Forums: Skydiving Disciplines: Photography and Video:
ringsight outdated?

 

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feuergnom  (D License)

Sep 3, 2013, 1:47 PM
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ringsight outdated? Can't Post

just sifted through old pics and vids. what struck me was how many people used ringsights just a few years ago and that they seem to be completly gone...
on a personal side: I bought one when I felt taht I had to own one. never liked it though and sold it shortly after installing.
are they really outdated or does anyone still use one?


Laszloimage  (D 22468)

Sep 3, 2013, 2:16 PM
Post #2 of 30 (6762 views)
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Re: [feuergnom] ringsight outdated? [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think a ring sight (camera sight) is a fashion item of freefall photography. I think (actually I know) a sight is an important piece of the camera helmet/set up in order to have proper framing and composition.


gowlerk  (C 3196)

Sep 3, 2013, 2:35 PM
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Re: [feuergnom] ringsight outdated? [In reply to] Can't Post

I always use mine for any outside work. I change lenses and zoom in and out depending on what I'm doing. If I want to fill the frame with my subject I need to know where the center of the frame is.


champu  (D 28302)

Sep 3, 2013, 2:52 PM
Post #4 of 30 (6730 views)
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Re: [feuergnom] ringsight outdated? [In reply to] Can't Post

feuergnom wrote:
just sifted through old pics and vids. what struck me was how many people used ringsights just a few years ago and that they seem to be completly gone... on a personal side: I bought one when I felt taht I had to own one. never liked it though and sold it shortly after installing.

are they really outdated or does anyone still use one?

The advantages and disadvantages of having one have not changed, so to call them "outdated" doesn't really make any sense. Nothing has replaced them for what they do.

I think more people are strictly shooting things like GoPros set to their widest setting where you can get away with not composing the shot very carefully and still get okay results so they don't bother with a ringsight.


Zlew  (D 21616)

Sep 3, 2013, 4:42 PM
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Re: [feuergnom] ringsight outdated? [In reply to] Can't Post

feuergnom wrote:
never liked it though and sold it shortly after installing.
are they really outdated or does anyone still use one?

I think the shift you are seeing is that now more and more people are shooting inside video with action cams. It used to be only "video guys" jumped video cameras, and now it is really common for fun jumpers or other inside skydivers to have an action cam on.

When shooting super wide angle/inside, you really don't need a ring sight.

I'd say the majority of outside video guys still have a ring sight. When shooting outside, having something to help with your distance/range finding, and to make sure your line of site is parallel to the cameras center line is still very handy.


parachutist  (D 25468)

Sep 3, 2013, 7:59 PM
Post #6 of 30 (6571 views)
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Re: [champu] ringsight outdated? [In reply to] Can't Post

champu wrote:
I think more people are strictly shooting things like GoPros set to their widest setting where you can get away with not composing the shot very carefully and still get okay results so they don't bother with a ringsight.

I agree that's what many people are thinking, but I believe they're missing the end result: The subject is somewhere in the frame, but only taking up 15% of that frame. Those aren't OK results, and those videos usually look like amateur shots worth about $15 to me.


champu  (D 28302)

Sep 3, 2013, 9:42 PM
Post #7 of 30 (6548 views)
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Re: [parachutist] ringsight outdated? [In reply to] Can't Post

parachutist wrote:
champu wrote:
I think more people are strictly shooting things like GoPros set to their widest setting where you can get away with not composing the shot very carefully and still get okay results so they don't bother with a ringsight.

I agree that's what many people are thinking, but I believe they're missing the end result: The subject is somewhere in the frame, but only taking up 15% of that frame. Those aren't OK results, and those videos usually look like amateur shots worth about $15 to me.

No argument. "Okay" was not meant to be a term of endearment.


pope  (D 19947)

Sep 3, 2013, 10:14 PM
Post #8 of 30 (6525 views)
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Re: [feuergnom] ringsight outdated? [In reply to] Can't Post

feuergnom wrote:
just sifted through old pics and vids. what struck me was how many people used ringsights just a few years ago and that they seem to be completly gone...
on a personal side: I bought one when I felt taht I had to own one. never liked it though and sold it shortly after installing.
are they really outdated or does anyone still use one?

Do ring sights complicate a video setup some? Yes.
Do they present an extra snag hazard? Yes.
Do I think they're outdated? No Way.

While I understand why people would be against jumping them, I would bet that almost anyone who is willing to fork out money for higher priced cameras (even higher end consumer cameras) and DSLRs has also forked out the $ for a ring sight and uses it every jump.

IMHO, They are also [still] the best way to frame a shot in freefall. I wouldn't even want to CONSIDER jumping without one for any professional cameras, Particularly for lens instruments less blunt then the typical wide angle lenses of the action sport world.

They will only become outdated when technology provides us with another (better) way of safely composing/framing shots.
I've seen a couple cool options, but none that were more than a novelty. I jumped a pair of glasses for a little bit that I could see the output of the camera in the top right 1/3 of the right eye. They were scary in so many ways.

I'm still waiting for a HUD in a full-face or the projected holographic frame...
Smile


feuergnom  (D License)

Sep 3, 2013, 10:20 PM
Post #9 of 30 (6522 views)
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Re: [champu] ringsight outdated? [In reply to] Can't Post

thanks for the answers guys and the "insights on ringsights" Smile


mircan  (D 32291)

Sep 4, 2013, 6:33 AM
Post #10 of 30 (6369 views)
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Re: [feuergnom] ringsight outdated? [In reply to] Can't Post

+1 on what other guys have said (need for good framing and no need when using "gopro").
Last year I did some xx-way RW formation videos and found it irreplaceable. "Filling the whole frame" thing.
With tandems, ringsight helps, but you can get away without it.
For inside video, IMO it is not necessary.


Fast  (D 28237)

Sep 5, 2013, 3:16 PM
Post #11 of 30 (6135 views)
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Re: [feuergnom] ringsight outdated? [In reply to] Can't Post

I had one when I first started shooting tandem video cause it made it substantially easier to frame shots. I took it off cause it was on loan to me at some point cause I could get the same results without it.

At some point I ended up doing more tandems than video and have bought a ring right now because I find that i produce better work with it given less currency on specifically tandem video.


linestretch  (D 21060)

Sep 6, 2013, 12:06 PM
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Re: [feuergnom] ringsight outdated? [In reply to] Can't Post

I still have mine and still rely on it.


RandySwallows  (D License)

Sep 8, 2013, 11:02 PM
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Re: [linestretch] ringsight outdated? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've seen a lot of videographers getting away from ring sights as they are using increasingly wider FOV for their videos and simply "pointing their head" the the general direction of the subject will probably frame it "correctly". I say "correctly" because Ultrawide lenes and fisheyes aren't meant to "get everything in the frame", they are used to exaggerate the perception of near/far for more dramatic angles and lines. To each their own in the push play "Am I recording?" world :)

Juan Mayer had a great example of using an Ultrawide in the "Featured training phote" in the August Parachutist. I still use a sight when jumping wide lenses. If I were shooting dual Go-Pros I might not need one then.


skykatherine  (D 18185)

Sep 9, 2013, 8:35 AM
Post #14 of 30 (5656 views)
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Re: [pope] ringsight outdated? [In reply to] Can't Post

pope wrote:
feuergnom wrote:
I've seen a couple cool options, but none that were more than a novelty. I jumped a pair of glasses for a little bit that I could see the output of the camera in the top right 1/3 of the right eye. They were scary in so many ways.

I'm still waiting for a HUD in a full-face or the projected holographic frame...
Smile

Please elaborate on how this was scary in so many ways?
Thanks in advance :)

sKY::


ShayneH  (F License)

Sep 11, 2013, 8:24 AM
Post #15 of 30 (5425 views)
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Re: [skykatherine] ringsight outdated? [In reply to] Can't Post

I use a .55 lens on my video camera and the cannot kit lens and I can frame my shots perfectly without the need for a ring sight. Instead, I use a small dot of tape on the inside of my sunglasses which is low-profile, costs nothing, and works just as well as a ring sight.


bwilling  (C 13618)

Sep 11, 2013, 10:19 AM
Post #16 of 30 (5323 views)
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Re: [Zlew] ringsight outdated? [In reply to] Can't Post

Zlew wrote:
I think the shift you are seeing is that now more and more people are shooting inside video with action cams.

When shooting super wide angle/inside, you really don't need a ring sight.

I'd say the majority of outside video guys still have a ring sight.

I have people asking me about working in the video dept. for the school now that I'm 'in charge' of it, and one of the first thing I ask them is how many camera jumps they have... they all want to tell me how many jumps they have wearing a camera. Tongue

They are NOT the same thing! I then ask them how many CAMERA jumps they have, where their only function on the skydive was to shoot outside video, to maintain a consistent distance, and to keep the subject matter in frame the entire skydive. I'd argue that for that job, a ringsight is still a valuable tool, and running a wide enough lens setup to not need it does not improve the quality of your outside video.


dragon2  (D 101989)

Sep 11, 2013, 1:34 PM
Post #17 of 30 (5220 views)
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Re: [bwilling] ringsight outdated? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've got ~2000 camera jumps (real ones). First few years I used a sight, for filming CRW, FS4 and wingsuit. After that I started filming tandems, first with a sight on both my helmets. Sold the one on my 2nd helmet, found I could do without quite well and sold the 2nd one too.
That was a couple years ago.
I film mostly tandems these days, sometimes students or FS jumps. Came in 3rd one year in our Nationals, filming AAA, no sight then either. Got plenty of photos published, so seem to be doing alright Tongue It's just one less hook on my helmet, and I got a decent price for them Cool

CRW I think would be the one discipline I would miss my sight. But since I never get the chance to film CRW anymore, ...


bwilling  (C 13618)

Sep 11, 2013, 3:21 PM
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Re: [dragon2] ringsight outdated? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm glad that works for you, you're right in that it is one less snag hazard! And I've seen some of your videos, you do nice work!

How wide a lens do you normally shoot for tandems, and how do you sight if not a ring sight? With a wide enough lens you can get away with no sight at all, knowing where the center is just doesn't matter, the camera is going to capture it all anyway. But I prefer to run as narrow a lens as the situation permits for a variety of reasons... I'd miss not knowing where the precise center is!


pope  (D 19947)

Sep 12, 2013, 6:31 AM
Post #19 of 30 (4796 views)
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Re: [ShayneH] ringsight outdated? [In reply to] Can't Post

ShayneH wrote:
I use a .55 lens on my video camera and the cannot kit lens and I can frame my shots perfectly without the need for a ring sight. Instead, I use a small dot of tape on the inside of my sunglasses which is low-profile, costs nothing, and works just as well as a ring sight.
How well does that dot work when you aren't shooting such a wide lens? How about shooting more "professional" cameras?


ShayneH  (F License)

Sep 12, 2013, 8:05 AM
Post #20 of 30 (4718 views)
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Re: [pope] ringsight outdated? [In reply to] Can't Post

It doesn't matter what camera or what lens angle - center of frame is center of frame. As long as I sight the dot correctly, it works like any other sight.


bwilling  (C 13618)

Sep 12, 2013, 12:48 PM
Post #21 of 30 (4587 views)
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Re: [ShayneH] ringsight outdated? [In reply to] Can't Post

ShayneH wrote:
It doesn't matter what camera or what lens angle - center of frame is center of frame. As long as I sight the dot correctly, it works like any other sight.

The dot on on the glasses doesn't work like a ring sight in one important regard. It's not mounted to the helmet like the camera. IF your glasses and your helmet go back on the same way every time, the relationship between the sight and the lens is maintained, if not, if something shifts, the relationship changes. The wider the lens, the less critical this is.

The major advantage (and disadvantage as a snag hazard!) is that the ring sight is mounted to the helmet, along with the camera, so unless the camera or sight get bumped and moved, the relationship between them is always the same, regardless of helmet or glasses/goggles positioning.

I've shot both, both will work. Members of our video staff shoot both too. It's a matter of personal preference, just like lens choice. Because of the close proximity to my eye, I found the dot on the goggles to be annoying, more so than looking through a ring sight mounted further out. YMMV.


FB1609  (C 1409)

Sep 12, 2013, 8:39 PM
Post #22 of 30 (4460 views)
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Re: [bwilling] ringsight outdated? [In reply to] Can't Post

They are only necessary with standard focal length lenses, almost everyone uses wide or fisheye, where they aren't needed. People should shoot more with 35-50mm, they'd be a lot different


pope  (D 19947)

Sep 12, 2013, 9:43 PM
Post #23 of 30 (4435 views)
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Re: [ShayneH] ringsight outdated? [In reply to] Can't Post

ShayneH wrote:
It doesn't matter what camera or what lens angle - center of frame is center of frame. As long as I sight the dot correctly, it works like any other sight.

As long as it works for you, that's great.
I've found that the focal length of the lens has a great deal to do with how accurately I want to be able to compose/frame a shot. Shooting lens at a larger focal length in my experience is usually worthless with the "dot on the goggles" method.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Sep 13, 2013, 4:04 AM
Post #24 of 30 (4323 views)
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Re: [pope] ringsight outdated? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Shooting lens at a larger focal length in my experience is usually worthless with the "dot on the goggles" method

I gave up ringsights over a decade ago. Really, once I went to a digital video camera with something wider than a .5 lens, it became extra shit I didn't need. When I was shooting an old Hi8 camera with a .5, it was another story.

So know I use a mark on my goggles, but I've taken to drawing a square with a Sharpie marker as opposed to a 'dot'. I like being able to look through it, and more or less have it just be very thin fuzzy lines in my sight-line as opposed to something that could block any part of my vision. I actually use those goggles for all my jumps, and I don't even see the 'box' if I'm not looking for it.

What everyone is saying about the precision of the ringsight vs a google mark are correct, the ringsight is the way to get it 'perfect'. While the wide angle lenses make up for any slop in the google mark system, I would suggest that if they backed off, say, 30 ft from their subject, and then took some exact measurements of a still frame and really checked to see how 'centered' the subject was, they would find that it was not really in the 'center'. It might be close, but not 'perfect'.

HOWEVER, if you're not shooting for those distances, and not doing anything but tandems/students, or low-pressure fun jumps, there's no need for a ringsight. Truth be told, digital photography and photoshop have made it so you can even compensate for centering problems by just getting further back, and than cropping the photo as needed on a bigger RW jumps.

Back in the film days, that would be a whole pain in the ass between processing, getting a set of proofs, then working with a lab on cropping, getting more proofs, and then getting enlargements done. Getting the shot centered and the frame filled, like you could do with a ringsight, would cut a bunch of those steps (and cost) from the job, and that was a good thing. Not to mention you would only have, at most, 36 exposures to work with you, so you couldn't just 'spray and pray' when it came to taking stills, each shot was more important in those days.

But that was a long time ago.


The111  (D 29246)

Sep 14, 2013, 9:54 AM
Post #25 of 30 (3923 views)
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Re: [feuergnom] ringsight outdated? [In reply to] Can't Post

There is a firmware update for all old ringsights. Download it and yours will be relevant again.


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