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#1 Dan Coplan

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Posted 10 February 2007 - 03:13 AM

Thought I'd share my experience today as a heads up for anyone finding themselves in a similar situation. Got called in for a video job. I have a PRO sled with Cinemonitor and Titan video transmitter. The signal terminated both at the monitor and the transmitter - double termination - and resulted in noticeably dark video on the client monitor. Recognizing this, I pulled the terminator off my Cinemonitor (had Transvideo build this option in for me for this very reason) and voila, the client monitor now looked fine.

As the director was pushing for time and I hadn't been in this situation in several months (not excusing my oversight, just noting it), I exposed the video for what looked good on MY monitor. Here's the problem - my monitor was now without termination resulting in a hot signal. It was only after I happened to check out the client monitor a few shots later that I thought, "Hunh - this picture looks a bit underexposed. Oh...".

Not a tragedy - still usable material, especially if they color correct, but something I should have been aware of from the beginning and even if they don't notice and think it's fine, I go to bed after this one with frustration knowing I could/should have delivered a better product. In not knowing which monitor to trust and to what degree, I find zebras come in handy to help define at least a range for decent exposure. Of course there's no substitute for taking the time necessary to properly measure exposure, but I think we've all found that often time is a rare luxury.

Dan
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#2 Charles Papert

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Posted 10 February 2007 - 06:08 AM

Therein lies the fundamental issue I find with acting as both DP and Steadicam operator, especially on a video job--you can't get to a "proper" monitor when strapped in and thus have to function in a half-information state (the film equivalent of this is not being able to get where you need to with a light meter at all times). I think back to shooting an HD feature a few years ago and bashing through magic hour, attempting to adjust the exposure for each take by "feel". I personally never find the Steadicam monitor something I can trust for exposure, it's either too overdriven in the case of the green screen, or too vulnerable to ambient light poisoning with an LCD. On video gigs I usually swing the camera over and stick an eye into the viewfinder, which I make sure is set to a consistent level that I can trust to judge exposure.

Thanks for the heads-up about termination, Dan. There's also some sneaky situations where one is hard-wired back to a monitor and the sled may be delivering a wrongly terminated image that IS being judged for exposure (by yourself or an "outboard" DP!), which can be a heartache--I've had this happen with little cameras like the DVX100 that have a single output, so you have to wire out through the sled. Now I use a little VAC minibrick DA in such situations to ensure that the signal is not being tweaked.
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#3 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 10 February 2007 - 11:48 AM

Now I use a little VAC minibrick DA in such situations to ensure that the signal is not being tweaked.


Hi Charles, are you referring to the little VAC 1x4 DA powered by the 9 volt battery? Thanks!
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#4 MarkKaravite

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 12:05 AM

Hey Charles,

I went to the VAC website, and they make a hundred different model DA's. Do you have the model number of the one you're using?

Thanks,

Mark Karavite
A Camera / Steadicam Operator
mkaravite@comcast.net
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#5 Charles Papert

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 01:25 AM

Here's the item at B&H:

http://www.bhphotovi...oughType=search

There is a board-level version which is really tiny and could be installed into a rig, don't have the model number of that offhand.
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#6 MarkKaravite

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 09:30 PM

Thanks Charles, helpful as always.

Man, that DA is tiny! Very cool, and a great piece to add to the kit.

Thanks,

Mark Karavite
A Camera / Steadicam Operator
mkaravite@comcast.net
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#7 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 10:19 PM

This one fit's inside the base of a pro

VAC Brick
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#8 Charles Papert

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 11:04 PM

Yup, that's the one.
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