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Framing chart


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#1 Vincent Sweeney

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 11:49 PM

Can someone recommend a source for a cheap chart? I've tried to find one that was carried by one of the smaller camera shops but I can't remember who it was now. Searches have come up negative. I know filmtools and markertek has a fine selection but was hoping for the cheaper laminated one I recently saw. Was it SMS possibly? Their site shows no charts that I could find.

Maybe a downloadable, printable one would work for now.
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 12:32 AM

We've talked about this before, so try a search. It's easy to create and print your own chart(s). As long as you know the aspect ratios, or even better yet the precise film dimensions, you can draft it yourself in nearly any text or graphics program. Scale it to fill a standard sheet of paper for ease in shooting.

Or, better yet -- line up your camera perpendicular to a wall and while looking through the viewfinder, have an assistant help you mark one off on posterboard, with tape. Shoot this chart at the head of the first roll and you're guaranteed a reference for the framing you see in the viewfinder.
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#3 Chris Keth

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 12:41 AM

We've talked about this before, so try a search. It's easy to create and print your own chart(s). As long as you know the aspect ratios, or even better yet the precise film dimensions, you can draft it yourself in nearly any text or graphics program. Scale it to fill a standard sheet of paper for ease in shooting.

Or, better yet -- line up your camera perpendicular to a wall and while looking through the viewfinder, have an assistant help you mark one off on posterboard, with tape. Shoot this chart at the head of the first roll and you're guaranteed a reference for the framing you see in the viewfinder.


You can do it easily without an assistant, I figured out. Line up like that to a wall, it doesn't really matter if you're perfectly perpendicular or anything. Move in near the close-focus (you have to be close for this to work well) of whatever lens you're on and focus on the wall. Open up full wide. Then shine a bright light from inside the viewfinder. It will project the groundglass markings on the wall for you to trace and add pointers-to.

Edited by Chris Keth, 15 November 2007 - 12:41 AM.

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#4 Michael Nash

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 12:44 AM

You can do it easily without an assistant, I figured out. Line up like that to a wall, it doesn't really matter if you're perfectly perpendicular or anything. Move in near the close-focus (you have to be close for this to work well) of whatever lens you're on and focus on the wall. Open up full wide. Then shine a bright light from inside the viewfinder. It will project the groundglass markings on the wall for you to trace and add pointers-to.


Good idea, although I'd say it does matter if you're not perpendicular. If the "projection" is not perfectly square to the wall you'd be creating a chart that's keystoned.
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#5 Chris Keth

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 01:07 AM

Good idea, although I'd say it does matter if you're not perpendicular. If the "projection" is not perfectly square to the wall you'd be creating a chart that's keystoned.


True, but it is exactly offset by the perspective of the viewpoint of the lens. From the viewpoint of the camera, the markings will always be perfect and square. Since the lines are coming from the groundglass itself, they can't help but perfectly coincide with them as you look through the finder.

It's easier to see then to explain. Try it with an SLR if you have one handy. It's exactly like the wildly distorted skulls in Bosch paintings. The idea is that they looked correct from the very off-axis viewpoint the painting was usually viewed from.

Edited by Chris Keth, 15 November 2007 - 01:10 AM.

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#6 Chris Keth

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 01:13 AM

My correction. It was Holbein, not Bosch:

Posted Image

Look at it from a place where one of the ends of the skull almost points right to your eye and it'll illustrate my point.
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#7 Vincent Sweeney

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 02:59 AM

We've talked about this before, so try a search. It's easy to create and print your own chart(s). As long as you know the aspect ratios, or even better yet the precise film dimensions, you can draft it yourself in nearly any text or graphics program. Scale it to fill a standard sheet of paper for ease in shooting.

Or, better yet -- line up your camera perpendicular to a wall and while looking through the viewfinder, have an assistant help you mark one off on posterboard, with tape. Shoot this chart at the head of the first roll and you're guaranteed a reference for the framing you see in the viewfinder.


Thank you for responding but I did a search and I am aware of home test methods but for various reasons I need actual printed charts with known values.


Forum Admin: Sorry about the double post, I have no idea why that happened.
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#8 Marc Levy

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 10:42 AM

I bought this chart from Birns and Sawyer for $12.00 - just a laminated framing chart:

http://www.birnsands.....0Color Charts

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#9 Mitch Gross

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 12:08 PM

Email me and I'll email you an Abel chart you can print out. Basic but it works fine.
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#10 chuck colburn

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 01:28 PM

You can do it easily without an assistant, I figured out. Line up like that to a wall, it doesn't really matter if you're perfectly perpendicular or anything. Move in near the close-focus (you have to be close for this to work well) of whatever lens you're on and focus on the wall. Open up full wide. Then shine a bright light from inside the viewfinder. It will project the groundglass markings on the wall for you to trace and add pointers-to.


We use to do something very similar to what you suggest. Except that first we put some SMPTE projector registration neg. in the gate and shined a light thru it and marked the corners and cross hair on the wall. Then we would project the light thru the ground glass to confirm alignment of it to the gate. Your method is fine if you are sure that the ground glass is in alignment to the gate to start with. This method is also handy when aligning up two cameras on a beam splitter 3D rig.
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#11 Michael Nash

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 05:08 PM

True, but it is exactly offset by the perspective of the viewpoint of the lens. From the viewpoint of the camera, the markings will always be perfect and square. Since the lines are coming from the groundglass itself, they can't help but perfectly coincide with them as you look through the finder.


True, but I was thinking about making a chart that you could take with you to use again and again...
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#12 Michael Nash

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 05:11 PM

Thank you for responding but I did a search and I am aware of home test methods but for various reasons I need actual printed charts with known values.


That's what I was trying to say-- with the known values available in the American Cinematographer Manual, Samuelson's Hands-On Manual and other places you can print it yourself. I've done it this way lots of times and never had any problems.
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#13 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 11:21 PM

Arri has done the work.

http://www.cameraser...tech/format.htm
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#14 Chris Keth

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 12:50 AM

We use to do something very similar to what you suggest. Except that first we put some SMPTE projector registration neg. in the gate and shined a light thru it and marked the corners and cross hair on the wall. Then we would project the light thru the ground glass to confirm alignment of it to the gate. Your method is fine if you are sure that the ground glass is in alignment to the gate to start with. This method is also handy when aligning up two cameras on a beam splitter 3D rig.


Isn't half the point of a framing chart to note and record any slight difference in that regustration between the groundglass and the negative?
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#15 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 01:20 AM

Arri has done the work.


Kodak has too. They're buried deep into the website, and I've managed to find them before. But for some reason I can't right now!
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#16 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 01:25 AM

D'oh! Spoke too soon:

http://www.kodak.com...s/aspect133.pdf
1.66: http://www.kodak.com...AspectRatio.pdf
http://www.kodak.com...s/aspect178.pdf
http://www.kodak.com...s/aspect185.pdf
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#17 chuck colburn

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 02:00 PM

Isn't half the point of a framing chart to note and record any slight difference in that regustration between the groundglass and the negative?


Yep it is. But by comparing the gate to the GG you can correctt any errors by adjusting the position of the GG.
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#18 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 02:47 PM

It's also a good way to let your telecine house know what aspect ratio you want your frame cropped at, IF you want them to crop it for you (it's safer if they don't though)

Edited by Jonathan Bowerbank, 16 November 2007 - 02:48 PM.

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