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Super 8 Camera - Viewfinder Field Coverage/Magnification?


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#1 Matthew Buick

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 04:36 PM

Hi!

I've been away from the forum a while now (I've been really engrosed in digital stills photography recently - won my first competition recently!!). Anyway, a question had been eating me up a bit, and it's a big 'un, since I've been using DSLR's I've come to appreciate the merits of high magnification/high coverage in taking an image. I was interested what sort of magnification/coverage Super 8 cameras tend to offer, because of the tiny image area I'd image magnification factors are pretty high 2x-5x would be my area of estimation, but what was the coverage, I know SLR's around the 1960's to early 1980's only offered around 71-93% coverage generally (with the odd 100% exception), but Super 8 camera may well be different for all I know.

Thanks a lot for any feedback! ;)
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#2 Jean-Louis Seguin

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 05:57 PM

The majority of viewfinders in super8 cameras display approximately the super8 projected area which is a bit less than the full negative area.
Since the viewfinder image is the product of light going through a bunch of relay lenses and mirrors, which are prone to shifting their positions over time, accuracy also leaves to be desired. I did framing tests of 5 different super8 cameras many years ago and I recall that none of them were perfect. All were off either vertically, horizontally or both. I would recommended doing a framing test if you're really concerned about accurate compositions. At least you'll know what to expect.

Cheers,
Jean-Louis
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#3 Terry Mester

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 08:03 PM

Hi Matti,
You'll have to do tests as Jean-Louis said. You only need to take a split second of footage of four external markers that align with the top, bottom, left and right of the internal markers in the Viewfinder. You want to have the external markers positioned to be just inside the Viewfinder's markers. You need to do this for different zoom positions. You'll then be able to see how accurate the Viewfinder is at different zoom positions. You'll find that an internal Viewfinder will be more accurate than an external one.

Congrats on winning your photo competition. :) Did the competition not allow Film? :huh:
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