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Thread: framing aids ?

  1. #1

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    framing aids ?

    Is there some sort of device out there that would have the same functionality as a directors view finder and let me look through it while simulating the focal length of a particular lens ? I would like to be able to walk around and frame up my shots before actually setting up the camera. I use multiple lenses so having the ability to try what something would look like at 135 or at 300 would be super useful. Which products work well simulating large format ?

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    g'day larkis

    a card with a rectangular hole

    but really you need to develop your eye

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    I use one of those Linhof multifocus viewfinders. Works perfect for 4x5". I double the focal length when using it for 8x10".

    The older models go quite cheap. But make sure you have the correct mask.

    Greetings,
    Geert

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Heath View Post
    g'day larkis

    a card with a rectangular hole

    but really you need to develop your eye
    Ray, while it's a popular thing for people to say "develop your eye", some of the greatest cinematographers have used, and still use viewfinders. Being able to try out various lens options on a subject has a lot of benefits in addition to a developed eye.

  5. #5
    AgX
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    Much cheaper than those Linhof zoom viewfinders can be those finders with rotating optics intended to be installed on top of 35mm rangefinder cameras. They could deliver a different aspect ratio, but are sufficient to decide which lens to use (and where to place the tripod).

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    Quote Originally Posted by larkis View Post
    Ray, while it's a popular thing for people to say "develop your eye", some of the greatest cinematographers have used, and still use viewfinders. Being able to try out various lens options on a subject has a lot of benefits in addition to a developed eye.
    g'day all

    larkis, what you post is certainly true, and probably necessary if several lenses are on hand, however most us have access to a limited number of lenses, probably 1-3 for most amateurs

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Heath View Post
    g'day larkis

    a card with a rectangular hole

    but really you need to develop your eye
    Or the high tech version: make the hole 4x5 (or 5x7, or 8x10 as appropriate), attach a piece of cord marked up with the focal lengths of your lenses, place the desired focal length mark against your eye -- more or less, line it up on the side of your nose and walk a straight line with one hand on your hip, dropping the device on the ground as a marker at the place that looks like a good shot. I recall that St Ansel prescribes this.

    You may look a total dork to the LF uneducated, but you may look even more so when you retire to the darkcloth. I do follow this procedure, hopefully in relative privacy.

    Seriously, it does give you an approximation for the initial placement of your tripod, but not much indication of the the perspective of the chosen lens.

    It's a starting point.

    Regards - Ross

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    The great advantage of the low-tech cardboard-with-a-hole-in-it version, apart from the fact that it costs nothing, is that it can simulate different lens focal lengths just by varying the distance from your eye.

    Of course there is always the danger you might look a right numptie using it... :-)




    Richard

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    You can still find the old Zone VI frames on ebay, if you are lucky you may find a set with the b&w viewing filters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Kelham View Post

    Of course there is always the danger you might look a right numptie using it... :-)
    Actually, I am pretty sure that I look "numptie" staring at the back of my view camera with dark cloth (black t-shirt) draped over my head.

    Anyway, what Richard suggests is exactly what I use. I have a hunk of cardboard off the back of a yellow legal pad with a 4x5 inch hole cut in it. For my 210mm lens, I hold it about 8 inches (210mm) from my eyes, for my 150mm, about 6 inches (150mm). Works super and saves me having to move the camera around quite so much.

    If I forget my piece of cardboard, I use my hands, which I forget less often.

    Regards,
    Russell

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