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Old June 25th, 2008, 10:53 PM   #1
Sponsor: Kessler Crane
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: North Webster, IN
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Hello from Kessler Crane®

Hello everyone. I'm Chris Beller, and I work with Kessler Crane®. Eric Kessler is who you normally talk to on the phone, but you may hear from me if you contact us via our website or MySpace page.

We have been a supporter of this community for awhile now, so I wanted to sign up and say hello to everyone.

My goal here is to make myself available for questions or comments and keep the community made aware of any worthwhile Kessler Crane® news. I also look forward to absorbing as much of the valuable feedback and information everyone provides here on a daily basis.

You may not see a lot of posts from me, but I will be here as much as I can.

Thanks for allowing me to be a part of this community.
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Old June 25th, 2008, 11:20 PM   #2
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Hello.

Hello Chris, I'm a proud Kessler Crane owner in the north of Mexico, I've been using it a lot since I bought and I have never had a single problem with it. I got really excited when I saw the first announcement about the Hydra Turret, but I see that the link has been removed from your website, is this project dead? Any other options besides the electrical head that you advertise in the website?

Regards,
Rodrigo Medina
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Old June 26th, 2008, 10:06 AM   #3
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Hi Rodrigo! Always enjoy meeting one of our great customers. Glad you are enjoying your crane.

As far as the Hydra-Turret project, it is not "dead", but we have tabled that particular pan/tilt head solution for right now. We were not completely satisfied with it's performance during our final testing, and we are not going to release a sub par product. We also decided, because the cost to do this right would make the price extremely high, we needed to go back and develop a different solution that met our and our customer's high standards of quality, while still maintaining an affordable price point.

We still would like to go back to the Hydra-Turret at some point, but we have been putting our focus on the redesign of our pan/tilt head solution, as well as our other products we recently released, like the K-Pod System and our redesigned Hercules 2.0 head.

Stay tuned. We hope to have news coming soon about other pan/tilt head options.

Thanks!
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Old June 27th, 2008, 10:55 AM   #4
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Hi Chris
Disappointing news about your hydra head. I've had a Kessler 8/12 sitting around for around six months now, waiting for a viable camera-end pan solution that's organic and not electric.

I need some more sophisticated moves than just the straight jib up and down, and basic pan, and to retain critical focus and framing on my shots I really do need just a pan remote, since the tilt and lift can be controlled from the rear of the crane -- I have a big fluid head supporting it.

And of course I know I can put a fluid head at the end of the crane (I've been shooting since 1975, not a beginner by any means) but that makes the rig very heavy and not at all suitable for poking over the edge of building tops, etc. Essentially that solution makes the crane a jib, and a 12ft jib, well...

I love the idea of your integrated controller bar -- IMHO that's the key to successful one man remote crane operations that don't require two operators and a hot head.

So how about just a fluid pan remote to start with? So we can get the pan and tilt at least sorted? and get around the focus and framing issues of a single axis pan system? (i.e. I'd like to do more than just wide angle establishing shots - I'd like to be able to start high and wide and the get low and close, and vice versa. Much simpler and faster to set up and do with an organic (human powered) camera end pan system, i.e. one that doesn't need an electrical hot head rig.

The twist/dutch/roll aspects are nice and fancy and all, but most of us, I think, would settle for a one axis remote unit that's priced accordingly.

Then we can get on with shooting while you guys get on with perfecting. It's a little bit of a pain to see my crane sitting while I rent a 'pro' rig...

Please see what you can do!

Cheers
Chris
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Old June 27th, 2008, 11:42 AM   #5
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Hi Chris,

Welcome to the forums!

Proud owner of the 5/8 system, with the Kessler fluid head (maybe I can trade/exchange the Kessler fluid head for your new Hercules head :). Though like Chris, I'd like to at least tilt the camera every once in a while. (And just like Chris, we put a fluid head at the end to do some simple pan/tilt/up & down moves with the crane.)

I'm also thinking about the rear control center, so I can mount the 7" Delvcam monitor which we bought with the crane.

Best,
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Old June 27th, 2008, 01:08 PM   #6
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Hey Jeff
I have a Kessler fluid head too, unused.

Yeah, I do like the system a lot, and will eventually get a short top for it to make mine a 5/8/12 system, with all the fittings - rear control, extension bowl, etc.

Actually as a 5 footer jib with a fluid head on the camera end (and the operator on the end, i.e.) it might prove quite useful for shooting dramatic dialog.

But... but... but...

With a remote fluid pan at the camera end, I'd use it a ton more than I am now, which is just for classic establishing shots.

Enough said! :-)

Cheers
Chris
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Old June 27th, 2008, 03:22 PM   #7
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Thanks for the welcome and feedback, Jeff and Chris. I'm picking up this subtle hint you guys might be looking for a better remote head option. ;-)

This feedback is definitely something I will take back and discuss with Eric.

Do you all really feel a single axis non-electric remote head would be worth-while? Definitely interested in your feedback.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 05:43 PM   #8
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Chris!
Thanks for your interest!

Yeah, if we could get something going with that controller bar that you had on the demo clip of the fluid head, like so:

1) crane up/down via the main pivot at the center of the crane, existing mechanical parallelogram action to keep the camera tilt horizontal;

2) basic camera tilt up/down via your existing tilt control on a main fluid head, but connected to the X axis of your controller bar, and then;

3) a camera pan on the Y axis of the controller bar,

then that would basically mean that we'd have camera control tilt and pan on the controller bar in one hand

and crane rise/fall and pan in the other, with the LANC controls etc on either hand, or both.

What's of key importance here to me is operability by one person.

Really. The controller bar, IMHO, should mimic a pan bar on a fluid head.

So you have the left hand with the crane controls, and the right hand on a regular pan bar.

Zoom rocker and focus controls where they'd usually be.

Now you don't have to train anybody in its use, and getting the shot becomes instinctive and intuitive, and therefore capable of being precise and repeatable.

If you could crack that, which I believe you already did with your fluid controller bar (and that's what got me excited enough to buy a Kessler in the first place), then you could have crane rise and fall and camera tilt (i.e. "vertical pan" from both the center of the crane and the camera and) and also crane-pan and camera-pan (which is the same thing on the horizontal axis).

Now, forgetting the dutch tilt/yaw control for a second, you'd have a complete extension of the regular camera fluid head controls, on the end of a one man crane.

Right now you have a great modifiable parallelogram action going on the vertical plane, but not on the horizontal.

Anyway, if you really wanted an extended tilt you'd add a wedge or an L plate to your camera mount to allow you to get to a vertical angle for that shot, like everybody else (without a hothead) does.

The main problem with hotheads is that the really good ones (that permit very precise, repeatable camera framings and moves) are a) very expensive, b) have super sensitive control sticks or wheels and therefore require a dedicated hothead operator and also a crane op -- or two.

Put the whole thing on a track and you're up to a crew of three or four minimum.

Give us the Kessler full-manual control and we can do practically the same thing single handed, although I'd probably want one other person standing by to help out if the rig came off the rails, or similar.

However, that setup, with the track included, now is the ultimate camera support system, isn't it? Can't think of any moves short of the third axis on the fluid head that you're already working on that would make it any better.

So -- maybe a modular design that one can add axes as one goes on?

Assuming that you used a large fluid head as the central pivot and therefore had a decent amount of tilt built into the parallelogram system of the crane, you'd only need a little more tilt built into the fluid head to go vertical.

That, coupled with a yaw control, should do the trick. Again, I don't see the yaw control going much beyond say 45 degrees either side, since any more really qualifies as a special effect rather than an everyday shot. Having a few degrees of yaw control can save a shot where the rig's not quite set level, (or mysteriously comes out of level), and allows one to keep shooting and reset later, rather than lose the shot because one had to stop down to reset the central fluid head. And the yaw control itself? Maybe something like a motorcycle accelerator twist control on the pan bar?

Any more than that degree of yaw, e.g. those 360/720 degree spins, etc., is in my book just for the strictly showy shots, and not really part of everyday shooting (unless you're doing commercials or MTV pieces, IMO).

Also that would really be the province of the 30ft cranes with the electric hotheads due to controllability and balance - shots like that are not really one-man setup shots, plus I think I'd be hard put to figure out a way to control that kind of a move with a pan bar/manual controller bar.

So, at risk of sounding redundant, I'd keep my design parameters pretty much set as they are now - single person operator with helper (nice to have but not absolutely necessary), easy setup and strike, no power required (apart from muscle power), dual axis parallelogram capability (one is mechanical now, and one maybe fluid?) and one operator doable and I'd say there wouldn't be another rig anywhere close to that kind of capability.

At the moment I've found myself having to unmount my camera from the crane, and remount onto a tripod to get medium and closeup shots, especially if I've had to follow people around.
I think if I could stay in back of the crane and still be able to pan my camera to follow them, then my camera would stay put on the crane, period.

Much better!

Thanks again
Cheers
Chris
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Last edited by Chris Leong; June 27th, 2008 at 06:17 PM.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 08:06 PM   #9
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Um, yes, like Chris L. said :)

And just for peanuts, of course.

Best,
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Old June 27th, 2008, 08:19 PM   #10
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kessler cranes

Hi Chris! I should be getting one in the next 12 mouths or so. For a movie project
welcome good to hear from you. your products are rock solid and well built!


shawn

Last edited by Shawn Kessler; June 27th, 2008 at 08:20 PM. Reason: mis spelled
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Old June 28th, 2008, 08:42 PM   #11
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Wow Chris, thanks for the detailed post! I'm not going to make any promises, but we will definitely discuss this and see if something is feasible, down the road.

This is the kind of valuable input that we need. We can come up with all kinds of "cool" products, but if it's not something that you all really need or find useful, there is no point. Any other input on what you all need, please share, we would be very interested in hearing it.

Hey Shawn, thanks, we appreciate that! We look forward to helping you out, when you are ready.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 09:57 PM   #12
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Hi Shawn,

By default, do you get at least 50% off the cranes for having the product's name :)

I'd say that's good marketing!

Best,
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Old June 29th, 2008, 09:09 AM   #13
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ya right i wish

sorry no relation weeell as far as I know lol

shawn www.expressionsvideo.net
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Old July 2nd, 2008, 09:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn Kessler View Post
sorry no relation weeell as far as I know lol

shawn www.expressionsvideo.net
Just tell Eric you are his long lost brother. ;-)
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Old July 6th, 2008, 09:08 PM   #15
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Chris

Nice! good one!
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