A Dark Hallway shot at DVinfo.net

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Old March 2nd, 2009, 03:36 AM   #1
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A Dark Hallway shot

Steadicam Hallway on Vimeo

Shot this about a month ago, while my gimbal was a little out of wack as well.

Keeping my rig horizontal still seems to be my biggest issue, but im slowly getting there, some shots are okey.. and some are.. not so good.

Let me know what you think, just glad to be sharing something. - oh yea, not sure what i did with the audio, but i will fix that at some point.. its about the vision anyway.

You'll also notice that with the fourth contestant in, there seems to be a bit of vibration coming from somewhere in rig. She was walking faster than i was ready for, so its me speeding up.

I've noticed this vibration a couple of times when having to walk at a quick pace and i also have another clip that i shot at 720 50p this evening that shows the vibration here - Steadicam vibration.. on Vimeo

At first i thought that something on my sled was loose.. and then i thought it was a bit of wobble as i was shooting on a CMOS camera.. but i dont think it is. Im guessing now after trying to recreate the problem that it has to be an operating issue.. light rig and a fast run? i dont know.. guess i'll just keep practicing..
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 06:06 AM   #2
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Joe keep your finger and thumb even on either side of the post, this is important to maintainig an even horizon. You sure do have vibration in those shots. Check that the thumb screws on the stage are wound tight and anything else that is attached. I did my first sprint with the Pilot here: YouTube - Steadicam Sprint there was no vibration at all. Let us know how you go with it.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 09:08 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Joe Lawry View Post
Keeping my rig horizontal still seems to be my biggest issue, but I'm slowly getting there, some shots are okey.. and some are.. not so good.
Keeping the horizon level is probably the biggest issue with operating. I still have this problem with some shots. It's tough to beat, but here's what I've tried that seems to help:

1) Max the weight out to 10 pounds. More weight = more stable.

2) Practice hands free for a week solid. Balancing the rig with your hips has to become second nature. That's the only way I know of to get a really light touch.

3) Use the side of your left thumb on the sled post. The idea is to keep your left thumb and 1st finger directly opposed, so that applying pressure on these 2 fingers doesn't move the sled in the roll axis. Look at your left hand. In order to keep those 2 digits directly opposed, you need to use the inside edge of your thumb, right next to the fingernail.

4) Make sure the left thumb and 1st finger are always touching the bottom of the gimbal. This insures that:
a) they are directly opposing
b) they are right at the CG

5) Use your thumb and 1st finger to apply the most pressure (which is still light). The other fingers of your left hand apply almost no pressure, except when you're accelerating, decelerating, or changing directions of movement. But even then, the pressure on your middle, ring, and little fingers is much less than the pressure on the thumb and first finger at the CG.

6) When I'm practicing the shot, I let go of my left hand for a split second every once in a while. This insures I'm not over influencing the rig with my left hand.

Hope this helps.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 01:04 PM   #4
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Cheers Guys,

After reading both your posts and having a good think to how my left hand has been operating i can definitely say that is my biggest problem. My technique has been wrong and my middle, ring and pinky finger have been influencing the rig far to much, and going back over my shots i can see it happening. Thanks for pointing me towards the correct technique. Flying on a job today for comedy central which has just launched here in nz. So will keep it in mind.

Dave, i've just ordered a scale to measure everything up on, definitely time to take the sled to close to its max weight.

Nick, okey im glad its not me going insane and that it is something to do with the rig. Thinking about, i remember seeing this issue when i first got my pilot and was flying it with my HVX202. So its not a cmos issue.

I havent got the life of me got any idea where its coming from though, the thumb screws holding the plate on have always been screwed down with a screwdriver, nice and tight. And my manfrotto QR plate is usually always rock solid. I go between my miller QR plate and marfrotto one for tripod then steadicam, so it wasnt loose there..

Its gotta be one loose point somewhere though, as it always vibrates from left to right. More gimbal issues maybe? hope not..

Also remember that i am going from static to full sprint to static in that shot. So the effect is at its worst. (Got really good at navigating through doors quickly while shooting that.)
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Old March 9th, 2009, 05:06 PM   #5
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Just got a reply back from Tiffen re the vibration issue.

Mike Craigs seems to think its due to the quick release plate. He said they had seen it before on the rig of a local operator, who had been flying with a QR plate, shotgun and sungun on the top of the rig. The light and mic made the problem a lot worse.

He suggested i remove the qr plate and give it a good. Plan on trying this today.

I know dave has been running the qr plate, have you Nick?
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Old March 9th, 2009, 05:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Lawry View Post
Just got a reply back from Tiffen re the vibration issue. Mike Craigs seems to think its due to the quick release plate. He said they had seen it before on the rig of a local operator, who had been flying with a QR plate, shotgun and sungun on the top of the rig. The light and mic made the problem a lot worse.
Interesting. I fly my HVX with a shotgun and video transmitter quite a bit, and have never had the vibration issue. This may be a dumb question, but would getting the tie-down screw really tight help? I got this nice stubby screwdriver with a wide 5/16" blade from Home Depot for around $6, and would never be without this tool again.
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/attachmen...crewdriver.jpg

Also, I had to adjust the Manfrotto 577 thumb lever to get it tight enough on the camera plate. There's a black metric hex screw in the middle of the thumb lever, if you loosen that, there is a spring and a hex shaft inside. Place the plastic thumb lever at different positions over the hex shaft to adjust tightness. Don't lose the little spring.

Hope this helps.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 05:33 PM   #7
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I always use the quick release plate Joe, no vibration at all. I use a light as well.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 03:45 AM   #8
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Dave - Yup, the QR plate is definitely on very very tight.. so i dont think its that.

Hmm thanks for the replies.. will let you know my result as soon as i have some free time to test the rig.
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Old March 12th, 2009, 03:52 AM   #9
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Joe,

I am having the exact same problem. I too contacted Mike this afternoon and was told to try the same thing (ditching the quick-release). I tried that and it made no difference. I have uploaded a short clip to Vimeo that shows the vibrations on my rig while stomping my feet and running in place versus the act of gently pounding on the socket block connector with my fist.

I hope we both can figure this out!

-Adam

EDIT: Might help if I had the link to the clip :-P http://www.vimeo.com/3593617

Last edited by Adam Vesely; March 12th, 2009 at 03:54 AM. Reason: Add link to video clip
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Old April 3rd, 2009, 06:59 AM   #10
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An update on my vibration issues with the Steadicam Pilot and the Sony EX1.

Finally had a chance to test the EX1 on the pilot without the quick release adapter and no accessories.

Normally the only accessory i run is a letro wireless receiver from my soundy. This doesnt make any difference to the vibration, as all the tests i've done looking for the problem have been without it.

Removing the quick release adapter has unfortunately done nothing to fix the vibration issue with the camera. If the issue is being caused by the small base, then i can imagine loosing the quick release adapter wouldnt make much of a difference, the camera itself has got a very small flat base.. so the issue here may actually be with the design of the ex1. - Glad im not trying to fly an EX3, that camera has the worst tripod mount i've ever seen, it flexes terribly.

Im going to test my Panasonic HVX on the rig in a day or 2 without the quick release plate and see if that is any better. The HVX has a much flatter base and thus larger footprint to cover the stage.

Havent bothered to upload any footage of the tests without the QR plate.. it looks the same as the last one.

One thing i was suggested by Mike Craigs at steadicam was their Stiffening System - http://www.steadicam.com/images/cont...ningSystem.pdf

This is for use with the Ultra 2.. wonder if there could be a way to implement it with the pilot and ex1. Although this seems mainly to fix issues with the rig flexing.. not the camera itself moving.



Can a mod please rename this thread - Vibration Issues with Sony Ex1 and Steadicam Pilot.


Cheers

Joe
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Old April 3rd, 2009, 07:03 AM   #11
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Infact, if i hold the cameras handle and the sled post just under the stage.. the whole thing flexes from left to right so easily. This is with every screw stupidly tight.

****.
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Old April 3rd, 2009, 07:06 AM   #12
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Interesting Joe, let us know how it goes with the other camera.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 09:03 PM   #13
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That's interesting that you and I are having such strange problems with this Joe, as others with the Pilot seem to have no issues running with the EX1. Does the yoke on your gimbal rock slightly back and forth around the bearing if you grip both sides of it and apply force in opposite directions? Mine does and I wonder if anyone else's does also.

-Adam Vesely
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Old May 6th, 2009, 09:42 PM   #14
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Will check my gimbal when im a bit more awake, just came off a very long shoot.

Have been flying the HVX a lot recently using the QR plate and havent had to many issues with vibration, but in saying that, i havent done in fast movements in awhile either.

When i tried mounting the HVX without the QR plate i had issues with the 3/8 screw that comes with the pilot.

I dont use it with the QR plate (I use an extra one that came with the plate) however upon attaching the HVX to the pilot i remembered how useless it is when it comes to really tightening down the camera.

Need to go find/make a new screw that will allow me to attach the hvx securely.

The one that comes with the pilot isnt long enough to thread all the way up into the hvx's tripod mount, and the ones that came with the QR plate are to long and hit the end of the thread before anything is even tight.

I just need to get my a into g and find a new one.

Cheers for bringing this thread back Adam, i need to keep working on this.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 02:51 PM   #15
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Yeah, removing the QR plate for me didn't do anything to fix the vibrations. I need to call Tiffen again to see if they have any insight beyond recommending I remove the QR plate. Not being able to run with the rig without vibrations is becoming a real hindrance.

-Adam Vesely
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