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Old May 13th, 2009, 08:36 PM   #1
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Crane/boom for overhead point down shot?

Before my message tells you this, I'm a newbie seeking wisdom from the knowledgeable folks who frequent this forum.

What I need to do is suspend a Canon XLH1 above a wood turning lathe with the camera looking straight down at the tool rest and the workpiece being turned. The tool rest is likely to be about four feet from the end of the lathe -- so I need about a five foot horizontal distance to keep the crane/boom out of the medium wide shot of the lathe and the talent I'll simultaneously be recording. The camera does not need to pan/tilt/dolly -- in fact I'd prefer if it was rock steady!

I need to do this in several different workshops so a ceiling mount is not really an option.

I'm obviously looking at some like the Kessler, but I'm concerned that (a) it might be a bit of an overkill as I don't need to pan/tilt the camera and (b) that the camera mount appears to be such that the camera will be quite low with respect to the crane head and might intrude into the medium wide shot.

I was also wondering about the Cobra Crane II -- which might work if I can get the tripod head up about six feet off the floor. (See CobraCrane II )

Alternatively the Manfrotto 025BS Super Boom might work if I use a custom 1/4" 20 mounting plate. The XLH1 weighs 8.3 lbs so, hopefully, the Super Boom will support the load.

Anyway, I was wondering whether some forum members could suggest alternative products beyond those which my research has turned up thus far?

Thanks in advance
Andy
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Old May 14th, 2009, 03:12 AM   #2
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Here's an alternative to a crane...
Have you considered mirrors? For cooking demonstrations they have a mirror mounted above the burner. From the audience's vantage point, you'll be able to see the demonstrator's face as he speaks, and you can tilt up and zoom into the lathe if you need to. The mirror doesn't have to be big. Even a small one mounted in a frame just above the lathe would suffice.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 02:43 PM   #3
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You will have to flip the image if you use a mirror. You could use a ladder. A light weight scaffold from a local tool rental shop.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 04:20 AM   #4
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I just thought of another way. You could use photo background stands, they're only about $100. They can go about 8' high, out of camera range.

Da-Lite | 42076 Background Stand System | 42076 | B&H Photo Video

Mount your camera with a C clamp to the horizontal bar.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 07:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren Kawamoto View Post
I just thought of another way. You could use photo background stands, they're only about $100. They can go about 8' high, out of camera range.

Da-Lite | 42076 Background Stand System | 42076 | B&H Photo Video

Mount your camera with a C clamp to the horizontal bar.
We've used a similar goal post arrangement with the large 2/3" cameras using a couple of heavy duty lighting stands (for large HMIs) and tubing for the horizontal beam. It works extremely well, you shouldn't have a problem with a smaller camera with a lighter arrangement although sand bagging the stands may be a good idea.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 02:40 PM   #6
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"I'm obviously looking at some like the Kessler, but I'm concerned that (a) it might be a bit of an overkill as I don't need to pan/tilt the camera and (b) that the camera mount appears to be such that the camera will be quite low with respect to the crane head and might intrude into the medium wide shot."

(a) You do not need pan/tilt YET.

(b) the mounting plate can be reversed and the camera mounted above the Kessler Crane.

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Old May 23rd, 2009, 01:33 PM   #7
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Height of sticks

The height of your sticks is also a consideration. If the tripod is high enough (I use a 528XB) then the Kessler is out of the medium shot,presuming you are shooting two cameras.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 01:59 PM   #8
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A mic boom arm is a really useful beast. With a knuckle joint and a bit of bodging, it's not too hard to mount a camera on one. Especially if the camera is a small tapeless one. I also put cameras above drum kits, looking down on the drummer, using an ordinary boom stand and a thread adaptor, or an old manfrotto head I've got in the store will fit onto the 3/8" thread on the stand.
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