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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old July 21st, 2008, 11:56 AM   #1
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Just bought some stuff and want/need opinions!

So yesterday I bought a Manfrotto 055XB Tripod, a Manfrotto 128 RC Quick release video head, and a Manfrotto 127B Dolly.

First of all please reassure me that yes indeed this equipment will produce fantastic footage for me! ;-)

Second...I have 3 wks to try them out and either upgrade/return based on my needs. There was another Manfrotto tripod there (maybe the next model up?) that was only $40 more that had a feature that the arm the camera is mounted on extends up and out at a 90 degree angle (make sense?) Do you think I would find that useful?

Anyway if anyone has any opinions or advice for operating these let me know (I have a wedding I'll be using them at in 6 days!

Thanks!

Here is the other tripod http://www.adorama.com/BG055XPROB.html

Last edited by Kelsey Emuss; July 21st, 2008 at 12:00 PM. Reason: added the other tripod info
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Old July 21st, 2008, 01:18 PM   #2
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Quote:
First of all please reassure me that yes indeed this equipment will produce fantastic footage for me
That equipement will do nothing for obtaining fantastic footage - that's up to you and your camera. You could shoot from a tree stump and still get a great story if that's your intent (and it should be).

I'm also not a big fan of dollies though. In the wrong hands these things give us a bad reputation. So be careful of whose toes you run over with that thing. :)
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Old July 21st, 2008, 01:25 PM   #3
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Thanks! The part about the fantastic footage was meant to be "toungue in cheek". And for the record...I am JUST the type of person that would drive over toes, so that's a concern of mine!
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Old July 21st, 2008, 03:16 PM   #4
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well I use a set of wheels at almost every ceremony. Not receptions but ceremonies.
Why? Here's the answer. First I prefer to have solid steady footage so I need to shoot on a tripod. Even when shooting a full sized camera I and most everyone else I know can only stay solid for so long especially at the long end of the lens. generally I shoot the processional from the front of the aisle and then have to move to the back of the church (or at least behind the majority of the guest. in this area that's pretty much typical) so to make that move and make it steady I need wheels. I have the Bogen 3067 dolly with 5 inch wheels and I cut the outriggers down to a managable size so it'll fit thru most side aisles in case I have to move that way. It is invaluable for making that move. Much better than handheld IMO. Also even though I have another camera running I always try to shoot as if it's not there. You never know what can go wrong with it. Anyway, sometimes a subtle move is needed and it's much smoother with wheels. Anyway it takes some practice but personally I feel much more comfortable with them then without for a wedding ceremony.
That's me though, YMMV.

Don
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Old July 21st, 2008, 03:31 PM   #5
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so to make that move and make it steady I need wheels
Whatever gets you by I guess. Personally, I can't picture it at my venues because I don't like to be noticed. I simply walk to the rear of the church after the processional and record my feet in the process. 2 other cutaway cams take care of my absence for the 60 seconds it takes.
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Old July 21st, 2008, 04:01 PM   #6
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I just purchased 3 of these Giottos tripods and have been very happy with them.
Standing at just over 72inches, I can practically shoot over anyone.

http://www.adorama.com/GTGB5200.html

I am now running 3-4 cameras during a service now, 1-2 on the sides, and two cameras mounted on one tripod (with 2 Bogen 128LP fluid heads) in the rear shooting wide and medium framed shots.

While shooting the processional, the rear cameraman shoots a wide shot, while camera 2 pans towards the doors fr the brides entrance, then follows her down the aisle resting on a medium shot.

I am up front shooting handheld, hugging the front pew on the grooms side, using either a Bogen 561B fluid base monopod/ with 701RC fluid head, or DVMulti Rig. Once the bride is handed off I either remove my camera from the monopod and place it on my preset tripod. or I place my entire MultiRig on the tripod, using it's Tripod Adapter plate that mounts to my tripod via QR plate.

The tripod themselves have been very stable for me, much improved over my previous tripods. And I love the twist releases on the legs, as opposed to clamps. Smooth and quiet, when adjusting the tripods.

All of my tripods use Bogen 501HDV fluid heads and everything has the same Bogen QR assembly on them for easy transfer to any apparatus.
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Old July 21st, 2008, 04:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
well I use a set of wheels at almost every ceremony. Not receptions but ceremonies.
Why? Here's the answer. First I prefer to have solid steady footage so I need to shoot on a tripod. Even when shooting a full sized camera I and most everyone else I know can only stay solid for so long especially at the long end of the lens. generally I shoot the processional from the front of the aisle and then have to move to the back of the church (or at least behind the majority of the guest. in this area that's pretty much typical) so to make that move and make it steady I need wheels. I have the Bogen 3067 dolly with 5 inch wheels and I cut the outriggers down to a managable size so it'll fit thru most side aisles in case I have to move that way. It is invaluable for making that move. Much better than handheld IMO. Also even though I have another camera running I always try to shoot as if it's not there. You never know what can go wrong with it. Anyway, sometimes a subtle move is needed and it's much smoother with wheels. Anyway it takes some practice but personally I feel much more comfortable with them then without for a wedding ceremony.
That's me though, YMMV.


Don
Hey Don,

Just wondering why you wouldn't use one at the reception? I pictured getting great use from it as far as wheeling around the B&G (or guests) as they dance or cruising past the head table. As well I'd LOVE your opinion on the extendable arm (90 degrees) Useless or not?

PS I have a crush on your work!
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Old July 21st, 2008, 05:03 PM   #8
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I use a DVmultirig for receptions. When I used a fullsize rig it was easy but I just can't hold small form factor steady for long periods of time anymore. Must be gettin' old ;-)

I keep my receiver on the back of the DVrig and that really helps balance it out. Plus the rig allows me to move around with relatively smooth movement during dancing. Generally during the first dances (B&G, F/D and M/S) I do a roundyround once or twice. not quite like a steadicam but with some practice it comes out pretty smooth.

Thanks for the kind words about the work. Most of it on the site is pretty old and frankly I'm too lazy to change it :-(

As for moving to the back, first, I shoot solo, second I only run 2 cameras and third, I prefer to shoot like there's only one camera. You never know what's going on with an unmanned camera, hence the wheels.
Don
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Old July 21st, 2008, 08:24 PM   #9
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Kelsey,
I have the 55xb legs and they're quite sturdy, and they extend pretty high which is good (not quite high enough but oh well) I don't think you should get that head though, I have the 701rc2 and it's a step up from that head and it still doesn't offer great results for pan/tilting, though just panning on it's own is fine. I would suggest getting a 501 or 503 head over that one if you can afford it.

summary: legs=good, head=bad


...IMO
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Old July 21st, 2008, 08:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by David Schuurman View Post
Kelsey,
I have the 55xb legs and they're quite sturdy, and they extend pretty high which is good (not quite high enough but oh well) I don't think you should get that head though, I have the 701rc2 and it's a step up from that head and it still doesn't offer great results for pan/tilting, though just panning on it's own is fine. I would suggest getting a 501 or 503 head over that one if you can afford it.

summary: legs=good, head=bad


...IMO
Hey thanks! This was exactlythe kind of info I was looking for! I just did a quick check and I can upgrade to the 701rc2 for only $20.00 more!

Thanks again!
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Old July 21st, 2008, 10:16 PM   #11
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test out the head with your particular cam on it before you buy it....see how the "stiction" is...my advice for best operation of it: leave it pretty loose, it has no real drag controls to mention.
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