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Old April 8th, 2015, 06:28 PM   #1
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Small Jib for Creative Shots.

I am thinking about picking up a small jib for this wedding season to try and get some different kinds of shots, staged shots.

I've been looking at the Cobra Crane I for $300 at B&H. There's an additional Pan/Tilt accessory for $200 which would give left/right movement of the camera on the head that looks pretty decent as well.

I've been watching some videos online and reading a bit based on a Google search and it looks like a decent set up for what I have in my head anyways.

Does anyone here use this model? Would like to hear experiences. I'd likely just start of with the $299 base model and add the other later if I'm really diggin' it. I figure at $300 it's pretty low cost to try out.

CobraCrane 5029 CobraCrane I 5029 B&H Photo Video


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Old April 9th, 2015, 11:23 AM   #2
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Re: Small Jib for Creative Shots.

Hi Kyle,

I have one very similar, the cobra backpacker. It sits in my equipment room unless a job calls for a crane then you have to have one. The reason it sits is it is a chore to use. Think heavy and clunky. It is not like a slider you can run around with. I don’t remember if you’re a SPC or not but a crane seem to take a lot of effort and dedication for some reason. Plus you’re probably going to want to dedicate a good tripod to it. You can take it off and on of course but again, heavy and clunky, not easy to deal with.

My Cobra is not a precision device. I need to work it over with my own improvements. For example they give regular gym type weights with a big hole in the middle. You slide them over a regular bolt less than ” around so they are flopping around until you cinch them down, think noisy. Then the lowest weight is 1 pound so you’re always trying to find something to hang off of it to achieve balance. Again, nothing precision there. And you must balance it because the pivot point is just a bolt, washers, and a locked nut. There is no way to add a little tension or lock it in place.like I think you should be able to. It free floats at all times. If you don’t achieve perfect balance with the crude system your camera will be on the ground or all the way up when you’re not holding it.

They call mine the backpacker because it breaks down into two pieces but believe me no one is carrying this thing around in a pack.

Once your set up at a reception (guessing you might) I can see you bringing people over to it for a nice shot but I cannot see you running around working a room with it. A ninja shooter like Noa would want nothing to do with one ;)

I know I’m not explaining it well. It’s just a big piece of iron to deal with. It’s not like any other piece of kit. If you’re a DSLR guy (I’m not) you might be better off with a slider stout enough to hold a camera on the end of it and turn it into a small boom by attaching the tripod to the other end. Not ideal because the camera does not pivot but I have seen guys do it just to add one more type of shot. Thats another thing, the crane will add to your list of shots but not a lot because it is not that versatile.

When I have an assistant to deal with it then it’s great. But when I’m SPC I don’t even consider it. Too much of a handful. Maybe I will like it more after I fix the issues it has.

Steve
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Old April 9th, 2015, 11:39 AM   #3
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Re: Small Jib for Creative Shots.

I just remembered I put pictures of it in use and a video of surgery in this thread:

Help me assemble my new lighting kit or repurpose my old ones? I am not th OP there, I was contributing.

I was a SPC on that job and was wishing I had an assistant the whole time. Three cameras and a crane is too much for one person but I got by. Besides, there was no room left in there for another person.

Steve
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Old April 9th, 2015, 01:42 PM   #4
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Re: Small Jib for Creative Shots.

I've recently acquired the Genus Mini Jib with motorised add on. I'm still getting to grips with it, but it's been very useful in getting some lovely different shots - time lapses of the people entering the Reception, establishing shots of the venue and the Photo session; the latter giving a fresh perspective and not just duplicating the Photographers look but with video. I needed to acquire weights - 0.5, 1.25 and 2.5 (4 of each). With a ruler guide at the end and some pre-testing, I know which weights to use for each camera and at what ruler setting on the jib. I have the base plate for a tripod attached one end and a sliding plate at the top, so setup time is a doddle.

Last Wedding took me a couple of minutes to setup. It's hardly run and gun, but a good tool to use at the right moment, like a slider really. I've only just started figuring out the kind of shots I can do - I expect to be a master of it in a few months time.
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Old April 9th, 2015, 03:01 PM   #5
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Re: Small Jib for Creative Shots.

Just get a drone and use it like a jib, crane, steadicam, slider, and more! Light, small, quick, and easy ;)
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Old April 9th, 2015, 03:23 PM   #6
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Re: Small Jib for Creative Shots.

My drone is in storage after it sliced my finger, and the damn thing got infected (the finger, not the drone - that got a kicking).
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Old April 9th, 2015, 04:01 PM   #7
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Re: Small Jib for Creative Shots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Burkett View Post
My drone is in storage after it sliced my finger, and the damn thing got infected (the finger, not the drone - that got a kicking).
Now that is funny!

Your Genustech looks much better built than my Cobra boat anchor.

Steve
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Old April 9th, 2015, 04:08 PM   #8
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Re: Small Jib for Creative Shots.

i have an Aviator jib and it is ultra portable, fast and easy to set up. instead of weights, i sawed the head off a 4" 3/8 bolt, screwed it into the threads on the jib and screwed on one of my fluid heads as a counter weight. why lug around extra weight when you can use what you already carry?
it pans at the base, but the head can't tilt unless you add a fluid head and operate it in front.
i get some pretty smooth movement from it and often i use it to just get a high angle shot (if wind isn't a factor).
i personally can't see hauling around a heavier jib, especially one that would take longer to set up, when it is for just a few creative shots....
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Old April 9th, 2015, 08:20 PM   #9
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Re: Small Jib for Creative Shots.

Thanks for the input. I've looked at a ton of these things the past couple days.

I know it would be used pretty infrequently, but in my head I'm thinking that when we have couples who are into creatives, it would a neat thing to have.

And the smaller ones seem "more portable", even if they are clunky. I'm not a SPC, and would only be doing this when there are 2 (preferably 3) of us on site filming.

I'm also shooting a promo in a couple of weeks and that's really where I'm thinking I could have some fun with one... so that's the main push.
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Old April 9th, 2015, 09:53 PM   #10
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Re: Small Jib for Creative Shots.

I've got an Aviator as well. The height isn't awe-inspiring, and it gets used very infrequently; most of the time, I'm more likely to simply lift up my steadicam than bother bringing and setting it up. But it's very portable, cheaper than the Kessler competition, and I'm satisfied with what it does.

If I ever bought a jib again (which is unlikely), I'd be looking for more awe:

Think a 30+ Foot Camera Crane is Completely Out of Your Budget? Maybe Not
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Old April 10th, 2015, 07:01 AM   #11
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Re: Small Jib for Creative Shots.

33' is quite long. lol But those were some great shots!

We actually have a 15' (from the fulcrum... so like 20+ feet in total length) one that one of our guys built himself with a motorized pan tilt head and everything. It's robust and it took 3 of us to assemble it onsite at the wedding we used it at last year. It's so large he had to bring it in pieces in his mom's Toyota Sienna Van.

It's rock solid and gives amazing footage but is super complex with all the wiring as well for camera controls and external monitor and all that.

So, I'm looking for something that is much smaller and easier setup and some of these online videos for the CobraCrane show one guy doing it all himself, making it "look easy" lol
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Old April 10th, 2015, 08:00 AM   #12
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Re: Small Jib for Creative Shots.

Was that the wedding with a door set up in the middle of a garden? I think I remember the jib shots being awesome!
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Old April 10th, 2015, 08:15 AM   #13
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Re: Small Jib for Creative Shots.

Yes that's the one where we used it on one of my weddings.

He uses it all the time on just about all of his weddings.

We live 90 miles apart, so it's quite a big deal for him to bring it down here. He stays pretty busy with weddings, so I'm looking for something I can kind of maybe do on my own when I have the opportunity to use one.

This is the main video I saw where I can see getting some cool shots with a smaller one of there's a scenic location.

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Old April 11th, 2015, 07:16 PM   #14
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Re: Small Jib for Creative Shots.

That is the single worst audio track I have ever heard. LOL!
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Old April 12th, 2015, 08:46 AM   #15
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Re: Small Jib for Creative Shots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian David Melnyk View Post
instead of weights, i sawed the head off a 4" 3/8 bolt, screwed it into the threads on the jib and screwed on one of my fluid heads as a counter weight.
This was an epiphany to me. I always hate having to lug the weight for the jib around, so often I leave the Aviator in the back of my car. I tried out this idea today with a 504hd head on the back of the Aviator balancing out my C100 and it worked perfectly. I am going to be using this thing a lot more now.
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