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Directors Viewfinder


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#1 Mark.Smith

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 09:38 PM

Hello,

Today at at the cam shop I was looking through various dir viewfinders. I came across the Mark Vb Director Viewfinder and looked though it at an aspect ratio chart.

One thing I noticed is that when I cycled through the different aspect ratios the frame height would move but the length of the frame stayed the same.

I know there was nothing wrong with the viewfinder but I'm trying to get my head around what im looking through.

I would have assumed that if I was on the 4x3 aspect ratio and I moved it to the say cinemascope aspect ratio the field of view would increase without having to select a wider focal length.

What I also assumed would happen was the dir viewfinder would take the exact shape of what the final image would project as. As I looked thought it today 16mm or 35 it had the same framing, just the ''height'' of the frame changed.

Where am I confusing myself?
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#2 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 02:04 AM

You're expecting too much from this little device.

Small director's finders like the Mark Vb are really only meant to give you an approximation of your final framing within one format/aspect ratio at a time. It's basically just a small zoom lens with an aspect ratio mask on the front. The adjustable mask moves vertically instead of horizontally because it's easier to make that way, no other reason. I'd say it's really not worth $670. There are much cheaper models out there that do the exact same thing.

The only clever thing about the device is the calibrated markings on the barrel that tell you which focal length will give you that field-of-view for a given format. Don't expect the field-of-view of the viewfinder image to scale accurately between formats, it's not made to do that.
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#3 Mr Director

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 03:36 PM

I am shooting a film with the Canon EOS 60D DSLR in HD and I would like to purchase a director's viewfinder in order to frame my shots. My concern is what settings would I use to get an approximation of framing as close as possible to what my end result will be. Will using the 35mm setting on the viewfinder give me a close enoug aspect ratio for framing purposes. I know the Director's viewfinders are dead on, but I just need to know if this is a good investment tool. Since I am working with a very minimal budget, I am looking at purchasing the Opteka Micro Professional Director's Viewfinder with 11x Zoom. Can someone tell me if this will be an effective enough for my independent purposes?
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#4 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 05:54 PM

I am shooting a film with the Canon EOS 60D DSLR in HD and I would like to purchase a director's viewfinder in order to frame my shots.


A director's viewfinder is an approximation unless you're using one that is basically a camera V/F using the actual lens. Given the size of your camera I'd just use the 60D handheld to frame with.

The directors V/F is a great tool, but you're going to use the camera itself to fine tune the framing. The big advantage is that you don't need to move around a fully rigged motion picture or digital camera to roughly select your framing, lens and camera position. They're more like a sketch than the final painting.
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#5 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 06:06 PM

I got timed out:

Just checking your camera has a sensor 22.3 x 14.9mm, the standard 35mm motion picture 22 by 16 mm, so use the HD aspect ratio of 16:9 for shooting video.
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#6 Jeremy M Lundborg

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 01:43 AM

The big advantage is that you don't need to move around a fully rigged motion picture or digital camera to roughly select your framing, lens and camera position. They're more like a sketch than the final painting.



I second this ideal. I use it to avoid moving around larger camera systems too much in the broadest sense, allowing me to move the camera once and fine tune it in place. This in opposition to shoving it around which wastes time and well, sometimes it just happens.

If you can get your hands on a viewfinder with lens mount, use your lenses and that viewfinder to get a better approximation of your exact frame with the lens you will be using. Otherwise, the Mark Vs are a great all-around tool.

Like Brian said with an hdslr you are ready to go, just take it in hand, turn it on, and frame it up to your liking, then move the rest of your equipment.

Although if you have money, don't let it stop you from being a fantastic tool for scouting and future productions. I found mine on craigslist for a great price after a few years of patience and I use it all the time.
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