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Old September 6th, 2010, 05:40 PM   #1
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What have we done to our equipment?

I didn't post this to start a discussion about Camera Support equipment. There's a forum for that.

I wanted to post this to engender a wider discussion of what we're doing to ourselves in terms of making our overall jobs SO MUCH more difficult with the current tinker-toy approach to videography.

When I saw this rig in the background of a news clip, I started laughing and just couldn't stop myself.

Back when these rigs first came out, I rented and took one of them with my on an out of state shoot with my then new 5dMkii and ended up leaving the whole mess in the car, simply because I couldn't afford the time necessary to build the tinkertoys into a useful shooting rig in actual field conditions.

Why, oh why I ask myself, are we making this so hard.

Particularly when it looks like the camera in the photo isn't even a DSLR, but a perfectly capable camcorder in it's own right.

Anyone in the forum want to try to explain this thinking - or better yet, maybe we should have a contest to see who can post a photo of the MOST outlandish "swiss army knife" rig?

I bet there's someone here clever enough to hook up solar power and maybe incorporate running water into their handheld unit?

Discuss among yourselves.
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Old September 6th, 2010, 05:46 PM   #2
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Sorry, messed up the picture post that makes sense of this.

Trying again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Davis View Post
I didn't post this to start a discussion about Camera Support equipment. There's a forum for that.

I wanted to post this to engender a wider discussion of what we're doing to ourselves in terms of making our overall jobs SO MUCH more difficult with the current tinker-toy approach to videography.

When I saw this rig in the background of a news clip, I started laughing and just couldn't stop myself.

Back when these rigs first came out, I rented and took one of them with my on an out of state shoot with my then new 5dMkii and ended up leaving the whole mess in the car, simply because I couldn't afford the time necessary to build the tinkertoys into a useful shooting rig in actual field conditions.

Why, oh why I ask myself, are we making this so hard.

Particularly when it looks like the camera in the photo isn't even a DSLR, but a perfectly capable camcorder in it's own right.

Anyone in the forum want to try to explain this thinking - or better yet, maybe we should have a contest to see who can post a photo of the MOST outlandish "swiss army knife" rig?

I bet there's someone here clever enough to hook up solar power and maybe incorporate running water into their handheld unit?

Discuss among yourselves.
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What have we done to our equipment?-overrig-rig.jpg  
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Old September 6th, 2010, 06:54 PM   #3
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Bill,

It seems people are always trying to make things better, at least in their own minds eye. I am guilty of this to some degree, and every now and then tell myself to: "Leran how to use the gear you have, then when that is mastered (may never happen) then move onward."

Of course then there is not being able to afford what youd like, getting what you can and then upscaling it as you can afford it. It probably would have been better to take a loan and get the goods!

Of late I have been looking at Nano flash, HUMmmmmm..?????


look forward to see some other replys.
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Old September 7th, 2010, 03:03 AM   #4
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I'm sure some of it comes down to the looking "pro" thing and then there also some who just enjoy creating stuff. I've seen some ridiculous looking rigs, built from HV20s and similar small cameras, that wouldn't look out of place at a NASA observatory.

When you need to work fast and change between shooting styles on the go, then these rigs can be really cumbersome. I'm using modified tripod parts as a DSLR handheld rig, which serves me well for that purpose, but this can be complete overkill in some situations.
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Old September 7th, 2010, 03:23 AM   #5
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Much as I love this forum it can play it's part in this by 'persuading' people that what they've got isn't good enough which normally means adding something else into the audio / video chain to improve it (lenses, filters, mics, mixers, xlr adapters etc. etc.). I do wonder if those who use all these things at once either have lots of assistants or work in very controlled conditions because if one is moving fast or in challenging outdoor environments a camera and a mic is about all one can really cope with in a hurry (and working solo) and much else actually *prevents* getting good, spontaneous, dynamic footage. The picture looks like someone working solo who is trying to take all the advice on board and in a practical sense the rig he's got is the only way to do it.
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Old September 7th, 2010, 06:11 AM   #6
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I admit to building out a crazy rig like that, partly because B&H was so close to my apartment. Used the rig once on an indie film in Brooklyn, then reality smacked me upside the head and I retired the rig the very same day. Sold everything off and just went back the basics. I think part of the impulse to do something like that is ... I was fearful I might miss something without some little doodad or doohickey attached to the rig, but then I found out, in reality, your more likely to miss a bunch of shots with a rig like that, especially when you lose the flexibility to setup & adjust shots quickly.
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Old September 10th, 2010, 09:53 AM   #7
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I like tinkering, and have built a lot of different things, that should have helped me do what I want.

Guess where most of it is sitting.... still in the box where my camera should be, but now can't because it's full of this stuff.

The camera gets used, as is, and does a great job, as is, well almost. I do add one or two tinker toys, but they are very basic and get the job done, and I don't look like the Terminator, with the flesh off.

I just love to build, and that's why I have a box full of parts and plans, just waiting to become something useful.
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Old September 10th, 2010, 11:04 PM   #8
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Yeah that must be what it is, early exposure to Legos and Tinker Toys.
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Old September 11th, 2010, 12:48 AM   #9
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That's nothing... you should see Charles Papert's Steadicam 1DmkIV rig. :)
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Old September 11th, 2010, 07:23 AM   #10
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I think it is mandatory that anyone entering the moving image business (video, film, acetate whatever) be a tinkerer and must have built at least 2 viavle projects using either tinker toys, lincoln logs or an erector set. While some here may not be old enough to remember these particular products believe me for many of us they were the start of our latter year tinkering with our kits. For years I kept tinkering with any part of my gear that just didn't "feel" right. With all the little parts I have laying around I might be able to build a new bridge somewhere. Yes it would be a small one but still...

Tinkerers of the world...UNITE and TINKER AWAY!
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Old September 11th, 2010, 09:42 AM   #11
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Sometimes when I tinker, I wind up with a real stinker!
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