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Old June 8th, 2010, 05:21 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Bristol, CT (Home of EPSN)
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Looking for tips on using a jib

What advice would you suggest to someone who just bought a jib? What common mistakes do you see in jib shots?
Paul Cascio
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Old June 8th, 2010, 09:45 AM   #2
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Hi Paul,

Congrats on the new jib! What brand did you get?

I currently have the Kessler Crane with the 5ft and 8ft extensions. I mount it on a Libec tripod, but I really need a sturdier one. And I use a Kessler fluid head (non-tilt, pan only).

I also have an LCD monitor that I occasionally mount, but most times find unneccesary, or I'm too much in a hurry to add it on.

Unfortunately, I don't use the crane/jib enough (especially lately, when working on a year long project, and using other people's equipment). But, in my experience, a few suggestions for you is to try to achieve as "perfect" a balance on your jib (with the weights, camera, and all accessories loaded up) as you can. The second, is to get a really good and sturdy tripod!

And of course, practice, practice, and more practice :)

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Old June 8th, 2010, 07:12 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Bristol, CT (Home of EPSN)
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Sorry, didn't mean to imply that I bought already, but I've been thinking about it a lot. :) I was hoping for pointers to get a sense of the learning curve and to avoid common mistakes.

Paul Cascio
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Old June 9th, 2010, 12:57 AM   #4
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With a modest length jib, the biggest hurdle to overcome is moving the job at the same time as the camera. Out of the box, you'll get some great images just by getting the balance right and then using finger tip pressure to start and stop swings, and then the same in the vertical axis. getting used to the inertia takes a while too, and all this before you even attempt to pan/tilt and zoom the camera.

Mine doesn't have a huge reach, and I can just touch the pan head stretching up. I've got a remote pan/tilt head, but it's not brilliant, starts and stops just a little too jerky for comfort, and the maximum speed is a bit low. I saw the videos on the EZ FX site and they have a neat parallel underneath pan bar facing forwards. This made me think, and I replaced my usual pan bar, with a longer tube, with handy bend, and with this facing forwards rather than to the rear, I can pan and tilt from the front, underneath! Most of my use is more akin to moving a tripod around smoothly, rather than the common swooping jib stuff, and all you really need is time and practice.
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Old June 10th, 2010, 11:00 AM   #5
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Location: Nashville, TN
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I have a Kessler 8ft crane with the K Pod system and Hercules head. I love it. What I have discovered is that while you can get some really cool shots by panning and tilting the camera head by hand while operating the crane from the front, to really reap the full benefits of a crane / jib you need a remotely controlled pan tilt head and they cost $$$$. That is my next investment. Either the Kessler Revolution heaad with the Oracle controller ($1800_ or most likely due to budget the Cine City Proaim Indian knockoff of a popular pan tilt head for only about $850 delivered.
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Old June 13th, 2010, 12:01 PM   #6
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
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I have a Kessler Crane 8/12 ft. with K Pod and Pt-20 remote head.

These cranes take a little getting used to, as they tend to have a jiggle when moved to quickly or changing directions...with some practice it isn't an issue. Balance the crane properly and don't try to force the crane to move too quickly or your shots will be garbage.

My suggestion would be to get a remote head. And if you do get one that has a high weight capacity. The Pt-20 is fine, but I can't use it with my Redrock M2e + Ex3 as it goes over the weight limit.

Get a monitor, either a good HD monitor or if budget doesn't allow grab a 15-19" monitor from Best Buy (sort of bulky but does the trick for a fraction of the price of a 7" HD monitor).

Jibs are a great tool, but the price can add up quickly when you add all of the accessories that are needed to operate it properly (remote head, remote lens control, monitor, cables, weights, good tripod).
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Old June 13th, 2010, 12:14 PM   #7
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Depending on size of job and the weight it's handling:

Make sure your tripod is sufficiently strong and make sure it's properly seated so the legs don't slip and topple the whole lot over
Move slowly during the shots, quick jib shots tend to look a bit naff
If you can get a jib with a sliding counterbalance weight it's a big help to getting perfect balance

I've got a Hague Multi Jib which goes to about 4m and handles a full size HDCam etc. To balance this at full extension requires about 40kg of counterbalance weight. So this, plus the weight of the jib and the camera must add up to around 70kg hence the need for beefy tripod. I use Sachtler EFP2CF carbon legs. These have twist leg locks rather than flip lock clamps, which is good as these clamps can slip. I've never had this rig slip yet, but do have nightmares about it happening!

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Old June 14th, 2010, 12:49 AM   #8
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Ah, leg slippage................

A possibility with any standard friction lock tripod, over stress the locks and they must, sooner or later, just let go.

Apart from the dedicated jib stands available (of which there are a few) there is another contender, designed for the job, which can do double duty as the "tripod from hell/ heaven" should the need arise.

"Hell" as it is a guaranteed hernia creator of pretty major proportions.

"Heaven" as it has leg lock pins that simply cannot be sheared, bent or otherwise fail. When I say "pins", they actually slide through a hole in the outer leg tube, through another hole (one of many) in the inner leg tube and out again through another hole in the outer tube.

The pins are about 1/4" in diameter which is the equivalent of 4 X 6" nails, shear strength, at a guess, 5 tons (each, and I think that's conservative)!

Much as I hestitate to put anything Manfrotto forward for anyone's considerastion, ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Manfrotto 528XB.

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

Those with a eagle eye will note that in the USA's rather litigious market they are only rated to 50 kg (110 lbs or thereabouts), everywhere else in the known universe it's 110 Kg (220 lbs or thereabouts) and I do truly believe you can triple that without risk of personal injury (but hey, mount it on a dolly and let it go, don't blame me for the resulting carnage!).

I have one and it's built like a Sherman tank ( and almost as dificult to lift) but hey, I can sling my fully configured Hague jib on it and it doesn't utter even a murmer (and that is one big mother of a jib in full rigout, maybe 110 kilos [240 lbs]).

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Old June 14th, 2010, 10:59 AM   #9
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I use the 528 for my Hague MultiJib too. It's had some comments before from other Pros. It is a monster! But really cheap IMO.

I run mine on a large Vinten tripod dolly 114, but it needs straps to keep it on. I need to get something added to the Vinten 114 to make it like a Manfrotto 114.
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