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View Full Version : Shooting outside w/ FS100



bkmvincent
09-13-2011, 06:58 AM
Hey guys, I wrote up a blog post on my website about my experience shooting outside with the FS100 for the first time. Just some thoughts on using the camera without ND, and some of it's strengths/weaknesses. Give it a read and share your thoughts if you'd like.

http://brandonvincent.net/?p=435

There's also an interesting discovery using the Fotodiox adapter.

NeedCreative
09-13-2011, 10:16 AM
Good post thanks for sharing. I have shot a ton over the last month outdoors as part of the doc I am working on am and finally comfortable working in bright light. I'm using a combo of a screw on LCW Fader II filter for when I need to travel light and move quick, and a matte box with Tiffen pro filters when I can be a bit less mobile. I am using a combo of Nikon glass (24mm F2.8 AIS, 35-70 F2.8 Macro), Zeiss ZF (50/1.4 and 35/20), a Tokina 11-16 F2.8, and a Canon 100 F2.8 L Macro.

I generally don't shoot handheld; at min I rig it out on a Manfrotto 561-BHDV video monopod with either a Zacuto EVF or a Marshall 7" attached directly to the camera using an arm. It's a nice balance between handheld and shaky and tripod big & smooth. Generally the shots have been quite smooth and I can run around with it.

I have seen the same light leak on the Fotodiox adapter. It sucks. I am using a Bower/Kipon NIK-NEX adapter that has no apeture control and it's solid with no issues. The Nikon G Fotodiox Pro to NEX adapter leaks light just like you saw. It will only show up if the sun or a bright light is directly shining on the side of it. The fix is gaff tape.

I am now using Frank Glencairn's most recent "protect the highlights" PP which is a variant on the AbelCine highlight one it seems. It is working very well, protecting highlights and also showing some nice roll off. I'll post some screen caps at some point.

It is critical not to overexpose with this camera. I would even tend to shoot to the left of the histogram instead of the right. The camera's zebras seem a tad hot; I got better results relying on a calibrated Marshall 7" in false color trying to stay below yellow for all but highlights. Some of the images look just wonderful. I have run into slight purple fringing but with careful exposure have been able to minimize it. Applying a CA filter has removed it fully. More to come once I finish this doc.

bkmvincent
09-13-2011, 10:21 AM
It is critical not to overexpose with this camera. I would even tend to shoot to the left of the histogram instead of the right. The camera's zebras seem a tad hot; I got better results relying on a calibrated Marshall 7" in false color trying to stay below yellow for all but highlights. Some of the images look just wonderful. I have run into slight purple fringing but with careful exposure have been able to minimize it. Applying a CA filter has removed it fully. More to come once I finish this doc.

I'll have to check out Frank's PP. I saw that on here a while back and haven't had a chance to throw it in the PP's on my camera.

I've found myself leaving zebras at 70 and turning them off, just so I get an idea of where the skin tones should relatively be on the histogram. Honestly I'm not a fan of the histogram on a video camera, but it's all I have to work with when going hand held as I'd rather not attach my monitor to the camera in that situation. Otherwise I would probably use the false color, like you mentioned.

I think I'm going to go with a fader ND, but I'm STILL undecided. It's been over a month of going back and forth, but we'll see.

NeedCreative
09-13-2011, 10:41 AM
I like that Zebra approach, thanks! I have my zebras set to 95 or 100 and it's way too hot (though the info is till there); 70 is probably a better point to use as you mention. I tend to shoot with a Marshall monitor or EVF (usually the Marshall for this doc) but when I absolutely must rely on the LCD I suppose that's a better way to work. I don't like the histo too much but as a general guide.

Glen's PP does hold highlight info well. Almost too well.. it's easy to shoot too bright and still have info in the shot. :) It rolls off nicely though.

The fader will be ok. I used to poo pooh it but in practice it's been ok much as the build of the camera has turned out to be. Micky Jones uses it all the time on his FS100 and his stuff looks amazing at times. I do like the matte box for options - say adding a pola and a grad ND, and I like the french flag for controlling flare. So it still has uses. But is it mandatory? Now that I have been shooting for weeks in bright light I'd say no.

Grug
09-13-2011, 10:15 PM
Use whatever form of ND you want, the important thing is that you use one when it's bright outdoors. I'm tossing up between the FS100 and the AF100 at the moment, and I've made a point of factoring in the cost of a Vari-ND with the FS100 for that very reason - it's not a plus, it's a must with these cameras.

Searcher
09-13-2011, 11:23 PM
Use whatever form of ND you want, the important thing is that you use one when it's bright outdoors. I'm tossing up between the FS100 and the AF100 at the moment, and I've made a point of factoring in the cost of a Vari-ND with the FS100 for that very reason - it's not a plus, it's a must with these cameras.

And then factor in the finer control you get with a variable ND filter over the three(?) choices of ND density you get with the AF100.

Grug
09-13-2011, 11:28 PM
And then factor in the finer control you get with a variable ND filter over the three choices(?) you get with the AF100.

It's a matter of convenience versus versatility, but there's also the not inconsiderable matter of cost to factor in too.

It's the fact that neither camera stands out from the other much that's making my decision so hard!

bkmvincent
09-14-2011, 06:23 AM
It's a matter of convenience versus versatility, but there's also the not inconsiderable matter of cost to factor in too.

It's the fact that neither camera stands out from the other much that's making my decision so hard!

I have to agree about convenience/versatility being a large factor in my decision. I've pretty much made up my mind about getting a VariND, my only issue now is quality. I wish I had a way to test them all to see first hand what I'm getting into. Unfortunately I don't, so I'll have to make an educated decision based on what I've seen on these boards

alaskacameradude
09-14-2011, 05:03 PM
I have to agree about convenience/versatility being a large factor in my decision. I've pretty much made up my mind about getting a VariND, my only issue now is quality. I wish I had a way to test them all to see first hand what I'm getting into. Unfortunately I don't, so I'll have to make an educated decision based on what I've seen on these boards

I know, I wish there was a place that compared all of them. I've got the Heliopan and have posted the video of it in action in various threads on this board,
if you haven't seen it, let me know and I can post it here. My conclusion.....it is better than any other variable ND I have ever used....however it is also
expensive. You may not want to spend upwards of $400 on a variable ND. However, with these type of things, there is usually a 'graph' if you will, and as
the quality goes up.....so does the cost. Two places I really notice it. Some cheaper variable ND's have a color cast. You can sometimes fix this in post,
but not as good as getting it right in camera in my opinion. In the next step up (not as expensive as the Heliopan, but still over $100) you get a nice
looking image, with good color (no color cast) BUT you get softness in your image once you get past 75-100mm. The Heliopan seems tack sharp, even at 200mm.
So with say a 17-50 lens, it may not be worth it to buy a Heliopan. Anyways, the variable ND's are really nice in that you can get the EXACT F stop you
want, then dial in your exact exposure with the ND. You don't have to set an F stop, choose one of 3 ND choices, and then change your F stop because none
of the ND 'steps' gives you quite the right exposure.

I agonized over this decision for quite some time (between the AF100 and FS100). To be honest, in a strange way, I chose the FS100 because I come
from the 'video' world and don't have a clue about DSLR's. I say strange, because Barry and others have concluded that 'video' people would like
the AF 100 more and 'DSLR' people would like the FS 100. However, the FS 100 came with a 'kit' lens that talked to the camera. When I was buying,
the AF 100 did not. The FS 100 had smooth iris. The AF 100 did not. The FS 100 seemed to me to have better 'auto' functions. I don't use auto
all that much, but I like the 'push auto' buttons for focus and iris, so I can do a quick check and see what the camera thinks I should be at, and
then adjust from there. In short, I wanted something I could use like a 'traditional' video camera, but which also allowed me to learn the 'new'
style of more 'cinematic' shooting.....something I could grow with, but wouldn't 'leave me hanging' for the first few shoots as I tried to figure
out which still lenses would or wouldn't work with it. The kit lens works great....seems made for the FS 100. However, I don't think you can
really go wrong with either one. They both absolutely ROCK! Get one and have fun, I know I want to shoot all the time with a camera that
looks this good!

Searcher
09-14-2011, 05:32 PM
It's the fact that neither camera stands out from the other much that's making my decision so hard!
I chose the FS100 for three main reasons:
~Better in low light.
~Bigger sensor.
~Smaller and more configurable from factor.
I am a narrative filmmaker on the more "artistic" end of things.
If I was a documentary filmmaker or working more commercially I would go with the AF100 because for starters it's more rugged.