Articles with the ‘red’ tag
Got hired to film a sequence of the US Olympic water polo team as they prepare for the 2012 summer Olympics in LONDON!!
Incredible guys! So proud of them. They are tremendous athletes and favored for a GOLD!!
The best our country has….really amazing.
It was an honor work with them.
We shot some awesome stuff on the RED EPIC in high speed…. Lots of surface work and some cool underwater shots too. Showing all the complex movements they have to make underwater to be able to leap out of the water and do what they do.
Red EPIC camera
Hydroflex DW housing
16mm Ultra Prime (4k full coverage)
Zeiss Compact Primes (various lengths)
Here is a gallery with some pictures of an unforgettable day in the water.
I recently had the pleasure of working with the talented people at a new 3D production company Golden Gate 3D more info on them on their website
The project was a beautiful 3D ballet performance in front of the Golden Gate bridge Directed by Kate DuHamel using the new Screenplane SteadiFlex rig with dual Epics and Ultra primes lenses.
It was simply amazing to work with the dancers, the director and the choreographer. Despite the extremely windy conditions we managed to pull together some amazing shots.
This marked my first job with the new ScreenPlane “Steadyflex” beamsplitter Rig. We used Ultra prime lenses and RED Epic cameras with Cmotion Cvolution wireless lens and rig control. The rig performed fantastically and worked like nothing else on my steadicam. We were able to do some incredibly dynamic shots with the dancers that would never have been done with heavier rigs. Not to mention as the operator I had very little time to rest in-between takes as we were racing the sun and the dancers only had a limited amount of stamina and it was also very cold so we had to keep rollin to try to keep some heat in thier bodies!
It was a fantastic shoot and I can’t wait to see the results!
Thanks to everyone for a great day of shooting in San Fransico!
Thank you to Golden Gate 3D for providing me with wonderful behind the scenes pictures.
Enjoy the gallery!
Last year I did some tests with a Focus Optics Ruby 14-24mm lens. I tested them on a 3D rig and underwater with a flat and dome port. So this is Part 2.
More info on the 3D lens testing here on my previous article where I tested a matched pair on a 3D Rig. (Part 1)
Using one of those lenses a RED One and a Element Technica REDONE underwater housing. Using a Dome port and a Flat port.
The purpose of this test is too determine how bad is a wider focal length underwater on a flat port.
When shooting underwater with a beam splitter you are forced to use a flat port. This is because of the (virtual) overlapping of the lenses. A dome port is simply impossible when using a beamsplitter.
At the same time we all know that wide lenses optically perform extremely poor with flat ports.
Flat ports exhibit a few main issues underwater, the flat port is unable to correct for the distortion produced by the differences between the indexes of light refraction in air and water. Using a flat port introduces a number of aberrations when used underwater. They are:
This is the bending of light waves as they pass through different mediums of optical density (the air inside the camera housing and the water outside the lens port). Light is refracted 25 percent, causing the lens to undergo the same magnification you would see through a facemask. The focal length of your lens also increases by approximately 25 percent.
Demonstrated here in this split level shot of my assistant. His body looks huge compared to his head. This is a clear demonstration of refraction and the magnification it produces.
If the subjects moves things get even worse! Needless to say split level shots with a flat port are not advised. Unless you want the effect!
Because flat ports do not distort light rays equally, they have a progressive radial distortion that becomes more obvious as wider lenses are used. The effect is a progressive blur, that increases with large apertures on wide lenses. Light rays passing through the center of the port are not affected because their direction of travel is at right angles to the water-air interface of the port.
White light, when refracted, is separated into the color spectrum. The component colors of white light do not travel at the same speed, and light rays passing from water to glass to air will be unequally bent. When light separates into its component colors, the different colors slightly overlap, causing a loss of sharpness and color saturation, which is more noticeable with wider lenses.
The dome port is a concentric lens that acts as an additional optical element to the camera lens. The dome port significantly reduces the problems of refraction, radial distortion and axial and chromatic aberrations when the curvature of the dome’s inside radius center is placed as close as possible to the nodal point of the lens. When a dome port is used, all the rays of light pass through un-refracted, which allows the “in-air” lens to retain its angle of view. Optically a “virtual image” is created inches in front of the lens. To photograph a subject underwater with a dome port you must focus the lens on the virtual image”, not the subject itself. The dome port makes the footage marks on the lens totally inaccurate for underwater focus. Therefore lenses should be calibrated underwater. The dome port offers no special optics above water and functions as a clear window.
It’s really too bad were are stuck with the Flat port for 3D but there is little we can do. Sure you can use a “side by side” configuration with dual dome ports but this would result in a large inter-axial which is really not ideal for feature film 3D production.
So the purpose of this test is just to get an idea how poor and what the loss is and if that will be acceptable to potential cinematographer for use on feature productions.
Here you see the lens in the housing before I put the final port on.
As you will see below I first shot the camera on the surface with no port, dome and flat. Then Underwater dome and flat at various focal lengths.
I setup a c-stand with my homemade geometrical chart i use for 3D aligment but I added 2 putora sharpness charts at each edge.
Now, naturally the results are predictable. The dome port performed well (not great, a bigger dome would of done even better) and the flat port performed poorly and got worse as we got wider. So we expected this. The questions really was how bad was it and is it acceptable?
My point is, the level of acceptable image quality is very subjective and is one that needs to be evaluated by the FX supervisor(post house), DP and Director. Ultimately in 3D feature productions we just don’t have a choice….we HAVE to use a flat port and in certain situations we might HAVE to use a 16mm lens.
I think that what might make it easier for Directors and Dp’s to “swallow” and image which is less than perfect so to speak is the fact that underwater and in 3D you tend not to put anything on the edges of frame to avoid “window violations” of the 3D space and in the center of the frame things are sharp. and the edges well they can tend to be the very “homogenous” blue ocean…. even when things are filling the frame if you also add motion blur into the mix a lot of shots can then get a “passing grade”. Just take the image of the anchor or the fish in my ocean shots below, you eyes are drawn towards the center and you tend to ignore the edges. I can guarantee that if those images were 3D that would be even more true.
To illustrate my point….
I was the stereographer on a $40 million feature called shark night 3D
This was our underwater camera rig…..a now aging but capable PACE|FUSION side by side rig/housing. Also used in James Cameron’s underwater documentaries “Aliens of the Deep” and “Ghost of the Abyss” and others blockbusters like “Sanctum” and Resident evil 3D.
Sony F950 cameras and poor quality Fujinon zooms (I forget the focal range but they were very wide on the wide end maybe 16mm equivalent) on a FLAT GLASS PORT.
Open rear view of the housing
Coming out of the water on set.
It has a massive 2.75″ IO poor quality Fujinon lenses(when compared to cinema lenses) and flat port.
Most of the shots were done on the wide end.
We shot many charts underwater for VFX/post to correct the images. Post then takes the chart and corrects the distortion and applies the corrections to all the underwater footage. This way it gets rid of one of the flat port side effects. Unfortunately there is nothing that can be done to correct the soft edges….so not everything can be fixed in post!
The Fujinon lenses even above water displayed CA and significant barrel distortion on the wide end. Underwater it just got worse.
********PACE now has a new underwater rig…..they used it on “Life of Pi”. I have first hand confirmation(from the camera crew) that they did have to use 16mm on a flat port at times.*********
Point is…..all these features saw theatrical release. All these features were able to correct the distortion and other issues with the images this rig created. To what degree? Well pop in the DVD and watch for yourself.
Furthermore…..here is the “Panavision 3D splash box” we used on some above water scenes………..the “box” had just come back from shooting “Pirates of the Carribean 4″ 3D on RED one cameras.
The “box/fishtank” features a large FLAT glass port”. Lens most used in this setup was…..you guess it a 16mm. I have friends that worked with the box on pirates and can verify that.
We used the Box/fishtank with a 18mm cooke zoom (18-40)
Here it is in all it’s glory.
Did you watch Pirates of Caribbean 4? Then you saw images created using this box/fishtank and a flat port with a wide lens.
Here is a side shot.
I’m not doubting the laws of physics that we are fighting. My job is test stuff and present it to people above my pay grade regardless how ridiculous it might seam.
It’s up to them (mostly VFX guys/post) to evaluate it work their million dollar post tools on it and tell us if it’s an image they can work with and make better.
That’s is the main purpose behind this test…..
Based of my past experiences (posted above) coupled with this test, I think that with a 5k epic (more pixels and data for post) great lenses (ruby) instead of Fujinons that 16mm will can be usable in a flat port.
I would generally advise going below 20mm but it’s up to them to decide.
Filmmakers “might” be willing to live with “good enough”. Certainly has been the case in the recent past as I pointed out.
Why this is relevant to me and others,
Because for feature film production we are forced to used “Beamsplitter” rig because this allows us the smaller IA needed for large screen 3D production. The only way to get parallax into reasonable parameters for large screen production is to use a beamsplitter and therefore we are also forced to live with Flat ports.
Here is the GATES “DEEP EPIC” underwater housing for the 3ality Technica “ATOM” rig.
The other feature quality (Red Epic 5k) underwater beamsplitter housing I will be using and that is currently available is the “Mocean Armor Magicine GV4″ Red Epic beamplitter housing. (full review article coming soon)
Used by underwater cinematographer Ken Corben recently in the Artic.
In the end I just point my camera at what the DP tell me to!
So I leave the final evaluation and decision to you the reader, DP, director…..etc….
Here some “real world” image grabs from video shot with a Red One with a Flat port in Catalina Island, CA (Casino Point) on a very sunny day…..
Bouey Anchor 30ft depth…
another chart shot…you can see the chromatic aberrations towards the edges and the distortion and the soft edges…..hehehe it’s all in this picture! Naturally notice the center is tack sharp.
Last image from my dive…I saw a shadow on the sea floor then looked up to see this….I was around 60ft unfortunately so most of my light was gone….it did give this a eerie feel to it.
1stAC E.Gunnar Mortensen for his help on this day.
Element Technica for use of their housing.
I’ll leave you with a gallery of the test,
3D Steadicam…now with less fat!
This past week, famed 3D pioneer and Stereographer Jason Goodman invited me out to his LA offices to test out his new creation.
The BX4…what’s new?
Designed specifically for RED EPIC, RED Scarlet, Arri Alexa M, Canon C500 and C300, and other small form factor D-Cinema cameras, BX4 is among the lightest and most versatile rigs available. Weighing only 11lbs in its lightest configuration, BX4 is optimized for steadicam, handheld, and remote head applications.
In addition to motorized interaxial and convergence controls, all camera alignment functions can also be motorized for remote operation. naturally I always prefer to use my C-Motion Cvolution wireless lens and rig control. But….no built in electronics means no delays from electronic failures and no additional weight when motorized operation is not needed(this is key for keeping the steadicam light). All controls can be manually actuated as well.
One of the key new features with the BX 4 is, two optional filter holders, they can easily be attached or removed in the field.(once again keeping the steadicam config lighter) The two stage filter holder utilizes standard 4×5.65 drop in filters. The single stage rotating holder accommodates 5.65×5.65 filters and has unique click stop positions as well as angle markings that allow DPs and stereographers to utilize linear polarizing filters and easily match the angle for both cameras. Cinematographers have the option to creatively employ polarizing filters on a 3D rig. Managing reflections and shooting skies in 3D is greatly enhanced with BX4.
The other major design change is that now both cameras move. They move opposite of each other which keeps the steadicam sled in balance during IO changes mid shot.
Base price is $29,995. Optional filter holders are $2,495 each.
So how does it work on my steadicam?
Having previously operated the previous model the BX3 (later the 3.5) I can honestly say the BX4 is a massive step forward.
Like I mentioned, the “IO” (Inter-ocular or Inter-Axial) is now achieved by moving both cameras opposite each other. This keeps the rig “mostly” balanced on sled during IO changes mid-shot. I say mostly because there is some torque effect and some slight differences in weight that may cause a horizon change. This can easily be remedied by trimming the balance with a few small weights. Even without any trim weights the balanced is mostly unchanged. This allows the stereographer to alter the IO during the shot.
The rig is much lighter now. In fact, it’s an amazing 11lbs. at the moment! I set up the rig on my sled in “underslung” mode. This lowers the CG and allows me to run a shorter post. The rig was still front heavy but luckily I only needed a bit of weight out back to even things out. In the back of the rig you can see the decimator, the ambient TC and sync generator and also the Cvolution “camin” transmitter.
The total ready to shoot weight of the sled cam in at 58lbs. This was with Red zoom lenses. Also Jason mentioned a few small design changes to reduce weight even further.
One big design aspect that assists in practical operation for the steadicam operator is that fact that the bottom camera plate which is located in front of the gimbal is rather small. This results in quite alot of gimbal movement before contact. You can pan the rig quite a bit before there is any contact with the rig. This point cannot be understated. It is a huge pain in the butt to have to pull the gimbal handle closer to your body and make sure you don’t ruin you shot by hitting it on the rig. Thankfully due to his elegant design there is alot of room and this situation is greatly improved over other rigs/designs. In fact in “don juan” you wrist is free to assume it’s normal position and you have a clear view of the monitor.
Due to it’s lighter weight, running with the rig is now possible (see video) and generally I see no problems using this vest mounted in most situations. But when the situation comes when you need to zoom up and down a soccer field or chase actors down streets or do 4 page “walk and talks” there is nothing like a segway!
…on the segway.
Due to it’s lighter weight segway operational envelop is much larger. I found myself fighting the inertia of the rig much less. Due to it’s lighter weight and my resulting short post I had no issues with contacting the wheel on the segway.
All in all I came away very impressed by his new rig. The only other rig in the market that is lighter and better for steadicam is the ScreenPlane “Steady-flex” rig which is ready to shoot (Epic and ultra primes) at 52lbs. Full review coming soon.
The BX4 is a full size rig, with great optics and simple, robust, reliable adjusting mechanisms. All of which are things I value.
Can’t wait to use it!
For more information on the rig and rates, contact Jason Goodman – www.21c3d.com
For more information on my and my rates contact at www.pgfilms.tv
below is the full review video:
Here are some pictures taken during the test
C-Motion Cvolution wireless lens controller in-depth walk through – Pt.1 2D
Part 2 will with how to use the Cvolution on a 3D rig in 3D mode.
The new Cmotion Cvolution wireless lens controller has so many awesome new features that set it apart from others like Preston, I figured it was time to do a in-depth walk through video explaining all the features and benefits of this incredible system. I also go into the C-finder and the C-display. I also explain the differences between the new cvolution and the old hand unit.
There are some few new features since I shot this video due to firmware updates. But most of the information in the video is accurate and up to date…
any issues let me know.
here is the video (its 56mins long….covers everything you need to know!)
For more manufacturer information
Thanks to our gracious hosts that allowed me to use thier location to shoot this video.
Katy Perry is working on a 3D concert movie (more info here) and i was hired to work as the steadicam operator during a couple days on her tour. Incredibly after working in 3D for 5 years and operating on just about every 3D rig out there this marks the first time I got to work with the 3ality TS-5 rig. In this case the “lightweight version”. Same rig that was used on “The Amazing Spiderman 3D”, “The Hobbit” and “Step up 4″.
During prep the rig tech (John Bloom) and I managed to get to a very clean setup. We mounted the Telecast “copperhead” (more info here) unit on the bottom battery stage. This gave me some needed back weight and bottom weight. Thus with this setup I managed to have a rather short post. So this setup would be good for use on a segway where a shorter post is vital. Here is a picture of the rig with our final setup during prep. Total weight 74lbs. (rig, sled, batteries) this is the weigh on my steadicam arm. So if you add the 11lbs of the arm itself that is 85lbs. that the operator has to lug around!!!
This is why when I can I use my segway!
Production being what it is changes were requested with our configuration and we had to move the Copperhead up to the top. This meant that I had to extend my post quite a bit. This setup with the long post actually dropped 2 lbs. off the total weight. The long post means it would make for a tricky configuration on a segway. Here is a picture of the re-configured rig….longer but a bit lighter.
Here is a video of the “prep” config and the show “config”.
What can you say about operating a 75lb. rig? Uffff…..!!!
Well that said, it is long…. like most 3D rigs so “switchovers” are just about impossible. Your stamina will be tested. Mine was! 2-3min songs for 2 hours? ……yeah, separates the men from the boys. The biggest issues for operating though is the huge fiber tether. Worse than the rather stiff cable is the fact that the connector(on the camera side) swivels. Unfortunately it only swivels back and forth. What this means is that the cable is always pushing the rig off balance. So besides dealing with the weight you will always be fighting the rig to maintain your horizon and balance. Here some pictures of the fiber tether and the connector. You can see the large swivel connector that only swivels in one direction….
I would say the most important thing is not to underestimate how hard you will work when flying 3D rigs. This should reflect on your rates. I hold firm on my rates for 3D because I have done it so much and know all too well the challenges and effort required. Frankly it’s just not worth the wear and tear on your body and your gear to work for discounted rates. I cannot emphasize this enough. Many arms, socket blocks and other equipment have been broken or damaged while operating at the limit of our equipment parameters. I have not heard of any physical injuries to operators but it is not inconceivable to imagine a possible on the job injury.
I hope you enjoyed my quick look behind some of the most advanced 3D technology being used today for steadicam use. Feel free to contact me with any questions! @ www.pgfilms.tv
For more info on the rigs or rentals contact 3ality Technica today!
Naturally I ended the night the same way many 3D jobs end…….with someone spraying the camera with something…..hahahahahah!!! That’s life in 3D !!
Here is the link to the trailer!
Enjoy the photo album below with more pictures from the shoot.
Finnally got around to finding some of my gopro footage from some of my segway work on a recent feature I worked on this year. I will walk you thru a “stepoff” shot. I will also talk about using the segway and other interesting things….
I let the video do the talking…
or vimeo here
Handheld and 3D….Oxymoron?
The 3D rigs used to be too big for handheld to even be a consideration! Today that has changed….so now it is possible but just because you can….does it mean you should?
“Handheld” is kinda of a taboo subject in 3D land.
Why? The general consensus amongst some experts and some test audiences is that it is too shaky for 3D. 3D is very imersive especially on a large cinema screen and 3D involves many physiological considerations that comes into play as well.
When you watch 3D your eyes and your brain are doing lots of work already and adding the erratic movement of handheld can add to strain that may already be building inside your brain.
The stereographer is constantly managing parallax values with the 3D rig controls throughout the movie to avoid unnecessary eye strain and manage the workload your brain and eyes are doing. Adding a handheld camera to this equation complicate things a bit as we have to compensate to this added brain processing by maybe reducing or altering the 3D settings to alleviate things a bit. If we don’t…….ouch!! Viewers rip their 3D glasses off!
So….can it be done? ….yes
more important question, Should it be done?
Like any choice when telling a story it’s still vital to ask “Is it crucial to the story?” “is it the right tool”.
Once that is clear and the decision is made then it’s important to start talking with your stereographer so he can start planing for this both on the 3D side of things and also so the 3D rig tech and camera dept can start to work out the “handheld mode”.
Which brings us to the next challenge….dealing with the rig in handheld mode….It’s heavy and awkward.
But it doesn’t have to be!
If you have the luxury to have a separate “handheld” rig then you have some options…
You might have to compromise on using a smaller camera like the Si-2k……but it does deliver the best handheld 3D camera….
let look some hand held setups I have used and other have used.
Element Technica – Dark Country rig
By far….the smallest and lightest 3D beamsplitter rig out there is Element Technica’s “Dark Country” rig. While an apparent 1st choice for handheld you do have limitations.
-Tiny overall size
-Lens selection; Only 2 or maybe 3 lenses will fit in the Dark country. Schneider 8mm is the most common.
-Will only work with Si-2k cameras.
-3D aliment is a tool only affair that can be tricky to adjust.
-No focus motors…..fixed focus only. Set and forget.
The Freestyle is much improved over it’s first iteration. It was designed primarily as a steadicam rig but has been used extensively as a handheld rig. The rig has rosette’s on each side where you can mount arms for handheld operation.
The rig works well for handheld work…..being lighter than most at 15lbs (empty)
-Fits wide variety of cameras
-larger mirror widens your lens selection.
-Internal motors for IO and Conv.
-In certain situations with long lenses or larger cameras the rig can flex when tilting.
-sometimes some adjustments are a bit of a pain.
-made of carbon fiber there are very little options where to mount things….no 1/4-20 or 3/8-16 holes anywhere!!
-with no top support and no threaded hole makes it difficult to use an “Easy rig”.
Here is a Freestyle with Sony F3′s and Cooke lenses.
Another handheld setup I used on a 3D music video with Si-2k cameras, C-Motion lens control, Zeiss Digi-zooms and a Cinedeck recorder on the back
On my shoulder,
Monitor is a TVlogic 6″
Element Technica “ATOM”/”Pulsar rig.
So these rigs are designed to handle larger cameras like the EPICS or a Sony P1. I have used this rig for handheld work during 3D broadcast events for DirectTV’s N4d channel. I have also used the rig with Epic cameras in handheld mode for a feature recently.
I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the rigs performed great…..holding thier aligment and not falling apart with all the jostling and bumping that happens in handheld operation.
I recently did a feature that was all handheld 3D. During prep for the movie we devised many “handheld” rigs or method of achieving handheld look in many situations. The other challenge is that even a magnesium Atom rig with angeniuex zooms, motors and all the accoutrements that you need to shoot 3D end up being rather heavy! Around 65lbs is my best guess.
So a great deal of time was spent trying to figure out way to distribute the weight around the operators body for longer takes. We came up with a few ideas and some worked better than others. In the end we settled with an “Easy-rig” with a heavy CINEMA spring on it. The 55lbs spring was not enough and the rig would sink a abit. I have heard that they have release a 65lbs spring now….I think that would work much better.
While it was a challenge for the operator physically it was possible and we got thru the movie.
-Solid alignment thru bumping
-Many threaded holes on the rig to mount eye-hooks, monitors and other devices
-Great mirror optics.
-Motorized IO and Conv.
-”cage” offers yet another place to mount and grab.
-Many rossete’s to mount handles and access.
-Mirror with the Epic cameras will only cover a 18mm lens maximum.
Here some pictures,
For directTV….show here on the tripod but later this went on a ez-rig. Sony P1 cameras. You can see the operator handles with broadcast focus and zoom controls. Rig pictured is a Pulsar.
Shoulder mount….RED Epics, Angeniuex zoom, Full lens control motors….ready to shoot.
Another view….biggest problem is that as you can see the lens height is very high…..this is why ultimately we ended up using the ez-rig.
On location…..this time with Angeniuex V3′s !! even more weight!
Here are some pictures of the Atom on my ez-rig. In this configuration we used the “cage”. We later operated on the ez-rig without this cage and used eye hooks and some rigging. This took some weight off.
Much better lens height….you can see how great the rossett’s and “mantis handles” where. I could configure them and move them into many positions around the rig to aid in the shot.
Here is a picture of how we “slung” the rig once we lost the “cage”. This lowered the overall weight. The Ez-rig would attach on the carabiner. Pictured here during testing hanging off some speedrail.
This was very hard work for the operator!! The “cinema” configuration is much heavier than a broadcast config. The operator is very restricted on his control of the camera at times and shots can suffer. Careful planning and REHEARSALS !!! are needed to optimize each setup.
Take a read thru my previous article on 3D steadicam I go into some of the details of “3D operating” that naturally also apply to handheld.
Read it here! Click here.
Handheld 3D is a dangerous game……not just for the operator’s back either! Once again the decision to go with a “handheld” aesthetic to tell your story takes on even a greater importance in 3D.
Everything is exaggerated.
Every movement….every shot off-horizon every bump is felt even greater while watching 3D. Especially on a big cinema screen!! This is why on most of all the big budget live action 3D features released to date you have seen little to no handheld. It is a risk by the filmmaker. A greater one than in 2D. Different considerations…
There were some shots in the feature that I think worked well……not sure I agree with the whole movie being handheld…..but I think I will be more open as a stereographer to handheld. My biggest advice to any 3D filmmaker….is test. Test some shots, screen them on a big screen. learn and evaluate exactly what impact on the audience your choices will have. Choose carefully as the impact on the viewer is of greater consequence than ever before.
James Cameron operated handheld himself a bit in Avatar on a bungee rig(helicopter scenes) and here is a few other pictures of him hand holding some of the PACE/Cameron Fusion rigs.
James Cameron’s new smaller 3D Rig with the new ARRI Alexa “M” series cameras. (photos from IBC 2011)
The “Ruby” lens has been out now for some time but it is relatively “new”.
It is essentially a re-housed and improved Nikon 14-24mm (click here for more info) I own this lens and have been a fan ever since it found it’s way onto my Nikon DSLR camera.
So when I first heard about the Ruby I was super excited. The Ruby Covers the FF35 sensor. The focus travels 126 degrees and focus direction was reversed to go cine direction. The focus marks are as follow:1′ 1’2″ 1’4″ 1’6″ 1’8″ 1’10″ 2′ 2’6″ 3′ 4′ 5′ 8′ 10′ and infinity, with complete accuracy with a anti back lash design that works great. It will work on all 35mm PL mounted cameras, Arri , SonyF35, Red, Canon 7D with an additional adapter.
Largest diameter is 110mm which is the focus gear
Weight: 3 pounds
Overall length: 138mm
There have been some great test’s of this lens in 2D. watch one here by DP Francis Kenny, ASC. on VIMEO CLICK HERE
So for me now the big question was how is the Ruby on a 3D rig?
Here was my testing setup- Element Technica ATOM rig, RED EPIC cameras, custom made chart (by me!) and a 4 bank Kino giving me some light to work with.
I’m working with a company that just purchased 2 Ruby lenses to go with their Atom rig. So I had the perfect opportunity to test at Element Technica’s headquarters.
I was also lucky enough to have the “STAN” to assist me in getting some hard numbers for test results. The STAN stands for “stereo analyzer” and it is made by the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany. It analyzes the 2 stereo images and displays any disparity in pixels or percentages. It can also auto-correct and image pair. In many ways it is very alike a Sony MPE-200 stereo analyzer. This provided me an amazing tool to get definite readings and results for my testing.
For more info on the “stan” click here
The 3D TV and the “Stan” analyzer….
So I began testing on the Atom rig set to “ZERO IO” and expertly and perfectly aligned by myself to attempt to achieve 2 perfectly overlayed images. Right away and was very impressed….I mean very…..I was able to align the rig in about 2mins…..near and far in just about perfect alignment. WOW……
Naturally I started my testing at the wide end at 14mm
I was surprisingly quickly able to achieve a perfect alignment on the ATOM rig.
0% Vertical match (perfect)
Also notice the fact the lens is extremely rectilinear …. really amazing for a lens at this price point and aperture.
Most importantly they were a near perfect focal length match right on the barrel marks.
Not happy with near perfect I adjusted a tiny bit and got to perfect.
I repeated the same tests at 16mm, 20mm and 24mm.
All with the same near perfect results.
Here is the result for the lens @ full zoom 24mm. Judge for yourself……
Extremely important in 3D since it’s affect how much we need to adjust the rig after a focal length adjustment on a zoom lens. The ruby’s tracked near perfect in 2 directions with a slight vertical movement when going from 14-24mm.
This is the lens tracking error going from 14mm to 24mm….
As you can see the lenses did not de-center in a diagonal(up and to the right) like most zoom lenses do. It just resulted in a small vertical mis-match. EASILY corrected on the Atom rig with a quick tweak of one of the adjustment knobs. Easy fix when compared to other zoom lenses.
Most stereographers can live with a bit of horizontal disparity but a vertical is just not acceptable. One way to fix this would be to just rotate both lenses in the mount so that the vertical disparity turns into a horizontal….this would result in a lens in 3D that you could zoom during a shot or at least at a minimum one that I could change focal lengths at a moments notice and not have to re-align the rig.
Here is a screen capture from the “right” EPIC camera. I will make the full res 5k tiff available to download soon.
In short for 3D these lenses are a dream…..their rectilinear nature and great focal range for 3D coupled with the astounding focal, alignment matching and tracking performance makes this a great lens for 3D.
I’m extremely pleased with their performance and very happy to be working with them in a major upcoming 3D production shooting on RED EPIC cameras and Element Technica ATOM rigs.
Thank you to Stuart at Focus Optics for the great lenses, Element Technica for the use of thier facility and STAN station and Tonaci Digital for the use of his EPIC cameras for this test.
I’m headed underwater to test their performance underwater on a dome port and a flat port using a RED ONE and a Element Technica housing.
The purpose is to see the viability of using a 14mm on a flat port underwater beam splitter housing like the Gates “Deep Atom”
Aerial 3D……..hummm…….what a dilemma.
I have to start off by discussing your options when it comes to shooting aerials in 3D for your movie.
-Shoot in native stereo (2 cameras)
-Shoot in 2D and do a post VFX conversion.
Certainly there is a strong argument to be made about shooting in 2D and converting. Some of the better conversions I have seen are on wider shots. So I think the kind of images created may lend themselves to conversion. Also if you go this route you can have your choice of cameras and tools. You can use any number of shooting platforms already tried a tested from years of aerial cinematography.
That said, there is nothing like the real thing. Real stereoscopic 3D imagery.
So what does it take to shoot good aerials in 3D?
Interocular or Inter-axial separation…..How much stereobase to use?
The optimal interocular could be a hard thing to manage in the air from greater distances. As you might realize the farther we get from objects (generally) we need larger separations. 6″ or more in most cases…..in fact 12″ is a very useful range but even more separation is required in certain cases.
There is alot that can be made up for if you find yourself with a smaller IO say 6″…..the shallower the angles are to the ground the more depth can be perceived. So it doesn’t pay to fly at higher altitudes since then you may be looking down at your subject. The more you can “rake” the landscape the stronger the result.
So naturally a good PILOT and operator are essential. Also if the stereographer can ride in the helicopter he can adjust focus and in general “assist” the operator but most importantly he can keep an eye on the parrallax values that they are capturing in each “setup” and they co-ordinate with the pilot to find the optimal flight path, altitude and angles.
Well…..due to the large camera separation involved you are certainly looking at a side by side rig. This can be a simple as a (shimed) cheeseplate….to a more complex side by side rig.
My vote is for the more simple more rigid rig. Less to go wrong, less chance of any unwanted movement and in the air simplicity is preferred.
Handheld….is kinda out…..since the rig is large and unwieldy.
This is the least “doable” but still very awkward setup. The grips can build from speerail a overhead rig with bungee’s that support the 3D rig….allowing you to more or less hand hold the camera.
Tyler Gyro stabilized Mounts
Tyler “MID MOUNT” (sidemount/door)
The mid mount is rated for lower weight(60lbs) cameras and due to the physical limitations of the yoke you can only achieve about a 6″ camera separation when using the mid-mount. Also the Kenyon gyros used are overpowered by the weight of the system. Careful counter weighting is needed to properly balance the rig. Custom additional weights need to be fabricated. Seen with me below on a Bell 407 on the set of “Lite the Wick 3D”.
Tyler “Major MOUNT” (sidemount/door)
The Major mount is rated for higher camera payload (120lbs) and due it is physical layout can accommodate up to a 12″ camera separation. The Major mount is the preferred method of a side mount system. Amazing shot can be made using this configuration.
The biggest problems with side mounts are the fact that your shooting off the side of the helicopter. Therefore you might have to fly at awkward angles….backwards….this is where a good pilot is essential. Ultimately you will reach the speed limit at a certain position. This sideways shooting configuration can really have it’s limitations. The other big issue is wind buffeting. In some aircraft you can setup a small wind deflector but ultimately you cant go too fast. This of course can be a deal breaker if you having to follow race cars at high speed in the desert for example.
So the ultimate solution is a nose mounted, gyro stabilized mount.
The space cam setup is very well conceived and the images speak for themselves. Here is a video of a recent test shoot with dual RED EPICS
The advantages of nose mounted systems are clear…..remotely operated, completely stabilized and most importantly much higher top speed capability and most of all……freedom of operation and framing as opposed to the side mounted cameras.
The one thing that the spacecam lacks….unless I’m misinformed is the ability to operate with larger IO or camera separation.
The last point of conversation is the aircraft itself….not that I’m a aviation expert…but here my .02 cents.
I have flow/shot in….Bell 407 Jetranger and Long ranger, Eurocopter AS350 “AStar” and a russian Mi-17 (scary!)
The Bell 407
Both the JetRanger and the longranger variants share the same issue for me which is a small door opening. With the width of a 3D rig this can severely limit your freedom to frame as an operator.
The Eurocopter AS350 B3 – ASTAR
By far my favorite! Why? once you remove the side and front doors you end up with a massive opening so you have complete operational freedom for movement. On top of that the 3 bladed Astar with it’s powerful engine is very well suited to high altitudes. In fact this was the first and only helicopter to ever land on the top of Mount Everest.
So if you like me were working shooting skiers at high altitudes the A-star is at the top of the list.
In closing the last thing I can bring up is schedule accordingly! Carefully plan all the logistics (fueling, flight plans etc.) and most of all if possible schedule some grounded weather days because depending on where your shooting, you will spend some time on the ground staring up at the sky waiting for good weather!
Check out a bunch of 3D helicopter shots….