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Old December 1st, 2002, 08:28 AM   #1
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Opinions wanted on Unusual Support Option

I've wanted a support system for my VX2000 that allows me to level the head, since playing back some West Coast footage of slanted lake views!
Yesterday I brought home tripod legs (Proline 200) and a Slik rig that allows considerable rotation of the camera, when mounted to the legs. It looks wierd but feels solid and sure does level the head. Any voice of experience willing to check it out can see it at
http://www.contentshop.tv/coming.htm
Don't pull your punches, I can still return it. Thanks.

David Hurdon
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Old December 1st, 2002, 09:26 AM   #2
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David,

What you have there is a head designed for 35mm STILL photography. It will not be suitable for the smooth pans and tilts required for shooting video. If you only want to use it for shooting stills with your VX2000 then it will do the job, but it won't cut it for video. Good inexpensive heads for video and the VX2000 are the Manfrotto 501/503 models. They are almost identical but the 503 has a return spring which some people find gives a better feel. I have been using the 501 with my XL1 for a while and find it a good head for what it cost me.
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Old December 1st, 2002, 09:43 AM   #3
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Hey David

I know this is off topic, But if you are the one doing the vioce overs on your videos...

You sound a lot like David McCoullough.

Do you do professional voice overs?
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Old December 1st, 2002, 09:44 AM   #4
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Opinions wanted on Unusual Support Option

Thanks, Adrian. The Slik unit did indeed come from the still camera department, but I hoped it would address my wish to be able to level the head independant of the tripod. I haven't had any luck finding such a solution. There are ball claw heads around but nothing I've read on them definitively states that they have a spirit level and act free of the legs. Do you not find it occasionally annoying to be unable to level the camera without leveling the tripod?

David Hurdon
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Old December 1st, 2002, 09:46 AM   #5
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Voiceovers

Hi Marc

Yes, I do my own narration but no, I've never done it professionally.

David Hurdon
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Old December 1st, 2002, 09:53 AM   #6
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It's pretty uncanny

The more of your video's I watch I could swear you got McCoullough to do your v/o. You should send out some of these tapes, I 'll bet he gets good money for narrating documentaries since his affiliation with ken burns.

If I ever need a v/o for a documentary I'm going to call you : )
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Old December 1st, 2002, 10:00 AM   #7
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Voiceover

Well, Marc, New Hamshire is just down the road, and if travel isn't in the budget, my son built and runs a ProTools digital studio. Only in the Portugual pieces did I do the audio there - I'm too impatient to finish work to wait around for him to slot me in - but it's an option. :)

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Old December 1st, 2002, 10:03 AM   #8
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Ahh

I didn't notice you were in Toronto. From the videos I guessed you were in BC. I've been to toronto many times. I had a girlfriend that went to UofT. How are the black squirrels these days? : )
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Old December 1st, 2002, 10:07 AM   #9
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Ahhh

How are the black squirrels these days?

Thriving. I have some great footage of them defeating the Slinky on our bird feeder support pole, then pushing each other out of it like knights defending their castle.

David Hurdon
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Old December 1st, 2002, 04:02 PM   #10
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Try the Libec M20

I believe the general recommendation is to try the Libec M20 for $195. While I have not used it there are plenty of good comments about it on this site and others. It also has a ball leveler.

Zotz Digital, a DVinfo.net sponsor, URL for this unit is http://www.zotzdigital.com/?page=sho...afa4b87ff0212d

If you want to just get a leveler Manfrotto builds the 438 which I use 503 for head for around $80. I do not know if it can be used with your exsisting setup.
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Old December 1st, 2002, 05:40 PM   #11
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Libec M20

I believe you're right, Nathan. I've seen that recco on this group and priced it at B&H for about $350 CDN. What I haven't been able to establish, even in writing to the manufacturer, is whether or not the ball leveler has a spirit level, and if not, whether there's an adaptation that introduces one. I can see a use for taking the camera off of 90 degrees to horizontal by eye, but what I want is to be able to find 90 degrees from horizontal regardless of whether or not the stick platform is plumb.

David Hurdon
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Old December 1st, 2002, 05:52 PM   #12
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The easiest way to insure your level is with this accessory bubble level http://shop.store.yahoo.com/cinemasu...twinspirl.html It will attach to any standard accessory shoe and is useable in two axis'. The claw ball is still extremely useful because it allows you to setup and level your camera much quicker.

Jeff
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Old December 1st, 2002, 06:43 PM   #13
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Spirit Level

Jeff, your reply is the reason I love (some) forums. Thank you very much.

David Hurdon
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Old December 1st, 2002, 06:55 PM   #14
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Your welcome David. It helps having lived and breathed cameras for over 20 years. You'll find bubble levels for less, but they won't work as well or made as well. I believe it is made by Hama. Kaiser also makes a double bubble but it is not as nice or as well made.

Jeff
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Old December 1st, 2002, 07:30 PM   #15
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Palm Harbour

Do I recall correctly that you're not too far from Tarpon Springs? My family had a winter place on Spring Bayou for nearly 20 years, until about ten years ago and I've spent many weeks in the area and out on the Gulf with a local friend and boater.

David
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