Techniques for moving around a tripod when shooting at DVinfo.net

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Old October 14th, 2007, 03:39 PM   #1
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Techniques for moving around a tripod when shooting

I shoot hockey games for different outlets and one of them has a two-armed tripod with absolutely no counterbalance whatsoever. Unless the camera is exactly at the point where I set the counterbalance, it's like I'm hanging onto the thing for dear life.

Does anyone have tricks for keeping the camera vertically steady while pivoting to follow the play? It's all about the steps you take with your feet while moving, and I have yet to figure out the best way of doing it.
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Old October 14th, 2007, 04:32 PM   #2
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Hi Mark...........

I assume when you say "two armed tripod" you actually mean a (3 legged) tripod with a two pan armed head?

There is no "technique" for using an un - counterbalanced head, you either lock it (the tilt) or hold it.

The best avenue (IMPO) would be to persuade the "outlet" to buy a decent head (with proper variable counterbalance) or get one yourself and abandon the original as unusable.


CS
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Old October 15th, 2007, 02:48 AM   #3
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Hi Chris,

Sorry to be vague - yes, I meant 3-legged, 2-armed (since it has remote zoom and focus controllers and a top-mounted monitor).

They're using a Manfrotto 516 head, which will definitely not be upgraded anytime soon. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...deo_Fluid.html

What I should have made clearer in my original post is that I'm wondering specifically about people's techniques for how they move their feet. If you're 2 feet back from the center of the head and there's a 90-degree range to shoot, you have to move your body as you pan. Little steps affect your whole body, including your arms, and that has been a problem with a head like this that offers barely any counterbalance.

I've seen a couple different ways that Steadicam ops step. Do tripod shooters have similar methods?
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Old October 15th, 2007, 10:06 AM   #4
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2 solutions:
1. shortening the arms to bring you closer to the center of the camera.
2. use multiple cameras. so you don't have to cover such a wide angle of view.

Note if you set up a preview monitor instead of using your camera's flip out lcd, you don't need to pivot as you pan because your monitor is in a fix location
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Old October 15th, 2007, 04:13 PM   #5
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Uh...........Mark............

The Manfrotto 516 has a fixed counterbalance spring of 16.5 lbs rating.

What the heck have you got mounted on it if it's nosediving faster than a Kamikaze?

Get shot of that top mounted monitor, it's throwing the entire setup out.

Whilst you're at it, get anything else mounted on/ in cam off it, if possible to do so.

I think you'll find that, if you can get the head back into something approaching counterbalance, a good many of you're problems will dissapear.

Shortening the pan arms to give you a smaller turn radius as Pete suggested is good, coupled with an "off camera" monitor means YOU don't have to be doing the quick step around the tripod.

The other thing to try if the head still won't balance after the "strip down" above, is to add some weights to the end of the pan arms and ensure they're BELOW the centre pivot of the head. This is a means of adding to the counterbalance spring value - heck, take the pan arms off and fill them with lead shot if you have to.


Let us know how you go.


CS
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