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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old December 9th, 2005, 09:10 AM   #1
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What’s the secret to zooming?

On the VX2100 that is.

I’m referring to the abrupt starts and stops when easing in and out of a zoom (is this called ramping?). I’ve tried the manual zoom ring – and while this helps I still don’t get the smoothness I want. (If you've ever done a photo montage in post you'll know what I'm talking about).

I know the VX handle has another zoom rocker that can slow things down but still, the abrupt starts/stops is annoying. If a controller like the varizoom is the only solution then it’s too late for now.

I just bought a 1170RM tripod from B&H:

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

Couldn’t find anything negative about it on the web. Very sturdy - the legs and fluid head are great. Pans are very smooth. It doesn’t have the center “crank” column which is what I like. Plenty of height. It also came with Sony’s LANC “Remote Commander” mounted on the panning handle. By the pictures it looked like this was a separate attachment but come to find it… it “is” the handle. (I was hoping this wouldn’t be the case so I could replace it down the road with a varizoom perhaps). This controller has the basics you would except but the zoom rocker works “backwards” from the VX2100. (Rocking forward pulls the shot out wide).

Other than throwing money at the problem, is there a knack that needs to be acquired when easing in and out of a zoom on the VX?
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Old December 9th, 2005, 09:39 AM   #2
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Throw all the money you want at it and the problem will still exist. This is the dumbest part of this series of cameras.

If you go to a pro lens and the removable lens cameras, the starts and stops are butter-smooth.

Since this is a servo system, the additional code to add a smooth start and stop would be very simple. I can only guess that they did this on purpose to differentiate the camera from the removable lens cameras.
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Old December 9th, 2005, 10:23 AM   #3
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In my opinion the zoom starts and stops very fluidly if using the zoom ring and softness can be achieved with the main rocker too, just needs a bit of practicing. Even the large shoulder-cams usually have electrical rocker for zooming and ring is probably used more on film-making.
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Old December 9th, 2005, 11:52 AM   #4
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George, while you are correct about the ring, very few people will agree with you on the start and stop smoothness using the rocker switch.

The electrical zoom on professional lenses is far better than that on these Sony cameras.
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Old December 9th, 2005, 12:15 PM   #5
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In my opinion the zoom starts and stops very fluidly if using the zoom ring and softness can be achieved with the main rocker too
I've tried this George but no cigar. While the zoom ring helps with speed... the start and stop of any particular zoom changes too abruptly - it's just too constant.

I guess as Mike suggests, it's all limited to the VX2100 servo so the varizooms won't introduce any new functionality via the LANC?
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Old December 23rd, 2005, 10:52 AM   #6
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varizoom adds more smoothness/control eventhough your using the same servo. whether its smooth enuff depends on your touch and your standards. i either opt to use less zoom shots or edit out the beginning and end sections of the zoom (where its jerky) in post production.
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Old January 20th, 2006, 07:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Rehmus
George, while you are correct about the ring, very few people will agree with you on the start and stop smoothness using the rocker switch.

The electrical zoom on professional lenses is far better than that on these Sony cameras.
I guess I'm one of those few that agrees that the rocker can be fluid with practice. I only use a LANC remore controller when on tripod but in the field I have no problem with the rocker. I'm usually on a monopod and maybe that helps.
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Old January 20th, 2006, 09:48 AM   #8
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I've been playing around with my VX2100 on the zooming, and I've almost gotten to where I can make a very smooth start using the ring, and if I time it just right, I can continue the zoom with the rocker for a smooth flow. It's very difficult to get right and takes a lot of practice... I'll probably never even use it, but it's something to try
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Old January 30th, 2006, 04:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Georg Liigand
In my opinion the zoom starts and stops very fluidly if using the zoom ring and softness can be achieved with the main rocker too, just needs a bit of practicing. Even the large shoulder-cams usually have electrical rocker for zooming and ring is probably used more on film-making.
That's right, Georg, practice using the zoom controls like you were learning to play music. When you become a maestro, it will zoom just as smoothly as you want. On the other hand, just avoid zooming when recording and the problem never exists. Except for those dramatic opening and closing scenes, when do you see zooming in major movies?
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Old January 30th, 2006, 04:25 PM   #10
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Exactly. Use the zoom for framing and forget zooming during the 'take' and you'll be OK.

I do use the manual zoom ring to very slowly to correct a framing error either because I set it too close or the talent started moving.
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Old February 3rd, 2006, 09:27 PM   #11
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To get back to Rick's original post, although it seems that Sony has upgraded the tripod section on his new gear, that appears to be the same cheapo zoom controller they have been using for years, and that is too bad. It truly is a bad device, and very likely does not take advantage of all the steps available to the LANC controllers in the camera. If at all possible, I would return it for a refund. Sorry, but that's my opinion.

As has been mentioned, there is no way to totally eliminate the "hiccup" at the beginning of the slow zoom. But it can often be concealed with a pan or tilt, and with the use of a quality controller. BTW, Varizoom is not the only quality controller on the block.

As for "never" using the zoom in movies, that is simply not true, and it would be silly to eliminate one of your tools from your kit. Like any other tool, you need to learn to use it effectively, and with discretion.

Wayne Orr, SOC
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Old February 4th, 2006, 06:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Steele
I just bought a 1170RM tripod from B&H:

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

Couldn’t find anything negative about it on the web. Very sturdy - the legs and fluid head are great. Pans are very smooth. It doesn’t have the center “crank” column which is what I like. Plenty of height. It also came with Sony’s LANC “Remote Commander” mounted on the panning handle. By the pictures it looked like this was a separate attachment but come to find it… it “is” the handle. (I was hoping this wouldn’t be the case so I could replace it down the road with a varizoom perhaps). This controller has the basics you would except but the zoom rocker works “backwards” from the VX2100. (Rocking forward pulls the shot out wide).
I believe you can remove this LANC controler from the tripod and use it on other Sony equipment. However, it does have limited control functions. It works only in record mode and won't operate when the camcorder is in playback. You can buy an RM95 Service version LANC controler and it will do everything you would want and even some other things of which you probably never thought the camcorder was capable. This controler isn't available everywhere, but some Sony pro dealers will have it.
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Old February 4th, 2006, 06:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Stephen McDonald
You can buy an RM95 Service version LANC controler and it will do everything you would want and even some other things of which you probably never thought the camcorder was capable. This controler isn't available everywhere, but some Sony pro dealers will have it.
Here's how to get one: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showpost....41&postcount=3

One of the interesting applications is that you can read the usage hours on the VX-2000, VX-2100 and other Sony cameras.
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Old February 4th, 2006, 08:11 PM   #14
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I don't believe Sony sells it anymore or at least it is not listed with a price in the search results for the parts sales store. Here is what the search now brings up:

RM95CTF1 9910999WN WILL NOT BE SUPPLIED Call 1-800-538-
RM95CTF10 9910999WN WILL NOT BE SUPPLIED Call 1-800-538-7550 for information.
RM95 991099940 CHECK SERVICE BULLETIN OR TCN Call 1-800-538-7550 for information.
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Old February 4th, 2006, 08:20 PM   #15
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Oh well... guess I should have ordered on last March when I posted that info :-)
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