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Old July 10th, 2006, 07:32 AM   #1
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Fig Rig Praise

Ok, this past weekend was my first opportunity to use fig rig in a traditional wedding so I wanted to give the following short report.

First of all, we had to split ourselves up while one person stayed at the church to video the post-wedding pictures, and one had to go to the reception hall. So my wife who stayed at the church with our Gl2 mounted on the fig rig. Here's where the fig rig payed off. She rode in the limo bus with the entire wedding party. I looked at the video and while the van was bumpy, the versitility of the fig rig in that tight quarters worked out well.

So when she arrives in the limo we switched off. The reception hall was an old converted warehouse so I did a lot of running back and forth. When I did the 'bless the bride' interviews, getting in between the tables with the fig rig worked out well. One woman asked me what I was carrying, I told her it was a fig rig, she said it looked very impressive. And yes I did get the steering wheel comment.

I've noticed the more I use it the better I get. I certainly can be more stead with it than myself trying to hold by hand. My hands are small so I guess they need help.

So for anyone thinking of buying a fig rig, it can really do well with practice.
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Last edited by Steven Davis; July 10th, 2006 at 07:33 AM. Reason: Maybe I should have coffee injected at 4am before I wake up...
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Old July 10th, 2006, 10:03 AM   #2
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I recently got one too, and used it on a music video shoot.

I would not recommend trying to shoot with an XL2/Letus35xl combination and trying to manual focus while holding the figrig...LOL
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Old August 17th, 2006, 05:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Davis
it can really do well with practice.
Absolutely.

A couple of weeks ago, I was filming the London Triathalon. Z1 in a FigRig with Bebob zoom control.

The event was covered by many crews, a big BBC turnout. A lot of shooters will recognise the scenario: check out the event, earmark good points, return to find a BBC crew plonked in your line of fire.

FigRig enables you to get in under or over the BBC crew - get in, get good shots. I can put it Wide Angle low at the apex of a bend and get great passing shots of cyclists, runners, etc. I can get long yet handheld shots showing 'bunches' or groups of participants (pelotons?). There was a bridge over the swim start. I could shoot straight down (looked like a wildlife film - sudden thrashing of arms like a huge penguin-fest). Great whip-pans as they haul out of the water to peel off their wet suits or do transitions (I would run parallel with a swimmer as they raced towards their bike).

Best bit was in the press pen at the finish: got my point (in the corner of two crowd control barriers). BBC get full rein, access all areas. They block our shots. I get my back heel in the rear crowd barrier, front foot in the forward crowd barrier (it's near the apex), get 6" more, haul the fig rig aloft, and get the shots. Not tripod shots. FigRig shots.

Note that my fellow press-pen shooters with DSR-570s held aloft can't really do much - they can't zoom, focus, or even pan very much as they have to use the little viewfinder and can't control the lens. I have the FigRig and a Bebob - I can zoom, I can use 'push-auto' focus and I know my hyperfocal distance. My shots start tele as they approach, zoom out to follow them into the winner's enclosure, follow them as they stagger around trying to avoid the BBC crews, then zoom into MCU as the interview team close in.

I believe the Beeb wanted our shots afterwards. :-D

For run-and-gun, pseudo-steadycam and decent 'shoulder-mount' shots from a Z1, the FigRig rules. I don't know if I'd have traded it in for a 30k steadicam on that day.

BTW - getting some custom metalwork done to fit a FireStore and extra batteries to my FigRig - so I get LED light with > 6 hours, 3 hour FireStore with 3 hour operation time per battery, Z1 with CS-1 shot-gun and Sennheiser wireless or AKG ambient mic with remote Zoom/Focus and a bean bag at the bottom.

The Peck-deck from hell! ;_D
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Old August 18th, 2006, 09:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Daviss
Absolutely.

A couple of weeks ago, I was filming the London Triathalon. Z1 in a FigRig with Bebob zoom control.

The event was covered by many crews, a big BBC turnout. A lot of shooters will recognise the scenario: check out the event, earmark good points, return to find a BBC crew plonked in your line of fire.

FigRig enables you to get in under or over the BBC crew - get in, get good shots. I can put it Wide Angle low at the apex of a bend and get great passing shots of cyclists, runners, etc. I can get long yet handheld shots showing 'bunches' or groups of participants (pelotons?). There was a bridge over the swim start. I could shoot straight down (looked like a wildlife film - sudden thrashing of arms like a huge penguin-fest). Great whip-pans as they haul out of the water to peel off their wet suits or do transitions (I would run parallel with a swimmer as they raced towards their bike).

Best bit was in the press pen at the finish: got my point (in the corner of two crowd control barriers). BBC get full rein, access all areas. They block our shots. I get my back heel in the rear crowd barrier, front foot in the forward crowd barrier (it's near the apex), get 6" more, haul the fig rig aloft, and get the shots. Not tripod shots. FigRig shots.

Note that my fellow press-pen shooters with DSR-570s held aloft can't really do much - they can't zoom, focus, or even pan very much as they have to use the little viewfinder and can't control the lens. I have the FigRig and a Bebob - I can zoom, I can use 'push-auto' focus and I know my hyperfocal distance. My shots start tele as they approach, zoom out to follow them into the winner's enclosure, follow them as they stagger around trying to avoid the BBC crews, then zoom into MCU as the interview team close in.

I believe the Beeb wanted our shots afterwards. :-D

For run-and-gun, pseudo-steadycam and decent 'shoulder-mount' shots from a Z1, the FigRig rules. I don't know if I'd have traded it in for a 30k steadicam on that day.

BTW - getting some custom metalwork done to fit a FireStore and extra batteries to my FigRig - so I get LED light with > 6 hours, 3 hour FireStore with 3 hour operation time per battery, Z1 with CS-1 shot-gun and Sennheiser wireless or AKG ambient mic with remote Zoom/Focus and a bean bag at the bottom.

The Peck-deck from hell! ;_D
Hey Matt great review. Don't LANC remotes rock! I am looking at the ZOE DVXL for my PD170/VX2100's, as my the push auto feature on my current Varizoom Rock doesn't work at all.

Also, could you post some pics of your loaded Fig Rig?
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Old August 18th, 2006, 10:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Daviss
Absolutely.
BTW - getting some custom metalwork done to fit a FireStore and extra batteries to my FigRig - so I get LED light with > 6 hours, 3 hour FireStore with 3 hour operation time per battery, Z1 with CS-1 shot-gun and Sennheiser wireless or AKG ambient mic with remote Zoom/Focus and a bean bag at the bottom.

The Peck-deck from hell! ;_D

Yeah, I want to see the picture as well, because my arms are sore from reading that.
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