Correct techniques for focus using steadicam. at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Stabilizers (Steadicam etc.)


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 25th, 2008, 07:10 AM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: LONDON
Posts: 178
Correct techniques for focus using steadicam.

I have a Merlin and Sony V1. My current issue is how to handle focusing. My filming is events and weddings, so I normally have to chase a number of unpredictable people.

Is the trick to fix focus at a certain distance, and always try to work at that range from the subject - moving with them?

I assume auto-focus is avoided generally?

Any tips folks?
Deniz Ahmet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 25th, 2008, 07:23 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 2,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deniz Ahmet View Post
I have a Merlin and Sony V1. My current issue is how to handle focusing. My filming is events and weddings, so I normally have to chase a number of unpredictable people.

Is the trick to fix focus at a certain distance, and always try to work at that range from the subject - moving with them?

I assume auto-focus is avoided generally?

Any tips folks?


Well so far, I use auto focus, have a light on my camera and stay within range of detail work. All that together, I've had good success. Since the steadicam pilot I have, needs to hands really, I don't have time to mess with the focus.
__________________
What happens if I push the 'Red' button?
Steven Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 26th, 2008, 01:09 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Auburn, CA
Posts: 578
Deniz,

Most independent steadicam operators (not in the film industry) I know use the auto focus system because it usually works and it allows you to change your distance from the subject fairy easily. The big movie guys have a remote "follow focus" system with an extra person to adjust the focus which has be predetermined for the shot. It's expensive, adds weight to the sled, and requires the "focus puller" individual to operate it.

While some cameras have the ability to add a follow focus to them, most of us opt for the auto focus system. Two (maybe more) words of caution...Make sure you have adequate light for the auto focus to work correctly (longer focal range) and be careful about the new 35mm lenses which limit the focal range. They look very "film like" but are harder to keep in focus while moving. That's their nature.

Maybe a steadicam operator who actually uses a 35mm Redrock etc. could comment on their usage.

Tery
Indicam
__________________
He's only mostly sDEADy.

sort of from "The Princess Bride"

www.indicam.com
Terry Thompson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 28th, 2008, 12:21 AM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,414
I was under impression that manual focus control on steadicam, is a two men job, is it?
Buba Kastorski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 28th, 2008, 12:26 AM   #5
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
That it is, Buba, except for some operators in the broadcast world (live events, concerts etc) who have equipped their rigs with zoom and/or focus controls on the gimbal.

If you are using a 1/3" or smaller sensor camera, you can often leave the focus at around 5 feet and take advantage of the deep depth of field, as this will deliver everything from 3 feet to infinity in focus under most conditions. Once you start to zoom in to a mid-telephoto, you will need to move to another technique like autofocus. This "set and forget" aka hyperfocal method will be better than autofocus in that you won't get any hunting if a foreground object or person moves through the frame. HD cameras are more finicky regarding focus but this still works fairly well.
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 28th, 2008, 08:37 PM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,414
nice, thanks for the tip, will try that;
:-)
Buba Kastorski is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Stabilizers (Steadicam etc.)

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:13 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network