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Old February 18th, 2005, 07:04 PM   #16
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Here is a real cheap trick that I've used in the tv biz, and it can work surprisingly well for specific situations.

Get a farily heavy rubber band, try different sizes to see what works best for you. Set the beginning of the shot then lock the tilt on the tripod head. Place a loop of the band over the end of the pan handle, then pull slowly on the other end of the rubber band to increase tension and begin the pan.

The trick is to learn how to add and then release the tension on the rubber band. With practice you can do some pretty nice pans with graduated starts and stops, with no undesired bounces from a shaky hand.

This is especially useful if you are doing closeup, copy, or telephoto work, where any slight bobble is magnified and ruins the shot.

I told you it was cheap!
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Old February 18th, 2005, 07:11 PM   #17
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Large rubberband? You mean like 10 inches kind of large? Or little ones like you see in offices?
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Old February 18th, 2005, 08:35 PM   #18
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One of those heavier duty type bands, the kind you might find in at the office in the supply drawer, but it doesn't have to be a giant hard-to-find rubber band, 4" to 6" will probably work just fine.

It's not an exact cheap science, so just try whatever you might find laying around the house first and I think you'll get the idea.

Have fun, and let me know how it works!
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Old February 20th, 2005, 03:51 AM   #19
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Hague have a lot of electronic style panners.

http://www.b-hague.co.uk/pan__tilt_power_head.htm

Have a look, they're actually surprisingly cheap

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Old February 20th, 2005, 07:51 AM   #20
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deep pockets

http://spydercam.com/fxwest/rates.shtml

don't know how rich you are, but i look at these and laugh/weep!

$2500 a day's rental!?!?!? plus $750 for the programmer/operator per day!
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Old February 20th, 2005, 10:31 AM   #21
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Well-to-do perhaps. Rich? No way.

I like the little ones, and will probably buy one just for fun. But there is no way I am going to want to carry an additional three pounds or more while hiking around Greece. So the rubberband trick is going to be thoroughly practiced until I get it right.
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Old February 20th, 2005, 11:05 AM   #22
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I'm gonna' agree with the previous advice that a really good head will get you much of the way there... and a lot of practice will get you the rest of the way. I have a Gitzo 1380 and I'd consider that to be a decent mid-range head but I'd have spent more if I'd had the money.

So with my modest investment I've had to evolve my style in various situations. Normally I adjust the pan to about 85-90% stiff and the tilt is either 90-95% stiff or totally locked, depending. Obviously if I have to tilt a bit as I'm panning... or pan quickly... I reduce tension settings.

My technique then gets a little goofy looking compared to normal home-movie makers. I rarely use the end of the pan arm... I once made a long pan arm thinking it would smooth things out. Nope... longer was worse. Then I tried a second pan arm. Zero gain... at least for me. So aside from careful attention and practice how do think I got my pans where I was happy? I grab the head with BOTH hands but position my right hand so that I can still feather tilt with the pan arm while putting pressure on the head. Then I use both hands to twist the head and tweak tilt... I look almost like I'm trying to open a giant pickle jar...

I don't know that I'd put my camera work up against somebody like Charles P... but this technique evolved for me over the last year and I'm finally satisfied with the results I'm getting.
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Old February 20th, 2005, 11:11 AM   #23
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I think what I need to do it put a dozen sticks out in the yard at a equal distance. Practice panning until the amount of frames between each stick appearing in the frame is within a frame or two.

Just keep practicing. Eventually I should be able to get a nice steady hand. That's the goal. We shall see how well I do in Greece after I get back.
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Old February 25th, 2005, 08:38 AM   #24
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http://www.b-hague.co.uk/pan__tilt_power_head.htm

This pan head is smooth enough?
It gives you professional look?
Or just a toy?
I cannot test it before buying.

thx
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Old February 25th, 2005, 09:36 PM   #25
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For a remote head to be truly professional it needs to support truly variable speeds, like a servo zoom on a broadcast camera. This way you can feather your moves. An inexpensive system such as those linked here will deliver abrupt starts and stops, which is as far as I'm concerned not a professional look (unless you are looking to replicate a security camera!).

The most inexpensive such heads I can think of would be found on the Jimmy Jibs--don't know if they offer standalone heads though.
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Old February 26th, 2005, 12:25 AM   #26
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OK, OK, but if i do not want a smooth start and end for a clip, just the smooth movement?
I will crossfade those clips in post production.
I film the nature and made relaxation dvd's.
Such a thing doesn't need anytime a start/stop for pan.
Some clips of my first dvd can be found at
http://www.koviszabolcs.hu/frame.htm
(under "lemezbemutato" button)

It would be good a smooth start/end but for this price it's not possible.
Anyway i'll buy when the movement is very smooth, not jerky.
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Old February 26th, 2005, 07:45 AM   #27
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I got sucked into this and bought the Bescor head that B&H sells for around a hundred bucks... Well it wasn't what I thought it would be... not even close. The reason I bought it was to abandon a camera and have the implication of technology... I wanted an extra shot that clearly wasn't man-made. Well the good news is that it DOES do that... the bad news is that it's a little trick shot only with the instability and occasional vibration.

The other thing is that they claimed a pretty high weight rating, as I remember... and in reality this thing has been relegated to my very smallest cams... since it doesn't even like the load of a DVX.
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