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Focus Pulling Laser Finder


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#1 tommy holman

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 05:55 AM

hey,

my names tommy and im currently studying at the Bournemouth Film Academy, UK. I am doing a lot of work as 1st AC and wanted to purchase a laser finder measurer, so i could digitally measure from the film plane to the subject. I have looked at a few online and ebay etc. but am not sure which to go for. I obviousley do not have an endless budget being a student, so the best price that is available. If anyone could point me in the right direction, that would be great.


kind regards,
tommy holman
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#2 Jens Harvard

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 07:00 AM

Hi

I've heard that many ACs are using the Leica Disto A2 or A3, I have never used one myself but they seem to be very good, but they are of course quite expensive. There are many other meters that are less expensive but the are also less reliable, but i'm sure there are some exeptions.
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#3 Jon Kukla

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 07:05 AM

The most popular tends to be the Disto. There are other ones, but many of them are simply not accurate enough over a wide range of distances. Distos don't come cheap, though - I think they start at around £100. I've also heard that green laser meters are more accurate over a longer range than red laser ones, but I haven't seen too many bc they cost a lot more (IIRC). Doesn't make much of a difference in the studio, but can be incredibly useful for long lenses out on location.
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#4 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 10:45 AM

Disto are the only ones to really go for - anything cheaper gets useless very quickly

I saw some Disto specials a while ago at about £109 or something

thanks

Rolfe
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#5 Chris Keth

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 05:47 PM

Disto are the only ones to really go for - anything cheaper gets useless very quickly

I saw some Disto specials a while ago at about £109 or something

thanks

Rolfe



I second this. Every other one I have used is very easy to fool depending on the surface texture of what you are measuring to. The disto even works when I measure to the thick black fur on my dogs. The others crapped out totally on that surface (or those hundreds of tiny surfaces :P ).
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#6 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 08:56 AM

I've seen 1st Ac's use similar units by Hilti as well.
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#7 Daniel Stigler

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 01:06 PM

I've seen 1st Ac's use similar units by Hilti as well.


HILTI is the only alternative for a Disto i can think of.
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#8 thomas-english

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 08:32 AM

Gutten Tag Daniel Stigler!!!

Hows it going dude! saw your name come up thought I would say hi!

I did not think you needed a lazer pointer! haha

although I ve got to say when steadicaming and the 1st has a lazer it makes me so happy! saves me the pain of holiding shots as the nose is tickled with the tape measure... Please, everyone get one!

Brilliant

Thomas
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#9 André Bacher

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Posted 29 October 2006 - 01:46 PM

Hello,

i worked with the old Leica Disto Lite 5 and its a very exact distancemeter, nice and fast to handle. The only bad thing for the camera assistent working with the Disto Lite 5 it that it makes a beep-noise when you press the measure button. I wrote a little manual to modify this device to stop beeping, maybe its helpful for somebody? Its written in german but the pictures speak for themselves:
http://www.kamera-bo...tid=381#post381

Has anybody of you experience working with the Bosch DLE 50 pro ?
http://tinyurl.com/yf7bhd


greetings,
André
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#10 Hamid Khozouie

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 03:51 PM

My AC used LEICA DISTO in my last film.

You must consider , it is very dangerous :ph34r: for eye
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#11 Jon Kukla

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 04:04 PM

My AC used LEICA DISTO in my last film.

You must consider , it is very dangerous :ph34r: for eye


I wouldn't consider it VERY dangerous; I'd just say that - as with any laser - you shoudn't stare directly into it (or even its reflected light) for long, and as an AC you certainly should always aim it away from someone's eyes. But according to Leica's site, it is a Class 2 laser, which according to Wikipedia should be fine if used with common sense.
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#12 Daniel Stigler

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 07:19 PM

Gutten Tag Daniel Stigler!!!

Hows it going dude! saw your name come up thought I would say hi!

I did not think you needed a lazer pointer! haha

although I ve got to say when steadicaming and the 1st has a lazer it makes me so happy! saves me the pain of holiding shots as the nose is tickled with the tape measure... Please, everyone get one!

Brilliant

Thomas


Hi Thomas!
Nice to see you, man.
Actually you'right, i don't use a laser meter or even own one. For me it's too much hassle and i'm faster with a normal tape measure. And i never take readings from the camera when pulling focus on steadicam shots. I take some reference readings like the size of the walls, pieces of furniture or anything useful like that and the rest is guess work. ;)
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#13 didier Frateur

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 04:19 PM

I used a Leica Disto Classic for many years, but half a year ago it just stopped functioning. By that time the plastics showed cracks and the batterycover broke down. Now I bought the Hilti PD 32 and I'm very pleased with it: it's feels more robust, is much faster, smaller, uses less batteries, measures on black surfaces, and has an incorporated viewfinder (which is not a ?250,- option like the Disto)
The Bosch wasn't an option: it only reads meters, no foot+inches..
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#14 Hal Smith

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 05:27 PM

Has anyone else tried using the Stanley Fat Max TLM-100 laser tape? Home Depot sells them for $99. Guess what? It's made by "Leica Geosystems" in Austria. It reads out to 1/8", Stanley rates it a 1/4" accuracy, it has a rated 100' range. I bought one and have run some tests, it seems like a pretty good piece of equipment if all one need is a point and shoot distance measurer. The 100' range is a bit optimistic, 60-70' is what I find it to be good for.

Stanley "makes" a couple of fancier ones, the $398 version has a history memory, tracking, angle of tilt measurements, 200m range and a 1/16" accuracy. I think it's a repackaged Leica A8 given its similar specs. The $249 TLM-200 looks exactly like a Leica A2.
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#15 weiming

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Posted 18 November 2006 - 12:36 PM

Hi all,

to digress a bit, when u guys use a laser distance meter to measure a person's distance from the camera, do u point the laser at some part of his/her face (of course not the eyes) for example the nose; forehead etc. ?

will the talent be irritated by it? if so how should we go about doing it, and get the most accurate measurement at the same time.

Thanks!
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#16 didier Frateur

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 04:31 PM

Hi all,

to digress a bit, when u guys use a laser distance meter to measure a person's distance from the camera, do u point the laser at some part of his/her face (of course not the eyes) for example the nose; forehead etc. ?

will the talent be irritated by it? if so how should we go about doing it, and get the most accurate measurement at the same time.

Thanks!


I will never ever point a laser into a persons face! The laser is fine for measuring references around an actor/actress. If you have to measure on the person itself, take a part that you estimate being at the same distance as the eyes. This can be an arm, shoulder or another bodypart. If you know this part is a few inches further/closer than the eyes, just hold your laser further/closer from the filmplane..
But never point into a face.
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#17 Johnathan Holmes

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 12:00 PM

I've had a Stanley FatMax TLM100 for some time now, and it's been quite useful for me. It doesn't work very well outside, however, in bright sunlight only because it's too difficult to see the actual dot. But it works perfectly indoors and outdoors at night.

I am always a little nervous using it - especially around fussy actors. I always keep a hand in front of the laser and line it up with my film plane first, then aim it at the ground and slowly bring the beam up to the actor's chest or shoulder. And I only use it when I absolutely have to, say in a dark area where running a tape measure out 20 feet is unreasonable and it is too dark to eye focus.
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#18 Chris Keth

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 02:10 PM

I've had a Stanley FatMax TLM100 for some time now, and it's been quite useful for me. It doesn't work very well outside, however, in bright sunlight only because it's too difficult to see the actual dot. But it works perfectly indoors and outdoors at night.

I am always a little nervous using it - especially around fussy actors. I always keep a hand in front of the laser and line it up with my film plane first, then aim it at the ground and slowly bring the beam up to the actor's chest or shoulder. And I only use it when I absolutely have to, say in a dark area where running a tape measure out 20 feet is unreasonable and it is too dark to eye focus.


For future reference, it's never too dark to eye focus. This doesn't help if it's too tough to just go to the talent for some reason, but just take the lens off of your maglight, go to the talent, and have the operator or other assistant focus the bulb. It's easy to see focus even on very wide primes, you just make the light the smallest dot it can be.

Edited by Chris Keth, 23 May 2007 - 02:11 PM.

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