Thread: Anyone here ever use a split-focus diopter?

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  1. #1 Anyone here ever use a split-focus diopter? 
    Senior Member DPStewart's Avatar
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    I'm curious.

    Although these days it would seem to get one labeled a heretic - I actually LIKE deep focus shots.

    While a simple narrow iris generally performs, I have often been intrigued by the option of a split-focus diopter.
    Anyone here have experience with them?
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member kgimedia's Avatar
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    I have tested but never used professionally one that came with some vintage lenses during my collecting phase. Great option but I do more documentary style work with no retakes and generally no professional talent.
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Glornis's Avatar
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    Always intrigued by and interested in using them as well. Last time I saw one used was in "The Hounds of Baskerville" in season 2 of "Sherlock."
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  4. #4  
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    The most recent movie I saw with split diopter shots was Hateful Eight. I used a few split diopter shots myself in a thing I shot last year. Deep depth of field is one thing, however if you google split diopter you'll see that most shots that employ them would be impossible by simply stopping down especially on 35mm. You can put a 35mm lens on a s35 sensor and you'd need somewhere in the neighborhood of f100 to get the same dof if your foreground element is a close up.
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  5. #5  
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    Never used one, but really interested too - I too like deep depth of field shots (so no you're not a heretic, you choose the shot that fits & not because it's trendy to adopt shallow depth of field) & it does seem to be the best way to achieve these type of shots.
    This popped up in my feed a while back & i love the film as well (a great sci-fi classic), just never realised that they used a split diopter so much:

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  6. #6  
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    I've used a cheap Cokin +1 split diopter on a couple music videos in front of my Lomo anamorphics:





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  7. #7  
    Senior Member DPStewart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Glover View Post
    I've used a cheap Cokin +1 split diopter on a couple music videos in front of my Lomo anamorphics:

    ]
    Cool stuff, man.
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  8. #8  
    Senior Member DPStewart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bioskop.Inc View Post
    Never used one, but really interested too - I too like deep depth of field shots (so no you're not a heretic, you choose the shot that fits & not because it's trendy to adopt shallow depth of field) & it does seem to be the best way to achieve these type of shots.
    This popped up in my feed a while back & i love the film as well (a great sci-fi classic), just never realised that they used a split diopter so much:

    Indeed.
    The Andromeda Strain, Star Trek the Motion Picture, and a few others really stand out to me.
    And so do some of the older films from the 40's, 50's, and 60's that used a regular very deep depth of field.
    I WANT to be able to look around the frame and consider other aspects of what's happening - and not have them be blurry.

    The split focus diopter is sometimes 'visible' if you know what to look for, but I don;t think that makes it any less effective. If anything it can make the shot MORE effective.
    Cameras: Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Blackmagic Pocket Camera (x2), Panasonic GH2 (x2), Sony RX100 ii, Canon 6D, Canon T2i,
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  9. #9  
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    Yep,many times,also with anamorphic.
    Not only for focus,also for madness focus effects.
    A lot of fun,I love it.
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  10. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by DPStewart View Post
    I'm curious.

    Although these days it would seem to get one labeled a heretic - I actually LIKE deep focus shots.

    While a simple narrow iris generally performs, I have often been intrigued by the option of a split-focus diopter.
    Anyone here have experience with them?
    I like them !

    _2134983.jpg by John Brawley, on Flickr

    This is using one on a film I did a few years ago using the Hawk Anamorphic 1.3X lenses. They tend to work best in locked off frames, they become a bit odd once you have to pan and tilt...

    They can be sometimes a bit fiddly to set...

    Don't be afraid....go for it...

    JB
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