Steadicam Flyer-Low Mode? 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 April 8th, 2005, 01:41 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Lilesville, NC
Posts: 26
Steadicam Flyer-Low Mode?

I would like to shoot some low mode with the Flyer.

In "researching" low mode accessories I've run across the low mode kit, the mini low mode kit, a low mode cage (which apparently requires some sort of an F bracket).

None of the low mode kits, cages, or brackets show photos of the devices in use (or in some cases no photo at all) or a product discription.

Anyone familiar with any of the above mentioned devices for the Flyer?

Is any of this stuff even necessary? Would just inverting the sled work?

Thanks for any and all help.
__________________
Fiat Lux
Rick Roseman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 8th, 2005, 02:32 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Juneau, Alaska, USA
Posts: 624
*sticks hand up* I can help!

The fastest solution is flipping the sled (so sliding the gimble down the post a little....)
the result is that the camera will be upside down. So you will need to flip the video in post. Note, apparently this doesn't always work with DVCPRO.

The best idea of courtse would be to somehow flip the camera so it is "hanging" from the rig.
There are 2 solutions:

the first one involves somehow mounting the dovetail plate to the top of the camera - but as cameras dont' generally have a screw hole in the top (Note some do, but they won't hold the camera's weight!)
The solution is to use a "low mode clamp" which is basically a peice that you clamp around the handle of your camera and has the needed holes in the top of it.

The other option is ot use a "low mode cage" which is basically a cage of sorts that you put the camera in and screw in from the bottom as normal, and then it has the nessecery mounting holes in the top for low mode.

You can see the Low mode clamp in use on the flyer here: http://personal.inet.fi/yritys/filmillinen/elokuvat/omenatiikeri/omenatiikeri.htm
- You can see the bright red clamp around the camer ain the 2nd shot.
And on my site: http://mikko.n3.net/photos under: "mikko wilson:steadicam operator" there is a picture called "In balance with the rig" which shows how a low mode cage works.

If you flip the camera then you can flip the picture on the monitor with the settings in the menu.

The "F-bracket" is a special piece that goes between the arm and the gimble, this means that the gimble hangle will hang down and be out of the way when you are operating. - It's rather important for low mode.

For more information, go to the ultra manual at steadicam.com (http://www.steadicam.com/ultra_manual.htm) It has a section on low mode which exaplins this lot with more info. The same priciples apply to the Flyer as do to the Ultra.

- Mikko
Mikko Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 11th, 2005, 04:12 AM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Lilesville, NC
Posts: 26
Hey Mikko.

I appreciate the help!

Flippin' the sled seemed simple enough but I figured I might better check with the experts first. I guess you would have to be careful of shoe mount attachments.

The clamp appears to be the "low mode kit" I've seen. Odd that merchants would advertise without so much as a clue as to how the device works.

If I understand the cage correctly, with a mounting bracket on the top and bottom of the cage you could just flip the sled and the camera/cage from on top to low mode. The cage strikes me as the better way to go although it may weigh the most.

Are the clamps and cages universal? Will they fit an XL2?

(No pictures, no product descriptions... is this information classified?) :o)

Thanks again Mikko!
__________________
Fiat Lux
Rick Roseman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 11th, 2005, 05:59 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Juneau, Alaska, USA
Posts: 624
Yeah, often operators will put a dovetail plate (they have 2..) on both sides of their camera at the start of the day so that theycan go to low mode in about 60 secconds or so at anytime.

no the clamps and cages arn't fully universal. For example, the cage has to be big enough for the camera to fit in! (The XLs are rather tall actualy...). And the clamp of course requires the camea in use to have a handle on it!

And no, dont' EVER try to support your camera by the accesory shoe! 99% of the time it won't take it and you'll have a shoe on the rig and the rest of the camera on the ground.
This also goes for some (ENG/broadcast) cameas which allready have a corect size threded hole in the handle. this hole is used for mounting a on-camera-light whiel leavign the shoe free. It's not normally designed to support the camera. (Check documentation about this)

We have the "low mode kit" for our Flyer (seen in that picture of me on the chair) and that consists of the clamp and F-bracket. It works rather well. and i've even used the low mode clamp to attach extra wight ot teh top of my XM1 (GL1) when it was a little light for my liking.)

- Mikko.
Mikko Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 6th, 2009, 11:47 PM   #5
New Boot
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 5
trying to mount video dslrs (d90, 5dmarkII) on the flyer in low mode.
unfortunately these cameras have no handle, just the shoe mount up at the top.

anyone accomplished this? share any ides.
thanks
Alex Alexandrov is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 7th, 2009, 06:49 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Riverdale, NJ
Posts: 468
Most people don't really need the full low mode kit. In fact, you don't really need a low mode kit at all. Just move the gimbal so it hangs upside down, shoot upside down, and flip it in post.

However, the low-mode F-bracket is really nice because it essentially gets you 8-10 inches lower. You can buy that separately without the handle clamp and save money.
Dave Gish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 7th, 2009, 07:57 AM   #7
New Boot
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Italy
Posts: 18
Hi Dave,
can this F-bracket be used also with the Pilot? Thanks
Amedeo
__________________
Amedeo Fabroni
www.ciakframe.com
Amedeo Fabroni is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 7th, 2009, 02:10 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Riverdale, NJ
Posts: 468
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amedeo Fabroni View Post
Hi Dave,
can this F-bracket be used also with the Pilot? Thanks
Amedeo
Yep. Look in my Pilot Q&A thread for order info.
Dave Gish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 7th, 2009, 03:22 PM   #9
New Boot
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Italy
Posts: 18
Thanks Dave.
Amedeo
__________________
Amedeo Fabroni
www.ciakframe.com
Amedeo Fabroni is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 7th, 2009, 10:50 PM   #10
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikko Wilson View Post
Yeah, often operators will put a dovetail plate (they have 2..) on both sides of their camera at the start of the day so that theycan go to low mode in about 60 secconds or so at anytime.
60 seconds!!! You trying to make us all look bad Mikko?!

My "personal best" for true low mode conversion (flipping the camera) was 90 seconds with an SR2 many years ago--we went in and out of low mode at least 6 times that day, my AC and I got the procedure DOWN. I may have come close since but I don't put a stopwatch on it anymore, unless some wiseass AD starts doubting my time estimates (which, for a full-size 35mm or HD camera with all of the trimmings, I usually give 8 minutes and hope to deliver in 6).

Poor man's low mode, where you just shoot upside down, is a definite time saver. The only real time-chewer is inverting the monitor. I've been doing it of late even with the big cameras (Genesis, F35 etc) when we get into a time pinch. The only thing that is annoying is if you have to work on the camera--completely baffling upside-down.
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 8th, 2009, 12:09 AM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 318
Hey Charles I didn't know you can get away with it for the really big cameras as well, good to know. Have done a few (inverted) low mode shots at weddings now and been getting some weird looks.
__________________
Nick
Nick Tsamandanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 8th, 2009, 08:08 AM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Riverdale, NJ
Posts: 468
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
Poor man's low mode, where you just shoot upside down, is a definite time saver. The only real time-chewer is inverting the monitor.
Huh?

With the camera upside down, and the monitor upside down, the image on the monitor is correct. I do have to flip the recorded image in post, but I've never had to flip the image on location. Just to make sure we're talking about the same thing, here's a picture of Mikko with the Pilot using poor man's low mode:
IMG_9566

So I would think inverting the image on the monitor is more of a problem for a low-mode cage or handle-strap, and less of a problem for poor man's low mode.

Also, regardless of which type of low mode requires a flip on the monitor, don't all modern steadicam monitors allow you to flip the image electronically using menu commands? This takes like 30 seconds on the Pilot monitor, probably less if I had to do it often.

What am I missing here?
Dave Gish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 8th, 2009, 09:09 AM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 326
I'd imagine it has something to do with the fact that it's a CRT (TB-6 in this case), so it's bigger and bulkier, so it might not be able to tilt so far, and also he might have to get the monitor away from the electronics modules on the base of his rig.
Tom Wills is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 8th, 2009, 10:16 AM   #14
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
that is correct sir.

I don't recall if I have flown the Pilot in low mode or not, but in general, most rigs I have flown give you a poor view of the monitor when the whole rig is simply inverted. As Tom points out, the full-size CRT doesn't tilt as far as the Pilot LCD as shown in the picture. Also, as Tom continues to point out, it's not ideal to keep the monitor in its normal position down close to the base of the sled. Often this results in the monitor being too high for comfortable viewing. I like to replicate the downwards glance that I am accustomed to with high mode rather than peer straight at (or, shudder, up) at the monitor in low mode. The base of the sled can obstruct the view of the monitor also.

Consider if you would what would happen if Mikko (in the picture) were to boom the arm up fully for a portion of the shot. He would now be looking up at the monitor, which would eliminate a good amount of his peripheral vision (and thanks to the limited viewing angles of LCD's in general, might be peering at a reversed image!)

I generally remove the monitor arm, invert the assembly and remount it about 4 inches higher on the post (while still in high mode) which places it more centrally. Some monitor arms have the built-in ability to flip the camera but since I am relocating it it's just easier to unscrew the arm. I've attached a picture that will hopefully illustrate my monitor position, little hard to see through the stand and other gack.

Of course, with the Pilot and Flyer one is limited by the fact that the monitors attach to the lower spar directly rather than on their own monitor arm as is the case with many of the larger rigs. This does pose a limitation on high-low mode as described above, where you simply can't move the monitor closer to the gimbal. I would suggest however that for certain low mode shots where the post is not so extended, it might deliver a better view of the monitor if one were to flip it and mount it topsided on the lower spar (which would require inverting the image also). It's fairly easy to imagine that if the camera were a foot lower in Mikko's picture, he would have to look "through" the battery, the lower spar
and the center post to see the monitor. Having it mounted topside would eliminate all of this, however it would raise the profile of the monitor which creates the looking-up situation I detailed above.

Bottom line is, low mode is often a compromise and usually somewhat uncomfortable! However we strive to lessen the negatives however and whenever possible.

BTW, it's interesting to see in the picture of Mikko what lengths (literally) he has gone to to lower the camera as much as possible, by extending the center post fully, yet if he had an F-bracket on the gimbal it would have dropped the rig another 8" or so (preferable to the extra-long rig, which can cause instability and weird inertial issues).
Attached Thumbnails
Steadicam Flyer-Low Mode?-lowmode.jpg  
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 8th, 2009, 11:32 AM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Riverdale, NJ
Posts: 468
Hey Charles,

Thanks for explaining this. I'm always interested in knowing how the bigger rigs work. Hopefully I'll own one someday.

Are the CRT monitors still the best for steadicam use? Have you tried the Hummingbird LCDs? What type of monitor would you recommend for someone eyeing up their first bigger rig?

As for the F-bracket, yes, I used one of those at the workshop, and the extra 8-10 inches is really nice. If I end up doing more low mode stuff with my Pilot, I'll definately get one. I'm not so thrilled about the handle clamp though.

Thanks again.
Dave Gish 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 07:16 AM.


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