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  • in reply to: Full Frame Digital #214545

      Mathematically speaking if you want to match LF depth of field to a standard Alexa you need to close down your iris by 1.3. Same multiplier you would use to match lenses and angles of view between sensors.

      T4 on Alexa vs T5.6 1/3 on LF.

      32mm on Alexa vs 40mm on LF.

      I understand your question and yes if you really want a s35 depth of field on a LF you will need more light or sensor gain to reach a deeper Tstop to match that look.

      But if you really wanted that you won’t use the LF on first place isn’t? If you want the look of a s35 sensor then use a s35 camera.

      Also this is no mathematics so lots of factors come to play apart from numbers. Lensing, as Roger said, being a huge one.

      General preference nowadays seem to go to the LF look. And we describe that as images who have less depth of field as no one rents the LF to over illuminate to close the iris more. With the new Alexa35 we will see what happens.



      in reply to: Full Frame Digital #214534

        Not s35 vs LF but you get the idea on how different formats/sensors and lenses compare.


        in reply to: Full Frame Digital #214532

          I didn’t mention wider lenses have less aberration. It’s the contrary actually.
          And this has nothing to do with sensor or film sizes. (Sort of).

          It’s quite complex issue and I don’t know much of it, so someone maybe can jump in. The mm of a lens is the actual distance between lens focal point to the sensor right? So the shorter this distance the more complex and big design a lens needs to be related to its sensor/film coverage.
          Usually if you take any lens series from any manufacturer out there the telephoto lenses are the higher quality ones (in terms of resolving power, aberrations free, vignetting…). Because it’s easier to create a perfect 85mm than a 27mm. But if all you use/rent are master primes or signature this don’t matter much tbh.
          But again. I’m not advocating for perfection or anything. Actually I tend to not use many telephoto lenses myself.
          Regarding noise. It depends greatly which cameras are you comparing and what formats, what ISOs are you using. But in general terms to me, bigger sensors have less noise even if you need higher ISOs.

          in reply to: Full Frame Digital #214521

            The change of camera/sensor don’t only affect the depth of field. So it’s not a matter of opening the iris and change focal length.
            There is a change of texture and noise between cameras, to me quite pronounced I must say, apart the resolution one. There is also the fact that it’s not the same a 32mm lens than a 40mm lens. Even if they match angle of view between sensors the lens are different and aberrations/characteristics are different. It’s known the wider you go the more work Lens makers need to do to keep perfection on a lens. So a 40mm will, generally, be better corrected than a 32mm. So bigger sensors take advantage of that too.

            I’m not advocating for the large sensor at all. I’m just saying there is more to it than depth of field. Actually I prefer the look of s35 or even s16.

            in reply to: editor modifying composition in post #214495

              Agreed. It’s a complete lack of respect.
              Some films or projects can become a shit war show of power between producers, directors, editors  and everyone else.
              I’ve seen it happening more than once. Sometimes is the editor, other the producer, then the director…
              I do as David, shut up and walk away.

              in reply to: Necessary for Light Meter? #214484

                <p style=”text-align: left;”>I rely exclusively on my light meters to light and expose. Why?
                Even I’m not that old I started on film so that’s how I learned to look and expose. Also the productions I work can’t have good calibrated monitors all the time and I refused to buy my own monitors, or sometimes it’s not practical to have monitors at all. So the only way for me to keep a perfect consistency on lighting and exposure is to trust my own light meters that I carry with me all the time. They don’t take much space neither.
                With today’s tools it’s not mandatory to use them. It’s just another tool. But for example when you are lighting and camera is not still ready not having a lightmeter is a bit of a pain in my opinion.
                I find easier to use a light meter for exposure once I calibrate it against the camera/s and look we will use for each project. Don’t get me wrong, monitors, even not calibrated, are very useful, and I’m guilty to vary exposure after I look at one but here experience also plays a big role. But to me the ultimate tool to know exactly what’s happening are my lightmeters.</p>

                in reply to: A reflection of our profession. #212640

                  You can check “Color Psychology” by Eva Heller. It’s a book about how we interact with colors, what colors feel to us, how we mix them, etc. It’s a case study based on a quite big sample of population. It’s probably the closest you can get about how humans, at least humans in Europe, interact with colors and what each colors feel to us. It has also a brief story about some colors and particular stories. I wouldn’t take it so serious but if you are in need for some color theory and/or you are looking for references is great. Special mention the chapter about the colors mixing and how it change the meanings of just a single color.


                  in reply to: A reflection of our profession. #212337

                    These are very personal questions.
                    If there were any recipes why would you follow them?
                    At the end it’s your taste that matters most. So find your own formulas so you have your own vocabulary.
                    Watch films, look at paintings, photographs. Go out in nature, travel and see what the sunlight does. What the street lamps do. Etc
                    Absorb as much as you can and never stop doing so. The inspiration is out there and it’s what’s gonna build your own special recipes.
                    At the end light basically can only be measured by its quantity, quality (hard/soft), color and direction. What and how these affect you is what matters.



                    in reply to: Exposure with changing Light #210251

                      Exposure is an artistic value, so it’s open to many interpretations and there is no wrong or right.
                      In the scenarios you explain you could expose for a base exposure and let the flashes, thunders or flashlights completely overexposed. You could exposed for those and let the base exposure very under, so you only see characters when they get hit by light. You could split the difference and be at midway. You could overexpose characters like crazy if you want too, which brings me to that Trent Parke famous photo of an old man dressing white and very overexpose.
                      It’s up to you to choose how to expose and your guideline should be the script or story you want to tell.

                      in reply to: Low/No budget movies with intriguing cinematography? #207799

                        I watched “Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes” tonight and loved it too!

                        It’s smart and goofy. Surreal and with lots of winks to other stories. There was a clear Momo reference and I’m sure plenty more I missed.

                        A clear proof you don’t even need a camera to shoot a movie, just a good script.

                        in reply to: Low/No budget movies with intriguing cinematography? #207719

                          I was discussing exactly this with some people the other day.
                          I think the tradition here in Europe has always been to do stories more anchor to the reality. And when I say Europe I also mean US in a way. I’m not saying there hasn’t been mind bending reality stories from writers or screenwriters from Europe but the vast majority it’s attach to reality in a way or another.
                          This is one of the reason I’ve always like Latin America writers, they mix genre way better than Europeans to me, they are more open to crazy stuff and that also applies to Asian writers. Specifically Japan has lots of social and super down to earth stories but at the same time as you mention the Anime and Manga power has been super crucial.
                          I’m from a generation that really was the first to get all the crazy Anime in Europe. I still remember watching “Akira” as a kid but we were very few into that. Nowadays there is no kid in the world that isn’t watching anime and yes, there is a lot of anime out there, some are more attach to reality but other is completely insane stuff.
                          This is one of the reasons, I think, a movie like “Everything Everywhere All at Once” can become a movie for the masses. When I was watching it with my partner (an anime fan) our first reaction was that it literally was an anime remake or something. It’s a live action anime film. And its success is because masses are used to watch anime and its crazy stories. This movie just 10 years ago it wouldn’t have been such a big hit.
                          Still, I didn’t enjoy it as even when watching anime I like attach to reality stories.


                          in reply to: Low/No budget movies with intriguing cinematography? #207700

                            Huge Kore-eda fan here. I’m a bit down for his last one as I didn’t like it much tho!

                            I don’t know the budgets his movies manage but I wouldn’t consider them low budget.

                            As we are all on Japanese mode I would recommend “One Cut Of The Dead” (2017). Super low budget film. It’s a zombie film so bear that in mind. But the script it’s so good. It’s shot with small ENG cameras so the cinematography is crazy handheld. But it’s a masterpiece for how they pull it out. Recently they even did a remake of it in France. With big actors and a lot more budget , haven’t watch it yet but the low budget style sometimes plays in favor of the story.


                            in reply to: Is there such a thing as ‘correct’ exposure? #205100

                              Hi everyone! I’ve been wrapping my head around how dynamic range works in actuality, and after performing many tests, this prompted a question: Should ‘correct’ exposure be more influenced by the desired mood, as informed by the director’s vision for their story, rather than specific technical parameters? A lot of talk on this topic online seems to revolve around ‘exposing to the right,’ maximising information capture for post, how to expose ‘correctly,’ and other such technical things. I would ask, does it even matter? If I light a dark scene towards the lower end of the IRE spectrum, within my camera’s dynamic range, and it gives us the look we want, who cares about shifting it around in post then? Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated. Regards, Carl

                              Maybe it’s me but I feel you disregard the technical knowledge as only useful to typical exposure values.

                              Implying there is no need of technical knowledge to shoot something moodier.

                              Those rules of setting skin at XX IRE value for a perfect exposure are just rules to help people nailing exposures that work in many scenarios but the key is to know how to nail exposure on any scenario.

                              Our work as DPs on a set is to have the technical knowledge of where to put skin tone for a desirable effect every single time.

                              If the director wants a certain mood, feeling or atmosphere our job is to know how to expose and light for that. And maybe nowadays you can look a monitor and rack iris up&down until you get there. But in the long run is worth it to know exactly what you are doing because you want and need consistency.

                              If you study films and certain DPs you will start to see patterns on how they expose. They are super consistent and there is nothing as no technical approach to their work.

                              What David is saying about not perfecting the exact exposure we want on camera also apply when we are working at the extremes of the exposure scale. If you choose to expose a scene really dark and you know you will be in big part playing down there on the scale it’s better to finish the look in post than do everything on camera as the final result will be cleaner, and because it’s a extreme exposure directors and producers maybe think it’s too dark, because, I don’t know why but they always think it’s too dark! So you split the difference and play safe. That will bring its own problems as, it has been said, on low budgets the DP work on the grading stage it’s usually none. So if you have left some final tweaks for the grading good luck if they follow your advice when you are not sitting with them.

                              It’s really hard to give any advice on this because each team and each production is completely different each other. So you have to start playing by ear and manage this as best as you can. But usually during meetings you can feel how much involvement you will be allowed and how much your voice will be listen.

                              At the end of the day it’s a team game so compromises will be made. You have to just live with it.

                              in reply to: Exposed for film #202954

                                Before burning any film I would really try to learn how a lightmeter works, what exposure is and how expose for the desirable effect. Because at the end of the day you expose the same film or digital. So you can start practicing exposure with any digital camera.
                                It’s a very broad and intricate issue to explain it here in a post. So the DP that told you that was actually giving you a valid shortcut in case you don’t want to go to the long and hard way of learning all is needed to know how to expose.



                                  As a DP to own or not equipment… it’s the million dollar question.

                                  My take is it depends greatly what are you offering. Are you a DP? Or a production company? As a DP all you really need are a lightmeter and maybe a set monitor or maybe not even those things. But as a production company you may need all the tools to do your job or some tools and you will rent the rest.
                                  All of this is quite related to which level you are working. At higher (more budget) production level people/production companies don’t tend to own stuff. Everything comes from rentals. Why? One answer could be The simple fact of the maintenance of the tools is a high cost that very few production companies wants to deal with. Don’t underestimate how much cost to fix and keep in working order a set of lenses or a camera or even a set of lights.
                                  The lower you go on budgets the more normal is for production companies and DPs to own stuff.
                                  Being that said if you want to own stuff just make a list of the items you need and compare with your rental. If the tools you need pay for themselves in a short period and can keep generating revenue for you at every shoot then it make sense to buy/own.
                                  If you are starting and you need to practice and bring as much stuff as possible for a shoot then I would say for a basic lighting package the basics would be few “soft” lights, few hard lights everything LED for simplicity. Lots of black material, lots of bounce material. Few 4x4s, 6x6s frames. Few stands. Basically look at your car/van and see what can you fit in there.
                                  My personal opinion is that at lower budgets (no money, no crew) what you really want is to substract light not to add light. So to me I would prefer as much Molton black material as you can carry rather than start putting lights. Also the price of renting Molton is absurd compared to what it cost to buy and there is no maintenance cost associated. Same could be said about bounce material, fabrics are really a good investment. I could also start talking about all the LED technology and how fast it changes, so putting lots of money on fancy lights don’t makes sense in the actual market neither. But that’s my personal opinion.
                                  Some of the Dps you mentioned have shot movies without a single film set light.

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