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Old February 19th, 2013, 09:26 AM   #1
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Showing my naivete re: zoom?

I'm an OMB, and rarely can afford to pay for help. I suspect I'm not alone in always being on the lookout for something that would make a shoot go easier/quicker. Despite that, these may seem like silly questions, but here goes:

I don't want to start a thread about the low level of pay involved in these shoots, but I've been getting more work of late shooting brief promotional web spots for businesses, (I've shot approx. 150 over the past couple of years), or relatively static shots of talking heads; in general, there's little or no movement of the talent, and most shots have the tripod locked-down. I shoot mostly with either a Panny HMC-150 or HVX-200. When on a shoot and rehearsing a zoom shot, I determine what I want to be my zoom start and end points, but after rehearsing, when actually recording the shot, I have difficulty ending at the exact zoom point I want.

If I zoom "manually" (with the ring), the zoom is often slower than I want. If I zoom with the rocker-arm/button, I have lots of difficulty hitting my exact end-point. I also have a Varizoom remote PZFI control for each cam, but that doesn't help me hit the exact end-point I want.

It would be so helpful if either the camera or the PZFI/zoom remote allowed me to set a min and max zoom number, either in feet, meters, or zoom number, so all I'd have to do is touch a button at the right time and the zoom would begin and end at the numbers/distances I set.

Am I overlooking a feature of either of these cameras or maybe the PFZI unit?
Is there any way/device through/with which I can set a minimum and maximum zoom level for my shots?
Would adding such a feature to cams put their price out of reach?
Are there aftermarket devices that would provide the control assistance I seek?

I invite all informative/helpful responses.

Thanks.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 07:57 AM   #2
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Re: Showing my naivete re: zoom?

i've seen an article on line for a DIY zoom remote for the HMC40 (probably would work for other panasonic's) that might do what you want. basically, the zoom is controlled by a voltage that comes from a potentiometer. the article i saw had two pots and a toggle switch; you'd set the first zoom point with one pot, the second zoom point with the other pot, then throw the switch to go from one zoom point to the other. as i recall, the camera zoomed smoothly between the two points.

dont know where i saw the article off hand, but i'm sure you could find it if you search for "DIY remote" and your model number.

let us know if you find the article.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 09:09 AM   #3
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Re: Showing my naivete re: zoom?

Hi Denis

Look and you will see a DIY remote I built for my HMC82's which will also work with all Pannys that have the two remote jacks in the camera. The zoom purely works on resistance so you could, in theory organise it with fixed resistors so it would only zoom to a specified point. Might be a hit and miss testing procedure though!! The way it works is somewhere around the middle of the potentiometer is a null point which stops the zoom ...as you increase/decrease resistance either way it either zooms in or out BUT only stops if you return to the null point...problem is that the resistance applied controls speed not distance so if you simply switch in a resistor it will zoom very fast until it hits full wide or full tele .... to control actual zoom would be a timing circuit so if you balance the resistance so the zoom is at the null point and then apply a resistance one way or the other with a precision timer the zoom in theory would zoom for "x" seconds and then stop....Possible but very tricky sadly as the "circuit" wouldn't know where the zoom was previously so it would always have to be a zoom from full wide (or tele)

Chris
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Old February 20th, 2013, 12:26 PM   #4
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Re: Showing my naivete re: zoom?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
a DIY remote I built for my HMC82's which will also work with all Pannys that have the two remote jacks in the camera.
Hi Chris,

For the benefit of our readership, can you please post this info directly to our forum? Thanks in advance!
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Old February 20th, 2013, 06:43 PM   #5
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Re: Showing my naivete re: zoom?

Sorry Chris

I found the original UK article and circuits below :

http://www.beyondmonochrome.co.uk/ma...les/remote.pdf

This will take you to a saveable file with details and photos from the original author

Chris
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Old February 20th, 2013, 06:57 PM   #6
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Re: Showing my naivete re: zoom?

Thanks, guys.
It's been decades since I dabbled in any electronics assembly, but I'll check it out. I can handle a soldering iron, but it's piecing it together that would slow me down.

Am wondering now if one of the famous Arduino boards could do the job.

Is it just me, or would this be helpful to others? It seems like something that could, in the right situation, be helpful to many.

Thanks again.
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