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Old May 25th, 2005, 07:40 PM   #1
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More on Spider Brace support

I loaned my new Spider Brace to a friend who is shooting the new sitcom, "It's always sunny in Philly," on a DVX100A (for FX channel). He had been using the DV Rig Pro, but has now purloined my Spider Brace for the duration of the shoot, so I feel my initial enthusiasm for the Spider Brace has been supported.

I've got a few pix to offer of the Spider Brace(www.spiderbrace.com). They actually don't have
anything new to offer that you can't see at the SB site, but here
they are with a few comments.

http://www.digitalprods.com/SpiderBrace1.jpg
Shows my PD150 mounted on the SB. The device is
manufactured of PVC materials throughout. Only the two 1/4" screws
for the camera are metal. You can see that the unit is foam
padded, which is nice for your grip. I will probably end up shaving
a bit of the foam off the right hand grip to more easily accommodate my Zoe zoom controller. The unit alone weighs mere ounces.

http://www.digitalprods.com/SpiderBrace2.jpg
In this head-view, you note that the camera is mounted directly
above one of the two support handles. Good idea. One problem I
have with the DV Rig Pro is the camera mounts between the two
handles, which are wider apart. When you let go of either handle
with the DV Rig, the weight of the camera causes it to tilt in the
direction you just released. With the Spider Brace, if you let go
with the left hand, the camera maintains its position. Note my posture with my elbows
tight to my sides for stability. Since all the weight is over the right
hand/arm, your left hand/arm is adding to the stable position. For
walking shots you may want to elevate the elbows away from the
body to smooth out your movements. As you can tell from the
picture, it would be simple for me to use the lcd instead of the
viewfinder. Use of the viewfinder with your eye against it does
add to the stability, however.

http://www.digitalprods.com/SpiderBrace3.jpg
In the profile picture, you will again note that my arms are tight to
my body to provide as stable a shooting platform as possible.
Even though I am hand-holding the camera, with this device and
a wide angle lens, I can hold the camera virtually motionless for
a considerable time. Also, note in this picture that this device
would not be of much value if you wanted to use it with the lcd on
the new Sony HDV cameras, since they are top-mounted.

Also note there is no ab support for this rig; it is strictly a light
weight shoulder brace that will be good for run-and-gun
shooting. That's not to say you can't talk the manufacturers into
building an ab support, if there is the demand.

Since I took these photos, I discovered a great way to shoot, especially if you are six-three like me. Sometimes, doing an interview, I tend to look down on the subject from my height, but I discovered that I can easily slip the shoulder support of the Spider Brace into my armpit and lock it in place there for a lower angle shot. Works great.

As I said earlier, I think the Spider Brace is an excellent value in a
market where spending an additional couple hundred dollars
won't buy you much more for your money.

The Spider Brace costs around $75.00 with shipping.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 10:52 PM   #2
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I'd been looking at these for a while and your 6'3" note is good to hear. I'm 6'6" and do have a bad problem with looking down on people with a camera. I imagine I'll have to compensate a tad still, but it's nice to know there's workable solutions to the tall-guy-syndrome.
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Old July 27th, 2005, 04:46 AM   #3
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Wayne, I'm about ready to jump in.
One thing I was wondering is about using a
Lanc controller with it. I'm use to operating
a Lanc with my left hand. Do you think there'd
be any problem with this with the Spider? Or
would it be best to use the right hand for any
reason?
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Old July 27th, 2005, 08:32 AM   #4
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I think you will be fine, Dave. As I believe I have alluded to, you may want to trim a bit of the foam off, depending on your controller, but that won't be a problem. Hopefully your controller is a compact model so you can continue to take advantage of the weight savings.

Wayne
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Old July 27th, 2005, 08:44 AM   #5
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I have a small controller, the Varizoom Stealth, so that's
good news.
Once I get my Spider I'll write a little review. My main
goal is to get some improvement in stability over
straight handheld.
One thing that concerns me is that the base
plate that the cam is fastened to is plastic. Would
hate to have it crack/break and have the cam come
flying off.
Now, for your PD, you got the "Spider Brace 2", correct?
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Old July 27th, 2005, 10:55 AM   #6
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It's PVC. It's *quite* strong - I haven't had any problems (or even any worries) about the strength once I had it.
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Old July 28th, 2005, 12:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Largent
Now, for your PD, you got the "Spider Brace 2", correct?
Correct, Dave.

I'm sure you won't have any problem with attaching your Stealth, but of course, all shoulder braces really work best with wider lenses. If someone has to do long lens work, a tripod is the way to go.

Look forward to your review, Dave.

Wayne
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Old July 28th, 2005, 02:33 AM   #8
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They say you should turn off SteadyShot when using
a tripod. I wonder if you should leave it on when using
a shoulder mount?
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Old July 31st, 2005, 12:35 PM   #9
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I would recommend using your SteadyShot mode with a shoulder brace.
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