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Old August 1st, 2008, 09:15 AM   #1
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Fixing camera shake on a tripod

Ok, I've got a problem. Hired at work to do promo videos for my organization. They asked me to recommend equipment for purchase, I did. Recommended the Libec LS-38 tripod since I'd read it was a very sturdy tripod with no shake, etc.



But, for some reason, they decided to buy me the Bogen 055XDB sticks instead with a Bogen 501HDV head. The head is fine--not the best, but it'll work for me. The sticks however, are slightly glorified still photography sticks (B&H's website even recommends them for still photography!!).



My problem is this--the legs are so unstable with my XH-A1, wireless receivers, and big battery on them, that even when I'm not touching the tripod at all, they shake pretty badly. I just shot my first footage with the sticks (I just got this equipment last week and I've been using a steadicam till today), brought it back and previewed it on my 42" HD display. It's so shaky that it's pretty much completely unusable. Worse then a "vibrating arm" shake you get at the end of a long day of hand held. Obviously its most noticeable when I'm zoomed tight on something which I'm having to do a lot of for this job.



Short of asking them to get me new sticks, what's the best way to get around this problem? Should I try turning the OIS back on (yes, it was off!!) and see if that will correct for the shake? I've always read never to use the OIS when you're on sticks.



I'm really tempted to just tell them to buy me the Libec because even though the 501HDV is a great little head, it's just not a smooth as I'd like. Tried doing some pan and tilt shots with it today and the movement was very jerky, despite my best efforts to keep it smooth. But, they went for this one 'cause they didn't want to spend the extra $300 for the Libec, so now if I ask them to get the Libec, they're probably gonna pitch a fit.



Any help would be appreciated.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 09:52 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Beisner View Post
Should I try turning the OIS back on (yes, it was off!!) and see if that will correct for the shake? I've always read never to use the OIS when you're on sticks.
That assumes a stable platform where motion (pan, tilt) is intentional and OIS works against you. In your case it may get you a better result. There is no substitute for good sticks though.

To fix your footage, there are a few options like DeShaker or proDAD Mercalli.

George/
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Old September 4th, 2008, 07:51 AM   #3
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Ok, well, I eventually partially fixed my own problem. I hung a 5lb free weight centered below the head and it's given it a significant amount of stability. It still vibrates badly if someone walks by too close to the camera with out walking gently and slowly, but at least it doesn't vibrate just by virtue of having the camera on the head!
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Old October 14th, 2008, 05:42 PM   #4
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Bogen, Manfrotto - names which make me freak out when I hear them.
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Old October 14th, 2008, 10:31 PM   #5
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Hi David,

1st, do you have the center post extended ?? If so, by how much.

2nd, where do you set up, that allows for Floor vibrations able to shake the Tri-Pod ??

I use a 10lb leg weight wraped around my bogen Manffroto 3011 legs, just below the center leg connector, for my Sony TRV-950 and Canon HV30 Cams. I've used as much as 20lbs.

I use a 40lb concrete umbrella base setting on the floor, attached by 3 rubber bunge cords to the Pod's center leg connector, to steady my HD Projector on a SLIK Master Delux Tri-Pod.

Both these work great for me.

Harold
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Old October 15th, 2008, 07:52 AM   #6
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They saved a little money, and already have ruined footage in return? Show them the footage and tell them this is what they get from now on. Then maybe they'll let you return the tripod and buy a good one.

You could drive yourself nuts hauling weights around and cursing your equipment for years for the sake of a few hundred bucks. I've made the mistake of buying cheapo tripods. It's just not worth it...
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