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class="Paragraph" Binocular Effect

Published : 13th June 2004


Can anyone recommend a good way to get a sharp binocular effect?

I have done this in the past with a huge cut-out of black cardboard, but wondered if anyone had any other ideas.

Thanks as usual

Matthew Woolf
NY DP



>Can anyone recommend a good way to get a sharp binocular effect?

Check with your rental house. They may have a gate with a binocular shape cut into it. Back when I was an assistant we did that with a BL-4.

I think it was from Clairmont.

Art Adams, DP [film|hdtv|sdtv]
Mountain View, California - "Silicon Valley"
http://www.artadams.net/



Matthew Woolf wrote :

>Can anyone recommend a good way to get a sharp binocular effect?

If you mean the figure "8" on it's side you're best off doing it in post. Binoculars = telephoto lens = shallow DoF = soft edged cardboard every time.

On a personal note, I really hate the persistence of the "8" on it's side black vignette that's always used to denote 'binoculars'. Looking through binoculars doesn't produce that effect unless you're a hammerhead shark. A hard edged, ND 0.9, oval centre spot (if such a thing exists) would be closer.

Tom Townend,
Cinematographer/London.



>On a personal note, I really hate the persistence of the "8" on it's side >black vignette that's always used to denote 'binoculars'.

I'd be curios, is this for period piece?

I can't imagine shooting a circa-70's-cop-drama-look and choosing a realistic representation of the view through a pair of binoculars over "8" on it's side.

Alan A. Hereford - Cinematographer
Marin Co., CA, USA



>On a personal note, I really hate the persistence of the "8" on it's side >black vignette that's always used to denote 'binoculars'.

AAAAAmen !

Sam Wells



>I'd be curios, is this for period piece?

The answer is no - its for a commercial - modern day.

Matthew Woolf

NYC DP



>I can't imagine shooting a circa-70's-cop-drama-look and choosing a >realistic representation of the view through a pair of binoculars over "8" >on it's side.

I know, but this thing just gets perpetuated, because everyone is afraid the audience won't buy it as binoculars POV if it's not the 8 thing. Even if as I presume everyone in the audience has looked through them.

There is an Alfred Hitchcock film that gets it right, can't remember which one.

Sam Wells



Sam Wells :

>"There is an Alfred Hitchcock film that gets it right, can't remember >which one."


In rear window, Jimmy Stewart (in a wheel chair) is handed his binoculars to spy on Raymond Burr (who played Det. Ironside in a wheelchair.) His POV is a soft matte, single circle with the top and bottom cropped due to the aspect ratio. The binoculars don't have enough magnification, so he reaches for his telephoto lens, mounts it on his 35mm SLR and his POV is a soft matte, single circle with the top and bottom cropped due to the aspect ratio.

...makes me wonder when we first start to see ground glass and frame lines?

Alan A. Hereford - Cinematographer
Marin Co., CA, USA



In The Lady from Shanghai, Orson Welles delivers this effect beautifully reflecting the image seen in the binoculars in the binoculars themselves; that way he could also register the reaction of the voyeur all with a single shot. Scorsese did something similar in Casino, but, in this case, the image was reflected in De Niro´s glasses.

All the Best
José Manuel García-Patos
Cinematographer
Madrid (Spain)



Why all this bitching about the figure-8? Do all useful visual conventions have to be true to life? If they did, Hollywood would probably have folded years ago.

Sheesh. Bunch of picky techies...

Dan "expletive deleted" Drasin
Producer/DP
Marin County, CA