April 28, 2017 at 4:09AM

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Bad quality out of Canon C100 mark II

I have been using Canon C100 mark II like a few months and I feel like its sharp when it come to Close up, but I feel very bad every times I use this camera for Wide Angle shots. My lens is Sigma 18 - 35mm 1.8.
Do I really need to add sharpness in Post? Any Suggestion ?

PS. I always shoot in C-Log

38 Comments

Can you post a frame from one of your wide shots so we can see what kind of image quality you are talking about ? ( it's a lot easier to diagnose these things when we can see what you are talking about )

April 28, 2017 at 8:51AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32540

Okay here is the original raw footage using C-log. 24mm focal length. 25p AVCHD. the aperture should be around f8 - f11. I feel like its all blur. no area is clear enough. please advice me how to improve the footage like this

https://youtu.be/QUZBZPKdrb0

April 30, 2017 at 1:37AM, Edited April 30, 1:50AM

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Rh Oudom
Director / DoP / VFX
195

ehm... Rh Oudom...
you cannot ask help to judge a sharpness telling "here the original raw footage" and you give us a youtube link...
youtube compress a lots original file then you cannot judge it.
please give us a download link of Original file from card like ftp, datafile, other file sharing web. but original file that if it's a avchd is a .mts file, but if is a avchd is not a raw....
anyway give us the real original file, and we can help you better.

May 1, 2017 at 6:50AM, Edited May 1, 6:50AM

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Carlo Macchiavello
Director
658

Hi Carlo,
you are right. I forgot about the Youtube compression. here is the original file.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/afye1x25gnkuhg3/00036.MTS?dl=0

May 2, 2017 at 9:40PM

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Rh Oudom
Director / DoP / VFX
195

i saw it, uhm to my opinion i can think that you have closed more than 11, this kind of softness seems to my eyes diffraction like iris 16, or a not perfected backfocus of lens to focal plane.
i tried by davinci to add a bit of sharpness, but the lack of some high freq dectail you cannot do better result.
i founded some wide that have problem in infinity focus, but you can have good focus near camera. Try to do different shot, with focus at 1-5-10-20-infinity focus and check if you can have sharpness near camera or not. sigma have a dock to setup backfocus for prime, i don't know if is possible also for zoom.

May 3, 2017 at 4:32PM

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Carlo Macchiavello
Director
658

Hi Carlo,
Thanks for your advises.I will try as you suggested.

May 3, 2017 at 8:53PM

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Rh Oudom
Director / DoP / VFX
195

I've used the Sigma 1.8 and while on paper the numbers look fantastic for how much that lens is. I've never have been fond of it, everything always looks soft.

But... you can try the following

- Be on the lowest F stop possible for your shot
- Ensure your shutter is greater then 180 Degrees
- Be on the lowest value ISO

My guess is its your lens, try a canon prime - the 50mm 1.8 goes for ridiculously cheap on ebay.

April 30, 2017 at 12:51PM

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Horrible advice for a sharper image

May 2, 2017 at 10:46AM

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Indie Guy
817

horrible excuse for a reply. If you have better. Enlighten us.

May 3, 2017 at 1:23AM

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The lowest F stop and the shutter greater than 180 degrees are both detrimental to sharpness (if shooting handheld), they are only helpful if he doesn't have the correct exposure. Ideally he should aim for higher F stops for better optical performance and greater depth of field (not too much though because then diffraction kicks in) and keep the shutter at 180.

May 3, 2017 at 8:07AM, Edited May 3, 8:14AM

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Due to the engineering of the most lenses, they are usually sharpest between F/5.6 and F/8.0. Stopping down lower than F/8.0 will usually increase softness and stopping higher than F/5.6 will usually increase softness. (It's a good rule of thumb, as very lens will always be sharp within the F/5.6 and F/8.0 "sweet spot.")

DXO Mark is a website that scientifically analyzes lenses. It is a great reference tool for individual lenses and how they are engineered.

Also, according to DXOmark, the Sigma Art 18-35mm F1.8 is actually quite a lot sharper than the Canon 50mm F1.8 prime, so unless your lens is defective, than it is not the problem.

May 3, 2017 at 9:30AM, Edited May 3, 9:35AM

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Most lenses are terrible at more than F8, and diffraction sets in. Not a good idea.

May 4, 2017 at 10:04AM

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Geoff C. Bassett
Director of Photography
195

Hi Geoff,
at least I have learn something from my mistake. Thanks

May 4, 2017 at 8:51PM

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Rh Oudom
Director / DoP / VFX
195

Typical lens are sharpest F8-F11. Lowest f stop is a no no unless needed for light.

May 9, 2017 at 12:50AM, Edited May 9, 12:51AM

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William Scherer
Writer/Director/Producer/Fine Art Aerial Photography
281

@Zac Gaetano. Thanks for your advised. I always used 180 degrees and base ISO (850)
but for the wide shot.. i want wide open aperture to make everywhere clear thats why I used f8 to f11. Is it not cuz of Canon C100 has low bitrate (24mbps) ?

May 1, 2017 at 12:03AM, Edited May 1, 12:03AM

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Rh Oudom
Director / DoP / VFX
195

What are your focusing methods? Do you use peaking or a combination of peaking / magnify? I'd suggest using the magnify feature to pinpoint your focus.

I don't shoot in C-Log often and usually just stick with WideDR. Maybe that's causing an issue. Perhaps someone can comment on if C-Log needs more sharpening in post?

I don't believe the 24mbps is going to cause you an issue in terms of sharpness. That would affect more of how robust the image is in post.

If I would have to guess, I would second that it's probably a characteristic of the lens or a focusing issue.

May 1, 2017 at 3:53PM, Edited May 1, 3:53PM

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Hello Chris Uy. Thanks for your advised. I have used combination of Peaking + Magn + B&M together when I press 7. As I mentioned above, I have use F8 - F11 so the its wide open aperture. I dont think focus is the problem. Then maybe the lens itself.

May 1, 2017 at 8:49PM

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Rh Oudom
Director / DoP / VFX
195

Do you have any shots with another lens?
I've been using the C100 MK2 for over a year now and can't say I've had this issue. I've also tried the combo that you are using, the Sigma Art 18-35mm and I loved that lens for both wides and close ups.
You can try to add some sharpening in post (I usually use Unsharp Mask when working in Premiere Pro) but I'd like to see a test with another lens to rule out that option.

Another question: Do you use any filters in front of the lens? Low quality or cheap ND filters or plain UV filters would kill the quality of both the lens and camera.

May 1, 2017 at 11:28PM

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Morten Furre
Director, Editor, Screenwriter
173

Hi Morten,
I havent had any other wide lens at the moment, but the Close up is fantastic without adding any sharpen effects. I have not use any filters. only build it ND. I get better result once adding unsharp mask. I might need to rent a wide cine prime for testing.

May 2, 2017 at 1:35AM

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Rh Oudom
Director / DoP / VFX
195

The lens could be the problem, depending on the f-stop used, it will give you a different image. I suggest first to make extensive testing across the f-stop range and see how it reacts to using different f-stop settings. Also, a test vs other optics could give you some perspective. Lenses (especially "cheap" ones) tend to look soft as you go down in the f-stop scale (widest open setting) and get close to their sweet point somewhere between f5.6-11. On the other hand, C-log image looks softer than a correctly graded image.

May 2, 2017 at 9:00AM, Edited May 2, 9:01AM

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Ulises Bravo
Filmmaker, DP
426

Hi Ulises,
Thanks for your advised, I will test as u suggested.

May 3, 2017 at 2:20AM

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Rh Oudom
Director / DoP / VFX
195

Also, just for clarification, a low number f-stop (f1.4, f2.1 etc.) means a wider open aperture than a higher one (f11, f16, f22). The higher the number, the smaller the aperture. Wide aperture (low number) means less depth of field and a small aperture (higher number) gives you more depth of field, hence, more will be in focus. C-log looks softer because of 2 reasons: lack of contrast for the use of a logarithmic curve and it bypasses any sharpening processing by the camera. The idea of shooting Log is to maximize sensor performance during the capture across the dynamic range AND give you more control in post-production to make decisions like how sharp the image should be among other attributes. Shooting in other settings like WDR makes some decisions baked right into the camera. You can even make a custom picture profile if you don't want to do a lot of post but want some control into you image.

May 4, 2017 at 9:22AM, Edited May 4, 9:23AM

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Ulises Bravo
Filmmaker, DP
426

Hi Ulises,
I think I have made a mistake by pushing up my F stop number up to F11.

May 4, 2017 at 8:57PM

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Rh Oudom
Director / DoP / VFX
195

Hi, I think you've got some concepts of cinematography upside down looking at the way you express them. Aperture (open-close) of a lens is how open o how close the iris blades are in a given f-stop setting. The lower the f-stop number, the wider open the lens. As you go up in the scale from lets say from 1.4 to f16 or f22, iris blades will be closing. There is also this thing of the depth of field. This concept makes reference to how much of the image will be in focus, both closer and further from the focus point. Depth of field is inherent related to the f-stop setting. The wider open the lens, the less depth of field and you will get blurry back and foregrounds. As you close the lens (go up in the f-stop scale numbers) more and more will be in focus and there will be no blur in an image. f11 is for me a good f-stop setting to have great depth of field for shots like yours, when you will want to have everything in focus. There are also another variables that get into de depth of field like focal and focus distance. I hope I made myself clear enough.

May 8, 2017 at 9:33AM

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Ulises Bravo
Filmmaker, DP
426

I use that lens (as well as the sigma 50-100) on my c100 mk1, and I haven't really experienced this issue. It's possible you just have a bad lens (or, some of these can be recalibrated using software). I never personally trust focus peaking (it has ruined shots for me in the past many times). In general though the Sigma Art series is one of the best lenses for sharpness and built/price I've found, even fairly wide open. So in general, I mean, I would say it's NOT the lens.

If you're shooting at F10 or so, you should be able, for the most part, focus by sight using the viewfinder or LCD and just try that. Also, haze can affect the shots as well. Have you experienced this issue in other locations?

May 2, 2017 at 11:25AM

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Hello Codyswanson,
I have been searching on the internet about Art lenses too before I purchased it. I can see its crystal clear for the close up shot. I will try difference locations as u suggested.

May 3, 2017 at 2:21AM

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Rh Oudom
Director / DoP / VFX
195

Wide angle shots usually have more in focus. The more you have in focus, the more information there is in the picture that needs to be stored. The C100 does not have really high bit rate codecs, the 28 Mb/s you have means the picture will be quite compressed out of the camera. This is less of a problem with low DoF images or less busy images because there is less information loss. If you have access to an external recorder, you could try a test recording with that and see if the less compressed image you get is more pleasing to you.

May 3, 2017 at 8:00AM

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Hi Akos,
This is really make sense. Thank you

May 3, 2017 at 10:19AM

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Rh Oudom
Director / DoP / VFX
195

No worries. Something like an atomos ninja star can be nice for this if you want it, as it is very light and won't add a lot of extra weight. The difference in codecs is the reason I prefer the C300 btw, I believe that has a 50 Mb/s codec which gives you a nice, rich picture (I see the mark ii has many, higher bitrate codecs but the older one has a nice picture too).

May 3, 2017 at 10:49AM

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Hi Akos,
Yes, Im considering between Atomos or Blackmagic video assist. If i pick Blackmagic video assist 7'', Can I record 1080p 60fps ?

May 3, 2017 at 8:57PM

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Rh Oudom
Director / DoP / VFX
195

I don't know, you would have to check the specs on both the camera and the assist. You may want to reconsider buying something with a screen though, as the screen on the c100 is quite nice, no need to bulk up your rig with another and the big batteries needed for those. That is why i recommended the ninja star, as it is tiny and weighs only about 100 grams.

May 4, 2017 at 8:36AM

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This really is probably a lens issue, use a prime lens as it will give you a considerably sharper image.

May 3, 2017 at 5:34PM

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yeah I'm considering the new sigma 85mm prime. It has high score in DXO mark

May 3, 2017 at 8:58PM

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Rh Oudom
Director / DoP / VFX
195

The video looks about right to me for your shooting conditions. If you really want it to appear sharper, don't shoot in c-log, add a bit of sharpness to the picture profile, try not to have everything in focus since a selective focus creates the feeling of a relative sharpness to the infocus image. Also, distant city shots can lose sharpness due haze in the air.

May 3, 2017 at 8:52PM

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Casey Preston
Videographer
175

Hi Casey,
This is very helpful for me. So in this situation, should I just use minimum iris between 2.8 to 5.6 only? cuz this shot is up to F11 i guess. And do you prefer HDR instead of Clog?

May 3, 2017 at 9:02PM

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Rh Oudom
Director / DoP / VFX
195

Test it yourself! You're opinion matters more than any of ours. Find the sharpest F stop, you have the camera you have the lens! Grade you clog if you want it to look sharper, low contrast will never look crystal sharp.

May 4, 2017 at 5:48PM

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Indie Guy
817

Hi Indie,
Your right, and sharpen in post is a must when working with log. Thanks anyway

May 4, 2017 at 9:00PM

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Rh Oudom
Director / DoP / VFX
195

Where are you focusing? I've used the rule of thumb with landscapes to focus 1/3 into the frame that you are shooting. If there is a large city you are trying to capture, focusing on the objects 1/3 the total distance in the frame provides enough clarity for it to seem "in focus".

In reality, wide shots always seem to have a softeness to them, and you're only going to find very crisp video out of a really nice prime like others have mentioned. Good luck!

May 5, 2017 at 5:34PM

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Dylan Tidmore
Documentary Director
127

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