Artemis software use

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    rama lingam

      Dear master Roger and David how much Artemis very useful for cinematographers. I don’t know much about it. What  I know it’s digital viewfinder. We can predict weather reports. That’s all I know. Someone told me we could upload the location and scene and players photo. Artemis will do shot construction the scene. Is this true? What are the tremendous features Artemis have.

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    • #207396

        I use it as a lens finder. The problem with normal lens finders is that you line up the shot and then hand it to the director or camera operator to see but you don’t know if they are really framing it the same way. We use the iPhone Artemis on scouts or in prep to figure out the lens choice but on the set we use the Artemis Pro which allows use to mount our actual lens onto an iPad. This way we can line up the shot with the director watching and record the blocking rehearsal. We can store video or still frames; if done earlier with stand-ins, these can be used for a storyboard.


          rama lingam

            David master how did you mount actual fine lens on ipad? Is there any adopter for movie lens. Could you explain how do you mount actual fine lens? You mean Artemis pro have actual lens choice or what? What are the other options available on artemis pro for cinematograpers. Do you get accurate weather reports on artemis pro. What about lighting diagram and sort of things.


                I use weather apps for the weather. I only use the Artemis as a lens preview or a lens finder that can record video or stills. I’m not aware of other features like drawing lighting diagrams, seems like that would be done on other apps.

                Roger Deakins

                  I find Artemis pretty useful as a conversation starter but it never seems to exactly replicates what a lens will see. As for the idea of taking stills of a location and somehow building a storyboard to that degree of detail? Where does that end? Do you light those images to mimic what you will later shoot? A storyboard should only be the suggestion of an idea and that extra effort should go to shooting.

                  Nic – Artemis


                    Just a few things to understand about using Artemis (from the person that invented it, back in 2008) or any other directors viewfinder system.

                    Firstly: Artemis is an idealized digital directors viewfinder. It is 100% accurate, given the voracity of the data it is provided with. It describes the angle of view of a specific focal length of lens when used with a specific camera format.  And there is the rub…

                    With all lenses there is the measured focal length, the indicated focal length and the functional focal length.

                    The measured focal  length (in lay terms) is the physical distance from the rear exit pupil of the lens to the image plane, when the lens is focussed at infinity, measured in millimeters.

                    I have a lens I use to test and calibrate camera systems. It’s a Xeen 50mm that I have had meticulously mapped and measured. At infinity the measured focal length is 52.28mm. At close focus it is 52.36mm. The discrepancy between these two values is an indication of the degree of breathing in the lens, which is to say, the difference between the measured focal length at two different points of image focus. Nearly all lenses have some degree of breathing, including those where there is compensatory optics to reduce the effect.

                    No two seemingly identical lenses will never have exactly the same focal length either. For anyone selecting lenses for 3D rigs, this becomes immediately apparent. Finding two lenses that are a close match can be a major headache.

                    The indicated focal length is merely the value used by the manufacturer that best fits its characteristics. This value is based on a few factors, not least of which is convention. The film industry does not have many indicated 52mm lenses, though most 50mm lenses tend to be closet to 52mm than 50mm in real terms.

                    The governing factor of the indicated focal length value is what the lens “appears” to be, compared to other similar lenses. A lens measured to be 18mm, with a high degree of horizontal field curvature, might appear to be as wide a 16mm, on the basis of its angle of view. Thought this angle might be exaggerated by distortion at the edge of frame, it still “looks” wider. So the manufacture might indicate the lens as a 16mm on that basis, which makes the marketing people happier.

                    The functional focal length is the number we should, as discerning and critical craftspeople, should be concerned with. In Artemis there is the facility to add custom focal lengths. This has two purposes; one being the ability to add new focal lengths as and when they magically appear (thinking of you here Panavision), the other being to allow for refinement of focal length values.

                    A number of years back Jim McConkey outlined his meticulous approach to shot planning. This conversation precipitated the inclusion of custom focal lengths because Jim, knowing that his 50mm Primo was closer to a 53mm in practical terms, wanted to increase the accuracy of his planning using Artemis. Determining the functional focal length of any lens helps the operator, cinematographer or director plan more accurately.

                    Later Jim bought an Artemis Prime viewfinder which was used extensively on Marvelous Mrs Maisel, which removes all the guesswork of what the functional focal length ism by using the actual lens. This also displays all the distortion and optical characteristics of any lens, spherical or anamorphic, minus the added distortion introduced by purely optical viewfinder systems. You can see Jim using this device here:

                    Hope this was helpful.

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