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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old January 26th, 2010, 10:27 AM   #1
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Multi Cam Tripod

This idea may be more of a novelty than it would actually prove useful, but has anyone heard of a multi-cam tripod plate? I'm basically picturing a base plate that would connect to the head, be maybe a foot wide, and give the ability to connect 2-3 small cameras. This would be useful for stationary cameras I use such as my 2 Canon HV40s. Since I often film my stationary cams from the same location, with varied zooms for each, this would cut down on the space taken up by both tripods. You wouldn't have individual pan/tilt controls, obviously. Anyone heard of such a thing?
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Old January 26th, 2010, 10:30 AM   #2
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A good idea in CONCEPT but the very second you introduce zooms, you are certain to run into framing problems that require a tilt one way or another to correct the framing. I have seen VERY few camera positions where wide, medium and close up shots are equally well framed WITHOUT touching the tilt.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 10:36 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. Excellent point. As I read your response, another application of the idea came to mind - I often have a cam/tripod behind the last row of seating, for the wedding party entrance. Having 2 cameras set up at this location, one turned around 180 degrees, I could get good shots of both the party entering, as well as a "behind shot" of them walking down the aisle. This of course might run across the same issues you already mentioned. My idea would definitely take fine-tuning.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 10:44 AM   #4
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de head a bogen (flat top), get a aluminum slat from the hardware store and 2 bolts and a nut, snag another bogen head off of e-bay for $24-36 used, 15 minutes with a drill, and you would be all set.
you would have 2 cheap pannable/tiltable heads on a single tripod. then some idjiut will stand in front of BOTH cameras at the same time :-). . . oops.

The cool thing about this trick your trying to do, is you dont really need 2 primo video heads, even a photography tripod with the added $$$ contraptions you can add to them would get you 2 points of instalation.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 11:16 AM   #5
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Check out Manfrotto product code MTHM.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 11:41 AM   #6
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You want one of these

Nano Clamp with Ball Tilt Head

look at how the monitor is attached to the tripod leg, that's what i do except i attach a small camcorder.
So i have my EX1 on top and small canon HG-10 on the clamp mount, i can then shoot wide from the little canon and do all my other work from the EX1.
No matter what i do with the tripod head the clamp stays still.

Paul.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 12:21 PM   #7
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There are several proprietary contraptions that allow two heads to be mounted either end of a bar which at midpoint is mounted to a third head on sticks. So you save $$ on 1 set of sticks and lose $$ on an extra head.

They all work fine if you will just mount two static cams but any movement that is picked up by cam 1 must be isolated from cam 2. That means the cheaper/lighter/less fluid solutions often won't work if you need to move either camera while running tape.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 01:40 PM   #8
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I've got a DIY hardware store steel bar (aluminum is way too flexible, and the steel is still not as stiff as I'd prefer - even over something a little over a foot long risks some bounce if you touch anything). As noted, a few minutes at the store, a drill press (hand drill not the best plan...), and a tap set, and you can have one of your own configuration.

I mount mine with a Pedco clamp (similar to the one linked to) to the post just below the main head, which is free to pan/tilt. And yes, it is not too "framing friendly". I think I will try adding a couple small ball heads to allow fine tuning of the shot.

To sum, you've got a workable idea in theory, and I've actually shot 4x multicam with this setup as well as 2x cams as Paul describes with just the Pedco clamp or Ultrapod II (a far more stable and practical configuration...). You can probably get a clamp-pod that's adequate for pretty cheap (I have a collection of this sort of thing!), if you want to play with 2x cameras, maybe 3x... 4x you'll need to go to the hardware store!

As noted, you either want really tall tripods to clear any obstacles, or you'll have two perfectly unusable camera angles, which is where having a couple other cameras strategically placed comes in...
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Old January 26th, 2010, 02:55 PM   #9
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Is this not what you desire?

Hague Twin Head Tripod Mount
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Old January 26th, 2010, 03:32 PM   #10
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The links look great, thanks everyone. I've tried finding a company in the States that sells the Hague or Manfrotto twin head mounts. No luck on BHPhotoVideo. Didn't see the Manfrotta mount on their product listing.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 03:32 PM   #11
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Maybe something like this?

tripods, heads, monopods, light stands, camera supports, lighting supports, professional tripod 131DD - CROSS ARM,DBL END+DBL HD SUPPR

tripods, heads, monopods, light stands, camera supports, lighting supports, professional tripod 131DDB - CROSS ARM DBL END+DBL HD SUP B

(One's silver, one's black)

Here's the black one at B&H:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ssory_Arm.html
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Old January 26th, 2010, 03:35 PM   #12
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That's it. Thank you!
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Old January 26th, 2010, 03:56 PM   #13
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Thank you for starting this thread. I may pick up one myself...

Interestingly, while one website shows the full tripod heads mounted to this bar, it appears you could just attach a quick release plate to it instead, perhaps one of these:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...k_Release.html

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...t_Adapter.html

...both of which have female 3/8" sockets in the bottom.

Of course, if your cam has a 3/8" socket, it's even simpler.

I'm still sort of perplexed about the two connectors on the ends... not clear on how you would use them with a video cam, unless there's some sort of 90 degree adapter thing. Unless you wanted to shoot straight down.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 12:27 PM   #14
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Adam I have the Tripod Accessory Arm you posted Manfrotto Tripod Accessory Arm, and do have it with a QR plate on the bottom of it.

I simply mount the Tripod Arm (via QR) to my Bogen 501 HDV head.
I have a pair of 128LP Micro Fluid Heads Manfrotto 128LP Micro Fluid Head mounted on it with the Bogen 501 assembly Manfrotto 577 Rapid Connect Adapter on each head.

It works well when needed for different perspectives. And by mounting it on a tripod head enables me to pan and tilt the entire setup as needed.

I actually did an interview the other day where the subject was off to the side of the frame (not centered) with one camera set to closeup (straight on talent) and the other set to a medium shot. The medium shot has a slightly different angle to it, as because of the distance between the cameras, the wider camera had to be panned to the right to get the framing that I wanted.

Next time I might try setting the subject in the middle of the bar and angle both cameras in accordingly.

But I have used this for a wedding ceremony shoot where one camera is set for closeup and the other set for a medium wide frame. Works great. Even for an entrance my assistant was able to pan one camera to the door for the entrances and the other camera shooting down the aisle. The cameras are spaced far enough apart where he was able to pan the camera following the bride as she entered. Cool and convenient setup. Especially for someone who might shoot alone and only use 2 cameras.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 02:25 PM   #15
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Yeah, I actually thought about that after I posted. For the ultimate in versatility you could attach the QR cam plate to the bottom with the 3/8" screw, and then attach two QR receiver assemblies to the top.

Of course, without actual heads on the top, your ability to pan the cams individually for framing purposes would go away, but for theatrical stuff where you might want one cam wide and the other medium, it might work.

Does anyone know about the differences between the two QR assemblies I linked to? They appear to be the same except that one comes with a longer cam plate. The bottom receiver assemblies look the same. But the plates themselves look like either would work on either mount.
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