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Old February 15th, 2005, 07:31 PM   #1
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How to pan smoothly?

I know I need a new tripod, but I want one, if such a thing exists, that can control a pan to a maximum speed, thereby keeping it smooth.

I can envision a set of gears that keep the pan smooth, but I have no idea if such a thing exists, or what keywords to search on.

Is it available electronically? Mechanically?

Am I dreaming?
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Old February 15th, 2005, 07:55 PM   #2
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I know that a few years ago I saw a LANC controlled tripod head unit that would control pan/tilt as well as the camera control with LANC. I think it was made by SIMA though I am not sure.

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Old February 16th, 2005, 07:36 AM   #3
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Since this has absolutely nothing to do with HDV I've moved your
thread to our camera support forum.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 09:05 AM   #4
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Thanks. I should have thought of that.

What I am looking for is a new tripod for a Sony HDR-FX1 that has some sort of mechanism to enable a smooth pan.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 09:16 AM   #5
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$$$

Expensive but VERY smooth!

The smoothest heads you can ever want to use are geared heads. A couple of examples would be a Worral Head or an Arri Head.

It also has a little bit of a "getting use to" curve. It helps if you are somewhat coordinated.

Click to see one http://www.visualproducts.com/storeP...Cat=48&Cat2=50

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Old February 16th, 2005, 09:23 AM   #6
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Aha! So I wasn't dreaming about it being possible, just about being able to afford it. I knew it sounded like a good idea, I just didn't realize that they would be quite that pricey. I might be willing to go 1/24th of that price, but no more.

I guess I will just have to continue to fix my pans in post if there is nothing more reasonably priced.

Thanks for showing me that. If anyone comes across something more reasable, I would love to see it.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 10:15 AM   #7
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Gear heads take a ton of practice. I remember we used to see who could make a perfect figure 8 while waiting around on set. If you put that much practice into a fluid head, you wouldn't have to fix anything in post! Camera work is a skill that CAN be mastered! Don't depend on your equipment as much as you depend on yourself--get a fluid head and start practicing!

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Old February 16th, 2005, 11:24 AM   #8
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I guess it is time to take a trip to B&H and play with some different heads to see what I like. I may have a trip to NYC scheduled before the trip to Greece.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 06:46 PM   #9
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Panning with a Jib Arm?

Steven, have you tried to pan with a jib arm? Whenever I have a wide panning shot, I'll try it with the jib arm but I'll stand out the end and sort of "walk with it.'' Once I've got my jib arm level on the tripod, I can adjust the tension to be as smooth as I want it. Plus, the length of the arm can give you a feel for how level and smooth the shot is.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 06:50 PM   #10
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I think the problem is that my current tripod does not allow me to "adjust the tension to be as smooth as I want it". So a trip to B&H is certainly going to help.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 05:05 AM   #11
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$24K and only 6 months warranty? Damn! That just doesn't feel right...
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Old February 18th, 2005, 05:50 AM   #12
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Steven,

Hello from the other side of the metroplex. A technigue you might wish to experiment with for smooth pans is to grip closer to the tripod head instead of way out at the end of the pan handle which amplifies your movements. I've even heard of some guys using a big rubber band between their hand and the tripod handle. It helps smooth out the start and stop jerkiness.

Again, just something you might want to try while waiting to get the more expensive gear(no pun intended).

regards,

-gb-
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Old February 18th, 2005, 09:08 AM   #13
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It,s a different direction, but maybe this could help
http://www.markertek.com/Product.asp...&search=0&off=
or this one
http://www.markertek.com/Product.asp...&search=0&off=
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Old February 18th, 2005, 09:46 AM   #14
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Steven:

I think you will find that the better (=expensive) fluid heads will give you the results you are looking for, coupled with some practice. A head should not inherently feel jerky, it should feel silky smooth, almost invisible.

If it helps, in the "big leagues" camera operators are expected to be able to deliver equally smooth shots with either a fluid head or a geared head, as we switch between them depending on the needs of the shot. I generally prefer to live on the geared head, but I have many pals who opt primarily for the fluid head instead (and as a $$ comparison to that linked Arri head, the industry standard fluid head goes for around $11K, or $7-8K used).
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Old February 18th, 2005, 03:05 PM   #15
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I sincerely appreciate the advice. I think "practice makes perfect" is the solution once I get a decent tripod. The one I have is really not up to the task.

I was just hoping that I could get some resistive feedback from a head so I could push and it would only let me go just so fast.

I really like the idea of the motorized ones. Not too expensive either. But another 3 pounds on top of the camcorder and the tripod might be the straw that breaks the camel's back on the Greece trip. Too much walking up steps for an old guy like me. But maybe if I start working out? Sure. Right.

But any trip where I have a car, like to Hawaii, might be a good time to carry one like that.

I think the ITP-1 is now officially on my wish list.
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