LTO-7! No hesitation: for archiving big volumes of video footage, LTO tapes are the best option: cost effective, fast, reliable!
It's pretty hard to achieve what you have in mind... If I was trying to get that effect again today, I would probably use a digital/compositing effect (by creating a "z depth channel") or I would simply try to shoot the real thing, by shooting very early in the morning on a cold/wet october/november day :)
However, I have had some success in the past by hacking a "two pounds smoke bomb" (cfr. Youtube "how to make a smoke bomb") and/or, much safer, a smoke machine (not a hazer!) with a DIY "cooling box". Basically, I attached a hose onto the smoke machine's exhaust and the box (styrofoam) cooled the smoke with dry ice. I used a simple 12V bathroom air extractor to suck the air through the whole system. That way, the smoke could stick to the ground for a while...
The main issue, as you probably guessed is ... the wind conditions. You really have to shoot on a windless day!
Other issues include the lack of smoke dispersion... So for a wide shot, you really have to have several of these machines/hacks, which is quite a budget... Or you could try something I also had in mind: use some kind of very long perforated hose to disperse the smoke over a large area. Still, it is very difficult to achieve a "good enough" result. You really have to be lucky...
Speaking of luck... By pure chance, when I was fine tuning my machine, one of my trial attempts created something truly spectacular: as I first didn't put enough dry ice in the cooler, the smoke was slightly to hot to sick to the ground. Instead, it floated 3 meters above the ground, creating kind of a white "ceiling of smoke" for quite a large area in the forest. It was totally dreamlike, surreal, unreal... Unfortunately, I didn't have any camera with me that day (for I simply was supposed to test my hack)...
I think he meant "Zeiss Super Speed mk1", which, indeed, have those triangular apertures. Never heard of "Leica Super Speed" or Leica having triangular apertures...
"Each additional glass that light has to pass through is evil."
This is exactly where my own experience made me think otherwise.
I just like filters, quality physical filters. I can achieve many looks that are _impossible_ to achieve in post, simply by putting additional glass in front of my lens.
I really don't think it's "evil". Take a look, for instance, to what my colleague Bruno Aveillan achieved by using many different "evil" pieces of glass (sometimes broken) in front to his lenses:
Bottom line is: if you want natural, organic look, then, please don't rely upon artificial means like "let's do it in post". Use the real deal: physical filters (including color correction filters) are more useful than ever, now that our lenses and sensors have achieved near "physical perfection".
BTW, a little "imperfection" is what makes the difference between organic and "non-organic" pictures.
"Imperfection" is also part of what makes the difference between humans and robots...
Don't get me wrong: I love the post-production tools also. But they will never replace the real/physical things for me.
Sorry: english is not my native language ;)
I fully agree with you about the noise in the blue channel: it's quite easy to remove in post.
However, this noise issue is just the "tip of the iceberg" sort of speaking.
The fact of the matter is that, depending on your camera (Alexa is of course the best in this instance) color accuracy (for example "skin tones") will be affected if you don't feed enough blue (I call it "Vitamin B") to your digital camera. Even the Alexa does benefit from a little increase in "Vitamin B"... Unless you don't aim for "neutral colors" of course. If you want your skins to have a yellow/orange cast, then, of course, there is no need to use any filter. But if you aim for neutral tones (when your lights are far from 5000°K), physical filtering (glass in front of your lens) provides the very best results, better results than doing an "in-camera/in-post white balance".
Therefore, I think it is (sometimes) a good idea to use color correcting glass filters when shooting digital, exactly like we used to when we were shooting film.
Only thing that used to bother me was that there is not enough precision when we use the usual "80 filters" (wratten numbers: 80a, 80b, 80c, 80d).
That's why I think this variable color correcting filter is a good idea, at least on paper.
I still want to test it before I use it though. I don't want to create bigger of a problem by using a cheap filter :)
"Secondly, we light our scenes properly by using filters (e.g. CTO)"
I was talking about CTB more than CTO... "Warm to Cold".
"there are reasons to light a face with 7000° or 2800°. There are very good reasons."
I'm sure there are (and I know these very well, from my 20 years of DP experience). But unless you light a face at the very NATIVE COLOR BALANCE of your camera (typically 5000K), you WON'T get 100% of your camera's performance. This increases noise, and decreases color accuracy. Skin tones WILL be affected if you light your scene at 3200K and then apply an in -camera or in-post "white balance".
Again, don't trust me! Just READ THE ARTICLE I GAVE YOU!
I know that most video enthusiasts are unaware of what I explained to you, but I think it is important for a DP to know a thing or two about the "native white balance" and how to hit that target by using filters. Even cheap ones like the one above.