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Gregory De Tennis June 19th, 2012 06:50 AM

Director's Viewfinder
 
Is anyone using a Director's Viewfinder? If so which one? Now that I am shooting and changing lens I can see how one would be useful to figure out which lens to pull out both on location and during scouts. Also which camera setting would you use for an F3?

Dave Sperling June 19th, 2012 09:47 AM

Re: Director's Viewfinder
 
I use a dslr stills camera with a zoom lens for convenience instead of a director's finder. It has an S-size sensor, so the lens lengths are pretty close to the F3, though of course the aspect ratio of the stills camera is different.
The big adventage of using a camera is that when scouting I'll put people where the talent will be, take pictures where I imagine I'll be doing my coverage, and then can immediately show the director what I was thinking. Plus of course the stills can be used to make a 'quick' storyboard.
Sometimes even using a little 'point and shoot' camera can be helpful, though the focal length conversion could be a bit trickier.

Gregory De Tennis June 19th, 2012 12:08 PM

Re: Director's Viewfinder
 
I too have used this method, works pretty good.

Eugen Oprina June 22nd, 2012 06:47 AM

Re: Director's Viewfinder
 
Hi,
If you are not going wider than 18 too often I recommend ARTEMIS app on iPhone.
Worth every penny.
Eugen

Dennis Dillon June 29th, 2012 02:59 PM

Re: Director's Viewfinder
 
Second on ARTEMIS. I have asked our location scouts to add this ASAP to their phones, which will also take a picture, which they forward to me.

Allan Black June 29th, 2012 09:00 PM

Re: Director's Viewfinder
 
I bought a Kish Zoom Finder years ago when I was just starting out, which is when I think they're good. It has all sizes, small, easily fits in your pocket
and you take it everywhere while you learn it. I've still got it.

Now smart cameras and the Artemis are the go.

Cheers.

Dennis Hingsberg July 5th, 2012 11:48 AM

Re: Director's Viewfinder
 
I use an old Nikon body that can take my lenses and if I don't want to drag primes around just use a 28-70 zoom.

The Nikon SLR will have a larger view compared to super35mm but for me its good enough and you can do the crop factor math in your head if you like.

Anything beats dragging a $14,000 camera around for the purpose of a director viewfinder.

Patrick Finnegan September 11th, 2012 09:48 AM

Re: Director's Viewfinder
 
I use a Alan Gordan Mark V Directors viewfinder. You can dial the image size for the Super 35 sensor of the F3. it is light weight and makes lens selection a breeze. I cannot tell you how much time it has saved me on set to be able to frame my shots accurately before I commit to the time of a lens swap. Particularly when you are doing a lot of run and gun set ups with primes (my preferred lens of choice) it is a treat to use!

Dennis Hingsberg September 11th, 2012 10:24 AM

Re: Director's Viewfinder
 
I was on-set for Kick Ass 2 (the sequel) and where a cop car was being rigged up with side and front cameras. The DP used one of these which attach right to the lens to choose the focal length. Expensive if you drop it depending what lens is attached - that's for sure.

http://www.pure4c.de/mm/directors_finder.png

Garrett Low September 11th, 2012 10:24 AM

Re: Director's Viewfinder
 
I also use ARTEMIS on my Android phone :-). It records a lot of information when you take the picture.

Charles Papert September 11th, 2012 07:54 PM

Re: Director's Viewfinder
 
re: Dennis' picture.

For all the years I spent on set as those big heavy finders that took the primes were the standard, I always felt there was a better way. Watching the director or DP line up a frame and then show it to the other (as I watched it inevitably slip a little as the finder was handed off, so the frame was never exactly the same), waiting around while different lenses were called for and mounted by the AC's, doing Steadicam rehearsals with the finder (to look for light flares and other issues) and having the AD's dog me about doing it on Steadicam instead so they could see the shot and set background. Inefficient (and by the way, quite heavy and awkward). Still a good choice for the situation you described though (setting car mounts) where the parameters of the camera position are specific down to the inch.

Back then, ten years ago, I started drawing up designs for a "vidstick" that would solve many of these problems, using a 16mm zoom that had been remarked for the 35mm equivalents FOV, a surveillance camera module, battery and monitor all mounted in a balanced arrangement like a mini-Steadicam. Never got around to building it.

Now, I think DSLR's are a great way to go. If you are shooting the project on a different camera, you'll be best off remarking the lenses with the corresponding focal lengths. You can show the image to others live, take a still or a clip and show to others etc. Best of all worlds.


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