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operating with eye glasses


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#1 brooksrobinson

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 04:44 PM

After a recent trip to the optometrist, I am now fitted with my first pair of glasses. It’s a little strange getting used to them, but I can certainly see the improvement in my vision.

My question is for those who wear glasses: what do you do when operating conventionally (non-steadicam) – especially with film cameras? After A/B-ing with glasses and without, I feel more confident watching focus while wearing my glasses, but am concerned about light leaks through the viewfinder. Is this a valid concern? Is there a way around it? I’ve seen a few guys look through the finder while wearing glasses, but I’d love to hear what anyone else who has glasses does while on the set. What do others do besides wear contacts, go without glasses/contacts and adjust the viewfinder diopter, custom order a diopter for the finder (for those who can’t dial it in), or have surgery?

This is all new to me, so any input or advice would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to email me off-forum if you don’t wish to respond here. Thank you in advance for your help.

Brooks Robinson
brooksontheroad@pacbell.net
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#2 Amando Crespo

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 06:19 PM

Hi friend.
I promise you that I have read your post with attention .... :huh: h
I think that your preoccupation about to wear or not glasses.... Is more for aesthetic or beauty than a professional problem.
No beauty boys are steadicam ops... :P :P :P :P
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#3 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 07:05 PM

As long as there is enough range in the diopter you should see focus just as well without glasses when it is adjusted properly. If operating a film camera light leaks could be a serious problem with glasses.

Have you thought about contacts? I like to operate with my left eye open a good chunk of the time which isn't nearly as useful when its out of focus. I wear contacts.

-Jess
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#4 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 10:12 AM

I wear glasses but am fortunate enough that I can still dial the diopter out instead of smashing the eyeglasses into the chamois...but only barely. At this point I'm at the end of the adjustment with Panasonic cameras and have just a hair left for the Sony viewfinders and film cameras.

Contacts don't work for my prescription so that is not an option for me. I use progressive lenses.

One thing my normal prescription was causing while operating the rig was getting my head into the sweet spot for the progressive meant I had to really hunch my neck over. With that in mind I took my rig and a camera to an end of day appointment with my optometrist and set it up. He had me operate in various positions and measured the distance to the monitor from where my head and posture should be. From there he created a custom prescription that allows me to look down normally without hunching my neck more than I normally do. I was lucky to find an optometrist locally who has experience working with other camera ops and editors who need specialty lenses. You won't get this kind of service and time from a Lenscrafter type store.

Robert
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#5 Andrew Stone

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 01:36 PM

Excellent tip Robert. Thanks!
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#6 brooksrobinson

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 11:09 AM

Thank you for the responses so far. I am still leaning towards wearing my glasses if possible, as they inspire more confidence (in me anyway) than going without. I’m wondering if anyone with glasses has tried a product like this:

i-cuff

It seems like it might be a possible solution for conventional operators who want/need to wear glasses. I’d be interested to hear if any of you have tried or seen something like this in action and what the benefits/drawbacks are. Thanks for your time.

Brooks
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#7 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 11:18 AM

Yes. Works great for me.

Thank you for the responses so far. I am still leaning towards wearing my glasses if possible, as they inspire more confidence (in me anyway) than going without. I’m wondering if anyone with glasses has tried a product like this:

i-cuff

It seems like it might be a possible solution for conventional operators who want/need to wear glasses. I’d be interested to hear if any of you have tried or seen something like this in action and what the benefits/drawbacks are. Thanks for your time.

Brooks


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#8 RonBaldwin

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 12:32 PM

My issue with wearing glasses while operating conventionally is not getting one's eye in as far as without the glasses, and missing part of the frame.
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#9 brooksrobinson

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 02:23 PM

“My issue with wearing glasses while operating conventionally is not getting one's eye in as far as without the glasses, and missing part of the frame.”

Ron – an easy way around that problem is to do what I do, and always put the crosshairs directly on the lead actor’s nose. Even if part of the shot is obscured and vignetting, and you (the operator) can’t see the entire frame through the eyepiece…who’s really watching the sides of the shot anyway? With inspired operating like that, what could possibly go wrong? Just kidding.

Brooks
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#10 Lawrence Karman

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 08:12 PM

Just get a cane?

I don't know anyone who operates with glasses on. Usually you can adjust the diopter enough for a sharp eyepiece image. If not you can have a drop in lens made to put in the eyepiece. I imagine you are losing the ability to focus close as most do as we age? You must be able to see clearly enough out the non eyepiece eye to survey the scene for cues or check actors marks, etc without the glasses? As far as Steadicam goes, I find progressive lenses the best way to keep the relatively close monitor and the rest of the world in focus when I have to look up.
There is also an option to wear one contact only (for reading). Our brains somehow figure out which eye to pay attention to when necessary. Except for Ron, of course, not enough brain cells left. I've never tried this but I'm told it works.
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