Bruce Alan Greene
Originally appearing on the CML site it is reprinted with kind permission from Bruce and the CML
On my last major Varicam project I conducted a film out test and included a variety of detail settings in the test. After viewing the film print on the big screen I selected a level of detail that I believed added enough “punch” to the image without any noticeable detail artifacts visible in the print. In the test I was surprised by how much added detail the film print would tolerate, though to be fair, I’ve developed a subtle eye for “Sharpening” through years of Photoshop work.
For the Varicam, I decided that “Master Detail” could be set as high as “0” before I didn’t like the look. To be on the safe side, I shot with master detail set to minus 2. At the factory defaults for all the detail parameters on the Varicam, master detail = -7 is the same as “detail off”. Master detail set to “0” is a significant amount of detail on the Varicam. For the most part I ended up happy with my detail setting until…I had a shot of a woman against a bright blue sky. On my 17in LCD monitor, I could just start to see an outline where the woman met the sky. I then dialed down my setting a couple notches.
My advice for anyone brave enough to turn on the detail is to view your test image and test charts on a large LCD monitor that has a true pixel to pixel representation of the image. I think if one judges by CRT then one is apt to add too much. Also, it is very important to use a waveform monitor when adjusting the detail. You will see changes in the detail settings on the waveform that you will miss by looking only at a monitor.
I hope this is of some help to those interested in this discussion.
Bruce Alan Greene