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Old September 8th, 2014, 02:20 PM   #46
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Re: Subway Kit and the Tripod Quandary

Here's how the Subway Kit is looking. Audio items in parentheses I normally wouldn't bring unless specifically needed.

The MiniBurst 504 might be an addition or substitution. If an addition it would require yet another light stand though. There's light stands that are about 1/2 lb lighter but I already own these and it wouldn't be much of a weight reduction. Lights include the weight of the batteries. I didn't add weight of the BMPCC EN-EL20 batteries though.

I could get the Sigma 18-35 lens and eliminate both the Lumix and the Nikkor 35mm but it's a heavy lens so there's not much change with that.


Subway Kit

Lights
3 Lowel Omni Stands 2.9 lb / 1.32 kg each
2 Digital Juice MiniBurst 128 9.6 oz / 272 g
1 Litepanels Sola ENG 10 oz / 0.28 kg
1 Airbox Mini Softbox w/ Eggcrate 4 oz / 113.4 g

Camera
1 Blackmagic Pocket Cinema camera 12.52 oz / 355 g

Lenses
1 Panasonic Lumix 12-35 f2.8 lens 10.76 oz / 305 g
1 Metabones Nikon G BMPCC Speed Booster 5.6 oz / 160 g
1 Nikkor 35mm f2.8 lens 8.4 oz / 240 g
1 Nikkor 50mm f1.8 lens 5 oz / 155 g
1 Nikkor 85mm f2.0 lens 11 oz / 313 g

Audio
Sennheiser EW 100 ENG G3
Receiver 5.5 oz / 156 g
Transmitter Lav 5.64 oz / 160 g
(Transmitter plugin 6.88 oz / 195 g)
(Rode VideoMic Pro 3 oz / 86 g)
(Beyerdynamic M88 11.3 oz / 320 g)

Tripod
1 Benro C2573S6 Tripod 6 lb / 2.7 kg

Maybe
1 Digital Juice MiniBurst 504 30 oz / 851 g
1 Edelkrone 24” SliderPlusV2 3.7 lb / 1.7 kg

Roughly 20 lb / 9 kg
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Old September 10th, 2014, 05:39 PM   #47
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Re: Subway Kit and the Tripod Quandary

Craig, I have to say you've given me much food for thought about
how I can also lighten my load. Thank you for that. I would like to know
how many bags does your gear go into and which ones are they?

Also, with the LCD on the pocket being as it is, have you considered an
external monitor and if so, which one?
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Old September 12th, 2014, 04:50 PM   #48
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Re: Subway Kit and the Tripod Quandary

Still thinking about packing. Just had a gig sans lights.

I had BMPCC in Ruggard bag and a bag with my audio kit inside a Porta Brace and Tripod in its own bag.

I may be able to have lights, Light stands, audio in the Porta Brace bag. Tripod in bag. BMPCC in Ruggard bag. Light stands barely fit. Alternately I could put light stand in bag with tripod but that's going to be one very heavy bag, throwing me off balance. I'll need a bigger Ruggard bag for more lenses or equivalent. I have a back pack I can use instead.

My aim is to get this into three bags I can carry on the subway.

I'm using a Zacuto Pocket Z- Finder. I'm finding I really can trust my focus with it, the peaking and the focus assist.
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Old September 16th, 2014, 07:08 AM   #49
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Re: Subway Kit and the Tripod Quandary

Craig, I'd suggest you take a look at the ThinkTank bags. They do some larger roll bags that might be perfect for you. Not cheap though, but I don't have a great back so a roll bag is a godsend.

I just ordered a new Benro Aero4 tripod, I'm going to give it a go. It's almost what I was looking for, at 1/4 of the price. Worth trying I think. I'll post up my findings.

Slightly off topic, but can you link me to some examples of the shots you get from that lighting kit with the BMPCC? I'm also after a semi-portable lighting kit to use with the BMPCC, and your setup seems to be particularly light.
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Old September 23rd, 2014, 08:26 AM   #50
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Re: Subway Kit and the Tripod Quandary

Please do tell me what you think of the Benro Aero 4. I'm torn between that and the Benro C2573S6 which only ways slightly more but has the S6 head.

So many of my shoots are ENG style that I don't have material I'd show yet with the lights but that may be coming up very soon (poss this week). I'm concerned it may not be enough light in some situations, hence the interest in the Digital Juice MiniBurst 504. I looked at the equivalent iKan lights (and others as well) and found them to be heavier and a rep from iKan told me that with the two included batteries, the light lasts for only an hour. More batteries means more weight.
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Old September 27th, 2014, 09:28 AM   #51
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Re: Subway Kit and the Tripod Quandary

Well I've had the Benro Aero4 for a week now, had a bit of a play with it, and will be taking it with me on a trip in 48 hours.

I went with the bigger Aero4 for two reasons:
1. I didn't like the size of the S2 head. It reminded me of the cheap 128RC Manfrotto head, which is awful on anything over about 12g.
2. My BMPCC, when rigged up, was higher than the weight limit of the Aero4.

Setting up the Aero4, I'm glad I went for the bigger one.

The tubes are surprisingly large for the weight, and feel quite solid. No tiny, flimsy tubes here, which is reassuring.

The S4 head is TINY! So far it seems ok but we'll see how it goes in proper field use this week. It's quite a lot smaller than my Manfrotto 500AH head.

I am not a fan of the pan bar. The only part of the kit that feels flimsy - I may look to replace it with something sturdier and more reassuring, as I don't like the amount of flex in it.

Leveller works well in the centre column.

One of the legs combines with the centre column to create a monopod, but there always seems to be a degree of... umm... persuasion required to get the centre column back in afterwards.

Weight feels good for a tripod of this size, benefit being it was so cheap I can buy another one if I need to, as opposed to the Gitzo solution. Working height is a lot higher than the Gitzo too.

Using the S4 sliding head really makes me aware of just how much I love the new Manfrotto heads that offer side load.

I like the Aero4 a lot more than I thought I would. It feels very solid, without being very heavy. Sure, the S4 head isn't an O'Connor, and the pan bar may as well be made of jelly, but Benro are onto something here.

Benro, if you're listening, so far all I want is:
- Make it out of carbon fibre, less weight, more rigidity
- Make the pan bar out of carbon too, or something just more reassuring and rigid. When I push on the bar, I want the head to move!
- Side load head please!

I got a discount on it through eBay's 15th anniversary sales, so paid about AUD$220 delivered, which is great value for a tripod with a levelling base and video head.

The real test will be this week. I'm heading to the Philippines for work, and the Benro will be coming with me to support my BMPCC rig and slider for some corporate work and hopefully some timelapse. I look forward to reporting how it goes!
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Old October 11th, 2014, 11:15 AM   #52
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Re: Subway Kit and the Tripod Quandary

BTW regarding the ThinkTank bags, I do have the LowePro CompuTrekker AW. It can strap on as a very hefty backpack and, of course, has wheels and a pull out handle. This is what I'd been using for my Sony PMW-EX XDCAM EX camera.
Lowepro Rolling Compu Trekker Plus AW Backpack LP34704-PEF B&H

Now that you've had time with the Aero4 do you find the S4 head adequate?
I do wish it were carbon fiber and maybe managed the S6 head.
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Old October 13th, 2014, 02:49 PM   #53
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Re: Subway Kit and the Tripod Quandary

Had a shoot in the tightest of spaces. Usable area might have been 4' x 4' (1.2m x 1.2m) at most!

Had BMPCC and lenses in a smal LowPro backpack. My too heavy Sachtler tripod in its bag (still need to decide between Aero4 and their SF6 Carbon leg tripod). In a 32' PortaBrace bag I had two light stands, two Digital Juice Miniburst 128s and one Airbox inflatable soft box and my Sennheiser Wirecast EW100G3 Mic kit.

I used BMPCC with Lumix 12-35 set to 12mm and f2.8. I'd have used a Sigma 18-35 with SpeedBooster if I had the lens instead for a bit shallower DOF. I could have used a Nikor 20mm f4 lens with SpeedBooster which ultimately would be a little faster than the Lumix (would have been about as wide).

I had to do a "wrong side" key light since there was no room to place a light on the proper side. I tried the Airbox with the light at 4 o'clock but with no fill light it looked odd. Instead I moved the light right next to the camera at 5 o'clock without soft box so, ultimately, the face looks flat lit. There was an opposite side practical which worked as a bit of a hair/accent light.

The tripod was just outside the door. Just enough room for me to stand without falling down the stairs behind me. Yes the entire space was that tight.

Left is straight from camera shot ProRes LT. Middle is Grade in FCPX. He looked pale especially against the rich earth tones in the background so I did another color filter with color selection on face and graded that so he looked a bit more flush. BTW I was bothered by the white box on the monitor behind him but to change that we'd have to had cleared out of the room so his engineer (he's a an overnight radio show host) could change it. We determined it wasn't worth the interruption and delay. He was going on the air at midnight and we weren't able to start the shoot until 10pm.
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Subway Kit and the Tripod Quandary-bobfassgradingprocess.png  
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Old October 17th, 2014, 08:02 PM   #54
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Re: Subway Kit and the Tripod Quandary

craig-

wonderful description of your workflow.

it always makes good reading to see how others deal with the issues of production.

i thought the face grade version was far superior.

nor was i bothered by the monitor.

in fact, it offered another layer of separation from the background.

if it was there, you would have wished it was!

thumbs up.

be well.

rob
smalltalk productions/nyc
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Old October 21st, 2014, 09:30 PM   #55
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Re: Subway Kit and the Tripod Quandary

Small Living Room. Same Gear as above. There was about 4' from couch to wall and about 10' long.

Shot at f2.8 with Panasonic Lumix 12-35 lens at 12mm.

Two Digital Juice MiniBurst 128s. Key Right, Fill Left. Shooting on angle so I could increase my distance to the couch. You can see the bricks going slightly soft as they recede on the left. There was no room to move her away from the wall. Even closer to wall than previous shoot.

No Grade on Left, Basic Grade Left Center. Face Grade One Right Center, Face Grade Two Right which might be slightly too saturated and dark. Probably going with Face Grade One Right Center.
I did a color selection on the face but color was close to the brick which was also selected so I also did a shape mask to preserve the bricks.

You can see the kind of crazy cramped conditions I often shoot under and why I need a small SPC Kit.
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Old November 10th, 2014, 11:03 PM   #56
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Re: Subway Kit and the Tripod Quandary

If i may add my voice here this is my actual traveling alone kit in downtown Montreal in Canada:

Camcorder bag (Lowepro Roller 2):Sony PMW-200,Sony Wireless Mic(2), Sony Shotgun Mic,Sony Charger,
3 Sony Batteries BPU-60, Sony Small Headphone, Some SxS Cards, Total weight ... about 33.

Lighting bag Lite Traveler (Lite Panel), 2 1X1 Led Light Panel, 2 Extension of 30 Ft, 1 Power Bar, and
2 Nano Stand and believe-it or not Total Weight is about 27.

I have a smaller bag from Lowepro for DV Camcorders for lighter camcorder traveling who maybe about
Total Weight of about 23 but this one is only my estimation of his weight.

The tripod if required is about a weight of 9 to add to any combo traveling with me specified above.

So any combo kit is a Total Weight of around 50 to 60 plus the tripod if required reach 60 to 70.

All weight is in Lbs not Kilograms , can i have a lighter Pro Videographer kit ..... my finding seem No ...
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Old November 11th, 2014, 07:28 AM   #57
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Re: Subway Kit and the Tripod Quandary

Daniel have you read the thread? Seems not if you say you can't have a lighter pro kit.
My kit is down to about 20lbs. Look at Ryan's kit as well.

Also if those are your weights, you bags must be unusually heavy because the weight for the individual items add up to lower amounts.

Your, camera, Tripod, lights are all heavier than needed in many cases unless all your interviews are two people or more.

1x1 panels aren't needed for most interviews in my experience.
PMW-200, while nice, could be replaced with BMPCC, GH4 or even PXW-X70.
Lighter camera means lighter tripod.
This also means much smaller camera bag.
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Old November 11th, 2014, 06:33 PM   #58
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Re: Subway Kit and the Tripod Quandary

Yes Craig i have read the thread and more than one time believe me or not with great observation.
Your kit is really customize to be as light as possible for specific type of work you do i have note it.
My bags are very robust but soft type i cant imagine the weight of total hard-cases , must be heavy.

Many bags are around 5 , 7 , 9 Lbs when soft type and hard-case sometime around 13 or more Lbs.
My interview many peoples and corporate videos to of the kind you see on Doug Jensen interviews Training.
What i was expected from readers here was if at my type of working a lower kit was possible not at any cost.

I have found myself in situations to have an assistant required to travel with me instead of getting lighter.
I shoot in big room with more than two peoples often who require appropriate lighting Lite Panels do-it.
My end results are Blu-ray all the time and i use at least two wireless mic , hope you see my Workflow.

Lets conclude my post is about my work type and workflow and it take heavy equipement kit not typical.
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Old November 11th, 2014, 09:33 PM   #59
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Re: Subway Kit and the Tripod Quandary

From what you describe your work really seems to require an assistant. At the top of the thread I think I mention I do have much heavier gear and with that, I hire an assistant. At 60-70lbs it may mean a couple of trips back and forth to the car if you're by yourself. If it's a big location, as you describe, it would seem to involve walking back and forth the room as well unless, you have an assistant. Granted I guess you could shot with your kit as a single person but when I have to carry that much gear and, I sometimes do, I hire an assistant for most efficient work.

Note I titled this thread "Subway kit" and a kit your size would be difficult to manage alone on a train or even hailing a cab. It could even be stretch to carry all that with air travel. Once you have a car you can pack, that's a different single person crew which is what Doug Jensen does.

Your kit is fine for that. I'm not sure there's much lighter for what you do. 1x1 panels are lighter than the equivalent tungsten lights and a PMW-200 is lighter than the older shoulder mounts.
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Old November 12th, 2014, 02:11 AM   #60
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Re: Subway Kit and the Tripod Quandary

Your conclusion are right on target i think Single Person Crew is about one or two bags Maximum.
Also the bags should be around 15 to 20 Lbs maximum each and 30 Lbs for two is the ok target.
My lighter camera bag is around 23 Lbs loaded but cant escape lighting kit and tripod Workflow.

Thank-you about your POV, have a nice editing and shooting day.
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