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Sony XDCAM PMW-F3 CineAlta
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Old March 8th, 2011, 08:52 PM   #1
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Pics of the F3 on a handheld rig

When I got my F3, I quickly rummaged through my gear to find something that works and can get me shooting handheld without buying any new rigs. Eventually, I'll need to get a rig that is optimized for the F3 but for now I've got something I can shoot with. Thought you might enjoy a few pics of how the rig came together.

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Old March 8th, 2011, 10:04 PM   #2
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Re: Pics of the F3 on a handheld rig

Interesting thing with the 4-pin XLR at that angle. I felt lucky on my rig that it fit between the rails without having to change the plug to another angle.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 11:12 PM   #3
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Re: Pics of the F3 on a handheld rig

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Originally Posted by Chuck Fishbein View Post
Interesting thing with the 4-pin XLR at that angle. I felt lucky on my rig that it fit between the rails without having to change the plug to another angle.
On the Neutrik XLR right angle connectors, you can loosen the securing collar and spin it to whatever angle works for you. That's the way it came from Anton Bauer and the angle works well for me so I left it. It tucks the cable in just perfect.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 08:24 AM   #4
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Re: Pics of the F3 on a handheld rig

Aaron- using handheld rig, how do you find your eye placement and focus to the flip out LCD?
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Old March 9th, 2011, 09:23 AM   #5
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Re: Pics of the F3 on a handheld rig

My question exactly - I have my F3 slid forward so I can still use the flip-out LCD handheld. But that's so far in front of me that with a heavy zoom, it's almost impossible to counterbalance. Almost killed myself doing crowd shots for an hour the other night - definitely need a better solution.

What are people doing for F3 shoulder rigs/forward mounted monitoring? We've seen a lot of photos of rigs built for sticks, but not so many of thoughtful handheld rigs.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 10:18 AM   #6
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Re: Pics of the F3 on a handheld rig

I agree, the LCD is a tad close for my taste. Depending on how long the shoot is, I can always snap my Marshall monitor on the rail between the left hand grip and the body. That's about the perfect distance for me. Even with the rig as it sits, it'll do in a pinch and it's pretty balanced right now. Any further forward and I'll be killing myself. The rig is already ridiculously heavy, 25lbs on the scale as you see it in the pics.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 10:19 AM   #7
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Re: Pics of the F3 on a handheld rig

Zacuto has a Z-finder EVF, for release soon. Hopefully they will have a working product @ NAB on a F3. They show off a EVF - F3 setup on their site. Need to see how effective this EVF is. It may be what your chiropractor orders.

One stop at NAB not to miss.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 10:28 AM   #8
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Re: Pics of the F3 on a handheld rig

Aaron- that is alot of weight, can you offload the battery and the Cine recorder to a backpack unless it offsets the lens, CG?
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Old March 9th, 2011, 10:35 AM   #9
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Re: Pics of the F3 on a handheld rig

Yeah Steve, without the deck and batteries the rig kills my arms after just a bit
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Old March 9th, 2011, 11:38 AM   #10
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Re: Pics of the F3 on a handheld rig

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The rig is already ridiculously heavy, 25lbs on the scale as you see it in the pics.
My goodness. How heavy is the Cinedeck without the batts?
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Old March 9th, 2011, 12:22 PM   #11
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Re: Pics of the F3 on a handheld rig

I think the Cinedeck is about 4 pounds if I recall correctly.
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Old March 13th, 2011, 04:32 PM   #12
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Re: Pics of the F3 on a handheld rig

Interesting. The rail support is from Redrocmikro wright?

Has anybody seen or put together a rig that is longer than this one? So you could support a lens on it and a matte box.
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Old March 13th, 2011, 05:42 PM   #13
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Re: Pics of the F3 on a handheld rig

I haven't had a chance to play with the F3 yet but my solution to handheld has never been shoulder rigs but to mount on a monopod with a tilt head that sits in a fanny pack on my waist. This could possibly also be used with a shoulder rig. Nice thing is it gets the weight in front of you and makes it easy to use a hoodman on the EX-1 as you have a lot of freedom as to where the camera sits. I'm hoping this will work on the F3 also though the more accessories you add, the more cumbersome this stuff becomes. I'm glad I started going to the gym recently.
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Old March 14th, 2011, 12:32 AM   #14
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Re: Pics of the F3 on a handheld rig

Ahem guys--welcome to the big leagues. Large sensor PL cameras mean heavy lenses. Instead of re-inventing the wheel, consider the solutions that have been in place for years to manage larger rigs.

The Redrock shoulderpad is to me not a sensible design--it places the rig forward completely arbitrarily. You should be able to sit the rig on your shoulder as close to the fulcrum point as possible. Wrestling a front-heavy rig is just a waste of energy. Putting a loupe on the flip-out finder is a pretty good solution, certainly better than the fixed screen on the DSLR's, but it still forces you into a having an arbitrary amount of the weight fore of your shoulder. For the past few years I've been using monitors placed as far forward as possible, and with the DSLR's I made up a homemade viewfinder using a Hoodman loupe with extension coroplast sides that velcro to the faceplate of the monitor (currently the DP6). For the shoulder pad, I have used a strap on pad on my shoulder that allows me to place the camera wherever I choose (again, not dictated by where a pad "finds itself" amongst the other elements on the rods). A more tidy solution is a loose pad that velcros under the camera at the appropriate spot. If that sounds makeshift, believe it or not that's how some of the higher end film cameras (Panavision for one) have done it in the past.

Regarding the mattebox--once you start to build up the rest of the masses to this sort of weight point, a clip-on lightweight mattebox becomes a much better solution than a rod-mounted swingaway. With 35mm cameras and their HD equivalents it is standard to have a studio mattebox and a clip-on for handheld and Steadicam.
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Old March 14th, 2011, 02:23 AM   #15
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Re: Pics of the F3 on a handheld rig

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Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
Wrestling a front-heavy rig is just a waste of energy.
And it compromises the shot. You can do it for a shot here and there, but if you need to do it all day, you will hurt and the shots will stink. Putting weight (bigger batts, god forbid, 'ballast weights') on the back to balance rarely does, and just adds more weight to tire you out.


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For the past few years I've been using monitors placed as far forward as possible
That's sage advice. I'll add a little I learned from shooting 2.5 years with the Red:

It didn't take long to learn after I bought the Red that the only way to do handheld was to mount the 5" LCD right next to the mattebox. The camera would balance on my shoulder and the LCD filled maybe 60-70% of my field of view, allowing some peripheral vision to navigate while doing handheld tracking shots.

After I got the Red EVF, I realized that it had to be so far forward that it blocked access to the lens for the assistant (and me, too). And it added a noticeable amount of weight to an already heavy rig. I used it once for handheld, once was enough.

Also, if you get a Cineroid or Zacuto EVF, resist the urge to mount it with a noga arm. When you go handheld with it, the mass of the camera pressing the EVF against your eye will loosen the EVF after a few takes, and then the arm will either loosen from it's 1/4" moorings, or the balls will give way, leaving your EVF in a place your eye can't get to it. Redrock, Zacuto and Cineroid love to show those finders on a noga arm because it looks so clever, but the reality is that when the mass of your body and a 20lb camera is involved, they'll never stay put. Figure out something else...

[edit: attached a pic of what I'm talking about on the Red. Looks weird, but the day that pic was taken, I had done 6 hours handheld with that cam]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
Instead of re-inventing the wheel, consider the solutions that have been in place for years to manage larger rigs.
Yes, keep in mind guys who operate 35 have been dealing with this stuff for years. The 'rigs' I see on retailers and manufacturers web pages often go from questionable to ridiculous in actual usability, based on my experience. Please remember those guys are there to sell you little aluminum doo-dads, not solve your problem in the cheapest/most efficient way possible. I'd recommend googling pictures of 35 handheld rigs, because chances are those are the guys that have to do it for 12 hour days and you can reverse engineer from the pics what works.
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