Do You Waveform Monitor the Lutted Image or the S-Log

Dan Mulligan

Dan Mulligan, DP – UK

I waveform the S-Log, the LUTs on set can wack out the waveform (imagine waveforming the Rec 709 output, ouch!) and they really are, for most reasonable purposes, for comfort viewing only. You can go very deep into LUTs and start some very sophisticated looks, using the waveform to really balance your RGB values, but that needs careful and thoughtful application and a good working relationship with your post team, but you really can achieve some lovely results.

The S-Log is my neg and that’s what I want to waveform and look for black level and clipping. Once exposed, then toggle to your desired LUT for that scene/shot.

For most log images on set, which are mostly partially colour temperature corrected in camera, then a simple bit of contrast to the blacks will tighten up the image enough for a pleasant on-set look and the waveform will confirm your stop value/black level loss with your desired LUT applied, but for me its the S-Log/Neg I’m interested in first – LUTs come next.

Mike Richardson
holding a ChromaDuMonde for Dan

You can always tell which professionals use their CDMs all the time . . .

. . . they’re covered with gaffer tape