Thread: scarlet 2/3 vs s35 depth of field

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  1. #1 scarlet 2/3 vs s35 depth of field 
    Sorry newbie question. How big a difference will be the depth of field between a scarlet 2/3 vs a scarlet s35. Specifically, I'm thinking indie filmmaking. Would a scarlet 2/3 depth of field feel filmic?

    Thanks...
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  2. #2  
    Practically speaking, at the same f-stop compared to S35, 2/3" is the equivalent depth of field of stopping down by 2.5 stops -- in other words, if you shoot at f/2.0 on a 2/3" camera, it's the same depth of field as shooting at a f/4.0-f/5.6 split in S35, assuming you match field of view and distance.

    Super-16/16mm has the same issue -- doesn't something shot in 16mm look "filmic"? How about a 35mm movie with a deep-focus look, like "Citizen Kane"?

    Plenty of 35mm photography is shot in the middle f-stop range, especially outdoors.

    It's really only in night photography where the extra depth of field of 2/3" sensors is a bit uncharacteristic of 35mm night photography, which tends to be super shallow-focus.

    Now if you like the look of 35mm shot at an f/2.8-f/4 split, it's a bit harder to do that on a 2/3" camera since you'd need an f/1.4 lens -- not impossible for a single-sensor camera that can use cine lenses, but the fastest 3-CCD HD lenses made tend to be f/1.6 (like a Zeiss Digi-Prime), which is probably close enough.

    Fincher's "Zodiak" and the upcoming "Benjamin Button" were shot on the Viper, which has 2/3" sensors -- they seem fairly "filmic" to me...
    David Mullen, ASC
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Justin O'Neill's Avatar
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    Great explanation David!

    I love it when someone with tons of real world experience comes in here and tempers all of the wild speculation with thoughtful explanations.
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  4. #4  
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    a 2/3" chip camera can more easily attain shallow depth of field than prosumer cameras most people might be familiar with, like the smaller HVX (3 x 1/3" chip). use lots of light to stay open, keep a little distance between the subject and the background (cheating if necessary) and you can get "that look," no question.
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  5. #5  
    You'd need less light to shoot at a wider-open lens aperture, not more.
    David Mullen, ASC
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    oops, brainographical error... i'll let the cinematographer do the talking :)
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  7. #7  
    Senior Member Roberto Lequeux's Avatar
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    Hey David, nice post, thanks for putting it so clearly.

    I can't wait to see how sensitive the 2/3 is cause an other factor will be that the photosensors are much smaller. Should be plenty that's for sure but still that is the other thing killing me with curiosity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Mullen ASC View Post
    Fincher's "Zodiak" and the upcoming "Benjamin Button" were shot on the Viper, which has 2/3" sensors -- they seem fairly "filmic" to me...
    These two examples have been mentioned before, but there seem to be other 'elements' to get that DOF with the Viper. If i look at footage from a HPX500, then the DOF looks different. The lenses and sensor-type must play a big part.
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member Zhibo Lai's Avatar
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    If it's good enough for Zodiak and Ben Button (which looks like a great movie, btw), then it's good enough for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Mullen ASC View Post
    Fincher's "Zodiak" and the upcoming "Benjamin Button" were shot on the Viper, which has 2/3" sensors -- they seem fairly "filmic" to me...
    AC/DIT, VFX artist @ Dimension FX LLC
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  10. #10  
    Obviously you have to know what you are doing in order to control depth of field and not let it get deeper than you want, since you don't have an easy way of getting, let's say, the look of shooting at f/2.0 on 35mm when using a 2/3" camera. So I can't say that it makes no difference, the size of the sensor, just that it's a difference that can be dealt with to some varying degrees of success. A 2.5-stop difference in effective depth of field is manageable.

    However, I just finished a TV show on a 35mm-sensor digital camera, when we had contemplated using a 2/3" camera... and I was glad we went with the 35mm-sensor camera in the end because we didn't shoot many close-ups on the show, lots of medium shots in small houses, at an f/2.8 generally, usually on a 35mm prime lens. So it was helpful to have the fall-off in focus since I couldn't get the walls farther away from the subject and we weren't pushing in tighter either to make the focus drop off faster.
    David Mullen, ASC
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