F350/Fujinon lens shake? - Input please at DVinfo.net

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Sony ENG / EFP Shoulder Mounts
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Old October 30th, 2006, 12:58 AM   #1
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F350/Fujinon lens shake? - Input please

We have an F350 with Fujinon HSs18x5.5 lens mounted on a Miller Solo tripod with Arrow 30 head.

When at full zoom, the slightest touch on the tripod handle results in some serious jiggling (is that the correct word?).

In fact, I first noticed this after shooting some full moon clips during which I was zoomed right in (and the moon looked perfect..including Neil Armstrong's footsteps)...and I actually locked the tripod off and simply used the VariZoom on/off button to start and finish my shots.

There was a slight breeze blowing at the time....and the shots really looked like someone was deliberately shaking the camera!

This is a newly-developed 1/2 inch Fujinon lens for the XDCAM HD so I am reluctant to conclude that it is the lens itself at fault....maybe the camera and lens are not quite properly balanced on the tripod?

Whatever the cause, we must find a solution, because this is going to look way bad on a big screen.

We've done further tests in the studio (shooting a static book cover three feet away) and again, when fully zoomed in, the shot dances even with the lightest pressure on the tripod handle.

Many other shots that I've reviewed show the same thing...which is a bummer because the only way I can see to cheat around it in editing will be to do heaps of dissolves and magic transitions....

Makes me wonder if the hollow handle is ultra-sensitive...or whether the tripod/head combo is too light for the job?

But aren't these $15,000 lenses supposed to have some sort of shudder suppression built in?

Thanks for your thoughts.

Michael.
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Last edited by Michael Knight; October 30th, 2006 at 01:00 AM. Reason: show sig
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Old October 30th, 2006, 01:32 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Knight
But aren't these $15,000 lenses supposed to have some sort of shudder suppression built in?
No, they don't. I have the same lens and it's pretty sensitive to movement at full zoom.

A couple things to check would be the rotating lock ring for the lens mount. Make sure it is rotated fully clockwise to snug and that you have moved the friction locking rubber from top to bottom post (against the lens mount). That rubber piece prevents the locking ring from movement which might allow the lens to get loose.

Check the tripod plate screw that attaches to the VCT-14 plate. If it's slightly loose, it could allow for camera vibration.

Other than that, you must realize that with this much zoom capability, it's going to get dicey in terms of unwanted camera movement at the full telephoto position.

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Old October 30th, 2006, 02:37 PM   #3
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If you have come from cameras with image stabilisers then it may well appear that you have a fault, but what you are seeing is quite normal. In addition to Gregs suggestions I would also look at the base plate and small wedge under the camera. It is common to have some play in this mounting system that allows the camera to rock from side to side, this is exaggerated if there is any dirt or damage to the mating surfaces. Your tripod is way too lightweight for a F350/330 you will be getting a lot of flex in the legs that will allow the whole head assembly to wobble. While it may be able to support the weight the slim single section legs are not going to be rigid enough.
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Old October 30th, 2006, 03:01 PM   #4
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Yeah, those sticks are awful lightweight.

If you're shooting on the long of almost any lens a lot, you often need a head and sticks built for 50-60lb cameras if you expect any nice moves. Unless you're a ninja.
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Old October 31st, 2006, 11:19 PM   #5
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Many thanks for your inpuit folks.

A heftier tripod may yet be the way to go.

However the Solo does seem adequate in terms of leg strength and stability; it's more like the Varizoom acts like a weighted lever on the hollow handle and transmits movement through the head.

Maybe I need to try a counterweight solution (aka duct tape and fishing weights) near the head? (That's joke of sorts....but I just might take myself seriously and try it:-)

Will also triple check lens fit and camera/tripod plate.

Thanks again.
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Old November 1st, 2006, 03:16 AM   #6
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Yep, this is quite normal for that sort of tripod. What was it like when you locked it off?

Did you ask your car if it had any suggestions as well?

Sorry, couldn't resist! ;-)
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Old November 1st, 2006, 09:01 AM   #7
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Whaddayamean "ask my car?"

That's where I get the duct tape from:-)

Actually, locking off doesn't change the sensitivity of the handle/head connection.

I have tried adjusting the drag as well. No difference.

In fact, now that I think about it, there was actually some shake in some shots of the moon at full zoom even when locked off. Maybe because there was a pretty stiff breeze blowing.

So logic and feedback here does suggest that apart from the fact that it's apparently normal to get some shimmering at the long end on a lens like this the tripod is a little light - although if I widen out a bit the problem disappears, which is also to be expected.

On the other hand, if I lock off, frame at full zoom, and simply touch the Varizoom rec button real gently I can get a steady shot....but it has to be static (no zoom out because that initiates shaking) [which is nothing to do with age:-)]

BTW - my previous stint as a cameraman was with my own CP16 equipment 25 years ago (mounted on Miller sticks which were a lot sturdier than this carbon fibre stuff - and a lot heavier).

Feels like a switch from a Model A (CP16) to an F16 (F350).

Who would ever have thought you could squeeze a Steenbeck and a recording studio into a camera??

But that's what they've done with the XDCAM, so it was a perfect option for the new company I'm contracted to. It goes by the name of DCT - which stands for Dreams Come True - and never a truer word spoken.

Initially I looked at the JVC HD DY100 but concluded that the card capture system was way too expensive in the long term, not to mention their limited capacity.

The XDCAM on the other hand meant we could get a full studio up and running in short order because we can ingest directly from the camera to the Mac - and in our situation there is no need at this point for any other decks (which could have run another $20,000 or more).


I love the camera - although I think the supplied stereo mic is rubbish. It picks up start-up noise and the windsock is hopeless.

So I switched it for an AT short shotgun with a bit of thin grey foam wrapped around it so it'll fit the mic mount - which saved about $300 which Sony wanted for the other size mount for thin mics.

I also duct taped the memory stick door (grey duct tape of course to match the grey foam around the mic) and drilled a hole in the lens cap cover and lens hood so I could keep them together with a bit of shoe lace.

See - I CAN contribute high tech ideas:-)

Funnies aside, it's a true blessing to participate in this forum and learn from the hands-on experts.

Michael Knight
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Old November 1st, 2006, 10:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Knight
So I switched it for an AT short shotgun with a bit of thin grey foam wrapped around it so it'll fit the mic mount - which saved about $300 which Sony wanted for the other size mount for thin mics.
The CAC-12 mic holder is only $176 at B&H. Still a bit pricey but nowhere near $300.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

-gb-
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Old November 1st, 2006, 11:05 AM   #9
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A Vinten Vision 8 is the tripod to go for with that camera. It was made for it.
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Old November 1st, 2006, 12:30 PM   #10
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Let;s see now.

Grey foam - very cheap.

Mic holder $176 - yes indeed, much less than $300.

Grey foam...still cheaper - and honestly, doubles as a shock absorber and mount....

Vinten tripod...will definitely look at that. Thank you asll.

Michael Knight
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Old November 1st, 2006, 12:41 PM   #11
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;)

Sorry, that will teach me for not reading the entire thread.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 06:14 PM   #12
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I'm using a Miller Sprinter, 2 stage, carbon fiber sticks with Arrow head which is rated at 20kg or 44 lb max load. In doors with Fuji 5.5X18 BERM I can get nice pans and zooms at full telephoto even with the 2X extender dialed in. It takes a light touch mind you. Like the others have said check the wedge between head and Sony Quick release. I've often found that the Millar quick release will lock into place but still be a bit loose until I press on it a bit.

Outside in the wind, duct tape, sand bags, a 300 lb. PA what ever works to hold it down. Around here slight breezes can be 20 to 30 kph and 60 to 100 kph and up are common.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 10:20 PM   #13
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A desperate thing I have done when chasing airplanes with a long lens has been to drive a long tent peg or stake into the ground at an angle and then fasten a tension strap from high up into the centre of the tripod down to the stake and pull it down firm.

Then another tension wrap through the legs of the tripod to preload them inwards. You need rigid spreaders which lock to the toes of the tripod for this second desperation. I also use a big old hickory legged Miller tripod, a favourite but very heavy to bully around.

I also don't use the quick release systems at all but being the Luddite I am, have stuck with the thumbscrews.

Have you checked for compliance in the actual case structure of the camera itself? It takes very little flex to move the image as you describe.

Beyond movement in the camera-to-tripod connection, I would be inclined to suspect the tripod legs if they are the two-into-one sliding style, the single sections as the likely culprit. The manufacturers have saved themselves three pieces of tube per unit doing it that way.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 11:59 PM   #14
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Morton - I have had the same trouble with the quick release - but until your post did not think about making real sure that it is doing its job..Thank you.

Bob - Is TVW7-6IX buying your stuff? :-) I did a stint there about 1971 :-)

And the hickory Miller sticks....oh for the good old days! But I agree. There has to be a way of stablising whatever tripod we use to get the best we can. It has always been that way....the equipment is just the start. The rest is common sense...and sometimes art.

Poetic eh?

Michael
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Old November 4th, 2006, 07:34 AM   #15
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Lens Shake Camera shake

@ 2x do NOT touch the camera! Any wind will shake the camera. Build a Plywood portable wall to protect from any wind. Even with my Scaltler and video 18 head, any wind +20mph will shake the camera. The other weekend with a 40+ wind in the NE here I found shelter on the side of a car, staying very low. It is prolbematic.
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