L. Kingston's Custom A1U 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 January 25th, 2006, 03:41 AM   #1
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L. Kingston's Custom A1U

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y22/zimvg/unknown.jpg
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Old January 25th, 2006, 03:46 AM   #2
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Here is another one of Laurence's A1U:
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y22.../unknown-1.jpg
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Old January 25th, 2006, 03:55 AM   #3
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and a light for the A1U

It looks good.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y22/zimvg/light.jpg
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Old January 25th, 2006, 04:22 AM   #4
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I like the right-angle XLR and the diffuser over the 20DW2. I also duffuse mine, with a velcro attached Lumiquest Mini Soft Box.
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Old January 25th, 2006, 06:57 AM   #5
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Nice!

But...I've lost track of the earlier thread on this. Could someone provide a quick list of the various components?
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Old January 25th, 2006, 08:13 AM   #6
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What you see in the picture is the following:

1) Spiderbrace 2:
http://spiderbrace.com/othermodels.html

2) Tripod adapter for easy changing of tapes:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Tripod-adapter-f...QQcmdZViewItem

3) Shoe mount for mounting wireless receiver to the Spiderbrace:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=250400&is=REG

4) Sony VCL-HG0737Y wide angle lens:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=396837&is=REG

5) Century Optics sunshade:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=274303&is=REG

another option is the LH80 M/P from cavision.com
http://www.cavision.com/lenshoods/LH80.htm

6) 82mm UV filter (instead of a lens cap)
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

7) Stepdown ring from www.cavision.com
Ask for the one to step down from their LH80 M/P lens hood to a Sony VCL-HG0737Y wide angle lens. The Cavision LH80 M/P also has an internal diameter of 80mm.

8) Varizoom lanc controller:

I bought this one:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=279113&is=REG

but this would be a better choice since the extra controls don't function anyway with the HVR-A1:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

9) Sony HVL-20DMA light
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=367190&is=REG

10) Sto-fen Omni-bounce diffusor
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...u=89908&is=REG

11) Rode NGT-1 shotgun
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...u=89908&is=REG

12) Sennheiser Evolution wireless
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

13) several Sony M series batteries for the light and the camera
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...cessory_detail
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Old January 25th, 2006, 09:48 AM   #7
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Most excellent - thanks! B&H should send you a box of chocolates... :)
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Old January 25th, 2006, 10:44 AM   #8
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Gotta love that spider brace!
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Old January 25th, 2006, 11:27 AM   #9
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One more picture Laurence sent me I forgot to put up last night. I guess its a picture using the lights?

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y22/zimvg/lighting.jpg
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Old January 25th, 2006, 12:43 PM   #10
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Yeah it's a still capture from an interview with two of those cylindrical work lights, one on each side and slightly offset so as to get a key/fill light effect. I got the idea from this link by Walter Graff:

http://www.film-and-video.com/broadc...s-30bucks.html

As I look at the my interview frame, what is still missing is light and shadows effect on the back wall (in my frame there is just a little shadow from the subject), and some back-lighting to highlight the subject's hair, but the two fluorescent worklights look fine. I'll probably end up using a flourescent version one of those little floor mounted worklights that carpenters use with some kind of cardboard cutout clipped to it, and I'll also probably end up buying some sort of small pro light that can be aimed and barn-doored as a backlight. I'm not after any kind of general light kit. I want to have exact tools to light a sit-down interview really quickly and well and that's it. Everything else I do is either natural light or natural light augmented by the camera light. I think the two fluorescent lights are pretty darned good though. They were $59 a piece at Home Depot.

I suppose this post is in the territory of "Photon Management" and should be in that forum except that since the A1 is a little lacking in the low light department, it is this camera that is making me expore this subject. One thing I know is that my old camera, a VX2000, was much better in low light and so I just used natural lighting and I always thought it looked fine, but I'm finding that a lit interview with the A1 looks way better, even if it's just lit with inexpensive worklights. Having had this experience, now even if I had a camera that was better in low light I'd still light the interviews.
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Old January 25th, 2006, 03:26 PM   #11
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Awesome setup man. But for the price you spent, you might as well have gotten the Z1. j/k

How did you find the spidebrace 2 to work? Was it really effective? For the price, I would snatch one up right away.
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Old January 25th, 2006, 04:21 PM   #12
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No, a Z1 is still way more money! Plus, I'd still need the Spiderbrace, the new mics, the camera light, the lanc controller, etc. Plus it would be heavier and harder to sneak into places like horse tracks and casinos (which I'm planning to do on an upcomming project).

The Spiderbrace is awesome. I'm not a real fan of tripods but I do like steady footage. I was looking at things like the Merlin and the Fig Rig, but the Merlin isn't practical with lights, wireless recievers and lanc controllers, and the fig rig means supporting all that weight at arms length all day long. The steadistick looked cool too, but how would I use a light and wireless reciever at the same time? Plus, I love the fact that you can set a Spiderbrace rig down!

I find that if you put the Spiderbrace under your arm (chicken winging it) instead of on your shoulder, you can shoot quite comfortably with the screen, and if I apply a little upward pressure so that the shoulder part is pressed up against the inside of my bicep, I can get decent walking shots as well.

The lanc controller gets rid of those little shakes at the beginning and end of shots that I would otherwise have to edit out. A lot of event coverage type jobs pretty much consist of editing out the slop and dragging clips to the timeline. With the lanc on the Spiderbrace, there's a lot less garbage to edit out.

Would I rather have a Z1? Only when it's dark!
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Old January 25th, 2006, 07:07 PM   #13
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Laurence, I know that the Z1 costs way more. I was being sarcastic. :)

Hmmm, I never saw this SpiderBrace device before. Seems like it would really work well. Can you use the brace on your shoulders and still use the LCD confortably? What about the viewfinder? Can it be used at all with the brace on your shoulders? Does the brace allow you to swap tapes without removing the A1? Finally, does the brace have a plate that can be used for easy attachment/detachment?

The SpiderBrace 2 and the mini-rig seem quite similar. What is the point of getting the mini-rig over the SpiderBrace 2?

BTW, I see that the subject on the last picture is wearing a Florida shirt. Are you from Florida? I am from Orlando but going to school in Boston now. I might be coming back to UF next semester; haven't decided yet. :)
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Old January 25th, 2006, 09:29 PM   #14
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Hi,

Why did you go with the Rode mic?
How is the mic that comes with the A1U?

Thanks!
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Old January 25th, 2006, 09:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Karol
Laurence, I know that the Z1 costs way more. I was being sarcastic. :)

Hmmm, I never saw this SpiderBrace device before. Seems like it would really work well. Can you use the brace on your shoulders and still use the LCD confortably? What about the viewfinder? Can it be used at all with the brace on your shoulders? Does the brace allow you to swap tapes without removing the A1? Finally, does the brace have a plate that can be used for easy attachment/detachment?

The SpiderBrace 2 and the mini-rig seem quite similar. What is the point of getting the mini-rig over the SpiderBrace 2?

BTW, I see that the subject on the last picture is wearing a Florida shirt. Are you from Florida? I am from Orlando but going to school in Boston now. I might be coming back to UF next semester; haven't decided yet. :)
With the Spiderbrace on your shoulder as it was designed to be used, you look through the viewfinder rather than the LCD screen. I can use the LCD screen if I put the shoulder portion under my arm.

I can swap tapes without taking the camera off the Spiderbrace because I have a tripod adapter that allows this (item number 2 on the list). I keep this adapter on the camera all the time. Not only does it allow easier access to changing tapes, but it means I can set the camera down with the larger lens hood and it makes a nice steady base as well.

The Mini-Rig is designed exlcusively for the Canon XL series of cameras and wouldn't be a good match for the A1.

Yeah I live in Florida: in Clermont, just 20 miles or so West of you in Orlando.
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