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Old September 23rd, 2004, 07:25 AM   #1
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Camera Cranes

Any thoughts on this?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=3841382996&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT

Any recommendations on cranes in this ballpark?

I'm looking for one - thanks
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Old September 25th, 2004, 10:07 AM   #2
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This looks like it could do the job just fine. One thing though, the motorized mount looks like something they use on security cameras, which means it's probably pretty slow moving. I'm working on a motorized head for Volume II of my book "Killer Camera Rigs that you can build", and even if you build a good cinema motorized head yourself, it's not cheap! So I would consider if you think the crane is worth the price without the motorized mount. Otherwise, a crane is a crane. The physics of the things are all basically the same.

Dan
www.DVcameraRigs.com
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Old September 28th, 2004, 11:16 PM   #3
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<<<-- Originally posted by Dan Selakovich : Otherwise, a crane is a crane. The physics of the things are all basically the same.

Dan
www.DVcameraRigs.com -->>>

Oh not so, Dan. You can get some really bad cranes that twist and bend and misbehave. I know because I have one.
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Old September 29th, 2004, 06:45 AM   #4
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Mike - which one do you have?
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Old September 29th, 2004, 09:33 AM   #5
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Hi Mike,

Yikes! Sorry to hear that. I've never experienced a twisting crane. How could this be? Twisting in what way? I just can't picture it, and now I'm curious as a cat. Did you put more than the recommended weight on it? Is it made of rubber?

Dan
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Old September 29th, 2004, 10:58 AM   #6
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Hello Mike,

Bob Jones here, owner of Skycrane mini-DV camera jibs.

Mike, if you have questions that need to be answered in regards to mini-DV camera cranes, I'd be delighted to try and answer those questions.

The Best...
Bob Jones
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Old September 29th, 2004, 11:13 AM   #7
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Hi Bob, I know there are a few Mike's on this thread but at any
rate - I'm researching these things as much as possible. My interest lies in a 14ft arm, holding an XL2, sitting on Bogen sticks, I like the motorized pan head idea and will be mounting an lcd monitor, (hopefully powered by battery) near the operating handles. Some say lesser expensive ones are ok, some say not.
I'll definitely use one just not enough to justify a high end one right now. Seems the standard motorized pan head out there is the Bescor MP-101, it was thought that it only has one slow speed, my research reveals that it's adjustable but only slow to slower, not that quick pans on these rigs are necessary anyhow. Take me to school on this I'm listening. Thanks
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Old September 29th, 2004, 11:51 AM   #8
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Hello again Mike,

I'm now offering a jib dubbed the "Moonraker" it's a 13' jib that comes cable trussed top and side. It also comes standard with a "Vertical Drag" and "Horizontal Brake".

Yes, I'm familiar with the Bescor pan/tilt. They are inexpensive and they will work with the lighter cameras. They don't work very well with cameras weighing much over four or five pounds.

We have also developed a pan-head dubbed the SKY-PANhead. It offers 360 degrees of rotation in either direction at varying speeds up to 3.4 RPM.
Its battery powered and is remotely controlled via a control box that can be attached to the side of the jib.

Unfortunately, neither of these can be seen on my web site, I've not had the time to up-grade the site.

Mike,if you like, I can send you some pictures of the jib and pan-head.

You can reach me a bob@skycrane.com or direct at (949)631-6065

The Best...
Bob
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Old September 29th, 2004, 12:21 PM   #9
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Bob, please do, send them to m1best@gmail.com - thanks
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Old September 29th, 2004, 12:34 PM   #10
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hi michael,
sorry to intrude, one question for bob. what is the maximum load does this crane carry?

ed
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Old September 29th, 2004, 12:39 PM   #11
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Intrude? Great question!
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Old September 29th, 2004, 01:59 PM   #12
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Hello Ed,

Sorry for the delay in reply, it's not often I have the time during the day to get on the computer.

Ed, all of the Skycrane models are a bit under-rated in terms of weight capacities. Their advertised weight capacity is seven to ten pounds, however off the record, they will support twelve to fourteen pounds comfortably.

I've heard of one client mounting a Sony HD cam on the early model Skycrane Premiere. The Camera weighing in at twenty-four pounds??? Not recommended...


Cheers...
Bob
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Old September 29th, 2004, 05:36 PM   #13
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<<<-- Originally posted by Michael Best : Mike - which one do you have? -->>>

Cobra Crane with the extension package.

Beam twists, the L-brackets on both ends bend under the weight of a PD-150. It oscillates in a mild breeze.

You sometimes don't get what you pay for and the vendor tells you in the literature packet that comes with the crane that they don't allow returns. Not that I wouldn't have anyway but I needed the crane right then so I kept it.

Works very nicely with my PC-110!
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Old September 29th, 2004, 09:23 PM   #14
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Hi Mike,

No kidding? Damn. ProMax is usually pretty on the ball. I'm sometimes accused of over-engineering things. My replay is always: better to over-do it than under!

Maybe a really butch tripod would help with the vibration. You can also put an eye-bolt on each end of the boom. Attach a 3 foot piece of steel running straight up from the boom near the half-way point with an eye-bolt in the top. Run some cable through one eye-bolt on the camera end, through the eye-bolt on the 3' steel, then back down to the eye-bolt on the weight end. Put a turn-buckle somewhere in the length of cable. Tighten the turn-buckle untill the cable is tight. This will help support the extension and make the whole boom stronger. Make sense? If not, e-mail me through my web site, and I'll shoot you some photos.

Since you can't return it, you might as well to find a way to make it work!

Dan
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Old September 29th, 2004, 09:40 PM   #15
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<<<-- Originally posted by Dan Selakovich : Hi Mike,

No kidding? Damn. ProMax is usually pretty on the ball. I'm sometimes accused of over-engineering things. My replay is always: better to over-do it than under!

Maybe a really butch tripod would help with the vibration.

Dan
www.DVcameraRigs.com -->>>

No it won't. Got the really hefty tripod. The problem is the rectangular cross-section of the boom that is lozenging. It either needs bulkheads or, as you suggest, external triangulation. And the triangulation won't really stop the twist. Perhaps a really hard foam fill or a solid balsa fill would help.

The best boom cross-section would be a round tube which would remove most of the twist. I suppose a round Carbon Fiber tube would be best.

And the simple L-shaped brackets that ProMax uses to mount the boom to the tripod and the camera to the boom also bend. So with all three major structural elements bending, it is no wonder that the entire system shakes, oscillates and generally misbehaves.

But really, (LOL) indoors with a PC-110 it works OK. Outdoors is another matter.

I wrote ProMax about the issues and they never bothered to acknowledge the communication. I won't buy anything from them and I won't recommend them to anyone.

The solution is to donate it to the local community college and go make my own.

Thanks for the offer of help. But this one is helpless.
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