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Old January 10th, 2007, 12:37 PM   #1
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Focus, pull out, pan and focus (all at the same time)

Just got back from a shoot where I was asked to focus on a swan 30 foot away, then pull out and pan to the presenter, and then have him in focus as he talks to the camera.

After initial fluster I planned to focus on the presenter, remember its dof, move back to the swan, press record and then just adjust the focus while zooming/panning until i hit his dof.

Unfortuantely the Z1 doesn't show the dof number on the screen while zooming at the same time. i ended up judging by what i saw and a bit of guess work. it worked but are there any better tips on doing this?

Also, i ended up panning with my elbows because my hands were adjusting the focus and zoom. i presume one of those tripod handle controls would get round this - any good ones for the Z1?

Any help greatly appreciated!
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Old January 10th, 2007, 01:17 PM   #2
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A LANC controller might help, but there are some issues on the Z1 unfortunately: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=55047

Have you experimented with the shot transition function on the Z1? If you have the time to program it, I'd think it could help in this sort of situation.
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Old January 10th, 2007, 01:17 PM   #3
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It depends on your tripod head, if you have a Manfrotto, you could use a Manfrotto 523PRO, see http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...s=t&shs=523PRO

I have two of them on two tripods running a Z1U and an FX1 and I love them except for the zoom not being slow enough, but that's a Sony issue as discussed some place else on the Z1U/FX1 forum.
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Old January 10th, 2007, 01:35 PM   #4
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Unfortunatly or fortunatly I have a Sachtler tripod. Are there any LANC controls for that? Would the manfrotto not work?

I remember seeing that thread you've both linked to. I'm not quite sure on the zoom speeds mentioned, whether that would have worked for me or not, but i definately like the look of it.

I've been practising on the shot transition, but in this case...wind, cold,...i wasn't up to speed on doing it quick enough.
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Old January 10th, 2007, 03:13 PM   #5
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Dear Neil,

There are many LANC controllers that will work with your tripod. Search for Varizoom or just LANC controler.

Most LANC controllers just clamp onto your tripod control arm.

The Manfrotto unit mentioned above is built into the tripod control arm and thus you replace your control arm with the Manfrotto control arm/LANC controller one.
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Old January 10th, 2007, 08:45 PM   #6
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Neil,

You may already be aware of this, but some cameras allow you to set your focus (on your subject) and store that temporarily. You can then focus on something else (the swan) and with a push of a button, your camera will return to the preset focus (your subject), often at a preset speed.

I know this doesn't help with your particular camera or in this particular case, but just in case your weren't aware, and you believe you may be asked or want to do something similar again, you might want to beg, borrow or steal (just joking), a camera that will do this for you.

There may be a lanc controller that allows you to do the same thing, but I am not aware of any that do this. With all of the lanc controllers I am familiar with, you will be faced with trying to hit your mark manually.

If someone knows of a lanc that has a preset focus option, I would be curious to know about it.
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Old January 10th, 2007, 09:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse Redman
You may already be aware of this, but some cameras allow you to set your focus (on your subject) and store that temporarily.
Actually this is what we were discussing above with the "shot transition" feature which Neil's camera (the Sony HVR-Z1) does have. It lets you store a number of parameters in two memories and then execute a smooth transition between them. But as Neil says, it takes some practice and trial/error to get the desired results. It is better suited to something you can rehearse instead of shooting a live event where you only have one chance to get it right....
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Old January 14th, 2007, 11:22 AM   #8
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Is there anything in particular i should look for in a LANC controller?

I tried one that allows you to set a consistant speed, but its kind of fiddly to set - you have to hold down a seperate button when you push the lever to the acquired speed. I'd imagine/hope there might be easier systems out there.
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