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Best director's viewfinder


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#1 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 03:30 AM

I just bought an Isco-Optic Director's Viewfinder II because my DoP suggested director's viewfinder would be a good tool to have while scouting locations and I've been wanting one for a while now anyway AND this one will do 1/2in video format which is what my JVC GY-500 is so I can use it with it and my 35mms. I was just wondering who out there uses a director's viewfinder on a regular basis and which ones the have, also what are some of the best ones AND what do they go for? B)
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#2 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 03:47 AM

I don't know if they're too useful for scouting locations, a basic video camera works for me in that phase of production.

It's always a great on set tool though for figuring out your framing & blocking while not having to lug the camera around.
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#3 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 03:58 AM

Well, in that case, I'll bring a video camera with me as well. Which viewfinder do you use?
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#4 Lav Bodnaruk

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 06:05 AM

did you just pick this up on ebay? i saw the same one sold today...
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#5 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 03:17 PM

Yeah, I paid a little more than I wanted to but new they go for 1300 bucks so I guess I got a good deal if it works correctly. I wanted a good one and I believe these are somewhat medium to high end, but that's why I wanted to see what everyone else used, because I'm not well versed in these things. B)

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 20 December 2006 - 03:19 PM.

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#6 Matthew Buick

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 03:36 PM

I made a Director's Scope out of an old toilet roll, what can I say...it works...sort of...not really...no. :(
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#7 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 04:38 PM

I made a Director's Scope out of an old toilet roll, what can I say...it works...sort of...not really...no. :(


Another valuable contribution, Matthew...


The Alan Gordon viewfinder is probably the best, but expensive. I've got an unbranded one that i bought from Panavision for about £150. It's similar to the Du-All viewfinder. No frills, but does what I want it to.
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#8 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 05:04 PM

I use a DVX100B. Barry Green in his book put a nice chart that tells you based on the digital readout of your zoom, what the 35mm equivalent lens would be. If I'm framing for S16mm, I use a Cavision viewfinder. It's really cheap just be careful. You get what you pay for and god help you if you ever need to send anything to them for repair. It could take months to get it back.
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#9 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 11:00 PM

Another valuable contribution, Matthew...
The Alan Gordon viewfinder is probably the best, but expensive. I've got an unbranded one that i bought from Panavision for about £150. It's similar to the Du-All viewfinder. No frills, but does what I want it to.


The MarkV or the MarkVb OR was it one of the earlier MarkIVs? I was wondering how well those worked, a lot of people recommended them. B)

If I'm framing for S16mm, I use a Cavision viewfinder. It's really cheap just be careful. You get what you pay for and god help you if you ever need to send anything to them for repair. It could take months to get it back.


Well the whole trick is not to drop the damn things, that's why the make that little strap that goes around your neck. :D I like there CINE DIRECTOR'S VIEWFINDER. It looks luke some of the higher end ones I've seen lately. Do you use the small one or the full sized one. B)
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#10 Paul Bruening

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 02:20 AM

I use the Cavision as well. I got it off B&H. I think it was around $170.00 or so, new. I love it. It's small, versital, and hangs easy from the neck.
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#11 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 04:51 AM

The MarkV or the MarkVb OR was it one of the earlier MarkIVs? I was wondering how well those worked, a lot of people recommended them.


They're all good, but it's quite a chunk of metal to cart around with you. Your Isco-Optic is in a similar price range to the Alan Gordon, so I would think it's of similar quality.
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#12 Stephen Williams

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 05:18 AM

They're all good, but it's quite a chunk of metal to cart around with you. Your Isco-Optic is in a similar price range to the Alan Gordon, so I would think it's of similar quality.


Hi Stewart,

The Downside of a heavy chunk of metal, when plonked in a case with a Nikon D70, the heavy chunk of metal killed the top LCD desplay!

Stephen
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#13 Hal Smith

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 09:08 AM

A gentle suggestion for threads like this one: Please post website URL's if you know (or can cut and paste them). I personally do this all the time as a courtesy to others. If you include the http:// at the head of the URL then the Forum software will list it as a hot link.

For instance: http://www.bhphotovi...r...;Q=&ci=3680? will take you right to the BHPhotovideo page for Director's Viewfinders. Be sure to include a blank space before and after the URL for the Forum software to properly format it as a hot link.

Give Matthew a break, a toilet paper roll squashed rectangular and cut to the right length is better than guessing! :)
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#14 Nooman Naqvi

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 02:04 PM

Here is my Alan Gordon Mark Vb B) :wub:

It comes with four aspect ratio (2.40 Anamorphic, 1.85, 16x9-Digital HD, and 1.33 Film-Video 4x3).

Question is, for Super 16mm, the aspect ratio will be "16x9-Digital HD"? Shouldn't it be 1.66? but there is no marking for 1.66. Confused :unsure:

Posted Image
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#15 Stephen Williams

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 03:25 PM

Here is my Alan Gordon Mark Vb B) :wub:

It comes with four aspect ratio (2.40 Anamorphic, 1.85, 16x9-Digital HD, and 1.33 Film-Video 4x3).

Question is, for Super 16mm, the aspect ratio will be "16x9-Digital HD"? Shouldn't it be 1.66? but there is no marking for 1.66. Confused :unsure:

Posted Image


Hi,

16x9 is very close to 1:1.85. You should note that your finder is for 16mm not S16

Stephen
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#16 Tim Carroll

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 03:48 PM

Hi,

16x9 is very close to 1:1.85. You should note that your finder is for 16mm not S16

Stephen


Stephen,

I was noticing that too. What is a good Director's Viewfinder that is calibrated for Super 16 (1.66:1)?

Thanks,
-Tim
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#17 Matthew Buick

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 04:17 PM

Another valuable contribution, Matthew...


Well, what would you guys do without me, you all need a pro around to make sure you don't overexpose or something. :D

Give Matthew a break, a toilet paper roll squashed rectangular and cut to the right length is better than guessing! :)


Actually it wasn't squashed or cut to any lenght, I just looked through it. :(
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#18 Stephen Williams

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 04:30 PM

Stephen,

I was noticing that too. What is a good Director's Viewfinder that is calibrated for Super 16 (1.66:1)?

Thanks,
-Tim


Hi Tim,

I have never seen one, so I would make up my own scale relative to the 35mm one.

Stephen
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#19 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 04:58 PM

My Isco is calibrated for Super 16. It has a s16 setting at 1.66:1 and focal lenghts from 12mm to 115mm (what can I say, it's German). Of course it's freakin' 1300 bucks brand new so maybe 1.85:1 is close
enough :blink: If I had, had to pay that for it I wouldn't have got a Isco I'd have probably gone with a Cavision as well. B)

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 21 December 2006 - 04:59 PM.

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#20 Paul Bruening

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 10:19 PM

I just got my Cavision out. It says, S16, 35 and AN on one side and 2/3", 1/2" and 1/3" on the other. It trombones with clicks and numbers to cover these lens lengths in S16- 10, 14, 20, 29, 43, 57, 86, and 114. The outer ring at the large end of the lens adjusts framing to cover these ratios- TV, 3516, 1.66, 16.9, 1.85, 2.35, and 2.55.It does seem to lack a kitchen sink, however.
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