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Old August 25th, 2010, 12:03 PM   #1
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Panning and Zooming

I did a search of the archives and cannot find an answer to my question, "Is there and article someone can refer me to the is a good tutorial on the proper technique to learning how to simultaneously pan and zoom?"

I am using a Canon XH-A1 or a Canon HV-20 with a Manfrotto 701RC tripod head and a Canon ZR-2000 Remote Zoom Controller.

I am shooting aircraft as they approach, cross, and depart my position. I realize I need to get a counter balanced head to mount the camera on. Stepping over the tripod leg to track the aircraft results in unacceptable camera movement. The other part of that is zooming out as the aircraft approaches and zooming back in as it departs... all while tracking.

Any suggestions?
Thanks!
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Old August 25th, 2010, 12:28 PM   #2
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The best way to get better is to practice. A lot. Then when you are good enough, practice some more. The trick is to get a feel for your head and zoom controller so that it becomes second nature. Like knowing the clutch on a stick-shift car.
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Old August 25th, 2010, 01:13 PM   #3
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The technique is one thing, but a proper fluid head with adjustable drag will make it a lot easier.

Before I got my Sachtler, I had to use the rubber band trick to get smooth pans... which made it almost impossible for me to zoom at the same time! I can now (just about) do a pan, tilt and zoom at the same time and make it look decent.

Different folks, different skills... Maybe I'm too big and clumsy, and a steadier, more nimble hand would do OK with these smaller fluid-effect heads.
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Old August 25th, 2010, 02:17 PM   #4
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Is there a photo depicting "the rubber band trick" anywhere on this site?

I would be interested in trying it. My goal is to get a counterbalanced head, but that is going to take some research.

Also, I have found that using the superinposed grid pattern in the viewfinder helps me keep the object centered. Any other suggestions to do with on-screen/monitor tracking assistance?
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Old August 25th, 2010, 04:27 PM   #5
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yep, lots and lots and lots of practice. Practice make permanent so the more you practice the more the muscle memory kicks in.

As for the rubber band trick, take a decently thick band place it over the pan handle of the head. Use the band by placing your thumb and fore finger around the band and as you pull the band in whatever direction the handle will follow. Again this technique needs to be practice over and over. I used to use this trick until a rubber band that was stretched pretty far broke. Man that hurt. Now I just try to use a light touch and for the most part it works out but the rubber ban really does work.
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