Thread: The Queen’s Gambit - Steven Meizler FDTimes Interview

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  1. #51  
    Senior Member Christoffer Glans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Les Hillis View Post
    Yeah, in reality there's always going to be a limited range of focal lengths that could be matched between formats due to that.

    I'm still curious which particular lenses currently match best using the criteria you've outlined above. As far as I know, no lenses have been designed to specifically do that (match FOV, Depth Of Field and 'character' across different formats).
    I could match my 35mm to my 50mm CN-Es. If I shoot 50mm T2.0 on Monstro, I can then shoot 35mm T1.4 on Komodo, it would pretty much lineup great between them. However, you get more CA at T1.4 and vignetting. Maybe if I close them down further, but then again...

    ...here's the real point of it all. If all you want is to match up between lenses perfectly, that is not creative work, that's just technical BS. You can absolutely shoot wide angles on s35 with a shallow focus plane, but you limit yourself to what lenses you have available. I would say that the closest s35 can get to the look of FF and 64mm, is if you shoot with Master Primes. You can get really wide lenses, even 12mm at T1.3, so they absolutely can give you that look... but that's it. One set of quality lenses. Instead, if you go FF, you get a whole lot more lenses to choose from and get a lot wider with a lot faster lenses without having to resort to extremely expensive lenses that are almost one of a kind. And since we can get even faster here, with full-frame covering lenses that open up to T1.3, you cannot get that on s35 if you don't buy Kubricks old f0.8 lenses.

    And with my CN-E 50mm I can open up to T1.3. The look I get on full frame with that lens at that T-stop is remarkable and you can absolutely not get that look on s35, at all. You cannot get a 35mm at f0.8, which is what you would need to get the same look.

    And then let's add in the photosite factor. We have a bigger sensor at a higher resolution but keeping the photosite size from the previous s35 sensor it was built upon (if we talk about Monstro). So we go out and shoot 8K FF on a 50mm at T1.3, giving you remarkable low light performance with nearly no noise at high ISO due to the larger resolution without smaller photosites. So the supersampling down to 4K delivery becomes superbly clean. And if we want less CA, less distortion and vignetting, we can close it down a little to T2.0. And there, yes, you can get the same mathematical comparison to a 35mm at T1.4, but the CA, vignetting and other problems that you erase with a slower T-stop are re-introduced with the 35mm at T1.4. So you need to close it down even further, maybe shooting the 50mm at T4.0 to get any kind of comparable result between the two sensors and two lenses in a matching look.

    In my opinion, it becomes a fruitless attempt at justifying the idea that there are no differences between s35 and FF when of course there is. Any opinion that there is no difference misses the point of how you actually work with these sensor sizes and lenses differently. Someone who just crunch the numbers to conclude that you can perfectly match between FF and s35 would have very little actual experience working with these different formats in real situations. As someone who's done still photography for over 20 years now, it's mind-boggling to hear some of the opinions about these formats.
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  2. #52  
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    I agree that there are in practice visual differences that remain between the different formats, while there have been certain mythical differences in the past that have since been debunked.

    I wouldn't dismiss the idea of overcoming those current visual differences via new lens designs as just technical bs, even if there were no interest in actually trying to do it (even theoretically).

    About which lenses currently 'match', if I had unlimited access to lenses and cameras I'd just have a look for myself and share the results here, but I don't, so...

    I'm not really interested in opinions when it comes to things that can actually been seen, so pictures or video's would be required if people are going to claim (either way) a particular lens looks a particular way compared to a different one on a different format.

    My current opinion is based on just such proof provided by what I have seen for myself and from others' examples.

    Nothing wrong with speaking theoretically though imo, if the theory is based on already known facts, like for example, if someone wants to claim lens elements and apertures can only get so big before they become impractical to build or use.
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  3. #53  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nils J. Nesse View Post
    Karim and Jacek: So are you saying you could get the above mentioned shot with an 18mm lens?

    https://vimeo.com/152514220
    Yes, absolutely. But your footage would have extremely weak fidelity and resolution.
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  4. #54  
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    Sorry guys but this thread started with:

    "Meizler's work on Queen's Gambit certainly was well thought out and absolutely beautiful, as was the show itself."

    When it first came out I saw it with no knowledge about how popular it would become, but was blown away by the beautiful story and cinematography. I have watched it two more times, once for the cinematography alone, and again after this thread was started and I read the candid interview, and learned how it was mostly shot in Berlin even with appearing to be Americana. It is one of the best things ever done on Netflix.

    Now there are pages and pages in this thread about lenses/optics and could this have been just as good in super 35 as Monstro sensor? Maybe yes, probably not, but the point is that Meizler did an exceptional and amazing creative effort, and we should admire what he did here, and not try to drag down this exceptional piece of art with conjecture that he doesn't understand some basics of cinematography. I am sure he does.
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  5. #55  
    Quote Originally Posted by Karim D. Ghantous View Post
    Yes, absolutely. But your footage would have extremely weak fidelity and resolution.
    OK, I'm trying to understand. So you would keep the camera at the same distance to the subject as with the 2000mm lens (i.e.: fucking far away)? And you would use a camera with a sensor so tiny that an 18mm lens becomes an ultra-telephoto, to get the same angle of view? (Or post-cropping into the image...) Is this right?
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  6. #56  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Dishler View Post
    Sorry guys but this thread started with:

    "Meizler's work on Queen's Gambit certainly was well thought out and absolutely beautiful, as was the show itself."

    When it first came out I saw it with no knowledge about how popular it would become, but was blown away by the beautiful story and cinematography. I have watched it two more times, once for the cinematography alone, and again after this thread was started and I read the candid interview, and learned how it was mostly shot in Berlin even with appearing to be Americana. It is one of the best things ever done on Netflix.

    Now there are pages and pages in this thread about lenses/optics and could this have been just as good in super 35 as Monstro sensor? Maybe yes, probably not, but the point is that Meizler did an exceptional and amazing creative effort, and we should admire what he did here, and not try to drag down this exceptional piece of art with conjecture that he doesn't understand some basics of cinematography. I am sure he does.
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  7. #57  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Jones View Post
    Welcome to the internet
    Or as discussions usually go, it changes focus, dives into details, and flows around the subject matter. I've never understood the "stay on topic" sentiment if the discussion is basically on-topic really. We're still discussing full-frame photography and how Queen's Gambit looks the way it looks. Just more in detail whether it's possible to achieve the same thing or not with s35 sensors, without getting any distortions as he mentions in the article. "Stay on topic" might be valid if the discussion has gone into how best to make vase pottery instead of cinematography. Gatekeeping a discussion too hard just leaves the discussion in shallow comments never digging deeper into the subject. The nature of FF vs s35, especially since Meizler did a tremendous job actually using the wide-angle look that can be hard to achieve on smaller sensors is still a valid deep-dive discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nils J. Nesse View Post
    OK, I'm trying to understand. So you would keep the camera at the same distance to the subject as with the 2000mm lens (i.e.: fucking far away)? And you would use a camera with a sensor so tiny that an 18mm lens becomes an ultra-telephoto, to get the same angle of view? (Or post-cropping into the image...) Is this right?
    Basically this (even though the focal lengths and image capture sizes aren't the same. I.e you can imagine the loss in quality doing it with a 2000mm and then have a sensor the size of a pinhole doing it with an 18mm.
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  8. #58  
    Senior Member Nick Morrison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Holland View Post
    Those three formats account for VistaVision, Super 35mm, and Super 16mm.

    You can match the FOV just fine, then even stop down to match the depth of field and bokeh circles if the iris plays nicely with your desires. Though the reverse of that is sometimes trickier when looking for high quality shallow depth of field imaging which is also relevant if you are looking to get into the stopped down sweet spots and working wide open as well.

    In Manuel's test between the Mini and Alexa 65 referenced above there's a portion where he matches the depth of field via a 2 stop iris compensation. Mini @ T2.8, A65 @ T5.6. Take into account reversing that where if shooting T2.8 on the A65 he'd be looking to shoot around T1.4 on the Mini, doable and possible. Then consider what that might mean wide open through stopped down on some modern optics.

    So reversing that concept and taking into account something like shooting wide open with a Zeiss Supreme 50mm T1.5 on Monstro 8K VV and you wanting to match that DOF on S35 5K, you'd be looking at about a T0.8 lens approximately and a Super 16 lens so fast it would that it would be near impossible to make at T0.5.
    Phil, thank you. And this is what I was getting at before. Yes you can match formats easily, but not without compensating with iris. Meaning all formats at the same Tstop (say 2.8) are going to have very different depths of fields.

    In case of Queens Gambit, all the interiors were shot at 1.5, which as you say would be equivalent to a T0.8 on S35. Also a 35mm prime on Vista is inherently less distorted than an 18mm at S35.

    So in this particular case, Meizler shooting on Monstro allowed for more shallow depth of field, and less distortion. Makes a lot of sense.
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  9. #59  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Morrison View Post
    Phil, thank you. And this is what I was getting at before. Yes you can match formats easily, but not without compensating with iris. Meaning all formats at the same Tstop (say 2.8) are going to have very different depths of fields.

    In case of Queens Gambit, all the interiors were shot at 1.5, which as you say would be equivalent to a T0.8 on S35. Also a 35mm prime on Vista is inherently less distorted than an 18mm at S35.

    So in this particular case, Meizler shooting on Monstro allowed for more shallow depth of field, and less distortion. Makes a lot of sense.
    Yeah, Phil might have explained what I've tried to explain, shorter and more to the point, but this is exactly correct. A shot on FF with a T-stop of 4.0 is in most cases possible to match up on smaller sensors, but wide open it quickly becomes impossible, not only in speeds that don't exist, but a T0.8 lens can introduce a lot of artifacts you don't want, even on normal focal lengths that are easier to make perfect. Just look at how hard it was for Kubrick to get his Barry Lyndon lenses to 0.8. Anyone saying we can match however we want to get the same result between FF and s35 does not seem to grasp this part.
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  10. #60  
    Senior Member Jacek Zakowicz's Avatar
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    1. Unless one uses the Otus FF lenses are not great performers at1.4 either
    2. you can use speed booster to get the very same lens work the very same way on S35 sensor
    3. I'm sorry but it seems like the concept of smaller pixels affecting the DOF calculation (as in monstro vs helium)was not clear to some...
    4. it is very rare that anyone would use T1.4 FF lenses wide open for obvious reasons (hence ARRI, Zeiss or Leica do not offer such lenses in proper cine livery)and this is literally the only scenario that may present a challenge to duplicate with S35 sensor.
    The S35 equiva-lens of FF is not T0.8- it is T1 for accuracy sake....
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