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


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Old January 14th, 2009, 02:53 PM   #1
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Fig rig's

Anyone out there using them? How does it work in the wedding industry?
I'm trying to improve the look of my handheld and heard from a few owners that they work very well. The only downside is the wierd look.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 03:18 PM   #2
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I use one, but not for weddings. The weird look is not the only drawback, but I still love mine! If you have a larger camera like I do, your arms get a real workout. But the video can be reasonably smooth with some practice.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 03:29 PM   #3
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If you just want to improve your handheld shots I would suggest taking a look at the spidebrace system.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 03:32 PM   #4
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Yeah it was toss up between the two... I was under the impression that the fig rig would give you a smoother look handheld during movement. Like I said, All the owners of the fig have a lot of great things to say about them.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 03:49 PM   #5
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Like I said, All the owners of the fig have a lot of great things to say about them.
Yep, we do! :)

I was VERY impressed after flying around my DVX100 and EX1. Pans, cranes, tilts, dollys, crabs. Pretty dang smooth but takes some practice. I haven't used mine in a while but need to get back on it.

Nice that it can hold my wireless lav receivers too.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 04:06 PM   #6
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Perrone...

What swayed you from using it for a wedding? I plan on using it with a DVX100... Is the learning curve a little bit easier then a glidecam?
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Old January 14th, 2009, 04:07 PM   #7
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Handheld and shooting HD is pretty hard to pull off... so some sort of rig becomes almost a necessity.

The advantage of something with a shoulder extension (like a spiderbrace) is that it gives you another resting point - it also gives another potential transmission point for "bounce", so if you've got something with good grips, you learn to lift the rig a bit while moving, which more or less ends up being like a Fig Rig (with the top chopped off and handles down).

Having the handles equal or above the camera Center of Gravity (CG) can help settle the rig a bit, as gravity is on your side, but it requires you hold the rig higher to get a useful camera angle, meaning your arm and back fatigue increases.

Having handles below the camera makes them a bit easier on your arms/back, but you have to fight gravity just a bit more (not as big a deal as it sounds), and the shoulder extension can help there.

I've got rigs for my small cameras that take both approaches - both "work" a lot better than handheld - anything that makes it like "driving" your camera (two spread handles, like a steering wheel, with or without the top and bottom chopped off) helps you reduce the tilting/rolling effect, and that to me is the most annoying of the three movement problems. Yaw, or the twitching side to side is also reduced greatly, making it easier to stay on your framing.

The one thing I think the Fig Rig adds is a "low mode" if you use it like carrying a basket, and more room to mount accessories that will kill your arms and back. Good design, and effective, but ANY "flying" rig that relies on your arm strength means you'd better factor in a gym membership and/or chiropractic bills. Shoulder type rigs are a bit easier on the old bod, and since you're on your feet for long hours shooting a wedding, every bit helps!

For my rigs, I'm adding a monopod and belt pocket ala the DVRig - even less back stress.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 04:16 PM   #8
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I've got a Spiderbrace rig that I rarely use now because of the Merlin I purchased. I'd be willing to sell it if you're interested.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 04:22 PM   #9
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I used to use one when I shot with GL2s. I really got some nice shots. You *must* have a remote for it or you're not getting the full use out of it.

Yeah, I got a lot of comments like "It looks like a steering wheel!" Every person that said that thought they were the first one to think of it...

I got rid of the GL2s and found my XL2 and HD100 were just too heavy to use much with the Fig Rig.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 05:04 PM   #10
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Travis... Pm me a price for your brace. I might be interested but i'm still leaning towards the fig rig.

Dave I know what you mean about going to the gym. I've always been pretty big into working out and usually go to the gym about 5 times a week. I would think that it would help out, but sometimes I'm not to sure that it does. I did learn one thing though. Dont go to the gym before a long shoot the next day. Sounds like common knowledge, but I've done it and payed for it ;-)
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Old January 14th, 2009, 06:28 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Stephen J. Williams View Post
Perrone...

What swayed you from using it for a wedding?
I don't shoot weddings, and never will! My hat's off to those of you who do.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 06:45 PM   #12
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easy explanation... thanks.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 07:51 PM   #13
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I chopped the top and bottom off mine to solve the steering wheel look. It now looks more like a fighter pilot. Way cooler and I don't regret it like i feared I would while i was hackin. Ive also attached a strap to it so its easy to have on my shoulder now when not in use.
Chopping also frees up the height restriction.

I use an xha1 on it.

works great as my tripod monopod and figrig all use the same plate.

I only use my merlin later in the night for first dance these days as i find the fig rig good enough for all those reveal from behind pillars etc. type shots. If its just a slight bit of camera movement (no walking) needed the fig rig does the job, and quicker.

Last edited by Ger Griffin; January 14th, 2009 at 08:30 PM.
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Old January 15th, 2009, 01:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen J. Williams View Post
Anyone out there using them? How does it work in the wedding industry?
I'm trying to improve the look of my handheld and heard from a few owners that they work very well. The only downside is the wierd look.
Have you considered the MultiRigPro? That is the camera platform of choice for me. Has lots of mounting points for lights, UHF receivers, etc. As well as spring loaded pod that attached to belt clip so you don't actually have to hold the weight of the camera for hours. There also is the rear arm that extends and folds around your shoulder / neck to further stabalize the system and almost provide hands free shooting if you balance it just right. Combined with a LANC controller attached to the right arm means my hands never had to leave the camera (unless to switch WB modes, f-stop, etc).

I've even joined in a quick dance with my wife (aka my second camera op) at one client's reception and didn't have to take anything off (not that it wasn't silly looking).
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Old January 17th, 2009, 02:47 AM   #15
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Fig Rigs

We use a Fig Rig with one of three Z1s for weddings. The quick release matches the tripods and gives us minimal "downtime".

The wheel shape is noticeable but we laugh it off - "I used to be a bus driver". Having said that the idea of cutting the top and bottom out is interesting though it leaves all the support on two aluminium brazed (I think) joints.
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