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Pick of the bunch with Distos?


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#1 ML Scott

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 12:58 AM

Just wanting to know what cinematography.com folks think about Distos. Ive been pointed to Leica, but I'm wondering if there is any hidden detail as to why is better than another. Also, what are the main limitations of working off a disto? I notice a lot of ACs use them at distance, but dont tend to use them within 10 feet. Just general feedback would be great. Also, the cheapest place to purchase.

Cheers,

Michael.
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#2 Kar Wai Ng

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 12:51 AM

At distances less than 10 feet, it's pretty easy to judge the distance and/or run out a tape measure just as quickly. Also, these distances typically correlate to close-ups, MCUs, mediums, etc. and it's just more practical to use a tape measure with actors in these situations. Since focus is more critical for these shorter distances, and aiming the laser at their chest isn't as accurate a reference (never aim at faces) as getting a measurement right to their eye, the tape measure is generally the best tool.

Distos are great for quickly grabbing the distance of an actor further away without having to run out a measure, getting distance references off other objects or walls to scope out a room's size, etc...also handy when pulling focus for steadicam.

Main limitation in my view is that their range can be limited outdoors when you're in bright sunlight.
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#3 Nathan Armstong

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 10:12 PM

I am looking to purchase the Disto A5. It has an integrated viewfinder with cross-hairs for targeting distant objects in daylight. That allows you to use it during the day when you can't see the red dot on your target.

Leica was one of the pioneers in laser measuring. Hilti bought Leica's technology for their measuring devices. I tried the Hilti PD4, but was disappointed because it only gave me decimal feet or running inches instead of feet&inches (10.9' or 131" instead of 10'11")
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#4 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 02:57 AM

I've had the Disto A5 for about a year and a half now and I hate it. It's painfully slow to take a reading, and I can't figure out how to stop it from beeping after every reading. The scope works okay (it's tiny, like looking thru a Bolex finder). I think the finder is a must for outdoors, but I hate how slow the damn thing is. If you have a good 2nd, it's almost faster to run the soft tape or grab eye marks (I almost never get to have a 2nd, but that's another story). Plus I don't like how long it is, it does not sit well on the belt - you can't sit or bend down without the velcro coming off the holster. I often put in my cargo pants side pocket instead. And the holster that comes with the A5 is cheap and flimsy.

I much prefer the older Hilti PD32. It's shorter and faster than the A5, it's silent, comes with an optical sight, and it's got a side measurement key. Plus the holster is padded and much sturdier. Haven't used the PD42 yet, but the design looks more like the A5 <_<. I'm pretty sure the PD32 can be set up to read out in feet and inches. It cost the same as the A5 when I priced them out in February '08.
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#5 David Bradley

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 06:58 AM

I bought a Leica D2 a couple of weeks ago to replace my Bosch PLR 30, to be fair, its amazing. Its no good outdoors in bright sunlight but its incredibly quick and saves a poop load of time grabbing those few nervous last minute readings. It reads in Feet and Inches and can memorise up to ten measurements (which is cool since I don't have to mark the disks or barrel every time I take a measurement).

Satsuki, not sure about the A5 but on the D2 you hold the unit button and the negative button simultaneously to turn the beep on and off. The settings stick when its turned on and off. My only complaint is that the D2 measures from the back of the device by default.

The D2 is the cheapest in the D range and it replaces the A2 which is still popular as a budget device.
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#6 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 12:44 PM

The top first AC's here in Paris seem to be using the Hilti.
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#7 Nathan Armstong

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 11:39 AM

I've had the Disto A5 for about a year and a half now and I hate it. It's painfully slow to take a reading,


It sounds like the consensus is that the Hilti model gives a faster reading. I've heard some local AC's out here in Minnesota say the same thing. I think I'll look for a PD32 on ebay. Thanks for your input.
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#8 Christopher Arata

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 11:37 PM

Has any one looked into the..... RYOBI TEK4 Professional laser distance measure, goes for about $150.

http://www.ryobitool...surement/RP4010

It doesn't have a built in site but seems like a good deal, I was originally going to go with the Hilti PD40 but unsure now....
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#9 Gunnar Mortensen

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 02:23 PM

Don't waste your time just rip the band aid off and buy the hilti pd42. it costs more but always go with the best so you only have to buy it once. Cheaper than my $6,500 cinetape.

Best,

Gunnar Mortensen


Has any one looked into the..... RYOBI TEK4 Professional laser distance measure, goes for about $150.

http://www.ryobitool...surement/RP4010

It doesn't have a built in site but seems like a good deal, I was originally going to go with the Hilti PD40 but unsure now....


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