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Best Micro Directors Viewfinder?


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#1 Devon Green

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 03:23 PM

I am interested in a budget Director?s viewfinder and wanted to know what the opinion was of those out there that have used them.

I know that each will have their different aspect ratios, etc, but Is there a significant difference in the quality of one of these over the other? Also, what is the major difference between using using one of these ?micro? directors finders and something like the medium sized ones like the Mark V?

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Here are some of the ones I have found
Kish Standard Director's Viewfinder $325.00
Filmtools.com
This is the priciest of the small finders I have found. Is it the best?


Birns & Sawyer Micro Viewfinder w/Cord

This Micro Viewfinder covers focal lengths from 8mm to 80mm for 2/3" chip standard and high definition digital cameras, 16mm focal lengths 8.5mm to 94mm, and 35mm focal lengths 18mm to 200mm. Aspect ratios are 1.33 (TV), 1.66, 1.78 (HDTV), 1.85, and 2.35. This finder comes with a nylon neck cord.


The Du-All DUMF11X6F is a director's viewfinder which toggles between varying film standards, including anamorphic, super16 and 35mm. The viewfinder can also accommodate 2/3", 1/2" and 1/3" video formats. The unit is machined from high quality aluminum making it both lightweight and durable. This model features a black-colored barrel.

(they also have a red and gold colored barrel models that are $20 more. They seem like the same model, why would someone pay $20 more?)


micro
CA Vision
$199
Cavision VFM-11X
http://www.bhphotovi...r...&sku=184212

Visual Products sells a non-brand name director?s viewfinder. They said they were made in China.
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#2 Tony Brown

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 12:56 AM

They are fine for recces IMO but not for lining up shots. They lack the DoF information given by a viewfinder that takes the actual lenses you'll be shooting on.

Consequently I never use one, however I would see if you can handle each one. If nicely engineered it would persuade me to carry one in my box.....maybe.

The red and gold models are for grips only. They buy them and leave them laying around in their cars......

Dear grips. That was a joke. :rolleyes:
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#3 Krystian Ramlogan

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 02:29 PM

I've got the Birns and Sawyer. It's a neat package which is very useful if used the right way. If you are scouting a location it's good, especially if you take photos to help you create your visual plan. But, what I reallly like it for is the fact I can walk around with it and observe life happening all around me and THEN discretely take the viewfinder out and see how my perspective changes once I look at things through the viewfinder...very interesting experiences I've had so far.

I chose the Birns and Sawyer for size, portability, cost and the range it offered. Don't expect it to give you all the information you need if you are on a fairly professional production, but if used well it can be a great asset. It's a good tool to grow out of, but I reallly like it for what it offers me now.

K.
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#4 Christophe Collette

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 07:24 PM

Hi, I have the Cavision one, it is quite shitty.... I gave up using the day I got it from b&h... It is so off you would not believe it. a 20mm is closer to a 30mm than a 20mm... Really, for the price difference, I would get a Mark VB from Allan Gordon. I got mine new for 650$ and I really love it. A friend of mine just bought his of eBay, he paid 350$... ...It's also small enough too.

Christophe
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#5 Christophe Collette

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 07:31 PM

So I think the main difference between a Mark V and a Micro, the Cavision for example, is that the Mark V is much more accurate, not a stick of course, but good to decide which lenses you should take in your package when location scouting... You can't rely on the Cavision for that I can assure you.

C
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#6 Jon Kukla

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 05:15 PM

I don't get why these are so popular. For a recce, I vaguely understand...but wouldn't it just be easier to bring a nicer digital camera with a decent zoom?

As for shooting, asking for a pentafinder should not be a make or break request. (IMHO.)
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#7 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 27 May 2007 - 06:09 AM

I just wanted to second the assesment of Cavision's Micro Viewfinder. It's awful. Like most of their gear. But it is cheap.
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#8 Ralph Keyser

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 04:58 PM

I have, and use, the Birns & Sawyer model, primarily for scouting trips. It's not perfect, and it's not a replacement for a real director's finder, but it is small, lightweight, well made, and pretty inexpensive. I like it as a communication tool when you're roughing out shots on a recon trip. Easy to pass back and forth, simple controls, and no batteries required. You could do the same thing with an SLR I'm sure.
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Rig Wheels Passport

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