Cinematography Mailing List - CML

Viewfinders - Glasses or No Glasses

Just wanted a quick survey, but do most of the people you work around typically wear their glasses when using a viewfinder, or do they take them off and go without them, adjusting the viewfinder to correct for any need they would typically have needed glasses for? I'm assuming especially when it comes to film cameras that the glasses have to come off, but in an ideal situation, would you prefer that you could still wear your glasses, or would you rather not have any need for them and correct in the viewfinder's diopter adjustment?


Jason Rodriguez
Post Production Artist,
Virginia Beach, VA

Concerning glasses when operating film I said before, I found a custom ground diopter the BEST.

I had my optometrist custom fabricate a 'lens' that I insert into the finder, between the chammy and the factory lens.

Since I have an astigmatism, I must have this lens rotated the correct I simply drilled a tiny hole at 3 o'clock on this lens to allow it to be fastened to a lanyard so I can easily pop it in and pull it out [when the director or agency wishes to view]. The 3 o'clock hole helps me keep track that it is oriented correctly.

I find that this 'monocle' works pretty good at 1 & 1/2" in diameter and this size allows it to fit into most viewfinders: Panavision, Arri 35's and Moviecam’s.

Jeff Barklage, s.o.c.
US based DP
view reel :

I always wear my glasses, the V/F correction isn't enough.

Anyway, I want to be able to see when I glance away from the V/F!

I do break a lot of pairs of specs this way, they get horribly bent out of shape.

I try to separate working specs from non-working for this reason.

Oh and re Arts comment about contacts not being as sharp as glasses, not my experience.

I don't wear contacts for shooting because I can't wear them that long!


Geoff Boyle FBKS
Director of Photography
EU Based

Geoff Boyle wrote:

> I do break a lot of pairs of specs this way, they get horribly bent out of >shape

I recently (within the last year) noticed difficulty focusing on the VF and had a discussion with an optometrist. After a new exam he recommended I use glasses when shooting. I bought a brand called "Silhouette" that is amazingly resilient. They are very lightweight, can almost fold in half, and bounce right back into shape! You can mash your head right into the eyepiece. The only problem is that the oils on the skin do tend to smudge the glass quite a bit. Might need a second assistant just to clean my lenses

Robb R. Fischer
Director of Photography
"Every time an image moves...a story is told."

I've been doc-shooting almost exclusively with a something that should be talked about in CML-video lately and have never had to take my glasses off. The larger of the two rubber eyecups supplied with the camera is nearly miraculous -- it wraps around the side of my glasses, keeping stray light out, and it rests against my forehead and cheek in such a way that the glasses are hardly pressed at all and almost never get splotched with skin oils. My glasses are not huge or owlish -- they're pretty much the now-standard-size smallish, wire-framed, semi-aviator style, and they work perfectly with this eyecup.

Granted, I don't have to press this camera too firmly to my eye when handholding. If I did, I'd probably prefer a stiffer kind of rubber, with a foam or chamois pad against my skin.

Geoff writes:

>I do break a lot of pairs of specs this way, they get horribly bent out of >shape

If you can get one of these Sony eyecups and somehow kludge it onto your viewfinder, you might be very pleased.

Dan Drasin
Marin County, CA

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