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Old June 3rd, 2004, 07:01 AM   #1
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CobraCrane 2 weight mystery...?

Hi guys. I'm currently looking for a cheap and portable jib that can carry a 11 lbs stripped down Sony HDW 750P (HDCAM) for a few simple action shots on a low budget movie that starts shooting next month.

Promax says the crane can carry 25 lbs. When you order the crane you also have to order the monting bracket designed for Bogen 501 and 503 heads. The Bogen heads are designed to carry 13.2 lbs max.

...?

Am I supposed to load 25 lbs on a 13.2 lbs and hope it works and I don't kill the head? The crane is double the highest recommended weight on the head. How do you guys do this? Is there a workaround. Can I use another head? The simple design of the CobraCrane 2 would work perfectly for me on the shots I'm planning (they require the ability to tilt the head to at least +70 degrees). The shots are designed for a very tight set where I can't get an operator next to the camera and a hot head is to expensive and takes too much time to rig.
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 11:24 PM   #2
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Well the good news is the cobra crane will tilt all by itself. The simple L brackets on the head and tripod mount will bend and the boom will twist. Makes Dutch angles very nicely. And it really really oscillates during moves.

Buy something else. The only way that crane will hold 25 pounds is if it is flat on the ground. It doesn't work very well at all with my PD150.

The crane (of whatever brand) places massive loads on your tripod. I'd not use anything very light at all.
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Old June 4th, 2004, 12:06 AM   #3
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Yep. You use a different tripod and a different tripod head.

Don't forget to include the 10-35 pounds of counterweight you'll need in your tripod load calculations.
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Old June 4th, 2004, 10:32 AM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback guys.

So here's my follow up question: If you don't use the bracket sold by Promax (that are designed for the Bogen heads) - where do you get a bracket that fits a bigger head??? A "U" bracket for the CobraCrane 2 and not an "L" bracket typical to CobraCrane 1.

And I was under the impression that the tilt of the camera is produced by the tilt in the head. Can you really tilt the camera without tilting the head that holds the crane? If that's the case you don't really have to wear and tear the springs or fluid in your head but just use a regular support that can hold a lot more than any fluid head.

Any crane in any situation has to be a 100% leveled to work properly. That goes for steadicam and dollies too. I've niticed that a lot of people shooting demos with lower end cranes that they put up on web pages doesn't seem to realize that. The goal is to make the camera "weightless" if you want somewhat professional results. You shold be able to move the camera by just pushing slightly with your fingertips. If there is any musscle work in there you've done it all wrong.
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Old June 4th, 2004, 11:53 AM   #5
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"If you don't use the bracket sold by Promax (that are designed for the Bogen heads) - where do you get a bracket that fits a bigger head??? A 'U' bracket for the CobraCrane 2 and not an 'L' bracket typical to CobraCrane 1."

The U bracket comes with the Crane--is part of the crane--and is simply a steel U with a hole drilled in it. The Bogen head plate screws on and off as desired. Just stick on the plate that corresponds to your particular tripod.

"And I was under the impression that the tilt of the camera is produced by the tilt in the head. Can you really tilt the camera without tilting the head that holds the crane?"

No, you can't tilt the camera mounted at the end of the crane without tilting the tripod head.

"If there is any muscle work in there you've done it all wrong."

Unforunately, there's always muscle work involved in the tilting of the camera if you use the Cobra Crane.
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Old June 4th, 2004, 12:02 PM   #6
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"The Bogen head plate screws on and off as desired."

Thanks a lot that's really helpful since I can't seem get an answer from Promax.

"Unforunately, there's always muscle work involved in the tilting of the camera if you use the Cobra Crane."

Yeah, that's understandable since you depend on the head mechanism for that motion. I was more refering to the motion of the actual crane arm. Up and down in this case since the sideway motion also depend on the head (wich is not that good but still workable).
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