Sony F3 Resurrected – LUTs

Sony F3 Resurrection

This thread is dedicated to all the long time Sony F3 lovers, owners, and shooters on the web.

I feel like so many of us have been trying for years to crack the secret of working with slog from the Sony cams – whether that’s the Sony F3, F5 or F55. Some of us have been more successful than others, either grading slog directly or creating a myriad of complex nodes in Davinci to get things “close” but still not “close enough”.

There are many who feel that working with slog is no big deal and that only a slight adjustment curve is needed in post to bring things back to normal. This is partially true, and in fact the way I had been working with slog back when I owned the F3 grading using curves straight off a Premiere timeline. But for a long time many of us have been looking for a proper way of unraveling slog to remove any limitations in the grading process and to get the image to a more “better” starting point for grading not to mention getting rid of that “Sony look”.

The discussion or idea around de-logging footage is not really that new especially since there are more FS700, F3, F5 and F55 users than ever. For slog2 and slog3 Davinci Resolve makes it easy to apply the right IDT and ODT transforms so that you have a very good base to start working with. Plus all controls actually work like they are suppose to. ie. The shadow control actually controls shadows, midtones adjust midtones, and highlights control highlights. But where is the IDT for the original slog you ask?

Well thanks to some dedicated Sony-F35-philes and mainly MacGregor, a member on the DVXUser community forums, there is now a ‘slog to cineon’ LUT available for the original slog that will give you a better start and better controls in Resolve for your grade. slog is found on both the Sony F35 and F3 cameras.

I take absolutely no credit for doing anything here! I am largely taking the work in progress that has been developing in the online community and sharing it here along with some of my own tests on some footage. I thought some of you would love hearing about it and want to try it out for yourselves.

Below are test results on some old footage of mine shot on the Sony F3 in slog 8-bit 420. Please post comments and let me know what you guys think:

grade i (click to view full size)

grade ii (click to view full size)

grade ii clean (click to view full size)

original slog 8-bit 420 (click to view full size)

vimeo.com/93529324 – please click to watch full HD version full screen

The Process:
The basic process is make your input LUT “slog -> Cineon” • Apply your grade • On the output node use “ARRI C Log -> Rec709″.

In my example however I incorporated the use of the Kodak 2383 print film emulation LUT and a 35mm film grain loop. If you decide to use any print film emulation LUTs you have to remove the “ARRI C Log -> Rec709″ from the chain. My process looked similar to this:

What you need to download:
Download MacGregors slog to cineon LUT: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/13362047/F35%20slog%20to%20cineon.zip

Download Juan Melara’s Print Film (Kodak and Fuji) emulation LUTs: http://juanmelara.com.au/downloads/log2hd_cube_luts.zip

(For Davinci Resolve copy these LUTs to your LUT folder. On MAC: Libarary -> Application Support -> Blackmagic Design -> Davinci Resolve -> LUTS)

Feel free to download the slog clip used in my example plus the final graded videos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/iec0ib0hoqprfpc/zUuGcHqXY0

Resources:
Juan Melara’s Print Film (Kodak and Fuji) emulation LUTs page for reading: http://juanmelara.com.au/print-film-emulation-luts-for-download/

Discussion:
Follow even MORE discussion on this fascinating subject on DVXuser.com

 

  1. Nicholas KovatsNicholas Kovats05-02-2014

    Another very informative blog article, Dennis. Great references to valuable film print LUTs, i.e. http://juanmelara.com.au/print-film-emulation-luts-for-download/. Do you happen to also have FilmConvert? I am now fascinated by this topic. One button film looks in Resolve would be a very attractive workflow.

    • Dennis HingsbergDennis Hingsberg05-02-2014

      Thank you for your kind words. I have heard great things about Filmconvert but what I can say about it is you must ensure that it supports the profile of the camera footage you want to apply it to, and make sure about any specific gamma or camera settings.

  2. Richard WilcoxRichard Wilcox05-02-2014

    I certainly class myself as a long-time F3 owner/lover who has been on the hunt for the prefect method to deal with slog, so this article couldn’t be more up my street. You may not have developed the software, but a big thanks for raising its profile, I’ve never used a lut and have always graded with curves and the log controls so really looking forward to trying this out. Will let you know how I get on.

    • Dennis HingsbergDennis Hingsberg05-02-2014

      Thanks for submitting your comments and best of luck with your results once you start testing. Also there are lots of 3rd party plugins and support for other NLE based systems if you are not using Davinci Resolve. Mind you the Lite version of Davinci Resolve is completely free to use without much restriction.

  3. Mike VMike V08-10-2014

    Sony recommend not shooting S-Log to 8-bit CODECs as you can get banding.

    • Dennis HingsbergDennis Hingsberg08-10-2014

      It’s true that 8-bit codecs can increase the chance of banding but many have shot in S-Log in 8-bit and produced great results. It’s also possible to convert 8-bit footage into higher bit depths for grading which will limit banding. But yes capturing 10-bit or higher is generally better. My preference would be 12-bit.

  4. ErwanErwan01-03-2015

    Very helpful article about S-Log, thanks for sharing your tips. Dennis considering it’s 8-bit, would it be significiant to use another codec like ProRes before grading ? you told about higher bit dephts does it worth making it ? thanks

    • Dennis HingsbergDennis Hingsberg01-05-2015

      Hello Erwan, thank you for finding my blog and glad you found it useful. Since the F3 is 8-bit internally, if you later convert it to a higher bit depth and another codec like ProRes I don’t find it makes a huge difference. The information is limited to begin with. Of course with the F3 you can however record to an external 10-bit recorder in 422 color which can hold up to more extensive grading. Also consider using a Noise Reduction plugin on the footage and it can really compensate a lot for being a lower bit-depth to begin with. Cheers.

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