Does anyone make a lightweight geared head? at DVinfo.net

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Old January 4th, 2005, 10:26 PM   #1
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Does anyone make a lightweight geared head?

I am looking for a head like a Mitchell geared for a small video(dvx100) camera...has anyone ever seen one forsale? I need it bad for super smooth dolly shots with pan/tilt..thanks for any info/links/sites that would have this....

thanks

-Obin Olson
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Old January 5th, 2005, 12:34 AM   #2
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Obin:

I don't believe there is such a thing, there really isn't call for it. The Arrihead 2 is as light as it gets in a modern gear head (and will set you back $25K!!). The old Mini-Worrall might be a tad lighter, but it's not a truly precision instrument and I wouldn't say for sure that it would be worth it over a good fluid head. Speaking of which, have you investigated all of the fluid head possibilities, i.e. top of the line? You should be able to achieve "super smooth" results with the best out there.

My personal preference for operating is to primarily use a geared head, but I switch to the fluid head for certain types of shots. However, if I am shooting DV I'm pretty much always on my O'Connor 1030, which works beautifully. There are certain techniques for working a fluid head on dolly moves to counteract the shortcomings of that technology. The classic issue is when starting and stopping a dolly move, especially a fast one; the natural tendency is for the the operator to pitch forward or back which translates through the pan handle into a little dip in the frame. The solution is to start the shot with the other hand on the brake, which is lightly engaged, and to release the brake once the dolly has reached a constant velocity (and the reverse upon stopping). It takes a bit of practice but it works well.
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Old January 5th, 2005, 07:39 PM   #3
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I ditto Charles remarks, plus Obin, operating a gear head is not something you learn in a day. Spend more time working on your skills with the fluid head.

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
Practice, practice, practice.

BTW, legendary Director of Photography, Vitorrio Storraro insists that his operator use a Vinten fluid head on his films with full sized motion picture cameras. Says it makes the operator/camera more "organic."

Wayne Orr, SOC
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