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Old November 18th, 2008, 04:42 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Guthormsen View Post
Ofer,

I am a little late on this thread but I thought I would share some thoughts:

A rail is one of themost important tools you have if you use big lenses!!
I tried a cava vision carbon rod rail first, just did not do the job (wasn't ment for that anyway)
I built a rail but it was to much of a pain to use but it was a mild improvement.

I broke down and had a rail made. wish I had done that two years back!! It was not cheap but it was worth every penny!!

While the rail is important as others have said, the legs and head are paramount too.

I use a vinten vision 6 and a gitzo 1380. I am partial to the vinten as i do not have to change springs!!

I have a farely heavey set of manfrotto legs. The combination of the three has made a huge difference.

Here in the canadian prairies we have punishing wind every day it seems!! 50 k today.

I shoot with lenses up to 500mm and if you follow the prior suggestions of getting low, block the wind in some fashion and use a rail you will be elated at the improvement!!!

Here is the picture of the rail I had made.
Thanks for your advice Dale!
Your setup looks great.
I am still not using the rails but I do use my umbrella and it works for me.
I guess we all have our personal preferences which is fine.

Cheers,
Ofer Levy Nature Photographer
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Old November 22nd, 2008, 08:54 PM   #17
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Dale,
Amazing how similar problems lead to similar solutions. Your rail is very much like mine, with a spotting scope mounted nearby (mine is on the left, however). I used plywood, having all the necessary tools, and no one to make a lighter aluminum one.
Like you, I shoot in pretty stiff wind. I have always used a very heavy Gitzo tripod, but am looking at a carbon fiber one. Are you using carbon fiber? If so, is your set up top heavy in the wind? Is that a Gitzo head in your photo? I know you prefer Vinten, but what do you think of the Gitzo?
By the way, are you familiar with the Mercali image stabilizing software? Not too expensive, and will set your windy footage right down.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 01:36 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Steve Siegel View Post
By the way, are you familiar with the Mercali image stabilizing software? Not too expensive, and will set your windy footage right down.
I agree with Steve here, if you ain't get the steadyness while recording with those insane focal lenghts we got here ;-) a stabiliazation software like Mercalli will help you out in some cases! I say SOME because my experience is that not all footage will likely be good (nice to watch) after stabilization. But in cases where you get these slightly movements caused by wind or your own heart beats! Stabilization software will help you out.

Look at the sample below (stabilize-1.mov)

Note that the mercalli supports only the windows plattform (Adobe PP, After effects/Avid Liquid/Canopus Edius/Vegas/Pinnacle Studio v12)
Attached Thumbnails
Portable wind blocker-im-stb.jpg  
Attached Files
File Type: mov stabilize-1.mov (2.58 MB, 101 views)
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Last edited by Per Johan Naesje; November 23rd, 2008 at 03:12 AM. Reason: Added pic + text
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 08:06 AM   #19
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And even when you have done all that, there is still the image degradation caused by thermal currents in the air! To eliminate that you need the, as yet unavailable, Miracalli software!

Mercalli is certainly “best of breed”, and Johan’s clip shows that it works well on footage that is already pretty stable. The results are far less good if you are forced into using some of the “rescue” presets in the middle of the drop-down list. Once the little green level meter at the right side of the preview screen starts to climb, you are in trouble.

Pro-Dad are also very good at updating their software to suit new versions of the range of NLEs for which it is suitable. One feels for the poor folk who spent far more on the2d3 SteadyMove, where development stopped at Adobe Premiere CS2. I have that one too, but I bought it at a low price when it first came out.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 12:44 PM   #20
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allan, Per,

I think a portable wind blocker is a great idea. How about a picture of how you use it??


I have virtual dub deshake. I am not very convinced in its usage yet!!

i will get the demo on the pro dad deshaker and try it out. I really liked what per did to his bear clip.

How might it work for shooting something moving like Geese or other larger birds??

I like my gitzo 1380 head. It works just fine with my system that weighs about 20 lbs. However sense I also use a smaller camera I keep it set up with the lighter spring in it and I have the Vinten vision 6 set up to take the heavy rig. The gitzo is just fine and if it is all I had I would still be happy. I also have lighter legs on it ( single aluminum legs) and if I have to pack in I will use it with the smaller camera unless I know it is big lens stuff. then I swap heads. The gitzo tripod is really good for getting down low!!! Carbon legs are so much more money I decided to carry the one pound of extra weight. I would love a real light pair of carbon sticks for back packing!!!

dale
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 02:01 PM   #21
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Dale I have the same 1380 and agree it is a good rig for less than 15 lbs. Wondering if I will upgrade when going from the EX1 to EX3 with heavier Fujinon and Canon lens.

I always use the next spring up from what is recommended to get the best results.

As for the Carbon vs. Alum legs the Carbon will dampen the small vibrations a lot better then alum one of the many benefits of Carbon.
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Old November 24th, 2008, 02:52 AM   #22
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Let's not forget about the original subject from Ofer (portable wind blocker).

A small hide/blind is what I use.
The pros to this setup is that you're not visible to the wildlife you'r going to record and you are also protected (in some degree) yourself from the hars environment eg. cold wind.
The cons is that it's more time consuming to setup. You have to secure it to the ground from the wind and it's definitive less mobile if you'll change your position. And your visibility is reduced.

At first, this can look like a lot of cons, but I think using a hide is a good solution to this subject, what do you guys think?

To get good viewable footage is the main goal here. And as others has mention, there is lots of factors to archieve this. In my opinion except from trying to avoid the wind. The tripod is the second most important. Using the most heavy and reliable head you can afford is one of the main goal here! I using a 100mm head myself (Miller Arrow HD) and I'm very pleased!
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Old November 24th, 2008, 11:09 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Per Johan Naesje View Post
Let's not forget about the original subject from Ofer (portable wind blocker).

A small hide/blind is what I use.
The pros to this setup is that you're not visible to the wildlife you'r going to record and you are also protected (in some degree) yourself from the hars environment eg. cold wind.
The cons is that it's more time consuming to setup. You have to secure it to the ground from the wind and it's definitive less mobile if you'll change your position. And your visibility is reduced.

At first, this can look like a lot of cons, but I think using a hide is a good solution to this subject, what do you guys think?

To get good viewable footage is the main goal here. And as others has mention, there is lots of factors to archieve this. In my opinion except from trying to avoid the wind. The tripod is the second most important. Using the most heavy and reliable head you can afford is one of the main goal here! I using a 100mm head myself (Miller Arrow HD) and I'm very pleased!
Thank you for your comment Per Johan! I totally agree with you that a hide/wind blocker is a must when working with very long lenses. I use a very nice Miller CF tripod and a Miller Arrow 25 fluid head which should be more than enough for my needs but the slightest wind introduces unacceptable vibration. I do not think a bar support system/rails can help in reducing the vibrations. The only serious solution is a hide/wind blocker.
It works for me just fine and I hope to upload some footage soon.
Cheers,

Ofer Levy Nature Photographer
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Old November 25th, 2008, 09:06 AM   #24
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Ofer this might be more then you would be interested in spending but it might also spark a few ideas.
Lucky's Hunting Blinds
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Old November 25th, 2008, 05:07 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Paul Cronin View Post
Ofer this might be more then you would be interested in spending but it might also spark a few ideas.
Lucky's Hunting Blinds
Thanks Paul! This looks like a fantastic solution for my needs! I really appreciate your help mate!
Cheers,

Ofer Levy Nature Photographer
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 09:45 PM   #26
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Ofer,

I have an archery blind that I use when I can. It totally blocks the wind.

However, I have found here in the prairies where it blows and blows (today 50km/hr with gusts to 70) It induces the flapping noises of the movement of the cloth even though I use support ropes and keep it as tight as possible!!

I have moved my mics outside and low to the ground with wind muffs which are not enough really!!

I am intending on building some funnel shaped wind blockers to cover my outside mics. I think I will need a blimp around the mic, dead cat on it, then the wind guard. for the xl2 i use a 25 foot xlr chord and for my gl2 I use a wireless mic system.

getting the video is hard enough, getting the great audio at the same time is rreally tuff here!!
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 03:05 AM   #27
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Hi Offer,

I know you have dismissed the idea of a rail but have a look at this Really Right Stuff - Kennan Ward Super-Tele Package - Kit Configuration Page

If you google Kennan Ward you will find some links to video he has recorded useing the RED camera and also a photo of the camera attached to the rail

regards

Mick
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