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View Full Version : OLD or NEW DRAGON OLPF ?... What's best.



Mark Toia
08-10-2014, 10:07 AM
I've been shooting the old and NEW OLPF on a hell of alot of work this year. And have just finished a project were we had 4 cameras (old and new) going side by side. 3 on the ground, one in the air.

Shooting charts is one thing, you can do that all day everyday and beat yourself up, pixel pepping and blogging results of shots from the kitchen bench. But the fact is that real world shooting (& testing) on set is where you really see the differences. Especially when your shooting side by for days on end multiple different lighting scenarios, as well as grading hours upon hours of data. You really get to understand what settings shine in what conditions.
You really get to see the good the bad and the ugly... Especially when you don't expose properly. The same as film.

I'm going to say that I was worried about leaving the older OLPF for the newer version.. I was one of the lucky ones having a Dragon for almost a year now. Giving it a real work out, I started falling in love with it each day as I learnt how to get more and more out of it over that time. But once digging down into the new OLPF, You quite quickly decide that you will never go back to the older OLPF.

I too have seen the slight noise in the darker underexposed areas, but quickly learnt how to combat and shoot around the noise, now I barely see noise at all, even shooting at night. Only by learning how to use the NEW OLPF to it's fullest. The same way I had to learn how to shoot with the REDONE, REDONE MX, DRAGON MX, DRAGON V1. Not to mention the beta cameras we have tested.

Learning how to get the best from certain film stocks is exactly the same as learning how to get the best from DRAGON. You find that sweet spot for varied conditions and next thing your image quality really starts to lift to another level.
What I've come down to after shooting several months with both OLPF's... I'm going to say that newer OLPF is better over all. A lot better... I personally think RED should drop the idea of retaining the older OLPF as an option. it's just going backwards.

Everyone and I mean everyone has different opinions about what's best for them. Everyone has different expectations as well. I for one won't shoot Dragon past 2000 ISO... But I'm lucky enought to have super bright glass to fall back on. I can live @ 2000 ISO for ever more if thats the case. I'll pull in another camera with super hi ISO capabilities for those super black dark nights with no lights. But for the other 98% of my work. DRAGON V2 OLPF is my new girl.

Phil Holland
08-10-2014, 10:18 AM
Yep. I'm on V2 and haven't looked back. I do like certain things about the V1. I dig the "glow" you can get around some sources. However, the light source orbs, red dots, and busy lens flares were sometimes too distracting.

I really dig what the V2 gives you on the highlight side of things. Color and IR cutting is a bit better as well. I'm looking forward to the day when the Modular OLPF option arrives though. I miss aspects of the V1 and oddly it's not so much about that 1.3 stop difference in tonal placement, but also about character to a degree.

I think though for like 90% of what I'm shooting the V2 is my copilot. Curious to see what other options come down the line, but V2 is giving really good results in areas I define as "overall image quality".

Bohdan Klos
08-10-2014, 10:19 AM
I personally think RED should drop the idea of retaining the older OLPF as an option. it's just going backwards.

I agree - OLPF1 is not viable. Jarred has pretty much said as much - OLPF2 is the "smart mans choice" he said - I guess you could say the V1 is the stupid mans choice?

As others have said V1 is not what Red would want in peoples cameras - its not how Red want Dragons to be judged. Judge the camera on V2, sure. But I think the camera will do better with the V3 - I`m not talking about speciality OLPFs = just give the bulk of the customers an OLPF that takses the best of both - my guess is if the beta program had been longer the V3 is what Red would want to release as V1.

Red will get this right with time. The magenta smears and flare crop is a bigger concern.

James_Mills
08-10-2014, 10:22 AM
I absolutely LOVE the new olpf and wouldn't trade it for anything. The stop less in low light means little in comparison to how amazing the actual image is (I've gotten many useable images at 1600 iso as well).

Bob Gundu
08-10-2014, 10:29 AM
Thanks Mark. I'm glad I'm going with the new OLPF.

Roger Viloria
08-10-2014, 11:29 AM
Mark, thanks for clearing my mind ;)

Lakis Amarantithis
08-10-2014, 11:57 AM
but quickly learnt how to combat and shoot around the noise.

Any tips?

Thanks!

Meryem Ersoz
08-10-2014, 12:12 PM
I'm pretty happy with the new OLPF. I'm working on a new indie sci fi feature film with it, stars Casper Van Dien.

I just spent two weeks, 12 hour days, shooting in the woods with it and with the Motion Mount (PL) in an ultralight configuration, and the latitude on this camera is insane for high contrast natural lighting situations. High altitude shooting in Colorado presents some of the most high contrasty situations you can find, and this camera blew my mind with how it handled every situation.

Last week was our first week in the dark studio shooting set pieces, and I was a little worried about this new set of challenges, especially because all of the lenses we are using are T2.8. But we are having the gaffer overlight the whole scene by about 1/2 - 3/4 stop, to get a good fat negative. The image straight out of the camera looks very video-ish but we have been able to drag it into RedCine and, with the flexibility of FLUT, we have been able to make everything perfect and clean by stopping down the image very subtly in post.

It is not a great pathway for monitoring to do it this way and it would be a lot harder to achieve if the producer didn't trust me when I told him we should intentionally overlight and stop down in post - but the proof is in the pudding - in the flexibility of the image in a real-world shooting environment, as Mark says, and I am overjoyed with the crazy good images we are getting. So is everyone else, once I bust out the Redcine and show them what the power of RAW can do.... DRAGON OLPF 2, given enough light, seems considerably more flexible in post-processing to me than MX. Given enough light, I can push these images all over the place - up, down, and sideways!

I've just been extra cautious in terms of protecting the histogram, rather than relying strictly on conventional metering (though we are doing that, too, to find the proper baseline), and all is well on our shoot.

Thank you, RED!

I'd still like that extra stop of lowlight goodness, if you can squeeze it out. I'd love to be able to shoot clean in low light at 800-1000, if that's possible without making huge sacrifices - that "middle area" camera....

BUT 3 solid weeks in the field and I am overjoyed with the image quality of the Dragon.

While I was testing it, I had some doubts but doing the real work, finally, has obliterated them. Testing, schmesting. We are shooting gorgeous stuff. Once you find that sweet spot, all is right with the world.

Patrick Tresch
08-10-2014, 12:22 PM
I m a low light, night shoot, protect that highlight guy and miss V1 as the noise is really without comparaison at 2000iso.

V2 resolved some Olpf related flair issues, but there is still some disturbing flair as the frame guard Isn't working properly. My biggest problem shooting docu style without a big matte box and masks.

I hope the modular Olpf will resolve this flair issue.

Pat

David Battistella
08-10-2014, 02:28 PM
Mark,

Great post. I'm with you, but you have the unique perspective of having tested both extensively. Having looked at a ton of old OLPF Dragon footage, I am liking what the HIGHLIGHT OLPF offers.

I like your approach as well, which I have kinda been preaching and that is to find and exposure strategy for the tool you are using. Even people who go with the LOWLIGHT OLPF will have to have a strategy for certain situations.

The over riding message of "know your tools inside out" is an important one.

I don't care what OLPF people go with and for what reasons as much as I do care that people test their stuff and get the very best out of it for what they are trying to do.

Peace,
Battistella

Mark L. Pederson
08-10-2014, 02:42 PM
What I've come down to after shooting several months with both OLPF's... I'm going to say that newer OLPF is better over all. A lot better... I personally think RED should drop the idea of retaining the older OLPF as an option. it's just going backwards.

Everyone and I mean everyone has different opinions about what's best for them. Everyone has different expectations as well. I for one won't shoot Dragon past 2000 ISO... But I'm lucky enought to have super bright glass to fall back on. I can live @ 2000 ISO for ever more if thats the case. I'll pull in another camera with super hi ISO capabilities for those super black dark nights with no lights. But for the other 98% of my work. DRAGON V2 OLPF is my new girl.

100% agree. The Marks think alike.

Gunleik Groven
08-10-2014, 03:16 PM
New OLPF is cool.

Florian Stadler
08-10-2014, 07:51 PM
I think OLPF 2 is good as well, I just think the ISO loss should be labeled correctly in the metadata...

Martin Stevens
08-10-2014, 08:42 PM
For me, the NEW OLPF is the FILM LIKE option, as I have always seen film's highlight handling
as the major reason film looked so different and better than video or early digital cinema imagery.

Michael Lindsay
08-11-2014, 07:27 AM
Mark Toia

Glad to get your input ( I have been following your posts ever since a producer of mine worked with you in London a few years back)

..?... if your happy to reach for a another camera brand for low light I am not understanding why you wouldn't pop in a low light OLPF instead? Maybe I didn't understand correctly?

Basically from my side by side tests of MX vs Dragon V2 I was very impressed with V2's colour accuracy and overall snap. If V1 does not have it I don't want V1 unless I am really stuck for light.... I am happy with balancing my needs shoot to shoot. I always rated MX epic in daylight at 640asa and never had any problems . From my tests I was leaning to a 500 ei rating for dragon but I would prefer 640-800 if possible. So if V3 comes around in 10months with 'everything' I like about v2 but let's through another 1/2 stop I would be delighted!

That said me real (but very minor grumble) is that we need a 4% bump in dragon frame rates for parity with MX epic....

Kind regards

Michael

Michael Lindsay
08-11-2014, 07:30 AM
I miss aspects of the V1 and oddly it's not so much about that 1.3 stop difference in tonal placement, but also about character to a degree.

I have not been able to quantify as I don't have v1... Does the new OLPF really let through 1.3 stops less?

Thanks

M

Paul Russell
08-11-2014, 08:25 AM
Even shooting midnight urban under mixed streetights, OLPF2 all the way. Fast glass compulsory, but even then a 1600 ISO grade is not out of the question.

We make art out of the available light. Most times in the camera, sometimes in post.

Timur Civan
08-11-2014, 08:50 AM
It's just like 35. Over expose stop and pull in post. You will have no problems. The highlights are insanse. They just won't burn.

Greg McDonald
08-11-2014, 08:55 AM
I agree - OLPF1 is not viable.

After seeing Soderbergh's The Knick last night which was shot with v1 OLPF, I think one could make a strong argument that it is indeed viable.

Bohdan Klos
08-11-2014, 09:01 AM
After seeing Soderbergh's The Kick last night which was shot with v1 OLPF, I think one could make a strong argument that it is indeed viable.

I guess we don't know what went on in post or what trouble was caused on set by the flaring orbs etc. I`ve completed projects where equipment has given nothing but hassle. No-one would know.

They got amazing pictures, no doubt.

Blair S. Paulsen
08-11-2014, 04:03 PM
FWIW, my approach for night exteriors, slow glass or not enough wattage with V2 is to use Neat Video or the like after picture lock.

Sure, it's convenient for the camera to kill most of the noise on board - Canon seems to have done a nice job of that in the Cxxx cams - but it is still a built in limitation.

If you have to turn around a lot of footage, in a short time frame, for longer form deliverables then I'd follow Toia's note about grabbing a different camera. Otherwise, I'd just manage exposure as well as I can and do NR in the grading/finishing suite where the hardware is beefy enough to make the time penalty manageable. I also prefer the ability to precisely control how much NR is applied on a per shot/material dependent basis. YMMV.

Cheers - #19

Timur Civan
08-11-2014, 05:48 PM
What kind of artifacting does neat video create?

Mark Wilkinson
08-11-2014, 08:55 PM
I just saw The Knick and if they shot at 1280 to have visible grain... they failed. Couldn't see any texture whatsoever.

Thought it looked great. Grain or no.

jake blackstone
08-11-2014, 09:02 PM
What kind of artifacting does neat video create?


If you look at the Blue channel after using Neat Video, you'd notice a serious loss of resolution. They basically attack the noisiest channel- Blue, while doing much less temporal NR in the other two in order to preserve the APPEARANCE of retaining the resolution. That is one of the reason why you'd never find me using Neat Video. Incidentally, even built in NR in Resolve does a better job at retaining native resolution. I find it ironic, where everyone here on RU is obsessed with resolution, only willing to sacrifice it in post NR process:)
And if you must ask, I prefer not to use either. I use DVO Clarity by Nucoda for proper NR...

Jarred Land
08-12-2014, 02:10 AM
I
What I've come down to after shooting several months with both OLPF's... I'm going to say that newer OLPF is better over all. A lot better... I personally think RED should drop the idea of retaining the older OLPF as an option. it's just going backwards.


Thanks Mark, you pretty much nailed it.

The new OLPF creates the best images possible... hands down. The "IQ" of the image is higher than anything available out there. Graeme and the engineers really did a terrific job with both the optical and color science combination of the new OLPF.

You take a hit with light vs the old OLPF but everything else is just better. That's why we are calling the old one the "Low Light" OLPF because it gives people "better-than-Epic" in low light....and that's about it.

KETCH ROSSi
08-12-2014, 02:19 AM
New OLPF here... Never looking back!!

But I admitted that the idea of an interchangeable OLPF with specialty Filtration could be a big thing, attention on the word "SPECIALTY" here... I could really see this as a great new tool to have on set for those particular times were a certain look might want to be determined and backed right upon capture, even so I also have been and continue to be an advocate for RAW capture and pay in Post with it as long as you want with infinite possibilities... :)

Phil Holland
08-12-2014, 02:31 AM
The new OLPF creates the best images possible... hands down. The "IQ" of the image is higher than anything available out there.

I'm enjoying the hell out of it.

http://www.artbyphil.com/temp/reduser/phfx_redDragon_caduceusNaga.jpg


http://www.artbyphil.com/temp/reduser/phfx_redEpicDragon_makeupBoop.jpg


http://www.artbyphil.com/temp/reduser/phfx_redDragon_fireTruck_0001.jpg

Álex Montoya
08-12-2014, 02:42 AM
I just saw The Knick and if they shot at 1280 to have visible grain... they failed. Couldn't see any texture whatsoever.

Thought it looked great. Grain or no.

Even mild H264 compression will destroy fine grain.

Alvaro Brasil
08-12-2014, 02:54 AM
Does anyone have any test done side by side without LUT or post, the OLPF V1 and V2 in a balanced light conditions?

Björn Benckert
08-12-2014, 04:44 AM
Does anyone have any test done side by side without LUT or post, the OLPF V1 and V2 in a balanced light conditions?

I did not shoot them side by side but I think in such situations the difference is quite slim. Simply put the lowlight olpf had issues with olpf magenta flares, that kind of ruined a shot with light sources in frame. The new olpf handles those setups without issues and lack a bit of light sensitivity for doing so. Im guessing some antireflection coatings in the olpf/sensor stack is cutting a bit of light... So comparing them in a controlled light setup does not give you much of a difference as it's in the deep blacks and hard highlights they behave different.

Nils Ruinet
08-13-2014, 04:08 AM
I'm still on the V1 OLPF, and all I can say is I'm extremely happy with the results. I'd be curious to compare with the new one which is certainly better in some aspects, but there are definitely a lot of situations where I wouldn't want to lose that 1 stop. Glad Red decided to go with interchangeable OLPFs, that's the way to go !

Jason Diamond
08-13-2014, 07:04 AM
Thanks Mark, you pretty much nailed it.

The new OLPF creates the best images possible... hands down. The "IQ" of the image is higher than anything available out there. Graeme and the engineers really did a terrific job with both the optical and color science combination of the new OLPF.

You take a hit with light vs the old OLPF but everything else is just better. That's why we are calling the old one the "Low Light" OLPF because it gives people "better-than-Epic" in low light....and that's about it.

We're still on OLPF V1 and for what we've been shooting, that "low light" moniker has been totally proven. However, I am super stoked at the interchangeable OLPF system since we don't always shoot low light or higher ISO situations.

David Battistella
08-13-2014, 07:10 AM
Say Jason,

see you have a full set of Leica R. I'd like to invite you to post some stuff in the Leica R: pictures thread. We could always use more samples there.
OLPF. I'm working with what I got (highlight OLPF) looking forward to the interchangeable system and all the possibility that brings.

Battistella

Kevin Marshall
08-13-2014, 07:39 AM
It's just like 35. Over expose stop and pull in post. You will have no problems. The highlights are insanse. They just won't burn.
As a side tangent, I see people say this all the time. My question is - why wait till post to pull down? Why not just set the ISO to match however much you're overexposing by. Its the same as adjusting ISO/FLUT in REDCINE, and then your on-set monitoring is correct...

Björn Benckert
08-13-2014, 07:55 AM
As a side tangent, I see people say this all the time. My question is - why wait till post to pull down? Why not just set the ISO to match however much you're overexposing by. Its the same as adjusting ISO/FLUT in REDCINE, and then your on-set monitoring is correct...

it's still post capturing :)

But you are right, I'm also confused that people talk about it as two completely different worlds, if picture looks bright on touch screen, well pull down your iso but make sure where your goal posts are and how far you got to hit your stoplights and make sure the exposure for the sensor is best possible. The rest is up to taste at that moment and can be changed downstream at any time.

Timur Civan
08-13-2014, 10:48 AM
As a side tangent, I see people say this all the time. My question is - why wait till post to pull down? Why not just set the ISO to match however much you're overexposing by. Its the same as adjusting ISO/FLUT in REDCINE, and then your on-set monitoring is correct...

I usually do. I shoot my V2Dragon at 400-500, lit for 800.

I almost never shoot 250, even though i did at first. I have completely come to embrace the grain. Im all about it. 250 is too clean. With DEB engaged, the grain becomes "just right" goldilocks anount. There for texture, but not over powereing. Looks fine at 800 and below. That said i created a fe B/W profiles on my looks preset, and i cant shoot them below 2000. the grain looks awesome.

Timur Civan
08-13-2014, 10:50 AM
it's still post capturing :)

But you are right, I'm also confused that people talk about it as two completely different worlds, if picture looks bright on touch screen, well pull down your iso but make sure where your goal posts are and how far you got to hit your stoplights and make sure the exposure for the sensor is best possible. The rest is up to taste at that moment and can be changed downstream at any time.


Well thats my point. I treat it like film. Use a meter compensated for the look, set the stop, light, then process in the "lab". I dont touch ISO on set cause the LUTs dont line up right if you change ISO in camera, its better to pull it properly in post with a seperate lut. The camera sits in RLF painted live by DIT.

Patrick Tresch
08-13-2014, 11:25 AM
I dont know what you think but I rather have a clean 2000 iso than a clean 250 iso.


Pat

Phil Holland
08-13-2014, 11:41 AM
I dont know what you think but I rather have a clean 2000 iso than a clean 250 iso.

It's a funny thing and everybody is going to be different because their needs/wants will be different.

However I way out the pros and that's what influenced my decision.


V1 OLPF
- Sees 1.3 (approximate) stops more into the dark
- Cleaner at higher ISOs

V2 OLPF
- Superior color over the V1
- Better IR cutting
- No more "red dots" due to closed apertures and in frame highlights
- Better highlight retention, about that 1.3-ish stops
- No more reflected IR orbs around sources


Red's giving us options with the Modular OLPF thingy and that solves both sides of this and there's some new stuff on the way in the form of other OLPFs.

However, when I add up the pros between the two the scales (for me) tip towards using the V2 OLPF. I personally would be "rarely" shooting at ISO 2000, I have a night shoot coming up and I'm lighting it to ISO 500 for instance. And I understand that's not a luxury we have all of the time. Since getting my Dragon, both OLPFs, I have pretty much shot up to ISO 1280 on gigs by choice. Like Timur I'm often in the lower range. ISO 500 is rather nice.

The bigger thing for me is specifically the lack of highlight oriented artifacts and just better color on the V2 just makes it the right choice. Because I would prefer to have that "all of the time".

Gunleik Groven
08-13-2014, 11:59 AM
Workin' through some old OLPF images now.
As much as I like it, new is better...

Kevin Marshall
08-13-2014, 12:11 PM
Well thats my point. I treat it like film. Use a meter compensated for the look, set the stop, light, then process in the "lab". I dont touch ISO on set cause the LUTs dont line up right if you change ISO in camera, its better to pull it properly in post with a seperate lut. The camera sits in RLF painted live by DIT.
I can see that making sense. In my case at least, video village is usually a direct feed from the camera (no DIT/LUT/CDL going on), so it's often easier to change ISO in camera rather than try to tell directors/producers/clients "don't worry, it'll look darker in post," especially when the DP will often not be asked to supervise the color session, or there is no color session, or they get married to the brighter look after looking at it all through editorial.

Different workflows for different people.

Alvaro Brasil
08-13-2014, 12:21 PM
How fantastic it would be if the exchange OLPF could be equal to ND exchange of like my Sony NEX FS700

John Chater
08-13-2014, 12:51 PM
A little rental house perspective on how this is shaking out at the moment.

We keep an even mix of Dragons and MX cameras because they get rented in equal measures. The client who has total control over the shoot and knows what they are getting into tends to go for the Dragon ( we only have new OLPF) . Thats if they can work with the 320ASA.

Clients who's shoots are unpredictable, available light or who know they need higher ASA are sticking to the MX sensor.
If you are freelance keeping your client by playing safe outweighs the interest of an incremental image upgrade if risks are involved. This doesn't just apply to crew using Red, it applies to all new camera equipment.

All would be good, except the confusion over which Red to use appears to be keeping DPs who aren't already fully onboard with the Red from getting onboard. I am concerned that swapping out OLPFs isn't going to work as smoothly as hoped for non owners. We have the two different OLPF for the Sony F55/ F5 and a not single client has asked us to swap them out for shooting 1080 at high frame rates. Even though there is an incremental benefit. It appears it just isn't enough to matter for most people or they don't have time to test and understand. It appears to confuse the situation more than help. In a business that is already somewhat chaotic there is comfort in tried and tested. Right or wrong.

Our challenge is when we do convert our MX cameras to Dragon. We are letting clients decide that. I can say we don't like having to stock both. It plays havoc on inventory.

John Chater
Chater Camera
San Francisco

Thomas Koch
08-13-2014, 01:20 PM
I've been holding off upgrading, even though some have asked for it. I just finished a show that required MX, so there is nothing other than doubt at this point preventing me from upgrading. I tend to shoot with smaller light packages and need a clean ISO 800 (which we only get now on daylight sources) If Dragon was as clean in Tungsten 800 as MX at 800 is in Daylight Sources, I'd be happy.

Anyone do that test yet? MX 800 Daylight, Dragon 800 Tungsten.

Phil Holland
08-13-2014, 01:26 PM
I've been holding off upgrading, even though some have asked for it. I just finished a show that required MX, so there is nothing other than doubt at this point preventing me from upgrading. I tend to shoot with smaller light packages and need a clean ISO 800 (which we only get now on daylight sources) If Dragon was as clean in Tungsten 800 as MX at 800 is in Daylight Sources, I'd be happy.

Anyone do that test yet? MX 800 Daylight, Dragon 800 Tungsten.

I'm shooting an interior under Tungsten at 800 later this month. I can probably sneak a grab off of that.

What I can safely say is color temperature and noise-wise Dragon performs better than Mysterium-X under Tungsten. Meaning, I'm not using a blue glass filter anymore.

Gunleik Groven
08-13-2014, 01:34 PM
A little rental house perspective on how this is shaking out at the moment.

We keep an even mix of Dragons and MX cameras because they get rented in equal measures. The client who has total control over the shoot and knows what they are getting into tends to go for the Dragon ( we only have new OLPF) . Thats if they can work with the 320ASA.

Clients who's shoots are unpredictable, available light or who know they need higher ASA are sticking to the MX sensor.
If you are freelance keeping your client by playing safe outweighs the interest of an incremental image upgrade if risks are involved. This doesn't just apply to crew using Red, it applies to all new camera equipment.

All would be good, except the confusion over which Red to use appears to be keeping DPs who aren't already fully onboard with the Red from getting onboard. I am concerned that swapping out OLPFs isn't going to work as smoothly as hoped for non owners. We have the two different OLPF for the Sony F55/ F5 and a not single client has asked us to swap them out for shooting 1080 at high frame rates. Even though there is an incremental benefit. It appears it just isn't enough to matter for most people or they don't have time to test and understand. It appears to confuse the situation more than help. In a business that is already somewhat chaotic there is comfort in tried and tested. Right or wrong.

Our challenge is when we do convert our MX cameras to Dragon. We are letting clients decide that. I can say we don't like having to stock both. It plays havoc on inventory.

John Chater
Chater Camera
San Francisco


Not questioning your judgement directly, or your clients, but I can say I disagree with that choice ? :)

Dragon NEW OLPF has the same noisefloor/going into black at the same levels as Epic. BUT has a lot higher colorprcission in both the high and the low end, and has additional highlights to the Epic MX.

I can follow why some would need the old OLPF in certain circumstances, but this statement I find strange. Compared to Epic (even at the same ISO) Dragon is just "more". (And not IR issues and and and)

But of course, I do not see the situations.

That you CAN shoot the dragon at 320/250, does not equal that it is worse than Epic @ 800...

The dragon is better than MX under any non-5600 light-source under any exposurelevel...

John Chater
08-13-2014, 02:14 PM
Gunleik - There are no judgements in my post. Im just reporting what we see. Its not a rental houses job to tell clients they are misguided. That never works out very well.
I also question why you think that we need educating on the Dragon? Is there something in what I said that makes you think that?

Regards
John

Gunleik Groven
08-13-2014, 02:28 PM
nope

and i didn't say you should question customers or your own judgement.

i do shoot both mx and dragon olpf2 frequently, though.
just saying what i see in my shots.

peace

Raphael Varandas
08-13-2014, 02:36 PM
Thanks for sharing Mark. Same here...in love with the new OLPF. ;)

John Chater
08-13-2014, 02:47 PM
I also shoot both. Just this week I did two projects with a director that loves to shoot Red. One shoot had controlled lighting and the other was interior available light verite.
I presented the pros and cons of both Dragon and MX for each shoot. He chose Dragon for one and MX for the other. I agreed with choice and footage looked great on both shoots.
Red seem to understand the need for this kind of flexibility. My observation about the F55 OLPF options was that clients don't seem to want to get involved in too many nuances when selecting a camera. For whatever reasons they may have.

Regards
John

Gunleik Groven
08-13-2014, 02:51 PM
cool

i have ended up shooting the dragon over the epic as long as it is available...

there are really no absolutes in imagery :-)

after a point, it is about preference

Charles_Z
08-13-2014, 03:05 PM
I'm enjoying the hell out of it.

http://www.artbyphil.com/temp/reduser/phfx_redDragon_caduceusNaga.jpg



Someone is a Tool fan...

David Battistella
08-13-2014, 03:07 PM
I'm with Phil. With the dragon sensor the 1/8th blue glass filter gets retired for tungsten lit scenes.

Just sto shooting charts you can see and feel the color depth and accuracy under tungsten light. My tungsten chimeras are going to get new life. I do prefer how cool LEDs are though.

Battistella

Brian Boyer
08-13-2014, 04:53 PM
I guess we don't know what went on in post or what trouble was caused on set by the flaring orbs etc. I`ve completed projects where equipment has given nothing but hassle. No-one would know.

They got amazing pictures, no doubt.

They didn't do anything to the orbs in post. "The Knick" has them all over the place. They embraced the artifact and made it part of the look of the show.

Bohdan Klos
08-13-2014, 04:58 PM
They didn't do anything to the orbs in post. "The Knick" has them all over the place. They embraced the artifact and made it part of the look of the show.

Interesting. I guess they had no choice but to live with the orbs back when they filmed this.

Brian Boyer
08-13-2014, 05:20 PM
Interesting. I guess they had no choice but to live with the orbs back when they filmed this.

There's that spin we've all come to expect. Had no choice? You mean like the choice to shoot Epic MX…or any other camera?

Not everybody hates the look of the orbs. And, I bet you won't hear of one television critic or casual viewer panning the show because of them.

Bohdan Klos
08-13-2014, 05:32 PM
There's that spin we've all come to expect. Had no choice? You mean like the choice to shoot Epic MX…or any other camera? Not everybody hates the look of the orbs. And, I bet you won't hear of one television critic or casual viewer panning the show because of them.

Suggesting ORBS are acceptable is SPIN. You crack me up.

Luke Neumann
08-13-2014, 05:52 PM
Someone is a Tool fan...

I have been wanting to try his wine for a while. Is it any good?

Phil Holland
08-13-2014, 05:58 PM
Someone is a Tool fan...

Yep. Big time. They are all good people.


I have been wanting to try his wine for a while. Is it any good?

I enjoy it a ton. If you can find a bottle of Judith it will likely win you over.

Luke Neumann
08-13-2014, 06:06 PM
Yep. Big time. They are all good people.



I enjoy it a ton. If you can find a bottle of Judith it will likely win you over.

Good to know! Always liked the back story to their vineyard and thought that would bring out a unique taste in the grapes.

Timothy Eaton
08-13-2014, 06:52 PM
I also shoot both. Just this week I did two projects with a director that loves to shoot Red. One shoot had controlled lighting and the other was interior available light verite.
I presented the pros and cons of both Dragon and MX for each shoot. He chose Dragon for one and MX for the other. I agreed with choice and footage looked great on both shoots.
Red seem to understand the need for this kind of flexibility. My observation about the F55 OLPF options was that clients don't seem to want to get involved in too many nuances when selecting a camera. For whatever reasons they may have.

Regards
John

I appreciate your perspective John. Your situation as a rental house is different from mine as an enduser. However, I recently upgraded (OLPF 2), and I would be hard pressed to identify pros and cons of Dragon with respect to MX. For me it's all pros. After having used Dragon for awhile, I would never go back. Further, I think a lot of what has been floating around Reduser, identified as Dragon cons, has been understood by many to be far more significant than my experience warrants. Is the camera perfect? No. Is it darn near perfect for this moment in time? I would say yes.

My encouragement for those who have been alarmed by "fill in the blank" issues with Dragon on Reduser would be twofold: 1) Consider the source. There are many viewpoints on Reduser with respect to Red cameras, but for me, not all of them carry equal weight. Anyone can post here and not everyone posting here has a wealth of experience with film, digital, motion pictures, etc. In fact, occasionally there are those willing to pontificate about Dragon without ever having used the camera. When I compare a lot of what is posted here with my own experience, it just doesn't hold up. 2) Don't sweat the small stuff. In terms of the way I work, the material I shoot (which is a pretty wide variety), most of the complaints about Dragon pale in comparison to the richness of the images and the extraordinary capabilities of the camera.

My two bits.

Tim Eaton

Brian Boyer
08-13-2014, 07:25 PM
Suggesting ORBS are acceptable is SPIN. You crack me up.

Well then, you should find this hilarious. In art, everything is acceptable.

EVERY optical/visual and aural/sonic artifact or flaw you can think of has been deliberately incorporated into works of art for creative and artistic purposes.

There's no such thing as a bad looking lens, camera, OLPF, film stock, codec, etc. There's no such thing as a bad sounding microphone, instrument, recording medium, sample rate, etc.

There are only the things that suit your current artistic needs and the things that don't.

Bohdan Klos
08-13-2014, 07:35 PM
Well then, you should find this hilarious. In art, everything is acceptable.

EVERY optical/visual and aural/sonic artifact or flaw you can think of has been deliberately incorporated into works of art for creative and artistic purposes.

There's no such thing as a bad looking lens, camera, OLPF, film stock, codec, etc. There's no such thing as a bad sounding microphone, instrument, recording medium, sample rate, etc.

There are only the things that suit your current artistic needs and the things that don't.

You are contorting yourself - I`m not out of whack here saying the orb problem is NOT desirable. Red list it as a problem. Everyone discusses it as a problem - Not sure if you are serious that the Orb problem is "artistic" or pulling my leg?

Brian Boyer
08-13-2014, 08:56 PM
You are contorting yourself - I`m not out of whack here saying the orb problem is NOT desirable. Red list it as a problem. Everyone discusses it as a problem - Not sure if you are serious that the Orb problem is "artistic" or pulling my leg?

What I'm saying is they use it artistically on "The Knick." If you watched it, you know what I'm talking about.

The orbs (or any other anomaly) are a problem only up until someone deliberately incorporates them. Then, it's art.

It doesn't matter how everyone else characterizes them. It's up to the individual artist. I'm sure Sony and Philips discussed pops and crackles from vinyl records as a problem. That didn't stop countless musicians from adding them to their digitally recorded material.

I feel like in a minute I'm going to have to explain creativity to you.

John Chater
08-13-2014, 08:57 PM
[QUOTE=Timothy Eaton;1403879]I appreciate your perspective John. Your situation as a rental house is different from mine as an enduser. However, I recently upgraded (OLPF 2), and I would be hard pressed to identify pros and cons of Dragon with respect to MX.

Thanks Tim

Id be super happy to get this resolved so I can get all my Epics upgraded to Dragon. Their is no upside for a rental house having both models unless they are being asked for.
At the same time Im not going to tell clients they don't get it. But we encourage anyone working with us to do all the comparative testing they want to do. For any camera we rent. Every freelancer in San Francisco knows this.
As an aside most freelance DPs have little or no control of the post process. Even if they love the look of a camera but don't feel the client will handle the footage properly they will do what they can to preserve the integrity of the delivered image. That discussion weighs into the MX vs Dragon OLPF2 question as well. I suspect many people here process their own footage and in that circumstance can go forward with a different level of confidence.
If the Epic MX wasn't a really good looking camera and still a level above most cameras out there, I don't think we would be having this discussion. The upgrade would be a no brainer. Maybe the problem is that the MX still looks so damn good to people they don't feel the burning need to use the Dragon unless they can guarantee a result. Im sure Red is working hard to make that happen.


John

Bohdan Klos
08-13-2014, 09:05 PM
What I'm saying is they use it artistically on "The Knick." If you watched it, you know what I'm talking about. The orbs (or any other anomaly) are a problem only up until someone deliberately incorporates them. Then, it's art. It doesn't matter how everyone else characterizes them. It's up to the individual artist. I'm sure Sony and Philips discussed pops and crackles from vinyl records as a problem. That didn't stop countless musicians from adding them to their digitally recorded material. . Sure I get your point on vinyl records ...But this is not grain - Red should release a special ORB series of OLPFs? Creatively they might want MORE orbs, right? Cretively they might also want magenta banding? Or gate shadow on flares. All acceptable "creative" looks for commercial television? Not for me or anyone else I read posting.
I feel like in a minute I'm going to have to explain creativity to you. Great - insults.

Brian Boyer
08-13-2014, 09:36 PM
Sure...and Red should release a special ORB series of OLPFs. Creatively they might want MORE orbs?
Cretively they might also want magenta banding? Or gate shadow on flares. All acceptable "creative" looks for commercial television in your world.

You really don't get it do you? How artists use whatever's at their disposal doesn't necessarily have anything to do with what the manufacturer originally intended for it. RED went through the trouble of carefully designing an OLPF for Epic MX and John Marchant took his off to see what that was about.

We're not talking about RED. We're talking about how an artist, Steven Soderbergh, used a RED camera's OLPF design flaw to his advantage, something you apparently (and myopically) think is impossible because you wouldn't have done it.

Is your art governed solely by product literature or does artistic vision enter the equation at some point? You clearly have tunnel vision on this topic so I'll leave you to do what you do and I'll get back to doing what I do.

Nick Morrison
08-13-2014, 09:52 PM
@Brian and Bohdan.

You are both right! Yes, artists have used "flaws" to their advantage forever. You work with what you have, and mistakes/flaws are often conduits to exciting, radical and challenging choices.

That said, RED clearly saw the ORBS as something that could be improved, and "removed" them w/ the NEW OLPF.

That said, there's nothing wrong with useing the ORBS creatively. Every choice is fair game, so long as it furthers your story/POV.

best.

David Mullen ASC
08-13-2014, 10:33 PM
This is a bit off-topic, but speaking of artifacts, 3-strip Technicolor had a unique halation because the panchromatic stock recording the red information had to be shot bi-packed behind the blue-sensitive stock recording the blue record, so this piece of film couldn't have an anti-halation backing plus was dyed red to act as a filter. So the halations produced on this layer had a magenta cast to them. You see this in shots where lights reflect off of metal:

http://www.davidmullenasc.com/robinhood1.jpg

http://www.davidmullenasc.com/robinhood2.jpg

In later Technicolor movies, some costume designers in musicals seemed to use this artifact as a visual effect, putting the lead actress in a silver sequined dress which sparkled with magenta halations as the actress moved around.

Nick Morrison
08-13-2014, 10:35 PM
This is a bit off-topic, but speaking of artifacts, 3-strip Technicolor had a unique halation because the panchromatic stock recording the red information had to be shot bi-packed behind the blue-sensitive stock recording the blue record, so this piece of film couldn't have an anti-halation backing plus was dyed red to act as a filter. So the halations produced on this layer had a magenta cast to them. You see this in shots where lights reflect off of metal:

http://www.davidmullenasc.com/robinhood1.jpg

http://www.davidmullenasc.com/robinhood2.jpg

In later Technicolor movies, some costume designers in musicals seemed to use this artifact as a visual effect, putting the lead actress in a silver sequined dress which sparkled with magenta halations as the actress moved around.

Wow. Awesome. Thanks for sharing David!!

Brian Boyer
08-13-2014, 11:59 PM
Sure I get your point on vinyl records ...But this is not grain - Red should release a special ORB series of OLPFs? Creatively they might want MORE orbs, right? Cretively they might also want magenta banding? Or gate shadow on flares. All acceptable "creative" looks for commercial television? Not for me or anyone else I read posting.

You keep conflating a point about an artist with points about a camera maker. We're not talking about what RED made or what they should make in the future. We're talking about how someone used what RED made, warts and all.

You're trying to turn a conversation about Soderbergh's artistic decisions into one about RED's business practices and product offerings.



Great - insults.

No, not an insult. It's a commentary on how you refuse to accept that some people artistically make lemonade out of what other people deem lemons.

I sound ridiculous and pompous going around "explaining" art and creativity but you almost force it because you can's seem to focus on those aspects of the discussion without injecting unrelated RED banter.




@Brian and Bohdan.

You are both right! Yes, artists have used "flaws" to their advantage forever. You work with what you have, and mistakes/flaws are often conduits to exciting, radical and challenging choices.

That said, RED clearly saw the ORBS as something that could be improved, and "removed" them w/ the NEW OLPF.

That said, there's nothing wrong with useing the ORBS creatively. Every choice is fair game, so long as it furthers your story/POV.

best.

Nick, I think I understand what you're trying to do but this isn't a case of looking at the same thing from two different perspectives. We're not doing the, "You got your peanut butter in my chocolate. No, you got your chocolate in my peanut butter." scenario.

I never said there was nothing wrong with the OLPF, only that Steven Soderbergh managed to use it artistically - as is.

To Bohdan, merely stating that it was done is the equivalent of suggesting RED should market their camera's issues as creative options. That's a leap of flawed logic.

Admit it, Nick. If you guys were having this discussion in person and he kept giving these same responses, you'd eventually look at him like he was cuckoo-bananas.

David Battistella
08-14-2014, 12:10 AM
Hi Tim,

just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate your perspective in this thread. A nice balanced and sensible approach.

Battistella



I appreciate your perspective John. Your situation as a rental house is different from mine as an enduser. However, I recently upgraded (OLPF 2), and I would be hard pressed to identify pros and cons of Dragon with respect to MX. For me it's all pros. After having used Dragon for awhile, I would never go back. Further, I think a lot of what has been floating around Reduser, identified as Dragon cons, has been understood by many to be far more significant than my experience warrants. Is the camera perfect? No. Is it darn near perfect for this moment in time? I would say yes.

My encouragement for those who have been alarmed by "fill in the blank" issues with Dragon on Reduser would be twofold: 1) Consider the source. There are many viewpoints on Reduser with respect to Red cameras, but for me, not all of them carry equal weight. Anyone can post here and not everyone posting here has a wealth of experience with film, digital, motion pictures, etc. In fact, occasionally there are those willing to pontificate about Dragon without ever having used the camera. When I compare a lot of what is posted here with my own experience, it just doesn't hold up. 2) Don't sweat the small stuff. In terms of the way I work, the material I shoot (which is a pretty wide variety), most of the complaints about Dragon pale in comparison to the richness of the images and the extraordinary capabilities of the camera.

My two bits.

Tim Eaton