Bogen vs. Varizoom Lanc? - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Old January 27th, 2005, 06:14 AM   #16
Manfrotto Product Manager
 
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Some clarification to our LANC controller models:

523PRO replaces the now discontinued 523. The difference is the dedicated push AF button (which replaced the 'display' button in the right-hand corner).

The letters 'PRO' are part of the model number.

521 and 521PRO co-exist in our range, with the 521 model not having as many features as the 521PRO model. the following features exist on the 521PRO:

- 2 zoom speed functions
- Progressive and Fixed Zoom speeds
- Push AF button
- Power on/off
- Rec button
- Invertable zoom wheel direction
- Zoom wheel can be changed to act as a focus wheel


Marc Schotland
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Old January 27th, 2005, 08:59 PM   #17
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Thanks for the info Marc. I just received the 523Pro today with a Vinten Vision 3 head, but I can't figure out how to mount the Bogen arm on the Vinten Head. The Vinten arm does not seem to be removable from its head mount attachment. Thanks for any help!
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Old March 1st, 2005, 04:15 AM   #18
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Lanc Spec

Does anyone have any detailed information on the Lanc spec? I'm doing some testing right now, and have found that the specs I've found online are a little outdated, and generalized, and don't completely jibe with what I'm getting in my tests. It would be great to find out more about specifically how sony has implemented lanc control in the fx1, beyond the basic, zoom, focus and record abilities. I'm curious if lanc can be used to do iris and shot transition functions on this camera.
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Old March 1st, 2005, 05:50 AM   #19
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A question for Mr. Schotland. Will the push-auto-focus feature work with the Canon XL1S? I currently use the 521 controller and like it a lot, but definately have need of the new feature.
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Old March 1st, 2005, 06:11 AM   #20
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No, the Push AF feature will not work on the Canon XL1S (and XL2) as this feature is unfortunately not linked into the LANC protocol.

Marc Schotland
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Old March 4th, 2005, 12:19 AM   #21
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After browsing through this thread, there are one or two points I'd like to make here regarding Wayne Orr's comment:

<< I have tested all the models you are looking at, Len, and the Varizoom isn't even in the running, IMHO. The real contest is between the Bogen and Zoe. The Varizoom Rock is an absolute rip-off of the Zoe without the same attention to detail. >>

The fact of the matter is that the VariZoom Rock is simply a modified VZ Stealth, which came *before* the Zoe, so it really can't be called a rip-off. Although I have to applaud Wayne's diligence in his persistant anti-VariZoom campaign, I would like to point out there are literally thousands of professional shooters who choose VariZoom over all other competing controllers. In fact I can probably produce an S.O.C. member equal to Wayne's own stature who would endorse VariZoom over Zoe (although I doubt I could get anybody to post about it as much as he does).

Point is, they're all good -- VariZoom, Zoe and Bogen are all at the top of the game. Wayne may not feel that way, but that's his own opinion, which he's certainly entitled to. However, I would firmly urge anyone who is considering one of these controllers to take any opinion with a grain of salt. Do yourself a favor if at all possible, try before you buy. Outside of a major metropolitan area, this is not always easy, but you also have the resources of this site at your disposal. I have reviews on the site already, and if need be, I can arrange for a professional shooter -- how about an S.O.C. member, in fact -- to prepare an impartial and unbiased review of all three brands. In fact, the more I'm thinking about that idea, the more I like it.

I'm the original poster boy for these controllers -- they're the single most useful tool you can own as a DV camera operator. Let me tell you in no uncertain terms, the VariZoom / Zoe / Bogen brands are as equal with each other as Ford / Dodge / Chevy. There are cheaper controller brands out there, but these three are at the top of the market. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. They have their various differences but all three are most definitely "in the running."

And I can say that not only because VariZoom is one of our site sponsors, but so is 16x9 Inc. (the U.S. distributor for Zoe). So I have no strong feelings one way or the other. And I'm working at getting Bogen onboard as well.

;-)

Hope this helps,
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Old March 4th, 2005, 01:11 PM   #22
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Wayne Orr

This is Tom McKay, president of VariZoom, and I have created a new thread titled "Varizoom vs. Zoe or Wayne Orr" in the same category. It is a response to Wayne Orr's posts about VariZoom in this and other forums.
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Old March 4th, 2005, 02:24 PM   #23
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Just a couple of points by way of reply to Chris:

"The fact of the matter is that the VariZoom Rock is simply a modified VZ Stealth, which came *before* the Zoe, so it really can't be called a rip-off."

The only thing the Stealth and the Rock have in common is their small size. A search of this site will find a number of posts complaining about the Stealth. The "push/pull" control was a bad design that should never have been brought to market, and Varizoom obviously tried to remedy the situation with the release of the Rock, which came out about a year after the Zoe was introduced in this country. My review of the original Zoe was published in December of 2002, and the first press release from Varizoom announcing the arrival of the Rock was published in October of 2003, little more than a year after Chris Hurd wrote a glowing review of the Stealth. If the Stealth was such a hot item, why was Varizoom releasing a "new" small sized controller little more than a year later? And BTW, the Zoe had been available in Europe before my review, possibly even before the Stealth.

Before I discovered the Zoe, I had rented the top of the line Varizoom for a shoot in Las Vegas. I was very disappointed with the unit for a number of reasons, which I forwarded to Varizoom for coment. The reply I received did not address my complaints, but rather informed me, much as Chris has, that there are many satisfied professional users of Varizoom products, and further, that none other than Steven Soderburg himself has chosen the Varizoom to be the controller on the Canon XL1 for the filming of his new movie! Puh-leeze. Do I actually believe that Soderburg tested various controllers before selecting the Varizoom unit? No, I do not.

Do I have an anti-Varizoom bias? Nothing would please me more than to say, "Buy American!" But that simply is not an option when I cannot endorse the American company's product with genuine enthusiasm. But, as I have always suggested, this is MY opinion, based on my experience.

"I have reviews on the site already, and if need be, I can arrange for a professional shooter -- how about an S.O.C. member, in fact -- to prepare an impartial and unbiased review of all three brands. In fact, the more I'm thinking about that idea, the more I like it."

Do I gather, Chris, that the Italics on "impartial and unbiased" indicate that you believe I have not been impartial and unbiased? Whatever. I welcome the shoot out. If you read my original review of the Zoe from 2002, you will find that I actually considered such a shoot out:
"Originally I thought of actually staging a shoot out, having various controllers available for a number of professional camera operators to try out. In a renewed sense of fairness, I have abandoned this idea, since it would yield only some initial reactions, and long term use might give a different impression." (http://tinyurl.com/4ctfn)

But you are welcome to stage any event you like. Just try to find members who are familiar with zoom controllers. A lot of the members of the SOC are film shooters who have assistants when they work on film cameras. And again, a short test will only yield an initial impression.

As you indicated, it is best for buyers to personally try out any expensive gear they will be purchasing. Actually, the very best situation would be to rent a unit and try it on an actual shoot. Of course, this isn't always possible, so please buy from a reputable dealer and be certain of your rights regarding returns. And always pay with a credit card, like AmEx to cover your butt.

But again, that's just my opinion.

Wayne Orr, SOC
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Old March 4th, 2005, 10:32 PM   #24
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Apology

Upon re-reading my original post in this thread, I have realized I should not have used the phrase, " Varizoom isn't even in the running, IMHO." Certainly Varizoom is in the running when looking for a zoom controller; they are a viable company that has many satisfied customers.

Thank you.

Wayne Orr
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