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Classical location videography: faster lenses vs. additional lighting?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #31
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Yannick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
When shopping for lenses, slow or ultrafast, you need to look into focus breathing, focus falloff, the quality of out of focus areas.

AF or not gets discussed all the time, the above three, not.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #32
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1 Review written
🎧 10 years
You're so right.

Don't see white balance and color accuracy discussed, either. Skin tones are the first things to go orange and mushy when the exposure is too dark.
Old 1 week ago
  #33
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Using additional controlled lighting could definitely yield better results than using faster lenses if you have the capacity to set it up properly.

Keep in mind that depending on the size of the area you are wanting to be lit and the distance you want your lights to be, you might end up requiring a ton of lights with large modifiers. Better do some tests before investing.

Stopping down a fast prime lens is always going to result in better image quality than using a slower (zoom) lens to the same aperture.

However if you are not after absolute quality, zoom lenses are far more practical (fixed zoom lenses like 2.8 are usually the best).

You can also increase your chances of getting usable footage by switching to a larger sensor camera like any full frame mirrorless, though that could also require further investment in lenses. That might be the easiest way to get useful footage without shallow DOF in dim spaces if you are after that. Skillfully set up lighting can improve footage much more dramatically. If the lighting is flat, it is going to look flat on a relatively clean high iso video as well, just less noisy.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #34
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1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Another practical question is just how much space is available for light stands and how many electrical outlets are readily available at the venue where the recording is to be made? And are they on separate circuits or tied together?

Some older buildings have relatively few outlets and many of them are on the same fuse, not a resettable circuit breaker. There's a very nice 1880's era church here with great acoustics, but honestly, I think there are four outlets near the stage, probably all on the same electric fuse, with barely enough room for the choir as it is.
Old 1 week ago
  #35
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🎧 10 years
Shallow depth of field is great for stills (Leica) but not so much for movie making unless done v well
I did a movie in Corfu , the DP used at least 2" of Neutral Density filter to control aperture, his focus puller had a tough job
The end result lacked the dynamic punch of Mediterranean light and was printed up.
Another DP was a Leica expert, he could work at 1.4f and even .9f ,it takes great skill and exquisite framing, his results were amazing
The best way with modern cameras is still to light , but use LED panels, and to ape natural lighting
No one would dream of music recording with a Parabolic, but seeing playing in real close up with short depth of field and follow focus is always fascinating imho
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #36
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norfolksoundman9's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Surely 'classical location videography' is so varied, that broad-brush advice, let alone (variable) tips on details, is hard to give?

So much work in this category that I see (in the course of my day job) is in English cathedrals, large Oxbridge college chapels etc., and these bear little relationship to, say, a modern box-like church or hall, or a purpose-built concert hall or theatre (with stage lighting - very probably lighting to suit the performance, not its filming). And, of course, one could add other locations for 'classical location videography', such as a small ensemble in a country house/palace. And then there are other variables, such as presence of an audience or not (the OP mentioned not, which makes things easier); daylight or not (rather significant, I'd say); and, above all, the budget and the expectation, ambition and wishes of the client.

I'm not certain how one can address so many variables/unknowns with advice on using a lens of a particular aperture, AF vs MF, best-suited DoF etc., but I do think M50k's advice back in post #7 was sound: good lighting is very skilled. I'd add that in large and decent locations - such as a cathedral in daytime - daylight is your best friend unless you have a significant TV or film budget and crew.

Cheers,

Roland
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #37
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norfolksoundman9's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 ➡️
but seeing playing in real close up with short depth of field and follow focus is always fascinating imho
I agree, Roger. Locked off distant shots - essentially establishing shots - get pretty boring quickly, and it's great to get something close-up in a way you can't in real life.

Cheers,

Roland
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 ➡️
Shallow depth of field is great for stills (Leica) but not so much for movie making unless done v well
I did a movie in Corfu , the DP used at least 2" of Neutral Density filter to control aperture, his focus puller had a tough job
The end result lacked the dynamic punch of Mediterranean light and was printed up.
Another DP was a Leica expert, he could work at 1.4f and even .9f ,it takes great skill and exquisite framing, his results were amazing
The best way with modern cameras is still to light , but use LED panels, and to ape natural lighting
No one would dream of music recording with a Parabolic, but seeing playing in real close up with short depth of field and follow focus is always fascinating imho
Shallow depth of field is just a part of it. Background blurring resulting from large apertures or even knowing how to handle such a fast lens (let alone how to compose) is at most equally important to the quality of light the subjects bathe in. For top notch imagery, control over lighting is key. If a DOP have to rely on natural or native lighting with a fast lens, they at least have to have the freedom to move their subjects around or around their subjects to get the best images possible. Unless we are talking cinéma vérité or other sorts of observational approaches.

Candle lit shots in Barry Lyndon look good mostly because they knew where to put the candles, not because they used the fastest lenses on Earth. A fast prime is just a part in a chain of tools, events, spectacles and talents.
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