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Thread: viewing card for composing

  1. #1

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    viewing card for composing

    I'm going to make myself a frame with a cut out aperture so I can have a look at framing and composition on location without having to unpack the camera and set it up etc.

    As far as I can tell (please correct me if I'm wrong!), if I cut an aperture out of a piece of card, and hold it at the same distance from my eye as the focal length of the lens, then that should give a pretty accurate framing preview??

    For example, a 4x10" aperture in a frame, held 210mm away from my eye, will give the same view as in camera 210mm lens on 4x10" format?

    Therefore, would a 2x5" aperture in a frame (as a more compact alternative), held at 105mm (1/2 of 210) give the same?

    Or have I got this totally wrong?!

    And I'm posting this in Style and Technique rather than in Gear although I guess it could be in both

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Joanna Carter's Avatar
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    Re: viewing card for composing

    That's just what I do. I have a 5x4 card with a 2.5x2 hole and a strip of card that has slots at half the focal lengths of my lenses. It's not completely accurate but, good enough.

    The inaccuracy is due to the fact that my cheek bone, against which I hold the end of the slotted strip, is not at the centre of focus of my eye. Trimming a bit off the strip until the image you see is the same as that on the GG, should help.
    Joanna Carter
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  3. #3

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    Re: viewing card for composing

    I do the same, but my cutout is 1 1/2 times the 4X5 size. I have made a cloth "tape measure" stapled to the bottom of the card, with focal lengths marked (at 1 1/2 times the actual). I hold the tape to my chin. I think the size of the cutout is not important, most I have heard of are the actual size of the film, just scale the tape accordingly.

  4. #4

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    Re: viewing card for composing

    Quote Originally Posted by 612tom View Post
    I'm going to make myself a frame with a cut out aperture so I can have a look at framing and composition on location without having to unpack the camera and set it up etc.

    As far as I can tell (please correct me if I'm wrong!), if I cut an aperture out of a piece of card, and hold it at the same distance from my eye as the focal length of the lens, then that should give a pretty accurate framing preview??

    For example, a 4x10" aperture in a frame, held 210mm away from my eye, will give the same view as in camera 210mm lens on 4x10" format?

    Therefore, would a 2x5" aperture in a frame (as a more compact alternative), held at 105mm (1/2 of 210) give the same?

    Or have I got this totally wrong?!

    Yes, you have the idea. If you tie a string to the card with a knot at 1/2 the focal length of each of your lenses, it will also assist you in choosing the best lens for the image.

    And I'm posting this in Style and Technique rather than in Gear although I guess it could be in both

    Cheers

  5. #5
    Virtually Grey Steve Gledhill's Avatar
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    Re: viewing card for composing


  6. #6
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Re: viewing card for composing

    As far as I can tell (please correct me if I'm wrong!), if I cut an aperture out of a piece of card, and hold it at the same distance from my eye as the focal length of the lens, then that should give a pretty accurate framing preview??
    Yes. I use a card often. It really aids in sussing out comps, camera position, and which lens to slap on the front. I use a white card with a 4x5 inch hole. I use it for 8x10, as well. Don't like carrying around huge card. Just double the focal length.

  7. #7

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    Re: viewing card for composing

    A frame important, and in a pinch your hands can do a good job. The index fingers and thumbs will give you a golden ratio "right out of the box" as it were. (Naturally)

    Eventually, you will know which lens gets you which perspective, and you won't need the knuckles, ruler, tape measure, or knotted string.

    Unless you are stuck to one look, it can be marvelous to see how the same subject can be interpreted so differently, simply by changing the ratio of the enclosing rectangle. Of course, subject and treatment are not separate: they reveal one another.

  8. #8
    Jim Ewins
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    Re: viewing card for composing

    I use a card with a cutout and a string attached. Empirically determine what area is covered by a lens, look through the GG & when looking through the cutout - where the string touches your cheek - and tie a knot in the string at that point. Do this for each lens you use. Write on the card which knot is for which lens.The knot is held on a cheek or nose - just place it the same place as when determining the area covered.

  9. #9

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    Re: viewing card for composing

    Viewing card? I Skilsaw a 4"x5" hole out of reality and glue it onto a sheet of film. Then seal up the hole with duct tape, before the Kraken gets loose ...

  10. #10
    neophyte
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    Re: viewing card for composing

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Hughes View Post
    Viewing card? I Skilsaw a 4"x5" hole out of reality and glue it onto a sheet of film. Then seal up the hole with duct tape, before the Kraken gets loose ...
    Do you use the rituals of the Liber Razielis Archangeli or another?
    "In the field of observation chance favours the prepared mind" -- Pasteur

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