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Sony NEX-EA50 (all variants)
Including NEX-EA50UH / EA50EH / EA50H / EA50UK / EA50EK / EA50K


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Old February 23rd, 2014, 01:16 AM   #1
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Anyone using a counter balance weight?

Hi Guys

Has anyone successfully used a counter balance at the end of the shoulder pad ... I got a little disillusioned about how much weight is needed. I had some spare stedicam disc weights totalling 750g and hung those over the end of the bar on my shoulder pad so they dangled behind my back and seriously with the stock lens I can't see any huge advantage at all ..if someone lifts the weights off the end of the camera I cannot feel any balance difference at all ...there must be some but obviously 750g isn't enough to do anything to the balance ... I see the vocas weight is 1kg which is only 250g more than I have so that can't make a huge difference.

Maybe if the weight was extended 12" away from the shoulder pad it might be better but how much weight would you need to actually move the pivot point almost up to the pad itself???

Anyone tried different configurations and weights to get a really good balance??

Chris
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Old February 23rd, 2014, 02:02 AM   #2
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Re: Anyone using a counter balance weight?

I did use my wireless receiver and a battery for my swit light attached to the shoulderpad (see below), for run and gun interviews,it was the most easy setup I had ever used (considering I had been using dslr's and before that handicam style camera's like the canon xh-a1) but there was still too much weight in my hands, for interviews that took a little longer I had was struggling to hold the camera steady.

You also need to be careful not to overload that shoulderpad as it's not designed to carry a lot of weight, one thing you can do is move the camera further to the back by shortening the eyeloupe so that you don't have to extract the shouldermount and just leave it pushed in completely, that should distribute the wheight a bit better.

If you want this camera to balance you have to go much further back to counterbalance, as much as it looks like a shouldercamera it's not one at all, all the camera weight is in your hands, the shoulderpad is just another supportpoint to keep your camera steady and that it does well.

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Old February 23rd, 2014, 07:04 AM   #3
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Re: Anyone using a counter balance weight?

Thanks Noa

You showed me that a while back and I also have my rig like that. I figure that if you want the balance point right under the shoulder pad (where it should be) then you either need a VERY long arm that extends behind the pad with a moderate weight on it OR a very heavy weight just behind the pad which will make the entire camera quite a few kilograms heavier (if the pad assembly doesn't break first!!)

Guess I'll stick to my ENG mount which takes the weight off the front end with a sprung rod going into a waist belt. It makes the front end totally "weightless" when you hold the camera on your shoulder and the camera itself doesn't have any extra weight applied!

Chris
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Old March 3rd, 2014, 05:58 AM   #4
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Re: Anyone using a counter balance weight?

This is how I did it with the Vg20. There's over a kilo of lead shot it that black box at the back of the first shot but the rig works very well and is perfectly balanced, both N/S and E/W. As good as any ENG camera I have used. The counter weight, shoulder pad and carry handle are on separate rails so the pre assembled unit simply slides onto the same set of rails the camera and matte box are on. It takes five seconds to grab and fit to the back of standard rig shown in the second shot. Follow focus is thumb operated and all components shown are available cheaply on-line.
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Old March 3rd, 2014, 08:34 AM   #5
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Re: Anyone using a counter balance weight?

That's how it should be done but it becomes very impractible at a wedding because of it's size, the ea50 would require more wheight at the back because it's twice as long as a vg20.
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Old March 3rd, 2014, 11:38 AM   #6
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Re: Anyone using a counter balance weight?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Hi Guys

Has anyone successfully used a counter balance at the end of the shoulder pad ... I got a little disillusioned about how much weight is needed. I had some spare stedicam disc weights totalling 750g and hung those over the end of the bar on my shoulder pad so they dangled behind my back and seriously with the stock lens I can't see any huge advantage at all ..if someone lifts the weights off the end of the camera I cannot feel any balance difference at all ...there must be some but obviously 750g isn't enough to do anything to the balance ... I see the vocas weight is 1kg which is only 250g more than I have so that can't make a huge difference.

Maybe if the weight was extended 12" away from the shoulder pad it might be better but how much weight would you need to actually move the pivot point almost up to the pad itself???

Anyone tried different configurations and weights to get a really good balance??

Chris

I have the vocas with 1KG and it helps but only for 2-3 min quick takes , when I have to hold it longer then I believe that the good "old" $20 cawboy studio plastic fantastic is still the best : as for 1Kg being enough well.. it isn't, but the vocas must be used only for a quick take, nothing more. I had the vocas plate and weights for $40 but let me tell you .. if I had to pay more than 40 then... don't. The plastic fantastic is almost perfect if it wasn't that we are humans and we have this habit of breathing every once in a while .. :) ..
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Old March 3rd, 2014, 07:20 PM   #7
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Re: Anyone using a counter balance weight?

Thanks Guys

With the EA-50 it's probably just not practical, especially at weddings. The front ENG sprung support is actually a lot better as it doesn't add any weight to the whole rig but I only use it on long handhelds.

Funnily enough the main weight/balance was made a lot worse by the shoulder pad to EVF incorrect length! The camera is less stable and "wobbly" because the pad isn't sitting on your shoulder correctly and is too far forward! With the viewing tube mod in place, both eyecups now are 2" closer to the LCD so naturally you have to move the camera further back on your shoulder by 2" ..better seating and better balance as the fulcrum point (although still way forward) has moved back 2"

Chris
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Old March 4th, 2014, 04:54 AM   #8
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Re: Anyone using a counter balance weight?

I like the chest pad that craig posted. How about this: again with the $20 plastic fantastic cowboy studio thing: remove the little top extension , put a macro rail on the camera and attach the rail to the base of the plastic fantastic. Now you can move the camera back and forth using the rail (I bought a $12 macro rail to use on tripods and works fine). and you can move it also wwhen on the bracket! The "breathing thing" is still a problem and that's why I'm going to try the chest pad. Just an idea. We are all trying to put the thing on our shoulders.. all of us LOL one by one . so far the plastic fantastic is definitely the system that gives me the best stability (I have to breath slowly.. z'all LOL)
even better system would be the belt pole , I have it, it's old stuff, it works but I don't use it because I don't want to become the joke of the day with that pole coming out of the front on my pants. So that's a no go for it. The rigs ala Frankenstein are not an option for me (also because I shoot on tripod 95% of the time -I shoot sports, mainly, some interviews with a monopod (old habit from the ex1 days). The ea50 is not heavy, try the cowboy thing with the macro rail, see how you like it. will cost nothing..worth a try.
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Old March 4th, 2014, 05:36 AM   #9
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Re: Anyone using a counter balance weight?

Hi Anthony

I already have a rail system so I can use matte boxes if needed plus it supports my spring pole too. I don't care what people think! It really works a treat!! The EA-50 is already a no-rig camera and just by changing the viewfinder length so the pad sits further back makes all the difference in the world!! All I really need is a little back strain relief and the sprung pole does an amazing job so no counter-balance is needed!

I think the big issue was indeed the fact that the shoulder pad was never sitting on my shoulder so I was not only trying to keep the front end up but most of the back end too!! When I do Realty shoots inside a house I often need to go "one handed" so the rails/matte just drop off (it's a QR system) and the stock lens is exchanged for a Tokina 11-16 zoom so the camera is virtually balanced without too much front end weight, so I can hold it just on the strap so I can open doors etc etc with the other.

Chris
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Old March 4th, 2014, 02:37 PM   #10
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Re: Anyone using a counter balance weight?

Chris,
I wasn't referring to the 15mm rails, but this macro slider from adorama for example
Flashpoint Single Focusing Rail Fine Control, for Macro Photography MF-RSS

I have the flashpoint and also the ebay cheaper one : the flashpoint gives two mounts (1/4-20 and 3/8) and it's tighter , while the ebay one only gives a 1/4-20 mount and is less tight sliding it

this marco thing is small, fits nicely, barely noticeable and lets you move the camera with high precision: I use it to measure the counter balance on a fluid head on a tripod.

I have a question about the tokina : if you set 2.8 and 11mm do I need to worry about the focus of everything goes within the DOF , or I need to focus at 2/3rd of the field manually and leave it there?
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Old March 4th, 2014, 06:27 PM   #11
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Re: Anyone using a counter balance weight?

Hi Anthony

I use the Tokina as a point and shoot for Realty all the time. I just set the focus ring to between 2' and 3' and everything is in focus and sharp at 11mm. The depth of field even at F2.8 is massive!!!

Chris
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Old March 4th, 2014, 07:53 PM   #12
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Re: Anyone using a counter balance weight?

Chris,
thanks!
Oh my... that tokina is nothing less than spectacular! Just bought the Nikon version on craigslist (I have a Nikon still camera as well, and the adapter already.) It makes the ea50 some serious wide shooter.I'd suggest our stage broadcast friends used to make the studio spend thousands for a dedicate wide lens on stage robots , crane etc to take a look at this ea50 on tokina: the definition is superior to anything I've seen before. also the distortion is well over the current (poor) standards it's a 16-17mm wide at 2.8
Sony did everything they could to make this ea50 limited to amateurs , but this tokina fills up all the gaps by itself. Broadcast will only need an hdmi to sdi and here we go: finally beautiful wide shots on stage (finally): no more distortion and poor definition for our fav singers performing on TV.

well done, tokina , well done Chris for making this public. The guys at Sony's marketing are sprinting to find more limitations now. They don't like THAT.

LOL

:)
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Old March 5th, 2014, 12:44 AM   #13
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Re: Anyone using a counter balance weight?

Hi Anthony

At weddings I do guest messages during pre-dinner drinks and they happen fast and furious. I used to use the stock lens and quite often the AF just wasn't fast enough!! With the Tokina I just preset focus and get in close so the shotgun mic gets nice audio and everything is sharp!!

A lens well worth considering too is the Tamron 17-50 F2.8 but you need the non VR version ...very sharp on the Nikons compared to my Nikon lens and awesome on the EA-50 ...it's a really nice lens and I use that often as well.

Chris
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Old March 5th, 2014, 01:00 PM   #14
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Re: Anyone using a counter balance weight?

Chris,
exactly! The power of the tokina is in the focus and the fact that's sharp wide open. Like you said you set the focus on 2/3rd of the field and roll. If you take for example a footage of a recent show (Sanremo music festival in Italy) where one camera on a crane was the main camera with a definition way superior to the others (main Arri I believe, two huge canons on the sides) then compare to the footage out of a steady guy and a robot close to the stage you notice (immediately) a degradation (and nasty distortion) . This tokina makes the perfect wide. Nice, sharp, 2.8 . I am impressed. Why I didn't hear about this lens before? it's out for a while now... My fault, and thanks to you now I know :)
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Old March 17th, 2014, 11:35 AM   #15
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Re: Anyone using a counter balance weight?

Hey CHris,

sorry for the late reply! I have 2 counter balance weights. All 2 were handmade.
The cilinder one is 1.2 kg and the other one is 2.1 kg.

When I have to switch between tripod and "handheld" (shoulder) I will use the 1.2 kg. That's easier to attach on the shoulder pad with just srewing it in. Also putting it in and out the tripod is easier with only this weight.

When I need no tripod I will use the 2.1 kg. this really helps to put the balance backwards. I think all shouldercams with a fixed (and less heavy lens) will be better balanced than the NEX-EA50.

See my pics. If you have questions, just ask.

BTW, my mattebox is now better with almost the lens in the middle! the metal screw on the bars is really tight now!
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