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Old August 31st, 2006, 10:10 AM   #1
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Motorized Pan Heads

I am curious about the Bescor... I was reading the specs at B&H, and it says it has a max horizontal angle (for pan) of +/- 90. That would make for a panning total of 180, would it not?

Is anyone using this? Good? Bad? Other recommendations?
Mike Barber
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Old September 1st, 2006, 03:33 PM   #2
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you're correct. it'll do 90 and 90. But, if you peel it open, it's pretty easy to remove the stop and the little microswitch that makes the controller stop. Then you get 360! Making it do 360 vertically is a lot more difficult. If you look at
they have a modified version that will do underslung. It's a LOT more difficult than you would think. I would recommend getting or modifying the jib to do manual tilt control (I think the cobra does) and using the bescor for pan. Good luck.
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Old July 28th, 2008, 01:07 AM   #3
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How smooth is the pan with one of these, looked at video looked slighty judery to me.
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Old July 28th, 2008, 02:49 AM   #4
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I've owned 3 of these (Bescor MP 101) for 8+ years and use them mostly for weddings. I think they're great for the $, although you can purchase one of these setups for a lot more $ if you want greater control over the speed of the panning/tilting as well as controlling features on your camera (focusing, exposure, etc).

Although the Bescor MP 101 comes with a (wired) remote control that has a slider that seems to indicate that it has variable speed control, it really only has 2 speeds: slow & fast. I find the movement to be very smooth (not jittery like in the sample video--I think that's just because it's on the web) and also very quiet.

For weddings, I screw one of these
onto the bottom of the camera before placing it onto the Bescor. I can then adjust the angle of the camera down slightly so I can get a good closeup of the ring slipping onto the bride's finger.

If you plan on using the Bescor for weddings, be sure to get a tall tripod (at least 6') so you can shoot over the heads of the groomsmen as the bride comes down the aisle. You also want the tripod head to be perfectly level or you'll get tilted angles as you pan around. It's also a good idea to secure any cables hanging from the camera and/or the Bescor so the camera doesn't get hung up on these as you pan around (I use velcro strips that I wrap around the center column of my tripod).
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Old July 29th, 2008, 05:33 PM   #5
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Can you do angular pan/tilt with these/similar?

I am wondering if you can do a pan where you are simultaneously rising, so you are panning , say, left , as you are also tilting up a continuous amount at a preset angle.
Alain Lumina
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Old July 30th, 2008, 11:29 AM   #6
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It's possible to perform simultaneous panning and tilting movements with the Bescor MP 101, but it's extremely difficult to execute these combined movements with any degree of precision. It will look like the camera is "hunting" for a shot as you are also trying to zoom in or zoom out to create a new composition. For this reason, I rarely include any moving (panning and/or tilting) shots from the MP 101 controlled camera in my edited videos. I'll cut to a different camera angle until the MP 101 has "found" its new angle and has stopped moving, then I'll cut back to it. If you want more precise panning/tilting shots, you might consider purchasing the Grizzly remote control system because, from what I've heard, it gives you much greater control over the speed of these movements.
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