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

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  1. #11  
    Senior Member Jacek Zakowicz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Sherrick View Post
    Don’t shoot the messenger. Here is his statement so I can remove myself from the interpretation.

    For the closeups, was there a particular focal length you preferred or were you changing it up?

    I liked the 35mm and the 25mm. One of the reasons we were using Large Format was to get very close to the chess board without having distortion.

    If we were shooting Super35, the equivalent would have been an 18mm ZEISS Super Speed and it would look a lot different. Not having that distortion was a big part of it.
    That just shows his incompetence in this aspect. Ask Steve Yedlin. He actually tested it and his posted frame grabs show zero difference. Nobody could tell the difference between S35 and S16. As the matter of fact he posted identical frames from S16, S35 FF. I Guess Meizler missed it so he is still peddling the FF myth...I can't believe we are still at it after 5 years. Some marketing gimmicks die hard for sure...
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  2. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by Jacek Zakowicz View Post
    That just shows his incompetence in this aspect. Ask Steve Yedlin. He actually tested it and his posted frame grabs show zero difference. Nobody could tell the difference between S35 and S16. As the matter of fact he posted identical frames from S16, S35 FF. I Guess Meizler missed it so he is still peddling the FF myth...I can't believe we are still at it after 5 years. Some marketing gimmicks die hard for sure...
    Think that's a little unfair. Is he not talking about physical lens distortion - barrel/pin cushion/mustache. It's more difficult to correct an 18mm optic than a 25 or 35? So i don't think he is talking about focal length comparisons - more likely the physical reality of lens design and the fact that an 18mm has very different ray angles than a 35mm...

    So you can get an S35 18mm 'equiv' on a larger sensor which matches fov, but the larger sensors lens is optically *better*, i've seen comparisons like this showing this and the render of the lenses are different even though the broad length, perspective is the same...

    It's still fairly new that we have good quality very wide rectilinear lenses.

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  3. #13  
    Senior Member Christoffer Glans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacek Zakowicz View Post
    That just shows his incompetence in this aspect. Ask Steve Yedlin. He actually tested it and his posted frame grabs show zero difference. Nobody could tell the difference between S35 and S16. As the matter of fact he posted identical frames from S16, S35 FF. I Guess Meizler missed it so he is still peddling the FF myth...I can't believe we are still at it after 5 years. Some marketing gimmicks die hard for sure...
    But it's not that clear-cut either. It doesn't fall into a black-white fallacy that it's either a difference or no difference at all.

    Of course, if you set T-stops correlating between two lenses of different focal lengths so that they match exactly at the same distance from a subject you can absolutely make them look identical. But it isn't as clear-cut as that. As much as I like Yedlin's argument about resolution and while he is technically correct with that comparison, there are other aspects to take into account.

    What about lens quality? There's no secret that wider lenses have a lot more distortions to the glass due to the fact that manufacturing those lenses is a lot harder than higher focal lengths. An 18mm is not built the same way as a 24 or 35mm. So, if you have a technically super perfect 18mm lens that can match the T-stop of a correlating perfect focal length on an FF sensor, you will see no difference. But that hardly happens. You often get more distortions on wider lenses so if you can use higher focal lengths for the same FOV, you reduce the risk of optical distortions from the manufacturing.

    When taking into account shooting super wide angles at very low T stops, it's almost only possible with any level of quality if you use something like the Master Primes on s35. So yes, you can absolutely have super wide FOVs on s35mm, but it's remarkably hard to find super fast wide lenses that have low distortions in order to get those kinds of FOVs.

    Try finding a 16mm sub T1.0 lens for s35 that has fewer distortions than a 24mm T1.4 to match the same FOV on FF. Then go even further, try and find a 9mm sub T1.4 lens on s35 to match what you get with a fully open 14mm T2.0 with no difference in distortions. It's also hard to match between two lenses of different focal lengths if you already opened up them both to the max. How do you get a lower T-stop if you shoot a 50mm at T1.3 FF and want to do a similar FOV with a 35mm on s35? Do you have a 35mm T0.8 with the same color rendition, contrast and quality as the 50mm at T1.3?

    The argument that FF doesn't help with distortions might be valid when looking at lenses around 35mm and 50mm, yes, those lenses can in many cases and brands be shot to look purely identical. But just as when Yedlin argues about resolutions with examples that are heavily manipulated with 35mm emulation including halation, film grain, film curves etc. that not all filmmakers are using in their projects, it's impossible to make an argument like this when the examples are niche. It doesn't apply to a neutral position which should be the foundation to make arguments upon.

    On top of that, we have the fact that a larger physical size means photosites get more room at higher resolutions.

    Just because marketing people push FF for new lineups of cameras doesn't mean that there are no differences or that there are no improvements with FF over s35. And the Queens Gambit is a show with a lot of wide angles, which could absolutely mean that distortions are visible trying to achieve the same wide FOV on s35 setups.

    If you accuse people of being biased to manufacturer marketing, don't act biased yourself with the counterargument and an appeal to authority fallacy like that. As I said, it's not a black and white argument.
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  4. #14  
    Senior Member Nick Morrison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacek Zakowicz View Post
    That just shows his incompetence in this aspect. Ask Steve Yedlin. He actually tested it and his posted frame grabs show zero difference. Nobody could tell the difference between S35 and S16. As the matter of fact he posted identical frames from S16, S35 FF. I Guess Meizler missed it so he is still peddling the FF myth...I can't believe we are still at it after 5 years. Some marketing gimmicks die hard for sure...
    I actually found the Yedlin examples to be illuminating, in a different way.

    He makes a great point that you can match the background blur across all formats, if you adjust your F/T stop.

    Ie S16 at T2 would be similar to S35 at say T4, and FF at say T5.6, and say Imax at say T11.

    This is 100% true, and he shows that.

    However what's also true is most people don't shoot at T11. You would normally shoot at a 2 or 2.8.

    In Queen's Gambit, he's shooting interiors at 1.4.

    So yes the larger format makes a BIG difference. A 28mm or 35mm at 1.4 will have way shallower DOF and less distortion up close than an 18mm 1.4 Super Speed, which was literally his point and makes total sense.
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  5. #15  
    Senior Member Nick Morrison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christoffer Glans View Post
    As much as I like Yedlin's argument about resolution and while he is technically correct with that comparison, there are other aspects to take into account.
    Exactly. Yedlin makes an amazing point that resolution doesn't matter - that people can't tell the difference, and ultimately pixel quality is what matters. This is true.

    However, having the extra K's is a separate advantage. Ie being able to re-frame in post is a major advantage that those K's gives you. This ability to reframe is a major part of many Hollywood workflows. David Fincher is a major proponent for example (he's uses some of that resolution to stabilize). And on the Star Wars franchise (that Yedlin worked on), all of those projects are shot with lots of Ks for VFX, etc.

    So yes the K's don't matter. But sometimes they do.
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  6. #16  
    Senior Member Jacek Zakowicz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christoffer Glans View Post
    What about lens quality? There's no secret that wider lenses have a lot more distortions to the glass due to the fact that manufacturing those lenses is a lot harder than higher focal lengths. An 18mm is not built the same way as a 24 or 35mm. So, if you have a technically super perfect 18mm lens that can match the T-stop of a correlating perfect focal length on an FF sensor, you will see no difference. But that hardly happens. You often get more distortions on wider lenses so if you can use higher focal lengths for the same FOV, you reduce the risk of optical distortions from the manufacturing.
    It is just as hard to correct distortion on a 25mm lens across 44mm diagonal as it is to correct the distortion on 18mm lens across 30mm diagonal. or 10mm on 14mm diagonal.
    He was not talking about the depth of field in extreme cases razor thin DOF. Stay on topic please. It is rarely done for a reason- keeping the subject in focus is extremely difficult and it is really counter intuitive to general shooting rules..
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  7. #17  
    Senior Member Scot Yount's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulcurtis View Post
    Think that's a little unfair. Is he not talking about physical lens distortion - barrel/pin cushion/mustache. It's more difficult to correct an 18mm optic than a 25 or 35? So i don't think he is talking about focal length comparisons - more likely the physical reality of lens design and the fact that an 18mm has very different ray angles than a 35mm...

    So you can get an S35 18mm 'equiv' on a larger sensor which matches fov, but the larger sensors lens is optically *better*, i've seen comparisons like this showing this and the render of the lenses are different even though the broad length, perspective is the same...

    It's still fairly new that we have good quality very wide rectilinear lenses.

    cheers
    Paul
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  8. #18  
    Senior Member Jacek Zakowicz's Avatar
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    I give up, please proceed with your fantasies at will. ;-)
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  9. #19  
    Senior Member Steve Sherrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacek Zakowicz View Post
    I give up, please proceed with your fantasies at will. ;-)
    Jacek, let's keep this civil. There's a bit of tone coming across in your posts. Are you saying that Steven Meizler was incorrect on his assessment of what lenses, sensor, camera placement gave him the shots he wanted? You called him incompetent in your earlier statements.
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  10. #20  
    Senior Member Jacek Zakowicz's Avatar
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    There is no proof to support what he is saying- only hear say that has been debunked a while back. That's all I'm saying....I agree that that word was too harsh and inappropriate for such an accomplished pro. My apologies, but we have our pewees....
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