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Old November 13th, 2006, 10:02 AM   #1
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XL2 Helicopter Shoot - Best lens & Settings

Doing a helicopter shoot tomorrow to capture panoramic and low level beauty shots for a production shot entirely in 24pa with the xl2. Recently purchased the 3x lens for my xl2 and am thinking about using it instead of the 20x since it is not as sensitive to movement. Has anyone had experience shooting aerials with the xl3 or the 20x? Preference? Since I will not need close-in zooms - am assuming I will get much better footage with the 3x - looking for quality.

Helicopter is state of the art and probably will be very stable - shooting early morning with open door.

Planning on shooting 24 pa - 48 - 60 - with a polarizer.

Any recommendations will be appreciated.
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Old November 13th, 2006, 04:50 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Bienvenu
Doing a helicopter shoot tomorrow to capture panoramic and low level beauty shots for a production shot entirely in 24pa with the xl2. Recently purchased the 3x lens for my xl2 and am thinking about using it instead of the 20x since it is not as sensitive to movement. Has anyone had experience shooting aerials with the xl3 or the 20x? Preference? Since I will not need close-in zooms - am assuming I will get much better footage with the 3x - looking for quality.

Helicopter is state of the art and probably will be very stable - shooting early morning with open door.

Planning on shooting 24 pa - 48 - 60 - with a polarizer.

Any recommendations will be appreciated.
I think there's a thread on here about that very subject ?

I'd take the wide or the 20:1 at the widest angle. Helicopter plus Telephoto is a big no no without specialised mounts. Doesn't matter how new the chopper is, the laws of aerodynamics, turbulence and bad luck have never evolved...
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Old November 13th, 2006, 06:42 PM   #3
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I'd take both lenses but if you do a change in the air, obviously be VERY careful not to drop a lens. With the door off in a helicopter, the air can really whip around inside and anything loose can easily go flying.

The 3x may be just a little too wide for some shots. You can get good helicopter shots without gyro mounts, it is just far harder and more limited. The OIS in the lenses will help a little bit. It should remove the judder from the helicopter but still try and isolate your body from the aircraft as much as possible. It then depends on wind speed and flight direction as too how steady your shots will be.

Hopefully the helicopter will have retractable wheels instead of skids, or worse still, floats that get in the way of shots.

Be careful! make sure you are securely harnessed (with quick release if over water!) and you camera is also secured.
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Old November 13th, 2006, 10:25 PM   #4
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Deleted. Far too late.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 11:40 PM   #5
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If possible, post a few seconds after the shoot. I'm sure that I'm not the only one who would like to see what you've shot. Especially if your able to do a visual comparison of the lenses in the air. If you're able to shoot with both.

Thanks,
Kevin
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Old December 4th, 2006, 06:54 AM   #6
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Helicopter Shoot

Shoot was successful. Got some fantastic footage. Will post a couple of samples shortly.

Did learn one major lesson - with the xl2 - using the wide angle lens - I had the best results when I leaned out the open door and held the xl2 out vs mounting the xl2 on my shoulder and looking through the viewfinder. Dramatic decrease in vibration which seems to be passed through the body. Quality went from ok - to spectacular using the handheld technique.
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Old December 4th, 2006, 05:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Bienvenu
Shoot was successful. Got some fantastic footage. Will post a couple of samples shortly.

Did learn one major lesson - with the xl2 - using the wide angle lens - I had the best results when I leaned out the open door and held the xl2 out vs mounting the xl2 on my shoulder and looking through the viewfinder. Dramatic decrease in vibration which seems to be passed through the body. Quality went from ok - to spectacular using the handheld technique.
The human body is the most efficient shock absorber known to man, oddly enough..
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Old December 5th, 2006, 10:32 PM   #8
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I did some helicopter shots a while back with the 20x some of the footage is in my demo reel, check it out and let me know what you think. www.mikeberlucchi.com
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Old December 6th, 2006, 02:53 AM   #9
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Awesome Portfolio

Excellent job, Mike. Your video is head and shoulders above most of what I've seen. Lighting, framing, color all were thumbs up yet your timing/edits and composition were especially well done - that certainly differentiates the better videographers. And glad to see the helicopter footage worked so well (tip appreciated). Incidentally, I think it was wise to avoid a lot of post-production effect; stick to your camera skills in your portfolio - and the audio overlay worked well since you're selling your video skills and don't want to detract the potential customer with audio quality, the talent, storyline, etc.

Many thanks for sharing. You've certainly set a "high water" mark for the pack!

Michael
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Old December 7th, 2006, 10:42 AM   #10
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Well done good sir!

A lot of your shots just have outstanding color and contrast. Can a polarizer take any credit?
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Old December 7th, 2006, 10:46 PM   #11
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Michael, Jonas, thanks that means a lot. But yes a polarizer and a little post can take credit.
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Old December 8th, 2006, 03:48 AM   #12
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Mike...

Great stuff. A very good eye for composition. And a nice variety of material with different looks.

If you don't get a job with that reel, then you must have sent it to a bunch of blind people! :-)
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