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Picking a Viewfinder to buy


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#1 Jake Ryan

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 05:38 PM

Hey everyone,

I'm a young film student looking to pick up and viewfinder, and seeing I don't know much about viewfinders I'd appreciate any advice you guys could give as far as what to consider, or what to stay away from, or if it doesn't really matter.

I mostly work in 16mm, filming in 4:3, 16:9 (and occasionally Ultra 16), with 10-120 zoom, some and normals set of primes. I'm starting to shoot on a 5D & anticipate doing more of this in the future, and I won't be shooting anything on 35mm.


I'm considering picking up this viewfinder from Duall. Any thoughts one way or the other?
http://www.duallcame...ore/index.shtml


Thanks
-Jake
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#2 jacob thomas

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 04:12 AM

Hey everyone,

I'm a young film student looking to pick up and viewfinder, and seeing I don't know much about viewfinders I'd appreciate any advice you guys could give as far as what to consider, or what to stay away from, or if it doesn't really matter.

I mostly work in 16mm, filming in 4:3, 16:9 (and occasionally Ultra 16), with 10-120 zoom, some and normals set of primes. I'm starting to shoot on a 5D & anticipate doing more of this in the future, and I won't be shooting anything on 35mm.


I'm considering picking up this viewfinder from Duall. Any thoughts one way or the other?
http://www.duallcame...ore/index.shtml


Thanks
-Jake


I can't think of a single time I've seen one of these viewfinders being used on set.
If you have a budget use a pl/pv mount viewfinder with the actual lens you intend to use.
If you don't have a budget a dslr is a good option. It won't have the same dof as 16mm (unless it's a micro 4/3 camera which is close) I doubt these viewfinders would either, but it'll probably have better quality optics than one of these viewfinders and you can take a still to show what you want.
Recently I was on a commercial and the dp just used his iphone with a viewfinder app to find the frame.

If you want something cool to hang around your neck on set I would recommend a shower clock. :)
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#3 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 07:47 AM

A buddy of mine has that finder and I played with it. It's not too bad small and very helpful for scouts when you don't have the benefit of the actual lenses you'll be using.
I have a similar one from CaVision, which is alright as well. Again, it's primarily something I'll use just to get a rough idea of what lenses I might want to bring along. One I'm out, though I generally just know which lens to grab for. You'll have some trouble finding one which does Ultra 16mm, though same with with the 5D which is more like vistavision.
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#4 Rob Vogt

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 10:28 AM

I have seen them being used on a set, but I think the DSLR is a nicer approach. If you want a viewfinder like that I recommend the Kish Optics one. The pl mounted viewfinders can be more expensive than the DSLRs, even ones that have been pl mounted!.. go figure.
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#5 Chris Keth

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 12:56 PM

If you have an iphone, you might have a look at an app called "artemis." It's a directors' finder developed by a friend of mine. It's every bit as accurate as the little ones like birns' and it's $40. I use it quite a bit when we don't have a proper directors' finder on set, and sometimes even if we do just because it's quick.
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#6 Rob Vogt

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 04:53 PM

If you wanted a viewfinder from an iPhone app get the panascout. Its either 5 or 10 dollars and its got a pretty good vf and a couple other neat features.
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#7 Jake Ryan

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 06:21 PM

Thanks guys, really appreciate all your suggestions.
Jake
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#8 Chris Keth

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 12:27 AM

If you wanted a viewfinder from an iPhone app get the panascout. Its either 5 or 10 dollars and its got a pretty good vf and a couple other neat features.


They don't do the same thing. Panascout just masks the camera. It gives you the look of one lens of whatever field of view the iphone camera is.

Artemis crops into the camera for longer lenses than the iphone, or superimposes the camera view onto a frame for wider lenses than the iphone. Rather than choosing the aspect ratio, you choose the format and the exact set of lenses you want to easily select between. Those lens choices have been checked against real cameras with those lenses on them. It is pixel accurate.

I think it's worth the extra money if it's something you'll use. I use it most every day at work and it's impressed an awful lot of DPs who have bought it right there on set.

Edited by Chris Keth, 17 June 2010 - 12:30 AM.

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