Thread: What I learned today getting my Scarlet and lenses checked by a lens tech.

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  1. #1 What I learned today getting my Scarlet and lenses checked by a lens tech. 
    Senior Member Brandon J.F.'s Avatar
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    I have another thread going with some example shots I have taken with my Scarlet-X. I was really disappointed with wide shots because of how soft they were. Today, I found out what the problems have been...


    1. The focus marks on my 22mm LOMO were way off. The 35mm was also off a bit. The 50mm was all, but perfect and the 150mm was flawless. The focus marks were adjusted on the 22mm, but there is no way to adjust the markings on the 35mm so that will need to dealt with later.
    2. The rear element of my 22mm lens was slightly smudged. Easy to fix...
    3. The biggest issue though was the backfocus. It was significally off. I don't have a RED Focus and no one locally does here either so we had to use an ARRI Ultra Prime to check it out. We also threw on a Vantage lens (with Leica glass). The backfocus is now about as close to perfect as it can get with this method. The difference is huge.
    4. One other issue, specific to the 35mm LOMO, is that the image goes a little soft when shooting wide open at a T1.7. It looks fine at T2 though. Not too much of a surprise there.


    All of the above took the technician several hours to go through and test. I'm really happy now that the mystery is solved. Great timing too since we are about to shoot the first scene of my feature very soon (see links below).

    So, if you have a Scarlet and something feels a bit off about the results you are getting get your backfocus checked. It's quite simple to adjust, but you need someone who knows exactly what they are doing to do it.
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Andy White's Avatar
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    Hi Brandon

    Glad you got them checked, as suggested in your other thread... it means you can use them as intended now.

    I'll never shoot wide open on any older lens... and now you see why lens techs are good guys - with collimators and nice tools :)

    Backfocus is one of the caveats that some people miss... so it's good you're documenting your journey.
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Brandon J.F.'s Avatar
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    Thanks Andy. I really appreciate the advice you gave about this.
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member Andy White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon J.F. View Post
    Thanks Andy. I really appreciate the advice you gave about this.
    No problem, just happy the results are going to get you what you want 0 and save you renting some lenses you didn't need!

    Now your movie will look consistent - and have the creamy Lomo look :)

    Keep updating :)
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member Bob Gundu's Avatar
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    My Scarlet was way off too.
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member Brian Iannone's Avatar
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    I received my Scarlet last Thursday but only started shooting yesterday, and something definitely feels off to me. I'm not sure if it's the same issue you're describing, though.I've only tested the Scarlet with a Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L and I can't seem to get the image in focus. It's always soft... And by "soft," I mean practically out of focus.

    Could something like this be due to a backfocus issue? I've heard that the 24-70mm is soft, but this to me seems beyond just "soft." I've never had images this fuzzy while shooting stills on a 7D.


    EDIT:
    Here's an ultra-quick sample that I just shot at 4K HD:



    Alternatively, here's a link to the R3D (2MB): http://www.brianiannone.com/scratch/...s_sample_1.zip
    Last edited by Brian Iannone; 02-23-2012 at 06:54 PM.
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  7. #7  
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    I've noticed three of my Canon lenses which are supposed to be parfocal are not holding focus at all throughout the zoom. I've actually been meaning to make a post about it. Would this be a backfocus issue? If so, how would one backfocus a Scarlet with the Canon Mount on there?

    Brian, I have a 24-70 2.8L and it has been focusing fine and definitely not out of focus soft. Minus the not holding focus through zoom problem I noted above...

    Thanks.
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  8. #8  
    Senior Member Brian Iannone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler Bourns View Post
    Brian, I have a 24-70 2.8L and it has been focusing fine and definitely not out of focus soft. Minus the not holding focus through zoom problem I noted above...
    Hey Tyler. I just added an image to my post. That's the sharpest image I've been able to achieve with the Scarlet and 24-70mm. Are you able to capture sharper images than that? If so, I have to assume that my issue is not lens-related, but instead camera-related.
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member Brandon J.F.'s Avatar
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    Brian, your shot has a familiar softness to it... I can't say for sure, but it would not surprise me at all if it's caused by the backfocus being set wrong.

    Tyler, adjusting the backfocus is the same regardless of the mount. However, I have no idea at all how to do it properly with a Canon mount/lens and even though I've now been through the process myself I would still not do the adjustment myself. You really need someone who knows exactly what they are doing to make these adjustments.
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member Brian Iannone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon J.F. View Post
    Brian, your shot has a familiar softness to it... I can't say for sure, but it would not surprise me at all if it's caused by the backfocus being set wrong.
    I see. Since I'm new to RED cameras and haven't experienced an issue like this on any other camera before, what would your advice be regarding what I should do? I'm assuming that I need to have the backfocus checked; is that something any camera service center can do or is it something I should ask RED to take a look at?
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