What is a Director's Viewfinder and Why Would You Need One?
Director's viewfinders are the lens-looking things you often see hanging around the neck of big-time directors. What are they? Essentially they are small, lightweight optics that allows the director to frame a shot using the correct focal length, film size, and aspect ratio -- without having to maneuver the whole (heavy, expensive) camera rig into place. Most kinds of VFs won't give you an accurate simulation of the depth-of-field of the image, but you can walk around and find the framing of the shot-to-be. Here's a look from FreshDV's Matt Jeppsen at the benefits of using one:
In the video, Matt is using a Cavision viewfinder, but there are all manner of makes and models out there. As someone who's shot primarily handheld, with smaller DV, HDV, and HDSLR cameras, I haven't had a need for a director's viewfinder to date, but the tool will very likely come in handy on that feature film I'm trying to make with your help.
Anyone out there using a director's viewfinder on the reg (NSFW language in that link)? Any specific models you'd recommend?
[viewfinder photo by Paulo Wang]