio style do you have someone pull focus? "

Sometimes, but I usually pull focus myself when on sticks, jib, dolly, or slider. Actually when I go handheld with primes that's when I'm more likely to have someone else pull focus... my AC puts a 12" or 14" whip in the focus wheel port and pulls with that. Sadly, he can't with zooms (my zoom isn't geared, as you can see in the above shot), so if shooting with a zoom handheld, then I pull my own focus.

[Craig Alan] "If so, what do you use as a monitor? "

In studio I have a about a 14" (I think) 1080 monitor for focus that is fed via HDMI. It's not an expensive piece of gear, basically just a TV monitor. I made sure to get one that is actually 12v (a lot of them are) so I could put a goldmount on the back to battery power it on location. It is well within the "good enough" category since I'm just using it for focus.

[Craig Alan] "Is the built in monitor good enough for sharp focus? "

Yes the various focus-assist tools work really well. I usually turn on the red-line peaking and switch the LCD to black and white if I'm focusing via the LCD. Works quite well.

[Craig Alan] "How well balanced is the run and gun set up? Are you able to stay focused with that set up?"

Not great. It's serviceable, but not the world's best, easiest, or most balance handheld setup. It pales in comparison to a true shoulder-mount camera as far as balance and ergonomics go... but fortunately for me I do very little handheld.

[Craig Alan] "I'd guess it takes a good bit of practice and skill to pull that off?"

Yup. And it's a bit tiring. But I'm already old and tired.

T2

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



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Craig Alan
Re: PL lenses or cinema lenses on C100
on Jul 10, 2013 at 3:44:53 am

Thanks Todd,

best part of those links for me is being able to see your set. I notice you prefer to hang your Hypercardioids and booms rather than using a boom operator? Sounds fine though your talent knew how to project and was fairly still in terms of head movement. The cam had that blurred b.g. look of a large sensor. Did you key any of the background? Love the big silks and the attention to detail in setting everything up. Looks like you went with a soft look on your talent’s faces – was that a result of the white reflected/filters lighting or a post effect or both?

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Todd Terry
Re: PL lenses or cinema lenses on C100
on Jul 10, 2013 at 4:26:55 am

Thanks Craig...

Getting off track of Trevor's original thread, but I hope he doesn't mind (I think his issues were long since addressed by now).

As for audio... I'll use a boom operator if my talent is moving or walking around, but if they are just sitting or standing I'll usually put the boom on a C-stand. On that white set, I hung it from a couple of grip arms from the lighting grid primarily to free up floor space since our puny little stage is so small. I almost always use the same mic, the Sennheiser MKH416. They're not cheap, but some of the best money you'll ever spend. Highly directional... obviously we usually try to mic talent as close as possible, but if needed I can mic even fairly quiet dialog from 4-5 feet with no problem. That mic can do double duty, too. Once when I had a problem with the usual AT voiceover mic in our audio booth I threw the 416 in there on a lark, and it sounded great. Only after that did I learn that a lot of top narrators use it as a voiceover mic because it has a really warm and open sound. It does require 48v phantom power though, so your camera has to support that (fortunately now most higher-end cameras do).

Backgrounds were all practical, nothing keyed.

I'm not sure if by "soft look" on the talents' faces if you mean lighting or actual sharpness....

I do tend to light large soft sources... the white set was medium-size softboxes and umbrella (tungsten). The interior car set was 12x12 silk and 4x8 white bounces, all HMI lighting (except the talent's key which was a Diva, and his backlight which was a Switronix TorchLED). The exterior car scenes were HMIs through 4x4 silks, some LEDs (usually for back/side lighting) and some white 4x4 bounces.

If you were referring to actual sharpness... none of that was post, all in camera. My primes are pretty fast (f/1.3), so especially with the longer lenses (and depending on the distance) if I open them up all the way I can get a DoF as shallow as an inch or even less. If you can do that and keep eyeballs razor sharp then the rest of the facial features can fall off just a tiny bit soft, which can be a cool effect, when appropriate (and is usually very flattering to talent, too). As long as the eyeballs are pin-sharp, the softness on other features doesn't look "wrong" to your brain. I don't choose that for everything, but occasionally it works. Though sometimes focus pulling can be a royal biotch.

T2

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



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Craig Alan
Re: PL lenses or cinema lenses on C100
on Jul 10, 2013 at 7:04:49 am

Thanks Todd. We use pretty much the same practice for audio. We use c-stands and boom poles. I like the cordless kits as well but the hypers get better sound. We use Audio-Technica AT4053b Hypercardioid Condenser Microphones. The Senn has a slightly better reach but these work great and a steal at about $600. Sound is the key for most productions. You can fix a lot of the visuals in post but the audio has to be captured clean. We can't afford the HMIs but we do have a pretty good size studio with a nice cyc wall. We use a lot of Kinos and Fresnels up to 1ks. Not the big boys like you have. The Kinos are pretty idiot proof but you need a lot of them for wide shots. Would love to play with an HMI through a silk. For outside shots we use the sun and wait for the magic hour or find shaded areas. We do have reflectors and silks and a bunch of grip stuff. But I don't have a huge butterfly. We do have a couple smaller ones. Anyway the combo of seeing the set up and watching the shots is a great learning tool.

Thanks.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Todd Terry
Re: PL lenses or cinema lenses on C100
on Jul 10, 2013 at 7:48:15 am

[Craig Alan] "Anyway the combo of seeing the set up and watching the shots is a great learning tool."

I agree... I wish more people here would post samples. I almost invariably learn something (even when that something is what not to do... ha).

Wow, yeah that AT mic is a steal. The 416 is about double that. We have radio mics too but I can't even remember the last time I used them. I hate putting a mic on talent, either wireless or hardwired. Even the best laviliers in the world just sound so cold and sterile compared to a good boom, which sounds so open and natural.

I almost never use HMIs in studio. There it's almost always tungsten and flos for me. I will use them on location interiors though, especially in big rooms, or outside though windows. And I use them a lot for exteriors, to give some punch or fake magic hour when it's not. I don't use big butterflys like that 12x often, but I do use a lot of 4x4 silks. And while we have lots of the "pop up" kind of reflectors, I almost never use them either. In my opinion a white 4x4 foamcore bounce card is just about the prettiest bounce light there is. Also cheap, and a lot easier to mount and position... just a stand and grip head with a quacker (duckbill) clamp.

Actually since my last camera change my lighting design has radically changed too. We went from the XLH1, which is not the greatest in low light, PLUS I was using a P+S Technik Mini35 converter which ate a lot of light. With the C300 I only need a tiny fraction of the illumination I did before, so that has really changed everything. Doing much more subtractive light now rather than additive. I'll often light a location scene purely with LEDs now. And my favorite part of that is that all of ours are battery powered with small AB bricks, or even smaller camera batteries on some of the smaller ones. No more hunting for outlets or running stingers. Aadyntech makes a bigass LED fresnel that's the equivalent of a 1200w HMI that will run for several hours on a battery. I'd love to have one, but it's still about $6K I think and can't quite justify that.

T2

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



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Bob Cole
Re: PL lenses or cinema lenses on C100
on Jul 10, 2013 at 6:35:40 pm

I too have been surprised by the high price of new PL zooms.

What about repurposing used optics, that were developed for film cameras? Is there a technical reason that they wouldn't be useful for a large sensor video camera?

Bob C


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Todd Terry
Re: PL lenses or cinema lenses on C100
on Jul 10, 2013 at 11:24:14 pm

[Bob Cole] "What about repurposing used optics, that were developed for film cameras? Is there a technical reason that they wouldn't be useful for a large sensor video camera?"

Nope Bob, there's no reason at all... in fact just the opposite. If you are talking about a 35mm (format, not focal length) PL mount cine glass... well then a lens is a lens is a lens. It doesn't matter what you put it on, it's all the same thing.

My lenses are superspeed cine lenses and have probably shot a few zillion feet of stock, not just from me but those before me. Previous owner was Bojan Bazelli, and awesome DP who shot everything from "The Ring" to "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" (and most recently, "The Long Ranger.") But right now I primarily shoot with the C300PL with those same lenses.... the ones I also use with my XLH1 and P+S Technik Mini35 converter. And when shooting 35mm film with the Arri 535B. I've yet to put them on an Alexa or a RED, but they'll work.


[Bob Cole] "I too have been surprised by the high price of new PL zooms."

Then you might be surprised by the price of used ones, too...sadly. Ten years ago, it was easy. You could find a great set of matched PL mount primes for $10-12,000 (maybe twice that for superspeeds). Then a few years later something happened... they broke out of their film-only mode and people began snapping them up for use with DoF converters, and the few large-sensor cameras like the RED ONE. And now the bunches of different 35mm-sensor cameras. The used market was quickly decimated, it just dried up and prices shot through the roof. Five years ago that $12K set of lenses quickly doubled in price, if not more. And they've gone up at least 50% more yet again... if you can find them (I searched for six months to find the set we finally bought, and that was about six years ago now).

A decent set of older Cooke Speed Panchros (S2 or S3) will still cost you many tens of thousands of dollars. Not quite the $100K of a brand new set of Cooke S4/i's, but still a big chunk.

The excellent Russian LOMO cine lenses were, for a while, the best kept secret around. They are stunningly good (I'd compare them to 80-90's era Zeiss... warm, very sharp and great contrast). For a while you could buy a set for a few hundred dollars. Yes, hundred. But, people discovered them and ripped through the used supply in no time. Now they command pretty high prices... again, when you can find them.

Now, we were talking about zooms, though. They're even worse than primes, because fewer of them were built and they're even more in demand (especially fast ones, which were a rarity).

The good news though is that if you already have cine lenses, they're a good investment. Virtually every piece of gear we own has depreciated like a rock, some so fast it would make you wana cry. Except the glass... my lenses are worth a lot more today than when I bought them.

T2

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



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