Cinematography Mailing List - CML

RED 23.98 At Night With Street Lights In Frame

Hi everyone,

I'm shooting night exteriors this week with a RED, and we're working in 23.98 time base (23.976). I have city streetlights in the background of the shot, and have a 180 degree shutter. I'm sure this could create flicker or fluctuations, and am wondering if there is a good shutter setting to get rid of this. On HD cameras, I can use an Electronic Clear Scan, and I know there is a Syncro and Phase setting for the RED's shutter, but not sure if anyone has a suggestion for the setting. Shooting in Dallas, TX, in a 60Hz environment, and my HMI's will have electronic ballasts, set to flicker free. I'm also concerned about fluorescents in an office environment if the ballasts are inexpensive and not high-frequency.

I'm assuming that 1/48 shutter in 23.98 time base is not a true 1/48 of a second, but rather 1/47.96. Maybe I'm wrong. Is there a Syncro setting (scale is 10-90, 50 is normal) that will adjust this, or is it
trial and error? I see I have to change the shutter setting from 'Normal' to 'Syncro' in order to activate it.

Thanks for your advice,

Graham Futerfas
Director of Photography
Los Angeles, CA

I always go to 1/40th, or 216, in such environments. That puts you smack in the middle of the flicker free safe window. The difference in motion blur is negligible and you get a little extra exposure to work with. If I have the light I'll go to 1/60 or 144, but I frequently don't.

I don't trust anything but tungsten lights and Kinos with the RED. I've had some nasty roll bar issues pop up with HMI's, and you often can't see them on set without a waveform--especially at night. 24fps at 180 is too close to the edge with the RED.


Art Adams | Director of Photography
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Hi Art

Have you had roll bar issues while shooting with HMIs that you couldn't see without a waveform?


Byron Shah
DP Los Angeles

I usually eliminate any flicker/rolling with a 1/30th or a 1/60th shutter.

Waveforms save lives...and careers

Good luck,

Dane Brehm
San Francisco
Phantom | Red | Proton

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