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ROVING CAMERA BLOG • Tech

Seagull Right-Angle Viewfinder’s Unique Usage Manual

This Seagull right-angle viewfinder offers great flexibility of camera angles for my Canon 5D Mark II, but only when shooting stills. It’s solidly made, sharp, lightweight, inexpensive (about one-third the cost of the equivalent Canon product), and includes the unique Usage Manual below. . . . CONTINUE READING: Seagull Right-Angle Viewfinder’s Unique Usage Manual

Production • APPs

Production APPtitude: Artemis Director’s Viewfinder

This is the 2nd in a series of posts about useful iPhone apps for film and video production.

In the beginning, directors and photographers framed their shots with two hands, spreading thumbs and forefingers at right angles, then raising them together to define a rectangle.

Simple and cheap. Analog and infinitely adjustable. But inaccurate for defining aspect ratios, impossible to calibrate to particular focal lengths, and, well, a bit pretentious to watch.

So years ago, I bought my first director’s viewfinder, made by Birns and Sawyer, a metal cylinder with focal length scales for 16mm and 35mm on the sides. Twist the cylinder: the magnification increased or decreased, and the view appeared to zoom in or out, showing an approximation of the angle of view of various chosen focal lengths.

I used it frequently, mostly on tech scouts, to show directors the capabilities and limits of our zoom lenses, and on shoots to choose lenses when using fixed-focal length primes. The B&S finder had a default 1.33 aspect ratio, and soon I bought two plastic masks that slipped on the front and showed TV cutoff and 1:85. The finder came with a metal chain, which invariably caught in the . . . CONTINUE READING: Production APPtitude: Artemis Director’s Viewfinder