View Full Version : I got a budget crane/jib, how do I best use it?
April 5th, 2012, 02:14 PM
I picked up a budget crane, basically counterweighted with gym weights in the back, 4' long, attaches to a tripod, functions decently enough. I use it with an old tripod, which is heavy and sturdy, but not much else.
However, it gets a good bit of shake to the movement, and part of that I feel is attributed to the fact that it's only attached with a single bolt... that's all there's room for. The bolt can NEVER be that tight because it's holding all that weight, so it shifts and turns side to side, pivoting on that single bolt. I was wondering how to best do that... I'm sure most people who've used these cheap jibs know what I mean.
Any ideas? Any other ideas for stability and fluidity?
April 6th, 2012, 06:55 AM
I have no advice for you, sorry, but would like to know what crane you're using??
April 6th, 2012, 12:32 PM
that's exactly why it's best to invest in a solid, quality jib.
having said that, you need to practice starting and stopping VERY slowly - once you introduce 'wobble' - it's there for the shot. if you practice enough you should find that you can get some repeatable 'good' movements. straight vertical & horizontal are easier than diagonal & you don't need huge movement - sometime just a small movement will do the job best (that's once you get over the 'look at me I've got a jib' style of shooting).
April 6th, 2012, 07:39 PM
Just as with any devices that are aimed at making really nice moves, they require practice, lots of practice. buying a $2000 guitar will not by itself let you sound like Stevie Ray Vaughn...
most things that express an artistic move needs to be mastered, the sheer ownership of said tool doesnt guarantee performance. just because you have a budget version doesnt mean its not capable of producing great moves.
just practice and get good at it then you will see that when properly set up and operated no one will be able to tell a $140 jib over a more expensive one.
April 6th, 2012, 09:46 PM
Try using your camera's remote control to start/stop the shot. This will help reduce unwanted movement. Also, balancing the jib is critical. Sometimes balancing to bias the front or back of the jib can smooth out a movement. Just the slightest touch to initiate a movement is all that is needed. Practice makes perfect. I have a cheap Glideshot jib and my moves are much ...much smoother than when I first got it.
April 9th, 2012, 12:20 PM
My main concern is the single screw, and how to attach it to the tripod at another point to keep it from moving.
April 9th, 2012, 01:18 PM
I have the bottom of the jib bolted to a 501p mounting plate. I am using one bolt but could have used two if necessary. The 501 then slides in and locks to 577 quick release adapter which is attached to my tripod via a 3/8" mounting stud. Amazon.com: Manfrotto 577 Rapid Connect Adapter w/Sliding Mounting Plate (3433PL): Camera & Photo
June 10th, 2012, 05:46 AM
Charles I recently picked up an Indisystem's AirJIB xl, which is similarly a lightweight, fairly cheap jib option. I got mine because I wanted something super light and super fast to setup for the odd vertical movement, and it works well enough for that purpose.
As for getting smooth smooths, I've found it helps to guide the jib from the section the camera itself is mounted to - vibrations set in to easily when controlled from the far end of the jib.
I'd also highly recommend shooting with the widest angle lens you have on the jib, and then using the Warp Stabiliser tool in After Effects, I've been quite shocked by just how many little jib shots the AE stabiliser tool saved on a corporate shoot I just did. As a high speed option, the pair (jib and software) have been truly impressive.
June 11th, 2012, 12:12 AM
Tell me, exactly what tripod and head have you sitting under that jib?
I ask, as the the amount of leverage a jib can apply to a tripod/ head system can be magnified 20 fold over a pan/ tilt head/ camera only system, and if the tripod, especially, isn't up to the job, it will warp like jello, taking the jib and camera with it.
The single screw/ bolt fixing is also the bane of those cheap systems and is always asking for trouble.
To give you an analogy, imagine the drivers seat in your car anchored to the floor with one (1) 1/4" X 20 screw, or even, if you're lucky, one (1) 3/8" X 16 screw.
How much of an impact would it take for the seat to strangle you in the seat belt when the screw sheared off and slammed you into the air bag/ steering wheel at x MPH, with the weight of the seat (multiplied by a factor of 10 due to inertia) right behind you?
Not much, is the answer. You ever picked up a car seat? They weigh, big time.
Dodgy tripod, dodgy jib/ tripod connection/ possibly dodgy head bearings/ possibly dodgy jib bearings, I mean, what could possibly go wrong?
June 11th, 2012, 12:56 PM
As an example on the other end of the scale, the Kessler K-Pod tripod is a real brute. Put the solid pads on the bottom (as compared to the various wheels), and the thing is as solid as you can imagine. It makes all "normal" tripods look flimsy.
Unfortunately, the K-Pod has a flat top, so you can't just plop your ball head on top of it. It's really optimized for jib support. If it had a ball socket, I'd probably use it for some fixed events where I don't have to carry it far.
Given that it can accept wheels for dolly use and that it's cheaper than a lot of sticks out there, it's a pretty good value for jib support. (And if it had a ball socket, it would be an even better value.)