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Michael Maier

Exactly what is this for?

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While looking for a DOF calculator I came across this:

http://www.filmtools.com/torimalewh.html

 

While I know it is not a DOF calculator I?m having a hard time imagining what this is for. It doesn?t seem to be a focal length converter so what exactly is it, and what use does it have? Does anybody he use it or knows somebody who does?

If this is what I?m thinking it may be it seems to me it?s totally useless or at least highly superfluous, reason I think I?m probably wrong. So what?s the deal?

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It seems like a tool to determine a lens' field of view, and how to match a certain lens' field of view if you're forced to use a different focal length...for some odd reason. Maybe you shot most of a scene with a 50mm, some poor drops the lens and breaks it, so you have to use an 85mm. I suppose it tells you how far back you have to move to get that same shot?

 

Quite an unnecessary tool, IMHO

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Say you're on a scout and you need to know what lens will be necessary to get a given frame for a given distance. No viewfinder handy to check. It's a great preproduction tool.

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Say you're on a scout and you need to know what lens will be necessary to get a given frame for a given distance. No viewfinder handy to check. It's a great preproduction tool.

 

That's why I carry my 35mm slide frame and a tape measure. I can do the same thing with them and not buy a $55 thingy.

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So I had a client recently need to shoot the opening shot of a movie. He was starting on a traffic sign that was 12 feet across and was widening out to frame a highway overpass that was about 180 feet across. The camera was positioned about 800 feet away with the ability to dolly only about 100 feet. The format was Super-16. Can you take your tape measure and tell me what focal length zoom lens he should rent for the day? A calculator can be a good thing.

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So I had a client recently need to shoot the opening shot of a movie. He was starting on a traffic sign that was 12 feet across and was widening out to frame a highway overpass that was about 180 feet across. The camera was positioned about 800 feet away with the ability to dolly only about 100 feet. The format was Super-16. Can you take your tape measure and tell me what focal length zoom lens he should rent for the day? A calculator can be a good thing.

 

Yes, actually, though not without being there. My thing is to use when you scout a place. You use the slide frame as a framing device and the tape measure is to measure how far it is from your eye. That distance in millimeters is the approximate focal length to get that frame from that spot. It works with any format as long as you make a 'slide' with a cutout the actual size of the film frame.

 

I'm not saying it doesn't have its uses. I just tend to be a little anti-gadget because so many people rely on them so much and expect a couple little gadgets to make them better.

Edited by Chris Keth

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Yes, actually, though not without being there. My thing is to use when you scout a place. You use the slide frame as a framing device and the tape measure is to measure how far it is from your eye. That distance in millimeters is the approximate focal length to get that frame from that spot. It works with any format as long as you make a 'slide' with a cutout the actual size of the film frame.

 

I'm not saying it doesn't have its uses. I just tend to be a little anti-gadget because so many people rely on them so much and expect a couple little gadgets to make them better.

 

 

I Know this is an old post but just came across it now and felt that I had to mention to Chris that your 'gadget' is great.

Nothing like homemade!!

 

Cheers

S

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Very useful for anytime you cannot place the camera at the exact distance required for a matching reverse. Most DOF calculators include a similar function however - my Samuelson has a "Field of View Nomogram" on the back, and I believe Kelly wheels have such a function in their dials.

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