SIC Podcast: Ep 22 – Understanding Your Tools

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SIC Podcast: Ep 22 – Understanding Your Tools

This month’s podcast covers your questions on topics related to lenses, filters and cameras.

Play it here:

Or download the file here:
May 2016 Podcast

Submit Podcast Questions Here for Shane or Lydia

Podcast Questions:

Hi Shane, I recently got a chance to test out some Cooke Anamorphic lenses in a rental house. Wow. Before I convince my producer to rent them… is there anything I should be wary of when shooting anamorphic? Thanks, Sloan

What do you recommend investing in first, glass or cameras? I’ve been DSLR filmmaking for a while but find the low dynamic range and compression to be a nightmare in post. At the same time, it’s obvious that a good amount of money needs to be invested in fast glass for sharp images with minimal chromatic aberration and good depth of field. As a low budget, indie filmmaker, what should I invest in first?

Shane, Have you ever used RED Pro Primes? What is your take on these Cine Lenses? I know they are heavy and the markings are not great, but what about the optics. I never saw tests on your blog and online tests are very limited. There are some kits online that would be perfect for a small setup and they won’t blow the bank. Awesome last month’s podcast, thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge. Ricardo

Hi Shane, a million thanks for being such an inspiration and being so generous with all of the amazing information about Cinematography you share. You truly are a Cinematography hero! I have been making films since childhood and always wanted to be a director but more recently I have found my true passion is with camera/Cinematography. I am trying to catch up on years of knowledge and learning as much as I can as fast as i can. Thank you for helping me on this journey with all of your posts and podcasts. I have recently made my first feature film – a no budget horror film which I co-Directed and was Cinematographer/Camera Operator. It was a great time and I have learned so much from the experience that I will use on my next film. There is one problem however that I thought you might be able to help me understand. I shot the film on the Canon 5D Mark III with the Technicolor CineStyle profile. I am very pleased with the camera, the film looks great but on quite a lot of the shots (Daytime Exterior) there seems to be a real lack of definition in the sky, almost as if it is burned out. The characters seem correctly exposed but backgrounds look horrible, a good example is with trees in the background – there is no detail, just a jagged shape – and often the outline of people and hair in particular looks like it has been cut out from the background. I thought the idea of shooting flat was to get more latitude and have definition in both dark and light areas of the frame, but my light areas are all washed out. (Here is a screengrab to explain better –
Cinestyle Image
) Can you explain where I have gone wrong here? Is it an issue with Cinestyle? Have I exposed incorrectly? This footage is ungraded yet but I don’t think it is fixable in grading (or is it?) Can you give me any help or advice so that I don’t come across this issue in future shoots? I love how CineStyle looks but I don’t think I will be using it again if it looks this way – I think I would prefer to create the look in camera instead of in post. What would you suggest here? Many thanks Russ Gomm, UK

Dear Shane, love your teaching style and even an old dog like me (23yrs shooting Reality and Docs) can learn from your no nonsense approach. Regarding L series Canons, In previous podcasts you have stated that L series is not good enough and I agree but one question nags me.. If these lenses are good enough to resolve still pictures at resolutions of say..5184 x 3456 that’s a !DX Max size why not for moving images and dare I say 4K? PS – If I could only buy 4 Primes what focal lengths would you choose? thx Mark in Winnipeg

Hey Shane! I have noticed that you hardly mention Arri Alexa products. With so many discerning dp’s using the Alexa as their weapon of choice, why have you chosen to do otherwise? Thanks!

What are your thoughts on the new Red Raven? Will you be doing a camera test on it in the near future as it becomes available?

Shane, I am addicted to this site. It is remarkable the content you have available here. I have a question about lens flares. Lens Flares have become all the rage in recent years. I am curious if the major studios just set this up as a post process or another step in the “sweetening” of the footage. It is obvious when a lens flare is naturally occurring in camera but not as obvious when it is not. I think if I remember correctly in Star Trek (where they were used often) they were added in post quite a bit. Could you speak to lens flares in camera and how they are used and how you think natural lens flare shots can be done well? Thanks!

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