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Sean Cunningham

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About Sean Cunningham

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    Austin, Texas
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    visual effects, animation, anime, photography, filmmaking, movies, cars (Euro, sport compact, touring, classic Mopar)

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  1. For inexpensive but totally effective there is the Digisix 2. It's maybe the cheapest contemporary meter that's professional quality. Only $159.99 now: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/918762-REG/gossen_go_4006_2_digisix_2_light_meter.html
  2. This may be common practice for amateur anamorphic enthusiasts but it's not true for most cinema. There's a variety of reasons for it...guessing, not doing research and then the mechanics of adapting lenses designed for much smaller cameras than they're using, which are, even in the case of the 5D, shooting to a format that's smaller than that used by a cinema camera when paired with anamorphic lenses (unless you're shooting ML and to a 4:3 format you're cropped and shooting to a smaller format than anamorphic 35mm).
  3. In the ACM piece they seemed to have plenty of light at the hotel. Massive inflatable diffuse sources hanging overhead. I'll have to go back and look at it again to see if they mentioned any technical issues encountered. Having a "digital-y" artifact would be really out of character for Wes Anderson given the pains everyone had to take on Steve Zissou for the digital post to either be completely invisible or have a hand-made, crude look to it. He pretty much forbid motion blur, etc.
  4. I've yet to see it. But I'm pretty confident it's a shuttering thing. It's not present in every shot, right? I've seen the trailers online, on television and at the theater and there are a few shots in there where I know there's some kind of horse-hockey going on with shutter smear, either in-camera or post. It's most noticeable in the scene with the nose punch. My initial thought from the trailer is perhaps this was a poorly done post enhancement to an off-speed stunt, speeding up footage and doing a naive frame blend but it sounds like this look appears elsewhere? It looks like what you get when you shutter out flicker with a digital camera and drives me up the wall when I see it in shows. Night stuff on Dexter was just filthy with this look. I hate it. I say let lights flicker or fix the lights. But The Grand Budapest Hotel was shot on film so I'm more or less baffled why it's present. Perhaps long-shutter film looks just as bad as when it's done with video. Previously, I've only seen demonstrations of "the video look" with high shutter film. Or maybe it's just, again, some poorly done post process. If it's intermittent then I'm inclined to think there was an error with a camera or just something present in only some of the footage that they're trying to correct.
  5. Softness, chromatic and edge softness are the traits associated with most classic anamorphic lens families. Read almost any interview with an A-List DP working in the medium and they're often making their selection based on these "artifacts" as a conscious decision, counting them as a positive. All of the things enthusiasts and amateurs and bench engineers routinely poo-poo in "affordable" adapters, ironically. The term "sharp" is also a more or less relative term when you're talking anamorphic. Look at the chart tests found elsewhere here on the Iscorama 54. Compared to the shittiest spherical kit lens that I've ever seen it's soft as hell, but as one of a few coveted Iscoramas it's considered nearly a "gold standard".
  6. Still, the quoted part above is conflating the entirely different issue of hypothetical eyepieces with the subject of the thread, which is thorium in certain classic lenses. This same site raises the issue but also puts it in perspective, the part he's leaving out because that's not compatible with the hysteria he's trying to create. Given that we don't hold the lens up to our eyeballs and shoot pictures out our butt holes the OP is trying to make a fairly known issue into a bigger hazard than it actually is. Respecting these lenses and being mindful of their peculiarity doesn't impose any kind of radical hardship as far as storage or handling goes. The subject being photographed receives, potentially, more direct bombardment of radioactivity than the operator. Put a UV, ND or anamorphic adapter on the front of one of these and, voila, problem solved, now nobody is getting rads. Since the radiation coming off these lenses cannot penetrate most other surfaces and doesn't travel far. Say a lens is radioactive and you get a reaction from people. Oh, that's bad! Except "radioactive" is a fairly meaningless term given bananas, potatoes, carrots and other foods are naturally radioactive. So are lots of plants and rocks everywhere and compounds found in our own bodies and potentially well water if you live in a remote, rural region. Okay, so they're radioactive. What does that actually mean? So you dig further and it's Thorium-232. Oh, that does sound scary! So you dig further to see what kind of radiation it gives off: Oh my, that does sound bad! Okay, so what is "alpha decay" and what does it take to protect yourself??? ...go on... ...oh, so, wait a minute, what's the big emergency? Oh, there really isn't one. Don't ingest the lens, or smash it or lick it or hold it up to your eyeball without a camera being between it and you and then if you want to feel really good about yourself, put something on the front so you're not giving other people harmless, momentary rads when you take their picture, especially if you're doing macro photography of their eyeball. Turns out, alpha decay is so easily shielded it's an option as a power source for cardiac pacemakers. edit: of course, all this assumes there's nothing else in there but the thorium. The thorium isn't really scary. Information on something else being in there might change the situation.
  7. Oh, so somehow these lenses have magical properties such that alpha particles behave differently than in any other situation. Riiiiiight.
  8. If the viewfinder isn't made of thorium glass, which it won't be, everything bolded is not correct about what you actually are getting. Why? Because alpha particles aren't penetrating the lens barrel to radiate you through the side of the lens and they aren't penetrating through the camera and coming out the back or through the camera and through the eyepiece optics. It's not happening. If alpha particles can't penetrate a piece of paper they aren't passing through multiple layers of metal, plastic and glass.
  9. Now, if only we can get a fear-monger campaign going that convinces people the Iscoramas are radioactive...
  10. Oh, and Thorium 232, if that's in fact what's involved, a single sheet of paper shields you from alpha particle decay, even very energetic alpha particles. Since you aren't holding the lens itself to your eye but you have a camera body and all kinds of materials and surfaces between you and either the rear or front element you're shielded. If it's got front and rear caps on, you're shielded. If it's in a box under your bed, you're shielded. If it's wrapped in paper and tucked under your pillow, you're shielded. Even if it were a different variety of Thorium that gave off beta particles, they're shielded by aluminum, plastic, wood, water, etc. With no reason for bare skin contact with the lens you're almost always in a situation where you're shielded during use, storage or transport.
  11. Look around where you live and work each day. Are your walls white? There's a fair chance you're being irradiated by the titanium in the pigment in the paint, depending on the source. And anything else painted white or with white pigment. Back in the '80s and '90s my dad worked as a chemist. One of his last jobs was as a pigment specialist for this company that, among other things, made an alternative to the titanium-based white pigments used in everything from paint to plastics to food. He came home rattled one night because while the company tried to sell customers their product they still did a lot of color matching formulation for all kinds of products and still did a fair amount of work with titanium and they got a particularly "hot" batch from China that somehow made it through Customs and was sitting on a barge. Nobody knew what to do with it that wasn't going to amount to an international incident. He knew that much of the time the metal had trace amounts of radioactivity but it was within EPA standards. This was apparently closer to nuclear fallout level stuff that only got found out because someone got curious. Who knows how much had already come in like that or would come in like that in the future. I was told not to talk about it with any of my friends at school and we never really talked about it again. I still don't know what happened to the barge full of the stuff but I think about that night every time I stare at a white wall or something made of white plastic. I'm not worried about these lenses.
  12. Yeah, real world shooting will be more forgiving. The Mitakon looks pretty good relative to the Metabones. Being softer isn't necessarily a bad thing in some cases. It's like a focal reducer, stop booster and OLPF all in one!
  13. The only attempt so far, that I can find, of a comprehensive look at these adapters relative to the more expensive MB offerings: http://***URL removed***/forums/thread/3627547#forum-post-53156458 ...of course, charts don't tell the whole story. Just ask the Helios 44.
  14. 35mm would be a general expectation but it's going to depend on the particular camera and the particular lens. For instance, the 20mm LUMIX is rated as compatible for MFT but may or may not work with the GH2, I don't have any specific references to this combo being tested on hand, but I know using the LUMIX 14-42mm zoom I couldn't be wider than 24/25mm without vignette. The 1mm difference between the GH2 and GH3 is magnified once you throw a Speedbooster into the equation. The MFT mount covers a variety of sensor sizes (as does APS-C). Some of them + Speedbooster end up being almost Super35 size while the GH2 + Speedbooster is effectively bigger than Super35. As you increase sensor size and are forced to compensate with longer focal lengths you're still gaining field of view. It becomes, more or less, a wash. 24mm + GH2 + Anamorphot is roughly equivalent to 40mm if you were shooting anamorphic film and so is 35mm + Speedbooster + GH2 + Anamorphot.
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