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focal length question


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#1 Ray Equis

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 11:22 AM

When trying to recreate shots for practicing purposes lighting is surely one important part of the equation the other being the lens choice. while lighting schemes and aperture used might be approximated by eye reflections, shadow detail/placement and depth of field, i am wondering if there are any equally useful hints that allow for an educated guess as to which lens focal length was used. I am aware of the influence of crop factors induced by film format, sensor size and post-processing but these could be corrected for by apps like pCam, together with the info provided by the technical specs infos on sites like imdb.com or theasc.com. I nevertheless continue to run into difficulties when trying to recreate shots while using a digital aps-c sensor size or a 6x7 format film stills analog camera. Any useful guidelines would surely be appreciated!.

 

Ray


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#2 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 11:49 AM

An APS-C Sensor is close enough to Super 35mm that focal lengths and field of view are roughly the same.

 

To convert 6x7, this chart shows the equivalent FF focal lengths

 

http://www.bhphotovi...miyamed_10.html

 

which can then easily be converted to APS-C

 

http://www.abelcine.com/fov/


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#3 Ray Equis

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 12:09 PM

thanks Stuart, but as i mentioned conversion factors can be solved by apps or (for 30 euros less) by free websites. maybe i should rephrase: you see a particular shot you want to reproduce, now how do you gauge if the lens used was 27 or 35, or 35 vs. 50 mm?. FWIW i concede a tele shot should be easily differentiated from a wide angle shot.

 

regards, Ray


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#4 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 12:47 PM

That's just experience, and training your eye. There's no other way really.


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#5 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 01:42 PM

And the more films you watch, the faster you will train it.


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#6 Ray Equis

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 02:48 PM

thanks for the input guys, since gladwells 10000 hour adage has recently been  challenged :)  (http://www.businessi...000-rule-2014-7), i was hoping for some kind of shortcut. the notion that some day i will be able to "see" the focal length is comforting although a bit frustrating for a newbie like me. maybe posting a few examples and asking for advice might be a more useful approach in the short term.

 

kind regards 

Ray

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#7 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 03:04 PM

Seems that to get the unpredictable aspect to work, you need to have the 10,000 hour people surrounding you. Richard Branson had recording engineers and an obsessive musician, plus others in his various businesses, while Sid Vicious had an experienced publicist visual artist, performer, clothes designer pushing the project.

 

Best way with focal lengths is to get a stills camera and experiment with it.


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#8 John E Clark

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 10:38 PM

thanks for the input guys, since gladwells 10000 hour adage has recently been  challenged :)  (http://www.businessi...000-rule-2014-7), i was hoping for some kind of shortcut. the notion that some day i will be able to "see" the focal length is comforting although a bit frustrating for a newbie like me. maybe posting a few examples and asking for advice might be a more useful approach in the short term.

 

kind regards 

Ray

Hannover, Germany

 

Unless someone is given a home work assignment as a school exercise, most likely few people really worry about getting a focal length with any great accuracy... 'that was shot with a wide/normal/telephoto' is usually good enough to under stand what the cinematographer was doing for the shot.

 

These days, at least for stills, a photographer can shoot with a zoom lens, and have the focal length used recorded. The exercise then would be to shoot a bunch of shots at different focal lengths of a subject or series of subjects, then review the images with a mind for the focal length.

 

 

For self-home work, I find trying to figure out lighting, quality and position, to be more useful.


Edited by jeclark2006, 06 July 2014 - 10:40 PM.

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