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Old February 6th, 2003, 12:25 PM   #1
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Tripod

I shoot weddings with my XL1s. From the back of the church, I have to zoom in quite a bit and the images are great. However, sometimes, I'm on a floor that can vibrate easily when people walk by. I have the stabilizer on the XL1s turned off, but then I get the shakes on my camera from the floor bouncing around as people walk by.

Does anyone know of a tripod (not an expensive one) that has some sort of shock absorber built in to help with this? Or does anyone have an idea on what I can do? My only choices are:

1 - live with it
2 - turn on the stabilizer on the XL1s
3 - use stabilization software (which I already do but it takes a long time)

Thanks,
Ron
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Old February 6th, 2003, 02:54 PM   #2
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Basically, number 2 and 3 are your best options. I would experiment with turning the image stabilization on and off the lens. The other option is to mount the camera to a non moveable object, like the railing. I've done that before and noticed much less motion in the shots. Not perfect, but better.
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Old February 6th, 2003, 03:29 PM   #3
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Thanks for your comments. I'm surprised my situation isn't more common and that Bogen, or some other tripod company, doesn't make a tripod that would allow the camera to float. Maybe someone does in the thousand dollar range which I couldn't afford anyway.

Ron
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Old February 6th, 2003, 03:40 PM   #4
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Oh, there are pedistal supports for cameras, tens of thousands of dollars. Gyroscopic stabilizers, thousands of dollars. But not much else. Sachtler makes a tripod called a hot pod that kinda does what your looking for, but still thousands of dollars.
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Old February 6th, 2003, 04:43 PM   #5
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Thanks. I'll just do my best at what I have. Or maybe I'll win the Lotto. Yeah, that's what I'll do.

:-)

Ron
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Old February 6th, 2003, 05:04 PM   #6
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Interesting, just last night I was facing the same situation, but with a VX-2000 and not an XL-1. I often shoot performance videos of our productions for our archives, and prefer to do this during a rehearsal where I can be close to the stage. But this time I was at the back of the house around 100' away during a performance, so I was often at full zoom.

A few days ago I tried this with no stabilizer and wasn't very happy with the results. Last night I used the "steadyshot" optical stabilizer and was much happier. There were one or two times where I got a "jerky" sort of effect while doing a slow pan as the stabilizer thought it needed to compensate, but all in all the results looked much better.
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Old February 6th, 2003, 08:13 PM   #7
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Didja ever notice the really long zoom shots in sporting events? You can see when someone drops a potato chip anywhere in the stadium.

If you can, set up near a wall as they frequently are load-bearing and the floor will not flex as much near them. For high-frequency vibration, you could try a bit of heavy foam under each tripod leg.
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Old February 6th, 2003, 09:09 PM   #8
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Almost all the sports shots are on Canon BQ lenses They also have very high end image stabilization. The cameras are also mounted on pedestals that dampen vibration. Setting up next to architectural supports is a good idea. Foam under the legs I've tried with mixed results. If I get enough foam to reduce vibration, the tripod is less stable during pans.
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Old February 7th, 2003, 10:26 AM   #9
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What about a Stedicam, or some kind of harness supported camera system? Do you think they would be too hard/tiring to use at a wedding?
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Old February 7th, 2003, 11:28 AM   #10
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I actually have to operate two cameras - one XL1s on a tripod, and a GL2 to move around and get random shots. I guess what I'll start doing is leaving the XL1s alone most of the time, leave the stabilzer on and just deal with the little compensations the stabilizer will do. I think that is a better picture than the shaking floor look.

So the Stedicam solution wouldn't work for me. But thanks for the suggestion.

Ron
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Old February 8th, 2003, 04:30 PM   #11
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Tripod Shakezz………

I use the rubber mats that you will find on the floor of a pick up truck, in winter. They can be supplemented with a wrap of foam on the bottom to 6 inches up from the floor, on each leg. Very efficient.
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Old February 10th, 2003, 10:35 AM   #12
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Jeff, the foam I'm thinking of is the kind that is used under machinery to dampen incoming and outgoing vibrations. The pads can be had in various densities and come in resonably small sizes.

I'd try the machinery supply company MSC.

The old standby for optical benches is to place foam under a plywood plate and then put a heavy weight on top. It does a good job of isolating HF vibrations. They use underinflated inner tubes for the LF vibration. Kind of clumsy for your application though.
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Old February 10th, 2003, 01:26 PM   #13
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Thanks Mike, I'll look into that.
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Old February 11th, 2003, 12:11 PM   #14
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Hi Everyone,

One of my other loves besides DV is astronomy and astrophography.

Vibrations can be a real issue at high magnifications and long exposure times, even when your scope and tripod is sitting directly on terra firma.

I have a pretty substantial tripod and heavy telescope, but I sometimes still have problems from traffic passing on a nearby roadway.

One item that I have found to help are anti-vibration pads at this link:

http://www.telescope.com/shopping/pr...&iProductID=55

I recently used them at a wedding with my Bogen combo and was very pleased with the results.

My expensive astronomy hobby finally has crossed over to DV! *grin*

I'm glad I went to the rehearsal! It would have been a vibration nightmare where I had to set up--there was an air handler in the room right behind me transmitting some serious vibration through the wooden stage of the church... by luck, I already owned a set.

Hope this idea will add to the insightful ones already here...

cheers,

-Phil
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Old February 11th, 2003, 02:40 PM   #15
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Looks light a great idea for this problem. When I get a few more bucks, I'll give them a try.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Ron
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