Bogen 521 zoom controller on pd150 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony HDV and DV Camera Systems > Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion

Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
Topics also include Sony's TRV950, VX2000, PD150 & DSR250 family.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 19th, 2004, 12:55 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Cambridge, MA/Crete, Greece
Posts: 189
Bogen 521 zoom controller on pd150

I am looking to buy a zoom controller and was wondering if any of the pd150-people have used the Bogen 521. Any thoughts, any complaints?

Has anyone used any of the Varizoom or Zoe zoom contollers with pd150? Which one would you recommend?

Thank you.
__________________
Stelios G.M.

Stylianos Moschapidakis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 19th, 2004, 01:04 PM   #2
Wrangler
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Vallejo, California
Posts: 4,049
Lots of posts on that issue. Please search for everyone's response.
__________________
Mike Rehmus
Hey, I can see the carrot at the end of the tunnel!
Mike Rehmus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 21st, 2004, 08:48 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 204
Hhmm... I searched using "521" and came up with only this post.

Any way, just checked out the 521, seems like the Canon ZR-1000 is a better deal (as much as I hate Canon). Correct me if I am wrong, but 521 seems to have only vari-zoom, whereas the ZR-1000 can do both vari-zoom and fixed speed (5 speeds to choose), and is cheaper.

I just wish the fixed speeds would start and stop gradually instead of a sudden lurch. Also, two extra buttons -- one "jump" (or speed) to widest, and the other jump to "tele-est", would help tremondously in my event work.
Law Tyler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 21st, 2004, 10:09 AM   #4
Wrangler
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Vallejo, California
Posts: 4,049
A search for 'LANC Controller,' however, brings up 136 threads, 'Zoom Controller,' 188. So there is lots of info on the controllers but, as you found, nothing on the 521 ( at least nobody called it a 521). Some on the 523 though which got good reviews.
__________________
Mike Rehmus
Hey, I can see the carrot at the end of the tunnel!
Mike Rehmus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 21st, 2004, 08:12 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Northridge Ca
Posts: 734
If you search those posts, you will find that I am a big fan of the ZOE, which I found after a long search. I found the ZOE to be the most professsional of any controller I tested, and it continues to operate flawlessly.

In all fairness, the Bogen 521 was not available at the time I tested the ZOE. I have since had an opportunity to use test the 521, and found it to be quite good. My major complaint was that the unit could only be used with a pan handle. Since then, they have adressed the problem with the introduction of the 522, which looks to be very attractive.

Both the ZOE and the Bogen are miles ahead of the Canon ZR1000, which is quite good for the money, but simply not in the same league with the ZOE or Bogen. IMHO, nothing else even merits consideration.

Wayne Orr, SOC
Wayne Orr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 21st, 2004, 10:08 PM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Cambridge, MA/Crete, Greece
Posts: 189
Thank you guys for replying.

Actually before posting here I did search this and other forums but couldn't find anyone who uses the Bogen 521 with a pd150, and since there have been reported incompatibility issues between the various zoom controllers and DV cameras, I wanted to be sure before purchasing anything.

Wayne, even though I haven't made a final decision, it is likely that I am going to go with the Bogen; however, I have to say that the ZOE-DV-LANC sounds like a great unit. It looks like it's not just you who praises this zoom controller. Is this the one you have?
__________________
Stelios G.M.

Stylianos Moschapidakis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 21st, 2004, 11:44 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 204
Wayne,

Can you enlighten me about how Bogen 521 is "miles ahead" of ZR-1000?

I want two things -- "jump" or "speed" to fully-wide and fully-tele (in between clips), and (slowly) creep to the two extreme also for shoot-while-zooming.

W/o fixed steps on the 521, the only way I can see Bogen beating the ZR-1000 is if the rocker requires very distinct pressure to go from "creep" to "jump" (or speed), so that my creep-zoom-while-shooting don't turn into jerking-back-and-fore or speed-zoom-while-shooting. Is that the case with the Bogen?

Also, of course the creep-zoom do have to gradually get up to speed, instead of lurching forward like the ZR-1000 fixed step zooms.
Law Tyler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 22nd, 2004, 12:07 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Northridge Ca
Posts: 734
Let's see if I can answer you both. First of all, Styllianos, yes, I have the ZOE-DV-Lanc, and I use it on a PD150. It works perfectly, with all functions performing as advertised. A couple other notes about the ZOE: it comes with a three year factory warranty, which is highly unusual for this type of gear. Also, you can use it in high humidity situations, which can be a problem for electronic gear. One of the other heavily advertised manufacturers mentions that using their zoom controller in such a situation can void the warranty and possibly damage your camera. Read the fine print. You can view portions of the first project I did with the ZOE at http://www.digitalprods.com/motorcity.htm
This was a Motown style music shoot, and I did a lot of zooming to give the numbers a little more punch, and the ZOE performed flawlessly, allowing me to adjust the speed of the zooms in concert with the tempo of the music, by varying the amount of pressure I applied to the rocker control. Very much like the professional gear I use that cost thousands of dollars.

Those professional zoom controllers, Law: none of them have set speed increments similar to the dial on the Canon ZR1000. Reason being, no one would ever use them. OK, maybe over the period of operating professionally for years there may have been one or two situations where it would have been adventageous to have a set speed, but there really is no call for such an option. One reason being, if you set the speed on the Canon to "5", let's say, when you press the zoom lever, you will immediately jump forward at 5, and when you release the lever, snap to a stop. No feathering. Imagine what that would be like if your car operated that way? Ouch. You want the ability to ramp up the speed, and ease off to stop. That's similar to the "ease in/ease out" controls in After Effects that you use when you are creating movement in your edit project. So yes, the really pro way to operate a zoom controller is to be able to feather your starts and stops, and you do that by varying the pressure you apply as you twist the zoom rocker. This is difficult with LANC controllers because of the "step increments" they use, and therefore you get that little "hiccup" at the start of a zoom. Sorry, the bad news is there is no way around that. The good news is that the high end controllers reduce that effect to a minimum, and often you can make the hiccup invisible by burying it in a pan or tilt. Remember, I am only talking about the very slowest of zooms. Usually, it is not a problem, unless you are using a lower priced controller. (BTW, no pro controllers use buttons to zoom in/out. Ugh)

The Canon ZR1000 has an annoying lag between the time you press the rocker switch till it activates the zoom, and then there is a very noticeable hiccup when the zoom begins. I noticed this on an interview I shot using the Canon, and it drove me to search for a better controller, which I eventually found in the ZOE, for considerably more money. As I have said many times, the Canon is a fine unit for the money, but it simply is not in the same league with the ZOE or the Bogen.

The ZOE has a new model, called the ZOE II, which I hope to check out in the near future. It features a speed adjustment wheel, which allows you to adjust the zoom speed within a desired range. For example, if you are doing an event where you will be doing a lot of high speed zooms, such as sports, you can adjust the unit so the range will favor the higher speed range. OTOH, if you are doing dramatic work, you will want slower zooms, and you can adjust the range to the slow end. What this means is, no matter how hard you twist the zoom rocker, you will only go to a somewhat faster, slow speed. This speed wheel is also available on the new Bogen 523. Is this adjustable speed wheel necessary? No, but it comes under the heading "nice to have," versus, "need to have." All serious professional zoom controllers do have this speed wheel adjustment, but we lived a long time without this option, and still managed to do good work. But it is "nice to have" it. Expect to pay extra for this option.

I hope I have answered all your questions. For futher info on the original ZOE, you can read my review at http://www.digitalprods.com/zoe.htm You can also find additional info on the ZOE at www.16x9inc.com. ZOE is manufactured by Bebob Engineering, which is a German manufacturer of professional camera gear. I assume you know who Bogen is.

Wayne Orr, SOC
Wayne Orr is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony HDV and DV Camera Systems > Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:03 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network