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Old October 30th, 2017, 02:45 PM   #1
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Custom pan arm

I want to film theater productions sitting down but my pan arm isnít long enough. A colleague coupled two special ordered extensions from Manfrotto. I just got off the phone with them and they said they donít sell anything like that anymore.

Anyone ever try to diy long pan arms? Btw this for a Manfrotto 502 head.
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Old November 2nd, 2017, 07:22 AM   #2
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Re: Custom pan arm

Hi Pete,

As mentioned in my post above I have experimented with flexible pan handles and found that they can considerably improve the smoothness of operation of every head I own. In fact they made it possible to use a 400 mm lens on a ĎCí mount GoPro and also greatly improve the performance of a fluid damped boom system. In both examples a rigid handle produced unuseable pans and tilts.

It could be worth trying a flexible extension to your 502 head. For a test you could try just taping an extension to your present handle and see what happens. You may be pleasantly surprised. I have used a hard PVC rod and other plastics. For a start I would try a diameter of around 8mm and in this country such materials are available from plastic suppliers.
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Old November 2nd, 2017, 03:42 PM   #3
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Re: Custom pan arm

Thx I don’t think I’d want a flexible handle but I do agree some sort of pipe or dowel would need to be attached although a pipe clamp would be preferable to tape.

I’ve discovered the added torque of a long handle creates play in my 502 tilt hinge. This might be reminded by a better head all of which are ball heads that don’t mount to tall legs with columns like I have. A tall tripod is necessary to get over the people walking in front of the camera.

Last edited by Pete Cofrancesco; November 2nd, 2017 at 09:13 PM.
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Old November 3rd, 2017, 05:42 AM   #4
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Re: Custom pan arm

Hi Pete,

I was suggesting tape merely as a proof of concept.
Below is a picture of a flexible handle that has been machined to suit a Weifeng head handle clamp; no tape was used. It is made out of PVC and tapered to improve flexibility and bent to improve comfort. The spring tip provides even more flexibility for fine control of long lenses and small sensors.

Your mentioned that a colleague coupled two Manfotto handles together. Did this set-up solve his problem?

You also mentioned that the added torque was causing play in the 502ís tilt hinge. The torque required to tilt at a given angular rate should be independent of handle length. As the handle is lengthened the required force should drop and the rate of hand travel increase but the torque should not change.

For remote work I use a motorized head (see picture below). The ironless rotor motors with their backlash free gear boxes did not come cheap but they give me a useful range of speeds.

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/attachme...1&d=1509705550
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Custom pan arm-_dsc9917.jpg   Custom pan arm-_dsc1908.jpg  

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Old November 3rd, 2017, 07:40 AM   #5
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Re: Custom pan arm

The end result is the longer handle creates play in the 502 tilt hinge. I believe their bridge design not as solid. My colleague is using two handles and an older head. Your setup is different you have a light camera on a different styled head.
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