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1 Burnside Film and Television- Production

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Cinematography Guide for Film Makers 2ND Edition

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Since its initial publication in 1973, Cinematography has become the standard guidebook on filmmaking techniques that emphasizes the cameraman's craft. Now completely revised and updated, it clearly and concisely covers what today's filmmaker needs to know about camera structure and operation, lenses, film stocks, filters, lighting and light measuring, and accessory equipment. In addition it provides up-to-date information on sound recording, editing, video transfer, studio and location shooting, production logistics, and modern techniques of picture manipulation with optical printers — a subject rarely treated in such detail in existing film books.

Building on the groundwork he lays, Kris Malkiewicz explores more advanced techniques of overall picture quality control — how the filmmaker can translate the envisaged image to the screen through coordinating all aspects of cinematography. As Malkiewicz explains, whatever concept is desired, the filmmaker must be in full control of the technology in order to ensure success.

Illustrated with more than 350 photographs and drawings, this new second edition of Cinematography will continue to prove invaluable to filmmakers, film students, and film teachers.

Synopsis:

Since its initial publication in 1973, Cinematography has become the standard guidebook on filmmaking techniques that emphasizes the cameraman's craft. Now completely revised and updated, it clearly and concisely covers what today's filmmaker needs to know about camera structure and operation, lenses, film stocks, filters, lighting and light measuring, and accessory equipment. In addition it provides up-to-date information on sound recording, editing, video transfer, studio and location shooting, production logistics, and modern techniques of picture manipulation with optical printers — a subject rarely treated in such detail in existing film books.

Building on the groundwork he lays, Kris Malkiewicz explores more advanced techniques of overall picture quality control — how the filmmaker can translate the envisaged image to the screen through coordinating all aspects of cinematography. As Malkiewicz explains, whatever concept is desired, the filmmaker must be in full control of the technology in order to ensure success.

Illustrated with more than 350 photographs and drawings, this new second edition of Cinematography will continue to prove invaluable to filmmakers, film students, and film teachers.

About the Author

Kris Malkiewicz graduated from the Polish Film School in 1964. He has worked in the Polish film and television industry, directed documentaries for Irish television, lectured in the film division of London Polytechnic, and, since 1968, has been teaching at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. He is the author of Film Lighting, also available from Prentice Hall Press.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

CAMERAS

The cinematographer's most basic tool is the motion-picture camera. This piece of precision machinery comprises scores of coordinated functions, each of which demands understanding and care if the camera is to produce the best and most consistent results. The beginning cameraman's goal should be to become thoroughly familiar and comfortable with the camera's operation, so that he can concentrate on the more creative aspects of cinematography.

This chapter must cover many isolated bits of practical information. However, once the reader has become familiar with camera operation he will be able to move on to the substance of the cinematographer's craft in subsequent chapters. In the meantime the reader is well advised to try to absorb each operation-oriented detail presented in this chapter, because operating a camera is all details. If any detail is neglected, the quality of the work can be impaired.

PRINCIPLE OF INTERMITTENT MOVEMENT

The film movement mechanism is what really distinguishes a cinema camera from a still camera. The illusion of image motion is created by a rapid succession of still photographs. To arrest every frame for the time of exposure, the principle of an intermittent mechanism was borrowed from clocks and sewing machines. Almost all general purpose motion-picture cameras employ the intermittent principle.

Intermittent mechanisms vary in design. All have a pull-down claw and pressure plate. Some have a registration pin as well. The pull-down claw engages the film perforation and moves the film down one frame. It then disengages and goes back up to pull down the next frame. While the claw is disengaged, the pressure plate holds the film steady for the period of exposure. Some cameras have a registration pin that enters the film perforation for extra steadiness while the exposure is made.

Whatever mechanism is employed requires the best materials and machining possible, which is one reason why good cameras are expensive. The film gate (the part of the camera where the pressure plate, pull-down claw, and registration pin engage the film) needs a good deal of attention when cleaning and threading. The film gate is never too clean. This is the area where the exposure takes place, so any particles of dirt or hair will show on the exposed film and perhaps scratch it. In addition to miscellaneous debris such as sand, hair, and dust, sometimes a small amount of emulsion comes off the passing film and collects in the gate. It must be removed. This point is essential. On feature films, some assistant cameramen clean the gate after every shot. They know that one grain of sand or bit of emulsion can ruin a day's work.

The gate should first be cleaned with a rubber-bulb syringe to blow foreign particles away. (Many cameramen use compressed air supplied in cans; the cans must be used in an upright position or they will spray a gluey substance into the camera.) An orangewood stick, available wherever cosmetics are sold, can then be used to remove any sticky emulsion buildup. The gate and pressure plate should also be wiped with a clean chamois or cotton cloth — never with linen. Never use metal tools for cleaning the gate, or for that matter for cleaning any part of the film movement mechanism, because these may cause abrasions that in turn will scratch the passing film.

The gate should be cleaned every time the camera is reloaded. At the same time the surrounding camera interior and magazine should also be cleaned to ensure that no dirt will find its way to the gate while the camera is running.

The intermittent movement requires the film to be slack so that as it alternately stops and jerks ahead in one-frame advances there will be no strain on it. Therefore, one or two sprocket rollers are provided to maintain two loops, one before and one after the gate. In some cameras (such as the Bolex and Canon Scoopic) a self-threading mechanism forms the loops automatically. In Super-8 cassettes and cartridges the loops are already formed by the manufacturer. On manually threaded cameras the film path showing loop size is usually marked.

Too small a loop will not absorb the jerks of the intermittent movement, resulting in picture unsteadiness, scratched film, broken perforations, and possibly a camera jam. An oversize loop may vibrate against the camera interior and also cause an unsteady picture and scratched film. Either too large or too small a loop will also contribute to camera noise.

Camera Speeds

The speed at which the intermittent movement advances the film is expressed in frames per second (fps). To reproduce movement on the screen faithfully, the film must be projected at the same speed as it was shot. Standard shooting and projection speed for 16mm and 35mm is 24 fps; standard speeds for 8mm and Super-8 are 24 fps for sound and 18 fps for silent.

If both the camera and the projector are run at the same speeds, say 24 fps, then the action will be faithfully reproduced. However, if the camera runs slower than the projector, the action will appear to move faster on the screen than it did in real life. For example, an action takes place in four seconds (real time) and it is photographed at 12 fps. That means that the four seconds of action is recorded over forty-eight frames. If it is now projected at standard sound speed of 24 fps, it will take only two seconds to project. Therefore, the action that took four seconds in real life is sped up to two seconds on the screen because the camera ran slower than the projector.

The opposite is also true. If the camera runs faster than the projector, the action will be slowed down in projection. So to obtain slow motion, speed the camera up; to obtain fast motion, slow the camera down.

This variable speed principle has several applications. Time lapse photography can compress time and make very slow movement visible, such as the growth of a flower or the movement of clouds across the sky. Photographing slow-moving clouds at a rate of, say, one frame every three seconds will make them appear to be rushing through the screen when the film is projected at 24 frames per second. On the other hand, movements filmed at 36 fps or faster acquire a slow, dreamy quality at 24 fps on the screen. Such effects can be used to create a mood or analyze a movement. A very practical use of slow motion is to smooth out a jerky camera movement such as a rough traveling shot. The jolts are less prominent in slow motion.

To protect the intermittent movement, never run the camera at high speeds when it is not loaded.

SHUTTER

A change in camera speed will cause a change in shutter speed.

In most cameras the shutter consists of a rotating disk with a 180° cutout. As the disk rotates it covers the aperture while the film advances into position. Rotating further, the cutout portion allows the frame to be exposed and then covers it again for the next pull-down. The shutter rotates constantly, and therefore the film is exposed half the time and covered the other half. So when the camera is running at 24 fps, the actual period of exposure for each frame is 1/48 of a second (half of 1/24). Varying the speed of the camera also changes the exposure time. For example, by slowing the movement to half, or 12 fps, we increase the exposure period for each frame to 1/24 of a second. Similarly, by speeding up the movement to double the normal 24 fps to 48 fps, we reduce the exposure period to 1/96 of a second. Knowing these relationships, we can adjust the f-stop to compensate for the change in exposure time when filming fast or slow motion.

A change in the speed of film movement can be useful when filming at low light levels. For example, suppose you are filming a cityscape at dusk and there is not enough light. By reducing your speed to 12 fps, you can double the exposure period for each frame, giving you an extra stop of light that may save your shot. Of course, this technique would be unacceptable if there were any pedestrians or moving cars in view; they would be unnaturally sped up when the film was projected.

Some cameras are equipped with a variable shutter. By varying the angle of the cutout we can regulate the exposure. For example, a 90° shutter opening transmits half as much light as a 180° opening. Some amateurs who do not intend to have prints made make fade-outs and fade-ins on their original film by using the variable shutter. Professionals have all such effects done in the lab.

Shutter movement is directly responsible for the stroboscopic effect. Take the example of the spokes of a turning wheel. Our intermittent exposures may catch each succeeding spoke in the same place in the frame, making the spinning wheel appear to be motionless. Another variation, called skipping, results from movement past parallel lines or objects such as the railings of a fence. They may appear to be vibrating. These effects will increase with faster movement and with a narrower shutter angle.

VIEWING SYSTEMS

In many cameras (like the Arriflex and Eclair) the shutter performs a vital role in the viewing system. The front of the shutter has a mirror surface that reflects the image into the viewfinder when the shutter is closed. The great advantage of this system is that all the light goes alternately to the film and to the cameraman's eye, providing the brightest image possible. The surface of the mirror shutter should be cleaned only with an air syringe or other source of compressed air; nothing should be allowed to touch it.

Other systems (like the Bolex Reflex) use a prism between the lens and the shutter so that a certain percentage of the light is constantly diverted to the viewfinder. The disadvantage of this system is that it reduces the amount of light going both to the view-finder and to the film, since the beam is split. An exposure compensation is required to allow for the light "stolen" from the film by the viewing system. It is usually very slight. For example, in the Bolex Rex-5 the loss is about a third of a stop. You should consult the operator's manual for the specific camera to learn the exact compensation.

The viewing systems discussed so far allow the cameraman to look through the taking lens. Many cameras of older design do not have this "reflexive" viewing system. As a result the camera may not see exactly what the viewfinder sees. Referred to as "parallax," this is especially a problem in close-ups or with telephoto lenses. However, most nonreflex cameras have an adjustment that can partly correct parallax.

MOTORS

The film transport mechanism, the shutter, and other moving camera parts are operated by the motor. There are two basic types of motors, spring-wound and electric. Spring-wound cameras run approximately twenty to forty feet of film per wind. The advantages include a compact design and reliable performance under difficult conditions such as cold weather.

Electric motors are available in a variety of designs. The four types that are generally used are (1) variable speed (wild), (2) interlocked, (3) stop frame (time lapse), and (4) synchronous (constant speed), which are the most commonly used. Variable speed motors have an adjustable speed control that may range from 2 to 64 fps or more. (Above 64 fps are considered high-speed motors.) The interlocked motor synchronizes the camera with other devices, such as back or front projectors. The stop frame or time lapse motor is usually connected with an intervalometer to allow the setting up of whatever exposure intervals are needed for time lapse photography (such as filming the growth of plants).

The most advanced type of synchronous or constant speed motor is designed with a crystal control to regulate the speed with extreme precision. When the camera motor and the tape recorder are both equipped with crystal controls, you can film "in sync" with no cables connecting the camera to the recorder. Furthermore, several crystal control cameras can be held in sync to one or more crystal recorders, allowing for multicamera coverage with no cables to restrict the distances between them. Some crystal control motors even combine several functions, allowing the operator to change from constant speed crystal sync to variable speed or single frame at the touch of a switch.

BATTERIES.

Most 16mm camera motors operate on DC current supplied by batteries. Nickel-cadmium (NiCad) batteries are the most technologically advanced and therefore the most widely used. Their life expectancy varies, depending on the conditions of use and maintenance, but on the average about five hundred cycles of recharging and discharging should be expected.

There are slow "overnight" chargers that require fourteen to sixteen hours, quick chargers that will charge batteries in one-half of this time, and truly fast chargers that can do the job in one hour.

It is essential to familiarize oneself with the charger on hand. Many chargers will damage a battery when left on charge for longer time than required.

It is advisable to have at least four charged batteries on hand so that they can be rotated with enough time for slow charging. Only high-quality fast chargers should be used, such as the Anton-Bauer Lifesaver™ Quick Chargers and Fast Chargers.

The battery belt, consisting of built-in nickel-cadmium cells, is a most convenient power source for portable 16mm and 35mm cameras. All Super-8 cameras house the battery in the camera body, doing away with the cable connecting the battery as a separate unit. This logical trend is rapidly expanding into 16mm designs.

MAGAZINES

Most of the smaller 16mm cameras will house up to 100-foot loads (on daylight spools) inside the camera body. The larger 16mm cameras are usually equipped with film magazines ranging in a capacity from 200 to 1,200 feet. Having several magazines allows for a more efficient production, particularly when more than one type of film stock is used on a given day. The camera assistant loads several magazines in advance so that the magazine change will slow down the production minimally.

Remember, when considering magazines, the two decisive factors are capacity and design. The shape and placement of the magazine is sometimes important too. For most shooting situations it doesn't matter, but when you are shooting in cramped quarters, such as from the cockpit of a plane or from under a car, the bulkiness of the camera can make a difference. Here a cameraman may want a camera with magazines that are smaller or that mount to the back or bottom of the camera rather than the top.

At one time all magazines had to be loaded in total darkness. Today, loads of 200 and 400 feet are available on daylight spools that require only subdued light when loading. Film not on daylight reels necessitates either a darkroom or a changing bag. The changing bag must be of adequate size and absolutely light-tight. It should be stored in a special case or cover to keep it spotlessly clean and dust free. (Don't let your dog sleep on it.) Any hairs, dirt, or dust in the changing bag can easily enter the magazine being loaded and from there travel to the gate.

Before loading an unfamiliar magazine, practice loading it with a roll of waste film that you don't want, first in the light and then in the dark, to simulate the loading of unexposed stock.

Some magazines have their own take-up motors to wind up the film as it reenters the magazine after passing through the camera. Such motors should be tested with a waste roll before the magazine is loaded with unexposed film. Run this test with the battery to be used in filming. This test is advisable because a battery may sometimes have enough charge to run a camera with a 100-foot internal load or an empty magazine but then fail to operate the magazine and camera when it is loaded.

Also, before loading clean the magazine with compressed air, camera brush, and a piece of sticky paper in order to remove dust, film chips, or hair, and make sure that the rollers are moving freely. (Never wear a fuzzy or hairy sweater when cleaning camera equipment or in the darkroom.)

After loading the magazine it is advisable to seal the lid with black camera tape. This is partly to prevent light leakage on old magazines, but mainly to prevent an accidental opening. When you are loading magazines in a hurry, it is easy to confuse loaded ones and unloaded ones. Taping the loaded magazines immediately after loading will save you the annoyance of opening a supposedly empty magazine and ruining a roll of film.

It is also customary to stick a white 1-inch tape on the side of a magazine with information such as the number of the magazine, the type of film stock, the length of the roll and its number, whether it is day or night effect, and the name of the camera assistant. This will help in the preparation of a camera report to accompany the film to the lab.

In spite of the greatest care in cleaning and loading, even the finest camera designs will occasionally jam. The film will stop advancing somewhere along its path and the oncoming film will continue to pile up at that point, creating a "salad" of twisted and folded film. If the camera jams, remove the film from the camera interior, checking carefully to see that chips of broken film are not stuck in the gate, around the registration pin, or anywhere else. Remove the magazine to a darkroom or put it in a changing bag. You will need a spare take-up core or spool (whichever you already have in the camera) and a can with a black paper bag to unload the exposed film and rethread the magazine.

Never spool up any film with broken sprocket holes. It may jam in the processing machine in the lab and ruin a considerable amount of footage, not only yours but other customers' as well. If you suspect any damage inside your roll of film, write a warning clearly on the can to alert the lab technicians.

One simple procedure that helps prevent camera jams is to make sure there is no slack between the take-up roll and the sprocket roller. If there is, when the camera starts the take-up motor may snap the film taut, breaking it or causing the camera to "lose its loop" and become improperly threaded. There is usually some way of rotating the take-up roll to make it taut before you start to shoot.

Whenever unloading a magazine, be sure to leave the center piece (on which the film core sits) on the spindle where it belongs, and do not send it to the lab with your film. This is very important. If you send this costly little center piece to the lab, you will have trouble trying to reload the magazine without it.

Super-8 film comes in cartridges and cassettes. Not much can be done if a cassette jams, but you can prevent jamming to a great extent by making sure the cassette fits easily into the camera.

LENSES

Beginners in film making are quite often confused by the various aspects of camera lenses. They are intimidated by the mathematical formulas that appear in many photography books whenever lenses are under discussion. But today the film maker's life is easier. Readily available tables provide all the information that previously required mathematical computation. Common sense is all you need to understand lenses.

The basic function of a lens can be explained as a pinhole phenomenon. If you removed the lens from your camera and replaced it with a piece of black cardboard with a pinhole in it, you could take a picture, provided the exposure time was long enough. The picture on film would be upside down and the sides would be reversed. This is the first thing one should know about lenses: they produce images that are reversed both vertically and horizontally. The advantage of the lens over the pinhole is that where a pinhole allows only a very small amount of light to reach the film, the lens collects more light and projects it onto the film. In this way shorter exposure and better pictures are achieved.

F-stops

The maximum amount of light a lens is capable of transmitting depends on the diameter of the lens and the focal length. By focal length we mean the distance from the optical center of the lens to the film plane when the lens is focused at infinity. The focal length divided by the diameter of the lens gives us a measure of the maximum aperture. It's quite simple. For example, a lens 1 inch in diameter with a focal length of 2 inches will pass the same amount of light as a lens 3 inches in diameter with a 6-inch focal length, because the maximum aperture, or f-stop, for both lenses is f/2 (2 ÷ 1 = 2; and 6 ÷ 3 = 2 also).

We can reduce the amount of light by means of an iris placed in the lens. By closing the iris we reduce the effective diameter of the lens, thus reducing the amount of light passing through the lens. Now the f-stop equals the focal length divided by the new diameter created by the iris. Therefore, if a 2-inch-focal-length lens has an iris adjusted to a 1/8-inch opening, the f-stop is f/16, because 2 ÷ 1/8 = 16. A 4-inch lens with a 1/4-inch iris opening would also be f/16, because 4 ÷ 1/4 = 16.

So the f-stop calibration is not a measure of the mere iris opening but instead expresses the relationship between focal length and iris.

It is important to note that the smaller the iris opening is, the more times it can be divided into the focal length. Therefore, as the iris opening becomes smaller, the f-stop number becomes higher. So a lower f-stop number means more light and a higher f-stop number means less light.

F-stops are calibrated on the lens. They are commonly 1, 1.4, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, and 22. Each higher f-stop cuts the light by exactly half. For example, f/11 allows half as much light as f/8. Conversely, f/8 allows twice as much light as f/11. If the difference is more than one stop, remember that the light doubles between each stop. So f/4 will yield 8 times as much light as f/11, because f/8 is twice f/11, f/5.6 is twice f/8, and f/4 is twice f/5.6. Therefore, f/4 is 8 times more light as f/11 because 2 X 2 X 2 = 8. It doubles with each step.

Lens Speed

The lowest (widest) f-stop setting will vary between lenses, depending on their focal lengths and diameters. For example, one lens may start at f/1.9 and another at f/3.5. (Often, as in these cases, the starting number is in between the usual calibrations.) "Lens speed" refers to the widest setting (lowest f-stop) a lens is capable of. For example, a lens that opens to 1.9 is a relatively fast lens, and one that opens only as far as 3.5 is a relatively slow lens. Because telephoto lenses are longer, their diameter will usually divide several times into their focal length, making their lowest f-stop high. Therefore, telephoto lenses tend to be slow, while wide-angle lenses tend to be fast.

T-stops

Some lenses have T-stops as well as f-stops. The two are almost equivalent. T-stops are more precise because they are calibrated for the individual lens. The lenses are individually tested with a light meter to determine how much light is transmitted at various settings, and the T-stops are marked on the barrel of the lens. F-stops, on the other hand, are determined by the mathematical formula and are not calculated for the individual lens. Therefore we should consider T-stops as very accurate f-stops. When calculating the exposure or consulting the tables, f-stops and T-stops can be considered equivalent.

Focusing

Apart from f-stops, nearly every lens has a calibrated ring representing focusing distances. The exceptions are some wide-angle lenses, such as 10mm and shorter, that have a "fixed focus" — that is, there is no need to adjust focus. With a well-adjusted reflex viewing system we can focus quickly and accurately by rotating the focus ring while looking through the lens. Another method, used particularly in older cameras without reflexive viewing systems, is to measure the distance between the subject and film plane (marked on the camera by the symbol ø) and set the focus ring accordingly.

The settings achieved by focusing through a reflexive viewing system and by measuring and turning the focus ring may not agree. This may be due to a slight inaccuracy in the focus ring adjustment. In such cases, if the viewing system is accurate, one should depend on it rather than on the focusing calibrations.

DEPTH OF FIELD AND CIRCLE OF CONFUSION

If we were to photograph only one distant point, such as a light, the lens would be in focus when it projects a point onto the film.

Because the lens can be focused for only one distance at a time, objects closer and farther away will be slightly out of focus. In figure 1.14 a second, closer light would have its image formed behind the film plane and be represented on the film as a circle. A third light, farther away, would form its image in front of the film plane and also appear on the film as a circle. These circles are called "circles of confusion," and they vary in size depending on how far out of focus they are. The "confusion" is that circles smaller than 1/1000 inch confuse our eye and are seen as points in focus. This allows us to see pictures of three-dimensional objects that appear in focus.

We have a range in which objects will appear sharp. It runs between the closest and farthest objects represented as circles of confusion smaller than 1/1000 inch. This range is called "depth of field" (and is sometimes incorrectly called "depth of focus").

The depth of field varies with the effective diameter of the lens opening and hence with the f-stop. By "effective diameter" we mean the actual size of the iris opening, not the f-stop number. If you want to change lenses without changing the depth of field, you must use the same iris opening, which will be a different f-stop. For example, an 8-inch lens shooting at f/4 has a 2-inch-diameter iris opening. If you now want to change to a 4-inch lens and retain the same depth of field, you must shoot with the same 2-inch-diameter iris, which for your 4-inch lens is f/2. This is a rare problem, and if it ever comes up, consult a depth-of-field chart. The example is offered here to illustrate that depth of field is dependent on the iris opening.

With greater depth of field more elements in the picture are in sharp focus. This causes the image to appear harder and of higher contrast. Therefore, using a higher f-stop number introduces apparently higher contrast.

Depth-of-field characteristics for lenses of various focal lengths under different conditions are available in many publications, such as the American Cinematographer Manual. Given the focal length and f-stop and the subject-to-film-plane distance, we can determine the range of the depth of field and the dimensions of the field of view at that distance.

For each lens and f-stop the chart also gives the hyperfocal distance. This is the point of greatest depth of field. It is a precalculated figure indicating that if the given lens at the given f-stop is focused at this hyperfocal distance, everything from half this distance to infinity will be in acceptable focus. For example, if for a given lens and f-stop the hyperfocal distance is twenty feet, by focusing at twenty feet we would obtain everything in focus from ten feet to infinity.

A similar principle is valuable when "splitting the focus" between two objects at different distances. They will both be equally sharp if we focus for a point not halfway between them but a third of the separation distance from the closer object. For example, two objects at ten and sixteen feet respectively would both be equally in focus if you focus for twelve feet. This is often referred to as the one-third-distance principle.

Optimal Range

Every lens has an optimal range of f-stops that yield the sharpest image. This usually starts about two stops from the widest opening and runs to about f/11. Below and above this range the lens will tend to produce slightly less sharp images. Stopping down extends the depth of field, but beyond f/11 or f/16 it also decreases the maximum resolution, thereby canceling out the increase in sharpness. This is especially true of wide-angle lenses. Most professionals when shooting indoors like to set the f-stop somewhere in the optimal range (for example, f/4) and then adjust the light levels for the proper exposure.

Zoom Lenses

The cinematographer uses a variety of focal lengths. Older camera designs accommodate three or four lenses on a rotating plate called a turret, which allows for quick changing between lenses. In newer cameras the turret is giving way to a one-lens design, the varifocal lens or zoom lens. It contains not only the primary focal length but all the in-betweens as well as the zoom effect.

The first thing to be considered when describing a zoom lens is its range — for example, 12 to 120mm. We can also express it as a ratio, in this case one to ten (1:10).

The Angenieux 12 to 120mm achieved great popularity in the 16mm film industry. A 10mm lens became its customary companion. Newer zoom lenses like the Angenieux 9.5 to 95mm or the Zeiss Vario Sonnar 10 to 100mm represent a better choice to many cameramen, who are willing to sacrifice the telephoto end of the range in order to increase the wide-angle end. For Super-8 cameras the Schneider Variogon 7 to 68mm and the Angenieux 8 to 64mm are good choices.

Zooming smoothly is an art. There are many mechanical aids available. Zoom lenses come with either zoom levers or cranks or both. For smoother movement a lever can be extended, for example by taping a pencil to it. For very smooth zooming, several types of battery powered motors are available with variable speed controls. One type is operated by two buttons (in and out) with speed controlled by a dial. Another type features a "joy stick." The latter is preferable because the speed of zooming and the direction (in or out) are controlled by the one stick, depending on which way and how hard you push it. Other combinations are available.

Some cameramen prefer to zoom by turning the zoom ring with a full grip. If you use this method you must be careful not to move other rings on the lens, such as the f-stop and focus.

While zooming in or out, a very slight horizontal panning movement may be needed to keep the subject centered. This is due to a "fault," called side-drift effect, that is inherent to most zoom-lens designs. Some lenses, like the Zeiss 1:10, are free of side-drift effect.

All zoom lenses require the same focusing procedure: you open the aperture fully, zoom all the way in on the subject, and closely examine the sharpness. After focusing, it is easy to forget to return the f-stop to its proper setting. This is a very common mistake among beginners.

Generally, zoom lenses do not focus closer than a few feet. For example, the Angenieux 12 to 120 will only focus as close as about five feet away. The exceptions are the "macro-zoom" lenses, such as the Canon Macro Zoom Lens Fluorite (12 to 120mm; f/2.2), or for Super-8 film, the Bolex 160 Macro-zoom (8.5 to 30mm; f/1.9).

For all practical purposes, the modern zoom lenses, when stopped between f/4 and f/16, are as optically perfect as primary lenses.

Optical Attachments and Close-up Work

For close-up work, "macro" lenses focus as close as a few centimeters away without the use of special attachments. Using macro lenses we can fill the screen with a ci

Product Details

ISBN:
9780671762209
Author:
Malkeiwicz, Kris
Publisher:
Touchstone Books
Author:
Malkeiwicz, Kris
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Performing arts
Subject:
Stage and screen
Subject:
Film - Cinematography
Subject:
Cinematography
Subject:
General Performing Arts
Subject:
Film & Video - Cinematography
Subject:
Film and Television-Production
Copyright:
Edition Number:
2
Edition Description:
B102
Series Volume:
no. 6
Publication Date:
February 1989
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
9.25 x 7.38 in 14.595 oz

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Cinematography Guide for Film Makers 2ND Edition Used Trade Paper
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Product details 224 pages Fireside Books - English 9780671762209 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Since its initial publication in 1973, Cinematography has become the standard guidebook on filmmaking techniques that emphasizes the cameraman's craft. Now completely revised and updated, it clearly and concisely covers what today's filmmaker needs to know about camera structure and operation, lenses, film stocks, filters, lighting and light measuring, and accessory equipment. In addition it provides up-to-date information on sound recording, editing, video transfer, studio and location shooting, production logistics, and modern techniques of picture manipulation with optical printers — a subject rarely treated in such detail in existing film books.

Building on the groundwork he lays, Kris Malkiewicz explores more advanced techniques of overall picture quality control — how the filmmaker can translate the envisaged image to the screen through coordinating all aspects of cinematography. As Malkiewicz explains, whatever concept is desired, the filmmaker must be in full control of the technology in order to ensure success.

Illustrated with more than 350 photographs and drawings, this new second edition of Cinematography will continue to prove invaluable to filmmakers, film students, and film teachers.

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