Steady Cam Flyer/RedRock Follow Foucus Review at DVinfo.net

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Old August 11th, 2006, 05:22 AM   #1
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Steady Cam Flyer/RedRock Follow Foucus Review

Been very busy. a few weeks ago i did some test Shooting with the HVX/M2/Stedy cam flyer. Now wile shooting time-lapse in Sedona I have some time to report. Since the first Test shooting I've done 3 more shoots with the Flyer/m2/HVX combo and 5 more shoots with the Follow focus.

The test spec footage montage is here

http://files.filefront.com/test_foot.../fileinfo.html


or

streaming Flash here

http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fu...=919061900&n=2



Red Rock Follow focus Review


PROS::
Cheap Amazing for under $600 smooth and Acurate
Works with any Still/hvx lens
arri Style hole fits Whips


CONS
Lag in Gear to Focus knob


the Worst is the Lag, a moment after you move the Knob but before the gear moves. My AC (Amish Jim) would have to “set” the Direction the rack was going to be in. The Lag in the Gear can be a real big Pain expressly on small racks back and forth and on Auto focus lenses or Macro Lenses. I talked with the Red rock guys and they Said there lag is better than the competition witch may be true but it still really hurts. I think the problem is in the gearing to the Lens. The ratio makes it very noticeable on Some lenses. if the ratio between the Follow focus and lens where changes so it would be a smaller movement the Lag wouldn't be as much of an issue. Racking on the still lenses worked great except on my Auto focus lens the Direction was changed so on the LA side of Camera forward went backward. It takes a sec for you to make sure you don't over tighten the Gear up into the lens making it harder to rack. But after testing that all the lenses moved really smooth. I also didn't get 2 screws shipped to me to tighten up the FF on to the Rods so I Home depoted some…The fact that the ring doesn’t come off is not really a problem, just not what I’m used to.

Conclusion

I always Say
“Sometimes you get what you paid for… but the rest of the time you get a great Deal.”

Having the FF instead of racking on the Lenses yourself can be a god send. The red rock follow focus is an Amazing deal at a 3rd of the cost of the only competitor that I know of. It would be perfect if not for the Lag. But with the Lag there is room for improvement.




Steady Cam Flyer Review
I was Directing/DP not operator, but from my point of view here is my review

PROS:
Its Only 6 GRand!
works well with M2/Hvx combo handled the weight great
great movement Professional Arm
good LCD

CONS:
Its 6 ****ing Grand!
Can't run SD and HD out of HVX sucks
takes a wile to re balance after every lens change
Focus is hard to impossible with out a whip or Bartek/fiz solution


It took a long time the first time to get Balanced with the M2/FF/HVX and even just a small 50mm prime. But Eventually even with my 14mm Sigma (witch is huge). it balanced out great. my Steady cam guy Michael sSy recommends getting the Longer base plate its an additional $490 he doesn’t have it but if he did changing lenses would be quicker re balance. Focus is really hard even with a whip the Ac can ruin the balance of the Shot, we did it on one shoot it was better than just man handling the lens. The lag in the FF aculy helps because of a liitle buffer between you moving and the Lens moving. I made my own Wireless Follow focus unit and we tested it on my 14mm and it worked great but I custom made it just for that lens and have to keep re working it so it will work with all lenses. and I designed it so that it would better balance the camera By putting the Weight of the Battery/controler/Reciver to balance out the Lens and the Follow focus knob.

Conclusion
Compared to the Glide cam 4000 it’s a huge improvement and really the First Cheap (under 30,000) solution to HVX/M2. But I wish the Price tag was even remotely in the same ballpark. If you plan on doing Steady with the M2 you have to get a Remote Follow focus
unit.


VP

www.vincentpascoe.com

www.myspace.com/vincentpascoe
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Old August 11th, 2006, 10:10 AM   #2
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All good info; thanks for posting.

On the Flyer, a few thoughts:
Yeah, the longer plate is almost a 'must' if you're using the Redrock or something else hanging off the front of the camera.

Rebalancing any time you change anything on a camera is standard procedure on all Steadicams. After a while, you get pretty fast at it.

The built-in SD monitor (on the non-HD Flyers) is fine. Unfortunately, the SD composite out on the HVX sucks dead dog d!ck. It is beyond useless. So you're left with two options: the HD Flyer, which is $11k, or mounting a Marshall on the camera/rails and feeding the component HD output to it. You can even hang a Marshall instead of the standard Flyer monitor and hack together a cable to feed component down to the monitor, since we all get used to looking down while shooting. You just have to dress the cable carefully to avoid screwing up your balance.

In outdoor work, there's so much DOF on the HVX that I just eyeball focus using the feet/meters display on the viewfinder, and can get away with using the composite output. In trickier situations, it's essential to mount the Marshall for a focus puller (i.e., on the rails) or on the rig itself and use a remote focus control. Something like a Bartech would be great, but not if you're already freaked out at the $6k for a Flyer...they're very expensive. If you're careful, you can actually put a plug-in focus remote on the rig, and control with your right hand. It's not easy, but it can work on fairly simple shots.

The most annoying part of the monitoring is that you can only get component OR composite out from the HVX --not both at once... therefore, you can't feed HD component to a Marshall for your focus puller and still have SD composite out for the built-in Flyer monitor, just for framing as you fly the shot.
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Old August 11th, 2006, 12:49 PM   #3
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yeah we where useing the Flyer with the REdrock M2 device. and even on my 14mm Dof was always critical. so we had to with out the Bartek soultion make something work for foucus. sometimes I would rack so I could rack and reframe.

Need Wireless video out. ive seen a 1 ounce Video transmiter the one at Birns and Swayer...

on set in studio Ive done HD out of HVX into my 17' Panasonic and then SD out of the monitor back to a sd marshal on camera for AC. a lot of cables just to get around the fact that the HVX cant have 2 out puts at the same time.

VP
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Old August 11th, 2006, 01:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent Pascoe
yeah we where useing the Flyer with the REdrock M2 device. and even on my 14mm Dof was always critical. so we had to with out the Bartek soultion make something work for foucus. sometimes I would rack so I could rack and reframe.

Need Wireless video out. ive seen a 1 ounce Video transmiter the one at Birns and Swayer...

on set in studio Ive done HD out of HVX into my 17' Panasonic and then SD out of the monitor back to a sd marshal on camera for AC. a lot of cables just to get around the fact that the HVX cant have 2 out puts at the same time.

VP
Never thought of using the 17" like that... I guess I didn't realize it'd do an internal downconvert... I'll have to try that, since I have both monitors and a video transmitter. Thanks for the idea!
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Old August 11th, 2006, 09:45 PM   #5
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It even has an SDI out but I havent tested if it works yet. plus not shure if the added quality would be there affter coming out Componet



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