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To Steve and all the rest on Leica Forum: 

Steve, what do you think?  You mentioned that you went the the Cannes film festival with some form of movie if I remember correctly.  

So could a person adapt the old Leica-M lenses and make a film using the SL2-S?  I don't care about super fast & easy professional lens and body use myself, only wondering if with a little extra effort could it be reasonably done?  I have to convince my cinematographer friend to do this so any comment you have will interest me.  

 

Generally, myself, as someone who went to film school years ago, I am one of Leica's potential SL2-S purchasers.  Their approach, to issue new lenses that have something different from their old lenses, is an artist's approach, and I love that.  The high lens prices have knocked me out of the new ASPH lenses, which is ok, since as all makers products approach perfect like the ASPH lenses do, they all produce pictures looking more the same and loose their differentiation. 

Leica seems to be making a viable independent filmmaker camera in the SL2-S since it has so many of the needed features. Some comments on the needed features below:

Auto focus is secondary in movie making, since it is usually done by hand, so the discount there is not a problem.  

Lens focus adjustment, marked on the lens barrel to exact distances, is one of the biggest differences between professional and home-user lenses.  Yet with a monitor attached and some tape to mark the lens focus positions, possibly focus can still be done by hand as I did in film school using 16mm equipment.    

The differences from professional to amateur could also be called a camera support issue:  tripod use (professional) verses walk around use (amateur) affects so many features like the movable screen articulation need and remote focus or auto focus adjustments.  

Of course today more professionals walk with the camera then in the past (SteadiCam was the old way - replaced by today's internal camera stabilization systems), but I would say that the video they make is rather cheesy not as professional looking, and that that poor video work has become acceptable do to the existence of youtube and selfies being so ubiquitous (found everywhere). 

Amateur is not a bad word.  It comes from the Latin "amator" meaning "lover of" something.  Those that love an avocation like photography may outdo those doing the same for daily work who are stuck with producing professional standards that may be boring.  France produced the "French New Wave" movie makers in the 1960's, who used 16mm equipment and also the new lighter Arri 35mm cameras, leaving behind the enormous Mitchel studio cameras that the USA film companies used.  Also, just look at the photos on this site and others where I see many stunning shots that seldom occur in the commercial world which is aimed mostly at selling something or copying someone else's work. 

Anyway, my professional Los Angles based cinematographer friend, says yes the new mirrorless cameras produce a good enough file for professional filmmaking and he only has qualms (concerns) about the work methods needed to hit focus and generally have a fluid effective efficient working environment. 

Comments please!

 
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Posted Images

might help, all shot with Leica SL:

https://www.leica-camera.blog/2018/10/29/leica-nocturnal-film/

 

leica ambassador richard seymour takes viewers on a never before seen journey behind the timeless leica M10. the four minute video was filmed with a leica SL and a summilux-C lens, and follows lab employees on their daily tasks at the factory. every single hand-made camera undergoes rigorous inspection, as shown in seymour’s short film.

>>

 

 

 

 

 

https://vimeo.com/144471541

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Tom1234 said:

So could a person adapt the old Leica-M lenses

Yes. Leica M lenses are perfectly fine in my view for professional film making work. If you'd have said SL lenses, as good as they are for stills, the answer would have been a firm NO. 

 

7 hours ago, Tom1234 said:

make a film using the SL2-S

Yes, sure. And the the same time, no, of course not. I'm not sure how to answer this question other than with the most cliché answer: you can make a film with an iPhone. Soderbegh did it, along with other great film makers. You can make a film with an A7S2. You can make a film with any camera, including an SL2S. Would I recommend an SL2S for serious filmmaking, of course not. Firstly, because the SL2S, to me, is a stills camera first, with the added bonus of shooting great videos. As a comparison, the A7SIII is a video camera first, and it can shoot great stills as a bonus. 

There are two kinds main categories of films, the way I see it. 

1. Professional, hollywoodian or independent sets. I do not recommend the SL2S for those. I recommend a proper cinema camera, wether it's loaded with film or with hard drives. Rentals aren't expensive in 2021, so it's hard for me to hear the "budget issue" for a film that has at least 500k of budget. My film that went to Cannes (and Toronto, and won, and San Sebastian, and won, etc....) was shot on 35mm Kodak Film, with an ARRI camera, and we had a budget under 1M for this one. So dont tell me you need to buy a Leica cause you're tight on money. BS! 

2. The real low budget films. There are two main sub categories: student/hobbyist film making and documentary film making. 

Documentary film making: let's get the SL2S out of the way. You need XLRs, you need reliable AF. Most (awarded) documentary film making these days go for a Canon cinema line, such a C300, or C500 for full frame. You can see this by studying the Sundance line up. You could completely shoot an Oscar worthy documentary on a A7SIII. At least, that would be my choice if I wanted to shoot a documentary. Which I do. Which I will. 

Student and Hobbyist film making: they have 0 budget, most of the time. So they cant shoot an ARRI cam, or anything too complicated. But it's not because they are expensive. It's because they don't have the money for the crew around. Meaning that most of them will go for an AF solution. Canon or Sony. For those who really want to try MF, I would recommend an BMPCC 6K PRO instead of an SL2S. And for those who really want L mount lenses (I cant see why), I would recommend an S1H instead of an SL2S. 

 

So where does that leave the SL2S? It leaves it to hobbyist or professional photographers who are keen on video too. I'll give you two examples: @Aaron Daniel, whom if I understand correctly uses his SL2S for wedding photography and filmmaking. I invite him to this thread to give his opinion. 

or the second example is me, a hobbyist photographer who loves to shoot occasional "travel videos" and "family videos" and is looking for a good hybrid solution. 

Is the SL2S a top prosumer video camera? It doesnt even enter the top 5 available today, objectively. Subjectively, its the best solution for me. 

So, to answer your question, yes, you can use an SL2S with M lenses to shoot a professional film. Does it make sense ? NOT AT ALL. 

Edited by Steven
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3 minutes ago, Steven said:

My film that went to Cannes (and Toronto, and won, and San Sebastian, and won, etc....) was shot on 35mm Kodak Film, with an ARRI camera, and we had a budget under 1M for this one.

Do you have a website for the film and DVD available?

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4 minutes ago, Steven said:

1. Professional, hollywoodian or independent sets. I do not recommend the SL2S for those. I recommend a proper cinema camera, wether it's loaded with film or with hard drives. Rentals aren't expensive in 2021, so it's hard for me to hear the "budget issue" for a film that has at least 500k of budget.

What I hoped you would say is that the Leica-M old lenses have something special that would make it sensible to use the SL2-S.  

So I must ask.  Does the lens signature "look" show up in the SL2-S files so if a person wanted a particular lens's aesthetic then they might use the SL2-S to get it when making a movie?

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2 hours ago, frame-it said:

might help, all shot with Leica SL:

https://www.leica-camera.blog/2018/10/29/leica-nocturnal-film/

 

leica ambassador richard seymour takes viewers on a never before seen journey behind the timeless leica M10. the four minute video was filmed with a leica SL and a summilux-C lens, and follows lab employees on their daily tasks at the factory. every single hand-made camera undergoes rigorous inspection, as shown in seymour’s short film.

>>

 

 

 

 

 

https://vimeo.com/144471541

 

 

 

 

 

 

All horrible. These videos dont defend the SL for film making at all. 

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1 minute ago, Tom1234 said:

What I hoped you would say is that the Leica-M old lenses have something special that would make it sensible to use the SL2-S.  

So I must ask.  Does the lens signature "look" show up in the SL2-S files so if a person wanted a particular lens's aesthetic then they might use the SL2-S to get it when making a movie?

I posted my original post too fast and it was finished. I added more text. Go read it ! 

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Just now, Steven said:

All horrible. These videos dont defend the SL for film making at all. 

I was glad to seem them but they are kind of "glamor of the moment" videos not technical explanations. 

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Just now, Steven said:

All horrible. These videos dont defend the SL for film making at all. 

well, that's your opinion.. personally i dont care..the OP was curious about short films so i posted a few links, whatever./😇

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2 minutes ago, frame-it said:

well, that's your opinion.. personally i dont care..the OP was curious about short films so i posted a few links, whatever./😇

Don't feel bad, just keep posting.  The truth is, it is very hard to find "on concept" videos since the time to make video and thus personal or $ cost is just too high to expect them to show up for free on the net on target to what you want unless you pay for it. 

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Just now, Tom1234 said:

Don't feel bad, just keep posting.  The truth is, it is very hard to find "on concept" videos since the time to make video and thus personal or $ cost is just too high to expect them to show up for free on the net on target to what you want unless you pay for it. 

oh i dont feel bad at all...just amused.

I'm working in film and advertising Post production for the last 28 years..i know a lot of people using the SL for short films and tv commercials, public service films etc..they use M lenses, R lenses, Russian Jupiter and helios lenses..etc etc..and when the budget is higher some use Leica C lenses..with proper advance planning the camera, and its log footage is perfectly fine at least for television.

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15 minutes ago, Steven said:

So where does that leave the SL2S? It leaves it to hobbyist or professional photographers who are keen on video too. I'll give you two examples: @Aaron Daniel, whom if I understand correctly uses his SL2S for wedding photography and filmmaking. I invite him to this thread to give his opinion. 

or the second example is me, a hobbyist photographer who loves to shoot occasional "travel videos" and "family videos" and is looking for a good hybrid solution. 

Is the SL2S a top prosumer video camera? It doesnt even enter the top 5 available today, objectively. Subjectively, its the best solution for me. 

So, to answer your question, yes, you can use an SL2S with M lenses to shoot a professional film. Does it make sense ? NOT AT ALL. 

This begs the question… so you must believe that you can get any "look" you want in post production, using the color and sharpness tools in the editing software, so you don't need Leica-M lenses to do it?  So maybe no system's lenses matter that much, which has been what people seem to say that in the professional environment, that post production does not solve all problems, but it does enough to make the camera used less important. 

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2 minutes ago, frame-it said:

oh i dont feel bad at all...just amused.

I'm working in film and advertising Post production for the last 28 years..i know a lot of people using the SL for short films and tv commercials, public service films etc..they use M lenses, R lenses, Russian Jupiter and helios lenses..etc etc..and when the budget is higher some use Leica C lenses..with proper advance planning the camera, and its log footage is perfectly fine at least for television.

So in your experience do the Leica-M lenses, with their somewhat unique renditions, give an edge, or something special?

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Just now, Tom1234 said:

So in your experience do the Leica-M lenses, with their somewhat unique renditions, give an edge, or something special?

yes they do...at least the older lenses do,,the new ones are all too clean and clinical..and in some ways [for video] look a bit similar[ their rendering]

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Tom1234 said:

So in your experience do the Leica-M lenses, with their somewhat unique renditions, give an edge, or something special?

They do give a unique look BUT

While I see a huge quality difference FOR STILLS when using an M lens on a Leica body as opposed to another brand, that difference is much less noticeable in video application. 

I have been using my M lenses with my Sony A1, and the image is sometimes far better than on the SL2S. Where we start having a problem is with color, where Leica is almost always better. And colourists can say what they want, but 10BIT 422 doesnt change anything. Some think that because they can record in log 10bit 422 you can match any camera to what you want. That's not true. There are some scenarios, especially in low light, where my A1 will never be able to match the colours of my SL2S, however much post production you put into it. 

My point earlier was that I dont see why pros would use an SL2S so much. Of course its possible and some do. But if you have to MF, you usually have a crew. If you have a crew, you have way better options (even to use with M lenses) than an SL2S. So why !!! And if you dont have a crew, you usually want AF, so not an SL2S.

Edited by Steven
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2 hours ago, frame-it said:

might help, all shot with Leica SL:

https://www.leica-camera.blog/2018/10/29/leica-nocturnal-film/

 

leica ambassador richard seymour takes viewers on a never before seen journey behind the timeless leica M10. the four minute video was filmed with a leica SL and a summilux-C lens, and follows lab employees on their daily tasks at the factory. every single hand-made camera undergoes rigorous inspection, as shown in seymour’s short film.

>>

 

 

 

https://vimeo.com/144471541

 

 

 

 

 

 

The three videos above show the otherworldly ASPH look that I find strange and unreal.  The camera sees better than the eye giving a too intimate presentation for the desires of many videos.  Now I am glad the engineers are designing such great lenses but the artists need to maybe modify it to be more human feeling.  

This is the same as some 30 frames per second video that looks strange, too real, and not artistic, so it was found that 24 frames per second with its slight blur and loss of sharpness gives a better overall presentation and sense of reality similar to what a person would experience if they were on location themselves.  The "audience as voyeur" and "audience dream state" are partially lost or totally lost with so much resolution.  

Of course I am not blaming this on the camera… it is in part an aesthetic choice of the makers.    

QUESTION: I wonder if the older Leica-M lenses on the SL2-S would give a softer rendition that would seem more natural? 

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15 minutes ago, frame-it said:

yes they do...at least the older lenses do,,the new ones are all too clean and clinical..and in some ways [for video] look a bit similar[ their rendering]

I just posted on this… and commented on your posted videos… what you are saying is exactly what I suspected.  Thank you for the verification.  

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1 minute ago, Tom1234 said:

The three videos above show the otherworldly ASPH look that I find strange and unreal.  The camera sees better than the eye giving a too intimate presentation for the desires of many videos.  Now I am glad the engineers are designing such great lenses but the artists need to maybe modify it to be more human feeling.  

This is the same as some 30 frames per second video that looks strange, too real, and not artistic, so it was found that 24 frames per second with its slight blur and loss of sharpness gives a better overall presentation and sense of reality similar to what a person would experience if they were on location themselves.  The "audience as voyeur" and "audience dream state" are partially lost or totally lost with so much resolution.  

Of course I am not blaming this on the camera… it is in part an aesthetic choice of the makers.    

QUESTION: I wonder if the older Leica-M lenses on the SL2-S would give a softer rendition that would seem more natural? 

they would, and our minds are "trained" for 24fps, and a 180degree shutter angle..

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