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Old February 20th, 2008, 10:22 PM   #1
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Converting an XL1 Spiderbrace for the XH-A1

The Spiderbrace is a nice inexpensive and light shoulder rig. I loved it with my XL1s. However, after having great difficulty shooting with my XH-A1 on it, I realized the Spiderbrace for the XL1s positions the camera too close, too high and too far to the right. With a couple dollars in parts from Lowes, the Spiderbrace is back in business. The modification is contained to the rear leg. Fortunately, the Spiderbrace is made from electrical grade PVC, neoprene, a junction box and a couple bolts. It was easy to work with and modify.

Basically, the fix (for my comfortable camera position) is to cut the PVC 3/4" from the junction box and glue on a male threaded connector. Then, using a female and two 45 degree elbows with the minimum of pipe, replace 2" of straight pipe on the cut off shoulder piece with the aforementioned assembly. Just like the new SpiderBrace units, this modification can also be disassembled for storage/travel. With this modification the brace drops the camera down so the eyepiece is at eye level. I chose to kant the shoulder piece a little to the outside to effectively bring the camera mount in a little since the A1 eyepiece is in the center of the camera instead of the side like the XL1. If you are careful, you can kant the shoulder piece and still keep it vertical but the cement leaves no time for adjustments.
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Shoulder Mount for XHA1-img_0937.jpg   Shoulder Mount for XHA1-img_0938.jpg  

Shoulder Mount for XHA1-img_0942.jpg  
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Old March 10th, 2009, 01:04 PM   #2
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shoulder mount for xha1?

I have to do a walking 20+ minute interview, and I was wondering if there was a good shoulder mount or something that would take the strain off and allow for a steady shot? Anyone using something like this with their xhA1?
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Old March 10th, 2009, 02:53 PM   #3
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There are lots of them available. One of the best, in my opinion is at Birns & Sawyer.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 04:48 PM   #4
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I used CB105 and if you search on Tripod/Support forum, you can read some of the reviews.
I liked it first, then releasing and attaching to the tripod became troublesome.
When I am on handheld without having to change to tripod, then I would certainly use it, however I would not use when I need to switch back and forth. Sacthler does not make release system like Manfrotto, not the cheap one, at least..
But I found some people liking alot, so.
I feel pretty comfortable without it nowadays even for longer handheld shooting situations.
Just my 2cents.

Last edited by J.J. Kim; March 10th, 2009 at 05:57 PM.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 05:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.J. Kim View Post
I used CB105 and if you search on Tripod/Support forum, you can read some of the reviews.
I liked it first, then releasing and attachingi the plate of tripod became troublesome.
When I am on handheld without having to change to tripod, then I would take it, otherwise I would not use when you need to switch back and forth.Sacthler does not make release system like Manfrotto.
But I found some people liking alot, so.
I feel pretty comfortable without it nowadays even for longer handheld shooting situations.
Just my 2cents.
i too use the same one.
i also use the manfrotto quick release plate, and I can shoot HOURS upon HOURS without any shaking.

of course i use the extended battery
and light
and mics and etc and it still stable.

i didnt get the extra 1lb addon bar, which i didnt need.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 03:11 AM   #6
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I just got a DV MultirigPro which is absolutely fantastic. You will find many others singing its praises on the Support Forum. dvtec, dvrigpro, dvrig, dvrig junior, engrg, support
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Old March 11th, 2009, 08:36 AM   #7
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Don't forget about trying to make your own...

Like this:

Will Mahoney's Tutorials - A1 Shoulder Mount for Nothing.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 04:08 PM   #8
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CB 105 Is the Key!

I've gone through and studied many shoulder mounts before carefully picking the CB 105.
It's amazing for it's price and quality.

I bought mine used for around $40 including the extra weight.

I recommend the extra weight for use with the XH-A1. It is almost mandatory.
With this shoulder support, you can practically tape for hours without shaky video.
Just remember to take it off and rest once in a while, so you don't get a sore shoulder.
It adds around 10 lbs to the camera.
The handle is perfect for fast moving scenes and action shots.

Here are some sample shots- CB105 Demo Footage video by Rodney41 - Photobucket

Get it, Great Buy!
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Old March 12th, 2009, 03:04 AM   #9
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And you really believe that all those samples are shot with the CB105?
Yeah, right. you also believe in Cinderella .....
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Old March 12th, 2009, 05:19 AM   #10
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Wait... Cinderella isn't real?!

I don't know, Kees. I've done some hand held shots with a very inexpensive shoulder mount and have gotten some pretty smooth video. You learn to walk and breath a certain way while shooting.
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Old March 13th, 2009, 12:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kees van Duijvenbode View Post
And you really believe that all those samples are shot with the CB105?
Yeah, right. you also believe in Cinderella .....
I agree with Marcel.
I've achieved amazing shots with my inexpensive CB105.
All you need to do is get used to the support + camera's weight.
You take "steady-cam" walks, and breathe a totally different way (slow and only when necessary).

Here are some samples of my work, using the CB105:

Hunting Season - http://vimeo.com/2387231 - The story of a hunter.
90% of the shots in this video used the CB105 with an extra weight and the Canon XH-A1.
The other 10% used a tripod.

and a music video example-

Should've been a Rock Star - http://vimeo.com/3328113 - The music is cheesy,
but it's just an example.
100% of all shots used in this music video were taken with the CB105 with an extra weight and the Canon XH-A1.

Enjoy,
Kevin
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Old March 13th, 2009, 03:11 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kees van Duijvenbode View Post
And you really believe that all those samples are shot with the CB105?
I have a cb105 as well and some shots are hard to believe it's done with this shouldersupport, especially the first one which definitely looks like glidecam work. You can support the cb105 on your arms (the maker has one video as well were he shows this) and your arms can function as some kind steadycam arm, for a while at least because including a camera it is very heavy.

I am custommaking one now and made a wider wooden shoulderpad which is 10cm wide so it's much more stable on my shoulder and i ordered a hood-pro with sock loupe to attach to my lcd so I can use my lcd as a viewfinder.

When it's completely finished I"ll post some more images on my blog but the first tests I did were very promising, it weighs about 7 kg totally (incl camera) but it carries a swit light with adapter an big sony battery, a big spare canon battery and a azden 500udr and it exactly balances on my shoulder. I also attached a quick release plate to easily remove the camera. Every part on the back can taken off as I used a same type of shoe which normally fits a camera light.

I plan to use it for specific purposes like interviews at receptions in the evening were I need to carry it about an hour.

I still need to finish it because on the photo's you see some uncut extending screws and the wooden shoulderpad need to be upholstered but I'm very curious about how the hood-pro's sock loupe will work out, it has been send but imagine it can take several day's to reach Europe. On the photo no xlr cables have been added because i just wanted to show the shouldersupport.

I think this is one of the cheapest solutions on the market which comes most close to a shouldercamera when it comes to working handheld for a longer period, the price of a cb105, quickrelease plate and hood-pro sock loupe are much lower then any other comparable and usuable shoulder support out there.
Attached Thumbnails
Shoulder Mount for XHA1-schoudercamera01.jpg   Shoulder Mount for XHA1-schoudercamera05.jpg  

Shoulder Mount for XHA1-schoudercameratotaal.jpg   Shoulder Mount for XHA1-schoudercamera08.jpg  

Shoulder Mount for XHA1-schoudercamera03.jpg  
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Old March 13th, 2009, 10:44 AM   #13
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Wow, didn't know Canon made a Left handed verison of the A1!
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Old March 13th, 2009, 12:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcel D. Van Someren View Post
Wow, didn't know Canon made a Left handed verison of the A1!
Yes, I had to pay extra for it but it was worth every cent, I just love Canon, they at least take every customer request serious.
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Old March 13th, 2009, 03:31 PM   #15
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Better be careful. Some people might actually believe you! LOL
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