Category Archives: General

CameraImage

It was my first visit to CameraImage this year in the past commercials have made it impossible to attend.
I now wish that I’d turned down some of those jobs so that I could attend!
It was an amazing meeting of cinematographers, I met people I hadn’t seen for 30 years and I also made new friends amongst the people who introduced themselves as CML members.

Apart from taking part in a couple of great panels, one on the future of cinematography and the other on ACES I had lunch with John Bailey, Stephen Poster and Vittorio Storaro.

Yes there are problems with overcrowding and scheduling but overall its well worth it and I’d recommend it to any cinematographer and anyone involved in cinematography students included.

If you intend to attend all the parties you’re going to need a very strong liver!!

Camera Test updates and reflections on the difference between the Netherlands and the UK

I’ve had to pause on the camera evaluations, well, the uploading of them, not the assessment of them.

I just wonder how many people will look at them in full res or even download the files to be able to judge them properly. It’s interesting the way some cameras change colour from under to over exposure and how the noise and clip varies. The thing is in some cases you really need to look closely.

I’m now making all the QT files that are uploaded to Vimeo from 16 bit EXR’s that have been generated in ACES space in the manufacturers own software. Of course there is one exception to that but I’m doing the best I can with that!!

There are some cameras that look great on a quick superficial look but on prolonged examination show some odd flaws. I’ll be uploading the EXR’s at the end of the process for those people crazy enough to want to see the full beauty, or horror, of the cameras.

I was once again struck by the differences between the Netherlands and the UK, I went out to dinner last night with a group of people from my apartment block, by a group I mean 13 of the 14 apartments here joined us, 7 floors 2 apartments per floor and the only people not to join us were the ones moving out next month. It was a great night and it’s an amazing mix of people. One of them is a senior news director at De Telegraaf and she told me that they’d run my stupid thief video on their website and had got over 5 million hits!!

I also went for my bi-annual check up, this will be a feature of my life for the next 5 years. Ultrasound and X-ray, no sign of new tumours which is great but something in my liver so I’m off for an MRI in a week or so. Just a precaution but I can’t get over the speed and thoroughness of the medical system here.

In the UK I’d never have gone out with my neighbours like this and I’d be waiting while permission was granted to put me in line for a checkup. Actually I’d probably be dead because I’d be waiting for the results of tests finally done after a 6month wait.

Lots of Lens Tests!

I’ve finally got around to finishing all the lens tests, I was kinda delayed by events last year! So here they all are…

Angeniuex Optimo 15 to 40

Arri Alura 15.5 to 45

Arri Master Primes

Arri Ultra Primes

Canon 15.5 to 47

Canon 17 to 120

TLS Cooke S3

Cooke S4 Mini

Cooke S4

Cooke 5i

Fuji Cabrio ZK

Hawk Vlite

Hawk Flare

Hawk 1.3 ana

Illumina Coated

Illumia Uncoated

Leica Summilux

Leica Summicron

Panavision Primo

Schneider Xenar

Zeiss CP2

Zeiss CZ2 15 to 30

If you want them all on the same page the go here

Lots of new camera tests in a month or so.

Major upgrade at CML – Cinematography Mailing List

Well, its been a challenge.

The last few weeks have been spent totally rebuilding CML and moving it from a sub-domain of www.gboyle.co.uk based  in the UK to it’s own server based in the US.

We have also added SSL and are now a secure site.

The addition of our own mail servers has meant that we can make major changes there as well.

Best of all we are no longer struggling up against both bandwidth and disk space problems

Lyris or ls.cinematography.net is still based at dudobi.co.uk in the UK and the guys there have done a great job fixing the stuff I screwed up relating to Lyris as I moved us to the US 🙂

There are a lot of new opportunities now and over the next few months they’ll start to appear.

CML’s birthday

It was 20 years ago today that I started CML with 60 members, people I’d been talking to about cinematography on Compuserve, AOL and Usenet and who I made members of CML because I thought that there should be a simple single system dedicated to professional cinematographers.

It was never set up to make money, purely to exchange information between fellow professionals.

We now have 11,976 members spread over 20 generally available lists. There are a number of other lists that have closed memberships as they are for manufacturers beta testers and various educational courses.

When we started there was a serious lack of information about new digital technologies and cameras and we tried to help share what knowledge there was. Now there is a plethora of place to get information about equipment.

Our system is still aimed at working cinematographers and that is why we are primarily still email based, around 80% of CML traffic is via email.

I have tried, with the help of the listmums to keep CML focused on clear professional facts rather than the usual internet miasma of gossip and rumour and ill-informed comment.

This is why we have always been a closed system, it has been necessary to join or register to be able to use the discussion facilities of CML although the web pages of edited discussions have always been openly available.

To celebrate our 20th birthday we are opening up the discussion lists to anyone to read, read, not write.

Anyone wanting to post will have to join but the collected knowledge will now be openly available to all.

This does not mean that members details will be available, they won’t. Lyris conceals these.

I hope we will get more people contributing to the shared knowledge and that we keep growing.

Thank you all for making CML what it is.

Stupid thief

We’ve been having a few problems with noise and vandalism so we installed a video entry camera and it was stolen.

We then had all our flowers and decorations in the common entry area vandalised so we installed 2 camera systems.

One on the door to CML HQ and one on out apartment entrance.

They were both stolen, by an idiot who is clearly visible in the recording below. If you recognise him please let us know…

Is it possible to use autofocus for an entire movie?

In my pre-occupation with other things in my life at the moment I’ve forgotten to publish the results here of trying to shoot an entire movie with autofocus.

Another movie with Dominic Brunt and he agreed to me using the Canon C300-2 with stills lenses for the entire film.

Although I had an AC he spent a lot of his time watching me try to focus pull using a Samsung Tablet!

I wanted to do it myself just to see how difficult it was and what the najor pitfalls were.

It was a hell of a learning experience but I’d do it again, maybe with a few small changes like taking my own router just for the camera WiFi, using frequency scanners more often and killing anyone who decided to use any form of wireless transmission without clearing it with the camera crew first!

The main lesson is that the newer a lens is the better it copes, well that’s a shock!

Seriously, in a lot of situations the lens just couldn’t focus fast enough, actors running at camera in very low light was a serious issue.

Anyway, lots more here… http://www.cinematography.net/Canon%20C300-2%20Digital%20Assisted%20Focus%20on%20a%20Movie%20%20.html

 

Some days are Diamonds, some days are stone

The words of Tom Petty strike a chord with me again.

“Rhino Skin” and “I won’t back down” have been my soundtrack.

I think I’m going to need this…

“Well, I won’t back down
No, I won’t back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won’t back down”

I got the results of a few weeks of tests yesterday, Ultrasound, X-rays, colonoscopy, MRI & CT scan.

The simple thing is that I have rectal cancer and start Chemo on Monday and Radiotherapy on Tuesday. That will be followed by a colostomy.

I’m not going to let it bring me down, I’m going to function as normally as I can.

I won’t be able to go to IBC on the weekdays because of my daily treatments but I will be able to go at the weekend and intend to try.

I’m also hoping that CineFest will agree to me doing my ACES presentation via a narrated PowerPoint and a video intro followed hopefully by a Q&A via Skype.

I’m going to blog my progress and hopefully this will help someone else.

If you’re worried about anything, get it checked and face up to it.

Lens Testing

The results of my lens testing have been fascinating.

http://www.cinematography.net/CML-CMIR-Lens-Tests.html

I originally published them without identifying the individual lenses and received a number of emails from people saying how were they expected to evaluate them if they didn’t know what was what.

Err look at the pictures??

Interestingly there were a number of surprises here, the accepted “fact” that primes are always better than zooms was shown to be wrong when people didn’t know what they were looking at, the zooms did pretty well.

I don’t think that we’ve found a “best” lens, that was never the intention.

We have however managed to show which lenses shine in particular situations. As always choose what is appropriate for the job.