Sony A1E with Sony SPK-TVR1 Sports Housing at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series
Sony's latest single-CMOS additions to their HDV camcorder line.


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Old November 23rd, 2007, 05:49 AM   #1
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Sony A1E with Sony SPK-TVR1 Sports Housing

Yesterday I bought a secondhand Sony SPK-TRV1 sports housing. I think that it may be up to ten years old although it is as new. I'm delighted to say that with a modification to the baseplate it will fit my Sony A1E.

I'm posting this in case anyone else has been down the same road as me ie trying to figure out how to film on board a rolling yacht in mid ocean (or some similar environment).

The SPK-TV1 seems to be the solution if you can find one for sale.

It gives you lanc controls for on/off, record and zoom. You can fix it to a tripod, fig rig or mount too.

I bought a Ewa marine bag but found that it didn't work well in this environment. It would be fine if shooting handheld but not when using mountings and microphones. It was too sloppy and you can't fix it to a tripod or mount.

I did look at the modern sports housings from Sony but they are too short for this camera. I even considered buying one and chopping the end off but that seem a bit extravagant.

A plastic bag gave some protection but was too much hassle to set up and take down (I cleaned the camera and put it away after each use - didn't want to risk rendering it unserviceable on a 20 day trip).

I made up my own housing from neoprene and clear plastic but it was too time consuming getting the camera in and out and it was too difficult to operate the camera in it too.

So I missed a lot of the action when the weather was rough.

One regret is that I can't fit the camera inside the housing with the wide angle adaptor fitted. But that's quibbling.

Last edited by Richard Gooderick; November 23rd, 2007 at 05:50 AM. Reason: typo - fit not git
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 02:57 PM   #2
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Richard,

I also have one of these and it has worked very well for a couple of years. I also had to do the base plate mod, but the only quibble I have is the viewfinder is a little out of alignment with the viewing window with the modification. It is still useable, but just not as easy as to see as I would like.

However, as you said a very useful find. I used mine in Antarctica in a raging blizzard and the footage was great with no problems at all - unlike my fingers which were not so good!

All the best,
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Old November 24th, 2007, 07:03 AM   #3
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Hi Graeme

Thank you for your reply.

I am sitting at my kitchen table working out the best way to make up a baseplate modification. It looks pretty straightforward but I wonder it you have any advice or suggestions having been down this road already eg best material to use for the adaptor plate; best way to secure it to the plate in the housing?

Good to hear that it worked so well in Antarctic cold.

I take your point about the viewfinder being off centre. Do you also use the mirrored side attachment that shows the LCD? I suppose it might fill up with snow in the conditions you were shooting in.

For anyone else reading this and dealing with similar issues it might be worth pointing out two advantages of using this housing over a plastic bag or similar:

1 it comes with a waterproof stereo mic. This may not be up to much in itself (I haven't tried it but am not expecting fantastic quality) but could be a useful fallback and to produce a guide track for synching to if recording separate sound.

2 it has a good solid metal plate to which a tripod plate can be attached. You can therefore slot it onto a tripod, Fig Rig or clamped mount in seconds.

Horizons and possibilities are opening up now that I have got one of these things!
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Old November 26th, 2007, 10:44 PM   #4
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Richard,

I use a small sheet of 5mm aluminium and some very short screws (6.5mm diameter). I screwed the plastic standard plate to the piece of aluminium sheet which I attach to the camera first. The screw heads were countersunk into the aluminium base plate to allow the plastic and aluminium pieces to butt together. The whole lot is finally slipped into the plastic guides and clicks into place as if the camera was directly mounted on the plastic. I went with the thinner aluminium so that it would not raise the camera too much inside the housing. It is very secure, and I have had it under Iguazu falls without a problem - it was very shaken but not stirred!

I was surprised that the microphone worked reasonably well. Its no Senn 416, but it did produce useable sound from some pretty extreme situations.

All the best,

Graeme
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Old November 27th, 2007, 03:07 AM   #5
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Thanks for the tip Graeme.

I decided to get on with it over the weekend and drilled holes directly into the plastic sledge/base plate itself. I used an ordinary tripod plate screw and made up two aluminium spacers/washers so that it pulled up tight onto the plastic and so the load was spread.

I pulled a bit of aluminium out of the rubbish bin that I had just thrown away that day (a broken sailing dinghy burgee - it was just the right diameter) and used this to make the locating pin. The hole for this was so close to one of the webs on the sledge plate that I didn't need to glue it. It is slightly offset and jams tight when the screw is done up.

However your set up sounds more secure and professional so I think I will follow your example.

For anyone else doing this I would say that measuring the position of the holes accurately and drilling a small pilot hole first is important in order that the camera lines up straight.

Also I positioned the camera as far forward as possible so that none of the housing would be in shot. But if it was a bit further back it would be possible to see through the viewfinder better. It is too far away from the eye to see the whole picture.

Apologies to any readers if this is too technical and boring. However for the one or two to whom this housing is a godsend I hope it's been useful.
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Old November 27th, 2007, 05:10 AM   #6
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Sorry to hijack the thread but by any chance is this the Richard Gooderick I met on the XL wildeye course last year? If so hello sir, hope your well!
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Old November 27th, 2007, 06:46 AM   #7
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Hi Matt

Thanks for the post. It is the same me. Hope things are good with you.
I've got a sailing magazine to take the Atlantic film as a covermount DVD _if_ I can find a sponsor.
Am looking forward to doing the Chris Watson sound course with Wildeye on 7 December.
Have just bought an XH A1.
Have a commission to make some short music films and have some corporate stuff lined up.
Will look out for you on DVi
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Old November 27th, 2007, 08:53 AM   #8
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Hi Richard,
been reading this with interest - I have just acquired an A1e as a backup HDV cam. Do you know if the case will hold up for short periods underwater at say 1m depth? - or is it only splashproof?
And, if I may be so forward - got any pics ?

Cheers!

Rob
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Old November 27th, 2007, 09:35 AM   #9
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Hi Rob

I understand that it is rated to 6 feet deep.

No problem putting up photos once I have worked out how to do it. Doesn't seem very obvious ie no insert photo button on the posting form.

I'll have to fit it in with other commitments so it may take a day or two.
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Old November 27th, 2007, 11:23 AM   #10
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I've searched the site and as far as I can make out an invisible hand of god marks you out as a lucky individual who can post photos.

Being and atheist and impatient with it I took some photos and posted them to my temporary .mac account.

Am not sure if I am going to take up Apple's kind offer to pay for an ongoing subscription. So if they have gone by the time you read this: sorry.

Here's the link. First time I've done this so fingers crossed:

http://web.mac.com/gooderick/Site/So...s_Housing.html

Last edited by Richard Gooderick; November 27th, 2007 at 11:23 AM. Reason: 'h' missing from web address
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Old November 27th, 2007, 11:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Gooderick View Post
Yesterday I bought a secondhand Sony SPK-TRV1 sports housing. I think that it may be up to ten years old although it is as new. I'm delighted to say that with a modification to the baseplate it will fit my Sony A1E.

I'm posting this in case anyone else has been down the same road as me ie trying to figure out how to film on board a rolling yacht in mid ocean (or some similar environment).

The SPK-TV1 seems to be the solution if you can find one for sale.

It gives you lanc controls for on/off, record and zoom. You can fix it to a tripod, fig rig or mount too.

I bought a Ewa marine bag but found that it didn't work well in this environment. It would be fine if shooting handheld but not when using mountings and microphones. It was too sloppy and you can't fix it to a tripod or mount.

I did look at the modern sports housings from Sony but they are too short for this camera. I even considered buying one and chopping the end off but that seem a bit extravagant.

A plastic bag gave some protection but was too much hassle to set up and take down (I cleaned the camera and put it away after each use - didn't want to risk rendering it unserviceable on a 20 day trip).

I made up my own housing from neoprene and clear plastic but it was too time consuming getting the camera in and out and it was too difficult to operate the camera in it too.

So I missed a lot of the action when the weather was rough.

One regret is that I can't fit the camera inside the housing with the wide angle adaptor fitted. But that's quibbling.
Richard,

The Century .55x 37mm attachment works in this housing last time I checked unless they changed the design. It is really small, about the size of a filter, and works great.

http://www.schneideroptics.com/ecomm...=1069&IID=1754

Ryan Avery
Regional Sales Representative
Schneider Optics
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Old November 27th, 2007, 01:41 PM   #12
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Thanks Ryan

You have just reminded me that it is my Century C124877 .65X HR Wide Angle adaptor that I was thinking might be too long to fit into the housing.

However with the smaller battery fitted to the camera and the housing moved backwards it might work. I have mounted my camera further forward than it needs to be.

That is a zoom-through adaptor.

As you are selling Century you may not thank me for mentioning another adaptor that I had forgotten I had. That's a Raynox QC-707 0.7x clip-on adaptor which is also very slim and is dirt cheap and pretty good quality.

This is not a zoom-through adaptor. Well, you can zoom a bit before the focus is messed up.
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Old November 28th, 2007, 09:50 AM   #13
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Thanks for the pics - they worked fine!
I'll keep my eyes on ebay and try and track one down, I've been meaning to do some shallow fresh water stuff and some kitesurfing action for a while and this should fit the bill precisely.

Cheers!
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Old November 28th, 2007, 10:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Gooderick View Post
Thanks Ryan

You have just reminded me that it is my Century C124877 .65X HR Wide Angle adaptor that I was thinking might be too long to fit into the housing.

However with the smaller battery fitted to the camera and the housing moved backwards it might work. I have mounted my camera further forward than it needs to be.

That is a zoom-through adaptor.

As you are selling Century you may not thank me for mentioning another adaptor that I had forgotten I had. That's a Raynox QC-707 0.7x clip-on adaptor which is also very slim and is dirt cheap and pretty good quality.

This is not a zoom-through adaptor. Well, you can zoom a bit before the focus is messed up.
I am not on these forums to say that other stuff doesn't exist or work. I am sure the Raynox will do an acceptable job. We simply manufacture a higher quality piece which may or may not be exactly what people are looking for. I hope to provide the most accurate information regarding our product.

Which ever way you go, I hope you get some great video out of it.

Ryan Avery
Schneider Optics
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Old November 28th, 2007, 12:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Evans View Post
Thanks for the pics - they worked fine!
I'll keep my eyes on ebay and try and track one down, I've been meaning to do some shallow fresh water stuff and some kitesurfing action for a while and this should fit the bill precisely.

Cheers!
I have the lens, is not a zoom trough and on top of this the moment you plug in the LANC control from the housing the picture gets blurry regardless your zooming position. I have an Sony spk-dvf5 and I know that the same thing happen with the new spk-hcc. But you can try. I have a Raynox snap-on, is not zoom through but works with LANC.
Paul
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