john sharaf: Activity About Popular Images

COW Leader
Freelance Cinematographer and Lighting Director with Betacam, HDCAM and VariCam cameras; tungsten kino flo and hmi lighting equipment.
Member Since:
May 29th 2004
1813 Posts
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Location:
Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Base ISO Question
by Kevin Camin 2 months ago
It is my understanding that base ISO is where the sensor's signal is not be amplified. I'm still having issues with noise on footage I receive from cameras where the footage was shot at a base ISO. Do
Re: Base ISO Question
by john sharaf 2 months ago
HI Kevin, Good instinct! Lowering the ISO does lower the noise. Of course the other unintended result is to raise the middle gray so that there's less above and more below. Manufacturers typically rat
Looking to change my Lilliput 650s for Fresnels
by Ben Edwards 2 months ago
I have a kit of 3 Ianiro Lilliput 650w open faced lanterns which have served me well but would like to change them for Fresnels so I get more control. Was wondering if I should go for something like t
Re: Looking to change my Lilliput 650s for Fresnels
by john sharaf 2 months ago
Hi Todd, As I suggest, legacy fresnels, especially MR 407 Babies are readily available on eBay for $200-300, so a ReLamp 1K can be put together for under $1000. To be able to have a hard LED light in
Shooting against pure white back drop
by paul gregory 3 months ago
Hi Just wanted some tips really, I have a shoot that requires the talent to be filming in front of a pure white backdrop. I use Lite panles Bi colour so was wondering wether to go Tungsten or Daylight
Re: Shooting against pure white back drop
by john sharaf 3 months ago
Terry's done this a million times, and so have I. That's why I'm a little surprised that he did not recommend 80ire for white. That's the standard I have know and used for years, and has often been co
Using KNO 4-Banks vs. Divas for Key lighting?
by stan welks 4 months ago
I am going to borrow some lights to do some simple video interviews and still photography. 1. Would a KNO 4-bank or a Diva be better as a key I plan to use foam core or a reflector for the fill 2. Wou
Re: Using KNO 4-Banks vs. Divas for Key lighting?
by john sharaf 4 months ago
For still work, strobes are always the best choice; much more light in case you want deep focus and very short flash duration for freezing the moment. I've never liked Divas vs. traditional KF's which
No more Cool Lights Fresnel 650's. Alternative?
by Rick Wise 7 months ago
Cool Lights (Richard) has informed me he will no longer carry the 650 tungsten Fresnel. I require my online lighting students to have one of these to learn about that multiple advantages of using Fres
Re: No more Cool Lights Fresnel 650's. Alternative?
by john sharaf 6 months ago
I'm keeping my temporary power distro system in my studio, in case I ever need a light bigger than 20A (household) Selling all my HMI's, yes. Including 4K's and 1800's 800's which I've replaced with W
Which hmi light?
by Mike Thomas 7 months ago
I'm going to buy at least one hmi, probably a par, to use on future feature film projects. I've not worked with them before and have it narrowed down to a 575 or 1200. I realize this is a general ques
Re: Which hmi light?
by john sharaf 7 months ago
Hi Rick, Terry and Mike, As an early adopter of Panasonic V35 (and now LT) Cameras, I've now had more than two years experience with using Native 5000 ISO. I often dial it down to make it even more qu
How to avoid flickering lighting?
by Sam Baker 10 months ago
This piece of footage was shot on a Canon 600D in a room with two soft box lights and the window blacked out: https: www.dropbox.com s 5qfoapsm28k6mjw Lighting.mp4 dl=0 There are points where the ligh
Re: How to avoid flickering lighting?
by john sharaf 10 months ago
Of course. That's what it should say. All I think is that at such a low cost for the complete light, the fluorescent globes are at such a low quality that they flicker enough to be seen with the short
White Skin not at 70-75 IRE but looks fine
by Bryce Douglass 1 year ago
I'm a bit confused so please go easy on me. I have always learned from college etc that white skin tone should be at 70-75 IRE and if it's not the image is underexposed and looks bad. Recently I start
Re: White Skin not at 70-75 IRE but looks fine
by john sharaf 1 year ago
Hi Bruce, No really hard and fast rule. Conventional wisdom from the "video" era was to put Eurasian skin tone at 70 IRE (or %), but the newer cameras that have extended the nominal Dynamic Range from
Flickering Highlights
by Alexander Perlman 1 year ago
Hey guys, I'm editing some older footage shot on a DVX100B. In a few shots, the highlights are mysteriously flickering. Any idea what it could be Here's a sample: https: vimeo.com 152164310 This comes
Re: Flickering Highlights
by john sharaf 1 year ago
Sometimes this is Auto Knee! Check your setting. JS
Changing brightness of daylight during interviews
by Paul Rhys 2 years ago
Hi. I just shot a sit-down interview indoors using both natural light and lamps etc. However it went sunny, then gloomy, etc outside on a regular basis, which changed the whole shot obviously. Should
Re: Changing brightness of daylight during interviews
by john sharaf 2 years ago
Hi Paul, Such are the consequences of living in the real world. Auto Iris is not going to help you unless you can simultaneously and in sync raise the interior lighting at the same time (not possible)
+1
Documentary and release forms
by Bryce Douglass 2 years ago
I am making a film documentary about the reconstruction of a State complex. I have permission from the state to film this documentary and everyone on the construction site of the complex knows who I a
Re: Documentary and release forms
by john sharaf 2 years ago
Bryce, The State is NOT the arbiter of this matter. If it came to a lawsuit between you an a disgruntled "actor" in your movie, the likelihood of which increases with the success you're able to garner
Super cheap Arri knock-off
by Rick Wise 2 years ago
One of my online lighting students asked if it is OK to get this $120 650 Fresnel Arri knock-off under the brand name of Limo: http: www.amazon.com LimoStudio-Photography-Television-Continuous-AGG1026
Re: Super cheap Arri knock-off
by john sharaf 2 years ago
As a rule, I'd be very careful about buying something like this. Lighting equipment CAN last a lifetime and is a valuable asset for any cameraperson or filmmaker. When you consider how many years you
A basic video question: is there loss of data when the luma is over 100?
by Noam Osband 2 years ago
I know luma ranges go from 0-120. That said....is there loss of data between 100-120
Re: A basic video question: is there loss of data when the luma is over 100?
by john sharaf 2 years ago
Noam, Yes, a basic question, that many people are afraid to ask. Knowing some basic video fundamentals are very useful in mastering digital cinema, and how would learn what's up there above 100IRE WIT
recommend a small, low powered, daylight spot for podium?
by Tim Neighbors 2 years ago
I'm looking for a low-powered spotlight to hang from a ceiling permanently that can be aimed at a podium from about 20 feet away. Since there will be a projection screen next to it and I believe it's
Re: recommend a small, low powered, daylight spot for podium?
by john sharaf 2 years ago
A good choice is a ETC Source Four with a Joker Bug adapter for a 400 Joker HMI You might even need to use some ND gel to balance it correctly. The shutters in the Source Four will let you "shape" the
risky question about eyelight
by Bob Cole 2 years ago
Risky because the answer is probably so obvious that it will be embarrassing, but anyway, here goes: On the show "Humans," for example, the robots often have a weirdly bright reflection in their eyes.
Re: risky question about eyelight
by john sharaf 2 years ago
Bob, Intuitively you already know! Because the eye light is seen as a specular in the eyeball, it can be set at a really low intensity and not destroy the modeling created by key light. All lights use
PMW-320k White dot in images
by Dwayne Parish 2 years ago
I have noticed my pmw-320 has a white dot on all images, it does not change position from zoom. Is this likely to be a sensor fault or maybe dust somewhere http: tinypic.com r 142roed 8
Re: PMW-320k White dot in images
by john sharaf 2 years ago
Definitely sounds like a "lit pixel", but you can likely fix it yourself. Try multiple Auto Black Balances (ABB), or else search you menu for Auto Pixel Correction (APC). I'm not familiar with that pa
Upgrading software in Varicam 35/HS cameras
by john sharaf 2 years ago
With V3 upgrade coming soon, just a heads-up that the download MUST be unzipped on a PC platform; upgrade WILL NOT if unzipped on a Mac! Furthermore, it's agonizingly slow when compared to upgrades on
Re: Upgrading software in Varicam 35/HS cameras
by john sharaf 2 years ago
Yeah, I figured it out too; you have to download THEN unzip, NOT unzip while downloading. There's a setting for this. As regards the other two issues; proper naming convention and ProRes on Sub-Mater
VariCam 35 prores and metadata problem
by Marcin Mikolajczyk 2 years ago
Hi, I have tested for few days Varicam and I have few issues - maybe you guys can share your experience. I've recorder prores files and AVCIntra and I can't read metadata from files. Resolve, Avid nor
Re: VariCam 35 prores and metadata problem
by john sharaf 2 years ago
Hi Marcin, I have successfully read metadata with Abobe Premier and just yesterday tried another reader from Drastic Technologies that works too. Here's a link: http: www.drastic.tv The other platform
Sony PDW F800 shooting in the snow - settings.
by Simon Cox 2 years ago
I'll soon be shooting landscapes and actuality in a snow covered landscape. I was wondering what settings would handle the contrast and highlights best. Using a Sony PDW F800, shooting HD 422 50Mbps,
Re: Sony PDW F800 shooting in the snow - settings.
by john sharaf 2 years ago
Yes, Hyergammas 2 & 4 are the strongest! JS
Problem with P2 reader Plus reading AVC-Ultra Files from new V35
by john sharaf 2 years ago
Hi Varicam Enthusiasts! it's been a long time since you even considered using a Panasonic Camera, but we all have fond memories of our Varicams from more than a decade ago. Well Panasonic is back in t
Can Panasonic be trusted to deliver what they promise?
by Scott Auerbach 2 years ago
Buyer beware: Panasonic is introducing the Varicam 35 in a hobbled state. 60 fps initially, with higher frame rates to come in a future firmware update. As for editing the 4k footage: Panasonic isn't
Re: Can Panasonic be trusted to deliver what they promise?
by john sharaf 2 years ago
HI Scott, Very interesting and informative report on your recent Panasonic experiences to say the least! You know, what you're describing is a similar scenario to what's being going on with Sony and t
PMW-F3 Shutter Speed Question
by David Speace 3 years ago
There is a shutter speed switch on the side of the camera. When I turn it on I can get a shutter speed that I have preselected in the camera menu, i.e., 1 40, 1 50, 1 60, 1 100 all the way to 1 2000.
Re: PMW-F3 Shutter Speed Question
by john sharaf 3 years ago
Hi David, Yes, shutter off at 29.9 is 1 30th of a second. This will create slightly blurred frames and not what you want. Nominal shutter speed at 29.9p is shutter on at 180 degrees or 1 60th of a sec
Iris exposure
by Roger Bansemer 4 years ago
Sorry for being such a novice on this camera but I'm having trouble getting the settings right. I'm shooting a tight shot of me finishing a small oil painting on my easel. I wanted to lock down the ex
Re: Iris exposure
by john sharaf 4 years ago
Same for "Auto Knee", sometimes it can make picture look like exposure change without iris moving. Set to "Manual" in menu. JS
Zebra pattern
by Roger Bansemer 4 years ago
I am use to using my Z1U until it stopped working and now with my EX3 I am wondering why the zebra patterns work differently. I have my zebra set to 80 but when I twist my iris the zebra jumps from on
Re: Zebra pattern
by john sharaf 4 years ago
Hi Roger, That's the best question to ask! I've always set my ONE zebra setting to 100, so I know what's about to go into clip (which is usually 105 or 109). Some folks prefer to use 70 as that's alwa
Should I behead people?
by Alan Howard 4 years ago
This keeps cropping up and is driving me nuts, but I have to ask is it just me Generally when I frame a shot I try to place the eyes on the 2 3rds line ... matching the eyeline between different sizes
Re: Should I behead people?
by john sharaf 4 years ago
HI Alan, Giving the subject a "haircut" has always been my preference too for the closeup. It is a matter of taste, and obviously if the client wants "air" then give it to them; remember "the client's
Rental Question HPX250 or Sony EX3?
by Terry Leahy 4 years ago
Hey Guys, I have to rent a camera for an all day presentation event and am deciding between the Sony EX-3 or HPX250. It is a two camera shoot and the other camera will be the HPX-370 which will be use
Re: Rental Question HPX250 or Sony EX3?
by john sharaf 4 years ago
Terry, Rule of thumb for multi-cam shoots: use the same cameras, use the same recording format. JS
EX1R Lengthy Horror Story with happy ending and a Big Question Mark
by Bob Cole 4 years ago
My EX1R had a persistent problem, which is irrelevant to this discussion. Fortunately, before sending the camera off to Sony for exorcism (it's still there, awaiting a new lens), I stored its setting
Re: OP with New Chapter in the horror story - different camera, similar issue
by john sharaf 4 years ago
Hi Bob, I'm not real familiar with the EX1 3, but I do know that, on all cameras that Audio is turned off when the frame rate is 24 (not 23.9), 30 (not 29.9) or 60 (not 59.9). Perhaps the rest sets th
SONY PMW350 Iris Issue
by paul gregory 4 years ago
Hello, Sony 350 ENG camera - The gain is set to 0, there are not ND filters on, the iris is fully open and yet it seems it is not very bright still. I have been using the camera for a while so i know
Re: SONY PMW350 Iris Issue
by john sharaf 4 years ago
Sometimes the filter wheel is in an intermediate position blocking light JS
White vs. Warm Balancing
by Oliver de Morassé 4 years ago
I use a Sony PMW-200. I thought about purchasing a good quality 18% gray card for my white balancing. However, I was also recommended to try the Vortex Media WarmCards 3.0 instead. I film mainly indoo
Re: White vs. Warm Balancing
by john sharaf 4 years ago
Nothing wrong with using a true gray card for white balance. the process merely requires a target that is devoid of color! An advantage of gray might be that it's probably less susceptible of reflecti
Extending Varicam
by Kevin Raichl 4 years ago
I have a tape based Varicam. It's been a great camera, and I spent a lot on it and the lens. I have newer stuff, too, but I'd like to extend the life of the Varicam, because it still makes great pictu
Re: Extending Varicam
by john sharaf 4 years ago
Hi Kevin, I know what you mean, I still have two Varicam 27F's (but rarely use them). The best choice amongst the many third-party digital recorders is the Sound Devices PIX 240. The main reasons bein
Viewfinder on old tape varicam...
by Freya Black 4 years ago
I have an old tape varicam and I'm trying to get it up and running. I've just tried powering it up from an old 12v battery belt. It seems happy to power up although it warns that the battery is low wh
Re: Viewfinder on old tape varicam...
by john sharaf 4 years ago
Jeez Bruce, you're still milking that old Varicam or yours! I can't believe it but I still have a few requests a year for mine, but I get real nervous about whether the head's going to clog. My main c
Arri Alexa workflow (My 1st time and had many different opinions)
by Lincoln Waldron 4 years ago
Ok so im sorry this is another Workflow question. I did read through the thread looking for an answer to my problem. Ok so I finally shot Alexa and LOVED it!! I have all my footage Pro Res 444 -Log C
Re: Arri Alexa workflow (My 1st time and had many different opinions)
by john sharaf 4 years ago
Linc, Assuming you have fast enough drives, you can edit in PR444, otherwise transcode your dailies with the burned in LUT to something more manageable (like SQ) and than conform the Log C original PR
ASC CDL worflow with the Alexa camera
by Jonathan Holm 6 years ago
Hello, I apologize if this feels like a reposted question in this forum. I've searched for answers and I'm still not 100% sure that my workflow will be ok. In the next week, I will be receiving Apple
Re: ASC CDL worflow with the Alexa camera
by john sharaf 4 years ago
Just reading this thread now (many months later) but here are a few pertinent things to wrap it up: The DP on the shoot went to some effort in convincing production to spend extra time and money for t
correct color
by Shahri Yakovleva 5 years ago
Anybody help! We just got ARRI Alexa, and these days try to understand how it works. For the time being, main quiestion is correct monitoring of the image. When we look at viewfinder, image is much be
Re: correct color
by john sharaf 4 years ago
The real answer (which you've probably figured out by now) is that you're looking at the 709 conversion in the viewfinder and the Log C version from the recording. This is all under menu control by Co
WARNING 10.8.2 update Breaks SxS Driver
by gary adcock 5 years ago
Hey everyone. A quick warning to everyone The Mountain Lion OSX 10.8.2 update that came out yesterday has broken the Sony SxS driver that is posted for use with the Sonnet Express Thunderbolt adaptor,
Re: WARNING 10.8.2 update Breaks SxS Driver
by john sharaf 4 years ago
I am successfully using the Sonnet TB Express 34 Adapter and Retina with 10.8.2 and the latest Sony drivers to download SxS cards from both the Alexa and F3's Using Shotput Pro to Checksum the speed w
Panasonic VariCam 2700 output to SD?
by Eli Coogan 5 years ago
Hello, Couldn't quite find a sure answer from previous forum questions, so I'll go ahead and ask... We have a Panasonic VariCam 2700G and have a satellite tour set up soon, in which we will need to be
Re: Panasonic VariCam 2700 output to SD?
by john sharaf 5 years ago
Buy or rent simple AJA converter: http: www.aja.com en products mini-converters udc # overview JS
HDX900 Skin Tone Detail
by Mark D'Agostino 5 years ago
I tried to effect the skin tone detail on our HDX900 to soften the detail on an older client somewhat but nothing seems to happen. I turned it on and it's on the "A" table. I did a "skin tone get" and
Re: HDX900 Skin Tone Detail
by john sharaf 5 years ago
Marc, Two possibilities: One is that the detail is turned off already. The skin tone deatil feature merely subtracks the detail in the keyed area from the overall detail setting. Perhaps your detail l
"film-like" settings on Varicam
by micah ginn 5 years ago
I have a Panasonic Varicam Model AJ-HDC27FP and am hoping someone can give me a menu-settings recipe for getting the footage to look more film-like than video-like. Any advice or links to screen-shots
Re: "film-like" settings on Varicam
by john sharaf 5 years ago
Micah, It actually surprises me how long the tape based Varicam has lasted and that folks are still using it. It is a testament to the brilliance of the designers and engineers who created it almost t
PDW-F800 XDCAM - it's awfully quiet out there
by Chris Cardno 8 years ago
Maybe this is on a different board but I've been very surprised that there has been so little chatter regarding the 800 XDCAM. The camera was released over four months ago yet there have been very few
+1
Earle Nichol liked this 8 years ago
Re: PDW-F800 XDCAM - it's awfully quiet out there
by john sharaf 5 years ago
Adrian, Here's link to user manual download: http: pro.sony.com bbsc ssr cat-broadcastcameras cat-xdcam product-PDWF800 PAL frame rates are 25P and 50i (never 23.97!). 25 emulates the "film look" and
Using S&Q knob in V1.1 upgrade of PMW-F3 for menu navigation
by john sharaf 6 years ago
Heads up for all concerned, Upgrade V1.1 is now available for PMW-F3 cameras, including ability to use the S&Q knob for menu navigation. However the release notes fail to instruct you how to turn it o
External Recording Devices
by Hans Shi 6 years ago
Hi guys, a question on the external recording devices. our company is going to get an ARRI ALEXA soon, and we want to know how to use an external recording devices do record the datas, the user guide
Re: External Recording Devices
by john sharaf 6 years ago
Yes. Arriraw should be enabled with SUP 3.0 which we initially exected this December, then January, now they're saying 1st quarter 2011. It will be a real party when this upgrade finally arrives, ther
Max frame rate with cards
by Chris Bell 7 years ago
Hi, What's the max frame rate using the SxS cards Can I shoot 60fps Chris Bell Christopher Bell Cinematography www.christopher-bell.com
Re: Max frame rate with cards
by john sharaf 6 years ago
Gary, According to the 2.o and 2.1 manual and the actual readout of the recoding format display on the camera the 12-bit 4444 IS fully implemented and functional on SxS cards. I've been using it almos
Alexa onboard audio or double system
by jeff weiser 6 years ago
Can anyone who has actually shot with Alexa give me an idea if the onboard audio is sufficient I am working on a stage doing a commercial with a traditional agency client who is used to instant playba
Re: Alexa onboard audio or double system
by john sharaf 6 years ago
Because the audio on the Alexa has yet to be implemented, for now you have to basically treat it as a film camera and "shoot" double system. Where a client wants playback, or instant dailies, I offer
External monitoring
by Anthony Vamvakitis 6 years ago
Question on ProRes4444 for monitoring. I will be working out of the clients office, editing on the latest MacBook Pro. I usually (for DV work) am able to go out to their HD display. Now that I am work
Re: External monitoring
by john sharaf 6 years ago
Anthony, Another solution is the Sonnet QIO which is like an expansion chassis that connects to you Express 34 slot and offers two moure Express Slots and four eSata connectors. JS
F900 Killer has arrived
by john sharaf 7 years ago
Just want to make everyone aware of the arrival of the new Sony SRW9000 Camcorder, which records 10 bit and full raster on the HDCAM-SR format. Deliveries start next week. I say F900 killer because th
Re: F900 Killer has arrived
by Alister Chapman 7 years ago
I think solid state is key to the future of HDCAM SR. With most of the other manufacturers offering some form of solid state or hard drive options Sony need this to open up the workflow and make it mo
PDW 700 firewire video is there, then it isn't
by Luis Perez 7 years ago
I wonder if anyone else has had this happen I purchased the PDW 700, with SD record and playback option, in early November 2008. Paid full price and was promised by local reseller that I would get it
Re: PDW 700 firewire video is there, then it isn't
by john sharaf 7 years ago
Luis, I believe that the 700 does not support Firewire playback, and I know it's a problem, especially as you report, in the breaking news realm. I know of another ABC News photog, a staffer in LA who
Sony PDW-F800 trade in program...
by Gary Snyder 8 years ago
question to everyone on the board... When do you think Sony will catch on and start offering a promo on the PDW-F800 for 1 2 price with a trade in.. Like the program that Panasonic just did on the 270
Re: Sony PDW-F800 trade in program...
by john sharaf 7 years ago
Gary, They never will offer such a program; they don't have to. The P2 Panasonics are a "dog" format and Panny had to try anything to move some inventory, which I don't think they accomplished. The 70
800 vs 700 daylight balance
by Michael Brennan 7 years ago
Im interested to learn of the difference between these two cameras when shooting side by side in daylight. Presumably there must be some difference between electronic 5600k balance of the 700 and pres
Re: 800 vs 700 daylight balance
by john sharaf 7 years ago
Mike, I have both 700 and 800 and despite electronic daylight control in 700 and optical filter in 800, I get excellent match. Of course I use a DSC chart, waveform vectorscope and RMB-750 controls to
Trouble seating Lectrosonic SR Slot receiver
by john sharaf 8 years ago
Just wondering if anyone else is having trouble seating the Lectro SR in the PDW700. It fits fine in my F900R slot, easily seats and mounts, but was only able to get it into one of the PDW700's. It se
Re: Trouble seating Lectrosonic SR Slot receiver
by john sharaf 8 years ago
HI Jason, Lectro SR receiver does fit in PDW700 and works with one channel. I recommend getting the version with the pigtail attachment so you can use both channels. Ironically the same unit does not
Capturing HD XDCAM 720/24 over 60 to 24p timeline
by john sharaf 8 years ago
Has anyone any experience with this workflow Trying to create 24p timeline in FCP by capturing through AJA LHe because apparently there is no way to pull 24 from long GOP MPEG, nor would we want to ed
Re: Capturing HD XDCAM 720/24 over 60 to 24p timeline
by john sharaf 8 years ago
Shane, To be honest, we're still exploring options, as the "MacGuyver" fix described earlier does result in objectionable motion artifacts. Best fix would be a real time reverse telecine on injest to
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