Thread: ARRI ALEXA LF - 4k, FullFrame announced

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  1. #361  
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Sherrick View Post
    My observations from the past few years are that more and more focus pullers are using monitors, especially with HD and wireless focus systems. I have to say though, I've been blown away by those who have mastered the art of focus pulling. Their keen sense of distance, the ability to anticipate variations, exceptional concentration. I drool with envy when I see the great ones pulling off difficult shots.
    Bigger productions use the ultrasonic stuff.

    But again, You only want so and so thin DOF. If you get a set of really fast lenses you usually dont want to shoot them wide open if you are not all out of light or strive to get the thinest fov possible. When moving to monstro I think most people will find them self stoping down more than they did on smaller sensors to reach the same sweetspot.
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  2. #362  
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    When I used to pull on the Alexa Classic I felt very confident in my ability to pull by distance and lens markings alone. Nowadays shooting in 4K+ I find myself using the monitor more and more.
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  3. #363  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Björn Benckert View Post
    Bigger productions use the ultrasonic stuff.

    But again, You only want so and so thin DOF. If you get a set of really fast lenses you usually dont want to shoot them wide open if you are not all out of light or strive to get the thinest fov possible. When moving to monstro I think most people will find them self stoping down more than they did on smaller sensors to reach the same sweetspot.
    Yeah, people rave on about how bigger sensors are "better in lowlight" but totally forgetting (or maybe never even ever knew the basics) that when it comes to practical usage you trade off a lot of that better lowlight as you need to compromise with a slow T stop to get a usable level of DoF
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  4. #364  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hrvoje Simic View Post
    It still drains the actors and the crew, looses time for other shots and burdens the data management and editing.
    No one gets to delete anything on a serious shoot. Botched takes are marked and kept.
    It's rare to do only one take on a narrative set (even if it's nailed the first time). I'd also argue that focus is most often blown because the actors don't hit their marks, not because the AC was out to lunch or struggling. And improvisational performances and "keeping the cam running" isn't entirely uncommon these days either. Data is cheap, and marking the best take(s) is done by the script supervisor on set (hell, you can tag takes via clip metadata nowadays)... it's not rocket science.

    I also don't think it burdens crew nearly as much in practice since they're generally *not* doing different set-ups between takes -- you do a set-up, shoot it until its done, then do a new set-up. My point is, the reset-time and difficulty to 'shoot it again' has dropped considerably with digital; it's essentially real-time. Similarly everything is lighter and requires less physical effort than it ever has before (re: amount of lighting and weight). It's sounds like you're making a mountain out of a mole hill, and I'd argue that the aesthetic of big sensor images are well worth it for the majority of content (maybe not action sports or docs, though.)

    And sure, no one deletes anything on set, but the drives can be re-used, so the cost isn't that big of a concern for even smaller productions (and the bigger the production, the less it's a concern).

    No one pulls focus from 42 inch monitors. In many cases focus pullers don't even look at the monitor at all during a take and look at the scene and watch the distances. Autofocus is useless for those types of shoots.
    Maybe no one you know does, but I've seen it being done more and more often (and it is *definitely* easier.) People who pull by eye still get mucho respect (because that's a legit art and there are no shortcuts to learning it) and hence are probably on all the biggest productions... For the rest of us mere mortals, I see no problem with someone using all the assists at their disposal.

    Besides, who are we kidding; all of the up and coming ACs cut their teeth on 5Ds and T1.5 Rokinons with crappy marks -- they're more than capable of pulling decent focus on VV/FF35, especially with real glass :D

    Autofocus is a topic for another thread, but if the advances seen in the last 3-5 years are any indication, it won't be long before it's a mainstay on the average production (especially when using drones or gimbals or steadicam.)

    VV/FF35 are here to stay... Venice, ALF, Monstro are all going to trickle down into their entry-level and midrange counterparts. And as long as there are 4k+ s35 crop modes, there's no need to put the genie back in the bottle.
    Last edited by Mike P.; 02-14-2018 at 02:40 PM.
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  5. #365  
    Quote Originally Posted by Björn Benckert View Post
    Bigger productions use the ultrasonic stuff.
    Cine tape shows you the distance, and experienced focus puller already has the delicate feel for distance, instant reactions and precise muscle memory. As with the monitor, you have to see first the result to react, which in many cases is too late and focus lags behind the action. Watching the scene directly enables to anticipate the outcome and focus puller can flow with the actor in the speed and style director intended. Cine tape and monitors are there to check and correct if necessary and simplify things, they cannot compensate real time action feel because you don't have the same sense of depth and presence and connection with the scene, necessary to anticipate the motion through space.

    I pulled focus on a bunch of projects, the longest on half of season of one TV series, so spoken with some mid-level experience let's say. Long lens fully open and camera and actors moving with time ticking and minimal options for re-takes was fun. I've also worked with a bunch of ninjas and that is fascinating to see up close.


    Quote Originally Posted by David Peterson View Post
    Yeah, people rave on about how bigger sensors are "better in lowlight" but totally forgetting (or maybe never even ever knew the basics) that when it comes to practical usage you trade off a lot of that better lowlight as you need to compromise with a slow T stop to get a usable level of DoF
    Which is why a speedbooster rocks. :)
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  6. #366  
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike P. View Post
    It's rare to do only one take on a narrative set (even if it's nailed the first time). I'd also argue that focus is most often blown because the actors don't hit their marks, not be because the AC was out to lunch. And improvisational performances and "keeping the cam running" isn't entirely uncommon these days either. Data is cheap, and marking the best take(s) is done by the script supervisor on set (hell, you can tag takes via clip metadata nowadays)... it's not rocket science.

    I also don't think it burdens crew nearly as much in practice since they're generally *not* doing different set-ups between takes -- you do a set-up, shoot it until its done, then do a new set-up. My point is, the reset-time and difficulty to 'shoot it again' has dropped considerably with digital; it's essentially real-time. Similarly everything is lighter and requires less physical effort than it ever has before (re: lighting and weight). It's sounds like you're making a mountain out of a mole hill, and I'd argue that the aesthetic of big sensor images are well worth it for the majority of content (maybe not action sports or docs.)

    And sure, no one deletes anything on set, but the drives can be re-used, so the cost isn't that big of a concern for even smaller productions (and the bigger the production, the less it's a concern).



    Maybe no one you know does, but I've seen it being done more and more often (and it is *definitely* easier.) People who pull by eye still get mucho respect (because that's a legit art and there are no shortcuts to learning it) and hence are probably on all the biggest productions... For the rest of us mere mortals, I see no problem with someone using all the assists at their disposal.

    Besides, who are we kidding; all of the up and coming ACs cut their teeth on 5Ds and T1.5 Rokinons with crappy marks -- they're more than capable of pulling decent focus on VV/FF35, especially with real glass :D

    Autofocus is a topic for another thread, but if the advances seen in the last 3-5 years are any indication, it won't be long before it's a mainstay on the average production (especially when using drones or gimbals or steadicam.)

    VV/FF35 are here to stay... Venice, ALF, Monstro are all going to trickle down into their entry-level and midrange counterparts.

    What you gain in sensor size you loose in speed on the image circle of the lens. So a small high preforming sensor and a fast lens looks very similar to a larger sensor and a lens that has enough sized image circle. If they both have focal lengths to match the FOV. So difficult to say what is the look of large format, if you loose that short DOF due to change of lens speed.


    Monstro with it´s wider sensor get its full width into the circle of FF So it can utilise the speed of FF glass even though the sensor is actually got more width than FF. That will give it a "large format look" when using FF glas but if you move up to larger glass you start quickly to loose speed and the fast / large format look starts to drop of again.
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  7. #367  
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike P. View Post
    It's rare to do only one take on a narrative set (even if it's nailed the first time). I'd also argue that focus is most often blown because the actors don't hit their marks, not because the AC was out to lunch or struggling.
    I didn't suggest one take, just saying not to take lightly the notion of relying on more takes than usual. It is a much bigger deal than it may seem and changes many things.

    Focus puller cannot depend on actor hitting the mark. He can mark the distance based on references and has to be focused 100% during a take to react. Actor has to process emotion, text, facial expression, posture, body movement, rhythm and tone and subtle nuances of it all in real time, and do that throughout the day and repeat if necessary, so with all that to handle it is not uncommon to miss the mark precisely.

    Focus is missed either due to momentary lack of focus :) or stamina throughout the day or a very difficult shot to pull off. Imagine hours and hours throughout the day concentrated on that, watching and fine tuning when every mistake pops out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike P. View Post
    And improvisational performances and "keeping the cam running" isn't entirely uncommon these days either. Data is cheap, and marking the best take(s) is done by the script supervisor on set (hell, you can tag takes via clip metadata nowadays)... it's not rocket science.
    It is not rocket science but some get the thick end of the stick if that is overdone. I hear from a bunch of folks that film brough more focus, preparation and efficiency when media rolling was analogue to money rolling away. It is also pretty frustrating and tasking getting tons of data to handle because someone interpreted digital media as a compensation for preparation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike P. View Post
    I also don't think it burdens crew nearly as much in practice since they're generally *not* doing different set-ups between takes -- you do a set-up, shoot it until its done, then do a new set-up. My point is, the reset-time and difficulty to 'shoot it again' has dropped considerably with digital; it's essentially real-time.
    That is true and reset time alone is not a huge burden but neither the only thing. Stamina, focus, shooting schedule, data handling and post are. Set ninjas can handle the repetitions but you don't want a drained actor. Also, if the shot is physically difficult many folks get screwed. Less stamina you have things get progressively more heavy later. And it is a long shooting day. And the more time you waste on repetitions the less you have for other setups. Or > problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike P. View Post
    Similarly everything is lighter and requires less physical effort than it ever has before (re: amount of lighting and weight).
    Ultra light cameras if handheld actually take more effort during shooting for a camera operator because there is no inertia to smooth out the motion so shooter has to use body muscles more to keep the shot steadier. Depends on the type of shoot/shot. But it drains you significantly nevertheless. It is not the carry weight as much as camera control and balance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike P. View Post
    It's sounds like you're making a mountain out of a mole hill, and I'd argue that the aesthetic of big sensor images are well worth it for the majority of content (maybe not action sports or docs, though.)
    I never argued against the larger format. I'm all for different options, from small to large formats.

    :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike P. View Post
    Besides, who are we kidding; all of the up and coming ACs cut their teeth on 5Ds and T1.5 Rokinons with crappy marks -- they're more than capable of pulling decent focus on VV/FF35, especially with real glass :D
    True, I've learned much on old stills glass with short focus turn, so many things were easier with a cine lens and a proper follow focus. But a stop less is still a challenge and things change when you have a whole set and crew around you, actors and scene to follow with energy and a tight schedule. And you don't get many chances to miss.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike P. View Post
    VV/FF35 are here to stay... Venice, ALF, Monstro are all going to trickle down into their entry-level and midrange counterparts. And as long as there are 4k+ s35 crop modes, there's no need to put the genie back in the bottle.
    Agreed.
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  8. #368  
    Senior Member Tom Gleeson's Avatar
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    Arri did a presentation here in Sydney last night with their new Alexa LF Camera and the reel footage looked superb. This camera will be an astounding tool. There are a few downsides as the data rate at Full frame is 2TB an hour! Compare that with 8K Red at 5:1 compression you could double that at two hours of recording with 2TB. At Redcode 8:1 which will still give you excellent results 2TB will give you well over 3 hours of recording. As Arri increase the resolution of their cameras they really need to rework their ARRIRAW codec. Even on bigger budget productions I have worked on with Alexa they have not used ARRIRAW. I did not get a chance to ask so I don't know if you can dual record Pro res proxies and ARRIRAW at the same time?

    The LF like the SXT camera also does not have the internal switchable ND system although you can fit an internal ND. Anyone used to switching internal NDs using the Mini will have to forsake this on the LF. I did speak with one senior DP at the event who said this was a deal breaker for him. Of course Red can't point any fingers as they have not provided this feature. Sony Venice wins this round although the Kippertie internal ND system may address this when released?

    If the idea is to go big in these cameras then the Monstro chip has an edge with its 41mm wide sensor compared to the Arri LF full gate 36.7mm and the LF's 16X9 mode at 31.7mm.

    The camera also sucks over 120W so it will be the "Eater of Batteries." None of these issues are deal breakers although at $140,000AUS for a basic shooting kit it dampens my enthusiasm just a little but I expect to see a large proportion of major productions adopt this camera this year along with the pricey but extraordinary Signature Primes.

    I would love to be shooting a big enough project that I had to choose from the PanaVision Monstro DXL, Arri LF, Sony Venice or Red Monstro. Such exquisite agony
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  9. #369  
    Senior Member Bill Totolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Gleeson View Post
    Arri did a presentation here in Sydney last night with their new Alexa LF Camera and the reel footage looked superb. This camera will be an astounding tool. There are a few downsides as the data rate at Full frame is 2TB an hour!
    But you can still shoot ProRes, no?
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  10. #370  
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    Yes. 4K ProRes Log C encoded. Same ease of use that made the original Alexa ridiculously efficient for 80% of productions. The LF is a beast but the imagery is fantastic. Low-light shooting is insanely clean. Lack of internal NDs is a bummer but it won't be a deal-breaker. Biggest announcement besides the camera is the LPL mount available to the entire Alexa line of cams. Flange distance is the same as EOS. I expect this to enable some very creative lens choices in the near future. Very exciting.
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