Sunset on the moat

Time for some glowing, grainy golden hour.

I bought a lens turbo focal reducer for my Panasonic G6. It’s an adaptor that follows the same principles as the much more expensive, Brian Caldwell-designed Speed Booster. In other words it reduces the focal circle of the lens, making it faster and wider by a factor of 1.5. In other words, you’ll get the same field of view as if you put the lens on an APS-C.

Given that I had a load of soft, glowing shots, I thought I’d roll with that look and put some film grain on.

This was all shot with a Nikon Ai-S 50mm f1.8, the small, E-series version, and some ND filters for the daytime shots.

I have to admit I’m a little disappointed with the results, a lot of the shots are decidedly soft and grainy. I would expect a bit of glow when a lens like the 50/1.8 is wide open, but some of these shots, such as the ones into the sun, are stopped down a bit, and I was expecting them to be a lot sharper.

As both the lens and the adaptor are new to me, the jury is still out as to which is the culprit (not a well designed experiment, I know). The lens should be sharp, Ken Rockwell calls it “one of the sharpest lenses you can get for your Nikon”, but it’s possible I got a not so great version.

I’ll have to do some more tests with my Ai-S 24mm f2.8, which is sharp. But the culprit could well be the Lens Turbo. Oh well, I guess there’s a reason people pay so much more for the Speed Boosters. More tests next week.

Given that I had a load of soft, glowing shots, I thought I’d roll with that look and put some film grain on. It’s the fine grain that ships with ImpulZ, at 25% opacity. I wanted it to be just perceptible, but not too heavy. You can’t really see it with the Vimeo streaming unfortunately; you’ll have to download the original file. I applied it before the LUT, in this case the ImpulZ Kodak Elite Chrome 200. This is the most subtle of the LUTs in the ImpulZ collection; it’s really just a very subtle tweak of the colour tonality. I don’t generally go for film grain, as I think it’s overused, and risks becoming a visual cliché. But I thought that it was justified here, as it complements the softness of the lens/ adaptor (and I get to pretend my soft footage is deliberate). For some of the shots (the limbs of the tree at 1:53), it’s a nice look.

Music: Like Brigade my Podington Bear


6 thoughts on “Sunset on the moat

  1. Great video! I have a few questions regarding the panasonic g6,
    What do you find to be the best picture style settings for the panasonic g6 are grading?
    Do you shoot AVCHD or mp4? Do you notice a lot of noise with even low iso shots at below 640?
    What is the difference between Visioncolor Impulz and Osiris and how do you colour correct before applying these luts?

    Many thanks

    1. Hi Tony

      Thanks for your comment, sorry for the delay in replying.

      Generally speaking, I’m not that keen on trying to create a “super flat” image by dialling everything down to -5 or whatever the lowest setting is. My thinking here is that if, in an 8-bit colour space, you only have 256 shades of grey, then you want to use as much as that gamut as possible, rather than shooting very low contrast and using only, say, 150 of those shades. I use the natural profile with sharpness, contrast, and noise reduction on -2. If I’m using a very sharp lens then I might put sharpness all the way down to -5, or if I’m shooting a very high dynamic range scene, I’ll reduce contrast. The idea is to get the dynamic range you need, avoid excessive clipping, or artefacts created by in-camera sharpening, but essentially to get as close as you can to what you want the finished thing to look like, ie a well exposed scene with good colour and contrast.

      I shoot AVCHD.

      Yes, it is definitely noisy. This is the only real issue with the G6. On the plus side, sometimes it is quite a nice looking noise. It can be quite fine, rather than blotchy. The LUTs make the noise more apparent. So I do end up using Neat Video denoiser a lot.

      Before the LUTs are applied, I do a “correction” rather than a grade, if that makes sense. ie set the highlights, shadows and midpoints, remove any colour casts, set the saturation level. Then I add the LUT, and maybe adjust the contrast afterwards.

      I haven’t used Osiris, but just from looking at people’s sample videos online, Osiris seems to create more “pushed” looks (although this could just be the way people are using them). One of the Osiris LUTs definitely seems to be quite a strong teal and orange look. The ImpulZ ones vary, some can be quite strong, but others are very subtle. They feel more like the start of a grade rather than a finished look, IMO.

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