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General question about field of view angles


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Hello,

 

Good morning. I am a set designer in the film industry who is often asked about the field of view on a particular lens -- so that we can see how much of a set the camera will see. I ask them what camera package they are using, then the aspect ratio, and then the lens. The missing piece of information, it seems to me, is the size of the film frame. Is this correct? If I know the size of the film frame (in inches or millimeters) and the lens (in millimeters, of course) then I can draw a diagram showing the lens in front of the film frame and figure out the field of view (as an angle). I wanted to just confirm that this is correct.

 

Now this applies to celluloid film. Does it also apply to digital cinematography? If I know the size of the chip, would I be able to figure out super-accurately and will full confidence what the field of view angle would be?

 

As you can imagine, when we are designing sets, it is essential that we know how much of the set the camera can see. When we film on location, where we can not wild out a wall, this is, of course, even more important.

 

Thank you.

 

Cosmas Demetriou

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If I know the size of the film frame (in inches or millimeters) and the lens (in millimeters, of course) then I can draw a diagram showing the lens in front of the film frame and figure out the field of view (as an angle).

 

Yup. There are smartphone apps to do this for you. Applies identically to film and digital, although there's more variability in sensor sizes in digital. A decent app should give you a dropdown menu with lots of choices. Bear in mind the effective sensor size on some cameras (Such as Red, and many high speed cameras) can change depending how it's set up electronically.

 

P

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