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Metric or Imperial focus marks?


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Dear international 1st ACs, 

Please enlighten me! I’m curious if your country and region uses cine lenses with Feet/Inches or Metric focus marks, or if there is mixed usage.

Have there been any changes in the last few decades?

Thanks!

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Posted (edited)

Most international camera folks, I would say , use imperial. In my many years of international work, only one focus puller in Eastern Europe I remember wanted to go metric. The rest of the local crew was more accustomed to imperial. Planning a trip Sat? 🙂
 

G

Edited by Gregory Irwin
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I actually worked on a feature where it was metric. It was the director's camera package, the lenses were metric and he made metric rings for his Nucleus. But, on his monitor, the LDS so up in feet/inches, which made it confusing if I used his monitor to pull focus on.

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I did a no-budget F900 feature in the early 2000’s where the director borrowed the first set of Zeiss DigiPrimes to arrive in the U.S. — but they were marked in metric only. I had no crew on that one, just a PA to pull focus for me when needed (the whole crew was just me, the director, an AD, an art director, a costumer, and a couple of PA’s to help.) I remember one PA being totally confused by the markings, thought the lens was broken.

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3 hours ago, Steve Woronko said:

I actually worked on a feature where it was metric. It was the director's camera package, the lenses were metric and he made metric rings for his Nucleus. But, on his monitor, the LDS so up in feet/inches, which made it confusing if I used his monitor to pull focus on.

That’s the worst having to deal with that sort of personal gear. You have no recourse when it  doesn’t fit in with the ultimate end user or when it goes bad. The owner doesn’t want to admit the failure and lose the rental income. It’s not like you can just call the rental house and swap things out. You’re forced to conform to what the pre-set standards are for the gear and that may not adhere to your particular needs such as metric in an imperial world ( at least as far as cinema goes)!

G

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I have to say I don't really get why there's a problem, anyway. Cinema lenses are generally huge and there ought to be plenty of room for both.

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20 hours ago, Gregory Irwin said:

Planning a trip Sat? 🙂

Thanks for the info Greg. Haha, no just curious. Was talking to the DZOFilm people about the lens markings on their new Vespid PL primes, they have Metric on the Operator side and Imperial on the Assistant side. I asked them if they could make a label to replicate the Imperial marks for the Operator side.

There was a discussion about which was more common around the world in professional circles, and I assumed Metric. But thought I should double check, and now I’m glad I did!

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