# Any other formulas for focussing slate?

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### #1 Jamie McIntyre

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 07:13 PM

I am from England and working in the US.

I am a student so i am not used to they way you guys use feet yet.

Is there any other formula other than the 10mm = 1 foot for 35mm and 50mm = 2.5 feet for 16mm?

Anyway to do it in meters?

Thanks,

Jamie

Edited by Jamie_dp, 30 January 2007 - 07:13 PM.

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 04:35 AM

If you know how long a foot is why does it matter?
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### #3 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 05:14 AM

In recent years, thanks to the UKs partial integration with Europe, Imperial measurements like feet & inches are no longer taught in school. If you are younger than about 25, you almost certainly only learnt the metric system.

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### #4 Max Jacoby

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 05:27 AM

In recent years, thanks to the UKs partial integration with Europe, Imperial measurements like feet & inches are no longer taught in school. If you are younger than about 25, you almost certainly only learnt the metric system.

It's about bloody time! Imperial is completely useless for any precise messaurements. 3/128th of an inch and such. If you're looking for a reason the Brits lost their empire look no further than the imperial messurements

About the only thing it's good for is focus-pulling actually. I find it much more practical than metric, because you have whole numbers for longer (i.e. 2 feet instead of 0.6m).
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### #5 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 05:45 AM

It's about bloody time! Imperial is completely useless for any precise messaurements. 3/128th of an inch and such. If you're looking for a reason the Brits lost their empire look no further than the imperial messurements

You're missing the point, Max. The reason that we had things like 3/128th of an inch was that it was totally incomprehensible to the rest of the world. Without being able to understand how we measured things, other countries couldn't complain when we suddenly drew a line on a map around them and declared it British.

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### #6 Arni Heimir

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 06:03 AM

If you're looking for a reason the Brits lost their empire look no further than the imperial messurements

That is an absurd assertion.
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### #7 Max Jacoby

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 07:22 AM

You're missing the point, Max. The reason that we had things like 3/128th of an inch was that it was totally incomprehensible to the rest of the world. Without being able to understand how we measured things, other countries couldn't complain when we suddenly drew a line on a map around them and declared it British.

Hehe

Actually the most baffling imperial messurement to me has always been the stone.
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### #8 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 07:37 AM

1 stone is equal in weight to a piece of British granite precisely 12 3/16" by 4 6/13" x 9 7/64". Simple, and rather obvious, I think.

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### #9 Matthew Parnell

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 06:11 PM

I actually prefer imperial over metric, especially in feet and inches. They are more managable sizes, i find it much easier to judge feet and inches than cm and metres.
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Posted 02 February 2007 - 02:45 AM

1 stone is equal in weight to a piece of British granite precisely 12 3/16" by 4 6/13" x 9 7/64". Simple, and rather obvious, I think.

Yeah.......OBVIOUS!
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### #11 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 02:54 AM

1 stone is equal in weight to a piece of British granite precisely 12 3/16" by 4 6/13" x 9 7/64". Simple, and rather obvious, I think.

Referring to one's weight always sounds so cool though when a British person says "stone". I only wish I were more familiar with it so I could use it in everyday conversation and confound any Americans who have no idea what I'm talking about.
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### #12 Mark Dunn

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 05:04 AM

A stone is 14lbs. A handy measure for people. For example, I weigh 11st. 5lbs.; 159lbs. is just too many.
Max, we didn't lose our empire because of Imperial measure- we sold it to you in exchange for the wherewithal to win the war. It was the price of freedom. 'Victory, whatever the cost'.
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### #13 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 08:19 AM

A stone is 14lbs.

I prefer my explanation, however wildly made-up it may be.

BTW, Max is from Luxembourg. I'm fairly sure we didn't sell our empire to them.
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### #14 Max Jacoby

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 08:44 AM

BTW, Max is from Luxembourg. I'm fairly sure we didn't sell our empire to them.

Quite right. We had some foreign rulers over the years, but never the Brits. That is why we are a nation that has mayonaise with its French fries (or chips if you prefer to call them that).
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### #15 Jamie McIntyre

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 07:59 PM

Thanks for the mixed replies haha.

I am now an expert on unit conversion.
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### #16 K Borowski

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 06:02 PM

Well, as we are stuck having to learn the metric system here, I think it is only fair that other countries ought learn Imperial units. Pretending they don't exist is damned foolish.

I prefer feet, pounds, and especially Fahrenheit. What does -14 Celsius FEEL like? I can measure it on a thermometer and convert it, but I can't VISUALIZE it like I can Fahrenheit. Celsius is great for science, but it's terrible for practical measurements. A degree celsius is too big. 20 and 25 degrees C are huge differences whereas 60 and 65 is far smaller of a difference. So too are fluid measurements, gallons, quarts, pints, fluid ounces, easier to use for real-world measurements, because they're easily divisible by twos, fours and sixes. In contrast, try dividing something by five in your head as easily. I replenish color paper developer at 1 fluid ounce per eighty square inches. One is infinitely easier to measure than 30 is. And what's an 8x10 sheet of paper in metrics? I'm sure it's not in easy, whole numbers. 4x5/6, 5x7, 8x10, 16,20 print sizes have been standardized for ages. I'm not going to convert to make it easy for people that are willingly ignorant of Imperial units. Do you know that the fine for measuring units in customary units only in the UK is now the same as that for assaulting a police officer? That hardly seems fair to me.

A lot of stuff has traditionally been measured in feet and yards and furlongs and miles, so it's kind of silly converting them to metric units. Another tidbit of information, man managed to land on the moon, five times using exclusively customary units for the design and operation of the spacecraft. The only time metrics were used were when we actually got on the surface, probably so as not to rub it in the Russians' faces too much that we had beat them there ;-)

Howabout film? Sure it's 35mm, 16mm, 8mm in width, but do you poor EU folks really think the forefathers decided upon 30.5 meters as a good unit? No, it's 100, 200, 400, 1000, 1200 feet. Sorry. What are those in meters? 30.5? 61? 142? 284? THose sound a bit contrived. You oughta just use feet for that. And I know that 35mm runs at 90ft./minute at 24 fps. What's that in metrics? Same with Olympic races. Why are their 800 and 1600 meter relays? Because they're rounded off equivalents of one mile and a half a mile.Howabout pounds per square inch? Far easier than pascals or kilopascals. I'd say the only area I prefer metrics for would be when measuring dry area, because of that damned mixup that evolved because the British were originally using a different fluid measurement system for their wine than for their other liquids and for dry units, and the US ended up adopting the wine gallon for all liquid measurement, making it incompatible with Canada and Britain's version and with it's own dry measurement. I honestly don't even know what a peck or a bushel are in terms of dry quarts, or what a dry quart is compared to a liquid quart. I know more about the Imperial gallon than my own dry one.

As far as fractions of an inch, again you have the ease of twos and fours as opposed to base 10. Ten is an inherently inferior number compared to 8, 12 or 16. You can divide 8 by one two four and eight, whereas 10 can only be divided by two and five. Twelve likewise can be divided by two three four and six.

One of the biggest reasons I am against conversion to entirely metric units is because this will give manufacturers the opportunity to "round down" all of their serving sizes when they convert to metrics. The exact thing happened when the US foolishly mandated that all spirits were to be sold in metric sizes. Converting to metrics cost NASA a spacecraft, and almost killed the pilots and crew of a Canadian airliner.

Just my tuppence. I'm all for people deciding what units to use for themselves rather than letting government come in and mandate it, or worse an international body like the EU.
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### #17 K Borowski

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 06:14 PM

I had to check to see if this site was still up. Here's the site that has the info about how those still using pounds and pints in the UK are being charged with crimes:

http://www.metricmartyrs.co.uk/

This is off-topic too, but a lot of people criticise the US for being too conservative, one instance being our continued rejection of gay marriage. Well, because of a ruling in the UK in 2005, gay marriage is recognized as the same binding as a traditional marriage. Not only does this criminalize churches, for instance the Catholic Church, for not allowing gay marriages, but also it bans their adoption services from not allowing gay couples to adopt. Similarly, refusing to photograph a gay wedding there, is now considered a criminal act. Is following one's own personal moral tenets going to be made criminal in this country? I hope not. If I were forced to photograph gay marriages, not only would I probably not do a good job, but there would be a huge backlash by conservative Christian groups against my business. I think this goes hand in hand with keeping the government out of people's personal affairs. I will be similarly upset if the United States decides to spontaneously criminalize my replenishing 1 fluid ounce for every 80 square inches of paper I develop, or makes measuring out in five-foot lengths illegal.

I am all for allowing gay civil unions, and progressive reform, but we have to be careful that, in our haste to become "modern" we don't inadvertantly criminalize the conservatives among us
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### #18 Rory Hanrahan

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 07:01 PM

If I were forced to photograph gay marriages, not only would I probably not do a good job, but there would be a huge backlash by conservative Christian groups against my business.

Karl, I don't want to start an argument about this subject, so please don't take this as being combative. But I find the whole notion of what you just stated to be, well, somewhat sad. If you're in the position to turn down jobs based on your own moral criteria, then more power to you (I hope that you come up with a better excuse for your rejected clients though!). But that you would find such an event so reprehensible that your skills would diminish as a result... Well, that I cannot believe.

I've had to work on some gigs that, yeah, due to subject & content I would have turned down if I had something better at the time, but when I worked those jobs I still did them to the best of my ability and didn't make an issue as to how I felt that the content was "wrong".

And regarding the backlash to your business, I suppose it must be the region you're in that leads you to this assumption. I know in Philly you'd be ostrasized for *not* shooting gay weddings...
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### #19 Daniel Sheehy

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 07:15 PM

Converting to metrics cost NASA a spacecraft, and almost killed the pilots and crew of a Canadian airliner.

Would you like to expand on this one?
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### #20 K Borowski

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 07:29 PM

Karl, I don't want to start an argument about this subject, so please don't take this as being combative. But I find the whole notion of what you just stated to be, well, somewhat sad. If you're in the position to turn down jobs based on your own moral criteria, then more power to you (I hope that you come up with a better excuse for your rejected clients though!). But that you would find such an event so reprehensible that your skills would diminish as a result... Well, that I cannot believe.

I've had to work on some gigs that, yeah, due to subject & content I would have turned down if I had something better at the time, but when I worked those jobs I still did them to the best of my ability and didn't make an issue as to how I felt that the content was "wrong".

And regarding the backlash to your business, I suppose it must be the region you're in that leads you to this assumption. I know in Philly you'd be ostrasized for *not* shooting gay weddings...

I've never been asked, so I honestly don't know whether or not I'd elect to do it. I have turned down marketing opportunities that would be aimed specifically at the gay community, but that is more because I don't believe in catering to a specific group in my advertising. Morally, my religion believes gay marriage is wrong, but I really don't know what I think.

I'm not trying to start an issue about gay marriage and whether it is right or wrong, but I certainly don't think anyone should be FORCED to take work for something they consider wrong.

And I know a lot of photographers that would turn down gay weddings because they similarly go against their religious beliefs.

Again, I'm not trying to shift the issue to gay marriage from customary units, that is silly, I'm trying to show that countries like the UK are taking to mandating policy in things they have no right mandating. Require a church that denounces homosexuality to marry same-sex couples? That is laughable. ANd, what you are saying that you would take another job over a job involving this sort of thing could get you into trouble over there under this new law, because you are showing bias against these sorts of things, in indicating a preference towards traditional weddings.

As to metrics costing NASA millions of dollars, remember the Mars probe that crashed into the surface of Mars in 2001? Umm, someone at NASA must have forgotten about customary units in America.

Edited by Karl Borowski, 05 February 2007 - 07:32 PM.

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