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Old January 16th, 2009, 12:47 PM   #1
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A Jib for the Wildlife Filmmaker

I've have always enjoyed those shots that are created using a Jib and would like to incorporate these shot types into my own work.

I shoot Natural History exclusively and everything takes place in the field! I am often filming in windy conditions but there are a few times when I get a reprieve and could use a small Jib.

I am looking for a lightweight and compact system to use with my Sony EX-3. Being able to carry it on my own in addition to my camera bag and tripod would be extremely advantageous.

I have two tripod set-ups that I could use with the Jib;

ē Manfrotto 542ART Road Runner Carbon Fibre Tripod with Mid-Leg Spreader teamed with a Manfrotto 526 Professional Fluid Head
ē Miller HD 925 Legs with 990 Mid-Leg Spreader teamed with a Miller Arrow 55HD Fluid Head

therefore would really be looking at a simple arm. After a little searching I have come across the Glidecam Camcrane 200 Jib-Arm which looks about what I'm after.

I'd love to hear if anyone has this Jib and there thoughts or any alternative suggestions. I will note that I'd like to keep the budget below a £1000 if possible.

Many thanks in advance and happy shooting,

Paul
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Old January 16th, 2009, 02:13 PM   #2
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Hi Paul...........

First off, your link to the Glidecam crane isn't.

You might want to check these out as they're slightly more local.

Jibs, Cranes and Booms

Being the proud owner of their K12 unit I can vouch for it's beautifull engineering, tho' it's certainly not something you'd want to be hiking over hill and dale with.

It's just about carryable on it's own, but with a tripod, weights, camera and the usual suspects as well, impossible for one person to carry.

As for jib use in general, there are some issues with them all.

First off is the problem of camera control. As the camera is stuck a long way away, your Lanc controller needs to be able to do everything required to do the necessary.

It may seem too obvious to even mention but there can be some gotchas.

My Canon ZR 1000 controller has a pretty significant issue with focusing with my A1 for example, and funnily enough, not something I discovered till I tried the jib workflow as opposed to tripod.

Then there is the external screen, yet something else to carry, along with the wiring harness and battery system. A must, as you can't see what the camera sees without it.

Then something you've already mentioned - wind!

Anything above the mildest zephyr and that jib becomes a wild animal, especially with an HD cam way out on the end.

Locking the pan brake won't save your bacon either.

Even with mine atop a set of Manfrotto 528XB's (designed for the job, but still have to obey the laws of physics) the sail area of the camera X the length of the jib from pivot to cam = more movement than a bucket full of octopii.

Oh, and the 528's are gut busters in their own right.

tripods, heads, monopods, light stands, camera supports, lighting supports, professional tripod 528XB - PRO VIDEO KIT HEAD,TRIPOD

Just a few things to think about.


CS
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Old January 16th, 2009, 02:23 PM   #3
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One of these Long Valley Equipment | products came up on BBList the other week. I'd never heard of it but it looks really interesting, ultra-compact.
If you want something with more lift, I use the Hague Multijib that'll go upto 4m and take full-size cameras (just!) index
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Old January 16th, 2009, 04:53 PM   #4
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Paul,
I've used a ProAm DVC200 for a couple of years now. Even if it's a lightweight construction you have to bring with you a mass amount of weights to stabilize.
For the Canon XL-H1 I use approx 10 kg in counterweight.
So it can be a bit cumbersome to hike to far away places where no vehicle is allowed!

As Chris tells you it's a lot of items to bring with you. But I've managed to do some trips alone with all this equipment. But I had to do several turns to and from to bring in the equipment.

Oh, for special effects shot, I don't think so much else can beat using a crane/jib.
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Old January 17th, 2009, 08:11 AM   #5
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Thanks for the quick replies! Very interesting stuff!

The weight does appear to be an issue but I do like the idea of the Extension Bar and the Jib Bag from Long Valley that Steve mentioned! Long Valley Equipment. According to the website the Extension Bar can reduce the weight carried by up to 60% - a huge saving when carrying the gear alone! Also the Jig Bag looks great as no weights need to be carried at all if you know you'll be shooting at a location that has Sand, Gravel, Rocks, etc.. in the vicinity - no weight to carry at all.

The ProAm DVC200 Camera Jib / Crane mentioned by Per Johan looks just up my street with a good price tag too. It just getting it shipped that bothers me! ProAm Cranes.

Closer to home is the Hague Jibs and I really like the look of the Hague HDV Boom K8 with Tilt Control but only supports up to 4kgs and it weighs a total of 7kgs. The camera I'm using would be the Sony EX-3 which weighs in at about 3.6kgs. If I used this Jib would it be pushing things too far.

The Hague Multi-Jib K12 will hold camera weights up to 14kgs but weights a staggering 18kgs alone!

Tough decisions to be made!

Any thoughts as to whether the Hague HDV Boom K8 with Tilt Control is under-gunned for use with the EX-3.

As for the ProAm DVC200 Camera Jib / Crane I can't see a maximum camera weight or how heavy the overall Jib is?

Thanks for your input!
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Old January 17th, 2009, 04:53 PM   #6
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The Glidecam is excellent for the price, goes up to 10' and is as smooth as any other jib. I've owned a Trovato Tote Jib, which was great and cost about 5 times the Glidecam. I later got a Glidecam because I needed the greater reach for a shot. I used it with a DSR250 and it was perfect for that weight. I did one shot with the DSR500, which required about 50 pounds of counterweights. It worked but I felt I was pushing the limits with that much weight out at the 10' length. At the shorter length it would be OK.I used it on O'Connor 50 legs, with a Gitzo 1338 head for the camera.
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Old January 18th, 2009, 09:18 AM   #7
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Thanks Bill!

Here's the link to the Glidecam Camcrane 200 Jib-Arm that I referred to in my original post!

I am seriously looking at the Hague HDV Boom K8 with Tilt Control but need to ascertain whether it is pushing it to the limits when using it with the EX-3. I've emailed Hague and asked the question so will post here when I know the answer.
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 04:41 AM   #8
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Paul, did you get a reply from Hague?

FYI I have just purchased the HDVK8 jib and I am very impressed so far.
At its shorter length it handles my XH-A1 with no problems at all and it only needs about 1.5 kg to be added to it.
I can set it up in under 10 mins and pack it up in 5 mins, it works with no problems on my Libec LS38 tripod.
To use it at its longest length I would be happier with a heavier tripod as I need to add too much weight, however the shorter length is what i will use most of the time. It will still hold the xh-a1 with no problems at full length and looks solid, its just the tripod that is the weak link.
The whole thing packs up into a tripod style bag that I can comfortably carry over my shoulder.
I know there are sturdier jibs on the market but I like you needed somthing more portable and so far this has been a great buy.
Just got to wait for the gales and rain to subside so I can get some practice with it.
can't wait for the spring.
cheers John
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 10:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Inglis View Post
The ProAm DVC200 Camera Jib / Crane mentioned by Per Johan looks just up my street with a good price tag too. It just getting it shipped that bothers me! ProAm Cranes.


As for the ProAm DVC200 Camera Jib / Crane I can't see a maximum camera weight or how heavy the overall Jib is?

Thanks for your input!
Paul, the Pro-AM 200 itself weighs in at 12 lbs, and is reportedly able to handle a camera of up to 8 lbs. I recently purchased one from Bargain Camera for much less than the Pro-Am site you mentioned. (http://www.bargain-camera.com/store/home.php)

I am not very experienced in either cranes or jibs, but was exposed to one during a shoot last spring (an EZ-JIB model, which was beautilfully made, heavy and expensive.) The Pro-Am is well constructed, lightweight and flimsier than the EZ, but in the 8 foot length with my Z-1 on the end, so far I think it will suit my purposes nicely. I have seen the beautiiful images Per Johan has gotten with his, and that encouraged me to give it a go.

I find with my Z-1 I need about 16-21 lbs on the other end to achieve balance (depending on WA lens adapter etc). With the Sony WA adapter, and a tripod head on the end of the crane for the camera I use 21 lbs. With the camera and lens and tripod head (about 7 lbs) the crane itself (12 lbs) and the balancing weights (21 lbs) you are looking at 40 lbs on your tripod and more importantly tripod head. Plan accordingly.

I am still trying to figure out the best way to mount it, tripod head or bearing mount without the tripod head, but am leaning on a non-tripod head mount. As noted above, I am also experimenting with a tripod head on the camera mount too.... that is looking promising... but adds weight to both ends of the equation (about 5 lbs overall I think.)

Also, get the tilt lock if you purchase one. It is pretty essential if you use it in unlocked mode in my estimation. I am going back to get one. I also added the bearing to the camera end.. was it worth $24? I dunno...never got a chance to compare it to the other version. My complaint about bearings is that it would have been nice to put them all along the length of the pivots for the tilt rod... tilting while shooting is a difficult affair I find, and I think the lack of smooth bearings along that rod may contribute to that problem.

All that said, for the price it is pretty hard to beat, and I am happy with mine.

I have heard, and can better understand after using mine, that the 12 foot model may be pressing your luck stability wise unless you are intending to use it in a locked shoot position for vantage point. Also it takes some practice to get smooth starts and stops even with the 8 foot model, and I am sure the extra 4 feet magnifies every little mistake even more.

I do think using a wide angle lens on the camera is the way to go on this, just my 2 cents, and why I mentioned the weight issues etc, since that glass is usually heavy.

Hope all this helps.

ps. for shipping, Bargain Camera says to plan on 30 lbs, because the box dimensions come into play and 30 lbs will give you a good estimation of actual shipment costs, at least domestically here in the US.

Last edited by Chris Swanberg; January 24th, 2009 at 01:13 AM.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 06:13 AM   #10
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Hi John,

Thanks for the reply and recommendation. Yes I finally got a reply back from Hague this week and they say that the Hague HDV Boom K8 with Tilt Control is more than doable as long as I don't exceed the 4kgs maximum weight. So in my case I'd probably not use any extras such as microphone, hard -drives and the larger batteries just to keep the weight down. More than likely I'll also remove the viewfinder to aid the weight reduction.

I am looking at a package deal from them with external monitor, extension cables and so forth. It looks like a good deal and they are located reasonable close keeping the shipping costs down for me.

I can relate to you about waiting for the gales and rain to subside!!!

Hi Chris,

Thanks for reply! Having looked at both the Hague HDV Boom K8 with Tilt and the Pro-AM 200 I feel that they have so many similarities it would be hard to pick between the two of them without trying them side by side. I'm opting for the Hague as they are the right side of the pond for me.

Interesting assessment about the bearings.

I have asked Hague about the tripods I have and what their thoughts were. The response was that the Manfrotto by design wouldn't really be up for the job and it can only hold a maximum of 15kgs. The Miller however is a much sturdier design with better leg locks thus will support the Jib adequately as it can support weights up to 25kgs.

I think I'll be shooting wide as I'll help damper my inexperience of Jib work and will hopefully help my produces some usable shots in the earlier days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Swanberg View Post
I have seen the beautiiful images Per Johan has gotten with his, and that encouraged me to give it a go.
Ditto! It was seeing a couple of Per Johan's videos especially the STRIX NEBULOSA that has inspired me to try!

Thanks for all your responses which has helped and guided me too getting the right Jib Very much appreciated!
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Old January 27th, 2009, 06:03 AM   #11
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Glad you've taken the plunge. look forward to seeing your work.
cheers john
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Old January 27th, 2009, 06:31 AM   #12
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It's ordered just waiting for it to arrive! I've not used anything like this so it'll probably take some practice to get usable footage from it. Will post my first efforts for advice and critique once I'm past the extremely embarrassing stage! Practice makes prefect as they say!
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Old January 28th, 2009, 07:09 AM   #13
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Good & economical crane / jib

I have a small jib built by glideshot. It limited in size but a great product. index

I have used it with a full sized HD camera (Panasonic HDX900) with good results.

I would recommend checking out this product along with their other items. I also have two camera dollies they produce, both work really well.

David

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Old January 29th, 2009, 05:56 PM   #14
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Hi David,

Thanks for the link! Interesting site!

However I have already placed my order with Hague which as apparently has been shipped today so I should have by Tuesday next week (I live on an Island!)! Iíve tried a friendís which has worked very well and Iím more than happy!

I suppose the only thing for me now is to practice, practice, practice and practice! Iíll post some footage once Iíve gotten the hang of it!
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Old January 31st, 2009, 06:18 AM   #15
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Well I've received my Jib and have assembled in my living room just to check it out (can't actually use it in there though!!!) as it's blowing a gale outside! Hopefully the wind will drop sometime this week so I can get out and try it!

First impressions though is - it's an awesome bit of kit! Thanks once again to all of you for your input and advice!

Happy shooting,

Paul
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