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Old July 19th, 2009, 09:56 AM   #1
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Improving fast panning on a tripod.

I am currently unable to pan fast moving subjects, like aircraft, without a certain amount of unaccepatable 'shake'.
This is when using an Olympus 300mm lens and sometimes a 600mm, on my 5D2 and the camera is mounted on a Libec DV22 video tripod, which has a fluid head.
Obviously I have taken measures to help stabilise the balance of the camera and lens as much as possible and realise the importance that 'body control' plays in making a good smooth pan, however the physical effort in viewing the camera LCD (through a Hoodloupe) whilst controlling the with the pan bar, results in some ineviatable judder.
Are the fluid heads on the much more expensive Miller, Sachler or Vinten tripods that much better damped that they would help with this problem?
I also think a small 'remote viewfinder' would assist in freeing up my 'body tension' but I do have to be able to accurately focus, which an 'attached screen' like the Zacuto or Hoodloupe viewers do best I believe.
Therefore, in addition to a better fluid head, I am considering something like the small 'Zig S2 Live' LCD to move me away from the camera during 'action filming'.
Zigview Live for Cameras With Live View Wokingham Photographic the Accessory Specialist
Has anybody used this screen with the 5D2? I'm not expecting high quality pics, just want to keep with the action.
David
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Old July 19th, 2009, 12:44 PM   #2
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The DV-22 is a bit weak for the 5D2 - especially with anything 200mm or longer. The DV-22 has only two sections, which is good for stability, but the bottom section has only one tube, which can allow the tripod to twist if you add much drag.

Also, make sure that the camera is securely mounted. A lens mount would be great. If you have a long plate and can stack some metal under the camera or lens to get a solid two point mount, then you're really golden.

Your ideal system would have:

* A long plate
* A 100m bowl/ball
* Two tubes per section
* Adjustable balance that can accommodate 4-8 lbs
* High-quality fluid drag for pan and tilt

At NAB a couple of years ago, I spent time with as many tripods as I could, and preferred the Sachtler FSB-6. Unfortunately, it has a 75mm ball, rather than 100mm.

I've got the Bogen 516 head and 3193 (350 MVB) tripod. The only problem is that it doesn't have adjustable balance, so the tilt spring always wants to return it to level. It's a solid beast, but I either need to do surgery on its spring, or add lead weights to the camera to get the balance right.

And you're correct that you want a good LCD monitor, rather than a loupe. A loupe is really only good for shoulder systems. For tripods, dollies, jibs, gimbal rigs, etc, you really want a monitor.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 02:00 AM   #3
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The obvious but expensive solution is to use a Canon EF lens with Image Stabilisation instead of the Olympus lens.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 08:11 AM   #4
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Thanks Jon and Nigel for you suggestions.
I will investigate the LCD viewfinder options but need it to work in bright sunlight also of course, so need to attach anything I use with a suitable hood.
The lens is mounted on a Manfrotto 'telephoto lens support' and I do weight the tripod down...by hanging my heavy camera bag on it when shooting, which really helps.
Regarding 'image stabilisation' lenses...no I don't have any, but believed they only worked on stills. Will an EF telephoto reduce the apparent up/down movement in a pan in movie mode?
Perhaps I'll hire a lens and try it.
The nice thing about Olympus lenses was their small size but high quality. The OM system really was so much lighter than say Nikon and they do work well on the 5D2.
Dave T
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Old July 20th, 2009, 03:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel Barker View Post
The obvious but expensive solution is to use a Canon EF lens with Image Stabilisation instead of the Olympus lens.
IS for "fast panning?"

Sorry, but that's a terrible idea that'll only make things worse, much worse actually.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 04:04 PM   #6
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Yep, IS mode 2 helps fast panning a lot.
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Old July 21st, 2009, 11:55 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Thi Ng View Post
Yep, IS mode 2 helps fast panning a lot.
Only if the panning is horizontal, and he specifically said aircraft, so kind of depends on the shot actually. I assumed he meant panning in the most generic sense. Also, Mode 1/2 isn't available on every IS-capable camera, so that could be an issue too. But point taken.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 10:00 AM   #8
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So now I'm real confused about Image Stabilisation in movie mode and whether it'll help or not!

I'm talking about following fast moving subjects, most specifically aircraft displays on a tight lens. Most movement is obviously 'horizontal' but there can be a 'vertical' component as well.

Doesn't an IS lens try and 'centre' up the small movements of the subject image during a still shot to remove the variation in position that camera shake produces. How therefore will IS cope with a similar 'subject' in the centre, but with a very fast changing 'background' that a fast pan produces?

Likewise I believed that any software for image stabilisation wouldn't work on fast panning subjects. Anybody use anything on movies?

Dave T
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 10:23 AM   #9
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Some IS lenses, like the 70-200mm f2.8 IS, have two "modes" that they can be run in with a switch on the lens to select mode 1 or mode 2. However, many IS lens' do not have two modes like that, they are either on or off. Panning on an IS lens without the mode dial will make things worse for sure in my opinion. However, if the lens has a mode 2, then what it tries to do is stabilize only in the vertical orientation but not in the horizontal. It's essentially a "panning mode" because it helps stabilize up/down motion while not doing anything with left/right. So, it's true, that could possibly help for panning. However, if you have any vertical movement at all in the pan, then I'd think you'd be back to it being counter productive (the IS will fight the pan, combine that with a rolling shutter and the codec and everything just gets that much worse). Anyway, that's my take on it. Personally, I find IS to be nearly always counter productive when shooting video, in fact, I think a lot of folks mistake IS jerks for rolling shutter or codec artifacts, but what do I know...
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