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Sony XDCAM PMW-F3 CineAlta
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Old September 18th, 2011, 10:06 PM   #1
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Mounting a Zacuto EVF on the front of the F3

For those wanting a rock solid mount for a Zacuto EVF attached to the front the F3 handle, here are step by step instructions and the list of goodies to buy. I like using Ultralight Control System arms because once tightened, the clamping system still provides a certain level of friction allowing some degree of adjustment. I also listed Sony’s 3’ HDMI cable with swivel connectors. This cable is absolutely first rate and the swivel ends allow for a complete relief of stress on the cable, EVF and camera HDMI ports. This is a great doco style filming setup with the F3 sitting on the cameraman shoulder and the EVF in front of it (like most good camera designs…). Using a top mount on the EVF provides good clearance around the lens with easy access to iris and focus controls. The Cinelock provide for quick removal or installation of the EVF using one hand.

To better understand the system, I uploaded a series of pictures on Picassa here:
https://picasaweb.google.com/1022297...ntedZacutoEVF#

WHAT YOU NEED:

- Zacuto EVF
- Zacuto Cheese Stick (important as this provide top mounting holes on the EVF)
- Sony 3' HDMI cable with vertical swivel connector (very cool, Mfg Ref is DLCHE10V)
- 2 x 1/4" external lock washer
- 1 x 8-32 1-1/4" machine screw
- 1 x 1/8" 3/4" fender washer
- 1 x 8/32" lock nut
- 1 x 1" Hex chrome screw w/washer
- 1 x UCS (Ultalight Control System) 1/4-20 ball adaptor w/o stud
- 1 x UCS 1/4-20 ball adaptor w/stud
- 1 x UCS 5" double arm ball
- 2 x UCS new style clamps (15 degree side movement)
- 1 x Cinelock
- 1 x Manfrotto Nano clamp

ZACUTO CHEESE STICK MOD: The purpose of this mod is to allow for better tightening of a UCS ball adaptor w/o stud. Alternatively, you could use a UCS ball adaptor with thread mounted directly in the Cheese Stick threaded hole but this is prone to some degree of slippage.

1) Using a 5/16 metal drilling bit, enlarge one the existing Cheese Stick ¼”-20 threaded mounting hole
2) Use 1” Hex screw and washer to secure UCS ball adaptor w/o stud

MANFROTTO NANO CLAMP MOD: The purpose of this mod is to allow the Nano clamp to fit under the F3 handle and to prevent the Cinelock base to slip around by installing a fender washer that will come in contact with the Cinelock.

1) Cut a 3mm x 15mm notch on the clamp claw that will be on the left side of the camera (pic 9). That is the one with Manfrotto’s markings (see pic 8)
2) Smooth out cut edges with a file
3) Drill a ¼” hole across the clamp ¼” from the edge (pic 8)
4) Secure fender washer to clamp using 8-32 1-¼” machine screw and locking nut (pic 10). Fender washer should overlap Cinelock base a bit to prevent slippage. (pic 7 & 8)
5) Install Cinelock base using the provided ¼” machine screw into the Nano Clamp ¼”-20 hole. Adding a ¼” external lock washer between the Cinelock base (female) and the Nano Clamp will prevent slippage.

INSTALLATION ON F3:

1) Engage wide opened Nano Clamp at a 90 degree angle from the right side of the F3 handle front support post
2) Rotate Nano Clamp 90 degree counter clockwise so Cinelock wedge is in front of F3 handle support post
3) Tighten clamp
4) Screw UCS ball mount with ¼” threaded post in Cinelock wedge side (male) ¼” hole. Prevent slippage by tightening tiny secondary sunk hex screw on the Cinelock wedge
5) Attach UCS clamps and 5” arm to Zacuto EVF and Cinelock wedge.

Et voilà. Enjoy!

Thierry
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Old October 15th, 2011, 07:48 PM   #2
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Re: Mounting a Zacuto EVF on the front of the F3

Finally bought my own Zacuto EVF, after holding out for a better solution for 6 months from NAB.

I had some Zacuto knuckles laying around from my departed Red kit, here's what I came up with.

For me personally, I can't stand Noga arms to keep a finder in place. They never work right when you need it to the most.
Attached Thumbnails
Mounting a Zacuto EVF on the front of the F3-img_0803.jpg   Mounting a Zacuto EVF on the front of the F3-img_0802.jpg  

Mounting a Zacuto EVF on the front of the F3-img_0801.jpg  
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Old October 16th, 2011, 10:23 AM   #3
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Re: Mounting a Zacuto EVF on the front of the F3

That looks pretty slick.
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Old October 16th, 2011, 01:07 PM   #4
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Re: Mounting a Zacuto EVF on the front of the F3

I have always--ALWAYS--found Noga or ballhead mounts useless for monitor and especially viewfinder mounting. The reason is that when you want to tip the monitor a few degrees in tilt or pan, or the viewfinder in tilt, you can't do so without using both hands and there's a good likelihood that it will end up wonky in one direction or another. In virtually all instances, you want to keep the horizon/roll of the monitor locked to the camera--I find it disconcerting when the monitor is off-level. But every time you release a Noga or ballhead, you have to re-find level again. No bueno and a waste of time.

Nate's solution is the right one (and one I have been using with the SmallHD DP6 as my onboard monitor and viewfinder for a while). An even better one would incorporate a friction mount so that you can tilt it with one hand without having to lock and unlock the knuckle. If this sounds familiar, it's how viewfinders on broadcast cameras have worked for many years...! We've been re-inventing the wheel for a while now, it's time to get back to functionality.
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Old October 16th, 2011, 01:14 PM   #5
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Re: Mounting a Zacuto EVF on the front of the F3

I spent all night looking around, and there's another thread on here that I can't find right now where you use the Berkey front extension cheese plate, their cross clamp, and you can get the "pivot rod" lower down where it makes more sense.

I also saw this morning Letus and Hurbut have some new gear with what looks like a complete EVF clutch mech and L-arm for a finder. That may wind up being the best.
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Old October 16th, 2011, 01:26 PM   #6
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Re: Mounting a Zacuto EVF on the front of the F3

Yeah, meant to go to the product demo yesterday but didn't have time. The monitor mount does look solid.
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Old October 16th, 2011, 11:36 PM   #7
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Re: Mounting a Zacuto EVF on the front of the F3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Weaver View Post
I spent all night looking around, and there's another thread on here that I can't find right now where you use the Berkey front extension cheese plate, their cross clamp, and you can get the "pivot rod" lower down where it makes more sense.
Nate, I believe it is my setup you were trying to find. Below are a set of pics taken just after I put all the Berkey bits in place. Works very well in practice. I still want to put a mount up the side of the EVF so it has less flex on the bottom of the EVF. Minor quibble but a necessary fix to make it "so".
Attached Thumbnails
Mounting a Zacuto EVF on the front of the F3-f3-evfmount-1.jpg   Mounting a Zacuto EVF on the front of the F3-f3-evfmount-2.jpg  

Mounting a Zacuto EVF on the front of the F3-f3-evfmount-3.jpg   Mounting a Zacuto EVF on the front of the F3-f3-evfmount-4.jpg  

Mounting a Zacuto EVF on the front of the F3-f3-evfmount-5.jpg  
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Old October 17th, 2011, 09:09 AM   #8
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Re: Mounting a Zacuto EVF on the front of the F3

Hi Andrew,

I copied your setup for the Berkey/Zacuto mount and have not found any flex at all. In fact, once tightened down, no amount of reasonable force seems capable of causing movement.
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Old May 16th, 2012, 12:58 PM   #9
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Re: Mounting a Zacuto EVF on the front of the F3

A customer brought this thread to my attention.
Zacuto has a new EVF Top Mount that was designed primarily around mounting an EVF from the top of a Sony F3 camera. You can check out the mount here. EVF Top Mount
It also works for mounting our EVF to the Panasonic AF100 and the RED Epic/Scarlet.
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Old May 16th, 2012, 02:10 PM   #10
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Re: Mounting a Zacuto EVF on the front of the F3

I like Nate's set-up very much. I too use the Shape bridge plate, as it puts the weight of the camera on your shoulder where it belongs. The viewfinder tilt adjustment is still a sore point as others have also mentioned. There was a company called SOLID from the LA area that was making an articulating arm that worked great on an FS-100, but I'm not sure they were going ahead with the F-3 version. Not much of it to see at NAB other than an F-65 prototype accessory. Another company ELEMENT was also playing with a similar one handed cradle type mount for a new ASTRO viewfinder. Anyone else know of these more traditional movement mounts for an EVF?

Last edited by Richard Boghosian; May 16th, 2012 at 04:21 PM.
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Old May 16th, 2012, 02:44 PM   #11
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Re: Mounting a Zacuto EVF on the front of the F3

I'm sure Solid could make something up for you. He's not really mass producing things, to my knowledge.

Letus has a promising part that I haven't seen in person yet. "Master Series EVF Knuckle", which has a clutch and the necessary bits to get the finder forward for handheld work. $450.

As it comes out of the box, it won't mount, but if you have a Berkey top plate + extension, and then a way to get a 19mm rod mounted laterally (I have a Zacuto 15mm piece), then it will all work.
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Mounting a Zacuto EVF on the front of the F3-mcs-evf-knuckle.jpg  
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Old May 18th, 2012, 09:29 AM   #12
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Re: Mounting a Zacuto EVF on the front of the F3

How about one of these 3/4" blocks, to run your 19mm horizontally from the extended Berkey top plate:

750 Series Base Plate Block | | Berkey System

There may be some other options available from this person's site:

ALLSTAR-CINE

The Letus Master's series knuckle has been on my "to get" list for a while now. The fricton plate / clutch mechanism is essential in view for a proper EVF mount.
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Old May 18th, 2012, 09:43 AM   #13
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Re: Mounting a Zacuto EVF on the front of the F3

I tried the letus mount, with my cineroid view finder, and it just didn't fit right. I found the EVF sit too far forward, I just couldn't get it where I wanted it. So I made my own.
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Old May 18th, 2012, 10:07 AM   #14
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Re: Mounting a Zacuto EVF on the front of the F3

Just found this little device from Zacuto that allows you to move from a 15mm system to 19mm. Really useful!
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Old May 18th, 2012, 11:23 AM   #15
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Re: Mounting a Zacuto EVF on the front of the F3

Nate's solution looks pretty good and I may switch to that for my Small HD4.
What I've been using is incredibly crude but does work for those who just need a quicky.
I put a manfrotto Mafer clamp around the handle (with some extra rubber padding for protection), then replaced the normal stud with a stud that has a 1/4" /20 screw, and go into the side screw hole on the monitor.
Goes on & off in seconds for exterior work and easy to adjust the angle. Might be a little far back for some. It looks ridiculous though and adds some weight. Functions fine though.
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