Dec 04

FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM: @briannguyen.dp

If you want to keep up with me (much more often than I update my blog and site) feel free to give me a follow on Instagram: @briannguyen.dp I’ll try to make it interesting and I’ll be occasionally posting some BTS and set photos.   Thanks, Brian
Jun 17

“DAD MOMENTS” – Short Film Shot on RED Scarlet-W and Leica R

Here’s a short film that I co-produced and shot. I’m proud of what we came out; it was one of those projects that everything just seemed to come together and felt “right.” We had a pretty compressed schedule and wanted to release it in time for Father’s Day. From our first pre-production meeting to the final cut was a total of 1 month, 3 days of shooting, and 2 weeks of post.   Check out our final product:   Shot on the RED Scarlet-W with Leica R lenses.   We really couldn’t have done it with our awesome cast and crew.   Starring Darrell Philip, Ellen Humphreys, and Jamie Timmons Written & Directed by Nick Wilson Produced by Colin Rieser, Nick Wilson, and Brian Nguyen Director of Photography: Brian Nguyen Camera Assistants: Grant Bell & Tony Marquez Gaffers: Brian Hayashi & Shaun Vivaris Production Designer: Deja Gordon Hair, makeup, and wardrobe: Dyana Aives   Feel free to leave comments or questions regarding anything to the film! I would be more than happy to elaborate on it.   BTS BTS Photos by Amanda Pennino
Apr 27

CHOOSING YOUR RED CAMERA: RAVEN, SCARLET-W, OR WEAPON

One of my most commonly asked questions is: “which RED should I buy?”   RED has opened up the doors to all levels of filmmakers with the introduction of their latest and cheapest Raven body. As good as the Raven is though, the question of upgrading is always there: should I upgrade to the Scarlet-W? Should I just get a Weapon? Is the Raven good enough for me? Is the Raven even an upgrade for me?   I always answer all these questions with a preface: it depends. It depends on what you can afford, what you’re shooting, and what you need in your production. I don’t think that one-body-fits-all works for everyone because each person has their own unique set of circumstances. In this comparison, I’ll try to break down the main differences between the 3 bodies in a simple, clear, and concise way.   BODY AND BRAINS First off, I want to start off by clearing RED’s nomenclature which causes a lot of confusion: Dragon is the sensor Raven/Scarlet-W/Weapon are DSMC2 bodies ALL DSMC2 bodies have the Dragon sensor Mysterium-X (MX) is the old sensor that has been retired Epic/Scarlet are DSMC1 bodies, which can be paired with either the Dragon or MX […]

RED Standard OLPF vs. RED Skin Tone-Highlight OLPF – Dynamic Range and Color

VIDEO   One of the great features that I find in RED cameras is the ability to swap OLPFs on-the-fly. It really gives you another level of flexibility in choosing the right tool for your shooting condition. In Red’s new DSMC2 bodies, swapping OLPFs is even easier than before, and I find it to be another step in their commitment to keeping the Red as modular as possible. I would have no problem swapping OLPFs on set in the middle of shooting; it’s quick and very easy to do — even you’re 2nd AC could do it!   Currently, Red offers 4 OLPFs, which have pretty descriptive names. You shouldn’t have a hard time figuring out what each one is good for. Standard – Red’s newest OLPF that combines the characteristics of Skin Tone-Highlight and Low-Light Skin Tone-Highlight – Helps preserve skin tones and highlights in bright conditions Low Light Optimized – Helps reduce noise and retain detail in low light situtations H2O – For underwater   In this particular test, I wanted to see how the Standard OLPF compared to the popular Skin Tone-Highlight. I’ve been told it has “Alexa-like” highlights, but can it make that much of a difference?   Testing Methodology and Parameters   […]
Apr 01

RED Scarlet-W Dragon // Extreme Low-Light Test – 2000 ISO

YouTube Link:     Just a very quick and simple test by the fireside. This is basically straight out of camera, with the same in-camera settings. No post-production, coloring, or noise reduction done. Shot 5K downscaled to 4K UHD for YouTube.   The DSMC2 system is something very special, it’s by far the cleanest image I’ve been able to get from Reds. This is also with the Standard OLPF, so it can get even better and cleaner with their Low-Light OLPF.   Shot with a variety of Leica R lenses wide open at a F/2.0 or F2.8.   UPDATE: 5K RAW R3D Files I’ve been asked for the RAW R3D files and provided a few shots for you. Opening wide shot, Leica R 19mm shot at f/2.8: http://www.mediafire.com/download/a6sxa6m1a7rhab1/A002_C027_0330PU_001.R3D ECU, Leica R 19mm at f/2.8: http://www.mediafire.com/download/vnrs12rzqinv7z9/A002_C024_0330NV_001.R3D Bonus, the shot right after the ECU: http://www.mediafire.com/download/l2c94zkukczfq97/A002_C025_03300E_001.R3D Enjoy!   Higher quality Vimeo link for those who are interested:  
Mar 27

RED Scarlet-W Dragon vs. Panasonic VariCam LT – FULL Dynamic Range Comparison

  Here’s a big one for you guys. This will be a series of posts regarding this over-under exposure test with the RED Scarlet-W and Panasonic Varicam LT. I not only compared the Varicam LT to the Scarlet-W, but also compared individual settings within both cameras, such as the RED’s Standard OLPF vs. Skin Tone-Highlight OLPF and the Varicam’s Native 800 ISO mode vs. Native 5000 ISO mode. Many more posts spawning from this test to come, so stick around 🙂   RED Scarlet-W (Standard OLPF) vs. Panasonic Varicam LT Dynamic Range I was recently invited to the Panasonic Headquarters to take part in a complete over-under exposure test with their new, not-yet-released Panasonic Varicam LT. The tests were conducted and produced by the incredible cinematographer and AFI alumni Toshi Kizu with Panasonic’s camera engineer Takahiro Mitsui present to take us through the camera and running the tests.  The Varicam LT uses the same exact sensor as the full-sized Varicam 35; it’s just a new, smaller and compact body — the Varicam “Light” (hence LT).  As far as I know, the Varicam LT has not been officially released and this is still considered to be pre-release footage and more tweaks to the […]
Mar 21

RED Scarlet-W (First Footage) – Dragons and Puppies

  Over the past few days, I’ve been circulating some of the first footage shot with the RED Scarlet-W. There really aren’t many of these out in the wild, and as far as I know; I was one of the first to receive the camera (brain only) after switching my pre-order from the Red Raven to the Scarlet-W. As most would expect, the image is very similar to the other Red cameras, the Epic and Scarlet. Red’s Dragon sensor remains the same, so in theory the image should stay the same, right? Not quite. Red’s latest generation of camera bodies, which Red refers to as DSMC² cameras, include the Weapon, Scarlet-W, and Raven. Retired is the surname “Dragon” as all the new DSMC2 cameras from Red now employ the Dragon sensor as opposed to their older Mysterium-X (MX) sensor. From this point forward, saying Weapon Dragon or Scarlet-W Dragon is simply redundant, though it will be hard to drop as the industry has been stuck on “Red Dragon” for a couple years now. You’d be surprised how many calls I hear of people asking for a “Red Dragon camera,” not realizing that “Red Dragon” can either mean the Epic Dragon or Scarlet Dragon… but […]

One lens is not Leica the rest

The Leica R series of lenses was first introduced in 1964 with the original Leicaflex body. Recently, the Leica R lenses have made somewhat of a revival in recent years with the advent of larger digital formats. Fast, sharp, relatively cheap, manual aperture, 270 degree focus throw, and easily mountable to certain modern lens mounts, the Leica R lenses sound pretty much perfect on paper for motion film work. But how do they compare to their modern counterparts?   I recently picked up a Leica R 50mm Summicron (Leica’s way of saying f/2.0) to start working on my own set (19mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 90mm). The serial number on my particular lens indicated that it is a Version 2 made in 1978. Version 2 are said to be optically and mechanically superior to the Version 1, which ran from 1962 – 1975, though I have not done any tests to support that claim. Instead, I decided to directly compare my 50mm Version 2 Summicron to other more popular and expensive lenses. The prices range from ~$500 – $20,000 per lens, but would the results align with the price?   The Lineup I chose to compare my Leica R 50mm to other 50mm lenses based on […]