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This weekly course covers the most common questions videographers encounter when shooting and editing with DSLR cameras, from choosing a frame size and frame rate to understanding moiré. Authors Rich Harrington and Robbie Carman will also help you understand the impacts of compression and the difference between cropped (or micro 4/3rds) and full-sized sensors in cameras, and much more. This continual FAQ guide is a handy way to find the answers to the questions that plague you the most.
Robbie Carman: Hi, I'm Robbie Carman. Rich Harrington: And I'm Rich Harrington. Robbie Carman: And Rich, this week we want to talk about the idea of using a rack focus. Now, for those of you who don't what a rack focus means, it's a way of changing your focal plane in a sort of smooth and dynamic way. Rich Harrington: Yeah, it's a pretty straightforward thing. The idea that you want to basically, in camera, animate the viewer's attention from one area of the image. Robbie Carman: Mm-hm. Rich Harrington: To another. Usually it's used in things like an interview or maybe to reveal a sunrise or a sunset, a, a skyscape.
It's a very common idea to sort of reveal something using focus, almost like an in-camera wipe. Robbie Carman: Absolutely and it, you know and, and it's used as you mentioned for things like narrative, for interviews and that kind of stuff. And the real important thing about it is that when it's done correctly, you don't even notice. Rich Harrington: Yeah. Robbie Carman: But when it's done poorly, the viewer goes did something, what's wrong with my TV, what's going on, right? Rich Harrington: Yeah. Robbie Carman: It looks a little weird. So rack focusing is a little bit more art than it is technical because the movement of a rack focus is relatively simple.
Find out where focus point number 1 is. Find out where focus point number 2 is and make that move. But it takes some practice to get it working right. Rich Harrington: But it is actually technical in the sense that you need the right equipment. Robbie Carman: That's true, that's true. Rich Harrington: To pull it off. So we're going to look at what equipment won't work and what equipment will work. Because if you choose the wrong type of lens. Or you're on the wrong setting with your lens. You could be sitting there, turning the focal distance all day, and not see things. Robbie Carman: In fact, different lenses, you know, a prime lens versus a zoom lens are going to work a little bit differently. And you add in, you know the type of controls, the zoom rings on the actual lens itself.
Rich Harrington: Yeah. Robbie Carman: A follow focus. All of these things contribute to that process. So when we come back in just a moment, we're going to dive right in and talk about making rack focuses with fine lenses.
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