Varizoom...how slow of a crawl? at DVinfo.net

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Old February 8th, 2004, 11:34 AM   #1
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Varizoom...how slow of a crawl?

Hi all,
I read the latest DV magazine and they were touting the various Zoom Controllers.

I was wondering exactly how slow can you zoom crawl with a Zoom controller on the DVX? Is it possible to get the ultra-slow stuff like in the movies? For example, the famous "cup of water" zooming scene in Jurassic Park? Ya know, those Hollywood slow crawls?

Thanks for any feedback.
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Old February 8th, 2004, 12:52 PM   #2
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It depends as much on the lens as the controller. The zoom servo motors on consumer and "prosumer" cameras have a limited number of steps. Remote controllers, such as the LANC protocol controllers for Canon and Sony cameras, are limited by both their communication protocol and by the capabilities of the device they're controlling, the servo.

You can get slow zooms from good prosumer cameras. But, in general, the slow creeps and crawls you see in theatrical releases are created by dolly or jib movements, not zoom lenses.
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Old February 8th, 2004, 03:23 PM   #3
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<<<-- Originally posted by Ken Tanaka :

You can get slow zooms from good prosumer cameras. But, in general, the slow creeps and crawls you see in theatrical releases are created by dolly or jib movements, not zoom lenses. -->>>

That is true, I totally forgot about that. Thanks! Maybe I should look into a Dolly....
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Old February 9th, 2004, 10:41 AM   #4
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Nick, if you feel a bit handy then I think you'll be pleased with this www.dvxuser.com/articles/Gizmo/ and my other tip for hyper slow zooms is to do them in post.

You can do the SLOWEST slow crawl easily in Premiere and probably in everything else.

When I was desperate to get the slowest crawl possible and I was trying to do it through a zoom controller I was surprised that nobody pointed out this obvious point. I was even more surprised at myself for overlooking it.
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Old February 9th, 2004, 11:04 AM   #5
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Nick - the dvx100a comes with a slower zoom option than on the dvx100. You can check out my post a few posts below this one called "some sample dvx100a stills and clip" or something like that. In the clip, I demonstrated how slow the zoom is on the 100a. Best of luck.
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Old February 9th, 2004, 06:15 PM   #6
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Nick,

I have a Varizoom with the dial speed control. The slowest crawl is very, very slow indeed. The only problem with it is that it tends to jump a bit occasionally...so for the slowest crawl shots I usually have to do several takes to ensure I've gotten a good smooth one.

I'm not sure if that's true to all Varizoom's or just mine.
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Old February 9th, 2004, 06:25 PM   #7
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Yes, my full-size Varizoom Pro-L (?) has this dial-a-speed that enables good variable rate control. (I've not noticed mine sputter but it's been a while since I've used it.)

Unfortunately, no such controller exists for the DVX100/A (since it does not license the LANC protocol). The StealthDVX and VZ-Rock-DVX are the controllers for this camera, neither of which features a speed dial.
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Old February 9th, 2004, 08:45 PM   #8
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Matt:

Wouldn't it be a last resort to do a zoom in post? The resolution loss would be pretty noticable, much like a digital zoom on consumer cams.
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Old February 9th, 2004, 09:26 PM   #9
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Here's a zoom I did in post:

Aztec Eagles (20mb)

Note: The uniform shots in the intro scene are the crawls I did in post with Premiere Pro. The quality looks excellent in the DVD format.
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Old February 10th, 2004, 05:20 PM   #10
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Nick

May I have permission to post the Aztec Eagles clip on another forum?

I was astounded. I've seen some pretty good stuff, I've seen some really good hollywood movie. This through me for a loop, wow. It moved me and that's hard, I'm really pickey and I've seen a lot of footage.

For inspiration I would like to share this with a wedding crew. Some do other things than weddings like me. I would like for them to see this.

Besides being a DVC80 shooter for weddings I really get into documentaries and hope to do some in the neear future.

The slow zoom worked I thought.
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Old February 10th, 2004, 05:36 PM   #11
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Thanks Laura,
Sure, take what you need. The only thing is don't sell it:)

Music is not copyrighted.
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Old February 10th, 2004, 06:04 PM   #12
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Maybe I need to clarify my point. Zooming out (or reverse zoom out i.e. starting zoomed out say at 10% orginal frame and zomming in to 100% size or original frame size will look great in post).

But zooming in, say starting with 100% and zooming in 5X to 500% will not look great done in post.
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Old February 11th, 2004, 09:59 AM   #13
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Stephen... yeah you're absolutely right about zooming in post. I'm sorry I didn't clarify... I was thinking more as an option for a short zoom... like a tension builder in a soap opera. Something you may use 10' or less of dolly track for.

It's still a degradation of picture quality even for the smallest zoom in post... but I was referring to an imperceptable crawl like they do on the president in an address.

Sorry that I just blabbed that out as if it were that simple.

I can't believe nobody commented on the zoom controller link I posted... I can't take credit for that zoom controller, but it should be pretty easy to build and all for under $30 or so.

I'm going to start on one of those today and I'll let you know how it turns out.

As was stated, no zoom controller can zoom any slower then your cams lowest "gear"... but a stable zoom controller makes it easy to stay in that gear.

Hey Nick, I just watched your clip... that's well done... I got choked up a bit... and that's the application I was referring to as far as post zooming.

I did a family video with old photographs and I ended up mixing real zooms with post zooms and I only wish I could crawl as slow in reality as I can in post.

Combining image pan and zoom in Premiere brings those old photos up to a whole new level doesn't it?
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