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Dolly zoom / vertigo effect tips needed
  • Looking to see if someone who has done this shot with minimum crew with success . I have access to an assistant in this next video which will help ,but tell me if I'm missing something , I dolly into subject and zoom out , but how would we hold focus ? I saw few tutorial on line about it but wasn't fully going thru what is to vie done with regards to lens ,and what zoom lens should be used or might be better than others for this shot .we will be using ursa 4.6 so auto focus is a no ,maybe I'm missing something ,but to make it happen someone needs to push In or out the dolly ,another one zoom in or out and another turning focus ? Any help with this is much appreciated

  • 6 Replies sorted by
  • I did this shot handheld a few years back. Took a while to get the shot. If you have camera on dolly rails, you should be good. Definitely practice the setup and execution before day of shoot with your assistant. Not sure re focus, but a parfocal lens might work(...or maybe the result of dollying in and zooming out...somehow keep focus correct? Maybe someone else can chime in regarding focus.) If you need a focus puller, you could perhaps operate the dolly movement and the zoom, and have assistant operate the focus. Good luck-I'm sure you'll get the shot you need. I'm curious, is this inspired by a Hitchcock shot I'm thinking of maybe?

  • what about using a small aperture like F9 so the focus plane is so vast everything stays in focus?

  • If you plan to use auto-focus, and you don't do a very fast move in while zooming out, you should be good with the camera's auto-focus. The last time I did such, it was with a camcorder (standard resolution!) with a small sensor size (like 1/3"), it was outside and the lens was probably set to f/5.6 or more outside. With such a small sensor, I don't remember any focus issues.

    Otherwise, as a one-man-band, if you want to move the dolly, zoom in/out while focusing, I wish you best of luck!

  • Matt yes it's inspired by him ..but parafocal will still needs to be focused once you move in or out with dolly .. Lmackreath I think that would be best thing is to do like f8-f11 range ..madmarkfilms ,the ursa minis really can't auto focus so manual all the way ,I will have an asisitant ,from what you guys saying ,I'll move in with dolly ,he will zoom out ,all at closed aperture f8-11

  • I've done this on top end pro (Panavision w/motor and Zeiss w/ Microforce controller - zooms). A silky smooth motorized zoom was used.

    We would make ca. 4 marks on the 20' of dolly track & zoom lens to keep the zoom speed consistent with the dolly speed. Focus marks of course too. got it done in less than 5 takes.

  • @CFreak in less than 5 takes, you guys are really good! This kind of shot isn't easy to start with!