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Old December 15th, 2010, 03:00 AM   #1
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Shoulder Rigs: Zacuto vs RR vs ?

Let me preface by saying that hand holding an EX1 or EX3 with my hand on the zoom rocker causes back pain within 10 mins so I need to find the best solution for upcoming work.

I have rented the RRMicro Shoulder rig twice and I really liked the length of its handles; however, it was not at all stable when mounted on my FSB 6. A few months ago, I spent a minute with the Zacuto 'Newsman Baseplate' rig at my local Abel Cine but it didn't have the proper baseplate for an EX3; so, I didn't have a chance to test it.

Here are a few things I need:
- use a Varizoom zoom controller. I have their Pro-EX but will purchase another if it doesn't fit on the handle.
- be able to mount additional gear on the back for extra counterweight (wireless, battery-probably switronix...).

In a few months, I will add an Arri MMB-1 mattebox and possibly a nanoFlash.

One thing I did not like about the RRMicro rig is some of the knobs didn't fully tighten and one handle kept moving.

Anyone have experience with the Zacuto versus other shoulder rigs? Obviously, my back pain is such an issue that I am considering a $2000 shoulder rig. If it helps prevent the pain, then I'd pay twice as much.

Thanks.

Last edited by Steve Kalle; December 15th, 2010 at 04:49 PM.
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Old December 15th, 2010, 04:30 AM   #2
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Steve, I feel your pain (pun intended :)).

Having undergone a couple of neck spine surgeries myself, I also thought a good shoulder rig will help me operate my EX1 (with add-ons), with less fatigue and more stability. But over time, my RR grew up to a monster you can see here:

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-xdc...ml#post1509253

- and this is without the Letus!

I can tell you that presently, I shoot 90% from the tripod, and the remaining 10% using the small rig from Olof...
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Old December 15th, 2010, 08:02 AM   #3
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Check out my rig for the EX1 or EX3 cameras here:
Westside A V Studios WEB Store

The rig is very affordable.

You can also contact me direct.
olof@westsideav.com
603-383-9283
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Old December 15th, 2010, 02:43 PM   #4
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Thanks guys.

Olof,

With your setup, it will still cause me pain, which is why I need something like the RRMicro so I can keep my forearms perpendicular to my body to alleviate any stress on my back, particularly right inside my shoulder blades.

I even considered a true ENG camera like the 350 but my right arm still remains at the 'bad' angle.

We just added a professional on-air talent/reporter who has worked for a local tv station and comcast. She is costing a pretty penny and I must be able to shoot her out in the field like a real news reporter.
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Old December 15th, 2010, 02:51 PM   #5
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Hi Steve,

I actually am just working on some Handles for the front of the camera, and a harness that attaches to you.

Give me a call (603-383-9283 cel 603-387-4921)l or email if you are interested in trying out the beta versions.

I will post photos here soon. These rigs will be compatible with my base system, and support a mattebox, follow focus and monitor out front as well.
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Old December 15th, 2010, 04:20 PM   #6
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Hi Steve,

Sorry to hear you have back pain not a fun thing to have to deal with when shooting.

I did have the Zacuto 'Newsman Baseplate system for my EX1 a few years ago. I did not have the handles so my system would not have worked for you. Attached is a picture of this rig. I had a DVtec waist holder and spring arm to support the end of the camera. It was a heavy rig with two KS-8 gyros.

I now use Olof's setup but have not purchased the shoulder support yet. I still use the spring arm at times. You might want to look into that on DVtec sight.
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Old December 15th, 2010, 04:21 PM   #7
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Sorry here is the pic.
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Old December 15th, 2010, 04:48 PM   #8
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Thanks Paul, I appreciate your time.

I presume you thought its build quality was excellent. I think most if not all non-electronic Zacuto gear come with a liftetime warranty plus I'm only 45 minutes away from them here in Illinois.

Did you ever mount it on a tripod? If so, how stable was it? For some events, I will have need to remove the rig from a tripod so stability is important, which is mainly why I won't be buying the RRMicro.

Also, did you use the EX1's LCD or viewfinder with the setup in your picture?
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Old December 16th, 2010, 04:53 AM   #9
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PMJI Steve (and Paul).

If you're close to Zacuto, try the Striker. This puts your supporting arm further down near your CoG and leaves your left hand free to handle the lens. If you can find a 'Sock Loupe' for the viewfinder, all the better.

I bought mine (albeit the older version) for a DSLR, but was happily surprised on how it works with the EX1 (once I found my sock, so to speak).

The only grumble was that I use a Zoe Bebob, which I really wish would use the third button for the 'instant magnify' function.
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Old December 16th, 2010, 08:41 AM   #10
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Although I may begin to sound like a broken record, the EXMount (exmount.com) is by far the best mount I've used for the EX3. Shooters I've rented my rig to are amazed at how easy it is to use and how much it turns the camera into a proper shoulder rig system. Mark, is more than happy to answer questions should you have them. Check it out.
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Old December 16th, 2010, 08:50 AM   #11
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Hi Steve,

Sorry for the delay I did not work last night.

The build quality on the Zacuto was excellent but in my opinion very overpriced. I guess like the camera companies you charge as much as the market will pay.

I never used my setup on a tripod. That rig was only for on water shooting while in a chase boat. It worked well with the spring rod taking a lot of the load and gyros of course made a huge difference. But it was heavy and still had my hands where you do not want to put yours due to back pain.

I used the LCD with a hood when shooting with my rig. It kept my eyes focused on the subject but also let me move around the chase boat as needed.

Interesting Christoph I have never heard of exmount.com.

Steve I would give Olof a call he can build nice custom gear and it is priced right. I have the first Nano mount for 2/3" Sony cameras and
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Old December 16th, 2010, 10:32 AM   #12
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Steve I did find a couple of pictures with the rig on a tripod. Not with the gyro's but with a Flash XDR. That was not for hand held it was back when I used the EX for aerials.
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